Centerplate’s Orona Comes to the Rescue

Durham Bulls logo
Centerplate’s Ralph Orona (center) and his co-workers Berto Reyes (left) & Daniel Morris come to the rescue for the Walk to Defeat ALS.

A Durham Bulls connection recently went the extra mile for the Walk to Defeat ALS.   The walk took place on the Credit Suisse Campus in Morrisville on Saturday, May 5, 2012. 

Centerplate manages all the concessions and food at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  Ralph Orona is the Assistant General Manager.

Last year Orona and Centerplate helped the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association by donating food and coordinating the order for their annual walk.  This year the ALS needed more help, requesting food for 2,500.  The people originally slated to cook the food fell through, so the ALS asked if Orona could help.

He jumped in at the last minute to not only order all the hot dogs hamburgers and snacks for the 2,500, he met two of his warehouse workers at the walk site at 8am on the day of the walk and all three of them loaded all the food, took it to the walk site and cooked it.  All three men volunteered their time for this extra effort.

“Without Ralph and Centerplace, our walk would not have been the success that it was,” said Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter ALS Association President & CEO Jerry Dawson. 

ALS Walk
Volunteers help serve the food Orona, Reyes & Morris prepared for the thousands of walkers.
ALS Walk

What made the effort even more impressive is that the walk took place on the morning of the 9th game out of 10-game home stretch.  Orona and his helpers took on more work, for free, on top of a really tough week.

Their generosity paid off.

The 2012 Triangle Walk had more people and raised more money than any event in the history of the Chapter.  Around 3,000 people participated, raising over $329,000.

WRAL-TV Anchor Debra Morgan reprised her annual role as the emcee for the event, an avid supporter of the work of the ALS.  Capitol Sports Vice President George Habel recently served a ten-year stint on the Board of Directors of the Catfish Hunter Chapter.

“I was recruited to the BOD because the disease has close ties to baseball,” said Habel.  “It claimed the lives of Lou Gehrig and NC’s own Catfish Hunter, but the Association’s emphasis on patient care transcends that baseball connection. It is very rewarding, and that’s why the Bulls will continue to support the Chapter’s work. This is a mean, mean disease. While there have been advances in research, the cause is unknown. There’s no cure, and there are no survivors. We are simply compelled to help. Using the CBC platform, we continue to work on awareness, fund-raising…and Ralph has the hot dogs covered!”

About ALS & Jim “Catfish” Hunter
The Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association is named to honor the North Carolina hero and baseball legend.  A Hertford, North Carolina native, Hunter was diagnosed with ALS in 1998 and died from complications of the disease a year later at the age of 53.

The Jim “Catfish” Hunter chapter serves the needs of ALS patients and caregivers in North Carolina. 

The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. ALSA covers all the bases — research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — in providing help and hope to those facing the disease.

Thanks to CS’ George Habel for this capcom scoop & for these capcom photos.


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