Ozzie set to host 'Salsa and Stars'
Charity fundraising event to be held Monday, Sept. 13
BOSTON -- Ozzie Guillen is about to embark on a first-time experience in Chicago, coming after two decades spent as part of the White Sox organization.
The White Sox manager will be hosting "Salsa and Stars with Ozzie Guillen & Friends," the inaugural event bringing together Chicago White Sox Charities and The Ozzie Guillen Foundation. This charitable endeavor takes place on Monday, Sept. 13, one day before the White Sox play host to Minnesota at U.S. Cellular Field in what could be a season-deciding three-game series.
Guillen has been putting on this sort of event for the last eight years in Venezuela.
"It's going to be pretty special," said Guillen of this exciting evening, befitting of his high-energy style.
"This event will be a lot of fun," the White Sox manager continued with a smile. "It's going to be like having a Mexican party in your house."
Numerous White Sox players and coaches are scheduled to attend, as well as other dignitaries from the city, for a night of fundraising to help families and children in crisis served by White Sox Charities and The Ozzie Guillen Foundation. Festivities run from 6:30-10 p.m. CT at the River East Arts Center in downtown Chicago, and tickets are available.
As one would imagine through an event involving Guillen, this night will be a little different than your average fundraiser. For example, a jam session featuring Salsa icons and Guillen friends such as Ruben Blades, Tito Nieves, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Ocho Y Mas stands as the centerpiece of the evening.
"There will be a lot of good things going on," Guillen said. "You can mingle with players, have a few drinks and listen to very, very good musicians.
"You are not going to sit at a table and just listen to people. If you want to dance, then dance. If you want to drink, you drink. We have some great things on the silent [and live] auctions. It's nothing very formal, but I know people are going to have fun."
Guillen credited White Sox director of community relations Christine O'Reilly and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez for helping him refine this idea for the fundraiser. It's a way for Guillen to give back to those less fortunate, something he already has been doing for years, but now in a more formal way in Chicago.
"From the bottom of my heart, this is something I want to do," Guillen said. "One thing about it, I feel blessed by God to give me healthy kids and a healthy family. One of the things I can do for the community is help out."
And with the addition of Manny Ramirez to the White Sox, "Salsa and Stars" just might have received an extra boost of star power for a star-studded lineup.
"My wife asked me if I'm happy about Manny [coming aboard]," Guillen said. "I said, 'Yeah, because now more people will come to my event.'"
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.