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Game of Hope to feature Austintown-led team

February 2, 2012
Special to the Town Crier

The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley is presenting The Game of Hope Charity Basketball Classic at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at Youngstown State University's Beeghly Center.

The game, which raises money for chronically and terminally ill children, is open to the public with tickets $6 each.

This year, Austintown Township Trustee Jim Davis and news anchor Stan Boney will match coaching strategy as honorary head coaches for their respective teams. As in past years, both teams are comprised of local celebrities, dignitaries and media members from the area with the game set to be taped and broadcast on various cable outlets on Sunday, Feb. 26. Check for channel listings.

Those comprising Team Boney include Frank J. Lellio Jr., owner of Rossi Brothers & Lellio Funeral Home; state Sen. Joe Schiavoni; John Gocala Jr. of the Boardman Police Department; Ken Johnson, GM at V & M Star; Judge Mary DeGenaro, Seventh District Court of Appeals; Nick Graham, assistant prosecutor for the city of Warren; Pete Esparra of HM Partners, 2012 Nominate A Player honoree; Ray Housteau from The Amazing Race, Season 7; Austintown basketball coach Stacie Cepin; YSU student Timmy Bowser; and Tom Seifert of Minutemen Press.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson, president of Youngstown State University will assist Team Boney, while Frank Frattaroli, director of marketing for the area Belleria Pizza chain, will serve as team owner.

Team Davis consists of Howland teacher Amy Nilsson; Austintown teacher Andrew Scarmack; Bob Wolleben, CEO of Trumbull Memorial Hospital; Chris Jaskiewicz, COO of Evets Oil and Gas Construction; Deana Shade-Housteau from The Amazing Race, Season 7; Dorothy Bowers-Collins, director of Eastern Gateway Community College; George Dimos, owner of TanFastic Tanning Salon; Jeff Ryznar, VP of Phizzle, Inc.; YSU Assistant Athletic Director Matt Morrone; and sports reporter Shawn Jordan.

Assisting Team Davis as Assistant coach will be Dr. Laura Meeks, president of Eastern Gateway Community College with Rey Esparra, director of client advocacy for GBS Computers serving as team owner.

Bob Hannon, CEO of the United Way of Youngstown/Mahoning Valley once again call the play-by-play.

Pastor Michael Harrison from United Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio and national recording artist Sarah Turner will preside over pre-game ceremonies.

In addition, the Hope Foundation will honor the Charter Class of Hall of Fame inductees: the late Dom Rosselli, former YSU men's basketball and baseball coach and Ed DiGregorio, former YSU women's basketball coach.



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