Sept. 26, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In what will be one of the biggest fundraisers this year in Columbus for breast cancer research, the Ohio State softball team hosts the Fifth Annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic Oct. 1-2 at Ohio State's Fred Beekman Park. A total of 19 teams will compete in the event, which benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
Last year the event raised a tournament-record $13,551 and is expected to go well beyond that total in 2005 thanks in part to the Ohio Troopers Coalition, a new event sponsor, which has already pledged $7,500.
"We are looking forward to hosting the Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic and are thrilled to have the sponsorship of the Ohio Troopers Coalition," Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. "The 19 teams involved and their fans are what really make this a successful event. The tournament continues to give each of the coaches and athletes an opportunity to showcase their teams while also bringing the importance of breast cancer research to the softball community in our home state of Ohio."
"We are very appreciative of what Linda Kalafatis and the Ohio State softball program have done for The James each year," Jen McDonald with The James Cancer Hospital said. "Their support to the hospital has been tremendous and their event is one of the Top 5 fundraisers for the Stefanie Spielman Fund in our community each year. They are truly making a difference in cancer research."
Vendors such as Coke and Roosters will help make the 2005 OCCC not only an entertaining and competitive event, but one that will bring cancer research awareness to the community.
"October kicks off breast cancer awareness month and with the cooperation of the teams, officials, fans, vendors, and some great volunteers, we hope that the Charity Classic will raise more than $20,000 this year," Kalafatis said. "And as always, we're so grateful to the umpires who donate their time and to our grounds crew who always takes care of us and makes this a first-class event. It's a `can't-miss' opportunity to see the best softball in Ohio."
Fred Beekman Park is a four-field complex located west of State Route 315 at Lane Avenue. Concessions will be available and bleacher seating is limited. Admission to the event will be a $5 donation and all proceeds go directly to the charity. Notably, all of the umpires for this event are donating their time.
Spielman and her husband, former All-Pro NFL linebacker and OSU standout, Chris Spielman, established the Stefanie Spielman Fund. The couple pledged to raise $1 million for breast cancer research at the Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University. The goal has been surpassed, but the Spielman's continue the fight against breast cancer. For information, please log on to the Stephanie Spielman Fund website at www.jamesline.com.
The large-school bracket this year boasts 10 of the 11 Division I programs in Ohio, including Akron, Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Dayton, Kent State, Miami, Ohio, Ohio State, Toledo and Wright State. In the small-school tournament are Ashland, Findlay, Kenyon, Ohio Dominican, Ohio Wesleyan, Rio Grande, Tiffin, Urbana and Wittenberg.
Stefanie Spielman will make an appearance at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Fifth Annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic.