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David Akers of the Eagles helps Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with his "Kicking In Spring" Event

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The 5th Annual David Akers Kicking in Spring event took place Wednesday night at Cescaphe Ballroom (David Akers' Kicking in Spring Event. Photo by Aileen Bannon923 N. 2nd Street) and was presented by Lincoln Financial Group.  On the field, Akers is a hero to many fans. And on this night, the affable Philadelphia Eagles kicker personally greeted all of the guests as they arrived for the evening. Akers' event benefits "David's Locker," a program organized several years ago by Akers in conjunction with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"What we try to do is make the kids' stay a little bit easier when they are in the hospital," says Akers. "My son was in the hospital in 2004, right around Christmas time. And I was so impressed with the way the specialists and doctors at CHOP really helped the parents understand what was going on with their kids, and at the same time try and let the kids know what was happening. Some of these parents and their kids were sitting in these rooms all by themselves. After so many months, it's hard to afford bus tickets, taxi rides, or just paying for parking. So we started a fund and the board decides with their discretion where the money goes. The last few years, the program has been very beneficial and has been used quite a bit. It gives parents one less thing to think about as far as their hospital stay goes."

Akers also expressed his sincere gratitude for the organizations who helped to make the night possible.

"Oh it's wonderful, we've had great corporate sponsors, including Lincoln Financial, a sponsor for the Eagles, and Atlantic Pacific Mortgage as well. Hands down, those two are the reason why we can have this event."

(For Aileen Bannon's Photo Gallery, click HERE)

The attendees were treated to a catered food spread by Cescaphe, which contained everything from sushi to whole wheat pasta, pork with duck sauce, seafood, prime rib, and chicken. Local athletes also contributed several auctions items, whose proceeds went to Children's Hospital. Some of the auction items included an autographed hockey stick from Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, an autographed jersey from Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, and a pair of game-worn shoes signed by Eagles defensive end Trent Cole. The highest successful bid was a round trip for two to Las Vegas at the brand new Aria Resort & Casino.

Former Eagles Vince Papale and Jeremiah Trotter were in attendance supporting Akers, as well as current Eagles Quintin Mikell, Sav Rocca, Omar Gaither, Hank Baskett, and newly acquired running back Mike Bell. After Akers addressed the crowd thanking them for attending the night's festivities, Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos (a professional magician) warmed up the crowd with some very impressive card tricks. Comedian Joe Conklin  followed with his dead-on impersonations of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel  and Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. The Flyers game was then broadcast on several big screens and a desert spread you truly had to see to believe (mixed fruit along with pretzels and marshmallows over a chocolate fountain) capped off a truly exciting evening, and it was all for a good cause.

Very special thanks to Rose Cunnigham for her assistance.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com