NAUGATUCK — After wading through years of annual reports, pictures and press clippings, the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls has named the 50 recipients of the Van Allen Medals to be honored in April.
The United Way is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To commemorate the milestone, the United Way decided to award 50 people this year with the Van Allen Medal.
The medal, which is named after founding members of the United Way Robert and Anna Lee Van Allen, was created in 2007 to honor the Van Allens and recognize people for extraordinary service to the community as a whole, not just the United Way.
The individuals chosen to receive the medals this year represent the hundreds who gave their time and energy to serve the residents of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls. The recipients include founding members, former staff, people who served as directors, campaign chairs and presidents. Others helped with golf tournaments, the annual Festival of Trees or other events.
“The high level of giving and caring by these 50 individuals for this community epitomize what this award is about. Without their foresight, time and effort, so many people would not have had the help that was so crucial to them,” said Laurie Yelding, vice president of the United Way’s Executive Committee, in a prepared statement.
The United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls began on Nov. 7, 1962 when 20 people sat around a kitchen table in Naugatuck to hash out a plan to support agencies serving Naugatuck and Beacon Falls without duplicating fundraising efforts. Eventually their efforts led to the formation of the United Givers of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, which became the United Way in 1973.
Dorothy Hoff, a United Way board member and marketing chair, said the annual meeting in April will be more like a family reunion.
“It is hoped that this celebration will be like a family reunion for the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls and will encourage even more community involvement. As a current director, I would like to thank all of the people who made a difference in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls by establishing this wonderful organization,” said Hoff in a prepared statement.
The 50th Annual Meeting will be held on April 11 at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck. Along with the Van Allen Medal recipients, the Mary H. Connolly Community Caring Award as well as campaign awards will be presented.
“With the hard work of our Marketing Committee, led by Dorothy Hoff, we expect our 50 year celebration to be spectacular. We are looking forward to seeing all those who have been involved with United Way from our past and present,” said Marcelo Martins, president of the Executive Committee, in a statement.
For more information or to reserve a seat, call the United Way office at (203) 729-1564.
Van Allen Medal Recipients
Andrew and Alice Bertola
John “Jack” Betkoski III
Anne M. Butler
Joseph Carlson III
Joseph and Mary Connolly, Sr.
Joseph and Paula Connolly, Jr.
Laura Dake Roche
Kevin M. DelGobbo
John and Lonnie Evans
Joseph L. Ferry, Jr.
John W. Ford
Mary Beth Hanks
N. Warren Hess
Eric W. Johnson
Frank Johnson Sr.
Ronald D. Lengyel
John and Lucille Letts
Ronald J. Pugliese
Marilyn and Richard Schiaroli
John “Jack” Tatigian
Jeffrey T. Witherwax