Possible Dreams Come True at Dana Farber’s “Jimmy Fund Fenway Fantasy Day”

Fenway Park: Ted Williams Jimmy Fund Statue

Image by wallyg via Flickr


Eradicating cancer in our lifetime is a possible dream for the many supporters  of the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana Farber Institute.  The Jimmy Fund supports the fight against cancer by helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Since 1948, thousands of events, coupled with the generosity of millions of people, have helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives by furthering cancer research and care at Dana-Farber

One of these events “Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day ” was held this past Sunday at Fenway Park.  I had the honor of serving as a volunteer at the event as thousands of fans contributed to  benefit the Jimmy Fund.  These supporters earned chances to hit from home plate, run the bases, field balls off the Green Monster and many other activities. Many children undergoing treatment at Dana Farber also participated bringing tears to the eyes of onlookers. 

I also had a chance to realize a possible dream of my own during my volunteer stint at Yawkey Way.  Call it weird but I always thought  it would be fun to work as a Red Sox vendor of some sort…for one game. Don’t get me wrong,  I’ll keep my day job. Much to my amazement after the volunteer staff convened, I was selected from the dozens of volunteers to hawk tickets at the corner of Ipswich and Van Ness to suspecting and unsuspecting tourists. Game on! I was ready for the challenge. Standing in record breaking heat, I worked the corner as well as any scalper- only my cause is truly legitimate. Dozens of tourists  disembarked the double stacked tour buses and my work began marketing the Fantasy Day event to tourists from Houston, Hong Kong and Russia. Next up- wayward parents stopped by the Fenway area after settling their college freshman at nearby dorms  and they too were easily swayed to join in the fun and support the cause. Despite the 90 degree shadeless conditions, it was a win-win for all involved. 

The Jimmy Fund started in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England and the Boston Braves baseball team joined forces to help a 12-year-old cancer patient  dubbed “Jimmy” to protect his privacy. Einar “Jimmy”  Gustafson longed for a television set so he could watch his favorite baseball team — the Boston Braves. He was selected to speak on a national radio program, “Truth or Consequences,” in 1948, which was broadcast from the boy’s hospital room. During the broadcast, the host spoke to the young cancer patient from his Hollywood studio as Braves players crowded into Jimmy’s hospital room in Boston. The show ended with a plea for listeners to send donations so Jimmy could get his TV set. Not only did Jimmy get his wish, but more than $200,000 was collected in one year to support  cancer research conducted by Dr. Sydney Farber. The Jimmy Fund was born. 

The ” 2010 Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day” was a great success with hundreds of thousands raised for the cause. Dreams did come true in the process for all those batters, fielders and also for myself- the Yawkey Way scalper- for the day. 

Kasey McCarthy, CPCU
Andrew G. Gordon, Inc.  

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