Chamber and Hall Announce Key Enshrinement Committee Chairs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have named the following key committee chairs:  Rose Ann Manzella, Appreciation Party; Casey Weisend, Balloon Classic and Todd Hawke, Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks; Mark Prosise, NFL/Hall of Fame Game; and Dean Kahler, Food.
Rose Ann Manzella

Manzella is a graduate of Bishop McDonnell High School and St. Joseph College, both in Brooklyn, New York, and spent 20 years as a medical receptionist. She has been a member of the Appreciation Party Committee for 18 years, and this is her second as chairman. Last year, she served as a volunteer for the Hall of Fame Fan Fest at the Cleveland IX Center. A Eucharistic minister at St. Michael’s Catholic Church for 19 years, she is married to husband Dennis.

The Appreciation Party is a non-public event held to show gratitude to the generous sponsors and team of more than 4,500 dedicated community volunteers who provide the resources and support to make the annual Enshrinement Festival such a huge success. Chris Scarpino is serving as committee vice-chair.

Casey WeisendWeisend, owner of Salon Mystique and Salon Suites located in Canton, Ohio, is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and National Beauty College. This is his first year as Chairman of the Balloon Classic committee. Before becoming Chairman of the Balloon Classic committee, Weisend served as the sub-committee chairman for vendors. He and wife Jennifer are the proud parents of three children.

Weisend will be assisted in the planning and staging of the Balloon Classic by vice chairman Keith Bennett. This year the Balloon Classic and Jackson-Belden Music Fest activities will take place a week later than last year, with the event being held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 31, August 1 and 2.

Todd HawkeThe Music Fest Committee is chaired this year by Todd Hawke, principal at GDK & Company, and also currently serving as a Jackson Township Trustee. He is a graduate of Kenton Ridge High School and Ohio Wesleyan University and has served in various capacities on the Food Fest Committee since 2002.  He is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, and American Cancer Society of Stark County.  Todd and wife Tricia have one son and one daughter.

Hawke will be assisted in the planning and staging by vice chairman Carles Moore, and there will be a wide variety of food and beverages, accompanied by a stronger emphasis on music at the event, thus the name change from Food Fest to Music Fest. As always, there will be a Balloon Glow on Friday night and a spectacular fireworks show to conclude Saturday’s activities.

Mark ProsiseProsise is a graduate of Jackson High School, Bowling Green State University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He has served on the Game committee since 1999, and this is his fifth consecutive year as chairman. An active Hall of Fame volunteer for the past 22 years, he has also served on the Autograph and Enshrinement committees. Prosise is past-president of the Jackson Township Community Improvement Corporation. He and wife Sandra have two sons.

Under the direction of Prosise, with assistance from vice chairman Traci Tsai, the Game Committee is responsible for timing and coordination of the pre-game and halftime activities during the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, to be held at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, featuring the Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers before a sold-out stadium and national television audience on NBC “Sunday Night Football.” The game also will be broadcast on Westwood One.

Dean KahlerKahler is a graduate of East Canton High School and Kent State University and also studied at Ohio University. He is retired but stays active by participating in many area running events, including the Enshrinement Festival’s 5-Mile Race in the wheelchair division. He has been active with the Ohio Education Association, as former treasurer of the Tri-County Teachers Association, and with the Hocking Watershed District. In 1987, he was named the Athens County Elected Official of the Year.

The Food Committee oversees the menu and wine selections and works closely with caterers to ensure the success of the food service to 12,000 guests at the Enshrinement Festival’s Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, Fashion Show Luncheon, and Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable. Serving as vice-chairman of the committee is Pete Carbone.

Enshrinement Festival Events to be Featured on TV Broadcasts

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival events are enjoyed by nearly 700,000 people on site, and millions more will be able to enjoy several of the events via television broadcasts.


For the second year in a row, the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner on Thursday, August 6, will be broadcast on the NFL Network.  The event name appropriately reflects that the Hall of Fame Gold Jacket will be presented at this event to each member of the Class of 2015 Enshrinees.  It is one of three iconic symbols of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the other two being the bust which is unveiled at the Enshrinement Ceremony and forever showcased at the Hall of Fame, and the ring which is presented individually to each Enshrinee at his home stadium in the ensuing football season.

