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Ballsfest Brings Its Annual DMB Tailgate Back To The Spa Park

Some 600 guests attended Ballsfest's July 13 event at the birthplace of the nonprofit organization.

(Katie Dobies)
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Five months after its inaugural Late Night Pajama Party at The Adelphi Hotel, Ballsfest has bounced right back into town with another standout event. On Saturday, July 13, “Ballers”—local children and young adults who have been affected by cancer—and supporters alike gathered at the birthplace of the nonprofit to further raise cancer awareness and lift the spirits of those affected by the disease.

Some 600 people attended this year’s Ballsfest, which was held at Saratoga Spa State Park before the second night of performances by Dave Matthews Band at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), and featured live music, a buffet and lawn games aplenty. The first Ballsfest was actually a DMB tailgate in 2007, and the event has grown exponentially in the decade-plus since then into a national organization whose mission it is to support individuals and families in the fight against cancer.

Ballsfest founder Frank DeBlasi created the organization after his own battle with testicular cancer, which provided the inspiration for its attention-grabbing name. The goal of Ballsfest events is to provide a space for Ballers to shine, and this one even featured a bedazzled Baller throne for the honorees to sit on. This year, honorees received  gifts including tickets to a Kansas City Chiefs game, a vacation to the Outer Banks and a Lego and Apple products package.

“What’s really neat to see is that all these kids have this special, common bond because of their diagnosis, says Angie Silipigno, executive director of Ballsfest. “There’s an instant, forever friendship that’s created through this treatment process. Our hope really is that we’re creating this tremendous sense of community and that when attendees come, they just see and feel the love and care that fills the air there.”

Ballsfest will be holding more events in Las Vegas, New Jersey and Alabama this fall. For more information and to purchase tickets to these events, click here.

Kelsey Fredricks

Kelsey Fredricks is a staff writer at saratoga living.

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