Key event chairs named for Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
CANTON, OH (March 18, 2010) – The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has named the following key committee chairs: Steve Fricke, Balloon Classic Invitational and Steven Meeks, Jackson-Belden Food Fest & Fireworks; Keith Bennett, Ribs Burnoff; and Eric Stasiowski, Timken Grand Parade. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"] Fricke graduated from Otterbein College and also holds a Masters of Education degree from Kent State University. With 13 years of service on the Balloon Classic Invitational committee, he is serving his second and final year as chairman. He has also served on the Security & Logistics committee for seven years, and served eight years as a “Battle of the Bands” judge for the Timken Grand Parade. A school psychologist and behavior consultant at Tuscarawas-Carroll-Harrison Educational Service Center, he is a member of the Ohio and National Associations of School Psychologists and is president of East Central Ohio School Psychologist Association. He is married to wife Barb. The Balloon Classic Invitational will mark its 25th anniversary this year. Assisting Fricke as vice chairman of the event committee is Scott Sanders. Meeks, recently appointed Stark County Commissioner, has been an Enshrinement Festival volunteer since 1990. He has been active with the Community Parade and events formerly known as Kickoff Sunday Race and Parade, and the Hoover Grand Parade, which he chaired in 2002 and 2003. In addition to service as Jackson Township Trustee from 2000-2007, he has been affiliated with the Stark County Township Association and Jackson Township Economic Development and Comprehensive Plan Steering Committees. He is a graduate of the Stark County Local Government and Ohio Township Leadership Academies. He is the 2008 recipient of the Jackson- Belden Chamber of Commerce “Howard L. Krum an Memorial Award for Outstanding Citizen.” He and his wife Patty have three daughters, one son and one granddaughter. Meeks will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Food Fest by vice chairman Chet Niewierski. Fricke, representing the Canton Chamber, and Meeks, representing the Jackson-Belden Chamber, are partnering to stage the Balloon Classic Invitational and the Food Fest and Fireworks, respectively. This is the 16th year the two Chambers have collaborated on these events, which will take place July 30 and 31, and Aug. 1 on the grounds of Kent State University at Stark and Stark State College. During a two-and-a-half-day period, more than 125,000 people will attend this family-friendly event, which includes approximately 70 hot air balloons, spectacular fireworks, food and beverage vendors, children’s activity area and musical entertainment. Bennett, recently appointed Stark County Engineer, is a graduate of Akron University and former president of Hammontree & Associates, Ltd. He has been a member of the Ribs Burnoff committee for 14 years, with 2010 being his second and final year as chairman. He serves on the boards of Friends of the Children Network and American Society of Highway Engineers and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Bennett and wife Barbara are the parents of one son and one daughter. Long-time Ribs Burnoff committee volunteer Vicky Sterling 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. 4 through 6 at the Stark County Fairgrounds. Special attractions include rib and specialty food vendors, beverages, a children’s entertainment area, fantasy football zone of interactive inflatables, 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 first 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. Stasiowski 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 televised family event. The Timken Grand Parade will step off at 8 a.m., Sat., Aug. 7. It 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, animal units and specialty units. About the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival In 2010, nearly 700,000 people are expected to enjoy 19 unique and diverse events over a ten-day period from July 30 through August 8. The central focus and highlight of the Enshrinement Festival will be the Aug. 7 induction ceremony for the 2010 Class of Enshrinees comprised of guard Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, cornerback Dick LeBeau, running back Floyd Little, defensive tackle John Randle, wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith.