White Sox charity drive attracts fans

White Sox charity drive attracts fans

CHICAGO -- The White Sox campaign to raise money for Chicago White Sox Charities has been going strong since Tuesday and will continue through Saturday. The inaugural fundraising campaign engages both fans attending games during this week's homestand, along with those who choose to watch from home.

Christine O'Reilly, White Sox senior director of community relations, said the event -- which features different prizes for fans to bid on throughout the week -- had been a success thus far.

"It's a fun way for us to raise money but yet offer some excitement and entertainment for the fans," O'Reilly said.

The charity drive began on Tuesday with the "Jerseys Off Our Backs Auction," in which fans bid on jerseys worn by players in that evening's White Sox starting lineup against the Angels. Winning bidders received the jerseys the players wore that same night.

Thursday's auction features the sale of game-used baseballs from past games and seasons. And Friday, the wives of White Sox players will host the "Wives Brown Bag Sale," in which they sell mystery brown bags with autographed baseballs inside. While each bag contains an autographed baseball, fans will not know who signed the ball until they purchase a bag. Baseballs included in the sale will be signed by current players and White Sox legends, such as Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk and Luis Aparicio.

But the biggest auction of all comes on Saturday, the final day of the charity drive.

Seven unique premium auction items will be featured during WGN-TV's broadcast of that evening's game. Viewers will be able to bid on the items throughout the game at whitesox.com/ultimatebid. Some of the items available include: a "Suite Home Chicago Package," which includes a suite to a White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls game, or a broadcast experience for four, featuring dinner with Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Steve Stone. Other auctions include the "Perfect Package," featuring signed items by White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, as well as the "Sodfather Package," in which fans can bid on the opportunity to water and prep the grass at U.S. Cellular Field before a game on Sept. 8.

Proceeds from each night's fundraisers benefit White Sox Charities, which provides annual financial, in-kind and emotional support to hundreds of Chicago-based organizations, including those leading the fight against cancer or dedicated to improving the lives of Chicago's youth through education and athletics. This year, the organization has awarded more than $1.2 million in grants and other monetary donations, moving the total contributions near $15 million since the program's inception.

"We've been so fortunate to have such great support from our fans for all of our charity activities," O'Reilly said. "We're just kind of compressing them and creating some new ones in this one week of activities."

Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.