By Paula Kunatee
Teaming up with CMA Music Festival, City of Hope’s 27th annual Celebrity softball game was filled with a star studded lineup! With a record breaking number of attendance, fans got a chance to visit the City of Hope booth and to be apart of the bone marrow registry. US News & World Report has ranked City of Hope as one of the nation’s “Best Cancer Hospitals.” Their mission is finding new methods to cure cancers, diabetes, and other life threatening diseases.
As the crowd piled into their respective seats, they were treated to Nicole Schulz’s journey with City of Hope. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 14, Shulz and her doctors found it difficult to find a matching donor. Thakfully, City of Hope came in to help and found that matching donor. It’s been a few years and Schulz has never met her life-saving donor, but would love to thank him for his sacrifice. That was until the softball game. City of Hope brought Nicole Shulz (and her family) and her donor, Air Force Sergeant, Rian Lawrence together for the first time ever! There was not a dry eye in the stadium while the air filled with applause.
Kicking off the game was Reba McEntire to sing the National Anthem followed by Sara Evan’s rendition of, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” The team captains, Bobby Bones (for Team iHeartMedia) and Billy Cody (for Team Grand Ole Opry / Sirius XM) for the coin toss. It was followed by surprise appearance from Mötley Crüe’s lead singer, Vince Neil for ceremonial first pitch.
There to announce the play by play were legendary artists Jeannie Seely, Lee Greenwood, and Tim Rushlow, and iHeartMedia’s radio personality, Gator Harrison! And even though the score was 9-6 (Team iHeart) the real winner is the future of City of Hope, and their fight to beat life threatening diseases! For more information about City of Hope, or to find a location nearest you please visit CityOfHope.org