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 18th annual event is scheduled for November 6th-8th, 2020.

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 2019 Willie Stargell 17th Anniversary Celebrity Invitational will be announced in June.  Here are some of the great programs that we partnered with in the past.

  • 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 Scholarship
  • Cape Fear Community College Nursing Scholarship
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health
  • Pharmacy Programs
  • Individual Patient Care/Assistance

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
Jackie Amato, Chair
Cat Marinich, Vice-Chair
Cheryl White, Treasurer
Jan Pahl, Secretary

Board Members

Draughon Cranford
Andrew Givens
Rick Goldbach
Chris Hardeman
Paul LeCompte
Tracy Pope
Sheri Shaw
Michelle Turner
Dr. Jonathan Woods



Advisory Board

Arthur Culbreth
Dave Davis
JoAnne Fox
Tim Gardner
Bob Lebda
Buddy Lewis 
Kevin McClatchy
Tom Reich
Janet Rose
Jonathan Stargell
Frances Weller
Tony Womack






Director Emeritus

Dr. James McCabe

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