LOS ANGELES, CA | March 11, 2021
Players from all three Southern California Major League Baseball teams, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Los Angeles Dodgers, come together for a truly one-of-a-kind broadcast event on Thursday, March 25: CHAMPIONS UNITE. This livestream competition show also features Lung Association Mission Ambassador, actress Shantel VanSanten, along with pro athletes from other major American sports and notable film, television and music celebrities. All proceeds benefit the American Lung Association.
Tickets to watch the event are FREE and available now at Lung.org/champions-unite. Viewers also can purchase “vote” tickets to support their favorite team’s performances as well as “box seats” for those who want the full “luxury ballpark experience!”
“The Lung Association is proud to feature Southern California’s three Major League Baseball teams in this exciting streaming event,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Nobody appreciates the importance of breathing clean air through healthy lungs more than professional athletes. With their commitment, and the participation of baseball fans throughout the country, Champions Unite will surely be a homerun for lung health.”
Champions Unite will highlight three current and former players from each team – the Padres, Dodgers and Angels - as they perform their “off-field” talent during this inaugural event which supports lung health for all, including overcoming Covid-19, tobacco addiction, youth vaping lung cancer and more. Because when you can’t breathe nothing else matters.
“It’s an honor to play a lead role in bringing ‘Champions Unite’ to reality in support of the life-saving mission of the American Lung Association,” said Tony Gwynn Jr., former Major League Baseball player, current broadcast voice of the San Diego Padres and member of the American Lung Association San Diego Leadership Board. “My father and I understood the extreme physical demands on athletes at all levels. Too often, however, lung diseases, including asthma, lung cancer and others can hamper the dreams of young athletes and fans alike. That’s why I’m proud to be part of the solution.”
The World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers will be represented by All-Star pitcher Kenley Jansen; All-Star outfielder A.J. Pollock and 3-time All-Star, World Series MVP and Cy Young winner Orel Hershiser.
Representing the San Diego Padres will be former Padres’ catcher Carlos Hernandez; last year’s National League Rookie of the Year Award runner-up, Jake Cronenworth; and centerfielder Trent Grisham.
Representing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be infielder David Fletcher, Angeles color commentator Mark Gubicza and newly acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias, who, in his words, “wants to win this thing!”
“I’m excited to take part in ‘Champions Unite’ and to see some of my favorite baseball players perform their off-field talents for such a great cause,” said Shantel Van Santen, actor, and philanthropist. “Since losing my grandmother to lung cancer almost seven years ago, I have dedicated myself to fighting lung disease alongside the American Lung Association. I invite each of you, especially baseball fans, to join me in supporting these talented players and uniting on our mission to end lung cancer, COVID-19 and other serious lung diseases.”
Champions Unite will recognize three trailblazing organizations and individuals who support our mission: Mickey Anderson, Division Vice President of CVS Health; Andrew Littlefair, President & CEO of Clean Energy Fuels; and San Diego Padres / PetCo Park, with Senior Vice President Mark Guglielmo accepting the award on their behalf.
Top sponsors include Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Buchalter, Capgemini, CBIZ-MHM, CHUBB, City of Hope, Clean Energy, Collidescope, CVS Health, EY, HUB, Johnny Carson Foundation, KPMG, Nellie Thatcher Perkins Foundation, Nicosia, Osceola Consulting, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego Padres and Southern California Edison.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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