SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP -- Hazleton native and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon hosted his annual fundraiser Friday night to benefit the Hazleton Integration Project and the Hazleton One Community Center.
"You should want to reach out and help another group, and in return, the stuff people do for you and the good karma is returned,” he said.
At Valley Country Club in Sugarloaf Township, the casino-style event and fundraising auction featured some of Maddon’s famous friends, like Bill Murray, Yogi Berra’s granddaughter, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, and Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
They’ve been to this fundraiser before and say they admire Maddon’s commitment to his hometown.
“I’ve actually been witness to him talking about Hazleton at some of the biggest moments of his career, and it’s obviously a place he carries with him, and that says a lot about the town. It says a lot about him as well,” said Rosenthal.
“He saw me at the World Series and he said, 'We need you to come back,' and I said, 'Well, of course I will.' This is never about him. This is about his hometown,” said Krukjian.
With money raised here, Maddon says more can be done at the community center.
“He’s been an old friend, and we started coming when he first started coming five years ago, and it was actually like a mini-reunion, getting together with old friends, and we come here every year. We love doing it,” said Rick Rogers of Bucks County.
"The point is to get people together, and the more you do that, the more you find yourself being on the same page and the more good you do,” said Maddon.