2011 ziMS Night At The Park

Unfazed by the encircling throng closing in around him, many containing easily recognizable Nationals players, my son soaked up every card flip and mind game David Blaine used on guests Thursday night. Serving as Blaine’s apprentice for the night, Little Chat’s face remained serious while he concentrated on every amazing illusion, completely oblivious to the laughing flabbergasted crush of bodies surrounding them. As the night wore on, he dutifully doled out fresh packs of cards on request to his famous mentor for the night. By the evening’s end, he beamed after successfully pulling off some tricks of his own on VIP members. Little Chat didn’t even seem to mind the suit jacket I had him wear.

Thursday night, Ryan Zimmerman held his ziMS Foundation’s second annual “Night At The Park” at Nationals Park. The event is held to raise money for multiple sclerosis treatment and research, among other programs designed to benefit those afflicted and affected by the disease. As you probably know, Ryan’s mother has MS and it has long been a fact in their family. Through family members and volunteers, Zimmerman’s ziMS Foundation really seems to be taking off toward its mission, which obviously is ongoing until a cure is found.

Many of those helping put on Thursday night’s program have a personal connection to MS as well, such as the “Batting Stance Guy” who emceed the program and country singer Rodney Atkins, performing a concert in front of the Presidents Club following the live auction. Many players were in attendance showing support for Zim’s cause and even bid on silent and live auction items, but there was no sprinting to the stage by Coffey to claim his prize.

The reason Little Chat had the privilege of apprenticeship? We attended last year’s inaugural Night At The Park and won a live auction for a child to spend a day with him and Ryan Zimmerman. As luck would have it, we worked a little magic to match up Blaine and the apprenticeship during the 2nd annual event. I couldn’t have been prouder of my boy, and I’m sure it was an experience to remember for a lifetime. Hopefully our donation helped add a little spark to someone’s life affected by MS as well. That’s what the event was all about, after all.