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Real Housewives play Maimonides in annual ‘Battle for Brooklyn’ charity softball game

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the Maimonides All Stars pose for a photo before kicking off the annual Battle for Brooklyn celebrity softball game at Maimonides Park on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.
Photo by Paul Frangipane

Play ball, but for breast cancer awareness!

Maimonides Health raised $100,000 in ticket sales during its annual “Battle for Brooklyn” charity softball game on Wednesday night, during which health care workers and hospital staff faced off against a team of Real Housewives of New Jersey cast members.

Although the Real Housewives came out on top, the game was a smashing success for the medical center’s Breast Center, which receives the funding.

Dolores Catania of The Real Housewives of New Jersey swings at a pitch during the game.Photo by Paul Frangipane
The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the Maimonides All Stars take part in between-inning entertainment during the annual Battle for Brooklyn celebrity softball game. At bat is Teresa Giudice for the Real Housewives and Diane Maldonado for Maimonides.Photo by Paul Frangipane

This is the Maimonides’ third time going up to bat against the reality stars in the name of funding cancer research. According to hospital leaders, more than 3,000 tickets were sold to the game, played in Coney Island’s Maimonides Park.

“We are incredibly excited to have hosted yet another successful Battle for Brooklyn fundraiser and greatly appreciate the support from the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Bravo,” said Kenneth D. Gibbs, president and CEO of Maimonides Health, ahead of the ballgame. “This powerful collaboration to celebrate our courageous patients is always a great time and yields necessary support for our world-renowned Breast Center.”

Jennifer Aydin ready to bat for the Real Housewives.Photo by Paul Frangipane
Fans of The Real Housewives of New Jersey hold up signs for the stars.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Women’s health advocate, cast member and team captain Dolores Catania led her team into a 20-18 victory.

Catania has a personal relationship with the hospital as she has had medical operations performed on camera to show women the importance of routine screening. She says the health center holds a special place in her heart.

“I am thrilled to be back at Battle for Brooklyn for another year,” Catania said. “This event is an amazing way for me, as a former patient myself, to be able to raise money for the work being done at the Maimonides Breast Center. I have been fortunate to get great patient care from Maimonides, and I am committed to using my platform to make sure all my fans know the importance of early screening.”

Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey runs to first base.Photo by Paul Frangipane
Fans of The Real Housewives of New Jersey wait for autographs and selfies with the stars. Maimonides was selling ‘Real Husbands of New Jersey’ calendars for the cause.Photo by Paul Frangipane

She gave a shout out to her team members — and her opponents — for always being willing to play along.

“Thank you to my Bravo and RHONJ family for supporting this incredibly important event, and thank you to the amazing doctors, nurses, and staff at Maimonides for their lifesaving work,” she said.

Diya Sarsour, patient relations supervisor at Maimonides, takes a swing.Photo by Paul Frangipane
Dolores Catania and Louie Ruelas Jr. high-five their teammates while running toward home plate.Photo by Paul Frangipane
Louie Ruelas Jr. hugs Dolores Catania after crossing home plate.Photo by Paul Frangipane

While Chair of the Department of Surgery and Head of the Breast Center Dr. Patrick Borgen didn’t get the gold yesterday, he is grateful for the attention the event brings to women’s health care.

“We are very grateful for everyone who has supported the Battle for Brooklyn in support of the groundbreaking research and cutting edge treatment strategies being done at the Maimonides Breast Center,” said Dr. Borgen, who has helped lead the Borough Park hospital’s Breast Center since its inception. “Our physicians and staff continue to provide world-class care, right here in Brooklyn, to support patients and their families through every step of their cancer journey. Events like this help raise awareness of the vital importance of screening mammography and emphasize the fact that the very best care is available, right here, at home.”

Fans of the Real Housewives of New Jersey take selfies with Jennifer Aydin.Photo by Paul Frangipane
RHONJ cast members’ children participated in a race around the diamond with Cyclones’ mascot Sandy the Seagull.Photo by Paul Frangipane

The first Battle for Brooklyn softball game was held in 2019 before taking a hiatus during the pandemic. The competition resumed in June of 2021, and this year’s turnout toppled both.

This year, the part-time athletes were joined by New York City Police Chaplain Monsignor David Cassato, who took the mound with a 16-year-old Maimonides patent currently undergoing cancer treatment to throw out the game’s first pitch.

Eager fans were pleased to meet the reality show cast members before the game and take pictures with them. The TV personalities also went around the stands between innings to speak with those who came out to watch the game.

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