Jim Abbott to be keynote speaker at KidWorks event

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott, a Newport Beach resident, will be the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon held by KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based non-profit charity that serves at-risk children, teens and families.

Abbott, who was born without a right hand, will tell his inspiring story during the KidWorks' Foundation for Success fundraising luncheon on Nov. 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Santa Ana at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the event, which will raise funds for life-changing afterschool programs offered at the KidWorks Dan Donahue Center, will be available for sale in mid-September.

Abbott, a left-handed pitcher, was a member of the U.S. Olympic gold medal winning team at the 1988 Seoul Games, and pitched for the Angels, Yankees, White Sox and Brewers during an 11-year major league career. He played collegiately at the University of Michigan, leading the program to two Big Ten championships, and in 1987, he won the James E. Sullivan Award, which is given to the top amateur athlete in the U.S.

"Foundation for Success is our marquee event and generates a significant portion of the funds we use to help the more than 800 children, teens and parents that KidWorks serves each week," KidWorks CEO Ava Steaffens said in a press release. "Overcoming adversity is something our youth and families are very familiar with. Hearing Jim Abbott share his inspirational story is a must-see event, not only for Angels, Yankees and University of Michigan baseball fans, but for all those who believe in the power of dreaming and believing."

To sponsor the event, levels ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 are available. KidWorks is also accepting individual and corporate donations at any level.

For more information on sponsorship or to donate, contact Lisa Gels, the corporate relations manager at KidWorks, at (714) 834-9400 ext. 126, or at lisa@kidworksonline.org.

The KidWorks Foundation for Success luncheon began in 2007 and it has raised more than $2.5 million to fund afterschool programs at the KidWorks Dan Donahue Center.

— From staff reports

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