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.
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.
Weisend, 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.
The 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.
Prosise 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.
Kahler 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.