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Dirtbags Opening Weekend Filled "With Purpose"

The LBSU Dirtbags Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 Helps Conquer Childhood Cancer

Image Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics

The enticing aroma of peanuts and cracker jack linger in the cool spring air. Spirits run high as families and friends fill the stands to the soundtrack of excited chatter and popping popcorn, donning their prized Dirtbags attire. At long last, baseball season has returned at Blair Field.

Opening weekend is no trivial affair for the community of Long Beach. The arrival of baseball season ushers with it warm memories of comfort food and beer, and of friendships and neighborly bonds formed over a shared love of the game.

But this opening weekend won’t be your usual opening weekend. This weekend, the Dirtbags need the support of the Long Beach community more than ever as they face off against their most fearsome opponent yet: childhood cancer.

The Long Beach State Dirtbags have partnered with nonprofit organization With Purpose to host “Play With Purpose,” a community baseball event dedicated to striking out childhood cancer, on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Blair Field.

Beginning at 11 a.m. “Play With Purpose” will be a day of family-friendly fun for a charitable cause, featuring games, food and, of course, plenty of baseball. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to With Purpose, a youth and community-led movement dedicated to advancing childhood cancer treatment research.

“Sunday’s game will be a special event combining the Dirtbags opening weekend with the LBSU student-led campaign for nonprofit With Purpose, dedicated to conquering childhood cancer,” said LBSU Director of Marketing Kelli Gill. “It’s our hope that the Long Beach community will rally around this important event, much like they do our baseball team and raise awareness for childhood cancer research.”

Through this partnership, the Dirtbags and With Purpose hope to shed light on the issues

surrounding childhood cancer while raising funds for With Purpose, and encouraging the Long Beach community to take action on this cause.

To kick off the special game, a patient of the Jonathan Jacques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach has been invited to throw the first pitch, and the National Anthem will be sung by Miranda Harrison, a childhood cancer advocate.

The community event will also feature a special “VIP” (“Very Important Purpose”) area with a caricature artist, games and lunch catered by Naples Rib Company. In the “VIP” area, guests can enjoy a view of the game from the third base line while learning about ways to help in the fight to help childhood cancer.

Following the game, families are invited to take their children to the VIP area where they can access the field and run the bases. The first 40 children to sign up to run the bases at the With Purpose table will get a free t-shirt.

Childhood cancer research is vastly underfunded in the United States. In 2016, the National Cancer Institute designated roughly 4 percent of its research budget to childhood cancer, according to the institute’s annual report, and only three cancer treatments have been approved for children in the last 30 years. Compare that to more than 100 new treatments for adult cancer in the first six months of 2017.

With Purpose supports children battling cancer by identifying and investing in initiatives that advance research for childhood cancer treatment. With Purpose believes every child battling cancer should have access to safe and effective treatment options.

“The With Purpose mission is powered by community-led efforts just like ‘Play With Purpose’,” said Bianca Granado, leader of the LBSU student-led campaign for With Purpose. “We’re incredibly proud of the Long Beach community for stepping up to the plate and helping strike out childhood cancer.”

Tickets for “Play With Purpose” are $10 each. For every ticket purchased through the below link, $5 will go to With Purpose.

To purchase tickets, visit


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