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August 25, 2003
Boston Red Sox, WEEI, NESN, and Ben Affleck help Jimmy Fund raise $1.1 million

While each governor of all six New England states officially declared Friday, Aug. 22, "Jimmy Fund Day," it was Red Sox Nation and those from New England and beyond who truly made it so by contributing more than $1.1 million to support cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund.

Hundreds — including notables such as New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner ($10,000) and baseball commissioner Bud Selig ($20,000) — called in during the WEEI Jimmy Fund Radiothon that was broadcast live on WEEI 850 AM from 6 a.m. to midnight and from 8 a.m. on New England Sports Network (NESN). Still more, such as Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck ($50,000) and Red Sox Manager Grady Little ($3,000), pledged contributions during the day.

At the auction for special number Red Sox-Jimmy Fund Massachusetts license plates, Sox ownership partner Phillip H. Morse helped the day's bottom line by bidding $140,000 for the plate bearing Ted Williams' retired number, 9, and actor and Cambridge native Ben Affleck bid $50,000 for the plate with number 1. Late in the day, Red Sox owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino pledged $25,000 from the Red Sox Foundation to help bring the Jimmy Fund tally above the $1 million mark.

"It was an unbelievable day from start to finish," said Mike Andrews, former Red Sox second baseman and current Jimmy Fund chairman, noting that calls came in from as far away as Florida, California, Arizona, Alberta, Canada, even Japan. "We are so thankful to everyone who gave. Their gifts will make a huge difference to our researchers and staff, but most importantly to those who are facing cancer now and who will be facing it in the future."

At the park and on field

In addition to the on-air radiothon, the WEEI Jimmy Fund Radiothon included a Breakfast with the Bosses, featuring the owners of Boston's sports teams, the Sox' John Henry, Grousbeck, Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, and the Bruins' Jeremy Jacobs, in a lively discussion; an entertaining Lunch with the Boys with Johnny Damon, Tim Wakefield, and Scott Sauerbeck; and Cocktails with the Legends, with sports greats John Hannah (Patriots), John Havlicek and Tommy Heinsohn (Celtics), and Luis Tiant (Red Sox).

Just prior to the game, Red Sox owners were joined by representatives of the Variety Children's Charity of New England, National Amusements, and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association to receive the prestigious Sidney Farber Medical Research Award in recognition of each of the organization's 50 years or more of supporting the Jimmy Fund.

And, to top it off, none other than Ben Affleck joined Jimmy Fund Clinic patient, 17-year-old Gina DiCenzo from West Roxbury, Mass., and auction winner Angela Smith of Reebok to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"Events like this are all part of a 50-year tradition and why the Red Sox are leading the way in charitable giving for other sports teams across the nation," said Andrews. "It just proves how important the support of the team has been and still is to the Jimmy Fund and cancer research."

For more information on the auction, the WEEI Jimmy Fund Radiothon, and the events at Fenway on Aug. 22, visit www.jimmyfundradiotelethon.org or email jimmyfundradiothon@dfci.harvard.edu.