Zandvliets to receive caring award

Rebecca Zandvliet, left, and her husband, Peter Zandvliet, are the recipients of the Mary H. Connelly Community Caring Award given annually by the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls. –CONTRIBUTED

Rebecca Zandvliet, left, and her husband, Peter Zandvliet, are the recipients of the Mary H. Connelly Community Caring Award given annually by the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Behind every successful woman is a good man.

That is how the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls describes the relationship between two successful community business people and community volunteers, Rebecca and Peter Zandvliet, who have been married for nearly 30 years.

“Peter and Becky have always been strong partners in all of their endeavors,” states a biography of the couple from the United Way. “Becky has become an institution in our community in so many ways. … Peter has been a constant presence helping to organize and execute numerous community events over the years.”

For their efforts, the Zandvliets have been name co-recipients of the United Way’s Mary H. Connelly Community Caring Award, the highest yearly award given by the organization. The award will be given during the organization’s 53rd-annual meeting and awards dinner on March 24 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is $50 per person. For information and tickets, contact the United Way office at 203-729-1564.

The award recognizes people who have demonstrated outstanding support to the United Way and the entire community.

The United Way describes the Zandvliets as exemplifying the spirit of compassion, support and incredible personal efforts to improve quality of life in the two communities.

Rebecca Zandvliet, broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Realty 2000, has dedicated more than 25 years of volunteerism to the Naugatuck YMCA, the Naugatuck Rotary, Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce, the Congregational Church of Naugatuck and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp.

She is a past board member and campaign leader of the United Way, and a former member and the first female chair of the Naugatuck Board of Education.

Zandvliet said she and Peter became involved in the community as members of the Maple Hill Parent Teacher Organization.

“We have been given a lot of blessings in our lives, and we want to help the community and people who maybe need a little more,” Rebecca Zandvliet said.

She said her husband is usually doing work behind the scenes.

“I usually get the accolades, and he does the work,” she quipped.

Peter Zandvliet, a successful information technology professional, has been involved in the Beacon Falls hayride, the Maple Hill Fall festival and flower sale, a cleanup of Baummer’s Pond, youth basketball, Naugatuck Rotary, local schools, the American Red Cross and local Scouts.

“It’s been a lot of fun; I’ve always enjoyed it,” he said. “You try to make your living space a better place, and make your community a more fun place to be. That’s always been the goal.”