Southington YMCA announces honorees for annual gala

Published on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 21:21


SOUTHINGTON - The Southington Community YMCA has announced the honorees for its annual Celebration and Recognition gala next month.

“We are all excited for the Y’s 90th annual Celebration and Recognition,” said Mark Pooler, the Y’s new CEO. “We are all looking forward to celebrating the incredible contributions all of the honorees have made to our community and as always the entertainment portion of the night will be something no one will soon forget.”

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Aqua Turf Club, 556 Mulberry St. in Plantsville.

The YMCA will review the year and honor Best Buddies, Unified Theater, and Unified Sports for their exemplary demonstration of youth development, Common Good Garden for its demonstration of healthy living, and Fancy Bagel for its demonstration of social responsibility.

This year’s youth leadership awards will go to Sarah McAuliffe and Caitlin Mulligan.

This Person of the year is John DeMello Sr., recognized for for his many years of service to the veterans of Southington.

Through his role on the Veterans Committee, DeMello and his team help ensure that all all Southington area veterans and their families know what resources are available to them and have access those resources, the Y said in a release.

“There are so many amazing people here that we’re helping; it’s humbling,” said DeMello after learning of his upcoming honor. “This is what I love to do; I love how it helps veterans.”

“The first time I met John DeMello, during the veterans’ luncheon when we surprised him with the news of the award, he spoke briefly and entirely off the cuff,” said YMCA Marketing Director Brittany Tripp. “He listed off the names, wars fought, and service years of an extensive list of veterans he noticed in the Y’s all-purpose room. That was the moment it became clear that John doesn’t simply serve the veterans in our community, he cares deeply about them.”

Toward the end of 2018, Pooler and John Myers surprised many of the honorees with the news at their workplaces and at the Y’s Veterans Day luncheon.

The Youth Leadership honorees were surprised by Justin Hubeny, Tom Sangeloty, Katie Sherman, and Kari Robarge.

For tickets, visit Tickets are $50 per person, $30 for veterans and active military, and free for anyone over 80 years old. For additional ticketing information, contact Kristin Kelly at

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 21:21. Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2019 21:23.