​​​​​​​Walgreens Richard Ashworth takes on Gronk, Urlacher and an SI swimsuit model

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​​​​​​​Walgreens Richard Ashworth takes on Gronk, Urlacher and an SI swimsuit model

By Mike Troy - 04/20/2020
Walgreens president Richard Ashworth
Walgreens president Richard Ashworth

The Arthritis Foundation will be the beneficiary of a socially distant competition involving Walgreens president Richard Ashworth, two football legends, a supermodel, a chef and a topical CBD pain product.

Survive & Thrive: COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge is the name of the unique competition to be livestreamed on the Facebook Channel of the Arthritis Foundation on Wednesday, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET. Joining Walgreens president Richard Ashworth during the event sponsored by topical pain relief brand CBDMEDIC will be three-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Camille Kostek, Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, Rob Gronkowski’s brother and Ice Shaker founder Chris Gronkowski, fitness trainer Harley Pasternak and James Beard Award-winning Chef Ming Tsai. Providing commentary during the competition will be Matt Iseman, a former physician, comedian, rheumatoid arthritis patient and host of the popular show American Ninja Warrior.

Ashworth and the diverse collection of participants will face off on various physical and personal challenges that organizers of the event say will provide an authentic peek into their lives as they adjust to a life in isolation. The event will include both entertaining and educational culinary, athletic and business challenges, along with challenges for the viewers who will have a chance to win prizes by donating to the Arthritis Foundation.

The fundraising is off to a good start as CBDMEDIC and Gronkowski have already pledged $200,000 to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, which is serving at-risk, elderly and immunocompromised populations who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

"We're experiencing an unprecedented demand and need for our services and support, including our Helpline staffed by licensed social workers, online resources, podcasts, virtual support groups and forums as well as our advocacy efforts that fight for people who need access to health care and the treatments they need," said Ann M. Palmer, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "Our challenge is to make sure we can answer that urgent call and the increased cry for our support. We're especially thankful for the generosity of CBDMEDIC and those who donate during this critical time."

Perry Antelman, CEO of Abacus Health Products, maker of CBDMEDIC products, said support of an event that benefits the Arthritis Foundation is consistent with the company’s mission to help people living in pain.

"We realize that the elderly and people with arthritis need our help now more than ever to help them pull through COVID-19. That's why we've come to support the Arthritis Foundation's critical call-to-action for their massive community at this devastating time,” Antelman said.

As for the involvement of “The Gronk,” as Rob Gronkowski became known during his National Football League career, last August he entered into an agreement that gave him a stake in Abacus. The agreement includes a commitment by Gronkowski to support the company’s existing products in a manner that will increase awareness and aid in the development of and marketing of new products. When the deal was announced, Abacus said it included payment of an upfront fee, royalties to be derived from a new sports-oriented nutrition and Wellness brand that is planned to be launched, and an issuance of 302,835 subordinate voting shares in the company and warrants to acquire 35,666 subordinate voting shares at a price of $15.00 per share. Additional warrants are issuable on an annual basis during the term of the agreement.