On July 13th the ALS Association Golden West Chapter honored my editor Bob Sockolov and myself for our book Falling in Love With Baseball which benefits their organization by presenting us the prestigious 2017 Essey Spotlight Award! The award was given during their annual fundraising event held at the magnificent historic Fairmont hotel on top of Nob Hill. I thought I’d share the highlights and a few pictures from the event here.
The evening began with a wine tasting and silent auction. Bay Area radio personality Celeste Perry was the master of ceremonies for the evening. During a fine dinner served by the Fairmont there was a lively live auction that raised many thousands! The auctioneer was the energetic Liam Mayclem the Foodie Chap on KCBS radio. Bob and I were very pleased that a copy of our book autographed by my idol Willie Mays along with a case of fine wine from our friend Richie Aurilia’s winery, Red Stitch, went for $2,000.
There were other honorees that received Essey awards along with Bob & I. First up was Dr Finkbeiner who is doing fantastic research for a cure for ALS right here at UCSF’s Gladstone Institute. Hopefully leading-edge research like Dr Finkbeiner’s will find a cure for this cruel devastating disease soon!
Next up was a courageous inspirational couple Phil & Kathryn Thomas. Kathryn was diagnosed with ALS shortly after they were married in 2002. Together they have battled this horrendous disease for 15 years! Not only that they also were extremely active in the Golden West chapter’s fabulous care program for other families in the same grim battle. Bob and I were very honored to be receiving awards with Dr Finkbeiner and the Thomas’s!
Then it was our turn. Marty Lurie introduced Bob and I with his usual professional acumen and humor. My editor Bob Sockolov was next up at the podium. He gave a great speech that included a shout out of recognition to his granddaughter Jill who did a fabulous job designing our book.
My wife Lizzy stepped up to the podium following Bob to say the last paragraph of my acceptance speech was too emotional for her to deliver. I was overcome with emotion as our beautiful 14-year old granddaughter Taylor made her way up on the stage to deliver my speech.
The teenage aspiring actor then proceeded to “knock out of the ballpark” delivering my speech! Hard as I tried, I couldn’t hold back a few audible sobs at key points. When she had finished my speech flawlessly she came over to my wheelchair to give a big hug!
The evening ended with a great show by rock legend and founding member of Bon Jovi Richie Sambora who was joined onstage by the talented Orianthi. Taylor was definitely the hit of the evening. Numerous people approached me as they were sauntering out to,mention how much they loved Taylor’s flawless delivery of my speech.
So ended an emotionally moving, inspirational and sobering evening. Sobering because of witnessing the hardships of other families struggling to deal with the devastating effects of a loved one battling ALS!
Please consider giving a generous donation to enable the ALS Association Golden West Chapter to assist families and fund research to eradicate this horrendous disease! Alternatively, go to MavoBooks.com/shop right on this website to buy our beautiful hardbound full-color book Falling in Love With Baseball. We’ll donate a substantial portion of our proceeds to the ALS Association for you. Either way, you’ll be making a difference in a family’s life living with the tremendous difficulties of ALS or helping find a cure for this devastating disease.
If you want to read my detailed account of the ALS event go to:
Thursday night, July 13th, the ALS Association Golden West Chapter had their annual fundraising event at the magnificent…
For those that would like to read my acceptance speech that teenage Taylor delivered flawlessly go to:
Finally, here’s the nice video introduction of us that they showed right before we took the stage:
Chris Mavraedis author of Falling in Love With Baseball