Awards highlight YMCA’s annual meeting

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck YMCA will honor individuals and a business for their contributions to the nonprofit organization at the Y’s Annual Meeting in June.

The Annual Meeting is June 9 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St. A cocktail hour starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by a business meeting at 6:30 p.m., dinner and the evening’s program. The cost is $50 per person and people must RSVP by June 3. For more information or to RSVP, call the YMCA at 203-729-9622.

Volunteer of the Year Award

The Fredrick D. Zonino Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual whose spirit of volunteerism and unselfish efforts are devoted to the values and mission of the Naugatuck YMCA. This year’s recipient is Cathy Tamoski, who is a retired teacher that taught third grade for 37 years at Salem School.

Tamoski, a Watertown resident, is being honored for her selfless dedication to the YMCA preschool, a press release stated. For the past five years, she has given her time to provide leadership for that program’s swim lessons as well as assisting the fitness staff with Aquatic Exercise Instruction.

Community Leader Award

The Jeffrey Witherwax Community Leadership Award recognizes local businesses and their employees for their support to the Naugatuck YMCA and the community at large. This year’s recipients are Daniel Sanchez and James Michael Murphy from Onyx II Fine Jewelers in Watertown.

Sanchez is the owner of Onyx II Fine Jewelers, which was started by his grandparents in 1970 in downtown Waterbury. Murphy joined Onyx as the brand manager after a career in fashion in New York City.

Sanchez and Murphy are well known for their support of the community through philanthropic contributions to many Greater Waterbury nonprofit and community events, the release stated. Onyx Jewelers has supported the Naugatuck YMCA’s fundraising efforts through its involvement in the 120th Anniversary Gala, Celtic Night and Auction Dinner.

Unsung Hero Award

The Robert Whittemore Unsung Hero Award is given to individuals who quietly help when asked for no other reason than to aid their neighbors and their community. This year’s recipients are David Cassetti, Scott Selinski and Mark Linhard.

Cassetti, the mayor of Ansonia, Linhard, a former Naugatuck resident and state trooper, and Selinski, a Naugatuck native and Plantsville resident, are being honored for their leadership and dedication to the YMCA’s Golden Glove Youth Boxing Program.

Selinski started boxing with the YMCA program at the age of 6, and for the past 20 years he has helped coach and train children in the sport.

Since 2011, these three men have volunteered to run the boxing program and have kept Joe Triano and Joe Rossi’s mission and vision alive for the youth of Naugatuck, the release stated.

Employee of the Year Award

The Mary Elizabeth Mannweiler Employee of the Year Award recognizes the dedication of a YMCA employee. This year’s recipient is Kevin Gallager an associate in the Y’s maintenance department.

In 2015, Gallager, a Katona, N.Y. native, took on interim leadership duties for the department several times during the course of the year along with his normal duties, the release stated. Staff can to go to him at any time with an issue or request and he is always there with a solution or a helping hand, the release stated.

Special Presentation

The YMCA will give a special presentation to the Dannon YoCrunch Corporation for adopting the YMCA’s Race for Chase Children’s Triathlon Program.  The company’s commitment goes beyond a sponsorship, the release stated. The company committed financial support, volunteers for the summer training program and the day of the event, and provided product for both.