Sports celebs pitch in to help stricken Mets staffer

Shannon Forde, who is a longtime member of

Shannon Forde, who is a longtime member of the Mets' public relations department, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. A wide spectrum of star athletes, from David Wright and Eli Manning to Lebron James and Tim Tebow, have mobilized to raise money for her. (Credit: Handout)

A wide spectrum of star athletes, from David Wright and Eli Manning to LeBron James and Tim Tebow, have mobilized to help Shannon Forde, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Forde, a longtime member of the Mets' public relations department who started with the team in 1994 as a St. John's intern, has been at the forefront of the club's numerous charitable efforts.

"Shannon is one of the most caring, loving people I have ever met," said John Franco, a member of the Mets' Hall of Fame. "She is one of the best people I have ever come in contact with in all my years in baseball."

Forde, 41, has a son, Nick, 4, and daughter, Kendall, 2, both of whom are regulars at spring training and Citi Field. Many of the Mets have been involved in the fundraising effort, and they have scheduled a silent auction and a meet-and-greet autograph session at a Nov. 1 dinner at Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, N.J.

Admission to the dinner is $100, and the meet-and-greet autograph session will include Franco, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Bob Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Ed Charles and Ed Kranepool. The cost of that session is an additional $250, but if purchased together with the dinner, the total admission is $300. Ron Darling will serve as emcee for the event.

The auction will have dozens of items available, including signed jerseys from Tebow, James, Willie Mays, Willis Reed, Tyson Chandler, Henrik Lundquist, Stephen Strasburg, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Cal Ripken and Andrew McCutchen. The Yankees have provided signed bats from Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, and retiring Braves third baseman Chipper Jones has donated a signed bat.

The Mets have supplied signed jerseys from Wright, R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, along with offering a special perk: to be a team photographer for the day. That package will include the opportunity to take photos during batting practice and shoot the first three innings from the field photo box. It also includes four box seats for the game.

For the complete list of items and to purchase tickets for the event, visit the website hopeshinesforshannon.com

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