Giving Thanks: Justin Cowen memorial tournament

To the Editor:

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the SCOR second annual Justin Cowen Memorial Tournament/Fund-raiser took place at the Veterans Park fields, with players from the Rec Plus high school boys and girls teams participating. The co-ed event was organized to honor Justin Cowen, a 13-year-old Ridgefield resident and soccer player who died last summer from osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Despite the low temperature, the event was a huge success, with more than 125 people attending and over $1,700 collected in donations to the Justin’s Smile Childhood Cancer Research Fund and Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, two charities the Cowens have established to honor Justin’s legacy. An additional $825 was collected online. Further contributions may be made at the following link: https;//

This event would not have been a success without the support of the SCOR board of directors, in particular Tim Benedict, Shawn McGrath, Steve Sasse, Steven Dougan, Mark Vanni, and Kishore Rao. I also have to thank the following SCOR friends for their countless contributions: Sarah Katz, Aimee Berger-Girvalo, Martha Issokson, Jeff Armstrong, Chuk Man, and George and Peter Shirvell.

O’Deen’s Barbecue, Venice Restaurant, the Cake Box, and Swoon Bakery made very generous contributions of food and drink which were enjoyed by one and all, and our friends at Soccer and Rugby Store contributed a stunning NYCFC soccer jersey, a soccer ball and a $50 gift card to be raffled off at the event. The Purple Frog contributed a gift basket for a silent auction. All money collected was added to the Justin’s Smile donation.

One group in particular needs to be cited for its exceptional generosity of spirit: the wonderful referees, all of whom donated their game checks to charity.

Finally, my thanks to Tom and Ronee Cowen, whose courage and strength of spirit, drawn from Justin, was a constant inspiration.

Steve Harrington

SCOR Upper House Executive Director,  HSB Division Director

Ridgefield, Dec. 16