FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester is joining forces with the Jimmy Fund to raise funds for cancer research as part of the fourth annual Rally Against Cancer.
Lester, a cancer survivor, appeared this afternoon in Fort Myers alongside former Red Sox second baseman and Jimmy Fund chairman Mike Andrews to promote this year's event, which encourages fans to partner with their school or company to raise money for the charity.
"Unfortunately, we know what the economy is like right now, and to say that we're not concerned, would not be true," said Andrews. " But cancer does not realize that we're in a recession. We don't want to lose the ground that we are gaining and the enormous strides we are making by not having the funding moving forward. So more than any other time in my 30 years with Dana Farber, we are reaching out and asking people to do everything they can to support us this year, because it's a little bit scary."
But like everything else he's encountered, Lester takes it as a challenge.
"Any time that we can involve the community and raise money for a great cause, not only Jimmy Fund, but with researching cancer in general is always a good thing. Any amount of money that you can give will definitely help out. That being said, I'm a competitive person, and with (Dustin) Pedroia raising over a half-million dollars last year, we're definitely going to try to break his record... That's my goal going into this, get his name off the top of the list and put my name up there."
The top fundraising company or school will receive a visit from Lester. There is a $5 minimum donation and participants are encouraged to wear Sox gear to work or school on opening day at Fenway Park on April 6. For more information on the Rally Against Cancer, visit rallyagainstcancer.org, or contact Mike Deguglielmo at (617) 632-5420.