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Kickball Not Just for Kids at CF Foundation Event

June 13, 2008

NFL offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, Jordan Gross, discusses kickball strategy with young fans Drew Allen, who has cystic fibrosis, and Joey Bowers.
NFL offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, Jordan Gross, discusses kickball strategy with young fans Drew Allen, who has CF, and Joey Bowers.
Spectators were transported back in time to the grade school playground as they watched the fierce rivalry in—of all things—a kickball game. Held at the Bank of America Stadium practice fields in North Carolina in April, the first-ever Carolinas Chapter, Charlotte Office’s Kick CF with Jordan Gross event featured local and national celebrities going toe to toe in an exhibition game and raised more than $50,000 for the CF Foundation.

The idea for the game arose when Jordan Gross, NFL offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers, discovered that his niece, Brooklyn, was diagnosed with CF. Wanting to help raise both money and awareness for the Foundation, Jordan and his wife Dana thought a kickball game would attract adults and children alike. They were right.

More than 400 spectators turned out to hear the national anthem sung by American Idol’s Season Five contestant Ace Young and to cheer on such personalities as Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford and a number of their favorite NFL and NBA players. In the end, the CPI Security System’s Cops won out over the CPI Security System’s Robbers, 8-5, but the Robbers vowed to seek a rematch next year.

Competition was waged off the field, as well, at the live auction of an exclusive Super Bowl XLIII trip and Pro Bowl packages, each including airfare from the Foundation’s Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines®. The Super Bowl package sold for $8,500 and the Pro Bowl for $10,000, the latter purchased by the Carolina Panthers’ own Steve Smith.

“Dana and I wanted to hold an event that was both fun and family-friendly,” said event co-chair Jordan Gross. “Fighting CF has become a cause near and dear to us. And now a whole lot more people know about the disease and are doing something about it.”

Special thanks go to co-chairs Jordon and Dana Gross for their hard work and dedication. Corporate sponsors CPI Security Systems, American Airlines®, Arcadia Homes, Bojangles, Pepsi, Rack Room Shoes, Tom Johnson Camping Center, FOX Charlotte, WFNZ, Fred Caldwell Chevrolet and the Equis Group also share in the credit for making the event a success.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.