HARTFORD, CT – State Representatives and Senators, Democrats and Republicans from Connecticut’s General Assembly are coming together outside of their offices, caucus rooms and chambers in the spirit of bipartisanship, some fun and a good cause.
The CGA will hold its first-ever Kickball Classic on Monday, April 11th, 2022 at Dunkin Donuts Park, 1214 Main Street in Hartford at 4:30 p.m. The admission price for the event is $10 with all proceeds going to the anti-hunger organization, Connecticut Foodshare.
The idea of a kickball event at the home of the Hartford Yard Goats came from a couple of first-term State Representatives, Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D-Avon/Canton) and Corey Paris (D-Stamford) as was bringing together lawmakers in a relaxed setting for a good cause and, for their constituents to support and enjoy the event as well.
Kavros DeGraw and Paris will captain the Democrats while State Representatives Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-Beacon Falls/Derby/Seymour) and Joe Polletta (R Watertown/Oakville/Woodbury) will serve in the same capacity for the Republicans.
Former House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz will coach the blue. Former House Minority Leader Themis Klarides will coach the red squad.
“This event serves as an opportunity to create camaraderie and tradition between the people of our great state and their elected officials,” Rep. Paris said. “It brings the spirit of collegial cooperation for us to connect with our colleagues across the aisle.”
“Sometimes, the public only sees how Republicans and Democrats disagree on how to solve the challenges our state faces,” Rep. Kavros DeGraw said. “What I hope they will see at this great event is how much we like and respect each other, not that it will prevent us from some good-natured game focused trash talk.”
“Hunger doesn’t care about political affiliations and our caucus jumped at the chance to come together to have a little fun and share a few jokes with our across-the-aisle political rivals while helping a great organization like Connecticut Foodshare meet its goal of ending hunger and food insecurity in our state,” Rep. Klarides-Ditria said. “Besides, our opponents know that no matter how many runs the Republicans are ahead by when the game ends, Connecticut Foodshare and the people they serve are the real winners.”
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to take a break from the busy legislative session to share in some friendly outdoor competition against our Democrat colleagues at beautiful Dunkin Donuts Park. Best of all, Connecticut Foodshare will benefit from the proceeds of this matchup. Their work in combatting hunger around Connecticut is incredible and I’m honored to support them,” Rep. Polletta said. “Game on!”
So, why kickball?
Kickball is believed to have been invented in 1917. It is also believed that everyone has played it, seen it played or at least heard of it. It’s safe and easy to play. Dodgeball, for example? Not so much. Kickball was the safe choice, agreed on by everyone just like the beneficiary of the proceeds.
“This kickball game is a great opportunity to bring people from around the state together for a great cause and we’re looking forward to spending the afternoon with all of our partners in the state legislature who have done so much for the people we serve in their communities,” said Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Connecticut Foodshare.