Tickets for this prestigious event are still available, and guests are being reminded that in order to accommodate the broadcast, the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner activities will begin with the cocktail party at 5 p.m., followed by dinner, the introduction of a large number of returning Gold Jackets/Hall of Famers, and the Gold Jacket presentation.

Major components of the event, including the presentation of the Gold Jackets to the Class of 2015 Enshrinees, will be broadcast on NFL Network on Thursday, August 6 from 9 to 10:30 p.m., available on Time Warner channel 346 and 1346 HD,  and on Massillon Cable channel 104 and 704 HD.


Approximately 105 parade units will participate in this year’s Community Parade on Sunday, July 26, in downtown Canton.

The community-based parade, founded in 1980 as the Junior Parade, offers local and regional groups the opportunity to participate in an exciting, professional event. The parade units will be staged in the Nationwide Insurance Companies parking lot, with units stepping off at 2:30 p.m. from 11th St. N, traveling south on Market Ave. through the downtown area, and disbanding at approximately Second St. S.

Pam Cook and Gary Rivers from News-Talk 1480 WHBC will team up as co-commentators of the parade from their broadcast booth at the “Market Square” (the former Kresge green space) on Market Ave., between Third and Fourth Streets, North, and Michaela Madison will handle on-street interviews.

The Community Parade broadcast will be available on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28 at 8 p.m. on the following:

  • WIVM-TV  39.1 and WIVN-TV 29.1
  • Time Warner cable channel 989 in Stark County
  • Time Warner cable channel 4 in Tuscarawas, Holmes and Carroll Counties
  • Massillon Cable channel 128 in Stark and Wayne Counties


The TimkenSteel Grand Parade will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, beginning at 8 a.m. The first grand parade was held in 1963, and it has become one of the largest of the events celebrating the induction of the newest Class of Enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This year’s celebration will feature the Class of 2015 Enshrinees and will include a large contingent of returning Gold Jackets/Hall of Famers. Parade spectators will be treated to the sights and sounds of 12 giant helium balloons, 15 marching and military bands, 10 floats, and 20 specialty units, as well as antique vehicles, animal units, and much, much, more.  Specialty units like the giant walking flag, The Jesse White Tumbling Team from Chicago, and the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile are sure to thrill. Spectators will be energized by the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders, their “Skol Line” and mascot Viktor.

Reminder:  Spectators will be required to show their tickets before being permitted to sit in reserved areas, and this will be strictly enforced.

The TimkenSteel Grand Parade will enjoy a wide television viewing audience on Fox Sports Ohio, on Sunday, August 16 approximately 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (or following the Cincinnati Reds live post-game show), with a re-air scheduled for Monday, August 17 from 10:00 pm to midnight. Fox Sports Ohio is available to almost six million households saturating Ohio and reaching into portions of West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York.

The TimkenSteel Grand Parade broadcast will also be available on Saturday, August 22 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday August 23 at 2 p.m. on the following:

  • WIVM-TV  39.1 and WIVN-TV 29.1
  • Time Warner cable channel 989 in Stark County
  • Time Warner cable channel 4 in Tuscarawas, Holmes and Carroll Counties
  • Massillon Cable channel 128 in Stark and Wayne Counties

For more information, call Erin Adcock at (330) 458-2053, or visit the Enshrinement Festival Web site at

Enshrinement Festival Names 2015 Key Committee Chairs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have named the following key committee chairs: Laura Weisgarber, Ambassadors; Allyson Bussey, Guest Services; and Guy Ruda, Enshrinement.

Laura WeisgarberWeisgarber, a Massillon native, graduated from Jackson High School and The Ohio State University.  She had a 23-year career at Diebold, Inc. and most recently spent four years as controller at V & S Schuler.  A member of the Ambassador Committee since 2000, and vice chair for the past four years, this is her first year as chairman. She is on the finance committee of Domestic Violence Project Inc., past president of Institute Management of Accountants, and past chairman of IMA Ohio Regional Council.  A Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, her only “child” has four legs and fur!

Ambassadors Committee vice chairmen are Matthew Petit and Evan Hannon. The Ambassadors Committee is responsible for the First Play event, Ambassador Program, and Welcome Ambassadors. The Ambassador Program works with the returning Hall of Famers to visit and speak at various community locations. The Welcome Ambassador program has been entrusted with the responsibility of welcoming and assisting our thousands of visitors, which can include helping everyone from the paying customer to a returning Hall of Famer or other dignitary.

