It was a no-brainer for Ken Singleton. “I was a teammate of Mark Belanger who died of cancer. He was the most organized teammate I’ve ever been around. He was one of our team leaders and when [his son Rob] Robbie came up with this idea [Cool Kids Campaign] I said why not. Anything I can do to help any cause that has to do with cancer, I’ll do.”
What Singleton is eluding to is why he’s involved. And on this chilly Saturday night, he’s behind the bar at Hightopps Grille serving customers. Singleton was an Oriole from 1975-1984 and is a current broadcaster for the New York Yankees.
But don’t get mad O’s fans, Singleton was born in New York. When asked why he chose to go to the Yankees to broadcast, that was a no-brainer as well. ”They offered me a job and the Orioles didn’t!” he said.
Singleton had his work cut out for him because Hightopps was packing in a good crowd. He did have some help behind the bar in another former Oriole, Dave Johnson who has that familiar voice. He does the pre- and post-game shows on WHFS for the Orioles and serves a color analyst for MASN. This Baltimore native was an Oriole pitcher for the better part of three seasons.
Johnson is more than happy to do his part for The Cool Kids Campaign and The Belanger-Federico Foundation. “It’s great! Every thing they do…it’s so cool because they go in and give a kid a hot meal to instead of having them eat hospital food all the time,” he said.
While Johnson and Singleton doled out the spirits, there was a silent auction and a raffle for a flat-screen television. Between the raffle and the silent auction, $2,000 was made, according to Sharon Perfetti, co-founder and Executive Director for Cool Kids.
Shirley Helinski was there to show her support while donning her Ravens gear. ”I’m here to help 100% for the children. I like helping out,” she noted. Incidentally, Helinski also knows Baltimore football and was pumped for the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. As many people were.
Scott Comegys was also in attendance to show his support for the Cool Kids and his friend- Singleton. ”It’s about the kids, we need to support the next generation of children. They’re going to be our next generation and if we don’t help them through their tragedies, where will that leave us?”
This was the first time the organization has done anything of this nature. Perfetti said that due to the economy, they are doing more affordable things. We all got to eat, right? So what better way: grab a bite and some cheer, meet new people, all for the cause.
“We are so happy with how it went! The bartenders were so much fun and the turnout was great,” Perfetti lamented. And she was right. In the end, Hightopps gave the Cool Kids Campaign $4,000 from proceeds throughout the night. A successful and painless fundraiser, indeed.
To learn more about the Cool Kids Campaign visit: http://www.bfpf.org/cool-kids-campaign/index.shtml. Or if you’d like to be inspired, download the latest edition of the Cool Kids Connection.