Phillies Phestival a 'Phantastic' Success

Lauren ReidCorrespondent IMay 25, 2010

It's events such as these that proves my frustration towards Philly fan haters is justified. To those who may complain that Philly inhabitants are rude, reckless, and front-runners, read on.

Phillies fans proved they're just as phanatic as ever at the 26th annual Phillies Phestival Monday night. Over 7,000 fans, the most in phestival history, showed up to Citizen's Bank Park for the sold out event which raises money for the ALS Association for the fight again Lou Gehrig's disease.

Though this year's event could not beat last year's outstanding total, the phestival successfully raised $801,615 for the ALS Association, according to a press release.

The 2010 team and coaching staff, as well as their wives, and the broadcast crew attended the night's events to show their support for the cause. In addition, over 30 ALS patients and their families were present, some even lucky enough to have a special meeting with players Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins.

Entertaining phestival-goers was an autograph station, games such as the "Wheel of Phun", and three photo booths featuring Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and manager Charlie Manuel.

The top bid of the night was for a set of six World Series baseballs which were signed by the 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008, and 2009 teams. The set went for an inspiring $4,100 at a live bidding. Ellyn Phillips, president of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of ALS Association was stunned by the growing support for the cause.

"It has been critical to our success," Phillips said. "We've met sponsors that have become more involved with us, the Phillies help us get sponsorship. Believe me, they could pick other charities. We're fortunate."

Since the first phestival in 1984, the charity autograph and auction party has raised over $11.8 million for the cause. All the auction proceeds, ticket sales, and sponsorships go to the ALS.

For those who think that all the 'phanatics' are good at is booing other teams, and yes, even sometimes their own, hopefully you can realize that beneath the perceived rough exterior is just another city full of people who love their sports teams, and are eager to lend their hand to a good cause.

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