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Red Sox Opening Day Ceremonies to pay tribute to Jimmy Fund

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BOSTON, MA - The Red Sox will pay tribute to the Jimmy Fund during their Opening Day ceremonies on Monday, April 8, before the 2:05 p.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the official partnership between the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund. 

The Jimmy Fund Chorus, a new group comprising singers who have been touched by the Jimmy Fund or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will sing the national anthem before the game and God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. The Red Sox created the community choral group in honor of the 60th anniversary.  They will perform at Fenway Park and on good will missions throughout New England at various times during the year.

To maintain the Opening Day tradition of a fly-over at Fenway Park, two vintage P-51 Mustangs will fly at the conclusion of the national anthem. The Merlin-powered P-51 Mustangs, which first entered World War II combat in December 1943, are provided by the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, and will be piloted by Charles Hainline and Vlado Lenoch.  

Several Jimmy Fund patients who have been treated over the past six decades will participate in the Ceremonial First Pitch.

Ceremonies are expected to begin just after 1:30 p.m.

Fenway Park gates will open two hours before the game for the home opener and one and half hours before the game for the rest of the 2013 season. Season ticket holders and Red Sox Nation members may enter at Gate C two and a half hours before each game.

At the public address announcer microphone, Dick Flavin will be the voice of Fenway Park during the home opener and for most day games. Charlestown High School teacher Henry Mahegan will handle most of the night games, and Boston television personality Bob Lobel will be at the microphone most Saturdays. Other Boston and baseball personalities will make guest appearances at the microphone from time to time.

Flavin, Mahegan, and Lobel were chosen after an extensive search that began in January. A total of 342 people tried out for the public address duties this offseason. 

Flavin, who drove Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio to Florida to see their lifelong friend Ted Williams in a trip immortalized in David Halberstam's "The Teammates," spent 20 years in Boston television, primarily at WBZ TV. A winner of seven Emmy Awards, his humorous and poignant poetry gave him key roles in the celebrations of life for Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky.  The Quincy, MA, native was enshrined in the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.  His one-man show about Tip O'Neill, "According to Tip," has played more than 50 times in Massachusetts since its debut in 2008, when it was named "Best New Play of the Year."

Mahegan, 31, who teaches civics and United States history, is a Marblehead, MA native who assisted in the Red Sox Public Relations Department before embarking on his teaching career in 2010.

Lobel, a fixture at WBZ Radio and TV for nearly 30 years, has won awards for his sportscasting and for his community efforts as a champion of the Genesis Fund and of Children's Hospital. In addition to his work in Boston, Lobel has also broadcast on WJOY in Burlington, Vermont and at WGIR in Manchester, New Hampshire. He currently hosts a daily show in the Nutmeg State on WTPL FM, 107.7, Hillsboro.

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