One of my favorite charity events is the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge, which is held every June in Nashville, Tenn. Country music fans purchase tickets for this softball game, which hosts a variety of different country music stars, television stars and athletes.
Celebrities like Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Vince Gill have all came out in support of the California-based City of Hope charity and played in the non-profit game benefitting one of the the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the world.
Fans fill Herschel Greer Stadium in the dead heat of the summer just to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars swinging a bat or sliding into home plate.
I attended my first celebrity softball challenge seven years ago and it is crazy to think about how much the event has changed since then.
When you attend an event like this, you are given the opportunity to see some of your favorite celebrities in an element that you never have before.
For example, I learned that Lauren Alaina is the biggest talker on the field and that Carrie Underwood is an excellent second baseman.
The stars separate into two teams: the Opry team, sponsored by the Grand Ole Opry and the After Midnite team sponsored by the After Midnite with Blair Garner Radio Show.
Before, after and during the game, the stars walk down the sides of the field and sign as many autographs and take as many pictures with fans as possible.
I was lucky enough to have talked to Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, Love & Theft and even last summer, Eric Decker of the Denver Broncos, and his wife, musician Jessie James Decker.
This is one of the best opportunities for fans to get up close and personal with their favorite stars as well as helping promote an amazing charity.
It’s also pretty entertaining to see stars be just as uncoordinated at softball as I have always been, but in the spirit of sportsmanship, keep a smile on their faces.
Column by Breanna Sill, Assistant Features Editor