Ortiz's foundation holds inaugural event in Boston
Fundraiser benefits critical pediatric health care in Dominican Republic
BOSTON -- The first floor of the Four Seasons hotel on Boylston Street was quiet on Monday night.
On the second floor, there was a livelier vibe. Three men played Latin music on drums and an accordion. Masked dancers fully dressed in lavish costumes rolled through the halls. Children ran around asking for autographs.
David Ortiz knows how to throw a party. And when he does, a whole lot of people show up.
"He's huge [in this city]," marveled John Lackey, one of the many teammates in attendance Monday for Ortiz's first charity event in Boston that benefits the David Ortiz Children's Fund, founded in 2006 to provide critical pediatric health care in the Dominican Republic.
His golf tournament in the Dominican is always a hit, but Ortiz wanted to add to it this year.
"It means a lot to me, we have an event in the Dominican every year but a lot of people can't come," he said. "We decided to do something here this year, and as long as we keep on doing things, it's better for the kids."
Individuals paid $1,250 for a VIP ticket to the event or $10,000 for a whole table at the event, which included the usual group of teammates, Red Sox owner John Henry, president and CEO Larry Lucchino, manager John Farrell, pitching coach Juan Nieves, former Bruins player Derek Sanderson, comedian Lenny Clarke and even Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a Massachusetts native who has been seen at many of the Red Sox's charity events this year. All proceeds go to the Children's Fund.
"A lot of kids have heart surgeries and it's really expensive," Ortiz said. "We wanted to find a way to raise funds for them."
The Ortiz Children's Fund has netted over $1.5 million and provided over 200 children with life-saving heart surgery in the Dominican Republic alone. In 2008, Ortiz partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to help save children's lives locally as well.
Ortiz will be hosting his Celebrity Golf Classic from Dec. 12-15 in the Dominican Republic.
Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.