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Saturday, June 9, 2012
Highlights from ZoliOke event

By Field Yates

BOSTON, Mass. -- Roughly 30 Patriots players were in attendance for punter Zoltan Mesko’s “ZoliOke” event at Royale in downtown Boston on Saturday night, with all proceeds from the fundraiser benefiting Children's Hospital in Boston.

The evening featured a number of players – including tight end Rob Gronkowski – taking the stage for karaoke to songs of their choice. Quarterback Tom Brady was also said to be in attendance, although he was not spotted.

Mesko kicked off the evening with a rendition of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” alongside patients from Children’s, and performed a number of songs with willing volunteers throughout the evening.

Amongst the highlights of the performances was a rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” featuring offensive linemen Marcus Cannon, Nate Solder, and Ryan Wendell, along with kicker Chris Koepplin and Mesko.

The award for most legitimate musical talent went to linebacker/defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who took the stage on multiple occasions, including for a tribute version of Kenny Chesney’s “What I Need To Do” for his fiancé (he is due to be wed June 29).

The crowd expressed strong support throughout the evening, but never was it more apparent than during an impromptu auction for the right to sing, “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO, with Gronkowski.

The emcee for the evening quickly fielded bids exceeding $2,000 before deciding to open the auction up to two winners in an effort to increase the proceeds, which were donated to Children’s Hospital.

Within a matter of minutes, two fans were on stage with Gronkowski after bidding $2,500 apiece.

Earlier in the evening, Gronkowski declined to field questions about his new contract. Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who was also in attendance, also declined to comment on football matters, preferring to stick to the nature of the event.

Mesko took over the event that was originally run by former Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo (it was then called “LarryOke”), and has worked diligently to support the hospital. He regularly visits with patients, and the strong support from his teammates echoed their appreciation for his efforts.