Friday, May 6, 2011

Lester and Buchholz unveil Charity Wines

Thursday may not have been one of the better days in the Red Sox season -- featuring two losses in just over 12 hours. After falling in the 13th inning to the Angels at close to three in the morning, they were trounced later that afternoon, 11-0. However, while the Sox weren’t giving their fans many reasons to cheer on the field, two of their star players gathered at the House of Blues foundation room Thursday afternoon to celebrate a partnership with a lot to root for.

Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz
spoke about their passion for their chosen charities
This year, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have teamed with Charity Wines to raise money to benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Jimmy Fund respectively. Lester’s “CabernAce” and Buchholz’s “ChardonClay” were unveiled to the large crowd on Lansdowne Street. With NESN’s Heidi Watney as emcee, the big game pitchers each spoke passionately about why they chose the charities they did and the satisfaction they get from helping others.

The choice of charity was easy for Jon Lester, whose battle with lymphoma is well known to baseball fans. After treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, he was able to overcome cancer and return to the Red Sox in July of 2007 – pitching the series-clinching game against the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

As a cancer survivor, Lester is passionate about doing what he can do for those with the disease. He can feel a personal connection with cancer patients, which he believes goes a long way.

“It’s not something you can describe to anybody,” Lester told the crowd at the House of Blues foundation room. “Getting those types of drugs put into your body is tough. It definitely plays with your mind and it wears you down. If you can just sit there and talk with somebody that’s been through it and understands it then it takes a big weight off your shoulders. So it’s definitely nice to talk about it with people sometimes.”

Buchholz, a co-captain of the Jimmy Fund, has been a passionate supporter of the organization’s campaign for a long time. Like Lester, he feels strongly about the connection an athlete can have with those in need.

“Right when you walk into the room [a kid] goes from laying down, not wanting to say anything, to sitting up in their chair and looking at you wide eyed,” said Buchholz. “It makes you feel good to know that you’re a person in this world that can go in there and have an influence on somebody’s life or their family’s life.”

With their new charity wines, the two pitchers are embarking on a project that will raise money to help both worthwhile charities. The wines (which will retail at about $14) will raise much needed funds which will go a long way toward fighting the deadly diseases.

“I didn’t realize how much money goes into these organizations,” said Lester. “How much money Fred Hutch needs to do their research every year and how many grants they get. Its pretty mind blowing how much money goes into all this stuff.”

Buchholz wasn't shy about
enjoying his wine on stage.
The public can help generate this funding by purchasing one of these wines.

Heidi Watney also took a chance to talk a little baseball with the two Sox stars. It hasn’t been the start to the season that Red Sox fans had hoped for after their two big additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Even so, both Buchholz and Lester seemed optimistic with a clear short term goal in mind -- get to .500.

“We start on the road and it throws us through a loop and we obviously don’t play very well,” said Lester. “I think a lot of things happened pretty quickly for us, a lot of bad things.”

“The rough start was not expected but we’re almost back to .500 ball,” added Buchholz. “So once we get to that point we can go from there.”

While the Red Sox continue their battle in the 2011 season, fans around New England can help Lester and Buchholz in their fights against cancer by heading to their local store to pick up a bottle of “CabernAce” and “ChardonClay”. Check out for more details.

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