For the Danbury Westerners, their summer season doesn’t kick off with a ballgame; but with a breakfast.
Often held the morning of or the morning before their first home game, the Celebrity Breakfast has been a get-together between the Danbury Westerners and guests to prepare for the upcoming New England Collegiate Baseball League Summer Season and raise money for the team.
Speeches from the event include a famous baseball-related guest speaker, welcome speeches by the mayor and team president, and the annual presentation of the Michael Seri Award for perpetuating community partnerships, dedication, and sportsmanship on behalf of the Westerners.
“The impact of the Celebrity Breakfast on our organization is immeasurable,” Danbury Westerners President Emeritus Paul Schaffer said, “It is consistently our largest fundraiser, but equally as important, it allows us to present the current year team to the community.”
Past speakers at this event have included current New York Yankees Radio Broadcaster John Sterling, ongoing WFAN Talk Radio Host Steve Somers, and Former Major League Baseball Player and Manager Bobby Valentine. At their last event reiteration in 2019, the team enjoyed having former MLB outfielder Mickey Rivers. Rivers won two World Series with the Yankees in 1977-78, on top of being a one-time American League stolen base leader in 1975 and a one-time all-star in 1976.
The Celebrity Breakfast did not occur in 2020 due to COVID-19, which canceled the 2020 NECBL Season. The NECBL will have a season in 2021; however, the Breakfast will not take place regularly this summer due to crowd restrictions.
The steps could be in motion for a Celebrity Breakfast at a later date. All restrictions have been lifted at the Amber Room in Danbury as of last week. The Amber Room has been the host to 10 of the previous 11 Danbury Westerners Events. However, CDC Guidelines are still in effect as both workers and guests who aren’t fully vaccinated must wear facemasks.
“There will be future breakfasts, and the safety of all our guests is most important,” Danbury Westerners President Emeritus Paul Schaffer said, “I am hopeful we will have the Celebrity Breakfast sometime in 2021, but until it's completely safe to do so it's in everyone's best interest to defer it a little bit longer.”
The first game that the Danbury Westerners host at Rogers Park this season will take place on Saturday, June 5 at 6:30 against the Valley Blue Sox. It will mark 674 days since the Westerners’ last official NECBL game.