Riggle, Sudeikis, Stonestreet and others kick off Big Slick Friday morning

(From left) Paul Rudd, Heidi Gardner, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis and Eric Stonestreet speak on...
(From left) Paul Rudd, Heidi Gardner, Rob Riggle, Jason Sudeikis and Eric Stonestreet speak on the Big Slick KC charity event weekend in Kansas City on June 2, 2023.(Joe Hennessy, KCTV5)
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 8:01 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:59 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The fun continues as the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend co-hosts spoke Friday morning about the 14th annual event.

The co-hosts are Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet, and Heidi Garner. Children’s Mercy President and CEO Paul Kempinski will also be speaking.

Co-host David Koechner was unable to make the event this year.

Celebrities from across the country, across the landscape of entertainment and sports will be here in Kansas City this weekend. There are 38 guests announced so far highlighted by the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Creed Humphrey, Al Roker, Will Forte, Charissa Thompson, and the list goes on and on. Including Weird Al, Becky Ann Baker, Darius Rucker, Finn Wolfhard, Ginger Gonzaga, and plenty more.

Sudeikis said, “People hear of this thing and the other thing that happens is like other folks that do our business and they want to find out a way to celebrate where they’re from or help out places are like what is the code, what is the secret, what is the trick?”

What started as a small gesture from local celebrities is now a Kansas City staple.

“To think that it started as a poker tournament hoping to raise 50,000 and here we are. $17 million later is really gratifying and we’re just so excited to be back,” said Rudd.

Stonestreet said, “The city delivers, our families deliver, the people that volunteer for big slick deliver, and that’s why the reputation is so good.”

Nearly 40 celebrities agree to visit for the fundraising event but first was the press conference in the newly named Big Slick Auditorium.

“Pediatric cancer is grossly underfunded,” said Kempinski. “Only 4% of federal funding for cancer research and care goes to kids and thanks to Big Slick, we are aiming to close that gap significantly if not entirely over time.”

It’s crucial for the hospital to continue getting this help.

“The work that Children’s Mercy Hospital does is unquestionably important. They are saving children’s lives, they are making a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Riggle. “That mission is absolutely worthy of time and energy.”

The celebrity softball game is at 5 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium with a Royals ticket getting you in. Then, the party and show are Saturday at the T-Mobile Center. There were only 57 tickets left as of 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“I’m always wearing Chiefs jerseys at the end of the show and I always wonder like my cast members are all from different cities like why aren’t you wearing a Baltimore or Denver and they just don’t love their hometown the same way. They’re just not absolutely obsessed,” said Garner.

The patients at Children’s Mercy witnessed the magic yesterday with Blake Vogt doing a show for them for some in-person and most over a live stream. The fun continues all weekend but it’s much more than just the good time which has so many celebrities joining.

“We’re here for a limited amount of time Friday morning and Saturday morning and this was just a way that we thought we can include more patients and more kids in the weekend and who doesn’t love magic,” said Stonestreet Friday morning.

Stonestreet said Thursday at the hospital that they, being the Kansas City home-towners, know how unique this event is. As their friends coming to town always say they have nothing like Big Slick in their respective cities.

“It’s an easy weekend to really have a great time at and just take a breath and know that you’re doing some good and it’s always the most impactful for our guests to come here to the hospital. They leave just rejuvenated and feeling like they’ve done something great,” he said. “We always feel like we’re the ones getting something out of this when we come to the hospital.”

It is also a time for love for some as Stonestreet met his significant other while visiting the hospital and a patient years back.