Share this Article:

'Baseball For Babbo' Raises $153,868 For Pancreatic Cancer Research

It was a grand slam event for Babbo Italian Eatery and the Seena Magowitz Foundation who collectively raised $153,868 for life-saving pancreatic cancer research. Babbo Italian, a Valley of the Sun local family-owned restaurants, held their Day of Giving event on June 15, 2023.

All eight Valley locations donated 100% of profits made on that day to support life-saving pancreatic cancer research. In addition, the family of Babbo Italian Eatery founder, Ken Pollack, and Seena Magowitz founder Roger Magowitz, matched funds raised up to $50,000.

The inspiration behind the event was to establish a loving tribute to the late Ken Pollack, the founder of Babbo Italian Eatery. Ken was a passionate baseball fan who lost his battle to pancreatic cancer in late 2022. Babbo means ‘daddy’ in Italian and Ken Pollack was that leading figure to his staff and loved ones.


“We were hopeful about the outcome, but seeing the community go out of their way to support my family as well as the greater cause left a memorable impact,” said Marketing Director of Babbo Italian Eatery Taylor Schultz. “The results of the event are a testament to my father’s legacy as well as a reminder of the strength of our community when we come together.


“We are overwhelmed by the results of just one day of giving,” said Roger Magowitz, Founder and CEO of The Seena Magowitz Foundation. “We thank Babbo Italian Eatery for their commitment to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, so we can continue to fuel some of the brightest, most innovative minds in medical science.”

Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale residents enjoyed delicious Italian dining from the eight Valley Babbo Italian Eatery restaurants. Raffle tickets were also sold which gave customers an opportunity to score one-of-a-kind memorabilia, including authentic signed baseballs and jerseys and baseball cards donated by Memory Lane Inc., Donated by Craig Councell 2001 Diamondbacks World Series Champion and Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks season tickets.

About The Legacy Of Ken Pollack

Kenneth Bruce Pollack was born on October 20, 1964 to Robert and Sarabelle Harriet Pollack. He was the second of 3 boys. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley where his love of sports, especially soccer and baseball developed. He was a skilled player and those skills earned him a role in the original 1974 movie, The Bad News Bears. He loved playing the relief pitcher “Billy” on the Yankees.

Ken was an independent and determined child. He partnered and opened a baseball card shop at age 15 and continued collecting into adulthood. That entrepreneurial spirit followed him into several businesses.

In 1994 he moved to Arizona. Where he met the love of his life, Charlotte. Grateful for second chances, together they blended a family and raised 4 beautiful children. He was incredibly proud of Taylor, Josh, Ryan and Brandon. Being a father was Ken’s favorite role and at the core of all he did.

In 2002, Babbo, which means “daddy” in Italian, became the foundation of his next venture and Babbo Italian Eatery was created. This family business has grown to 8 valley locations over 20+ years. He used this platform to mentor, serve others and the community both in and out of the kitchen.

Over the years Babbo Italian Eatery has supported several organizations close to Ken’s heart. Nourish Phoenix, AZ Helping Hands, Young Life, Phoenix Children’s Hospital & the Seena Magowitz Foundation to name a few.

Ken loved playing poker and the challenge of tournaments, especially the WSOP. He was competitive, good at it and had a poker face that rivaled any. He loved to travel and he and Charlotte had so many great adventures together. They’ve flown in balloons, kayaked rivers, swam in many oceans, snow skied, wandered small streets in Europe, Mexico, Canada and spent time in Charlotte’s childhood home in Sweden. Exploring the world, their favorite place to spend time together became at their beach home in Coronado, CA. There they made so many incredible memories and forged lifelong friendships.

In February 2021, Ken was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and originally given 3-6 months to live.

He fought fiercely for nearly two years. He ended up choosing to see this diagnosis as a gift. He met and developed relationships with the incredible physicians and care team at Honor Health Research Institute and at Mayo Hospital. We as his family, will be forever grateful for the care they gave him.

He understood that time isn’t promised and he gave his whole heart to us. He never wasted relationships or his talents. He used everything God gave him for the better of others. His legacy will live on through Charlotte, his children, grandchildren and the Babbo family. He passed peacefully on December 28, at home surrounded by his family.

Ken is survived by the “joy of his life” wife Charlotte, daughter Taylor Schultz (Kyle), sons Josh Pollack, Ryan Pollack (Megan) and Brandon Blain. Grandchildren Brooklyn and Preston Schultz. His father Robert, brothers Glenn (Deb) and Steve. Mother in law, Ragnhild Naylor and a large extended family.

Ken was a believer in Jesus Christ and shared his faith willingly. He believed in giving of himself in any way to others. We are so blessed and honored to be his family and challenge all who knew him to live as he did.


~Ken Pollack

Send this to a friend