Award a first for St. Francis-St. Hedwig

NAUGATUCK — St. Francis-St. Hedwig School is preparing for a first.

The school will honor Ken Healy as the inaugural recipient of the St. Francis-St. Hedwig School’s Distinguished Alumni Community Award.

“The intent of the award is to honor an alumni that exemplifies the mission statement of the school, which is helping community and neighbors,” said Pedro Pires, chairman of the school board.

Healy will be recognized during an award dinner June 3 at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, 110 Rubber Ave.

“It’s just humbling, especially with everyone who has gone to the school and been involved in the community,” said Healy, a Naugatuck resident who graduated from the school in 1997. “Just to be recognized as the first has a lot of meaningful significance.”

Pires said Healy was the board’s first choice because of all the volunteer work he has done in the community. According to Pires, the organizations Healy has volunteered with include the school, St. Francis Church, the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, the Naugatuck YMCA, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

“There is a huge pool of candidates, but we couldn’t think of a better candidate than Ken,” Pires said. “Pretty much every group in Naugatuck, he is involved with it somehow.”

Healy said he volunteers because he wants to give back to the community that has given to him.

“Naugatuck has been really good to me and my family,” Healy said. “It is a very tightknit community and I am happy to be a part of it.”

When he thinks back on his days at the school, Healy remembers more than just academics. He said the students and teachers at the school became his family.

“Looking back on it, St. Francis-St. Hedwig not only gave me a strong academic education, but provided faith, family and friends,” Healy said.

Pires said the board created the award, in part, to help raise awareness about what its students have done since graduation and to promote the school itself. The hope, he said, is to make it an annual event.

The Distinguished Alumni Community Award Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 per individual, $80 per couple or $400 per table of 10. For tickets or more information, call Pires at 203-577-8234.