Goss: Wish Upon A Star benefit approachingThe 33rd annual Wish Upon A Star Benefit Softball Game in the Snow is scheduled Saturday at St. Joseph Park, with all the usual attractions included. | File photo
Updated: January 18, 2012 6:30PM
The weather being what it had been this winter, Wish Upon A Star Foundation executive director Don West said he may be playing softball in his Speedo.
That’s something none of us wants to see. This is one time I have to say it’s a good thing a little snow has fallen.
The 33rd annual Wish Upon A Star Benefit Softball Game in the Snow is scheduled Saturday at St. Joseph Park. The highlights, of course, include the four softball games that are scheduled on the Bronco League field, with the traditional climax the 5 p.m. match-up between the District 5 State Police and the Wish Upon A Star All-Stars.
In the other games, the Lockport Police Department will meet the Bolingbrook Police at 1 p.m., the Romeoville and Plainfield Police will tangle at 2 and the Joliet Police will take on the Will County Sheriff’s Deputies at 3.
All well and good, but what if there were no snow?
“That’s OK,” West said. “We’ve been lucky with snow the last couple years and we still may be. The thing I hope is that we don’t have to play in mud. I’d much rather have it be 30 below than have to play in mud.”
As someone who played in these events for several years (before I got old), I can second what West is saying. Mud is the worst.
Regardless, all proceeds from the benefit will go to Wish Upon A Star, the local organization that grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children in the greater Will County area.
The event runs from noon until midnight and includes all the usual fare. There are kids’ activities in the pavilion during the afternoon. Also inside, celebrities from the baseball, football and drag racing worlds will sign autographs from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
For baseball fans, Bill Haller, Steve Parris, Brandon Sing, Ethan Hollingsworth, Brian Stroud, Carlos May, Rich Nye and Chad Ehrnsberger are scheduled. If football is your thing, Nick Setta, Bob Avellini, Anthony Parker, Tim Tyrell, Mike Hoban, Michael Blair, Jason Burns, Brian Glasgow and former Honey Bear Gail Materko plan to be there. For the racing crowd, John Lawson, Gordie Bonin, AJ Henriksen, Dale Creasy, Larry McBride and Cheryl Kolinek are on the guest list.
Live entertainment will be provided by Audio Fracture from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., Class VI from 7:45 to 9:15 and Swamp Chicken from 10 to midnight. Freak from 105.5 The Kat will be master of ceremonies.
“We have live and silent auctions, too,” West said. “(Former Bear) Robin Earl and some of the drag racers will do a live auction for their own stuff.”
The benefit is the largest annual fundraiser for Wish Upon A Star. Admission is $15. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Call (815) 744-9175 for more information.
For those who have not been to this event, the time is right to correct that oversight.
Old Timers banquet
Jim Thome is quite a hit.
Once Thome, who surpassed the 600 home run mark last season and recently signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, was announced as the guest speaker for the 63rd annual Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County banquet, the nearly 700 tickets for the Jan. 26 event at the Holiday Inn in Joliet were gone in a hurry.
For anyone who does not have a ticket, all you can do is contact ticket chairman Stan Turk at (815) 730-9411 and ask him to put you on the waiting list.
Pitch & Hit Club
The 66th annual Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago banquet is scheduled Jan. 29 at The Carlisle in Lombard, and the Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County will be honored with the club’s President’s Award.
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson will be the featured guest. The award winners include Joliet Slammers president Bill Waliewski along with New York Yankee Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski, Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond, Cubs player’s wife Jenny Dempster, WGN television personality Dan Roan, Scott Merkin, of mlb.com, and White Sox legend Minnie Minoso.
Several former major league players will be available to sign autographs. For ticket information, contact Ken Miller at (815) 354-4517, Bridget Venturi-Venema at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bill Motluck at (708) 805-1928.