Phils honored before charitable holiday events begin

Phils honored before charitable holiday events begin

PHILADELPHIA -- Before the Phillies started the first of their holiday events on Monday, handing out 2,000 Thanksgiving dinner baskets to community groups to benefit families in need, Major League Baseball presented them last week with the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence.

It recognized the Phillies' fight against ALS, raising more than $17 million since 1984 for patient care and services.

"To receive this prestigious award is indeed an honor, and one that we dedicate to the patients and families who live with or have succumbed to this awful disease," Phillies chairman David Montgomery said. "The Phillies family is committed to putting an end to ALS. I would like to thank our players, Phillies wives, coaching and front office staff, day of game employees, ownership, sponsors -- and especially our fans -- who have joined us, and continue to join us, in the fight to end Lou Gehrig's Disease."

The Phillies continued their community work on Monday at Brown's ShopRite in West Philadelphia, where the organization joined the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) and local churches. The Phanatic, Phillies ball girls and members of the Phillies front office participated in the event.

The 2,000 dinner baskets will feed more than 12,000 individuals citywide. It is one of the largest distributions ever in the region.

The work will continue heading into the holidays and 2017. Phillies Charities, Inc., annually honors its community heroes in December at its "Holiday Giving Party" at Citizens Bank Park. Last year, nearly $2 million was awarded by Phillies Charities to charitable organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and near the Phillies' Spring Training and Minor League affiliates.

Other events are also planned.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.