Roger Maris All-Star Week Focuses on Legacy Beyond Baseball
For 38 years, the Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament has raised funds in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Over the past two years, however, Roger Maris All-Star Week has expanded the mission, adding youth sports clinics, family events and more to strengthen the Maris family legacy and raise funds for the Roger Maris Cancer Center.
“I think Dad would be thrilled to see where he is and how he’s grown and where the community has really wanted him to grow. So we’re proud of that,” Kevin Maris said.
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Pass the torch
This year, Sanford Health and the Maris family itself began passing the torch to the next generation with multiple new initiatives, including the Maris Academy, led by Roger Maris’ granddaughter, Jazz Maris Naglee.
“We bring together a group of teenagers and the objective is to give them skills, to help them develop a vision of their future career in their life. So help them identify their strengths and weaknesses and explore a variety of different career paths they could pursue after high school, whether that’s going into business (or) going to college,” Maris Naglee said.
Just as this new program aims to help young people find their future, Roger Maris Jr. sees his daughter’s first year in All-Star Week as the future of his family’s involvement in the Fargo area. , North Dakota.
“She never met my dad. Having this event here over the years has been cool for her to hear about her grandfather’s legacy,” Maris Jr. said. “But now we’re getting older and they are coming. So we have a lot of people who can continue that legacy. And I hope that will continue and grow and that the cancer center will continue to thrive and do amazing things.”
Something new at the Roger Maris Cancer Center
Another new announcement involved the Roger Maris Cancer Center expanding its bone marrow transplant services, which began last year with an announcement during All-Star Week. This year, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of Phase 2 of the transplants, led by Dr. Seth Maliske and the entire cancer center team.
“In the near future, we will begin allogeneic stem cell transplantation in which other people will serve as donors for patients,” said Dr. Maliske, a hematologist and oncologist at Sanford Fargo. “Stem cell transplantation, I think, was the final piece of the puzzle to make us truly complete and able to treat all cancers at all stages of the cancer journey.”
Bone marrow transplants have already saved lives in Fargo, allowing patients to receive treatment closer to home, something even some celebrities can relate to.
“I have personal experience with this,” said Chad Greenway, a former Viking from Minnesota and a native of South Dakota. “My dad had a bone marrow transplant in Rochester. It was 2012-13, and the commitment of having to drive (was) a hardship on our family. The cost, the hotels, not being near back home. I mean, everything is just hard. So if you live in Minot and you need to get a transplant, you don’t go to the (twinned) towns. You don’t go to Omaha or any other place that can do it.You are here in your area.
Legacy Beyond Baseball
Across the country, Roger Maris will forever be remembered for his home run record, but here in Fargo, his legacy continues to grow beyond the game.
“The fact that they have been able to perpetuate his memory for 38 years now here with this event, and all the good things that have come out of it, it is very significant,” added Paul Molitor, member of the Hall of Fame of the Major League Baseball.
“I think my dad would be really proud to see where he is today. We have had many children over the years, and that they have the same interest and passion for helping the community, raising money for charities and the Roger Maris Cancer Center is a pleasure for us,” Kevin Maris said.
Posted in Cancer, Community, Fargo, Sports Medicine, Transplantation