White Sox hurler keynotes 4th Annual Phoenix Knuckle Ball

Chicago White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Knuckle Ball in Scottsdale. (Submitted photo)

The annual Phoenix Knuckle Ball: A Pitch for Life Gala will be Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Hyatt Regency – Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch.

The event raises money in support of brain aneurysm, AVM and hemorrhagic stroke research and awareness.

This year’s keynote speaker is Chicago White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar. In April, Mr. Farquhar nearly died from a ruptured brain aneurysm in the dugout after pitching in a game. He has said he is dedicated to recovering and returning to the game.

“I am honored to be the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Knuckle Ball,” Mr. Farquhar stated in a release. “I am looking forward to being a part of the event put on by such a great organization that does so much for others affected by brain aneurysms. My life is forever changed by what happened to me, and I am incredibly blessed to be able to continue to do what I love while sharing my story.”

(Submitted photo)

During the evening, the Patients Choice Award will be given to doctors Felipe C. Albuquerque, Barrow Brain and Spine; Peter J. Sunenshine, Banner Health; Bernard R. Bendok,  Mayo Clinic; and Kerry Knievel, Barrow Neurological Institute.

The Joe Niekro Foundation, which puts on the event, was founded by Natalie Niekro, daughter of 22-year Major League Baseball veteran Joe Niekro, in 2008 after her father’s sudden passing from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

The first Knuckle Ball, named after the pitch that made Mr. Niekro famous, took place in 2009 in Houston.

“Our mission here at the Joe Niekro Foundation is to continue the fight in raising awareness of brain aneurysms, AVM’s and strokes. We are committed to helping develop a network of strength for patients, their families and their caregivers. This journey is long, but we are committed to succeeding,” stated Aimee Hass, director of marketing operations and communications with the Joe Niekro Foundation.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward the advancement and expansion of the foundation’s Patient Services and Education Program, as well as the establishment of a localized clinical research grant for applicants in the Phoenix area.

Tickets start at $300 per person. To purchase tickets or sponsorship packages visit PhoenixKnuckleBall.org or contact Jacqueline Cruz at 480-292-0862.

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