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Trio of Rays items part of Stand Up To Cancer auction

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Time for Rays fans to Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) by bidding on some exciting prizes and opportunities tailor-made for their enjoyment while at the same time helping a worthwhile cause.

Baseball's Winter Meetings this week include an Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer, which MLB has supported since 2008 as founding sponsor. Public relations representatives from all 30 clubs were inspired to act based on individual club members impacted by the disease, and they jointly organized the auction, which will be officially announced at a news conference on Monday in Lake Buena Vista with MLB staff.

Bidding closes at 10 p.m. ET on Thursdsay with 80 baseball-related experiences ranging from private pitching and batting lessons with players to lunches with general managers to team bus rides and meet-and-greets with Hall of Fame players.

Last year's special auction during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., raised $152,700 for SU2C.

No person, family or organization is immune from cancer, and the Rays are certainly no exception.

Shortly before last year's Winter Meetings, the organization mourned with farm director Mitch Lukevics, who lost his wife, Karen, to a rare form of ovarian cancer. And this past season, the Rays family offered its support to left-hander Cesar Ramos and his fiancée, Melanie McCauley, who has been battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. Happily, Ramos reported that Melanie is doing well. The couple plans to get married in January.

Here's a look at what the Rays will be auctioning:

Four tickets and four pregame field passes to a mutually agreed upon 2014 Rays home or road game, and the opportunity to meet to manager Joe Maddon and your favorite Rays player.

Two lower-box tickets and two pregame field passes to a Rays 2014 home game, the opportunity to sit in during manager Maddon's pregame session with the Rays' radio/TV announcers and the opportunity to ask the first question at Maddon's pregame press conference.

A personalized Rays game uniform and the opportunity to take batting practice with the team for one Rays Spring Training home game (16 and over). Four tickets and pregame field passes for others in party.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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