RiverHawks, racing star Patrick team up with MDA
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July 14, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Indy Racing League star Danica Patrick is teaming up with the Rockford RiverHawks to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Patrick will be at RiverHawks Stadium on Tuesday, July 18 for the MDA Crossing the Line Jersey Auction, sponsored by the RiverHawks. The RiverHawks will take the field that night in jerseys modeled after the Roscoe native’s racing suit.

Immediately following the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off to fans, with proceeds going to the MDA. Patrick will autograph each jersey sold at auction.

“I am very excited to come back to my hometown and participate in the RiverHawks’ jersey auction,” Patrick said.

Last year’s auction raised $6,000.

“Danica is the most noteworthy athlete to come out of the Rock River Valley in quite some time,” RiverHawks general manager Josh Olerud said. “It will be a thrill to have her in attendance at the new stadium. In addition to drawing some very generous supporters of the MDA, we hope to develop crossover appeal to the non-traditional fan by showing racing fans just how exciting our games are.

“We hope to be one the MDA’s largest contributors this year.”

The game begins at 7:05 p.m. From 5-6 p.m., Patrick will sign copies of her book, “Danica: Crossing the Line.” Her merchandise trailer will be at the stadium as well.

Season-ticket buyers will have exclusive access to Patrick.

“By buying your season ticket before opening day, you will be guaranteed to be part of a greet session with Danica Patrick in an exclusive area in the stadium during that game,” Olerud said.

The third annual RiverHawks-MDA event will be supported by a pre-event fundraiser on June 27. The MDA Lockup will be a baseball-themed event held at RiverHawks Stadium.

Patrick was named the 2005 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after a stellar month of May in which she both qualified and finished fourth – the best performance by a female driver in Indy 500 history. Patrick, the first female to take the lead in that race, led for 19 laps. Patrick became the first Indy car driver to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 20 years when she appeared on the front of the June 5, 2005 edition. She appeared on 11 other magazine covers, including TV Guide and ESPN the Magazine. She clinched the Bombardier IRL Indy Car Series Rookie of the Year award at Watkins Glen last September 25. She was Yahoo’s third-most searched female athlete in 2005 and is featured in People magazine as one of the world’s 100 most-beautiful people for 2006.

The season starts at 11:35 a.m. Wednesday, May 24 at Windy City. Opening Day at RiverHawks Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 10-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 14th season in 2006. Advertising, ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 964-2255. All games are broadcast live on WRHL-FM, 102.3 – the Hub and online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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