Our Mission: Honoring the Legacy of Willie Stargell by giving hope through research, patient care and treatment for those living with kidney disease.

Raising Funds. Making Memories. Saving Lives.

The Willie Stargell Foundation was founded in honor of baseball great Willie Stargell who died of kidney disease in 2001.

Funds for the foundation are raised through the annual Willie Stargell Celebrity Invitational and from generous public and private donations.  The invitational is held each November and includes a golf tournament, and auction dinner.  The 17th annual event is scheduled for November 8th-10th, 2019.

Willie Stargell was a Major League Baseball Player for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility.  He lived in Wilmington, NC with his wife Margaret Weller-Stargell.

Over the past 16 years, the Willie Stargell Foundation has presented grants to amazing organizations helping patients with their care.  Allocations from the 2018 Willie Stargell 16th Anniversary Celebrity Invitational will be announced in April.  Here are some of the great programs that we partnered with this last.

  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center which holds the Willie Stargell “Pops” Dialysis Center
  • DaVita Dialysis
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Transplant Outreach Program
  • Duke University Transplant Outreach Program
  • East Carolina University Kidney Transplant Program
  • Carolinas Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program
  • UNCW nursing program
  • Cape Fear Community College nursing program
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health

The Facts About Chronic Kidney Disease

Source: National Kidney Foundation

  • 26 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.
  • Early detection can help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease is the major cause of death for all people with CKD.
  • Hypertension causes CKD and CKD causes hypertension.
  • High risk groups include those with diabetes, hypertension and family history of kidney failure.
  • African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Seniors are at increased risk.
  • Two simple tests can detect CKD: blood pressure, urine albumin and serum creatinine. But you must ask your doctor for these tests.

The Willie Stargell Foundation supports kidney disease research and patient care with funds raised through our annual Willie Stargell Celebrity Invitational and from generous public and private donations.

Our Foundation

Board of Directors

Officers of the Board

Margaret Weller-Stargell, President
Bob Lebda, Chair
Janet Rose, Co/Vice-Chair
JoAnne Fox, Treasurer/Secretary

Board Members

Tim Gardner
Carey Disney-Brown

David H. Davis
Emily Longley
Jimmy Hopkins
Dr. Jonathan Woods
Ryan Legg

Tony Womack
Draughon Cranford
Paula Corbett
Jackie Amato



Advisory Board

Arthur Culbreth
Buddy Lewis 

Joe Morgan
Jonathan Stargell
Kevin McClatchy
Tracy Pope
Tom Reich
Frances Weller

Director Emeritus

Dr. James McCabe

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