The First Play event will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 6. Nearly 2,000 enthusiastic youngsters will pass an official NFL football through a three-mile child link chain, from the site in downtown Canton where the NFL was founded in 1920, to the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Emphasizing the importance of physical fitness starting at an early age, it is also a great ceremonial kick-off to an incredible weekend of football.

Allyson BusseyBussey is a graduate of Massillon Washington High School, Kent State University, Leadership Stark County Signature Program, and Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy. She has served on the Fan Appreciation Party and transitioned this year to chairman of the newly formed Guest Services Committee.

She has received numerous award, including 2014 NE Ohio Tourism Excellence Award, 2012 ystark! 20 Under 40 Award, and 2011 Lake Chamber of Commerce Impact Award.  She serves on the Ohio Travel Association Executive Board, is a founding member of the Ohio Has It! Group Tour Organization, and is chairperson of Heartland Travel Showcase.

Guest Services is a new initiative to enhance the visitor experience and provide excellence in hospitality and information services. Volunteers will be stationed at strategically placed tents throughout Pro Football Hall of Fame campus during Hall of Fame Enshrinement weekend to answer visitor information questions and provide any other assistance as needed.  These volunteers will have a broad knowledge of things happening on the campus grounds as well as what exists in the community.  Guest Services will also be stationed at the Fairgrounds to assist visitors who will be transported to the campus, park and direct all motor coaches attending events, and oversee handicapped shuttle transportation. Bussey is being assisted by vice chair Mark Sibert.

Guy RudaRuda, a sales associate for R. Z. Marketing Group, is serving his 15th year as chairman of the Enshrinement Ceremony Committee. He previously served 18 years as a member of the committee, as well as three years as chairman of the former NFL Experience Committee. Ruda and his wife Gail are the proud parents of David and Danielle.

Ruda and his team of volunteers prepare the facilities and programming for staging, seating and logistics of the Enshrinement Ceremony program.  Assisting him will be co-vice chairmen Terry Coyne for planning and Dave McRoberts for facilities. The Enshrinement Ceremony for the Class of 2015 football greats will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m. at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The stellar Class of Enshrinees includes Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, and Ron Wolf.

Prizes to be Awarded for Enshrinement Festival Photo Contest

Cash prizes will be awarded in the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival’s 27th annual Photo Contest. Snapshot enthusiast or professional photographer?  All are invited to enter by taking photos at any of the outdoor Enshrinement Festival events beginning July 26 through September 13.  Awards will be made in both the professional and non-professional categories, and some of the winning photos may be used in future Enshrinement Festival publications.

 Due to the generous support of the Western Reserve Group, cash prizes for the contest total $1,800, and $100 prizes may be awarded to each of the six first place photos chosen from professional and non-professional divisions in the following categories: Community Parade, Balloon Classic/Jackson-Belden Music Fest & Fireworks, Drum Corps International Competition Tour of Champions, TimkenSteel Grand Parade, Canton Kickoff Celebration, and Gold Jacket 5K National Championship. Multiple honorable mention awards in the amount of $25 may also be given in each category. A Best of Show winner will be selected from all entries and will receive $250.Up to 10 photos can be submitted for a single entry fee of $10.  If you have more than 10 great photos to submit, multiple entry fees are welcomed.  Entry forms are available at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Web site at The complete Enshrinement Festival schedule of events is also available on the Web site.All entries must be mailed or delivered to: Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, 222 Market Ave. N., Canton, OH 44702. The deadline for receiving photos is 5 p.m. on Sept. 18.  The winning photos will be on display at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography at 520 Cleveland Avenue North in downtown Canton, and on the Enshrinement Festival’s Web site.

For more information, contact Andrea Hartman at (330) 458-2054 or

Enshrinement Festival Announces Emcees

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival is pleased to announce emcees for the Fashion Show Luncheon on Friday, August 7, and TimkenSteel Grand Parade on Saturday, August 8.

