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Baseball fundraisers to aid survivors of Covina holiday attack

January 28, 2009 | 12:42 pm

A pair of baseball-themed fundraisers will be staged on Saturday, Feb. 7, to benefit survivors of the Christmas Eve slayings in Covina that claimed nine members of the close-knit Ortega family.

In Ontario, five-time major league All-Star Mike Sweeney will hold a baseball camp featuring fellow big-leaguers Geoff Blum, Jeremy Reed and Eddie Guardado. The camp for girls and boys age 6 and older is being organized by the Mike and Shara Sweeney Family Foundation and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ontario High.

Michael Ortiz, one of those killed during the Christmas Eve attack, played baseball at Ontario High, which Sweeney also attended.

The $50 registration fee will go directly into a fund that has been created to benefit the Ortega family. For more information, call (909) 460-5814.

The second fundraiser is also scheduled for Feb. 7, when the University of La Verne holds its alumni baseball game at Upland Memorial Park (1100 Foothill Blvd., Upland).

Admission to the game is free, but a silent auction, barbecue and raffle will be staged to raise money for the James and Theresa Ortega Children Memorial Fund. The Laker Girls, the Chivas Girls and the Clipper Spirit will attend the event, which begins at 11 a.m.

James Ortega, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year when he led La Verne to the conference title in 2004, survived the holiday attacks but lost both his parents. For more information, call (909) 896-1411. 

-- Kevin Baxter