Country Music Stars Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Florida Georgia Line and More Step Up to the Plate against Cancer at the

  Country Music Stars Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, Florida Georgia Line and
  More Step Up to the Plate against Cancer at the City of Hope Celebrity
  Softball Challenge Presented by Staples

Business Wire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- May 13, 2013

One in three women and one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their
lifetimes. During the 2013 CMA Music Festival, a star-studded roster of
Country Music’s hottest performers and personalities will join forces to help
strike out the disease. Stars including Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina,
Florida Georgia Line, Craig Campbell, Greg Bates, Chuck Wicks and Olympic
figure skating champion Scott Hamilton will join cancer survivors to
participate in City of Hope’s 23^rd annual Celebrity Softball Challenge
presented by Staples. Emceed by Storme Warren, host of GAC’s “Headline
Country,” the event will pit longtime rival teams Grand Ole Opry and “After
MidNite with Blair Garner” against each other on Saturday, June 8, ^ at 9 a.m.
at Greer Stadium. Tickets are now available at

“It’s always good to go out there and get a big win for Country Music in the
fight against cancer,” said Pete Fisher, vice president and general manager,
Grand Ole Opry. “We’re thankful to City of Hope for its incredible work in
cancer research, and know we will live up to the challenge this year. Hey,
Team Opry: Spring training starts 10 minutes before game time. Don’t forget
the needed gear – uniforms, softballs and Sharpies!”

“We’re so proud to be a part of this special event each year as we help
support the amazing work City of Hope is doing to help those with cancer,”
said “After MidNite” host Blair Garner. “We encourage Country Music fans to
come out to the ballpark and watch their favorite stars as we battle it out
for this great cause!”

Presented by Staples, this year’s game marks the 23^rd year that Nashville’s
power hitters have gone to bat for City of Hope, a leading research and
treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. The
Celebrity Softball Challenge has raised more than $2 million for City of Hope,
enabling scientists to advance research and improve treatments for patients
and families everywhere.

Performers Brett Eldredge, Maggie Rose, David Nail, Chase Rice, LoCash
Cowboys, Phil Vassar, Krystal Keith and Two Foot Fred will also take to the
field for the highly anticipated game. Rounding out the event are City of Hope
survivors Hannah Komai, 23, and John Cloer, 12, both of whom will be cheering
for their favorite stars.

“I am so excited for this year’s Celebrity Softball Challenge at Nashville; my
boyfriend and I are huge Country Music fans!” said Komai, a bone cancer
survivor. “It is an honor that City of Hope wants me to share my story at the
event after they gave so much to me and my family. After all, they did save my

"Staples is proud to return as the presenting sponsor of the Celebrity
Softball Challenge," said Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and chief executive
officer. "We are committed to supporting City of Hope as it continues to make
a difference in the lives of patients and works to find a cure for cancer."

In addition to Staples, this year’s sponsors include PEOPLE Country as
presenting media sponsor, The Walking Company as official apparel sponsor,
plus Frigidaire, Humana, The City Paper, Dudley Spalding and Louisville

“The Nashville community has been a longtime supporter of our mission to
rapidly transform innovative research into lifesaving treatments, changing the
game for millions of patients and families worldwide,” said Michael A.
Friedman, M.D., chief executive officer of City of Hope. “We are grateful to
Staples, CMA, celebrity players and fans for their continued generosity that
will enable us to discover tomorrow’s cures for cancer, diabetes and other
life-threatening diseases.”

For more information about the 23^rd annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball
Challenge presented by Staples, visit To purchase
tickets to the most fun-filled game in town, visit its Ticketmaster page. All
ticket sales benefit City of Hope.

About CMA Music Festival

The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair^®,
bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. More than 40 years
later, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature event. In 2012,
CMA Music Festival attracted more than 71,000 daily visitors from every state
and two dozen foreign countries. Fans can stay in the loop by visiting, the official website of CMA Music Festival, where they can sign
up for the CMA Exclusive e-news. Fans can also connect with CMA at,,, and

About Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from
Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating 87 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard
on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and The syndicated weekly
program, America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across
America. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE:
RHP). For more information, visit

About “After MidNite with Blair Garner”

On November 13, 1993, “After MidNite” aired for the first time on 12
stations.Word spread and within four months, more than 100 affiliates were on
board.Today, the highly-acclaimed Country radio show is nationally syndicated
by Premiere Networks and can be heard on more than 260 affiliates by 2.7
million weekly listeners. In 2011, Garner received the 2011 ACM “National
On-Air Personality of the Year” award. For more information, please visit

About City of Hope

City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes
and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer
center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute,
City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer
Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout
the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just
northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Antelope Valley and South Pasadena.
It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S.News &
World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone
marrow transplantation and genetics. For more information, visit or follow City of Hope on facebook, twitter, youtube or

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



City of Hope
H. Chung So, 800-888-5323
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.