Celebrity Poker Players Ante Up for Brain Tumor Research

Drawing on the soaring popularity of poker, The Tug McGraw Foundation is gathering an all-star team of entertainment and sports celebrities to challenge their guests playing Texas Hold ‘Em at the Foundation’s annual gala event, “An Evening with Tim McGraw & Friends: Honoring Those Who Make a Difference,” on November 3rd, 2006, at The Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Guests will be playing for a trip to Las Vegas and a seat at the table in the World Series of Poker.

“This is shaping up to be a very special evening, one that will both entertain and inspire people,” said Tim McGraw, the Grammy-winning country singer whose father, Tug McGraw, the famed Phillies and Mets relief pitcher, died from brain cancer in 2004. “In addition to trying their hand at poker, guests will enjoy a live stage show, live and silent auctions, and an awards ceremony honoring people who have helped to improve the quality of life for brain tumor patients and their families.”

Returning as Master of Ceremonies, legendary baseball analyst and commentator, Bob Costas, will recognize this year’s honorees: Chicago White Sox First Baseman, Jim Thome; one of the leading brain tumor researchers in the world, Dr. Darrel Bigner; President of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tom Muldoon; and Chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies, Bill Giles.

The celebrity poker players include former Chicago Bear Super Bowl winning quarterback, Jim McMahon. “I was a huge fan of Tug McGraw’s and was inspired by his tremendous courage. I’m happy to raise funds for research that helps brain tumor patients live better,” said McMahon.

Last year, approximately 400 guests attended the gala, which was held at Gotham Hall in New York City. George Bodenheimer, President of ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, accepted an award on behalf of ESPN, Inc. for its work to support brain tumor research. Awards were also given to Rusty Staub, Tug’s friend and teammate with the New York Mets, and Tim McGraw, the Tug McGraw Foundation’s Honorary Chairman. McGraw’s band, the Dancehall Doctors, performed along with Hot Apple Pie and the Warren Brothers.

For more information about “An Evening with Tim McGraw & Friends,” to purchase tickets, or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.tugmcgraw.org.

The Tug McGraw Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization based in Napa, California. It was founded by former major league baseball player Tug McGraw in 2003 to help brain tumor survivors and their families live well by funding quality of life research and raising public awareness about brain tumors. The Foundation has established the Tug McGraw Center for Quality of Life and Supportive Care Research in Neuro-Oncology at Duke University, provides grants for brain tumor research, and awards scholarships to college students who exemplify Tug’s “Ya Gotta Believe” attitude.