WR Little League pitching in for Red Cross fundraiser

For those who weren’t able to catch the Warner Robins American Little League All-Star baseball and softball teams in person this summer, there will be another chance Saturday at 6:30 p.m. — and for a worthy cause.

The Leadership Macon Class of 2009 has organized a charity softball game at Mercer University’s Sikes Field featuring the world champion girls softball team facing one made up of Macon and Bibb County leaders and personalities. The boys’ team also will participate, competing in a home run derby scheduled before the softball game.

Proceeds from the game will benefit the Central Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“The Warner Robins American Little League has been so generous with us,” said Jessica Walden, a member of the Leadership Macon class. “They really wanted to help out the Red Cross. And Mercer allowing us to use the field has also been great. I think they like the idea of the community coming together on the Mercer campus. We’ve been really lucky.”

The girls team will be facing a team made up of local officials, media personalities and other well-known names. Some of the participants scheduled to play include Macon City Council President Miriam Paris, Lt. Col. George Fisher of the 48th Brigade, former tennis star Jaime Kaplan, Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena and Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins, among others.

The idea to help the American Red Cross came out of another Leadership Macon class project, restoring a Little League baseball field damaged by last year’s Mother’s Day tornado, Walden said.

With that project completed, the class members looked at other organizations affected by the storm.

“They said, ‘Who else played a big part in the tornado?’ ’’ said Ryan Logan, a spokesman for the Red Cross and also a member of the Leadership Macon class.

Logan said the Red Cross spent more than $800,000 in disaster relief money on the storm damage, but only received about $20,000 in donations from the Middle Georgia area.

Walden said the softball game is a departure from previous Leadership Macon class projects, which usually involve working on something that is a permanent fixture.

“It’s a unique project in that it’s not a physical structure,” she said. “It’s completely different.”

Walden said the class has already raised more than $6,000 through ticket sales and sponsorships. Tickets are $5 and available at the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and the Central Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross on Holt Avenue. They also will be on sale at the field the day of the game.

“It will go back into our disaster services, go back into our operating fund,” Logan said.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

Grand Slam celebrity team

The Leadership Macon Class of 2009 is hosting a Celebrity Grand Slam exhibition game between the world champion Warner Robins American Little League softball team and a squad of local personalities. The game will be preceded by a home run derby featuring the Warner Robins American Little League baseball squad, which made it to the national semifinals at the Little League World Series.

The event takes place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Mercer University’s Sikes Field. Tickets are $5, with proceeds going to the Central Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross.

Scheduled to appear for the celebrity team are:

Justin Redding Andrews (Otis Redding’s grandson)

Myra Cameron (Mercer athletics)

Chip Cherry (Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce)

Jeff Cox (Fox 24)

David Danzie (Leadership Macon alumnus)

Dirt Dog (WIBB DJ)

Tom Driver (Geotechnical)

Liz Fabian (The Telegraph)

Lt. Col. George Fisher (48th Brigade)

Col. Mike Gregg (Robins Air Force Base)

Giselle Harris (Leadership Macon alumna)

Bob Hoffman (Mercer basketball head coach)

Chris Horne (writer/blogger)

Mary Huff (Cox Communications)

Ben Jones (WMAZ)

Jaime Kaplan (retired Wimbledon/French Open tennis player)

Frank Malloy (WMAZ)

Brooke Martin (WMGT)

George McCanless (The Telegraph)

Keith Moffett (city of Macon)

Jerry Modena (Bibb County sheriff)

Miriam Paris (Macon City Council president)

Tyler Pearson (WMAZ)

Brandon Pitts (pastor, Covenant Church of Jesus Christ)

Anita Ponder (Tubman Museum, WIBB)

Bobby Pope (Mercer athletics director)

Marvin Riggins (Macon-Bibb County fire chief)

Joel Smith (former baseball player)

Brenda Cliett Thomas (fire department)

Kevin “Floco Torres” Williams (Macon musician)

Virgil Watkins (Macon City Council)