By Lisa Capobianco
Southington High School will soon induct four local individuals from different walks of life into its Wall of Honor.
Two of the honorees are Rosemary and James Champagne, who remain active in local community service projects including Relay for Life.
When the Champagnes found out that the Wall of Honor chose them this year, the honorees said they felt surprised and honored at the same time.
“Once we learned more about the wall, we were more proud to be a part of it,” Jim said. “I am extremely honored,” Rosemary said.
As organizers of Relay for Life, the Champagnes said the event is always “close” to their hearts. Rosemary said she has been a cancer survivor for over 20 years, and she finds joy in bringing the community together during the event.
“My goal was to teach people that you can live with cancer,” she said.
Rosemary also recalls that as a student, she had no idea how she would make a positive impact on the community in the future.
“When you are in school, you never know what you will accomplish as an adult,” she said.
Other honorees include Christopher Jones, a biomedical research chemist and Karl Pytlik, an environmental activist who works in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The Champagnes have had a huge impact on this community, especially in helping organize our enormously successful Relay for Life every year,” said Bob Brown, the Wall of Honor chairman at the high school. “Both Chris and Karl have an impact that goes far beyond our community.”
He also said the ceremony marks a special moment for the town that reminds students how they can make a difference in the future.
“Many significant and well-known townspeople have been put on our wall, from veterans to famous people to professors to inventors to scientists,” he said. “Often they do not see the future in what they do, but this shows them bright, positive possibilities,” he said.
The ceremony will take place Monday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. in front of the high school auditorium.