Published:

Balloon Classic Invitational • Jackson Belden Food Fest & Fireworks • Ribs Burnoff • Timken Grand Parade

CANTON, OHIO (March 24, 2011) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the following key committee chairs: Scott Sanders, Balloon Classic Invitational, and Todd Hawke, Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks; Vicky Sterling, Ribs Burnoff; and Eric Stasiowski, Timken Grand Parade. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"] Sanders is president of Kreighbaum-Sanders and Sanders Funeral Homes, Inc., and served as 2002 General Chairman of the Chamber’s Enshrinement Festival committees. He came to that position with 12 years of leadership experience after having chaired the former Kickoff Sunday Parade and Race committees, as well as the Grand Parade and Marketing committees. He is a graduate of Canton South High School, The Ohio State University and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. A former East Canton Citizen of the Year and Jaycee Outstanding Citizen, Sanders has been active in a wide variety of community activities including East Canton Club, Ohio Funeral Directors Association, Osnaburg Township Citizens Fire Committee, and Stark County Fair Beef and Marketing Committees. He and wife Julie are the proud parents of three sons. Assisting Sanders as vice chairman of the Balloon Classic Invitational committee is Randy Reed, as the event proudly celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Initiated in 1986 at the urging of Maury Sullivan and with the encouragement and help of his business partner, Tom Schervish (then the Enshrinement Festival’s vice chairman), the event was initially known as the “Balloon Fiesta” and has since grown to levels well beyond those ever imagined possible during its formative years. What started with 25 balloons at Weis Park has grown to a capacity field of nearly 70 balloons on the campuses of Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College, with nearly 125,000 people enjoying the two-and-a-half day event. The Balloon Luminary was added in 1993 and is currently known as the Night Glow, and a further milestone was marked in 1995 when the Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks came under the umbrella of the Enshrinement Festival and joined forces with the Balloon Classic Invitational. The Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks committee is chaired this year by Todd Hawke, principal at GDK & Company. He is a graduate of Kenton Ridge High School and Ohio Wesleyan University, and has served in various capacities on the Food Fest committee since 2002. He is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio and American Cancer Society of Stark County. Todd and wife Tricia have one son and one daughter. Hawke will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Food Fest by vice chairman Carles Moore. This year’s Balloon Classic and Food Fest activities will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29, 30 and 31, and will include a wide variety of food and beverage vendors, children’s activity area, musical entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display. Sterling, vice-president of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Press, Inc., is serving her first year as chairman of the Ribs Burnoff Committee after serving in a wide variety of sub-committee leadership positions since 1994. A graduate of Louisville High School, she also served on the security committees for the Balloon Classic and Enshrinement Ceremony. A past member of the board of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, she is a past recipient of the Chamber’s Community Salute Award of Merit, and also a recipient of the Canton Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award. She also extends her time and resources to the Aultman Health Foundation and Aultman Women’s Board, Leadership Stark County, Canton Blues Festival and J.R. Coleman Women in History Luncheon. The mother of two, Sterling is married to Todd and has four grandchildren. Long-time Ribs Burnoff committee volunteer Brian Harbert has been selected to serve as vice chairman of the committee. Together, they will oversee all aspects of the Ribs Burnoff, which will take place Aug. 3 through 5 at the Stark County Fairgrounds. Special attractions include a wide variety of rib and specialty food vendors, beverages, children’s entertainment area, fantasy football zone of interactive inflatables, an enormous sand sculpture and musical entertainment. Stasiowski, director of communications for Akzo Nobel Paints, is a native of Massachusetts and received his MBA from Penn State University. A member of the Grand Parade committee since 2001, this is his second year as its chairman. An Eagle Scout, he remains active with the Boy Scouts of America as a member of the Buckeye Council’s Marketing Committee, and also enjoys his duties as an official scorer for the Akron Aeros baseball team. He and his wife Donna are parents to one daughter. Stasiowski will partner with vice chairman John Fehrenbach to attend to the myriad of details involved in staging this family event. The Timken Grand Parade will step off at 8 a.m., Sat., Aug. 6, and will be enjoyed by nearly 200,000 spectators along the 2.2 mile route, as well as by millions more via the television broadcast. The parade will feature the current Class of Enshrinees, many returning Hall of Famers, marching bands, giant helium balloons, fabulous floats, and animal and specialty units. Call (330) 458-2048 now to guarantee a bird’s-eye view of all the units by purchasing reserved chairs or bleacher seats for only $8.50 each. Approximately 700,000 people are expected to enjoy the Enshrinement Festival festivities, which consist of 18 diverse events over nearly two weeks, with the central focus and highlight being the Aug. 6 induction ceremony for the 2011 Class of Enshrinees comprised of defensive end Richard Dent, running back Marshall Faulk, linebacker Chris Hanburger, linebacker Les Richter, contributor Ed Sabol, cornerback Deion Sanders and tight end Shannon Sharpe.

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