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Kids Stand Tall at Softball Challenge

by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

June 13, 2013

The Pacers season just recently concluded, but four players brought their game to Victory Field Thursday night for the fifth annual Caroline Symmes Celebrity Softball Challenge presented by the Tony Stewart Foundation. For the third consecutive year, Pacers center Roy Hibbert co-hosted the event with Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis.

In front of an estimated 9,500 fans, the game raised approximately $50,000 for the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, which grants wishes to Indiana children, ages 3-18, who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Many of the children were in attendance and helped the celebrities run the bases. One kid’s wish was to finally go to Disney World while another kid wanted to visit the United States Naval Academy. The average cost of a wish is $6,000.

Photo Gallery: 2013 Caroline Symmes Memorial Celebrity Softball Challenge »

The Blue Team, captained by Mathis, scored three runs just a few innings in to take a comfortable lead. Ben Hansbrough’s single to the outfield brought in two runs in the bottom of the sixth as the Black Team tried to mount a comeback. They came up just short and Mathis’ Blue Team took home the bragging rights with a 5-3 victory under the lights.

Hibbert’s teammates George Hill, Ben Hansbrough and Miles Plumlee joined in on the night’s festivities. Other participants included Reggie Wayne, Andrew Luck, Pat McAfee, Coby Fleener, Anthony Castonzo, Antoine Bethea, Chandler Harnish, and Griff Whalen of the Indianapolis Colts. Gary Brackett and former big league slugger Ryan Thompson were also on hand. Brooke Olzendam (Pacers TV), Dave Furst (WRTV), Amanda Maynard (WISH), Chris Hagan (Fox 59), Dave Calabro (WTHR), and Joe Staysniak (1070 The Fan), were some of the local media personalities involved. Country music artist Corey Cox sang the National Anthem and held a concert on the field after the seven-inning game.

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