Kaiden Pacheco of Hilmar, a 7-year-old who is fighting cancer, took the mound at John Thurman Field on Wednesday evening to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Modesto Nuts game against San Jose. Kaiden, a student at Elim Elementary in Hilmar, was joined at the ballpark by friend and classmate Carter McCune and incoming Hilmar High freshman Erin Benning, who has spent much time this spring and summer raising funds to help the Pacheco family, According to Benning, whose mother is the school district health aide at Elim, the fund she started to assist Kaiden’s family has reached nearly $60,000. There was a raffle at Wednesday’s Nuts game – team-signed bats, balls, etc. – to raise still more for the cause.
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