Anthony Rizzo is known for two signature Chicago fundraisers, but when asked his preference between Laugh-Off for Cancer and Wednesday night’s Cook-Off for Cancer, he didn’t have to think long before choosing.
“I like this one better. I like to eat,” said Rizzo, who hosted the sixth annual mixer and charity auction at Morgan Manufacturing in the Fulton Market neighborhood. “The Laugh-Off’s fun; it’s just different. It’s in the offseason; this is during the year. Guys come, and they generally like it.”
The “guys” would be the Cubs first baseman’s teammates, who served food and drinks for tip money that goes to the charity. Kyle Schwarber earned the most in tips last year, but Rizzo was placing his bet on Kris Bryant to take top honors this time.
“He’s always the hot ticket,” Rizzo said.
Maddon, Joe Namath and Yu Darvish donated jerseys for the auction, and Luke Bryan and Pearl Jam gave guitars. An autographed World Series ball and a “W” flag that also was signed by Cubs players each had staring bids of $2,500.
The money goes toward pediatric cancer research and financial support for families.
“We’re growing this foundation. … We never want a family to choose between paying a medical bill and saving a kid’s life,” said Rizzo, a cancer survivor himself after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008.
Last year’s event raised $1.1 million.