The George Springer Third Annual All-Star Bowling Benefit
Photo Credit : Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
George Springer, outfielder for the Houston Astros, knows what it’s like to grow up with a stutter. That’s why, for the third year in a row, Springer, along with SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, hosted the Third Annual George Springer All-Star Bowling Benefit at Lucky Strike Houston on Sunday, June 11, 2017. Springer was joined by his fellow teammates, other celebrities, and 300 fans intent on helping children who stutter. The co-chairs for the inspiring evening, which raised over $150,000, were Lara Bell and Melissa De Ayala. Matthew De Ayala was the junior chair, and Dr. Carolyn Farb was the honorary chair.
Proceeds from the event will go toward sending children from families-in-need to Camp SAY, a life-changing summer camp for young people who stutter. Springer hosted the benefit to provide financial aid for the cause and ensure that children from all socio-economic backgrounds have access to Camp SAY.
Noah Cornman, executive director of SAY, kicked off the evening in the Luxe Lounge by warming up the crowd and cheering them on for their participation in the benefit. Taro Alexander, founder of SAY, then led "Hype,” a pre-festivities rally, with Springer and guests forming a huge circle of support around the young people in attendance. Alexander continued with the inspiring story of his experience as someone who stutters and the way in which Camp SAY is saving lives with the message that every voice matters.
Springer, national spokesperson for Camp SAY, followed Alexander’s remarks by voicing his support for young people with a stutter. He welcomed the kids in attendance, and all kids who stutter, to become a part of his team. Springer also encouraged them to embrace their stutter and find their voice. His inspiring speech was followed by a special performance by SAY director of programming, Travis Robertson, and an inspiring speech from SAY teen Ruben Polanco.
Co-chairs, Lara Bell and Melissa De Ayala, and honorary chair, Dr. Carolyn Farb, kept the inspiration going as they encouraged the crowd to get excited about bowling and raising funds for Camp SAY. The junior chair, Matthew De Ayala, who, like George Springer, has lived his life with a stutter, scored a home run as he thanked guests for supporting Camp SAY, a place where everyone can talk without interruption.
The event got into full swing when everyone hit the lanes for bowling and dancing. Always a highlight, the silent auction sparked friendly competition, but everyone came together to cheer Springer and the celebrity lane captain roster, which included KPRC radio host Michael Garfield, CultureMap's Ken Hoffman, KPRC's Khambrel Marshall, the Houston Texans’ Whitney Mercilus, KTRK's David Nuno, Former Houston Oiler Dan Pastorini, KHOU anchor Ron Trevino, and ESPN radio host Barry Warner.
Loading up the bases with support from the Houston Astros were Springer's teammates Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Dayan Diaz, Michael Feliz, Mike Fiers, James Hoyt, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, Brad Peacock, and Josh Reddick, as well as Houston Astros Manager, A. J. Hinch.
Guests: Lackland H. Bloom III and Caitlin Davis, Jeff Troncoso, Liz and Dave Unger, Susan and Mike Padon, Natalie Deluca and Anson Lang, Johanna and Mike Chryssikos, Kathy and Doug Wright, Tandy Camberg Harris and Jon Harris, Roseann Rogers, Rob Todd, Dinah Lin, Guy Yount, Laurette Veres, Tom Flynn, Lanny and Debbie Griffith, and Chris Swanson.
The event’s sponsors, Aloft Houston Downtown, Blackhorse Limo, Ernst & Young LLP, The Legacy Agency, Mister French's Gourmet Bakery, and Stewart Title helped make the evening a resounding success.
About SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young
SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young is a national nonprofit organization, which, through summer camp, speech therapy, and creative expression empowers, educates, and supports young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them. SAY is guided by the belief that a young person who stutters has a voice that matters and it is a voice that deserves to be heard. Through Camp Say, speech therapy programs, and the Confident Voices Program, the organization helps those who need it find their voice.