KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Big Slick Celebrity Weekend is upon us as batters step up to the plate Friday night at Kauffman Stadium to start the 10th annual event.
All the money raised goes to Children’s Mercy Hospital. So far, the event has raised $8 million. That money supports several different programs at the hospital’s cancer center.
Big Slick Celebrity Weekend has grown over the years.
In 2010, Rob Riggle called fellow Shawnee Mission graduates Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis with an idea to host a poker tournament to raise money for Children's Mercy. They each agreed called upon their family and friends to help pull it off. In recent years, natives Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner have also joined them as hosts.
Since then, the guys and other celebrity guests have raised more than $8 million through sponsorships, a live auction and an online fundraising campaign.
“We have nine of these under our belt, nine big slicks under our belt and every year we’ve topped ourselves so if that trend continues Big Slick 10 we will top ourselves again and that would mean a lot of money for Children’s Mercy Hospital and that could do a lot of good including hopefully save a child’s life,” Riggle said.
Westin Brown, 9, will throw out the first pitch at 5 p.m. Friday for the softball game. Westin is a patient at Children’s Mercy Hospital. He says he’s happy this event helps kids like him, but he’s nervous to meet all the guys, especially Rudd because he’s a big Ant Man fan.
In addition to the Big Slick Celebrity Softball Game, a celebrity bowling tournament on Saturday and VIP party at the Sprint Center also help raise funds.
“It has helped us create a tumor bank where we can store blood and tissue from patients that want to donate them to research. It has also helped our cancer genomics program where we can build sequencing to determine better treatments for patients and it’s also helping to build our immunotherapy program where we’re developing new medicines to treat patients on the cutting edge,” pediatric oncologist Dr. Erin Guest said.