Fundraiser

Kerry and Sarah Wood with Chris Young

Kerry and Sarah Wood have done it again! And this time it was with the help of Grammy award-winning country artist Chris Young and US99.5 radio host, click Lisa Dent.

Woody's western round up sign

The First Annual Woody’s Western Roundup went down at Joe’s on Weed St., capsule a perfect setting for a country-themed fundraiser. As soon as you saw the venue, hospital you knew it was going to be a great time. From a Bulleit Whiskey trailer out front to the cowboy hats worn by attendees to the smokey, delicious smell of pulled pork sandwiches, everything was spot on.

The overall event was a huge success for the Woods, who put on these types of events “to improve the lives of Chicago’s kids by raising funds and awareness for their children’s programs, such as Pitch In.” I’m going to break down the highlights of the night. Ones that made all of us in the crowd smile and will also be making Chicago children smile as well.

Event Highlights 

  • Before Chris Young came out to perform, Lisa Dent hosted a live auction for a fun-filled, all-expense-paid weekend in Nashville (valued at $2,000). Bidders in the crowd easily surpassed the $2k price and right around $3,500, Wood decided to add Cubs Opening Day tickets. Bidding continued. As it got into the upper $4,000s, Wood added a 30-minute, one-on-one pitching lesson. That’s when a generous, animated gentleman behind me yelled out $5500. How amazing is that!

    Lisa Dent auctions off Nashville weekend

    Lisa Dent and the Woods on stage

  • Chris Young was certainly a crowd-pleaser

    Chris Young was certainly a crowd-pleaser

    Chris Young. I don’t know if any of you have ever seen him perform live, but you should. Not only were his hit songs, like “Who I am when I’m with You” even better than on the radio, but he is also the most energetic and genuinely happy performer I’ve seen on a stage in a while. Doesn’t hurt that he stopped in the middle of his set to announce that he’d be donating a whopping $25k to the Wood Family Foundation.

  • The food and drink vendors were amazing. I left happy, full and a bit tipsy – not bad for a Wednesday night! Restaurants like Bub City, Chop Shop, Taco Joint and Blue Door Farm Stand provided delicious, filling bites to eat. And guests were able to wash down the yummy food with Tito’s Vodka and Bulleit Whiskey mixed drinks and/or Bud Light and Stella Artois beers. Can’t beat that.

    Delicious food from Bub City

    Delicious food from Bub City

As I said about Woody’s Wiffle Ball Classic, a fundraising event the Woods put on with some amazing celebrities at Wrigley Field, I hope this fundraiser continues for many years to come. And I also hope I get invited back :). An incredible night for an incredible cause — deserving of a standing ovation for the Woods and everyone else involved.

The Woods - what a good looking couple.

A selfless job well-done, Woods.

 

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Kerry Wood and his family

Last weekend our city was buzzing with charitable events thrown by Chicago athletes. After attending Chicago Bulls Nazr Mohammed’s Friday night Fundraiser, ailment I was lucky enough to join dozens of celebrities, viagra media personalities and former Cubs players for Woody’s Wiffle Ball Classic at Wrigley Field on Saturday.

Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife Sarah put on the one-of-a-kind charity event for the first time ever this year. For the past seven years they’ve held a Strike Zone Bowling tournament but with the help of Tom Ricketts, cialis owner of the Cubs and a board member at their Foundation, they decided to change it up this year and it was certainly a success.

A few words from host Kerry Wood.

When I spoke with the couple, it was very clear just how important it is to them to raise funds for children in need, especially in a city that means so much to them.

“I’ve spent more than half my life in the Cubs organization and I’ll spend the rest of my life in the Cubs organization, so this is home to me. But I’m more excited to see all the people stepping foot onto the field for the first time and enjoying themselves tonight,” Kerry said. 

From the fans in the bleachers to the celebs and corporate teams on the historic field, joy was definitely a common theme.

The event began with an all-day tournament between 16 corporate teams to reach a Wiffle Ball Classic Champion, followed by a Home Run Derby pitched by Kerry Wood himself and culminating with the Wiffle for a Diffle celebrity game under the lights.

Derrek Lee and CSI Miami’s Adam Rodriguez

The turnout was unbelievable. Celebrities in attendance ranged from actors Bill Murray and Matthew Perry to former Cubs players Derrek Lee and Moises Alou. Although the group was very diverse, they all shared one commonality – their desire to raise money for the children of Chicago. I could also say that they all shared the competitive gene because the wiffle ball game and home run derby did get pretty intense. Former Chicago Cub, Michael Barrett, won the Derby, with MTV’s Jeff Dye coming in second place.

All proceeds from the event at Wrigley will go to the Wood Family Foundation (WFF), the non-profit organization Kerry and Sarah started in June of 2011. The goal of the Foundation is to better the lives of Chicago children by raising funds for the resources they need to succeed in life.

I even got the chance to talk with Chicago native and Cub enthusiast George Wendt, better known as Norm Peterson from Cheers. Wendt praised the Woods as heroes for the “tremendous work they are doing for children”. ESPN radio personality and writer, Sarah Spain also praised the Woods for their amazing fundraising and community service, but added that the way they’re raising the funds really sets them apart.

Sarah Spain and I

“Its been so unbelievably fun, if you went to the ten year old me and said I’d get to do this I would have never believed it. Kerry and Sarah are really coming up with great ideas that make really amazing famous people want to come back and the amount of work they put into this is really obvious.” 

Overall it was a fun-filled, beautiful day at Wrigley Field and I would be extremely surprised if this event didn’t continue for years to come. The Woods are doing such amazing things for the children of Chicago and this event was certainly one of them.

 

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