“Field of Dreams” To Help Find a Cure For Lou Gehrig’s Disease

“Field of Dreams” To Help Find a Cure For Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Triangle business leaders, national celebrities, and members of Major League baseball’s royalty will converge on the Bull City to help raise money to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), familiarly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The first annual “Field of Dreams” Gala will benefit the Carolinas Chapter of the ALS Associations. Actor Kevin Costner and Helen Hunter, wife of the legendary Jim “Catfish” Hunter are honorary co-chairs for the event.

The gala will be a festive and meaningful evening celebrating the 100th Anniversary of The Durham Bulls and to raise funds for cutting-edge research and patient services. The Lou Gehrig/Jim “Catfish” Hunter Humanitarian Award will be presented at the gala, honoring Cal & Kelly Ripken, Jr., Reggie Jackson, Curt & Shonda Schilling, Charlie & Lucy Wedemeyer and Mark Reiman. These stars and more are on tap to attend the inaugural event. Armen Keteyian, three-time Emmy Award winner with CBS Sports and HBO Sports, will emcee the evening.

Hall of Fame Pitcher “Catfish” Hunter, a native North Carolinian, died of ALS a little over two years ago. Lou Gehrig first brought national and international attention to the disease back in 1939 when he abruptly retired from baseball after being diagnosed with the disease.

Lou Gehrig’s disease ultimately leaves its victims completely paralyzed, with only their minds unaffected. There is no cure for ALS; it ultimately results in death. Diagnosed patients can expect to live an average of 3 to 5 years. Currently over 30,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS. 2,400 of that number live in North and South Carolina.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon is co-chairing the benefit with Bob Ingram, President & CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. CBC VP/GM Radio Networks/Baseball Clubs George Habel is helping steer the project as well.

Besides Lou Gehrig & “Catfish” Hunter, ALS has claimed the lives of actor Michael Zaslow, creator of Sesame Street Jon Stone, actor David Niven, boxing champion Ezzard Charles, pro football player Glenn Montgomery and Senator Jacob Javitis.

“The ALS association nationwide has maintained a strong relationship with minor league baseball over the years,” said Habel. When the ALS Association contacted the Durham Bulls about participating in the event, the Bulls’ 100th anniversary season seemed the perfect time to get involved.

The black tie gala will take place on Tuesday, February 2, 2002, at the Durham Marriott and Civic Center. Tables are still available. Businesses and individuals may purchase entire tables at prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Individual tickets are $500. For more information or to make a reservation, call 919-844-4257 or 1-877-LOU-GEHRIG.

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