On October 17, 2015, Studio Laurent Photography & Design was thrilled and honored to attend and capture the photography at the 6th annual “Knuckle Ball… A Pitch For Life” a black-tie evening and amazing gala event organized by The Joe Niekro Foundation at the JW Marriott in Phoenix.
This 6th annual “Knuckle Ball… A Pitch For Life” was being held for the first time in Phoenix after taking place in Houston, TX in the past. The event is appropriately named for the pitch that made Joe Niekro famous while he was a MLB pitcher. Joe Niekro was a twenty-two year veteran of professional baseball who suddenly lost his life from a cerebral brain aneurysm in October 2006. The Joe Niekro Foundation was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. The organization is the “brain child” of Natalie Niekro (daughter of Joe).
The event’s master of ceremonies was American radio personality, Dave Pratt, also known as the “Morning Mayor” while actress and brain aneurysm survivor, Tamala Jones spoke as the Special Guest Host. The gala featured a festive reception, silent auction, formal dinner, event program, a very entertaining LIVE auction, and musical entertainment provided by The Groove Merchants.
Athletes from all over the country came together, in association with The Joe Niekro Foundation and The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery to support brain aneurysm, AVM and hemorrhagic stroke research and awareness. This is the foundation’s largest event of the year and pays tribute to those that have lost their lives to these fatal conditions, while honoring the survivors who are fighting everyday to recover.
Our family found The Joe Niekro Foundation in the Fall of 2014 as our daughter Chloé was about to endure her 6th brain embolization procedure at Barrow Neurological Institute, here in Phoenix. Chloé was indeed born in January 2014 with a very rare type of AVM, a Vein Of Galen Malformation (VOGM), and The Joe Niekro Foundation provided us with wonderful support and encouragement ever since. Our little Chloé is actually one of the Foundation’s youngest survivor and fighter. She is doing really well these days although her VOGM is still open and was able to attend the event and enjoy all the attention. She even got interviewed by Fox Sports!… Unfortunately as her case is so complex, she will most likely require one or more brain embolizations in the future. You can follow her ongoing fight against VOGM at www.facebook.com/chloeVSvogm
We are extremely thankful for all the support, prayers and kind words our family has received and continue to receive from the Foundation and its members and it is my pleasure to give my time, expertise and photography to the foundation.
You can view a selection of images from the event below and on ArizonaFoothillsMagazine.com or the full image gallery at www.StudioLaurent.com/knuckleball15. Please note that while low-resolution images from this event can be downloaded from my website free of charge to share online, profits from the sale of any other image product or print from this gallery will be donated to The Joe Niekro Foundation on behalf of Studio Laurent Photography & Design.
Last but not least, if you know someone who is affected by or recovering from a brain aneurysm, AVM or hemorrhagic stroke, or if you would just like to help bring awareness to these conditions, I invite you to share this post and visit the foundation website at: www.JoeNiekroFoundation.org