StefaniStefani Schaefer, co-anchor of Fox 8 News in the Morning, will emcee this year’s Fashion Show Luncheon on Friday, August 7, and it promises to be a high energy production. An Alliance native, she is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School and University of Mount Union where she was an All-American Scholar and a National Collegiate Academic Honoree. While in high school, she was a featured vocalist for the Enshrinement ceremonies and she has sung the National Anthem for the Game, so she truly has a soft spot in her heart for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

She first started at WJW Fox 8 in Cleveland in 1992, then took a hiatus to pursue other opportunities including hosting a national network show broadcast out of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. In 2007, she returned to WJW Fox 8, and in 2008, she was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named Cleveland’s Favorite News Anchor and Favorite News Team.

Football and fashion might seem like an unlikely mix, but it’s a perfect fit for the nearly 3,200 guests who enjoy the event that includes state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and video to showcase male and female models featuring the season’s hottest fashions.  An exclusive bridal scene will be an exciting element in this year’s show, and the fashions will be enhanced by the excitement of several performances by Broadway star and Jackson Township native Ashley Spencer, as well as the Constellation Performing Arts Dancers.  Great tickets are still available by calling the Chamber at (330) 458-2048.

Dan DierdorfEarly the next morning on Saturday, August 8, Schaefer will join Dan Dierdorf as co-commentators for the TimkenSteel Grand Parade. Stefani and Dan teamed up as co-commentators in 1999 and 2000, then again for the past two years.  A Canton native and 1996 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dierdorf will bring his extensive knowledge of the game to the parade broadcast for the 17th consecutive year. After an illustrious career with the St. Louis Cardinals, he transitioned to the broadcast booth, most notably at ABC with the Monday Night Football team with Al Michaels and Frank Gifford. After 12 years, he moved to CBS where he stayed until his retirement after the 2013 season, and in April 2014, he was introduced as the new color analyst for the football radio broadcasts at his alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines. Dierdorf was the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joe DunnJoe Dunn will be joining the team for the third consecutive year as man-on-the-street for interviews with the Class of 2015 and many returning Hall of Famers.  After a stint with the Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, he became Director of Sports Marketing at the University of Akron and is currently Vice President of Sales at Big Time Sports, a regional company producing sports talk shows and featuring high school sports coverage.

Parade units step off at Sixth St. and Cleveland Ave. SW and move north to 25th St. NW, where they will begin to disband. For Enshrinement Festival and football fans wanting to enjoy the parade, great reserved chair and bleacher seats are still available for only $9 by calling the Chamber at (330) 458-2088 or by stopping in at 222 Market Ave. N from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Spectators will be required to show their tickets before being permitted to sit in reserved areas, and this will be strictly enforced.

Official Enshrinement Festival Schedule and Pins Now Available

In 2015, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Enshrinement Festival will proudly mark 52 years of honoring the legends of professional football. The world-renowned Enshrinement Festival celebrates the annual Enshrinement of football players, coaches and contributors. With the addition of this year’s class, the Enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame total 295.

A complete schedule for this “One of a Kind Celebration” can be found in the 2015 Official Schedule of Events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. Individuals, area businesses and organizations are encouraged to pick up a supply of this handy rack-sized card at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce to distribute to family, friends, customers and clients. It is also available throughout the community at:

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum
  • Canton and Massillon Auto Clubs
  • Visitors’ Information Center at Akron-Canton Airport

In addition, full event and ticket information can be found at

Official pin Continuing a tradition first started in 1977, the 2015 commemorative pins are also currently available. This year’s pin is only $5, but it could be worth much more for some lucky customers. Thanks to the generosity of McDonald’s • Siegfried Enterprises, Inc., each 2015 pin comes in an envelope with a pin prize entry form.

GRAND PRIZES include: one roundtrip airline ticket courtesy of Southwest Airlines; commemorative item from the Pro Football Hall of Fame; 10 three-foot party subs from J & K Subway (valid in Stark County); a pizza-per-month for one year from Pizza Hut; a gift basket of Pepsi products from Pepsi Beverage Co.; a commemorative Enshrinee football; and a commemorative stein from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival. In addition to these prizes, the pin envelope includes coupons for various food and beverage discounts, as well as discounted admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Entry forms must be completed and returned to the Canton Regional Chamber offices by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Mailed entries received Saturday, Sept. 19, or later are not eligible.

