Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall steps up to the plate to hit baseballs for the UCHealth Healthy Swings: Charity Home Run Derby at Coors Field in Denver on May 11, 2018.
Denver, May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UCHealth, a nationally recognized health system and one of Colorado’s largest health care networks, today contributed $53,200 to Gold Crown Foundation at its second annual Healthy Swings: Charity Home Run Derby at Coors Field.
For the second year in a row, UCHealth brought together current and alumni Colorado professional athletes from the Avalanche, Broncos, Nuggets and Rockies to take a swing for the Gold Crown Foundation, a Colorado-based non-profit which supports over 20,000 boys and girls annually through youth sports and education programs.
“We are thrilled to bring Healthy Swings to life for the second year, rallying professional athletes and members of local media to step up to bat and raise money for this important cause,” said Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth’s chief marketing and experience officer. “We want people to live healthy, extraordinary lives, and Gold Crown offers kids opportunities that may not have been available to them.”
Each participant in the derby was given up to three minutes to hit baseballs, working to hit a set of targets in the outfield, hit a home run, or just make contact between the bat and baseball. For every hit made, UCHealth donated a pre-determined amount to the Gold Crown Foundation to help support youth sports programs. Former Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Ryan Spilborghs took home the winner’s trophy, raising the most money for baseballs hit for Gold Crown. Spilborghs’ former teammate Clint Barmes was first batter up, hitting multiple home runs to kick off the derby. For the last ball of the event, Barmes hit the $10,000 money ball over the fence to round out the afternoon.
“We are so fortunate to have the support of UCHealth,” said Nuggets alum and Gold Crown co-founder and CEO Bill Hanzlik. “It was an honor to bat alongside my fellow Nuggets, Malik and Jamal, as well as other pro-athletes to raise money – I’d say we really hit this event out of the park.”
This year’s event raised over $17,000 more than amount raised during the 2017 Healthy Swings event, which benefitted the National Stroke Association.
Participants at the event included:
Marquette King, Broncos punterBrandon Marshall, Broncos linebacker Brandon McManus, Broncos placekickerCasey Kreiter, Broncos long snapper (pinch hitting for Broncos outside linebacker Shane Ray)Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche forward and captainMalik Beasley, Nuggets shooting guardJamal Murray, Nuggets point guardBill Hanzlik, Nuggets alumVinny Castilla, Rockies alumRyan Spilborghs, Rockies alumCory Sullivan, Rockies alumClint Barmes, Rockies alumRick Berry, Avalanche alumJohn-Michael Liles, Avalanche alum
Several local media personalities participated in a media-specific derby beforehand as well, including representatives from Altitude Sports, The Now (The E.W. Scripps Company), KUSA, KCNC, KDVR and KMGH. Liz Kotalik, reporter for KUSA, took home the media trophy for raising the biggest dollar amount with baseballs hit for charity.
During the derby, current and former Gold Crown Foundation teens were in the outfield, chasing balls hit by the athletes. “It was really amazing to be on the field and shag balls hit by some of Colorado’s best athletes,” said Makayla Hoselton, a beneficiary of the Gold Crown Foundation. “Sports have always been a big part of my life, and Gold Crown has really made that possible. It feels great knowing how many people are here helping to raise money so other kids can have the experiences I’ve had.”
In addition to the Healthy Swings donation, UCHealth has also chosen to benefit Gold Crown Foundation throughout the entire baseball season via a partnership with the Colorado Rockies. Every time Rockies players hit a home run that slams into a new UCHealth “Hit the Mitt” sign at Coors Field, UCHealth will donate $5,000 to the Gold Crown Foundation. At today’s home run derby, Ryan Spilborghs was the first player to “Hit the Mitt” this season.
Photos and video from today’s event are available at this link.
UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth combines Longs Peak Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, UCHealth Medical Group, Broomfield Hospital, Grandview Hospital, Yampa Valley Medical Center, Pikes Peak Regional Hospitaland University of Colorado Hospital into an organization dedicated to health and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. With more than 100 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.