Being the local Major League Baseball club's ace pitcher comes in handy when it comes time to draw attention to worthy causes in the Phoenix community, and Brandon Webb has no qualms about using his celebrity status to help out.

"It makes it a little easy for people to come to events," Webb said.

"Events" always will be in plural form after the Diamondbacks right-hander set up the Brandon Webb K Foundation in 2004. The organization benefits at-risk children and their families throughout Arizona by providing assistance, programs and events designed to build self-esteem, provide unique life-changing experiences and help achieve life goals.

"My wife and I decided to start a foundation three years ago." Webb said. "We felt like the community in Arizona had given us a lot. In our position, we were able to give back. We set up something for the children, to give them better opportunities, a reading program to have them come into the stadium, get autographs, things they normally wouldn't have a chance to do."

Arizona is booming state-wide, but many people are still left behind. South Phoenix, for one, is ridden with crime.

"There are certain parts of Phoenix that are struggling," Webb said. "Whatever we can do to help out, we do. It's worked out so far."

Webb's foundation already has staged two golf tournaments and dinners at a local steakhouse to raise money for programs. In the reading program, children who read the most in a certain amount of time get treated to lunch at an Outback restaurant.

Another program is centered at Chase Field, formerly BankOne Ballpark.

"We have a Diamondback for a Day," Webb said. "We have 40 kids and their families come to the park. I go in and talk, they ask questions. We set them up with a gift bag with autographed items, tickets, food and drink. It's always before a game I'm not pitching."

Still another Webb program is providing PlayStations at a local children's hospital.

Webb has also assisted the Diamondbacks as the team spokesman for the Domestic Violence Prevention Program the past two seasons.

-- Red Line Editorial