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Yankees conclude HOPE Week with Childrens Alopecia Project

The Yankees ended HOPE Week on Friday at the New York Botanical Garden, where the team honored the Childrens Alopecia Project (CAP).

Started in 2004 by Jeff and Betsy Woytovich, CAP has three goals: building self-esteem, providing support and raising awareness. Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack hair follicles, affects about four million Americans.

At the Garden, former and current Yankees including Alex Rodriguez, Raul Ibanez, Darryl Strawberry, David Wells and Joe Girardi surprised the children and participated in scavenger hunts and face painting among other activities.

"No matter what their conditions are, they're able to be who they are and have fun just as normally as anybody else," Strawberry said of the kids. "Former players or current players, no matter how successful you get, these little kids are the most important thing and they always will be."

Ivan Nova also shared his thoughts on giving back to the community during HOPE Week.

After a day of fun in the sun, the children of CAP and their families were invited back to Yankee Stadium to watch batting practice, participate in pregame ceremonies and see their new friends square off against the White Sox.

--Matthew Latimer