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Moyer, Phillies play waiters for charity

Moyer, Phillies play waiters for charity

PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino walked out of the Diamond Club and took in the fans' view from a few rows behind home plate.

"So this is what they see?" asked Victorino.

The role wasn't the only new one the Phillies right fielder experienced Monday night. The majority of the Phillies players were at the swank Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park, where there was food and drink aplenty.

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And the Phillies were serving it.

Jamie Moyer hosted the charity event, which involved fans plopping down $250 a head to be wined and dined by their favorite players. There were also silent and live auctions during which guests could bid on a variety of items.

By the end of the night, the event had raised nearly $250,000 for The Moyer Foundation, which funds Camp Erin, a national network of bereavement camps for children and teens who have lost loved ones.

Camp Erin Philly opened this month. Eleven more are expected to open their doors around the country by the end of next year.

"We realize it's a blessing to give back," Moyer told the large dinner crowd. "Being a professional athlete is pretty cool."

Moyer and his wife, Karen, started the Foundation in 2000. The charity has raised nearly $11 million since it was founded, with the money going to many different organizations, including one for early-detection cancer research.

The "Philly Celebrity Waiters" event was the first since Moyer joined the Phillies last year. As the dinner guests sat anxiously at their tables, an All-Star wait staff emerged from the kitchen area.

Among them were Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Greg Dobbs, Aaron Rowand, Chris Roberson, Adam Eaton, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Bourn, Chase Utley, Geoff Geary, former Phillie Gary Matthews and Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy.

Each donned a white uniform with their signature sewn on the breast pocket. They served food and drink for more than an hour.

Rollins carried entrees, Rowand poured wine from bottles in each hand, and Eaton was busy going back and forth to the bar.

Among the less involved were Bourn, who is still sporting crutches after twisting his ankle against the Cubs, and Utley, who broke his left hand, which was wrapped in a cast.

General manager Pat Gillick, who was at a table sponsored by the Phillies, said he had no qualms about his All-Star second baseman serving.

"He can do whatever he wants," Gillick said with a laugh. "I don't think he has a problem lifting."

The live auction got under way toward the end of the dinner.

A shadow box that included a ball, bat and jersey signed by Howard went for $5,000. Eaton picked up a pair of Penn State-Notre Dame football tickets.

Among the other items auctioned were bats signed by Utley, Rollins and Victorino; a signed Moyer jersey; and a Phillies luxury package for four to an upcoming game.

Guests were then given the opportunity to donate money to send children to Camp Erin. The cost for each child or teen to attend is $500.

Eaton promised $10,000 and Rowand gave $5,000. Gillick also made a donation.

The Moyers used the time during dinner to talk about Camp Erin and its national impact. They also introduced the Olega family, who lost their mother to a car accident 14 months ago and will attend Camp Erin Philly next week.

Gary Pollock, the executive director of The Moyer Foundation, said the Moyers had hosted similar events when Moyer played for Seattle, but that the turnout among Phillies players Monday was higher than any he'd seen.

"It's off the chart," Pollock said. "It says a lot about how they feel about [Moyer] and says a lot about their willingness to support kids in Philadelphia."

Stephen Fastenau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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