March of Dimes Announces 2012 Elm City Legends Class

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shoreline Times

NEW HAVEN - The March of Dimes is pleased to announce its class of six individuals who will be recognized at the fifth annual Elm City Legends event, which will take place on November 15 at Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven. An evening to honor Greater New Haven champions in the field of athletics and/or community service, the 2012 honorees are: Sam Burrell, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., Bill O'Brien, Vin Dilauro, Warren Howe, and Joe Linta.

"This Legends class of 2012 has accomplished so much in vastly different fields. In the areas of athletics, government service, civic activity, and just good solid citizenship, they set a standard of excellence for everyone to emulate," said John Carusone, Elm City Legends committee member and 2011 honoree.

About the 2012 Honorees:

Sam Burrell

For over 50 years, Hamden resident Sam Burrell has been an active member of the Greater New Haven Community as an assistant baseball coach at Wilbur Cross, a varsity baseball coach at Hillhouse, as head freshman baseball coach at Yale, as assistant freshman football coach at Yale, and JV/varsity administrative assistant football coach at Yale. He is past president of the Walter Camp Football Foundation where he currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Hamden Legislative Council, Chairman of the Camp "Stay in School" Committee, Board of Directors for the CT Special Olympics, the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund, and countless other prestigious, civic minded committees. Sam's numerous accolades include the Polly Sweeten Excellence in Sports Award, NAACP Service Award, Congressional Community Service Award, and induction into the New Haven Diamond Club and Gridiron Club "Halls of Fame."

John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor of New Haven

DeStefano, Jr. was first elected Mayor of New Haven in 1993. He has been re-elected nine times based on his strong record of cutting crime in half, creating jobs, improving the public schools and stewarding New Haven's transition to a successful new, thriving economy. Mayor DeStefano's vision, leadership, and dedication to the people of New Haven have brought renewed opportunity and optimism to this great city.

Bill O'Brien

Widely respected Branford-ite Bill O'Brien has served as the President of the National Football Foundation (NFF) Gene J. Casey (New Haven) Chapter since '92, and recently accepted a position on the organization's national Board of Directors. His prominent leadership roles in the community include President of the Walter Camp Football Foundation & the New Haven Road Race, Board of Trustee member for Quinnipiac University, Campaign Chair of the Greater New Haven United Way, and Commissioner of the Southern CT High School Conference. Bill has also been involved with the Branford Festival Board, Board of Recreation, Economic Development Commission, and the Greater New Haven St. Patrick's Day Parade. He has been awarded a NFF Chapter Leadership Award, Yale University Elm Ivy Award, CT Sports Writers Alliance Gold Key Award, CT Assoc. of Athletics Directors Distinguished Service Award, and was the 1st recipient of the New Haven Register Sportsperson of the Year.

Vincent "Vin" DiLauro

DiLauro has made community involvement his mission. Carrying on the family business as the 3rd generation president and owner of Columbus Auto Body Works, Vin is also associated with numerous civic organizations, including the Rotary Club of West Haven, where he has been actively involved for over 25 years, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and the Unitas Club of Hamden. His love for amateur baseball dates back 50 years when he first played for the West Haven Twilight League. His continued leadership and support earned him a "Gold Bat" community award in 1998. Vin was also named "Man of the Year" by the National Amateur Baseball Federation in 2008, where he currently serves as 2nd Vice President.

Warren Howe

A graduate of West Haven High School & Providence College, Warren was a 2 sport athlete in baseball & football. In 1956 at age 17, he became the first player to hit a homerun at Quigley Stadium, the ball traveling over 400 feet, and was named "Outstanding Senior Scholar-Athlete" for his stellar achievements in both sports & academics. Shortly thereafter, Warren was scouted by the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and the New York Yankees, but chose to accept a baseball scholarship to PC, where he was a star player for the Friars. This lifetime 300 hitter has most recently been awarded a "Gold Bat" from the West Haven Twilight League, and inducted into the Southern CT Diamond Club Hall of Fame.

Joe Linta

Linta , founder of JL Sports and a licensed NFL Agent since 1990, has negotiated over 300 successful NFL contracts worth over $300 million and today represents over 40 current and retired players & coaches in the NFL. He is a 1983 graduate of Yale University and 4 year Bulldog Defensive Tackle. Joe coached at University of New Haven 1983-84 and returned to Yale to coach from 1985-1991. He is the current Hamden Hall Head Football Coach where his son Nick is a senior Wide Receiver and TJ a junior quarterback. He has been a featured guest on SportsCenter/Fox Radio/CBS Radio/ESPN Radio/Sporting News Radio/ Joe is also a regular guest on WPLR with Chaz and AJ- aka Super Agent, and appeared as an assistant coach on the "Drew Goes to the Browns Game" episode of the Drew Carey Show. He and his wife Kathleen live in Branford. They have raised more than $500,000 for the United Way and have given their time and talents to countless other local organizations.

Previous Elm City Legends include: Ed Aston (Cheshire High School swimming), Scott Burrell (former National Basketball Association player and standout at University of Connecticut and Hamden High School), John Carusone (CT ASA Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame), Debbie Chin (Athletic Director at University of New Haven), Larry Ciotti (Daniel Hand High School and Yale football), George 'The Coach' DeMaio (WELI/ESPN Radio), Dr. Paul 'Topsy' DelGobbo (SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame), Bob DeMayo (North Haven High School baseball), Dr. Lawrence DeNardis (New Haven Gridiron Club Hall of Fame), Dr. Richard Diana (former National Football League player and standout at Yale University and Hamden High School), Bob Dikranian (Southern Connecticut State University men's soccer), Dick Gagliardi (Yale University and Hamden High school hockey), Mike Golic (former National Football League player, ESPN on-air personality), Dan Gooley (Quinnipiac University baseball), George Grande (Former ESPN Broadcaster), Abie Grossfeld (Southern Connecticut State University gymnastics), Tommy John (former Major League baseball pitcher), Dr. Donna Lopiano (Former CEO of Women's Sports Federation), Cathy McGuirk (Branford High School field hockey), Gary Moore (Hillhouse High School track and field), Rand Pecknold (Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey), Ken Perrone (Salem State, University of Maine & Southern CT Diamond Club Halls of Fame), Karl Ravech (ESPN on-air personality), Jack Siedlecki (Yale University football), Joe Tonelli (Notre Dame of West Haven coach and administrator), Frank 'Porky' Vieira (University of New Haven baseball), Anne Worcester (First Niagara Open at Yale)

Elm City Legends is proudly presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, and supported by Yale-New Haven Hospital, Clear Channel Communities and Stifel Marcin. Tickets are $85 each and tables of 10 are $800. To purchase tickets/tables or to make a 100 percent tax deductible donation in honor of an Elm City Legend, please visit (click on events), or mail your check to the March of Dimes, 500 Winding Brook Drive, Suite 8, Glastonbury, CT 06033, Attn: Laura Gervais. For additional info, call (860) 815.9356 or email to All proceeds benefit the March of Dimes, working together for stronger, healthier babies.

"Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to support the March of Dimes and to sponsor the Elm City Legends event," said David R. Fusco, president Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "As Connecticut's largest health insurer, we have a unique responsibility to understand and improve not only the health of our members, but also the overall health of the communities in which they live. The March of Dimes is an exceptional organization we have supported for many years and we are grateful for all their efforts to give every baby a healthy start."

"The law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder is proud to sponsor Elm City Legends for the 5th consecutive year and support the March of Dimes in their great efforts to improve the health of babies," said Regina Murphy, partner, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, and March of Dimes board member.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.