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News Jul 29, 2008 - 3:07 PM

Sports Commission, Forever Young Foundation join forces for Chelsea Cohen Courage Award

By Forever Young Foundation

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NFL Hall of Famer, Greenwich Native Steve Young’s Charity To Be Presenting Sponsor of Award at Sports Night

Steve Young
The Fairfield County Sports Commission and the Forever Young Foundation, the charitable giving entity of Greenwich native and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young, today announced that Forever Young will be the presenting sponsor of the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award at the Commission’s Sports Night awards dinner on October 20. Forever Young, which has agreed to a multi-year commitment, is donating $10,000 this year to the Commission to support its fundraising efforts in promoting fitness and an active, healthy lifestyle and personal development through sports in the county.

This year’s Courage Award winner is Mike Myers-Keitt, a Fairfield Prep graduate and basketball standout who is set to attend Monmouth University. Myers-Keitt, who is a Norwalk native now living in Waterbury, suffered traumatic injuries in a fall on the court in 2006. A cracked right side of his skull, broken bones in his inner ear and considerable nerve damage to the right side of his face left him unresponsive and doctors not sure if he would walk again. The 6-foot-7 Myers-Keitt recovered over a two-year period and has earned a scholarship to Division I Monmouth.

The Commission created the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award in 2006, named after the late Chelsea Cohen, a former Norwalk High soccer star who was the Commission’s first Courage Award recipient. She passed away in 2006 after a courageous bout with a rare form of cancer of the nervous system. The award recognizes the person in the sports community who has shown inspirational strength in battling life-altering obstacles.

“I am excited to be involved again with Fairfield County sports by way of this great Commission and the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award,” said Young, the former Greenwich High star. “I have always felt one of the great principles of athletics is competing against yourself -- it is about self-improvement, being better than you were the day before. The recipients of the Chelsea Cohen Courage award face seemingly insurmountable personal obstacles, yet persevere and accomplish the highest level of athletic achievement. I am proud to have my name associated with such greatness.”

“The announcement that Steve Young’s Forever Young Foundation is lending its generous support to both the Commission and the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award is extremely rewarding to all of us in the Fairfield County sports community,” said FCSC Executive Director Tom Chiappetta. “This partnership is a prime example of what the Commission strives to accomplish, bringing together a native son like Steve who wants to give back to the place where he got his start with an award that recognizes inspiring athletes that have encountered a setback in their athletic career.”

As part of the sponsorship, Forever Young and the FCSC will make a donation of $2,000 to the Chelsea Cohen Memorial Foundation, which was started by Cohen’s parents Barbara Rittner and Larry Cohen. The Cohen Foundation’s goal is to fund HOPE (Helping Open Possibilities for Excellence), which will support young athletes who need financial assistance to reach their athletic goals. The fund also is raising money for research to help find a cure for CNS Sarcoma, the rare cancer that took Chelsea’s life.

Jason Maiella, a standout baseball player at Sacred Heart University, was the first winner of the award in Cohen’s name in 2006. Last year’s recipient was John Tartaglio, a Milford resident and Fairfield University student, who at the age of 17 had both his legs and his left bicep amputated, but did not discourage Tartaglio from becoming an active, inspirational triathlete.

The fourth annual Sports Night awards dinner is set for Monday, Oct. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich at 6 pm. One of the highlights of Sports Night is the induction of the six newest Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame members. Young, who spent 14 years in the NFL, was one of the original 9 Hall of Famers inducted in 2005, the same year he went into the National Football Hall of Fame.

The Fairfield County Sports Commission, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization that promotes fitness, an active healthy lifestyle and personal development through sports. The Commission, other than the executive director position, is an all-volunteer group dedicated to creating and supporting programs for fitness awareness education, primarily centered on the 110,000 school age children in the 15 communities it oversees. For more information, go to

Forever Young Foundation is a non-profit, public 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to pass on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children. Each year, through the efforts and vision of Steve Young, thousands of seriously ill, underprivileged, and at risk children are given therapeutic, academic, and athletic opportunities they would otherwise never receive. For more information, visit

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