By BRIAN M. JOHNSON
SOUTHINGTON –The United Way of Southington will honor those who helped them help the community March 21 at an annual meeting.
The meeting, titled “Thank you from the Bottom of our Hearts”, will begin at 6 p.m. at The Aqua Turf Club at 556 Mulberry St. It will feature dinner, wine and auctions and the presentation of “Southington All Stars” awards to community members and organizations that have been big supporters of The United Way and its mission.
Jack Eisenmann, executive director of the Southington United Way, said that the United Way has been able to award more money than usual this year thanks to strong support. This allowed them to provide grants to a local ride program to help seniors to make medical appointments and visit loved ones. Additionally, they will present checks next Tuesday to Southington Bread for Life and Southington Community Services next Tuesday, both of which provide meals for the needy.
All Star Award recipients will include: John Myers, Jodie Derwin, the Main Street Community Foundation and the Southington Middle School Athletic Association.
“John is retiring at the end of this year and he was instrumental in taking the YMCA to new levels," said Eisenmann. "The United Way has been involved for many years in helping to fund Y programs that John started to help at risk youth and provide summer camp to those who would have otherwise been unable to afford it."
Derwin, Eisenmann said, is being honored for raising $15,000 to help with the medical expenses of Ryan Catlin, a local youth who was paralyzed in a car accident. She also held a fundraiser for the family at Cadillac Ranch.
The Main Street Community Foundation, Eisenmann said, has helped to fund the senior transportation program.
"There are approximately 100 rides each month which the Calendar House senior center doesn't have the resources to provide," said Eisenmann. "This program is able to provide 60 of those."
The Southington Middle School Athletic Association was formed by members of the community to fund local middle school sports programs after they were cut from the Board of Education budget due to state aid reductions.
"They have been able to successfully fund sports in all three seasons and they are going to be doing it again next year," said Eisenmann.
The United Way of Southington will also be honoring Past President Marc Pelletier, past treasurer Brendan Goodrich and another past board member Ruth Warner for their contributions to the organization.
Eisenmann encouraged all those who support the United Way's mission to join them in celebrating these individuals and organizations who helped them to have a successful fundraising campaign this past year.
"We were able to give out more money than ever before because of you," he said. "And that money stays right here in Southington and benefits Southington residents and programs. Specifically, the United Way seeks to help ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) people who have jobs but still need financial assistance to meet their basic survival needs."
Tickets are $65 per person or $650 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, call the United Way office at 860-628-4565 or visit unitedwayofsouthington.org/events.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.