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STRATFORD - June 19 - Thanks to a sudden opening in their schedule, the Stratford Brakettes have scheduled a benefit, nine-inning softball game with the Stratford Fire Department. The game will be played Friday at 7 p.m. at Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field with all proceeds from ticket sales, both presale and at the door, going to the family of Jason Carrafiello, the late Stratford firefighter who died tragically last Dec. 28.

"When Mike Camperlengo (Stratford FD) contacted me several weeks ago, we didn't have any openings in our schedule," said Brakettes General Manager Bob Baird. "Once the New York Swag notified me last week that they were having difficulty fielding a team this early in the season, thus cancelling doubleheaders Friday and Saturday nights, I called Mike and we were able to set it up."

Since the Fire Department team plays in a slow pitch league and no one on their roster pitches fastpitch, the Brakettes will be providing them with one of their pitchers and a catcher. "It's an exhibition game for fun and for an extremely good cause," said Camperlengo.

"I hope we raise a lot of money for Jason's family. He was a great guy who was very involved in youth programs and in our community. He was always thinking of helping others," added Baird. Carrafiello, 38, is survived by his wife Jessica, son Brian and daughter Caitlyn.

"This is another example of how the Fire Department and Brakettes continue to show their concern for our town and the people in it," added Camperlengo.

In addition to the game, there will be a special home run derby with contestants trying to hit the ball over the fence for a donation off Brakettes pitching.

"We're always happy to participate in something for a good cause," said Brakettes Manager John Stratton. "We know what his teammates have experienced because we, too, lost one of ours a few months ago." Danni Kemp of Milford, a 19-year old infielder, died of a rare form of inoperable brain cancer after a gallant seven-month fight.

There will be a bucket for donations at the game as well. Gates to the field open at 5:45 p.m. Brakettes season passes and tickets will be honored at the game.

This is the only playing date for the Brakettes until they depart for Buffalo June 30 and the Aunt Rosie's Invitational July 1-2.