CSN & CSNChicago.com to carry live Opening Ceremonies coverage of 'Sox Fest 2013'

CSN & CSNChicago.com to carry live Opening Ceremonies coverage of 'Sox Fest 2013'

Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com to air LIVE Opening Ceremonies coverage on Friday, January 25 at 4:00 PM -- hosted by Chuck Garfien

Garfien to also provide complete SoxFest coverage throughout the weekend on SportsNet Central and WhiteSoxTalk;

CSNChicago.com White Sox Insider Dan Hayes and WhiteSoxTalk blogger J.J. Stankevitz to provide playercoachesfront office interviews, features, live Tweets & more

Chicago, IL (January 22, 2013) -- Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox, is ready to start up the 2013 White Sox season in a big way with exclusive, LIVE Opening Ceremonies coverage from the 2013 SoxFest convention, which is being held downtown this weekend (January 25-27) at the Palmer House Hilton.

On Friday, January 25 beginning at 4:00 PM, Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com will provide viewers with every thrill-packed moment of the annual conventions opening ceremonies featuring introductions of current and former White Sox playerscoachesfront office executives, plus - live interviews with White Sox players following the opening ceremonies, video montages and much more. Comcast SportsNets 2013 SoxFest coverage will be hosted by White Sox PrePost Game Live host Chuck Garfien. Former White Sox slugger and current CSN White Sox studio analyst Bill Melton will also join Garfien in the live telecast.

In addition, Garfien will file reports for SportsNet Central (10:00 PM, 10:30 PM and midnight) and for CSNChicago.coms WhiteSoxTalk section throughout the weekend featuring interviews with White Sox players, coaches and fans. Plus, CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider Dan Hayes and WhiteSoxTalk blogger J.J. Stankevitz will also provide viewers with comprehensive, real-time online coverage featuring numerous playerscoachesfront office executive interviews, stories, fan reaction, photos, videos and much more. Fans can follow Hayes SoxFest updates all weekend long via Twitter @DanHayesCSN, along with Garfien (@ChuckGarfien), and StankevitzWhiteSoxTalk (@WhiteSoxTalkCSN).

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

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USA TODAY

Morning Update: Bears beat 49ers; Blackhawks' offense struggles in loss to Jets

Here are some of the top stories from Sunday in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls back in action against Trail Blazers

Tune in tonight for Chicago Bulls Charities Night

Blackhawks score late but can't get past Jets

Bears offense finds groove in win over 49ers

Winter meetings preview: Why teams will find trying to copy a ‘Cubs Way’ rebuild is easier said than done

White Sox revamp would mean fewer 'stopgaps' and 'half-measures'

Significance of Bears win over 49ers lies beyond records and score

Five Things from Blackhawks-Jets: Offense still anemic

Bears' Matt Barkley 'showing the world' he can be a starting QB in the NFL

Lars Johansson excited for Blackhawks call-up

Bulls pass out Christmas gifts to Chicago youth on Sunday

Bulls pass out Christmas gifts to Chicago youth on Sunday

It was hard to tell who was more excited Sunday afternoon: the Bulls players or the 400 kids who stopped by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry as the team passed out Christmas gifts for kids who reside in the Chicago family housing development.

Robin Lopez was carrying about Benny the Bull, much to the surprise and delight of many kids who were in attendance, while Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo took photos and passed out gifts to every child.

Rondo established roots in Chicago long before becoming a Bull, but has become entrenched in the months since signing with the franchise, being a part of the 17th annual holiday party.

“It’s definitely an honor. An honor to be a Bull,” Rondo said. “Since Day 1 when I got here I thought they were the best organization as far as giving back to the community, and it shows. They do it without hesitation.

“Very welcoming. The people have been great. The kids have been here since Day 1 supporting us as well. It’s very exciting.”

Bulls volunteers served lunch provided by Papa John’s, Coca-Cola and Edy’s Ice Cream, as the holiday party is one of the 30 events the Bulls are organizing as part of the team and NBA Cares’ “Season of Giving.”

“It’s no problem for any of us,” Lopez said. “Look at Raj, look at Jimmy, they’re having a blast out there. They’re having as good of a time as the kids out there.”

Being a California native, the newfound snowfall added to the atmosphere for Lopez.

“This really feels like Christmas,” Lopez said. “I can feel the spirit inside with the kids and the looks on their faces when they walk in and see the toys, they see Jimmy Butler and they’re so excited to be a part of it.”

Whether it was Barbie Dreamhouses, or Nerf basketball rims, the kids were ecstatic to see the Bulls and to pick out the toys being distributed by the Bulls’ stars.

“Very humbling. Over 400 kids. And every kid comes through all smiling and excited,” Rondo said. “Some of them don’t get toys all year and this time of year is about giving. I’m very humbled.”

Butler has been around Bulls Charities since being drafted in 2011, so although this is old hat, he hasn’t lost any of the spirit that comes with doing events like this year after year.

He posed with kids for photos and cracked jokes to the younger basketball fans.

“Feels good. I just like being here. It’s what this time of year is all about, seeing these kids smile,” Butler said. “I love kids, I love this city, I want everybody to be happy all the time. However I can make that happen, especially around Christmas and the holidays, I’ll do.”

Lopez is quiet to many who see him on the floor, but his eyes lit up around the kids and made Benny the Bull his personal prop by picking him up and carrying him through the museum.

“Every time I see it, it’s a wonderful feeling. To think I’m a small part of it, I can’t begin to describe it,” Lopez said. “Any opportunity I get to work with kids, that’s always easy yes in my book. I’m a big kid at heart. Any time I can go play, I’m in.

“It’s indescribable. I got so many great gifts as a kid, and blessed in so many ways. Just to be able to give back in any facet, that’s an easy yes.”

Sunday's event leads up to Monday's Chicago Bulls Charities Night at the United Center. The Bulls host the Portland Trailblazers at 7 p.m. on CSN.