Bristol Blues' host families honored at game

Published on Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:45
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - With the Bristol Blues’ regular season ending Sunday, the 15 families that hosted 19 members of the team’s roster for the summer were recognized before Thursday night’s game.

This is the third year in a row that the Blues have provided host families for players that live too far to travel to the stadium, explained general manager of the Blues, Ed Swicklas.

“When players sign up, they can say if they need a host family if they live too far,” Swicklas said.

Some families have participated for all three years, and others for one or two years. The families are from Bristol, Harwinton and Wolcott.

The families either hosted one or two players for 10 weeks during the season, beginning around Memorial Day and ending at the end of this week.

The roles of the host families were to provide a home and meals for players throughout the season and in return, the families received two season tickets for home games.

One of the host families were Dave and Tammy Kelly, who have hosted a player for the past three years. Each year they have met the player a few weeks before the season started, they said.

They explained that they live close by to Muzzy Field and this year hosted Garrett Blaylock, who just graduated high school and now attends Vanderbilt University in North Carolina.

“It’s a good program,” Dave Kelly said. “It’s nice for the players to meet someone else in the area and it’s good if that person is also rooting for them.”

“We will be doing this again next year, without a doubt,” Tammy Kelly said.

Amy Lowrey is in her second year of hosting a player. She said that she lives no more than 10 minutes from the stadium so traveling is easy for the player.

Lowrey said that she hosted Logan Greene from Coventry this year, who grew up playing baseball with her son.

“It definitely benefits and is great for the town,” said Lowrey. “All the kids are great and it’s a great program for the community.”

During the recognition ceremony the host families were presented with a customized, painted baseball bat that was created by Bunty Ray, the baseball coach at Bristol Central High School and owner of Rally Bats, which specializes in wood bats.

Each bat was painted blue, had a Blues logo painted onto it and then were signed by the players before they were given to the families during the ceremony.

Host families are “an intricate part of the team,” said co-owner of the Blues Bob Dabkowski.

“Host families provide players from outside the state comfort and a home, away from home,” Dabkowski said. “The families are terrific and treat the players like their own kids and it makes for a smoother season for the players.”

“We have a meet and greet the weekend before the season starts,” Dabkowski said. “But I’d like to expand and do more of a meet and greet at the beginning of the season next year. Maybe we will have the players, their families and the host families come to the field for a game and to meet each other.”


List of Host Families for summer 2017

Bob & Liz Dudek

Bob & Mae Palmisano

Amy Lowrey

Carol Carter

Chad & Katie Martineau

Tammy & Dave Kelly

Jim & Tammy Bernier

Shannon Surreira

Dean & Linda Kilbourne

Chris & Sue Duhaime

Donna Denehy

Rich & Kim Carmelich

Jesse & Stacey Gallagher

Darlene Guccione

Peter Sassu & Ellen Zoppo-Sassu

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, Bristol Blues on Thursday, 3 August 2017 20:45. Updated: Friday, 4 August 2017 11:02.