Starfire’s Final Four Flyaway
By Dave Sanders (XU grad)
March 28, 2012
College hoops — I’d be exaggerating if I were to tell you that I’m an expert. In fact, during my years at Xavier University, I can’t recall attending more than a couple of Musky’s games, not even the crosstown punch out! That being said, this year (with an unprecedented four Ohio teams making it to the Sweet 16) I was actually glued to the flat screen. And there’s no better way to celebrate March Madness than Starfire’s annual Final Four Flyaway.
Co-chair Megan Selnick spotted in the crowd
I’ve been a fairly regular attendee for about a decade, and this year’s committee has a great deal for which to be proud. It’s not easy moving something that’s been successfully established in one location to a brand new one – just ask Tim Tebow. The event decided (for reasons unbeknownst to me, guess I wasn’t cc’d on that email) to move from a Lunken airport hangar to the Porsche of the Village dealership in Mariemont. But hey, you had no complaints from me, since I live within a half court shot.
Starfire’s mission is to enrich the lives of teens and adults with developmental disabilities through unlimited opportunities that build independence and community inclusion. Their annual “Flyaway” has always been a glowing tribute to that effort and has become one of the more anticipated events of the year. The highlight of the event may very well be the raffle that sends one lucky winner to next year’s Final Four. With the success of Ohio and Kentucky schools this year, I can see that trip being a hot ticket in 2013. Sadly, my name was not called when the grand prize was awarded. Although, my post not-name-being-called dance could have fooled you.
The Rumrunners: Kevin Munson (lead guitar), Mario Contardi (vocals and guitar), Joshua Holland (bass), and Brian Williamson (drums)
Then, the RumRunners got the evening jumping. As I noticed a few fans hopping up on stage to sing along, I also attempted to join the stage crew. Epic fail. I ended up tripping over a microphone cord and almost clotheslining the lead guitarist as I tried to regain my balance.
To avoid further “Madness” from the band-members, I quickly exited the stage. A couple of nearby Baylor University grads witnessed this and offered me one of their ridiculously bright neon-yellow jerseys so that the innocent bystanders on the dance floor could see me coming and flee to safety. Knowing that I may have given up my only chance to walk around like a giant Sharpie highlighter, I declined the offer. I’ve got to stay true to my alma-mater after all. I’m telling you the radioactive costumes that the Baylor players wore were the only reason XU lost in the Sweet 16.
I’ve always said the recipe to a successful event includes a good crowd, good music and easy access to the bar & buffet. Add to that, Skyline chili, a bunch of giant screens with NCAA basketball and a dozen of the latest showroom vehicles Porsche has to offer and you easily have the greatest sports-bar in the city. My only complaint is that it’s only once a year. Well done Starfire.
*Photo credits: Steve Thomas of Photographic Memories, LLC.to top ↑