Record Crowd of 900 Attend Winter Banquet

January 27, 2012 5:50 AM ET

A record crowd of over 900 attendees turned out for the 2012 Phillies Winter Banquet presented by The Air Products Foundation and Coca-Cola on Thursday night at DeSales University in support of IronPigs Charities and its beneficiaries. The Phillies Winter Banquet is the signature event of IronPigs Charities and allows crucial initiatives such as the annual grant program to operate effectively.

"As evidenced by this year's banquet, the overwhelming success of this noteworthy event would simply not be possible without the tremendous support of our fans, partners, the Lehigh Valley community and the Philadelphia Phillies," remarked IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes. "Your continued support allows IronPigs Charities to make a significant difference in the lives of local youth seeking additional educational and recreational opportunities."

The Phillies Winter Banquet beneficiary, IronPigs Charities, is a recognized 501(c) (3) non-profit organization on the state and federal level. An annual highlight of the winter event is the distribution of grants to local non-profit organizations with over $75,000 being distributed this year, bringing the all-time total to $235,000. Since its inception in 2007, IronPigs Charities has made more than $510,000 in monetary contributions - including more than $110,000 in 2011.

While this year's total is still to be determined, it is expected to surpass last year's amount of $25,000 that was raised for IronPigs Charities.

This year's Winter Banquet featured numerous dignitaries, including question and answer sessions with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and IronPigs second-year manager Ryne Sandberg. Sandberg guided the IronPigs to a franchise record 80 wins last season and a berth in the Governors Cup Finals and spoke of his enthusiasm to return to the Lehigh Valley and his excitement for the 2012 season to get underway in April.

Additional guests included Rich Thompson, the all-time leader in stolen bases in IronPigs history along with 2010 International League all-star Nate Bump. Phillies Assistant General Manager Scott Proefrock and the club's Assistant Director of Minor League Operations, Steve Noworyta were also profiled.

For more information on IronPigs Charities and its initiatives, please visit and click on the "Community" tab.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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