SOUTHINGTON - Members, donors and volunteers at YMCA Camp Sloper were treated to a cookout Thursday as they celebrated the induction of prominent past “Sloperians” into the camp’s Hall of Fame and recognized other exemplary members past and present.
Barbara Glaude, Terri Connellan, Beth Rosin and Pat Rosin were inducted into the Hall of Fame Thursday. Awards were presented by Mark Pooler, CEO of the Y, Jackie Seeger, membership director, Justin Hubeny, outdoor center director and Jay Jaronko, executive director.
Glaude was a camp staff member in the 1980s and also served as Waterfront Director and as Aquatics Director for the past 18 years. She is the lead trainer for CPR, lifeguarding and first aid.
“Her honesty, integrity, dedication, hard work and commitment to safety have made our camp and our Y a better place,” said Hubeny. “She instilled all those same wonderful traits in her children and we are lucky enough to have Alexa out here as our boating instructor and lifeguard making sure we stay true to her mother’s intentions- keeping kids safe.”
Glaude said what she did was her passion and she loved doing it.
“Congratulations to all of you being honored tonight and thank you for being Y members and supporting the Y,” she said.
Connellan was applauded for 21 years as the “official camp photographer.” She also volunteers on the Outdoor Center Committee, chairs the Sloper Alumni subcommittee and is co-captain of the “Leaping Ladies” team for the Sloper Plunge.
“Terri has seen the impact of what a camp experience can do for children,” said Pooler. “She believes in what we do out here, she is an advocate for our work in the community and she is a part of what makes us so successful as an organization. I am proud to call her a business partner, dedicated volunteer, Sloper Plunge captain, now a Sloper Hall of Famer, but most importantly a lifelong friend.”
Connellan said she was honored to receive the recognition.
“It means do much to me coming here for so many years,” she said. “There is always something worthwhile going on. It brings tears to my eyes all the great stuff this place does.”
Beth and Pat Rosin met at Camp Sloper in 2002 and have been together ever since. Their two children, Eli and Tessa, now attend the camp.
Pat Rosin started in 1999 and worked his way up from senior counselor to camp director. He served the camp for 10 years. Beth Rosin started in 2002 as a senior counselor and worked her way up to assistant camp director. She put in eight years of service with the camp.
Both were credited for making several program improvements during their time at Camp Sloper.
“Having the opportunity to work side by side with them was a wonderful experience for me,” said Pooler. “It was kind of like having a devilish, wild and zany person on my left and an angelic, responsible, super organized person on my right. I will let you all decide who is who, but either way, we balanced each other out very well and did some great things for the camp in our time together. And, if there were any disagreements between the three of us, Pat and I usually just did what Bethany said.”
Beth Rosin said she was very pleased by how much Camp Sloper had grown. Pat Rosin got the crowd involved in singing a camp song: “I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor.”
The Y also recognized Nicholas Landbeater as “Most frequent Y’er” - the member who visited the most in 2018.
Seeger said Landbeater came to the Y 532 times last year - often twice a day. He used to run around the neighborhood but his wife Susan convinced him to join the Y since snow and ice can be dangerous. Landbeater is often seen using the treadmill and elliptical.
“When I asked him ‘what is your favorite part about training at the Y?’, I honestly thought he would answer the treadmills and ellipticals,” said Seeger. “However, he answered ‘It not only gives me time to stay fit, which is the obvious answer, but it gives me time to think. In a world full of interruptions, I relish the time I have at the Y where I can focus on thinking through things. I am heavily involved in my local church and time at the Y gives me the chance to listen to podcasts and sermons on my tablet. My daily job is teaching chemistry at UCONN and I spend some of my time just thinking about how to explain challenging concepts to students.’”
Paul Sirois was honored as Volunteer of the Year by Jaronko. Sirois was on vacation and not able to attend the ceremony.
Karen DiGirolamo, health and wellness director at the Y, said Sirois is the “Pickleball Guru.”
“We brought Pickleball to the Y a few years back and he told us what nets to get, how to put the tape down on the court, etc,” she said. “He’s the most friendly guy you’d ever want to meet and he teaches beginners every Wednesday.”
DiGirolamo explained that Pickleball is similar to tennis, but with less running around. It is popular with seniors and all ages.
The late George Moore was also recognized for his impact on the local Y. His wife of 15 years Rose Calvo attended the event. Moore, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, was also a Yale graduate, a dedicated Freemason and volunteer at Bradley Hospital. He died a little over a year ago.
Moore was one of the first members to attend the Y’s “Silver Sneakers” program 20 years ago. When Y members asked the nearly 50 current program participants about Moore this morning, they shared numerous positive stories about how he made everyone laugh, how he was always upbeat and how he was liked and respected by all.
“I wish I could tell him every day how much I miss him,” said Rose Calvo, who was given flowers by Pooler. “He was a really good guy. Whenever people greeted him and asked how he was, he would always tell them ‘fabulous.’”
Thanks to an endowment gift from Moore, the Y was able to renovate their lobby.
“We were able to create a larger space to welcome our members to sit and catch up with friends just like George loved to do,” said Pooler. “It is with our deepest gratitude that we present his wife Rosie and his family with this award in honor of George and his generosity and kindness to all of us at the YMCA.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.