Winners will be drawn and announced on News-Talk 1480 WHBC AM on Tuesday, Sept. 22, between 7 and 8 a.m. No purchase is necessary to win. For a complete list of rules and regulations or to request a blank entry, contact the Enshrinement Festival office at (330) 456-7253.

The current and many past years’ pins can be purchased at the Enshrinement Festival office at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, 222 Market Avenue North, along with a variety of other souvenirs and gift items, including golf shirts, t-shirts and caps. These items will also be available for purchase at all Enshrinement Festival events.

Enshrinement Festival Announces Committee Chairs

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival and Pro Football Hall of Fame have named the following committee chairs: Mike Lancaster, Corporate Host; Gina Bannevich, Fan Appreciation Tailgate Parties; Scott Robertson, Autographs; and Joanna James, Grand Parade.

Mike LancasterLancaster is president of NewMarket Financial Advisors.  He has been an active Enshrinement Festival volunteer since 1976, serving as a ball-boy for the Hall of Fame Game as a youngster, and previously serving as chairman of the NFL Experience Committee.  He supports other community activities as a member of the Stark County Board of Health and Walsh University Planned Giving Committee, is a member of the Hall of Fame Luncheon Club, and a graduate of Leadership Stark County.  He and wife Susan are the proud parents of one son and one daughter.

This year, he chairs the Corporate Host Committee for the fifth consecutive year, leading the effort to provide increased hospitality services and support to corporate sponsors and their guests during the Enshrinement Festival events.  He will be assisted by Steve Neisel as committee vice-chairman.

Gina Bannevich

Gina Bannevich

Bannevich graduated from Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School and University of Mount Union and completed coursework at the Corporate University at Kent State University.  She is currently marketing director at Belden Village Mall. A member of the Fan Appreciation Tailgate Party committee since 2002, this is her third year as chairman. Her community volunteer includes The Golden Key for Exceptional Children, Greater Northeast Ohio ALS Walk Group and chapter volunteer, and a member of International Council of Shopping Centers.  She and husband Jason have a son and a daughter.

There are five fantastic fan parties that are held on Hall of Fame grounds. Friday fans from across the nation will enjoy an exclusive event prior to the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Ceremony. Following a reception guests will have exclusive afterhours access to the museum and view the Gold Jacket ceremony via a broadcast.

The Legends Club VIP Enshrinement Tailgate Party that will be on both Saturday and Sunday will include four Pro Football Hall of Famers, the party of a lifetime for the game’s most elite fans to enjoy.

Also this year the traditional Fan Appreciation Parties will be a great opportunity for football fans from all across the nation to get ready for the Enshrinement Ceremony and the big game featuring Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Saturday and Sunday Fan Parties always include great food and refreshing beverages in typical tailgate fashion as a deejay plays party music.

Bannevich is assisted by Valerie Nash.

Scott RobertsonRobertson has served on the Autograph Committee for many years, and this is his second as chairman.  A graduate of Marlington High School and University of Akron, he is president of Robertson Heating Supply.  He is an active participant with Greater Alliance Foundation, Alliance Area Development Foundation, American Supply Association, and North American Wholesalers Association.  He and his wife Cheryl have five children.

Together with the help of vice chairman Frank Leopold, the committee oversees the sessions where fans have the opportunity to preserve football memories with autographs from the current Class of Enshrinees as well as some of the previous inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joanna JamesJames, a graduate of Tri-Valley High School in Dresden, obtained her bachelor’s degree from University of Akron, and an MBA from Ashland University.  She is the executive director of Project REBUILD, Inc. and is a graduate of the 17th Class of Leadership Stark County.

This is her second and final year as chairman of the Grand Parade.  She previously served as the committee’s sub-committee chair of bands, and since 2010 she has been on the Board of Directors of the Canton Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.

She will partner with vice chairman Pete Truemper  to attend to the myriad of details involved in staging this family event.  The Grand Parade will step off at 8 a.m., Sat., Aug. 8.  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, a large contingent of Hall of Famers, marching bands, giant helium balloons, fabulous floats, and animal and specialty units.  Call 330.458.2048 now to guarantee a bird’s-eye view of all the units by purchasing reserved chairs or bleacher seats for only $9 each.

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