Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:30 pm
By Miss Chatter
Last night in between returning from a west coast road trip andbeginning a home stand against the Marlins, Ryan Zimmerman hosted theinaugural fundraising event, nicknamed ZimmsFest, for the ziMS Foundationat Nationals Park. The ziMS Foundation is the near and dear to hisheart 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Nationals thirdbaseman Ryan Zimmerman in 2006 to help find a cure for multiplesclerosis, a condition that has affected his mother Cheryl since before Ryanwas a teenager. Zimmerman hopes to use his status as an MLB player tohelp find a cure not only for his mother, but the many affected by MS.
Forsome reason, the thanking of "George" under sponsors and volunteersinside the live auction bidder cardbrochure cracked me up.
Is it George the racing president?
Or George Will, a famous Nationals supporter?
Or George the bus in Falls Church?
Via WikiPedia Commons
Fans could attend the event and activities based on three different ticket levels. Despite the "Business Casual" attire listed on the event's website, most young ladies were dressed for a party in cocktail dresses, not that there's anything wrong with that (me included - it was a party!). My husband and I attended as "Elite" guests, the middle level -- not quite VIP, so we missed out on seeing fellow National Pudge Rodriguez in the President's Club and the private performance by magician David Blaine. Oh, and aha, George must be a DC nightclub:
Elite Level Ticket
Preferred seating to Mutlu and Amos Lee live performances; access to silent auction and preferred seating to live auction; open bar and passed hors d'oeuvres in the PNC Diamond Club; meet and great opportunities with current Washington Nationals players; Aug 6th pre-party at George; Aug 7th pre-party at Current Sushi
Ohhhh... George is a restaurant or club that hosted a pre-party! However, I'm apparently not hip or young enough to know what or where it is.
Silent auction items filled tables on the concourse behind section 128 and included posters and photos of Zimmerman autographed by the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger man himself. Oddly, there were also some Phillies autographed items, as well as an autographed Caps jersey and a coveted Mother's Day 2007 game-used base autographed by Zimmerman. While hovering to make sure no one outbids them on paper, fans could mingle with pitchers John Lannan, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen and Tyler Clippard on the concourse.
Once the bid sheets were scooped from the silent auction tables, fans made their way to the Diamond Club seats (and Presidents Club for the VIPs) to watch the program and bid in the live auction. Not many of the live auction packages were DC-centric, but all were quite lavish. While teammates, his parents and brother, and guests filled the Diamond Club seats, Zimmerman presented a 30,000 check to the National MS Society and explained why the foundation is so important to him while an illuminated ziMS ice sculpture dripped endlessly in the summer heat behind him.
Two of the lavish live auction packages went to none other than teammate Adam Dunn. He won the American Idol experience package (bidding against Lannan at one point) as well as the Tampa trip to work out with Ryan Zimmerman in a baseball facility. You'd think a guy who works out with him every day and could avail himself of those facilities anyway wouldn't want to do that. The whole thing was kind of funny to those not bidding on those packages, but not so funny to those who did want to win them. Most of the live auction packages were for specific dates and required travel, including a US Open experience in NYC, Jimmie Johnson experience in California on October 10th, NYC Baseball Experience to see the Yankees and Red Sox and Jimmy Fallon on September 26th -- to which I heard Drew Storen say, "I think I'm busy that day." Ha, yes, the Nationals have a game that day. All of these packages did include travel airfare.
The event closed down with two live band performances rocking the stadium. Some of us had to run to let their babysitters go home! But said someones may or may not have dropped a load of money on a David BlaineRyan Zimmerman experience for one of their children... Hopefully the night met the hopeful expectations of all -- both the attendees and the foundation. From my inexpert perch, the event seemed to raise a good amount of money to further the foundation's goals.