YMCA names Cammuso as Person of the Year

Benny Cammuso, center, has been named as the 2017 YMCA Person of the Year. Above, Cammuso poses with YMCA executive director John Myers. Behind him is a group of Bread for Life volunteers. From left, Billy Lewandoski, Bob Paradis, Mark Proffitt, and Denny Boutin.

Benny Cammuso, center, has been named as the 2017 YMCA Person of the Year. Above, Cammuso poses with YMCA executive director John Myers. Behind him is a group of Bread for Life volunteers. From left, Billy Lewandoski, Bob Paradis, Mark Proffitt, and Denny Boutin.

The Southington Community YMCA announced their list of community award winners, and Benny Cammuso topped the list as the 2017 YMCA Person of the Year. The Person of the Year award is presented annually to someone that makes Southington a better place to live through their actions in the community.

He will be officially recognized at the YMCA’s annual meeting on Feb. 1, 2017.

Cammuso was a natural choice for the award with his volunteer work with a number of local groups for more than two decades.

He’s become a devoted fixture at At Bread4Life. Since his retirement, Cammuso has volunteered five days each week to provide lunches in the organization’s kitchen while providing dinners-to-go for the hungry throughout the community.

“He cooks. He cleans the dining area. He washes dishes, and he delivers meals to the homebound and to those in senior housing in Southington,” YMCA officials said in a press release. “He adds camaraderie for many who may not experience any other human interaction during the course of their day. He also helps to stock, arrange, and maintain offsite food storage space.”

Cammuso is also a long-standing member of the town’s Senior Citizen Commission, and he serves as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team. He is a member and volunteer at the Calendar House senior center, where his talent for gardening and fixing things is well utilized.

He has long served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross at bloodmobiles throughout town. Cammuso is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Free Masons, serving as the backbone of all of their community events targeted at helping others. He is an active volunteer for the local chapter of the AARP, and he also volunteers regularly at the Southington Care Center.

In addition, Cammuso has remained active in his church, serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for the past 15 years. In addition to his responsibilities during weekly masses, he also brings Holy Communion to the homebound.

Between masses, Cammuso finds the time to trim all the bushes and evergreens on the property of Mary Our Queen Church. He has also been an active participant in Southington’s church production of the Passion Play for 25 years.

The YMCA also announced other award recipients.

Joe Crispino will receive the Youth Development Award for over 30 years of service to the YMCA and youth in the community.

The Lewis Educational Agricultural Farm (LEAF) will be honored with the Healthy Living Award for helping to improve the overall health of the Southington community.

The Ben Was Here Foundation will receive the Social Responsibility Award. The organization, named in honor of Benjamin Buckley, has served as an inspiration for bringing the community together, raising awareness for asthma, and giving back to the community.

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