Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins made an appearance in Rockford on Thursday as the keynote speaker at a local charity event.
K Cancer Baseball is a Rockford charitable organization committed to assisting Stateline families affected by childhood cancer, working to assist with medical and travel expenses through fundraisers and travel baseball tournaments. K Cancer Baseball's Gold Ribbon Gala at Giovanni's on Thursday featured an auction and merchandise sale geared towards their 2016 budget.
Illinois State Senator Dave Syverson delivered opening remarks, followed by K Cancer Baseball's youth advisors, with Jenkins as the featured guest. The Ontario native was the first Canadian inducted into Cooperstown in 1991, and is a member of the 3,000-strikeout club and a Cy Young winner.
"Cancer is a terrible disease. My mother died of cancer young, she was 52," said Jenkins, in an interview with the 13 Sports Authority. "Anything my foundation that I have in Canada, any time we support a certain charity, I'm welcome to do it. These ballplayers should understand that, what they're doing is part of that organization. I played for so long in the Cubs organization, this is basically Cub Country, Rockford, Illinois, would I like to do it, and I said sure, I'd be glad to."