ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He might be a World Series Champion, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots. Soon, Kenny Giles will attend a dinner to help raise funds for two important causes for the Rio Grande High School community
The baseball field at Rio Grande High School is empty. The season gets underway in just over a month and the Lopez family can’t wait. The off-season has been tough for them.
“In September, I was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer,” Jerry Lopez said.
Lopez has helped manage and coach the team for years. His three sons have also played on the team.
Since his cancer diagnosis, Lopez, the family’s main provider, has been unable to work.
“So [I’m] trying very hard to get back to work but it’s been difficult, it’s been hard,” he said.
In less than two weeks, Houston Astros player and former Rio Grande High School baseball standout Kenny Giles will attend a dinner and auction with part of the proceeds going to the Lopez family.
“I can’t tell you what it means to our family right now especially the difficult time that we’re having,” Lopez said.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will also go to the Romero family to help keep their son Martin’s memory alive.
“Martin was a baseball player for Rio Grande High School,” John Romero explained. Martin was a freshman when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“He did everything all the way to his last days to the fullest and he fought hard against cancer and cancer won,” said Romero.
Since his passing, the Romero’s have offered a memorial scholarship to Rio Grande High School athletes.
Romero says “hopefully they go on to do better and bigger things and come back to help the community” like the now-major league pitcher and World Series Champ, Kenny Giles.
The Strike Out Cancer Charity Dinner Event with Kenny Giles is set for Friday, January 12th at the Wool Warehouse from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are per person are $45 and $300 per table. Tickets are still available.
For more information, contact Michelle Lopez at 264-5806 or Cindy Romero at 604-5974.