It was an emotional, yet fun-filled evening at the Aqua Turf Wednesday night as members of the Southington-Cheshire YMCA hosted the 83rd Annual Meeting, kicking things off with a host of awards and mixing in several surprises.
“I think this is probably the best meeting that I’ve been a part of,” YMCA Executive Director John Myers said following the festivities. “It was a great way to kick off the year.”
The biggest surprise of the night came when Rachel Wache, recipient of the 2012 Unsung Hero Award, received a special visit from her grandson, Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Nicholas Augelli. The two embraced each other for over a minute after his return to Southington for the first time since leaving for Afghanistan in July 2011.
The annual ceremony also gave the YMCA an opportunity to unveil their Livestrong goals for the upcoming year, as well as awarding those throughout the community that have made Southington a great place to live.
Local attorney Tony Sheffy was named the 2012 Person of the Year Award. Sheffy, a partner at Sheffy, Mazzaccaro, DePaolo & DeNigris, LLP, is a 2011-12 Connecticut Super Lawyer. Myers said he was selected because his involvement in the community over the last several years has extended well beyond his role as a lawyer.
“He has done a little of everything, really,” Myers said. He noted Sheffy’s involvement in countless organizations including the YMCA, Parents-4-A-Change, youth sports and more.
“With so many people in this town doing so much, it is really a humbling experience to be named Person of the Year,” Sheffy said.
The Southington Town-wide Effort to Promote Success, or STEPS program, was also recognized Wednesday, receiving a Reaching Out Award. Kelly Leppard, the program’s coordinator, took a moment to address the audience regarding what STEPS has already accomplished and unveiled goals for the upcoming year.
The following were also honored at the 2012 meeting:
Character Champion Award: Emily Ferns, Carlo Fiore, Janice Freeman, Karen McCarthy, Kevin Reeder and Amanda Reidinger.
Youth Leadership Award: Sean Erwin, Rachel Fabian and Joe Rogus.
Volunteer Service Award: Theresa Albanese and Susan Urillo Larson.