Kentucky coach John Calipari spent time at his press conference and on Kentucky Sports Radio today touting the Coach Cal Celebrity Softball Classic Sunday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark that will raise money for the Baton Rouge Relief Fund.
Here’s what he had to say:
“We’ve made a decision that all the proceeds from this softball game will go to the Baton Rouge Relief Fund. The more you’re watching, this thing is looking like the Sandy disaster, almost worse than that. We’re going to go through Red Cross. So, The (Calipari) Foundation will give any money that’s raised directly to the Red Cross,” Calipari said.
“All the proceeds from it. Papa John’s, again, we’ll probably announce something this afternoon. They’re going to help us with some sort of pizza sales, which they’ve done in the past in these kind of disasters, and have been very, very generous. Alltech, who is sponsoring the softball game, all that money that they were giving to sponsor will go directly to this relief fund.
“What I’m asking is for people to buy those tickets to this game. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Tickets are $5, $10, there are some $20 tickets. You go on CoachCal.com, you can purchase online. If there is any kind of rain issue, if you bought the tickets we’re going to have an open practice for those people that bought those tickets. So you’ll have that ticket that will get you to the practice that only you will see. So there will probably be a lot of people hoping for rain on Sunday. There will be a lot of rain dancing on Sunday to hope that we do rain out, but it should be a lot of fun.
“We’re doing something else. Because of what we’ve been able to do raising money through this weekend, I could not give all the weekend money – again, we’ve raised over a million dollars the last three years at this weekend and given it away to the fantasy stuff. The issue became we already committed money to different charities and that money that goes to those charities is very important to them.
“So what we’re doing is we’re going to ask everybody – and we’ve give you a hard copy – to text the word ‘give’ to 859-955-8173. Text the word ‘give’ to that number and then you go through the process and you can make a donation that will be given directly, 100 percent of it will be given to the American Red Cross. I did it myself to see how long it would take and it took under two minutes. So you can do it quickly.
“And no donation is too small. When you have this kind of disaster. Superstorm Sandy, the one thing that was different, the weather was different. When you talk about the heat down in Baton Rouge right now that they have to deal with along with this water, I can’t even imagine. So whatever we can do, either by texting, by going to the website and buying tickets to the softball game, all the money for that weekend will be there.
“Now Terrence Jones is in town and been added to the list. Michael Kidd(-Gilchrist) is here. Anthony (Davis) now, because he and I talked about this with Baton Rouge. He’s one of the ones that said, ‘Coach you gotta do something this weekend for Baton Rouge. He’s going to try to get back in town, he’s out of the country right now. Karl(-Anthony) Towns, Nerlens (Noel), Alex (Poythress), Kyle Macy, Rex Chapman, Keith Bogans, I’ll read some other names, Randolph Morris, Jared Carter, Dale Brown, Tim Couch will be back, Jared Lorenzen, Keenan Burton, Josh Hopkins, the actor from in town.
“We’re going to have a home run derby. I have the dark horse, and he’s over 50, the dark horse: John Robic. If anybody wants to make a wager on that you let me know and we’ll make a wager. We may even call some fans out of the stands to get involved in the home run derby.
“So because Rupp (Arena) is under construction with what they’re doing, we cannot play the alumni game. This is what we are doing, and you know what, it’s a good thing now because we all using the money for all the stuff down in Baton Rouge and it should be fine.
“Also this weekend, last thing, we’ve teamed up with the Starkey (Hearing) Foundation and as a result of this weekend we’re going to give away 80 hearing aids to Kentucky residents prior to the softball game. So, that’s going to be a big deal. I’m excited to be a part of that. Again, 80 hearing aids to the Kentucky residents prior to the game.”