500 Home Run Club Members Pop the Cork... for Charity! Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Sunday, 30 September 2007

Members of the 500 Home Run Club have long been known for their philanthropic spirit.  So it’s no surprise that three members of baseball’s most elite fraternity are helping charities raised funds by launching their own, exclusive wine label under the banner of the “500 Home Run Club®

Vineyards” to raise funds for worthy charities across the country. Ernie Banks, Mike Schmidt and Eddie Murray, with the help of Charity Wines, will launch a series of wine labels produced by Eos Estate Winery out of Paso Robles, California. The players themselves will not profit. Instead, for each bottle sold, proceeds will be donated to their charity of choice:

• Ernie Banks – The Ernie Banks Live Above & Beyond Foundation
• Mike Schmidt – The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
• Eddie Murray – The Baltimore Community Foundation

Wines will be available in markets where each player obtained stardom – Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Internet orders will also be taken nationally. Additional wine labels from other 500 Home Run Club members are anticipated throughout the 2008 baseball season.

Liz Banks, President of the 500 Home Run Club LCC, and also wife to Ernie Banks was thrilled to be part of this project. “Ernie, Mike & Eddie were each such great ballplayers on the field that for them to launch quality full-bodied wines for charity seemed a natural fit,” she explained.  “I'm thrilled the 500 Home Run Club could go to bat for this worthy project.”

Owner and President of Charity Wines, Andrew Graff added, "We are honored and elated to be working with members of the 500 Home Run Club on this project. Its membership boasts some of the most elite athletes of all time. We have come to find that these men are just as elite off the field.”

Retailers will have their first opportunity to pre-order these Limited Edition wines in January of 2008. In March of 2008, the inaugural class of wines will be available in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and the Internet to the general public.

About the Ernie Banks’ Live Above and Beyond Foundation

“Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks played his entire 512 home run career on one team, the Chicago Cubs, in one city, and in one ballpark. As part of his tireless effort to help improve and develop the capabilities of disadvantaged youth and "Experienced People" his nonprofit charity works to eliminate prejudice, support programs that enhance neighborhoods, and relieve discrimination among various age groups and races. They provide educational scholarships, purchase and donate sports equipment and offer seminars hosted by successful individuals in the sports or business world.
For more information, please call (800) 676-7282.

Mike Schmidt Supports The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Michael Jack Schmidt is considered one of the greatest players of all time due to his combined records in fielding, base running and 548 home runs. Despite all this, he never fought any battles for his life or health. That is one of the main reasons he supports The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Palm Beach’s efforts to help assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. For more information, please call (561) 683-9965 or visit www.cff.org.

Eddie Murray – The Baltimore Community Foundation

“Steady Eddie” Murray did more than hit 504 home runs. Eddie also established a donor advised fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation when he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Through the Baltimore Community Foundation, Eddie is actively involved in grant-making to a number of charitable organizations including schools for at-risk children.
For more information, please call (410) 750-0000 or visit www.bcf.org.

About Charity Wines and The 500 Home Run Club Vineyards
After personal tragedies involving friends and family with cancer and heart disease, Andrew Graff and John Corcoran decided to start Charity Wines, a philanthropic division of their Massachusetts based company, Vin Lozano Imports Inc. With the goal of pairing fine wine with great charities, the 500 Home Run Club® Vineyards brand has been born. Visit www.CharityWines.com for details.

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