OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland A’s are preparing to battle the Los Angeles Angels this Friday, July 26th, but it’s not just the players ready to work up a sweat.  The wives of the Oakland A’s players will be participating in a unique fundraiser during the game for the nonprofit charity, Smile Train.

At the helm of this partnership with the A’s and Smile Train is Angie Balfour, wife of Oakland A’s pitcher Grant Balfour.

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The wives will be relay running on a treadmill during the entire duration of the game and hopefully match each mile with a donation for Smile Train.   In addition, a portion of all ticket sales for the July 26th game will go directly to Smile Train.

KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Angie Balfour:

Balfour said the wives wanted to come together in support of an important cause.

“Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft lip and palate charity,” she spoke of the nonprofit organization they decided to partner with.  “Their mission is to give every child that is born with a cleft anywhere in the world the opportunity to live a full and productive life.”

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Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where millions of children are suffering from it.  Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job.

To date, Smile Train has provided more than 900,000 free cleft surgeries to poor children in more than 80 developing countries.

“The main thing people can do is become aware of Smile Train… familiarize yourself with the amazing work that they do and the people and children they help around the world,” Balfour suggested.

“And come early to the ballpark,” Balfour encouraged fans to come support their cause.  “There’s a meet and greet with Grant from 6 to 6:30… make a donation if you’re able to, if not we’ll be out there in the left field barbecue terrace running on the treadmill.  Come give us a nice shout out, give us a smile, encourage us and together as A’s fans and the A’s community we can make the world a brighter place.”

For more information go to www.smiletrain.org.

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