Valley Press Club slates annual roast to poke fun at the news, raise funds for scholarships

May 7 2018

SPRINGFIELD — The public is invited to attend the 40th annual Valley Press Club Roast on Thursday at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club, featuring some lighthearted jabs at the news and newsmakers and some return fire from politicians.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the club hall, 33 Progress Ave., Springfield. The show begins at approximately 6 p.m. after a social hour.

The Valley Press Club touts the event as “an evening of immense irreverence” as elected officials and the press trade barbs and good humor — all for a good cause.

Proceeds benefit the club’s scholarship fund dedicated to help area students who wish to pursue careers in journalism. The club has been giving out scholarships since 1964 and has helped more than 130 students with over $130,000 in grants over the years.

Tony Cignoli, noted national political consultant, returns as emcee.

Area mayors, state legislators and some their 2018 election opponents, city councilors and Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi are among the dignitaries expected to attend and participate in the roast. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is a regular attendee.

The roast includes light refreshments, a cash bar and a raffle.

 

The Press Club Roast follows in the footsteps of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner held in Washington, D.C., April 28, which made headlines by being boycotted by President Trump.

“We won’t have that problem,” said Press Club President Charlie Bennet. “Locally, it’s the one night out of the year that folks in the public sector and news sources get to mingle with the media to raise money for scholarships and to have a good time.”

Tickets are $20 and can be obtained in advance online through Eventbrite or at the door.

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