Emcees named for Enshrinement Festival events
CANTON, OH (July 29, 2010) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced emcees for various events during this year’s festivities. [gallery link="file" orderby="rand"] Matt Fox will serve as emcee at the Fashion Show Luncheon on Aug. 6. He is a well-known HGTV host who has had great success as a speaker, television host, carpenter and designer, as well as being a published author. With 16 years of experience as a public speaker and a presenter at home and garden and trade shows, he has also appeared on numerous national and regional radio and television shows as well as being interviewed by many prestigious publications, including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He was the host of HGTV’s “Room by Room,” which started in 1994 with co-host Shari Hiller. Fox wrote, designed and hosted over 360 episodes. His Christmas episode the highest-rated special in HGTV history. He and Hiller have authored two books, Real Decorating for Real People and Great Weekend Projects. He is a weekly contributor on Canton’s own News-Talk 1480 WHBC radio show and coming in 2011, he and Shari will have a brand new series for PBS called “Around the House with Matt and Shari.” The fashion show will include state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video to showcase male and female professional models wearing the season’s hottest fashions. Providing added energy throughout the show will be a variety of musical entertainment including Michael Stanley, Disco Inferno and the American Commodore Tuxedo Dancers. High fashion trends are also expected to be seen on attendees who hope to win the third annual Westfield Belden Village “Fan Fashion Favorite” contest. A winner in each dining room will receive a $50 Westfield Belden Village gift card or a $250 Westfield Belden Village gift card if selected as the grand prize winner. Guests are reminded that this year’s festivities will begin one-half hour earlier, with doors opening at 11:00 a.m. and activities starting at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for this fashion and entertainment celebration are available by calling (330) 458-2048. John Saunders, ESPN Studio Host and Play-by-Play Commentator, will serve as emcee of the Enshrinees Dinner on Aug. 6. One of ESPN’s most visible and versatile commentators since 1986, he has hosted and provided play-by-play for a variety of sports including NBA telecasts. He is host of ESPN’s NBA Matchup, a weekly studio show focusing on the X’s and O’s of the game, and ESPN2’s NBA Coast to Coast, a whip-around format program offering live look-ins to games along with news, information and analysis. In addition, in January 2002 he was named host of ESPN Magazine’s Sports Reporters, ESPN’s Sunday morning roundtable of print reporters who discuss the week’s topical issues. Saunders has also worked for ABC since 1990, hosting NCAA basketball telecasts since 1998 (also 1990-91), college football telecasts since 1992 and NHL action (1993, 1999-2004). He has served as a contributor to Wide World of Sports since 1990 and also provided play-by-play of NCAA basketball games (1992). Saunders is a native Canadian who was an all-star defenseman in the Montreal junior leagues, received a scholarship and played hockey at Western Michigan from 1974-1976, then transferred to Ryerson Polytechnical in Toronto. A former colleague and close friend of the late Jim Valvano, Saunders serves on the board of directors for The V Foundation for Cancer Research and is actively involved in many of the organization’s fundraising events and initiatives. The Enshrinees Dinner activities will begin on Friday, Aug. 6, with cocktails at 5:15 p.m. A large contingent of returning Hall of Famers will be present to congratulate this year’s Class, and the highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Hall of Fame/NFL Alumni gold jackets to the seven Enshrinees – Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. Limited Enshrinees Dinner tickets may be available: (330) 458-2048. Dan Dierdorf will be teaming up with husband and wife team Dionne Miller and Ray Crawford from Fox Sports Net Ohio to co-host the television broadcast of the Timken Grand Parade, which will step-off at 8 a.m. on Aug. 7. Diedorf, a Canton native, is a 1996 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and 2000 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a 1970 consensus All-American at the University of Michigan. He went on to play 13 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (1971-1983), was named All-Pro five times, was selected as the NFL Players Association’s top offensive lineman three times and was voted to the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1970s. He began his broadcasting career in 1984 with CBS Sports’ NFL broadcasts, first as play-by-play announcer and later as color analyst. In 1987, he joined the ABC Sports’ “Monday Night Football” broadcast team, and in 1999 returned to CBS Sports as a game analyst for the network’s coverage of the NFL on CBS. Nationally recognized as one of the top football announcers in the industry, Dierdorf is a three-time Emmy Award nominee (1987, 1988, and 1989) as Outstanding Sports Analyst, and the 2008 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Miller will be in the broadcast booth to provide color commentary. She is a freelance host/reporter with FSNO, mainly as a sideline reporter for the high school football game of the week and remote host for “Buckeye State Tailgate.” Crawford will be responsible for man-on-the-street interviews with the 2010 Class of Enshrinees and many returning Hall of Famers. For the past two years, he has been an anchor and reporter for FSNO, mainly for Blue Jackets hockey, Xavier men’s college basketball and high school football. The Timken Grand Parade will step-off at 8 a.m. on Aug. 7, following Cleveland Avenue from 6th Street south to 25th Street north where it will begin to disband. Featured will be the 2010 Class of Enshrinees along with many returning Hall of Famers, 12 giant helium balloons, 21 marching and military bands, 11 floats, antique vehicles and 23 specialty units including the giant walking flag, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team, Ohio Purple Peddlers, South Shore Drill Team from Chicago, Ill. and Wade Henry unicyclist. Local viewers can watch the parade broadcast on Fox Sports Net Ohio, which is available to nearly 5.7 million households saturating Ohio and reaching into portions of West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York. It will be broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. (immediately following the Cincinnati Reds post-game show). For those wishing to enjoy the sights and sounds on-site, reserved chair and bleacher seats are available: (330) 458-2048. James Lofton has the distinction of being the first Pro Football Hall of Famer to emcee the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable on Aug. 8. An Academic All-America choice from Stanford, he was also an accomplished track performer and won the NCAA long jump title as a senior. Lofton’s speed and “soft hands” made him an immediate deep-threat receiver from the moment he entered the pros in 1978 as the number one draft pick of the Green Bay Packers. It was something that would remain throughout his long career with Green Bay, the Los Angeles Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. In 16 seasons, Lofton caught 764 passes for 14,004 yards – an average of 18.3 yards per catch. Nine times he recorded more than 50 catches in a season. His 14,004 career-reception yardage mark was an NFL best at the time of his retirement, while his 43 games with 100 or more yards receiving ranked third. In 13 playoff game appearances, Lofton caught 41 passes for 759 yards and eight touchdowns, including a seven-reception game in Super Bowl XXVI. In three of those playoff games he recorded 100-yard plus performances. Extremely durable, Lofton was the first NFL player to score a touchdown in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Many of his 75 touchdown receptions came on long passes when he simply outran the opposition. He retired with a host of team and NFL accolades and records to his credit including appearance in eight Pro Bowl games, 1978-92, and three Super Bowls, 1989-92; retired as record holder for most pass reception yardage in NFL history (third place in 2003); and is a 2003 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable activities will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, and will conclude with a center stage roundtable presentation featuring the newly inducted Class of Enshrinees in an unscripted, up-close-and-personal format where they share stories and memories of their careers. Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable tickets are available: (330) 458-2048.