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February 1, 2001

A Hero for Daisy

Calvin College is joining with other area colleges and community groups to bring an inspiring film, and the film's producer, to Grand Rapids.

"A Hero for Daisy" tells the true story of Chris Ernst, who, 25 years ago, led her Yale women's crew team in a dramatic Title IX protest that at the time attracted national attention and put an uncompromising spotlight on inequities in women's athletics. Filmmaker Mary Mazzio, herself an Olympic calibre rower, made the 40-minute movie as a tribute to Ernst and as a way to inspire her daughter, Daisy. She wrote, directed and produced it.

The film will be shown at Grand Valley State University on Monday, February 26 at 9 a.m. It then will be shown at Calvin College (in Gezon Auditorium) on Monday, February 26 at 4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Finally there will be a showing at Studio 28 Theaters on Monday, February 26 at 7 p.m. with tickets available at $3 for students and $5 for adults via 742-2389.

Mary Mazzio will be present at each showing and will introduce the film. President of 50 Eggs Inc., an independent film production company, Mazzio was formerly a partner with the law firm of Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer in Boston.

Her film on Ernst has received critical acclaim and widespread national attention. It was broadcast on ESPN Classics, anchoring a special on Title IX hosted by ABC commentator Robin Roberts and Tennesee basketball coach Pat Summitt. The film also will be screening at the Smithsonian Institution in July of 2001 in collaboration with GAME FACE - What does a Woman Athlete Look Like?, a photographic exhibition.

Mazzio travels around the country promoting the film and the legacy of Title IX. Last week "A Hero for Daisy" was shown by Mazzio in Los Angeles. Next week she'll show it in New York City.

West Michigan organizers, who represent Calvin, Grand Valley, Aquinas, Communities for Equity, the Nokomis Foundation, Kent Intermediate School District, the Michigan Women's Foundation, the American Association of University Women and McLoughlin Communications, say that Mazzio's zeal for Title IX will make an impact locally.

Calvin women's athletic director Nancy Meyer (above) and admissions associate director Rosemary Etter are on the steering committee bringing the film to Grand Rapids.

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Contact Phil de Haan.