“American Idol” 10th-season winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina recently faced off once again — but this time, with bats and gloves instead of microphones — to benefit City of Hope.
|Lauren Alaina, left, stands ready to tag out Scotty McCreery. (Photo by Richard Suter)|
The pair joined a cadre of celebrities supporting cancer research and treatment at the 21st annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge on June 11. The game, an official part of the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn., raised nearly $200,000 for City of Hope.
Longtime rival teams After MidNite with Blair Garner and Grand Ole Opry competed in the four-inning match-up, which saw After MidNite beat the Opry team 9 to 5.
“This game is so much fun,” said City of Hope patient Nicole Schulz, an aspiring country singer who has participated in the past two games. “And knowing we’re helping City of Hope — a place that’s touched my life and that’s doing so much for others — well, that makes it all the more amazing.”
Competitors included country music stars Vince Gill, Brett Eldredge, Chuck Wicks, David Nail, Jake Owen, James Wesley, Joe Nichols and LoCash Cowboys. Rob Bironas and Kerry Collins of the Tennessee Titans professional football team, HLN (Headline News) anchor Robin Meade, singer Denise Jones of music group Point of Grace, and Blake Geoffrion and Nick Spaling of the Nashville Predators professional hockey team participated, as well.
Winners of City of Hope’s Connected to Hope contest Claudia Yoshizumi and Kelly Loubet also attended the game and played on the Opry and AfterMidnite teams, respectively. The online contest asked entrants to describe their personal connections to City of Hope.
The Celebrity Softball Challenge has raised more than $2 million for City of Hope since it began more than two decades ago. PEOPLE Country magazine served as presenting media sponsor for this year’s event. Other sponsors included office products company Staples and health insurer Humana.
Autographed memorabilia is available for auction at AuctionsforHope.org.