"The radio-telethon has really become a signature event here in Boston," said Elizabeth Chernack, media specialist for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. "The Jimmy Fund is an official charity of the Boston Red Sox, so it's a natural fit that we're doing something at Fenway Park. It builds momentum for the event."
The legendary comedian Bill Cosby will kick off the events at Fenway on Thursday by throwing out the first pitch, right after Foxboro native and pop singer Jo Jo Levesque sings the national anthem.
Earlier in the afternoon, a luncheon hosted by WEEI's John Dennis and NESN's Tom Caron will include a guest sports panel including the Celtics' Glen Davis, Bruins legend Ray Bourque and Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
The luncheon, held at the State Street Pavilion at Fenway Park, will offer the opportunity for guests to ask questions of their favorite sports stars.
"Having the players involved, management involved and everyone else really gets behind this event as a whole," Chernack said.
Noon on Friday brings another chance to hang out with the Red Sox. Also at the State Street Pavilion, the Sit Down with the Sox promotion will again feature lunch and a panel of guests, including Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia.
But of course, the reason for such entertaining events is to raise money for a serious cause -- and it's not just limited to the New England area. Last year, the radio-telethon collected contributions from all 50 states and seven countries, including Singapore, Iceland, Ireland and Japan.
Celebrities from Boston native Ben Affleck to Donald Trump are regular participants, too.
"The Jimmy Fund is known globally," Chernack said, "and whether the celebrities are from Boston or not, they really take the charity to heart."
The Jimmy Fund is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, dating back to its inception in 1948. That year, members of the Boston Braves visited a 12-year-old cancer patient, dubbed "Jimmy" to protect his identity. When the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953, the Jimmy Fund joined with Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey to make it an official charity of the organization.