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A Multi-talented MVP Who Gives Back

Published: March 7, 2019

There are many celebrities who have a lot of power and influence due to the platform they’re given. So it makes sense that they want to give back to the community, in a positive way. We are fortunate enough to have a diverse blend of artists performing at The Hall and always excited to hear about the self-less missions they have when contributing to a good cause. A great example is Latin GRAMMY® nominated jazz musician and Yankees' legend Bernie Williams. In honor of Bernie's father passing away from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a portion of ticket sale proceeds (from his March 2019 performance at the intimate Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall) will go to benefit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

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A man of many talents.
First off, did you know Bernie Williams plays the guitar? Not only can the former center fielder perform Sportscenter “Top-10” worthy catches in his prime, Williams can also strum a guitar with the best of them!

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Growing up, his father taught him how to play his favorite past-time and also exposed him to the world of music, which would later become a catalyst in both of his careers.  Following his absence from baseball, he released two jazz albums, The Journey Within and Moving Forward, which scored two Billboard #1 hits.

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We were honored to have Mr. Williams open up for Latin-Jazz fusion artist Basia at Ruth Eckerd Hall back in 2010.

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF, is a serious disease that causes the lungs to become permanently scarred. This scarring makes it difficult to breathe and—eventually—the lungs can’t inhale enough oxygen for the body to function.

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Since, the passing of his father, the four-time World Series Champion become an IPF advocate. Williams wanted to raise awareness about the disease for people who are unaware of its symptoms. Williams created a “fun” philanthropic approach to spreading the message about IPF by creating the Breathless® Blowout experience at Minor League Baseball games.

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During the 2018 baseball season, Bernie rallied fans to blow bubblegum bubbles to help raise awareness of IPF and one of its telltale symptoms—shortness of breath—which can make everyday activities, like blowing gum bubbles, hard for someone living with the disease.

" The Breathless campaign for IPF awareness has been a personal tribute to my dad, who passed away from this horrible disease without a cure. I am thrilled and grateful that the folks at the Murray Theatre and Ruth Eckerd Hall are providing an opportunity for me to share my music and also team up to raise funds for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, who are leaders in support, education and research to help find a cure." - Bernie Williams


How Can You Help?
Bernie encourages his fans to spread the word and to also take next steps by visiting the Breathless IPF website for more information.


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View photos from the Bernie Williams and Friends concert inside the intimate Murray Theatre.