By J. L. Shively
Come on out to the ball game on Sat., Sept. 24, at 7:10 p.m. to help cheer on the Mets and raise money for the Progeria Research Foundation.
Verona native, Zoey Penny, will be celebrating her seventh birthday on the Tuesday prior to the game and will come to cheer on the team and help raise awareness for Progeria, a disease she was diagnosed with at the age of five months.
Progeria is a degenerative disease which causes accelerated aging in children and causes children to die of heart disease or stroke at an average age of 14 years, according to the PRF website.
Young Zoey is the inspiration behind the group Team Zoey which has been tireless in their efforts over the last seven years to raise money for Progeria research.
Research for this disease is essential to understanding what causes the mutation of the LMNA gene and therefore finding a way to prevent the aggressive results Progeria has on the children and young teens it affects.
The upcoming fundraiser, hosted by the New York Mets, will help PRF in its ongoing battle to discover better ways to treat children diagnosed with this disease.
“Everyone at PRF/Team Zoey is thrilled that the Mets would be interested in supporting Team Zoey and Progeria,” says Barbara Batesko, Zoey’s great-aunt and Team Zoey president.
Zoey will be attending the game with her family, who have been invited to throw the first pitch of the evening.
The night of the event the Mets will donate $30 per fundraiser ticket purchased directly to PRF following the game.
“If we sell out 500 seats we will make $15,000,” says Batesko, while expressing hope that the fundraiser will go above and beyond their expectations.
The idea for the fundraiser came about when Zoey and family were at the beach.
“A family friend from the beach was telling her nephew’s girlfriend, Rachel, who works for the Mets, about Zoey. Coincidently, Rachel was interested in organizing a fundraiser for the Mets,” explains Batesko.
Rachel Pope, an inside sales representative with the Mets, said that raising money for Progeria research might be the perfect charity to sponsor this season.
Batesko remarks that Pope was “extremely enthusiastic and responsive” to Team Zoey’s fundraising ideas and Pope has continued with her support and enthusiasm in helping to make this evening possible for Zoey’s family and all others whose lives are riding on the research PRF does.
“Progeria is a very rare disease and to get this kind of support from an organization like the Mets is absolutely amazing,” remarks Batesko.
Harold Kaufman, the executive director of Communications with the Mets, expressed that this fundraiser should be a great night out at the ballpark. At the time of publication, Kaufman explained the Mets were unable to speak on record about the upcoming event.
For more information about the Mets fundraising event contact Rachel Pope at email@example.com or visit the website at https://m.mets.mlb.com/nym/tickets/info/team-zoey.
For more information about Team Zoey and other fundraisers held for Progeria research throughout the year visit www.teamzoey.com.