By Candace Jordan, Special to Tribune Newspapers
8:26 AM PST, January 25, 2013
Athletes turned out in force to support former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and wife, Sarah, at the second annual Woody's Winter Warm-Up fundraiser at Harry Caray's Tavern at Navy Pier on Jan. 18. More than 400 patrons attended the event that benefits the Wood Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children throughout Chicagoland.
Past and present players and local media served as bartenders and competed for tips, to the delight of the crowd. Participants included Cubs players David DeJesus, Matt Garza, Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood. Manager Dale Sveum, team owner Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, were also on hand.
The evening was emceed by radio personalities Jane Monzures and Pete McMurray and included musical performances by rhythm and blues singer Gina Venier and rocker Dave Mason. In addition, Chi-Town's Finest Breakers, a team of brothers and sisters, showcased their break-dancing skills.
Sarah and Kerry Wood welcomed guests, thanked the Ricketts family and detailed their charity organization's many accomplishments this year. "We opened the Wood Family Foundation playroom on the oncology floor of Lurie Children's (Hospital); broke ground on Kerry Wood Cubs Field; we held our first weeklong free baseball clinic in Englewood; enjoyed our second annual Warm Wishes Coat & Toy Drive, supplying over 400 coats and toys to Nash Elementary; and within recent weeks have created the Kerry and Sarah Wood Family Foundation Scholarship," Sarah said. "This fall we will be sending a student to UIC on a full-ride scholarship."
The event raised more than $100,000 for the Wood Family Foundation.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers
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