Monday, May 29th, 2017

Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region Northeastern Ohio “Community Leader of the Year Award Dinner”

Resilient. That word was used repeatedly to describe Terry Francona, manager of the Cleveland Indians, who was honored by the Arthritis Foundation as its Community Leader of the Year.

The award dinner at the Cleveland Marriott was attended by some 175 guests who had cocktails while bidding on the silent auction featuring Indians memorabilia such as baseballs signed by Terry’s father Tito Francona and Jim Thome; a bat signed by Jason Kipnis; and the 1937 team roster with a rare signature of then-manager Steve O’Neill. Live auction items were Terry’s #17 signed jersey, an Indians flag that flew over Terminal Tower, and the first ceremonial pitch plus box seats at the April 29 Indians vs. Royals game.

WKYC’s Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling was emcee for the program that included videos of the “Faces of Arthritis,” and congratulatory remarks by Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro. Bob Hale conducted the live auction preceded by raising over $4,500 in pledges for Key-to-the-Cure. Chris Antonetti, Indians executive vice president and general manager, cited Terry Francona’s “authenticity, humility and passion, and being a great and extraordinary example of resilience despite daunting numerous surgeries with nearly every joint afflicted with arthritis.” Darby Schwartz, AF division vice president, presented the award to Terry Francona who said, “Thank you for gathering to fight for arthritis – there’s no off-season for people with arthritis. It’s easier to be resilient doing the things you love to do!” STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KATHRYN RIDDLE

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