On March 30, three town residents will be named Shining Stars by the North Branford Education Foundation. Kris Smith, Albert Teixeira and William Choti will be honored for their service to the community with a dinner at Woodwinds.
Smith is the second of the three Shining Stars to be profiled (Choti was profiled yesterday and Teixeira will be featured tomorrow).
Kris Smith's involvement with football in North Branford spans more than 11 years. Her sister, Gayle McKernan, got Kris involved in her son, Kevin's program book in 2000. That same year, they also started a summer fundraiser–an Annual Jimmy Buffett Party, which they ran that together for five years, with all proceeds benefiting the North Branford High School football team, North Branford Youth Football and then the Joe Stone Foundation.
Kris's son, Cameron, started playing in NBYF in 2002.
"I immediately saw the kind of family-type bond this organization fostered and knew I wanted to be a part of it," said Kris. "I spent my time down at the field as Team Mom every year."
From 2006 to 2009, Kris did the NBYF Program Book and also did the NBHS Program Book from 2008 to 2010–a total of seven books in five years. In 2007, Kris approached all of the youth programs in town asking for donations for guest speaker Bob Bigelow to talk about the adults and their role in youth sports.
She started an Alumni Drive from 2008 to 2010 to reach out to all of our past North Branford football players for support. Also, in 2008–under the direction of Coach Mark Basil, Ron Onofrio and Kris's husband, Rick–she helped coordinate the renovations of the boys' Locker rooms in the high school.
In 2009 and 2010, Kris was secretary of the North Branford Touchdown Club and from 2009-2011, she was secretary and sponsorship coordinator for the NBYF program. In 2009 and 2010, Kris reached out to the Potato and Corn Festival for support with the Cow Chip Raffle. This partnership has secured the fundraiser for the Touchdown Club indefinitely.
Also, in 2009, Kris put together a 30-year reunion for the football players and coaches from the 1979 state championship team. These players attended the Education Foundation Pasta dinner, then went to the game and were honored with State Citations for each of them. A reception immediately followed the game.
In 2010 and 2011, for both programs, she was actively involved with selling advertising signs and hanging them at the fields to help show support from our
town. In an effort to bridge the gap between the NBYF program and the high school program, in 2010 and 2011, she implemented 8th-grade Game Day, where the 8th-graders play their last home game of the season on the high school field and all the high school players and coaches come to watch them play and North Branford Youth Football Night where all the youth football players from flag and tackle come and cheer on the high school players.
"This way both programs are supporting each other," she said.
New this year, Kris helped the Recruiting Committee to get more kids involved with the sport of football through NBYF "Get in the Game"
"We were getting the word out to parents that the kids need to get off the video games and get out on the field," said Kris, who also started a NBYF Player of the Week section in the Totoket Times.
For tickets ($45), visit any North Branford Public School including Central Office or call Frank Mentone at 203-484-4729.
Information courtesy of Frank Mentone, NBEF