Chicago Tribune: It was sports filled night at Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Restaurant at Water Tower Place when Kerry Wood hosted his annual fundraiser, Woody’s Winter Warm Up’ on Friday, January 15th to a sell out crowd.
Now in it’s 5th year, the event has become the staple for baseball fans during Cubs convention weekend. Over 750 guests were in attendance, along with some of Wood’s celebrity friends, former/current Cubs players and coaching staff who not only jumped behind the bar to serve drinks while competing for tips but also challenged guests through interactive games in the adjacent Chicago Sports Museum.
Emceed by WGN Radio’s Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes, the Warm Up featured a premium open bar with Absolut and Jameson, food stations, raffle, silent auction and musical performances by celebrity DJ, Niena Drake, and DJ Prince. This year’s live auction showcased an exclusive ‘Cubs training’ experience that included a personalized diet and training program, workout with Kerry and a Cubs trainer in Wrigley Field’s brand new facilities, batting practice, a pre-game tour of Wrigley, and tickets to a game.
“This is one of our favorite events to host each year,” explains Kerry. “The current and past Cubs players create a lot of excitement when they are in the room, not to mention our celebrity guests who are bartending throughout the night…it’s an all out really fun time.”
Those in attendance from the Chicago Cubs (past/present) were Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Justin Grimm, Miguel Montero, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Chad Noble, Dan Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, David Ross, John Lackey, Ryne Sandberg (Hall of Famer), Scott Sanderson, Steve Trout, Joe Maddon (Manager), Mike Borzello(Catching coach), Eric Hinske (Asst Hitting coach), Theo Epstein (President of Baseball Operations), Jed Hoyer (Executive VP) and Crane Kenney (President of Business Operations).
Additional celebrity guests included: Israel Idonije (former Chicago Bear), Brent Sopel (Blackhawks), Jamal Mayers (former Chicago Blackhawk), Ron Kittle (former White Sox), Joe Minoso (NBC’s Chicago Fire), Eric Ferguson (WTMX), Kathy Hart (WTMX), CM Punk (UFC), Lisa Varga (Marley and Me), Dr. Daniel Ivankovich (CNN 2015 Hero of the Year), Ryan Chiaverini (Windy City Live), Sarah Spain (ESPN radio), Lisa Fielding (CBS radio), Pete McMurray (The Drive), Lou Canellis (FOX TV), Jane Monzures (WGN TV), Joe Soto (V103), Sam Hunt (Chicago Fire), Scott Fischer (MasterChef), Ray McElroy (retired NFL player), Lisa Dent (US99), Ramblin Ray (US99), and Kelly Crull (Comcast SportsNet).
“We appreciate everyone that came out to support the foundation and our Pitch In program,” adds Sarah Wood. “This event allows us to provide more resources for our students and mentors so that our mentoring program continues to grow.”
The Wood Family Foundation (WFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in June 2011 by Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife, Sarah. The WFF works to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago. The Warm Up raises funds for the foundation’s Pitch In group mentoring program serving 4th through 8th graders in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.