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White Sox Charities Week kicks off with auction

Team will also offer fans the chance to picnic, watch fireworks on field

The opportunity to bid for some rare and valuable memorabilia will take place during the Comcast SportsNet Ultimate Autograph Auction on Friday while the White Sox host the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field. The fundraising event will kick off White Sox Charities Week, which will offer fans the chance to support the community by participating in daily events throughout the Aug. 1-6 homestand vs. the Twins and Rangers.

The CSN Ultimate Autograph Auction will be presented throughout the television broadcast of the game with special packages described by Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone. An example of an auction item is a Hall of Fame package which includes memorabilia signed by Frank Thomas, Rich Gossage and Luis Aparicio. Another package may include an autographed bat used in an important game or for a crucial hit. There will be different combinations for fans to bid on with a wide range of items, including game-worn jerseys, caps, baseballs, batting gloves and bats.

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On Saturday, the game will be broadcast on WGN-TV with Harrelson and Stone announcing the items up for bid in the WGN Ultimate Experience Auction. Some of the live experiences to be auctioned include a private hitting lesson from Todd Steverson and a behind-the-scenes look at a White Sox broadcast.

One of the most popular events of White Sox Charities Week will take place on Sunday, when fans will have the opportunity join the team for Picnic in the Park on U.S. Cellular Field. This event, which begins one hour after the game ends, gives fans the chance to get autographs from White Sox players and bid on valuable memorabilia and unique experiences. For the donation to join the picnic, fans will be served food and drinks with a barbeque buffet on the warning track. The event will be capped off at dusk with a fan-favorite fireworks display that can be viewed from the outfield grass. Tickets to the event can be purchased on whitesoxcharities.org.

"Our mission is to touch people in their hearts and homes," said Christine O'Reilly, executive director of Chicago White Sox Charities. "The White Sox have made a major commitment to several charitable organizations, and this week is devoted to raising the money to support those groups. The team's goal is to raise money for charity while giving fans an opportunity to get closer to the team through different and unique fundraising opportunities over a homestand."

Besides raising money to support the community, White Sox players will make visits to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and make an appearance at an event for the Chicago Food Depository during the week. Meanwhile, members of the Amateur City Elite baseball teams will hold a baseball clinic with Special Olympics Athletes at Armour Square Park on Saturday.

Proceeds from White Sox Charities Week will provide support to hundreds of Chicago-based organizations, including those who lead the fight against cancer, are dedicated to improving the lives of Chicago's youth and offer support to children and families in crisis.

"It gives our fans the chance to be close to the players, to participate in a charitable effort and walk away from the experience feeling closer to the team," said O'Reilly.

More information about White Sox Charities Week is available at whitesox.com/charitiesweek.

John Ruane is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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