Celebrity Classic Raises More Than $7,500 for STARS Program
2 July 2010
New Hartford -The 8th Annual Sitrin Celebrity Classic Wheelchair Basketball Game, held April 15, was a huge success, raising more than $7,500 for the Sitrin STARS (Success Through Adaptive Recreation and Sports) program! Held in the New Hartford Senior High School gymnasium, the game pitted local celebrities against athletes from the Sitrin STARS program. Halftime also featured some excellent entertainment, with an all-star game filled with local high school and college athletes; and a three-point competition with Andy Rautins.
Sitrin was pleased to have the participation of many local celebrities, including:
- Joseph Griffo, Senator
- Andy Rautins, Syracuse University Basketball Player
- Erin Hamlin, Olympian and World Champion Luger
- Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive
- Donald Ryan, Mayor of New Hartford
- Matt Hamill, Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Symeon Tsoupelis, Jr., Symeon’s Greek Restaurant
- Gary Heenan, Utica College Hockey Coach
- Jason Powles, WKTV
- Bill Keeler, The Keeler Show
- Mark Richards, Lite 98.7 DJ
- Jim Rondenelli, WIBX 950am
- Christian Faustmann, Best Buy
- Bernadette Tahan Quenneville, Joe Tehan’s Furniture
- Dr. Martin Morell, Rheumatologist
The STARS easily won the game 43-30.
The event would not have been possible without the generous support of many local sponsors, including The Fountainhead Group, Inc., The Hartford, Best Buy, and Bank of New York Mellon. In addition, The Bank of New York Mellon and Best Buy provided all of the volunteer workers for the Sitrin Celebrity Classic.
Proceeds from the event support:
- Wheelchair basketball, featuring a year-round schedule of practices and scrimmage games.
- Adaptive golf, currently offered at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club in New Hartford.
- Adaptive Paddling instruction, as well as trips to area lakes in the Adirondacks.
- Air rifle shooting, allowing individuals with disabilities to participate in competitive shooting.
- Wheelchair curling, which has enabled athletes to compete at the national,international, and Paralympic level.
- Wheelchair road racing and training for participants of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race Wheelchair Division. Several STARS athletes have successfully completed the Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenge, receiving their own customized racing wheelchair as a prize.
Created in 2001, STARS provides people with physical disabilities a number of exciting athletic opportunities that enable them to compete throughout the country, and around the world. In addition to basketball, the STARS program includes golf, paddling, curling, road racing and adaptive shooting.