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Cubs star Anthony Rizzo: Cook-Off for Cancer in Chicago raises $1.35 million

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s sixth annual Cook-Off for Cancer on Wednesday evening sold out within an hour. It’s the hottest ticket in town for Cubs fans, and all the event proceeds benefit children battling cancer.

“This event is amazing,” Rizzo said. “Walking in the door, I think we’ve raised close to a million dollars if not over just to start.”

By the end of the night, the foundation raised $1.35 million dollars.

Morgan Manufacturing in the West Loop was filled with 17 of Rizzo’s favorite Chicago restaurants. All of them were creating their own spin on ballpark food to be served by some of the Cubs’ biggest stars.

For the players, raising money at this event turns into a competition.

Each player is paired with a different restaurant, and at the end of the night, the table with the most tips wins. Last year, Kyle Schwarber earned the most tips for the charity. This year, Rizzo put his money on Kris Bryant.

“He’s always the hot ticket,” Rizzo said.

The support from his teammates does not go unnoticed by the Cubs’ first baseman. The most important aspect of the night, Rizzo said, is the assistance he is able to extend to families with children affected by cancer.

“We never want a family to have to choose between paying a medical bill or saving their kid’s life,” Rizzo said.

The Cubs players, which included Schwarber, Bryant and Ben Zobrist, came into the cook-off on a high note, completing a sweep of the Marlins earlier in the day. Once they walked in the room, baseball was the last thing on the minds of Rizzo and his teammates.

“What we’re doing here is raising so much money for these kids and families,” Rizzo said. “It puts baseball on the back burner for the night.”