New Canaan Old Timers Association 2023 Honoree Ceremony Set for Sept. 17 [Q&A]


A New Canaan-based nonprofit organization that honors local athletes has scheduled its popular annual ceremony.

The New Canaan Old Timers Association event is to be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Waveny House (register here—$50 for adults, $20 for students and children under 14 free).

We put some questions about the organization and ceremony to board member and historian Terry Dinan.

Here’s our exchange.


New Canaanite: For our readers who may not know the organization, what is the New Canaan Old Timers Association?

Tom McInerney at the podium at the 2021 event, Old Timers Board members Bill Brown (l) and Terry Dinan (r) in the background.

Terry Dinan: The Old Timers is an organization that was founded in 1982, dedicated to honoring New Canaan athletes and athletic figures of the past while simultaneously supporting New Canaan athletes of the present and future. We host three annual fundraising events– a golf outing in June, the Homecoming Pancake Breakfast and perhaps most significantly the Honoree Ceremony held at Waveny in September.

Tell us a little bit about this year’s honorees.

  • Kate Dawson was a 1990 grad of NCHS – a multisport star and possibly one of the most academically accomplished student-athletes of her era. She played four years of college lacrosse and field hockey at Holy Cross; something you never hear of today in high school, much less college. An amazing role model and trailblazer for women’s athletics, she went on to medical school and is now a doctor.
  • Ian Hobbs was another New Canaan multisport standout through youth and high school, eventually playing goalie for Johns Hopkins University Men’s Lacrosse. He is someone who has New Canaan coursing through his veins – he moved back here and is constantly giving back to this community as a volunteer coach and board member. He’s a great representative of a wonderful New Canaan family.
  • Chris “Hawk” Kinsley played on some of the greatest New Canaan High School football teams ever back in the late 1960’s. He played for Joe Sikorski and Bob Lynch and took what he learned from them and became a beloved coach in the New Canaan Pop Warner program. He also was a respected policeman in town for many years, an amazing man and someone who loves this community.
  • Jessica Mannetti was a star basketball player at NCHS and she is now one of the most respected young coaches in women’s college basketball, having built Sacred Heart’s team into a winning program. She made national news when she led them to the NCAA tournament this past March.
  • Don Overbeck is our Memorial Honoree this year. He was one of the best basketball players to ever wear a New Canaan jersey and helped lead the Rams to the 1962 State Championship. Don went on to play basketball at Trinity College, married his high school sweetheart Gail and started to raise his family in New Canaan when he was stricken with cancer and passed away in 1974 at 29 years old. He left behind Gail and his three young sons – Brian, Chris and Scott. All three boys became star athletes and helped carry on their dad’s name and legacy.
  • Chris Silvestri is possibly the greatest all-around football player Lou Marinelli has ever coached and one of the best New Canaan athletes to ever wear the read and black. He owns virtually every career and season rushing record in the book and was an amazing defensive back. He also was star basketball and baseball player. After playing college football at Lafayette and Fairfield, Chris eventually came back to New Canaan to teach and coach the Rams football team as a Defensive Coordinator. He is one of the top assistant coaches in the country, respected and loved by all who play for him.

What happens at the Sept. 17 ceremony? What can attendees expect?

2022 New Canaan Old Timers honorees (L-R): Elaine Benko (accepting for Mary Beth Gilbert), Tom Murphy, Lou Marinelli, Dave Stewart, Scott Harrison, Lisa Taylor Lane.

We start with a light continental breakfast at 11 A.M. in which guests and honorees arrive at Waveny. Then around noon we start the ceremony on the south patio. I introduce each of the honorees and they give a speech. That part of the day lasts about 60-75 minutes. The ceremony is immediately followed by lunch. It’s a great time for old teammates, coaches, friends and classmates to reconnect with each other, retell old stories and recall great moments of the past – from both on and off the field. We always have an amazing crowd in attendance, everyone from current and former coaches to local town officials come. It’s a special day.

Where do proceeds from the event go?

All proceeds from this and our other two events help endow the Vin Iovino Athletic Scholarship, named after the former New Canaan High School Athletic Director. We accept donations as well. We work in tandem with current AD Jay Egan and the NCHS athletic department and present the scholarship to a NCHS male and female student athlete at the end of the academic year who best embody the values Mr. Iovino championed – leadership, loyalty and humility. I’m fortunate enough to still be in contact with Mr. Iovino who was a hero to me and a father figure to almost every New Canaan athlete during his time as AD. He treated the athletic community like a family and we try to keep that familial spirit alive.

What else can you tell our readers about the Old Timers or the ceremony?

Join us for the September 17th ceremony and please consider joining the Old Timers Association. Our longtime President Len Paglialunga, Vice President Rick Ericson and Secretary Lauren Cerretani will be stepping down after many years of service. We are looking to add members. When I talk to Mr. Iovino we speak of how New Canaan has an extraordinarily rich athletic history. Sports are a huge part of the identity and fabric of this community. We are a town of only 20,000 and we have two current NFL players, an MLB player, an NHL player, dozens of collegiate athletes and perhaps most impressively we had an NCHS grad, Bill Toomey, win the 1968 Olympic gold medal in the decathlon. It’s an incredible past and an identity to appreciate and be proud of as New Canaan moves forward. The Old Timers are here to help make sure we secure that legacy and bridge the gaps from the past to the present and future. For more info and to register for the event, visit

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