The Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce held its First Annual Celebrity Softball game on Sunday afternoon, as local and national celebrities took on community volunteers to benefit "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."
The game started with the ceremonial first pitch from Linda Ruth Tosetti, the granddaughter of Babe Ruth. Legendary Detroit Tiger Ty Cobb's granddaughter, Cindy Cobb McGowin, was also on hand at the event.
"It's a beautiful day today and hopefully this will be the first of many softball games that we'll be doing as a fundraiser," Kevin Hyms, secretary of the Ronkonkoma chamber said. Hyms added that the chamber hasn't hammered out the details for next year's game, but they could continue to raise funds "Making Strides," or perhaps pick a new charity.
Dawn Tropeano, the director of the American Cancer Society's special events, spoke before the game began about the importance of fundraising for the cause.
"Thank you for all your hard work, all that you're doing, because your dollars truly do make a difference in the fight against cancer," said Tropeano, herself a breast cancer survivor. "Two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving this dreadful disease and I'm living proof. And I'm sure there's lots of you out there who have been touched by cancer, whether directly or indirectly, so our efforts truly do make a difference."
The lighthearted event featured some pretty good play, with towering home runs and great back-handed stabs on hard ground balls. Celebrities who participated included American Idol Contestant Robbie Rosen, actress Claudia Wells, blue musician Gary U.S. Bonds, members of the 60s group The Cowsills and a host of others. Sachem alum and former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy played for the blue team.
Comedian Chris Roach and broadcaster Donna Drake provided color commentary during the game. Patch will have more features on all the action to come.