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A's serve root beer floats for good cause

OAKLAND -- Manager Bob Melvin and several members of the A's, both current and former, took time before Wednesday's series finale against the Reds to participate in the team's 14th annual MUG Root Beer Float Day.

Participants included reliever Ryan Cook and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes -- who were joined by former players, including two-time American League MVP Frank Thomas, David Justice and Jermaine Dye -- to serve root beer floats in the Eastside Club.

Admission to the event was free with a ticket to the day's game, with proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"Baseball does such a great job, [with] each of the teams having events like this to create awareness and raise money," said Melvin, whose daughter, Alexi, has been affected by juvenile diabetes. "I'm for anything like that, and doubly so because of my daughter."

Thomas described the quality of the floats as "excellent," adding that the event ranks among his favorites in which to participate.

The event, which raised more than $24,000 last year, brought in $32,000 this year and has totaled more than $385,000 since 2003.

"God blessed me with a platform, so I feel like it's my duty to use that platform to reach out and help other people," said cornerback Chimdi Chekwa of the Oakland Raiders, who also participated. "All these fans support us, so why not give them some support back by helping out the community?"

Jane Lee is a reporter for Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for
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