Yelding named Community Hero

Laurie Yelding
Laurie Yelding

NAUGATUCK — Laurie Yelding, president of the board for the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, has been selected as one of 16 Community Hero Award winners by Safeco Insurance and is now in the running to win some money for the United Way.

The award honors local heroes and nonprofit organizations across the nation that have a positive impact in education, health and safety or civic engagement and support the community involvement of independent agents.

Yelding, co-owner of Yelding, Inc. in Naugatuck, is now in a contest with the other 15 award winners. The winner who receives the most votes online will win $10,000 for the charity they represent and the second place winner will win $5,000 for their charity.
Voting ends June 3. Votes can be cast online at

Pedro Pires, vice president of The Chittenden Group in Naugatuck, nominated Yelding for the award, and Safeco Insurance already has donated $5,000 to United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls on behalf of Yelding and Pires.

“Laurie Yelding is a true force for good in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls,” said Pires in a press release. “Her work with United Way doesn’t simply make our community better, it also inspires others to do get involved and make an impact. That’s what the Safeco Community Hero Award is all about.”

Yelding has been on the board of directors of the United Way since 2004, chairing and serving on many committees and serving as vice president from 2010 through 2012. She was also the 2012 campaign chair and along with her team of volunteers they surpassed their fundraising goal.

In addition, she has earned several awards, including three consecutive yearly Service Above Self awards, which are presented to Rotarians who go above and beyond, and United Way’s 2010 Mary H. Connolly Community Caring Award.