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Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission Relaunches With Revamped Board

Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission Relaunches With Revamped Board, Local Reps in 15 Communities

Announces Formation of Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame, “Sports Night” Fundraising Event & Corporate Support from EMCOR

ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer, Former UConn Hoop Star Chris Smith, World Boxing Champ Travis Simms Named to Advisory Board

June 23, 2004

NORWALK, CT – “The Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission, Inc.” announced today it has re-launched as an independent, non-profit organization, as well as its plans to create a Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame and a “Sports Night” fundraising event to honor a “Sportsperson of the Year” in each of the 15 communities it serves. The announcement was made by the Sports Commission’s new President Tom Chiappetta.

Formerly an arm of Connecticut’s Coastal Fairfield County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Sports Commission has reconfigured its board and expanded its mission in representing the sports community of Fairfield County. The organization will now have a Commission representative working directly in each of the 15 local cities and towns in its jurisdiction. The CFCSC will maintain its close working relationship with the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which will continue to provide financial support, along with the Commission’s newest founding partner, EMCOR Group Inc. of Norwalk.

“In its first two years, through the hard work and leadership of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sports Commission made gigantic strides in establishing itself as a vital supportive force in the Fairfield County sports community,” said Chiappetta. “Building on that success, the newly configured Commission is set to play an even more far-reaching and significant role in enhancing the area’s quality of life through sports, particularly focusing on youth sports and fitness initiatives.”

While continuing its efforts to lure high-profile sporting events at all levels to the area, the Commission will also act as a one-stop resource for the county’s sporting activities. By instituting a local contact system in each of its 15 communities, The Commission will now be a more unifying vehicle on the Fairfield County sports scene.

Local commission representatives have been named for 11 of the15 communities, with the remaining five town reps to be announced in the immediate future. The Commission reps include: Easton-Mike Reisman; Fairfield-Dave Blagys; Greenwich-Pete Mandras; Monroe-Paul Moyse; New Canaan-Jay Egan; Norwalk-Mike Mocciae; Stamford-George Ritchie; Stratford-Pat Patusky; Westport-Dan DeVito; Weston-Michael Carter and Wilton-Tim Murphy.

Corporate support from the CVB and EMCOR, and others to be announced soon, gives the Sports Commission the foundation to continue to submit bids for events as well as provide office space and staffing.

“Without the backing of the Convention & Visitors Bureau and EMCOR, our goals would have little chance of being accomplished,” said Chiappetta. “Their support is paramount to the Commission moving forward in all aspects.”

One of those key initiatives is the creation of a “Sports Night” dinner to recognize the contributions of sportspeople in each of our 15 communities, as well as be the showcase for the induction of the Fairfield County Hall of Fame honorees. Details for this special night, planned some time in mid-2005, are still in development and will be announced in the coming weeks. The fund-raising event will be the first step in establishing a foundation overseen by the Sports Commission that would provide financial grants and scholarships to area youth.

The Sports Commission also announced three more highly-regarded sports personalities to join an already impressive advisory board. ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer brings his vast sports television expertise to the board. Bodenheimer is also Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks. Bridgeport native and Kolbe-Cathedral High graduate Chris Smith, the University of Connecticut men’s basketball all-time leading scorer, and Norwalk’s Travis Simms, the reigning WBA Jr. Welterweight World Boxing Champion, add two more stellar athletes as advisors.

Other prominent advisory board members include Greenwich resident and NBA Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich, U.S Women’s National Soccer Team standout Kristine Lilly of Wilton, Stamford’s Bennett Salvatore, a long-time NBA referee, and Bobby Valentine, a former major league manager who is now the skipper of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. From the media side, New Canaan’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo from WFAN radio rounds out the advisory group.

The Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission was founded in June 2002. It has played a significant role in several area sporting events, including hosting the USILA North-South All-Star Game at Sacred Heart University (June 2003), and working with Fairfield University to secure the 2004 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament First & Second Round games at The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport (March 2004).

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