By Matt Abbatacola–
CHICAGO (CBS) Kerry Wood and wife, Sarah, announced today the creation of the Wood Family Foundation. The purpose of the organization will be to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago by raising funds and awareness for children’s charities and the causes they support.
Since 2001, Kerry and Sarah have raised over $2 million dollars for Chicago charities through the Kerry Wood Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament. As Wood put it, “We wanna go bigger. We wanna go better. We want this thing to grow.”
Wood will serve as founder and president and Sarah will serve as co-founder and executive director.
The first official Wood Family Family Foundation event will be the sixth-annual Kerry Wood Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament on September 18. The money raised through the bowling event since 2001 has benefited Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, Derrek Lee’s Project 3000 and the Organic School Project.
Some early goals for the foundation include building a baseball stadium for high school students on the North Side of Chicago, the opening of a play room on the oncology floor at Children’s Memorial Hospital next year, coat drives in the winter, purchasing school supplies for students, and helping “any organization that supports children in the Chicagoland area.”
“We have been fortunate to help so many children over the years,” Sarah said. “The creation of the new Wood Family Foundation will give us a chance to help many more children for years to come. Even though Kerry’s full-time job is on the mound, Kerry’s mind and heart are dedicated to making this foundation last for generations.”
“I believe it is important to make a difference in a child’s life,” Kerry said. “Sarah and I have committed ourselves to Chicago, and I would like to use my success on and off the field to help grow a foundation that will make a difference in a child’s life.”
The foundation and helping children in Chicago was a major factor in Wood’s decision to sign a one year deal with the Cubs. He had offers from other teams worth much more than the $1.5 million deal he signed with Chicago.
Wood said, “I think it’s our duty as athletes and as role models and public figures to do what we can to help.”
On the possibility of a trade during this season, Wood said, “It would have to be great for both.” – his family and the Cubs. A trade appears highly unlikely especially after the launching of this Chicago-based foundation.
On the baseball side of things, Wood expects to be activated from the DL tomorrow in time to pitch against the White Sox. He last pitched on June 8 against Cincinnati. Wood is 1-3 with an ERA of 2.25 in 24 games this season.
For more information on the Wood Family Foundation, please visit www.woodfamilyfoundation.org