On August 14th, Bright House Field, home of the Clearwater Threshers and the spring training camp for the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, will transform into a field of pink. Players will wear custom pink jerseys during the game. The jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off after the game along with the pink baseball bats used in the game. Pink baseballs will available for sale.
The first 1,000 women in the ballpark will receive a commemorative pink Threshers tote bag. Many local businesses have donated more than 100 items for silent auction and balloon raffles. Some of the items include hotel/resort packages, furniture, bikes, Oakley sunglasses, spa packages, tickets to local attractions, and gift certificates to local restaurants and shops.
"Pitch for Pink is a great community event that helps to support groups for breast cancer survivors and free mammograms for women without health insurance or the means to pay for a screening mammogram," said Peter Blumencranz, MD, medical director of the Morton Plant Mease breast health program. "Without this type of community support, we would not be able to help as many women and their families."
A highlight of the event takes place during the pre-game when breast cancer survivors are invited to make the lap around the bases, supported along the way by the team and fans through cheers and many happy tears. Past participants call it a "reunion of survivors."
"Our community has been very supportive of the Threshers. We wanted to find a way to give back to our fans. It made sense to support the breast cancer programs at Morton Plant Mease because so many people have been touched by this disease," said John Timberlake, director of Florida Operations for the Clearwater Threshers.
Admission at the gate is $4, $6.50, and $9. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the game starts at 7:00 p.m. Business and individual ticket packages are available. Contact Amanda Warner for more information at (727) 712-4405 or awarner@Threshersbaseball.com.
All money raised during the event will be donated to the Morton Plant Mease Foundation to benefit the hospital system's many breast cancer programs.
This is the 4th year the Threshers have held the event, and each year more money is raised for breast cancer programs at Morton Plant Mease. In 2008, approximately 5,500 people participated in Pitch for Pink, and $33,000 was raised during the event.
2009 Breast Cancer Statistics
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among American women this year. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. 40,610 women are expected to die in the United States this year of breast cancer. However, the numbers have been declining for the past 20 years. The decrease is believed to the result of early detection, increased awareness and improved treatment. Approximately 2.5 million Americans are breast cancer survivors.
About the Morton Plant Mease Foundation and Morton Plant Mease Health Care
The Morton Plant Mease Foundation provides philanthropic support to the four hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care. Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals - Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.