The 2019 Larry A. Pogofsky All-Star Challenge was a huge success with more than 30 sports legends and just shy of 1500 fans participating across two days of events and raising more than $145,000. On Friday, September 13, the Cameo VIP Players Party was hosted at Bub City Rosemont and truly felt exclusive. Players, sponsors, board members and special guests mixing and mingling. GIRF board member and founder of the event, Ben Pogofsky, and his brother Brad, made some very touching remarks about their late father, Larry A. Pogofsky , one of the original White Sox investors and a dedicated GIRF board member. It was his passion for both baseball and medical research that inspired the Pogofsky brothers to join with GIRF to reinstate this event after a one-year hiatus. The rest of the evening was filled with food, music, drinks and a lively auction and raffle that raised $25,000 just in that evening. Overall a great way to kick-off the weekend of events.
Saturday’s events began with the development of the next generation of players as more than 80 children participated in the kids’ clinic, learning the basics from the pros. The fast-paced Rivers Home Run Derby was a fan favorite featuring some of the best players like Joe Crede who won the fun contest. Before the game began, Lisa Pogofsky Sobelman, Ben and Brad’s sister gave a moving rendition of the National Anthem. The game itself was entertaining with player making unexpected moves like Jermaine Dye, 2005 World Series MVP, inviting Ben Pogofsky to pinch hit for him. Even more unexpected, Ben hit a single. A real highlight was the generosity of the players who took many pictures and signed many autographs for kids and adults alike. Video captured Ozzie Guillen making one special girl’s day when he came up through the stands to give her an autograph because she couldn’t make it down in her wheelchair.
A very special thanks to all our sponsors who made this day a success including: