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🌟 ⚾ Cannon Ballers Swing Big for a Special Cause

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Starry Night is a full day of activities including a 5K, evening ballgame, silent auction, lantern ceremony, and fireworks!

Saturday, August 19th is a big day at Atrium Health Ballpark as the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers offer a full lineup of activities to raise funds and awareness for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Last year, this event brought together children, parents, families, and friends currently fighting the battle, while also raising over $30,000 of direct support for children across the nation.

A One-of-a-Kind Community Event

Starry Night is a one-of-a-kind event in professional sports and is deeply embraced by the surrounding community. General Manager Matt Millward first started making plans for it while he was working for the Charlotte Knights prior to joining the Cannon Ballers organization.

He was involved with a fundraiser there called Clips for the Cure which included shaving their heads for the cause! During a celebration dinner, he first heard about Starry Night which was a fundraiser primarily based around a community walk.

  • But Matt had a unique vision for what Starry Night has become in Kannapolis…with lanterns lighting up the entire field. The one-of-a-kind event was nominated as a finalist for best community event by MILB in 2022.

Highlight of the Evening

The signature moment of Starry Night is a post-game lantern ceremony in which different color lanterns light up the entire baseball field to represent children that have been impacted by brain tumors. The lantern ceremony is based on the premise of lighting one of three different colored lanterns.

  • 💙 Blue lanterns are the first color to get lit and are placed on the pitcher’s mound. These lanterns represent the group of children that tragically lost their battle to a brain tumor. Prior to having the families in attendance walk their lanterns out to the field, a family member addresses the crowd to discuss their child’s battle. [Watch the moving comments from families from last year’s event.]
  • 💛 Yellow lanterns representing all children and families currently fighting the battle, are placed around the pitcher’s mound.
  • 🤍 The final group of lanterns that are lit are white in color and represent any member of the community that supports the cause. These lanterns are spread throughout the entire outfield and are placed by all the Cannon Ballers players and coaching staff.

You can donate and purchase a lantern online for $10 even if you can’t make the game that night to show your support for these families. Last year, in total, over 1,000 lanterns were purchased by fans and team supporters.

Shooting Star 5K

In addition to raising monetary support through lantern sales and an in-game memorabilia auction, the Cannon Ballers are hosting their second annual “Shooting Star 5K” on the morning of the baseball game. Last year, over 300 runners participated in the race raising an additional $8,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

  • The race begins outside of Atrium Health Ballpark and loops through downtown Kannapolis, Village Park, and eventually finishes on home plate of the baseball diamond. Each registration also includes a performance race t-shirt and a Concourse Pass ticket to the Starry Night game that evening.

👟 The Shooting Star 5K begins at 9am and finishes on the field with a lap around the bases including home plate!

🎆 Get tickets for the Starry Night baseball game vs the Carolina Mudcats at 7pm with post-game fireworks. A special lantern ceremony follows the game that honors families fighting the battle and shows that our entire community is behind them in support.

Players will wear special uniforms during the game that will then be auctioned off, with all funds going to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Watch the Cannon Ballers Facebook and Instagram pages for more information about the auction.


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!