May the Y be with you: YMCA annual celebration and recognition awards

YMCA executive director John Myers presents the YMCA’s person of the year award to Mike DeFeo. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)



The Southington-Cheshire YMCA held their 89th Annual Celebration and Recognition, with the Star Wars theme, “May the Y be with you,” in a packed Aqua Turf dining room full of supporters, friends and family of the YMCA and award recipients.

The CyberKnights, winners of the youth development award, put on a demonstration. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

The event recognized the 2018 Honorees, including Mike DeFeo as person of the year, the Southington High School CyberKnights for youth development, the DePaolo Family Foundation for social responsibility, the Southington Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee for healthy living, and two high schoolers Naomi Cipriano and Julia Brilla for youth leadership.

Executive director John Myers said it was “a terrific snapshot of what makes Southington so great. All of our award recipients have demonstrated that actions are stronger than words, and through their contributions, have made Southington a better place to live.”

During the Town Council’s Feb. 12 meeting, chair Chris Palmieri acknowledged the event, which was attended by himself alongside fellow councilors Victoria Triano, Dawn Miceli and Mike Riccio. The councilors presented official citations on behalf of the town to each award recipient.

“There were so many well-deserving award recipients that evening,” said Palmieri. “I’d like to especially acknowledge Mike DeFeo, who was named Person of the Year, and thank the YMCA for continuing this partnership with the town.”

DeFeo accepted his Person of the Year award with honor and gratefulness, thanking his family for helping to build up the character he has today. He stressed the importance of sports in the lives of youth.

“We had a wonderful evening,” said Myers. “It was an electric, packed house at the Aqua Turf, with around 370 in attendance.”

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The Southington Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee received the award for healthy living.

The DePaolo Family Foundation received the award for social responsibility.

Julia Brilla, left center, and Naomi Cipriano, center, accept their youth leadership awards.

CyberKnight advisors accept the youth development award.

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