FAIRFIELD, CT - The Fairfield County Sports Commission held their eighth annual Sports Night on Monday at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich with Sacred Heart football coach Paul Gorham receiving this year's Chelsea Cohen Courage Award. In addition, SHU co-sponsored the Bill Gonnillo Local Sports media Award with Fairfield University with Athletic Director Donald Cook presenting the award.
Bill Gonillo Local Sports Media Award - Named after Bill Gonillo, who passed away suddenly in 2008 at the young age of 44. Gonillo covered local sports for 12 years at News 12. The award is given to members of the media that emulate Bill's passion for local sports and provide a supportive voice for the sports community in the country. This year's recipient was David Fierro, a sports reporter for the Hearst Newspapers' Greenwich Times. Fierro has worked at the Greenwich Times since 2003. He has covered sports on all levels, primarily high school and collegiate. The award was presented by Sacred Heart Athletic Director Don Cook and Fairfield Athletic Director Eugene Doris.
Cook also accepted the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award, which was awarded to Sacred Heart head football coach Paul Gorham who could not make it to the ceremony. The Chelsea Cohen Courage Award is named after the Late Chelsea Cohen, a former Norwalk High soccer star who was the commission's first Courage award recipient and passed away in 2006. The award recognizes the person in the sports community who has shown who has shown inspirational strength in battling life-altering obstacles.
"On Paul's behalf, his wife, Noreen and family I want to thank the Fairfield County Sports Commission for recognizing Paul in this way. Having followed Paul's tragic journey for most of this past year, a journey that cost him his lungs and lower legs, I need not belabor the enormous act of courage and faith it has taken for him to survive."
Coach Gorham is still receiving medical treatment and is working hard to be involved with the program as much as he can for associate head coach Mark Nofri, who now is handling the head coaching duties.
"Nine months ago, Paul thought each breath might be his last. His lungs completely abandoned him. Today, He considers each breath a special gift. When he wakes up each morning and the sun is about to celebrate the beginning of another clear day, he's just very grateful to be breathing the fresh air. Put simply, he's just happy to be alive," Cook went on to say.