As the Red Sox celebrate the 60th anniversary of their partnership with the Jimmy Fund, August will again be designated as "Jimmy Fund Month," with the club paying tribute to the Jimmy Fund's remarkable efforts in pediatric and adult cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
To launch the month-long tribute, patients from the Jimmy Fund will gather on the Red Sox and visitors' dugouts tonight during the middle of the 2nd inning. The recognition will be carried live on NESN.
During the game tomorrow, August 2, 19 year-old Cody Ray DesBiens, a cancer patient from North Attleboro, MA, will be the guest public address announcer as part of "Conquer Cancer Night" at Fenway Park.
August begins and ends with large fundraisers for the team's official charity. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Red Sox Foundation's sponsorship of the Pan Mass Challenge, which takes place August 3-4. This year is also the 12th annual Red Sox Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on WEEI and NESN, which takes place August 27-28.
In addition, the Red Sox will help raise funds through a cell phone drive at the ballpark every August home game. Fans with used cell phones and smart phones - all makes and models - can bring them to Fenway Park gates during August home games. Fans can also donate their cell phones by going online to https://www.causesinternational.com/upcycle/jimmy-fund-red-sox and printing a free, Fed Ex label to ship their phone (100% data destruction guaranteed). The donation value for each cell phone is tax deductible. The cell phone drive is in partnership with Causes International, Inc.
Additionally, a permanent display commemorating the Jimmy Fund will be installed at Fenway Park later this month.
Other tributes taking place include honoring a Jimmy Fund patient before each game and the presentation of Jimmy Fund facts and trivia on the videoboard.
Red Sox personnel will also visit patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute throughout the month. Today, Luis Tiant and Carlton Fisk will visit with patients.
The Red Sox' association with the cancer institute dates back to 1947, when Hall of Famer Ted Williams began visiting patients, often before arriving at the ballpark just up the street. His role as a pioneer in the development of the Jimmy Fund is commemorated in the bronze statue of him with a Jimmy Fund patient that stands outside Gate B at Fenway Park.
The Jimmy Fund was formally launched in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England (now known as the Variety Children's Charity of New England) organized a radio broadcast from the bedside of pediatric cancer patient Carl Einar Gustafson, who was nicknamed "Jimmy" because at the time, the stigma of cancer dissuaded people from revealing their names. Members of the Boston Braves took part in this fundraising broadcast, helping raise enough money to purchase a new television set for Jimmy.
From those origins, the Braves began an association with the Jimmy Fund, but when they moved from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953, the Red Sox adopted the Jimmy Fund as their official team charity.