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Rizzo's 'Cook-Off' event raises more than $1M

Proceeds benefit Cubs first baseman's cancer-research foundation
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- It was a night where fans could come fill their stomachs and empty their wallets as their generosity benefited the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in its fifth annual "Cook-Off for Cancer."

The Cubs first baseman's foundation seeks to raise money for cancer research and provide support to children and their families battling the disease. Ten days removed from the foundation donating $3.5 million to Lurie Children's Hospital, the Thursday night event raised more than $1 million in proceeds for the foundation.

CHICAGO -- It was a night where fans could come fill their stomachs and empty their wallets as their generosity benefited the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in its fifth annual "Cook-Off for Cancer."

The Cubs first baseman's foundation seeks to raise money for cancer research and provide support to children and their families battling the disease. Ten days removed from the foundation donating $3.5 million to Lurie Children's Hospital, the Thursday night event raised more than $1 million in proceeds for the foundation.

Cubs in the community

The sold-out event in Chicago's West Loop featured exquisite offerings from 18 local restaurants where Cubs players helped serve food and pour drinks for those in attendance. Attendees had the opportunity to donate in numerous ways, including bidding on one-of-a-kind items in a silent auction or by tipping their favorite Cubs player.

Tweet from @Cubs: The team served up some amazing food tonight so @RizzoFoundation can serve up help to patients in need. $1.1 million raised! #CookOff pic.twitter.com/165zoyMWKx

The night concluded with a live auction that followed a speech and video presentation from Rizzo. Kyle Schwarber got in on the fun, bidding on a half-hour hitting lesson with Kris Bryant and Rizzo -- an experience that eventually sold for $16,000.

"I can't believe this is the fifth Cook-Off for Cancer," Rizzo said in his address to the crowd. "It feels like yesterday when the Cubs Charities came together and we were putting this together."

A sense of camaraderie was present between the Cubs players and those who attended the event as the selfies, handshakes and hugs were plentiful throughout the night. Rizzo graciously thanked the crowd toward the end of his address, saying the foundation wouldn't be able to do what it does for the cancer patients without their continued support and generosity.

"It's just amazing that with your guys' support we're making pledges like that. I couldn't even imagine that five years ago. So thank you to all you guys." Rizzo said to a large round of applause.

Jake Nesbitt is a Real-Time Correspondent for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo