McCann's charity softball game raises $280,000

LAWRENCEVILLE -- As part of the third annual Rally Foundation Benefit Bash, the first Brian McCann Charity Celebrity Softball Game was a hit, helping to raise more than $280,000 for the fight against childhood cancer.

On the field, McCann led his squad to an 11-7 win over teammate Chipper Jones' celebrities.

Off the field, everyone was a winner.

Organizers said about 1,500 supporters showed up to Georgia Tech's Russ Chandler Stadium for the Friday night game, which featured celebrities from local radio disc jockeys to professional athletes, coaches and mascots.

The game is expected to become an annual event.

McCann and his wife Ashley are heavily involved with Rally Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.

The couple served as honorary chairs for the 2009 Benefit Bash, which included silent and live auctions of trips, artwork, jewelry and autographed sports memorabilia.

The auction concluded with "Sponsor a Child," individual sponsorships ranging from $250 to $2,500. In addition to individual donations, Aflac Corporate matched donations up to $25,000.

A substantial donation came from Don and Terri Elias of Donte Properties after 13-year-old Andrew Vassil, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, offered to shave his head if anyone donated $10,000.

The Elias' came through and McCann did the honors, breaking out the shears after the second inning of the softball game.

Money was also raised through ticket and food sales and spare-change donations after the game, as part of the 4 Quarters 4 Research program.