"Today Show" co-host Meredith Vieira and actress Maura Tierney
threw out the first pitch before Friday's game between the Boston Red
Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
Gail Oskin/Getty Images
The 9th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
on Aug. 19 and 20 attracted supporters from all 50 states and around
the world to support the fight against cancer. More than $3 million was
raised to support adult and pediatric cancer research and care at
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
"This was a very emotional event for Dana-Farber's staff, patients,
and their families, and for many who called in and made contributions,"
said Suzanne Fountain, director of the Jimmy Fund. "We are extremely
grateful for WEEI and NESN's support and commitment year after year, and
to their dedicated viewers and listeners who generously contribute to
our mission to develop better treatments for cancer, if not cures."
Why every contribution counts
The live, 36-hour Radio-Telethon broadcast on WEEI 850-AM Sports
Radio Network and New England Sports Network (NESN) from Fenway Park
featured compelling patient stories, interviews with Dana-Farber
researchers and doctors, and calls and visits from celebrity guests and
members of the Boston Red Sox.
The Radio-Telethon has earned a reputation for being a signature
fundraising event in which celebrities are eager to participate. Some of
this year's notable contributors were Mike O'Malley, Meredith Vieira,
Maura Tierney, the Farrelly brothers, Bud Selig on behalf of Major
League Baseball, Charlie Jacobs on behalf of the Boston Bruins
Foundation, Red Sox Manager Terry Francona, Chairman Tom Werner, and
pitchers Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield, in addition to newly signed Red
Sox prospect Garin Cecchini.
A number of celebrities also called in, including Ben Affleck, Stephen King, Kevin James, Jim Belushi, and Bob Costas.
The Red Sox built on its 57-year relationship with the Jimmy Fund by
holding on-field ceremonies before both games. Prior to the start of the
game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, Shari
Redstone, president of National Amusements, was presented with the
Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Award to recognize National Amusements'
longstanding support of the Jimmy Fund and its theatre collections
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, who was diagnosed with
Ewings Sarcoma in 2009, threw out the first pitch, and former "American
Idol" contestant and "CBS Early Show" contributor Ayla Brown sang the
national anthem and "God Bless America."
Before Friday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox
remembered Ted Williams and his unwavering support of the Jimmy Fund.
The ceremony included on-field recognition of nine Dana-Farber patients
who have participated in the past nine WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund
Radio-Telethons or were in treatment during the past nine years.
"Today Show" co-host Meredith Vieira and actress Maura Tierney threw out the first pitch.
"The listeners of WEEI and the viewers on NESN stepped up huge for
this special cause, which once again provided some truly incredible
stories that will last with us for a long, long time," said Jason Wolfe,
VP of AM Programming for Entercom New England. "The radio-telethon
continues to bring the community together in a way unlike any other that
I have ever been a part of."
"The past two days have been very inspirational," said Sean McGrail,
NESN President and CEO "We've been reminded about the great work that is
being done at Dana Farber and how the doctors and staff are truly
changing people's lives. The fans of NESN and WEEI have once again shown
their generosity, continuing to give us all hope that the Jimmy Fund's
battle against cancer will produce even more success stories in the
The Jimmy Fund is celebrating 62 years this year. Back in 1948,
members of the Boston Braves visited the hospital bedside of a
12-year-old boy with cancer, dubbed "Jimmy" to protect his identity. The
visit was broadcast, nationally on radio and people gave generously to
help children like him battling the disease. That broadcast, along with
player appearances and radio appeals during Braves games, helped build a
state-of-the-art hospital for cancer research and patient care.
When the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, owner Lou Perini
encouraged the new Red Sox owner Thomas Yawkey to continue the Braves'
work with the Jimmy Fund, as the charity had been named. On April 10,
1953, Yawkey announced that the Red Sox would adopt the Jimmy Fund as
its official charity.
Today, the Jimmy Fund continues to be an official charity of the
Boston Red Sox, and since 2002, the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
has raised more than $24 million to support adult and pediatric cancer
care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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Editor's note: Photos available upon request