Florida Georgia Line, Sara Evans, Danielle Bradbery & More Set for City of Hope's Celebrity Softball Game
The rates of cancer continue to grow, with the disease touching more lives each year. During the 2014 CMA Music Festival in Nashville, a star-studded roster of country music's finest will join forces to help strike out the disease.
A fan favorite event and longstanding tradition of CMA Festival weekend, the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game will take place Saturday, June 7, at 9 a.m. at Greer Stadium in Nashville. Stars including Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, Sara Evans, Brantley Gilbert, Danielle Bradbery, Dustin Lynch, Jana Kramer, Scotty McCreery and Alison Sweeney will represent opposing teams - Grand Ole Opry and iHeartRadio - as they play alongside young cancer survivors at the 24th annual event.
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Researchers and doctors at the institution quickly transform scientific discoveries into better treatments and prevention strategies for people around the world. Support from the Nashville community and its country music artists directly benefit City of Hope's mission to find cures for cancer.
"The Celebrity Softball Game is an important way for people to learn about City of Hope and the work that we do, while also giving country artists and their fans a real role in fighting cancer," said Linda Malkas, deputy director of basic research for Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. "The awareness and the funds raised by the event will help us find better treatments and cures."
Other participants in the game include Jamie Lynn Spears, Chase Rice, Lindsay Ell, Chuck Wicks, Kree Harrison, Craig Morgan, Brothers Osborne, Lauren Alaina, Dee Jay Silver, Eric Decker, Jessie James Decker and CMT's Alecia Davis. Coaching the Grand Ole Opry team will be general manager Pete Fisher, who will square off against the iHeartRadio team's new coach, Bobby Bones, the unpredictable, comedic personality of Premiere Network's "The Bobby Bones Show."
"This is such an important event to generate awareness and funds for City of Hope to help beat cancer," said Bones. "Our entire morning show team is excited to be a part of the iHeartRadio team which includes personalities Cody Alan, Steve Gorman, Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase. And while we love the Opry, we look forward to winning the game!"
"Each year, this game reminds all of us on Team Opry how much we hate cancer and how much we love winning softball games," Fisher said. "We look forward to testing rookie coach Bobby Bones and to doing what we can to end this disease. We hope everyone headed to CMA Music Festival will come out to the ball game for some hits, some misses, and some healthy competition for a great cause."
The Celebrity Softball Game, presented by Staples and sponsored by The Walking Company and PEOPLE Country, not only raises awareness of the need for research into cancer and other life-threatening diseases, it celebrates patients who have defeated their illnesses, even as it remembers those who fought it bravely. Playing in the game will be two former City of Hope patients, 8-year-old Gavin Wolfrank and 15-year-old Kennedy Kraus. Both received bone marrow transplants at City of Hope, a world leader in the treatment of blood and bone marrow diseases.