Rizzo raises nearly $1M for cancer patients, earns hometown honor

Tuesday, 05 December 2017, 07:34:50 AM. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has dedicated his time and efforts to giving back during his offseason, and the community has taken notice.

While some MLB players are enjoying tropical vacations during their offseason, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has dedicated his time and efforts to giving back, and the community has taken notice.

Rizzo was presented with the “Mayor’s Medal of Charitable Service” on Sunday at his family foundation’s sixth annual “Walk-off for Cancer” in his hometown of Parkland, Florida.

Mayor Christine Hunschofsky wrote on Twitter that she was “proud to honor the incredible [Rizzo] who does wonderful work & makes a difference in the lives of so many people.” Rizzo is the city’s first ever recipient of the award, which was created to honor Parkland residents for having a great impact on their community.

More than 1,000 participants turned out for Walk-off for Cancer, which raised a record-breaking $960,000 — four-times more than what the event raised in 2015.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has dedicated his time and efforts to giving back during his offseason, and the community has taken notice. | Jon Durr/Getty Images

Over the last three years, Walk-off for Cancer has raised more than $1.7 million for families battling cancer.

The foundation’s annual 5K donates all proceeds to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and it provides grants to families battling cancer.

The 2016 World Champion was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was an 18-year-old minor league player in the Boston Red Sox farm system. He underwent six months of chemotherapy.

Rizzo, now 28, has been in remission since 2008. His family’s foundation, Hope 44, has made it a priority to donate money to cancer research and help families pay for medical bills.

Rizzo has donated $4 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital during his seven seasons with the Cubs.

Last month, Rizzo donated $150,000 to his high school alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to rebuild its baseball and softball diamonds to have more adequate lighting for night games.

Follow me on Twitter: @madkenney

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