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'Champions' Challenge' returns this fall

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

Ilitch Charities for Children, along with title sponsor Little Caesars, presents "Champions' Challenge" celebrity softball game at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2006 at Comerica Park. Members of the current Red Wings team will take on Detroit Tigers Alumni, local media and other local celebrities; and an exciting fireworks show will follow the game.

Players currently scheduled to appear include Red Wings fan favorites Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, and Kirk Maltby. Tiger greats slated to participate include Gates Brown, Willie Horton, Mickey Lolich, Bill Freehan, Frank Tanana and Dan Petry.* The first half of the evening double-header will feature Detroit area media personalities in a 5:45 p.m. contest. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.

Proceeds from the 2006 "Champions' Challenge" will help support youth sports and recreation activities throughout Detroit. Half of the event's proceeds will benefit Think Detroit PAL, a local non-profit dedicated to building character in young people. The proceeds from this event will allow Think Detroit PAL to establish a youth hockey program in Detroit and partner with the Youth Sports and Recreation Commission (YSRC) to re-establish the Hometown World Series.

"Giving back in the community is what this event is all about," said David Agius, president of Ilitch Charities for Children. "We want to help provide opportunities for our local youth to enjoy two of our favorite sports in this town - baseball and hockey. Think Detroit PAL is a great organization and we're proud to be associated with them to help children in Detroit."

The "Champions' Challenge" event will also benefit the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Detroit Tigers Foundation and Ilitch Charities for Children (ICC), a non-profit foundation created to improve the well-being of children in the areas of health, recreation and education. All three organizations support a multitude of charitable organizations in the metropolitan Detroit area.

"Little Caesars is very happy to sponsor the 'Champions' Challenge' in 2006 and be part of this great event," said David Scrivano, president, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. "We believe it's important to support programs that provide opportunities for young people and make a difference in the community, and the event itself promises to be a lot of fun for everyone involved."

Tickets for "Champions' Challenge" are on sale now. All seats are general admission for only $10 and can be purchased at the Joe Louis Arena, Fox Theatre and Comerica Park box offices, all Ticketmaster locations including Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, and Hockeytown Cafe on Woodward in Detroit, or by logging on to

"This is a great opportunity to bring the entire family down to the ballpark," said Scrivano. "We'll have softball, celebrities, food, fun and fireworks - a terrific combination in one of the most family-friendly, beautiful ballparks in the country!"

The game will be carried live by WXYT 1270AM and on tape delay by Fox Sports Net Detroit.

*rosters subject to change without notice
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