07/28/2008 10:25 PM ET
Phillies Phestival raises a record $758,540 to help strike out ALS
Over $10.1 million raised since 1984
A sellout crowd turned out at Citizens Bank Park tonight to help raise a record total of $758,540 at the 19th Phillies Phestival for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), surpassing last year's total by over $38,000. Since the Phillies adopted ALS as their primary charity in 1984, they have raised over $10.1 million for the fight against the disease, an always-fatal, progressive neuromuscular disorder.
A baseball signed by the 1937 New York Yankees, including Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, received the top bid of $5,300 in the live auction, followed by a bid of $4,100 for a Phillies cruise package for two.
Citi Smith Barney marked its 13th year as the Grand Slam Sponsor of the event. All-Star Sponsor Comcast SportsNet broadcast Daily News Live from the ballpark and the following Ballpark Partners contributed a portion of their proceeds to the night's grand total: ARAMARK, Make Your Own Phanatic, Tony Luke's, Turkey Hill Ice Cream, Rick's Steaks, Planet Hoagie and McNally's Schmitter.
The 2008 Phillies squad and coaching staff, as well as the broadcast crew and the players' and coaches' wives, were on hand to lend their support. Over 40 ALS patients and their families were also at the ballpark to enjoy the festivities.
In addition to autograph stations, there were three photo booths featuring Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and manager Charlie Manuel. Fans could also participate in games like Every Roll's A Winner and the Wheel of Phun or purchase Grab Bags filled with a variety of memorabilia.
The live auction raised $64,150 and the silent auction raised $39,020. Thirty-five items were up for bid in the live auction while 116 items were available in the silent auction. A VIP night with the Phillies, including four tickets and field passes, received the top silent auction bid of $1,500.
The money raised is used by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association for research and patient services.