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Yankees Wrap Up HOPE Week With Visit To Kids With Alopecia

New York Yankees Joe Girardi at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

New York Yankees Joe Girardi at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Friday was the final day of HOPE Week, the New York Yankees’ annual week-long effort to reach out to the community, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story


To wrap up the week, members of the team – past and present – spent time at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

There was a party for the Children’s Alopecia Project, founded by Jeff and Betsy Woytovich of Pennsylvania for their daughter Madison. The 14-year-old wanted to help others with her condition.

“I try to tell everyone ‘You have to stay confident. Keep a positive attitude through the whole thing,’” Madison told Diamond.

EXTRA: Check Out All Of This Year’s HOPE Week Stories

Some of the Yankees there today were, themselves, mostly follically challenged.

Current players Andruw Jones and Alex Rodriguez were there, along with manager Joe Girardi.

Alex Rodriguez at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Alex Rodriguez at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Also in attendance were past greats Darryl Strawberry and David Wells.

“You know, I look at these kids and I look at it and it’s like looking at myself in the mirror,” Wells told Diamond. “You know? There’s no difference. You know, we all put our pants on the same way, but we all look good ’cause we’re bald-headed.”

Today, Wells and Jones got their heads painted.

David Wells gets his head painted at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

David Wells gets his head painted at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Diamond commented on how good a Jones was.

“It’s something nice for the kids,” he told Diamond. “Just to inspire them and make them feel good by themselves.”

Andruw Jones gets his head painted at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Andruw Jones gets his head painted at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“It’s a wonderful exchange of hope. It’s a wonderful exchange of good feelings and I feel blessed to be a part of it,” Jackson said.

Also making an apperance was Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers University football player now paralyzed from the neck down following an injury sustained during a game.

Eric LeGrand is seen at the New York Botanical Garden as part of New York Yankees HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Eric LeGrand is seen at the New York Botanical Garden as part of New York Yankees HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

“Just trying to show them how I live my everyday life and how I handle my situation,” LeGrand said. “Hopefully they can handle their situation too. We got to be appreciative for what we do have and not what we don’t have.”

“People ask me how chemotherapy is going. I just explain ‘I’m not sick. I’m fine. I’m healthy and there’s nothing wrong with me except I just have no hair,’” Madison told Diamond.

“We don’t want her to get depressed. We don’t want her to feel as if she’s not beautiful, cause she is,” her father said.

The New York Yankees present a check to the Children's Alopecia Project at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week - Bronx, NY - Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The New York Yankees present a check to the Children’s Alopecia Project at the New York Botanical Garden as part of HOPE Week – Bronx, NY – Jun 29, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The Yankees donated $10,000 to the charity that helps these kids understand that bald is beautiful.

HOPE stands for Helping Others Persevere & Excel.