Nearly a year in the making, Saturday's Slim Down the South Celebrity Softball Challenge is a star-studded event that hopes to raise some much-needed cash and a little awareness for the Run Buddies program of Louie's Kids, a locally based program targeting childhood obesity.
Run Buddies is a mentoring program matching children who are overweight or obese with adults who are active. Louie's Kids Founder Louis Yuhasz has tried several programs but is convinced that Run Buddies will reach the most number of children.
"That's what I believe, in my heart, will work," said Yuhasz.
The softball challenge -- to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Riley Park -- will be led by two of the area's biggest celebrities, singer Darius Rucker and actor Bill Murray.
Rucker's Team Piggly Wiggly is slated to include actors Terry Serpico and Richard Bryant of "Army Wives," Eric Bach of the "Modern Gypsies," Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce, chefs Marvin Woods and Bob Waggoner, Heba Salama and Ed Brantley of "The Biggest Loser," TV basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli, Channel 4 TV anchor Dean Stephens and T.J. Phillips of WEZL Radio.
Murray's Team Wells Fargo will include actors Brian McNamara and Wendy Davis of "Army Wives," Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish, Bernie Salazar of "The Biggest Loser," Ariane Duarte of "Top Chef," John Post and Taylor Filansky of the "Modern Gypsies," Miss South Carolina Teen Caitlen Patton, Channel 2 TV anchor Carolyn Murray, and radio's Brian Cleary
Late additions to the line-ups, not yet posted, include Los Angeles Lakers-bound basketball player Andrew Goudelock and bass player Eric Bass of Shinedown.
And for you Gamecock football fans, the USC-Auburn game, scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., will be televised on the stadium's big screen and at the outdoor bar area near the front of the stadium, assures Louie's Kids' Ashley Gunnin.
General admission tickets for the softball challenge are available for $12. Box seats are available for $25. Call 727-9267 or visit www.slimdownthesouth.com.
Run buddy run
Before you head out to Riley Park, you may want to run, or walk for another cause for local children.
The 19th annual Isle of Palms Connector Run and Walk for the Child, a 10K and 5K run and 5K walk organized by the Mount Pleasant Exchange Club with support from the Isle of Palms Exchange Club and Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant recreation departments, benefits local charities working to prevent child abuse and treat its victims.
Last year's event raised $40,000 and benefited Darkness to Light, Windwood Farm Home for Children, HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), and the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, according to Geoff Waggoner, director of the race for the Mount Pleasant Exchange.
Offering views of the Atlantic Ocean, local creeks, marshes and the Intracoastal Waterway, the races start on Palm Boulevard near the foot of the connector bridge. The finish is on J.C. Long Boulevard at the IOP Public Safety Building.
Late registration and packet pickup will be at the Isle of Palms Exchange Club, 201 Palm Blvd., 3-7 p.m. today or 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday. Registration and pickup also will be available 6:30-7:30 a.m. at the public safety building. The fee for the 10K or 5K run is $35. The fee for the walk is $30. Those interested in volunteering may call 886-8294.
Biking to battle CF
Along the same theme of children, cystic fibrosis is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. CF, which is passed down through families, causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other areas of the body. And it is life-threatening.
Local cyclists can help raise money and awareness by joining Saturday's second annual Aptalis CF Cycle, 25- and 64-mile bike rides starting and ending at Meggett Town Hall. The welcome starts at 8 a.m., the 64-miler at 8:30 a.m. and the 25-miler at 9 a.m. Both rides are fully supported with stocked rest stops every 10-15 miles, support and gear vehicles, on-site medical services, food, beverages and more. Contact Alicia Parsons at 388-5968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.cff.org/Chapters/sc/ChapterEvents/index.cfm?ID=16858&blnShowBack=True&idContentType=1606&Event=16858.