BOSTON -- A day before kicking off their second half of the season against the rival Yankees, more than half of the Red Sox team took the night to focus on giving back to the Boston community.
At least 13 members of the current team assembled about a block away from Fenway Park to show their support for teammate Clay Buchholz in the first annual Buchholz Bowl, an event which raised money for kids with cancer.
A sold-out Lucky Strike Lanes just down the street from Fenway served as the venue as kids bowled alongside and spent time with current and former members of the Red Sox, including David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, John Lackey and Jon Lester.
The event featured a bowling tournament, silent and live auctions, food and beverage service, as well as an awards ceremony with all proceeds from the event benefitting the Clay Buchholz Foundation.
"Awesome turnout," Buchholz said. "Obviously the first time I've done something like this and it turned out great."
Autographed memorabilia from all of Boston's professional sports franchises was featured in the private auction as well as a trip to see the Red Sox play the Yankees in New York City and a trip to Maui, Hawaii.
Sponsorships for the private event ranged from $5,000 to $50,000 for bowling opportunities and $200 for tickets.
Members of the Red Sox captained teams at each of the lanes.
"Pretty much par for the course about how professional and personal this ballclub is," outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "That's pretty much how tight this whole team is. Clay's having a fundraiser? Boom. Twenty-five guys come."
Buchholz kicked off the bowling by helping some of the younger kids at the event throw their bowling ball down a lane as cameras flashed and everyone watched.
They were shy at first, but it didn't take long for them to warm up to the Red Sox right-hander.
"It's funny how kids are," Buchholz said. "They're really shy at first and then they have a good time doing something and then they respond a little bit differently than they did at first. It's a great event. Definitely makes it better when you got the kids here having fun."
Buchholz's foundation, which was co-founded by his wife, Lindsay, chose to give the money from the event to local charities, including Christopher's Haven, which provides comfortable, supportive living spaces for children and their families while they are going through treatment for cancer at local hospitals.
"We've talked about doing this for such a long time. Cancer has been so important to us because we know so many people affected by cancer, especially children. It's heartbreaking," Lindsay Buchholz said. "Once we saw those kids at Christopher's Haven and actually get to see what they're doing there that they're saving lives, we knew this was the right place."
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com.