The Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation has a new leader. But she’s a familiar face.
Sari Cicurel has taken over as the foundation’s executive director following the retirement of David Blatt, who stepped down after 10 years on the job. Cicurel has been the foundation’s community relations director for six years.
Foundation Board President Stuart Raider said the board is confident there will be a smooth transition from Blatt to Cicurel.
“David and Sari worked together for many years,” Raider said. “We look forward to Sari leading the organization with her knowledge and expertise and following the incredible legacy that David has established.”
Cicurel will continue to do strategic marketing and public relations work for her clients in the healthcare, restaurant, hospitality, automotive, publishing, political, professional services and nonprofit industries.
Blatt was a foundation board member for 10 years before becoming executive director. He said he’s retiring as executive director to pursue business interests and to have more time for leisure activities and his family.
“It’s been my honor to be affiliated with the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation. I’m grateful to the community for its support all these years,” he said.
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The foundation is best known for presenting the annual Hank Greenberg Memorial Golf Invitational and Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner.
Among Blatt’s proudest accomplishments as executive director are establishing the Barry Bremen Memorial Inspiration Award, which is presented at the Greenberg Invitational, and the Pillars of Excellence Award, which is presented to several individuals at the Hall of Fame dinner.
Blatt said he’s also proud of the establishment of the Dr. Steve and Evelyn Rosen Stars of Tomorrow scholarship program. Scholarship winners are honored at the Hall of Fame dinner.
The 28th annual Greenberg Invitational will be June 11 at Franklin Hills Country Club in Farmington Hills.
The invitational is a fundraiser for the Karmanos Cancer Institute at the Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center, an award-winning outpatient facility in Farmington Hills.
Proceeds from the Hall of Fame dinner benefit the Stars of Tomorrow scholarship program, Detroit JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest program, and the Hall of Fame.
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‘We’ll Miss Bill’
One of the 2017 inductees into the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame passed away last month.
William “Bill” Fagenson died Feb. 11 at age 93. He was one of five Hall of Fame inductees last year.
Fagenson was an outstanding athlete at Detroit Central High School and Wayne State University. He led the Central basketball team to the city championship and he was the leading hitter on the Wayne State baseball team as a junior and senior.
“We were thrilled to honor Bill for his athleticism … but, most importantly, we felt his incredible work as the founder of the Trailblazer Day Camp was worth recognizing because he helped in the development of so many boys,” Cicurel said.
The Trailblazer Day Camp was a sports camp for boys.
The nomination deadline for the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame class of 2018 is fast approaching and that’s no joke. The deadline is April 1.
On a related note, the Stars of Tomorrow scholarship application deadline is May 1 and the Jewish News Male High School Athlete of the Year and Female High School Athlete of the Year nomination deadline is June 15.
Nomination and scholarship application forms can be found at www.michiganjewishsports.org. Send forms to Sari Cicurel, Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation Executive Director, 6632 Telegraph Road, No. 304, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301.
The Hall of Fame induction dinner will be Oct. 22 at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, which houses the Hall of Fame.
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