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Bill Lee to Headline at Heritage Society Reunion Barbecue
Providence, RI (7/15/2017): The R. I. Reds Heritage Society will celebrate its 17th annual reunion and produce a host of celebrities and former AHL and NHL hockey stars on the weekend of Aug. 4-6. The non-profit organization will also honor local players of achievement, from high school youngsters to a former three-time collegiate All-American in the 1970s.
The highlight event of the busy reunion weekend will occur at Goddard State Park in Warwick on Sunday, August 6, starting at noon. The gathering will be marked by the appearance of guest speaker Bill “Spaceman” Lee, baseball’s zany humorist who will air his views on baseball, sports and life as he sees it. A special guest will be former Mt. St. Charles superstar defenseman Bryan Berard, the #1 overall pick in the NHL’s 1994 draft and the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1995.
To start Sunday’s program, presentations will be made to six high school boys and girls who will be recognized as the Society’s 2017 “Unsung Heroes”. The six recipients are Mary Greenwell, Warwick co-op goalie; Sean Murphy, North Smithfield goalie; Kayla Gravel, Burrillville defensewoman; Erin Drumm, Smithfield/Coventry forward; Liza Farnham, LaSalle/Moses Brown defensewoman; and Jim Varin, Smithfield forward.
Later, three major traditional Reds’ service awards for hockey involvement will be presented to locals Joe Cavanagh, Mark Divver and the late Len Tessier.
Cavanagh will receive the society’s R. I. Native-Born Achievement Award. Today, one of the state’s most respected trial lawyers, he once earned three-time recognition as a high school All-State center and later won three consecutive All-American awards while playing for Harvard University. Furthermore, in 1994 he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Sage Family Public Service Award will be accepted by Mark Divver, a URI grad, hockey writer and assistant sports editor for the Providence Journal. As a kid, he was a high school hockey player for Barrington. He has shown a unique devotion to the history of the Reds, a team he watched and cheered for as a young man at the old R.I. Auditorium.
The late Len Tessier, a well-respected member of the Society’s board of directors, will be remembered posthumously, receiving the Frank McCaffrey Memorial Fan of the Year Award for his enthusiasm and devotion to the R.I. Reds Heritage Society and the organization’s goals. Len passed away January 6 after serving as a member of our board of directors for 13 years.
The annual Tops’ Award, named in honor of the late Zellio Toppazzini, (Reds Player of the Century), will be presented in absentia to Orland Kurtenbach, who unfortunately cannot attend because of a conflicting family commitment. Accepting in his behalf will be Stan Baluik, a Reds’ teammate of Kurtenbach in the early 1960s.
Admission to the event is $35 person. Reservations must be received NLT July 22. No tickets will be sold at the gate. To reserve please contact: Mal Goldenberg at 401-782-6636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information call 401-270-0035 or e-mail UNH1959@aol.com.