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Charity ballgame tonight

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Those battling against childhood cancer will gain another ally Friday night at Georgia Tech's baseball stadium as Atlanta Braves Brian McCann and Chipper Jones team up for a charity celebrity softball game.

The first Brian McCann Rally Celebrity Softball Game, organized to raise funds for childhood cancer research, is part of the third annual Rally Foundation Benefit Bash. It will feature McCann and Jones managing opposing teams, but sharing the same cause.

All proceeds will benefit the Rally Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has, according to its Web site, awarded more than $1 million in research grants and funds to the collaborative research of more than 5,000 physicians, scientists and nurses at more than 200 hospitals nationwide.

McCann and his wife Ashley serve as spokespersons for the organization and the charity game is being hosted by McCann, Jones and their Jet Sports Management representatives.

Celebrities scheduled to be on hand include:

* U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

* Former Atlanta Falcon Todd Weiner

* Kip Pardue, an Atlanta native who played "Sunshine" in "Remember the Titans"

* Former Georgia Bulldog and NFL player David Pollack

* CNN's Holly Firfer

* Former NFL coach Sam Wyche

Leo Mazzone, the Braves' former pitching coach, and Andruw Jones are also scheduled to participate.

Current Braves Tim Hudson and Kelly Johnson, and up-and-comer Cody Johnson, who hit 32 home runs this year with the Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, are also on the roster.

Additional entertainment will include a home run derby, face painting, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus (bring your own camera) and a silent auction full of autographed sports memorabilia.

McCann, a former Duluth High School standout, has been named an all-star each of his first four seasons with the Braves.

He said that the children he and his wife have met through the foundation "have the most amazing courage and strength."

"After meeting kids affected by cancer and seeing what they go through, Rally Foundation has become close to our hearts," McCann said. "We really look forward to being involved in this event each year."

Rally Foundation CEO Dean Crowe said he is glad to have the couple working toward a cure.

"Brian and Ashley were dedicated Benefit Bash chairs in 2008 and Rally is looking forward to another successful event with the McCanns," he said. "It is our hope that the third annual Benefit Bash will raise even more money to fund critical research for children fighting cancer."

Adult tickets are $10 (13 years and older) while student tickets are $5. Children 12 and under get in free.