Friday night(1/15), while some of you were under the covers thawing from the Chicago frost or netflix and chilling, philanthropic supporters, friends and fans of the Wood Family Foundation and Cubs were defrosting their paws at the annual Woody’s Winter Warmup at Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Restaurant at Water Tower Place. The sold out event, now in its 5th year went on to raise $125,000 that will go towards the foundation’s mentoring program PitchIn.
WGN Radio’s Roe Conn and journalist Anna Davlantes served as emcees and live auctioneer for the exclusive ‘Cubs training’ experience that included a personalized diet and training program, workout with Kerry and a Cubs trainer in Wrigley Field’s brand new facilities, batting practice, a pre-game tour of Wrigley, and tickets to a game. for the night with DJ Niena Drake, and DJ Prince behind the night’s music which went to the lucky bidder.
With the Cubs Convention taking place that weekend(Jan. 15-17), past players including legendary Ryne Sandberg and current players including Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Justin Grimm, Miguel Montero, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Chad Noble, Dan Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, David Ross, John Lackey were joined by manager Joe Maddon, Mike Borzello (Catching coach), Eric Hinske (Asst Hitting coach) and front office execs Theo Epstein (President of Baseball Operations), Jed Hoyer (Executive VP) and Crane Kenney (President of Business Operations).
Chicago celeb guest bartenders included former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije, NBC Chicago Fire actor Joe Minoso, Windy City Live’s Ryan Chiaverini, Former hockey player Brent Sopel, UFC fighter CM Punk, Sports personalities Sarah Spain, Lou Canellis, to name a few.
Woody’s Warm Up raises funds for the foundation’s Pitch In group mentoring program, serving 4th through 8th graders in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
Photo credit: Kenny Kim Photography