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Gold Key Banquet moved to October 18

Continued concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have prompted officials of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance (CSWA) to again reschedule the date of the 79th Gold Key Dinner. The event is now slated for Sunday, Oct. 18 at the Aqua Turf Club in the Plantsville section of Southington.

The dinner had originally been scheduled for April 26, then had been shifted to June 14 upon an executive order by Gov. Ned Lamont banning large crowds through May 20. With the likelihood that deadline will be extended, CSWA officers solicited input from the 19 honorees plus board members, ultimately deciding to postpone the event until fall

"We have no intention of putting anyone at risk, and asked each of our honorees and board members their thoughts before deciding to shift the date again," CSWA president Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. said. "We hope that moving this prestigious gathering six months from now will enable more people to attend and celebrate the accomplishments of our outstanding honorees."

First celebrated in 1940, the Gold Key Dinner honors Connecticut sportspersons of the past and present. The Gold Key itself, one of the most prestigious athletic awards in the state, is presented to athletes, coaches and administrators who have made longstanding, significant contributions to Connecticut's rich athletic heritage.

Tickets to the Gold Key dinner are $75 apiece, and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.

Gold Key Award recipients for 2020 are five legendary scholastic coaches: Cookie Bromage (Enfield field hockey), Joe Grippo (Morgan girls volleyball and girls basketball), Lou Milardo (Hale-Ray softball), Ricky Shook (Danbury wrestling) and Angela Tammaro (Greenwich Academy field hockey and lacrosse).

The Gold Key is presented to athletes, coaches and administrators who have made noteworthy contributions to Connecticut's rich athletic heritage.

Baseball Hall of Fame honoree Claire Smith, 2017 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, will receive the President’s Award.

Other award winners who will be recognized at the banquet include:

  • Hank O’Donnell Female Athlete of the Year: Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

  • Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year: Alfonso Vazquez Villar, Windham High

  • Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year: Bobby Pattison, Newtown football and Kitty Palmer, Guilford field hockey

  • John Wentworth Good Sport Awards: Ben Aleks, Somers; Paul Duddy, Mystic; Steve Krevisky, Middletown; Bill O’Brien, Stratford; Bill Santillo, New Haven

  • Hal Levy High School Recognition Award: Dave Johnson, Monroe

  • Bob Casey Courage Award: Caden Gesualdi, Ellington High

  • Bo Kolinsky Special Recognition Award: Elizabeth Fry, Westport

  • Bo Kolinsky Memorial Sports Journalism Scholarship: Johanna “Hanny” Wolkoff, Farmington

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