Country Music Stars Align for City of Hope Softball Fundraiser
May 26, 2017 | by Samantha Bonar
Since its inception, this star-studded showdown and longstanding tradition of the Country Music Awards Music Festival has brought together Nashville’s finest to raise millions of dollars for lifesaving cancer research and treatment.
Over the years, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Vince Gill and many more have taken the field to try to strike out cancer. This year’s participants include Lauren Alaina, Bobby Bones, Danielle Bradbery, Sara Evans, Lee Greenwood, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler and Aaron Watson. Reba McEntire will sing the national anthem.
One mainstay on the field has been country pop singer-songwriter Jessie James Decker, 29, who will be participating this year for the fifth time. Joining her once again will be husband Eric Decker of the New York Jets. Jessie chatted with City of Hope about her feelings on the game and how cancer has touched her own life.
1. How did you get involved with City of Hope’s celebrity softball game?
This will be my fifth year doing this. I love it — I think it’s such a great way to raise awareness and get artists and musicians and celebrities involved to spread awareness for City of Hope. I really do love doing it.
I was invited to be a part of it five years ago. My publicist told me about it. Once I knew what it was all about I was like ‘I’d absolutely love to.’ I started getting my husband involved, too, and this is going to be his third year doing it.
2. How are your softball skills?
They’re pretty good. I did softball when I was young. I played for several years. But I got hit really hard in my hip by a pitcher and after that I was done. I was centerfield. I had a really good arm and could throw it in. Now, my husband played college baseball and was drafted twice to play professional baseball, so this is really his thing.
3. Are there any other celebrities you hope to meet on the field?
It’s interesting because we all already kind of know each other, but it’s fun to get together and have a great time for a great cause. Chris Lane is one of my good buddies and we played together last year. We were chatting when he got called up to bat, hit a home run and came back up to me like, ‘As I was saying…’ No big deal!
4. How has cancer touched your life personally?
Fortunately I’ve been pretty blessed. None of my blood relatives have had cancer — knock on wood — but my stepdad’s niece had breast cancer and she did die and it was very devastating. She and my aunt were very, very close and I watched them suffer for so long, getting the chemo and then having it come back. I witnessed it and it broke my heart. When I’m out there on the softball field, I think about them.
5. What are you working on right now professionally?
I am working on lots of different things. I’m recording the second part of the EP for my album, which will be coming out soon. Working on my clothing line, Kittenish. We put out different pieces every month, so it’s constant. I’m working on a new scent for my hair fragrance for Target, Bless Your Hair, which will be coming out soon.
6. Thank you for participating!
I am so excited, it’s going to be so much fun.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com for $15 and $35. Group discounts are available.
If you can’t make it to the game in Nashville, you can bid on great items donated by Miranda Lambert, Clint Black, Josh Turner and more in the online auction. One hundred percent of event net profits benefit City of Hope. For more information, visit cityofhope.org/softball.
, Thank you for supporting our mission of eliminating cancer and other life-threatening diseases! Make sure to check your inbox from time to time for the latest City of Hope updates and breakthroughs.
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