SOUTHINGTON – The Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA has announced the honorees for its annual Awards Dinner June 23 at the Aqua Turf Club, which include retiring Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan being recognized as "Person of the Year."
Mark Pooler, CEO of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA said that the dinner is an opportunity for the Y to "recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding work in improving and supporting the quality of life in our community."
The Person of the Year award is presented annually to "a member of the Southington community who through his/her actions makes Southington a better place to live." Pooler said he is "thrilled" to present this award to Connellan.
"Tim has been the Southington Superintendent of Schools since August 11, 2014," said Pooler. "He began his Southington Public Schools career in 1980 as a school psychologist at the former Central Elementary.”
Pooler said that at the heart of each of Connellan's decisions was 'what's best for our kids.' He said Connellan has done an "outstanding" job leading local schools for the past seven years.
"Tim is a true advocate for kids and wants to see each student reach their fullest potential," said Pooler.
Pooler added that Connellan has been on the Y's list to honor with "Person of the Year" for a while. Connellan is set to retire in June, Pooler said that this recognition would be a "great exclamation point" to a "wonderful career."
The YMCA will also present its Youth Development Award to the Rotary Club of Southington. The Youth Development Award is presented annually to an individual or group who has worked to nurture the potential of youth and/or teens. Pooler said Rotary is being recognized due to their "outstanding fundraising efforts" on the Memorial Park Playscape over the last two years.
"The efforts by the Rotary Club related to the playscape project at Memorial Park are the most recent example of the club’s commitment to strengthening our community," said Pooler. "Their work on this project has provided the youth of Southington with a safe, adventurous, and fun location to play and allow kids to be kids.”
Pooler also thanked the Town of Southington and the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain for their contribution to the playscape project as well.
The Healthy Living Award will be presented to Bloom Yoga Fitness Studio. This award is presented to an individual or group who has improved the health and well-being of the residents and/or employees of Southington. Pooler said Bloom Yoga Fitness Studio has done an "outstanding job" over the years in improving the health of Southington through its many Yoga and wellness programs.
"Established in 2010 by a mother and daughter team, Julie, Bethany, and Morgan Wallace, their mission has been to create a welcoming space for healing within the local community," said Pooler. "They have also opened and run a successful Bloom Yoga school with a Teacher Training Program that has provided our community and many others with certified Yoga instructors.”
The Social Responsibility Award, which is presented annually to an individual or group that has motivated people to support their neighbors and the larger community, will go to The Main Street Community Foundation. Pooler said the Foundation will be recognized "for their support and generosity through one of the most challenging years in recent times."
"The Main Street Community Foundation, through the Bradley H. Barnes and Leila U. Barnes Memorial Trust, has provided a lifeline to so many non-profits in town through their recent covid-19 relief grants,” said Pooler. “They have given over $627k in covid-19 relief grants to Southington alone.”
Finally the Youth Leadership Award, which is presented each year to local high school-age students who display leadership qualities and are making positive contributions in the local community, will go to Southington High School senior Mary Miller.
"Mary has been a long-time camper at YMCA Camp Sloper and has always demonstrated our Y values on a daily basis," said Pooler.
The dinner will he held Wednesday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club at 556 Mulberry St. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP by June 21 at SCCYMCA.org/recognitiondinner.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.