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Davis, teammates raise funds to fight bone cancer

NEW YORK -- After speaking with Mets first baseman Ike Davis, country music star Lee Brice already had the perfect opening song for this year's "A Night with Ike Davis" cancer fundraiser. Like many, he didn't know much about Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Both Brice and Davis decided to set the mood early.

"It's a little sad that they're so underfunded for really specific [cancer] like what this charity's for," Brice said. "I think they're ready to have a good time. They want to bring the mood up so we're going to start with a song called 'Four on the Floor' so they can get down and dirty."

Even if Brice's blaring performance, the gourmet hors d'oeuvres, or the prize raffles weren't enough to pack out Ike Davis' cancer fundraiser Sunday night, there were still the strong drinks from some special guest bartenders.

Rookie pitcher Matt Harvey was one of the Mets called up to do work behind the bar. He had a short learning curve, but got some solid tips.

"[The real bartenders] are helping us out, they're doing a good job trying to teach us everything," Harvey said. "We're doing it for a good cause, Ike set up a really good thing. We also thought it would be fun to come out with the team, everybody's here."

David Wright, Jon Niese, and Mike Baxter were just a few of the Mets players logging hours behind the bar as others signed merchandise and posed for pictures with ticketholders. It was another success in honor of Mike Lio, a friend and teammate of Davis' who passed after his battle with the disease.

"He passed away in 2009, he was 22," Davis said. "I always thought that in memory of him I would start a charity so hopefully I could raise some money and maybe help a family, or [help doctors learn] a little more about it so they could diagnose it sooner."

This year's concert was held at New York's City Winery in partnership with the Solving Kids' Cancer and the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. The inaugural event raised $60,000 and through some key upgrades, Davis hopes to break the mark.

"I added a little flare," Davis said. "Last year it was kind of depressing. It was me talking about Mike and all the negative things. This year it's more of a celebration and I hope everyone has a blast."

That "everyone" included his drink-pouring teammates. Davis said some quality time with his teammates away from the diamond is important.

"It's team bonding," Davis said. "Having a beer and maybe dancing a little bit and letting go of the struggles that we've had. We're clearing the slate for a good cause."

Ike Davis, Matt Harvey