United Way of Southington to honor local all-stars

John Myers, above at the 2018 Sloper Plunge, is one of four individuals and groups to receive the United Way’s all-star awards in March.

The United Way of Southington announced  recipients of their 2018 all-star awards. Honorees will be recognized at the United Way’s annual dinner on Wednesday, March 21 at the Aqua Turf.

The dinner kicks off the 2018 campaign and this year’s theme is “Thank You from the Bottom of Our Hearts,” a tribute to previous and current donors and sponsors.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of community support,” United Way executive director Jack Eisenmann said in a press release. “We do this for Southington people and our volunteers are committed to United Way annually.”

The 2018 all star award winners are YMCA executive director John Myers and local activist and volunteer Jodi Derwin, along with The Main Street Community Foundation and the Middle School Athletic Booster Club.

United Way of Southington
37 W. Center St., Suite 201, Southington, CT 06489

The dinner will feature a silent auction and a jewelry raffle to benefit the local, independent United Way. Throughout the year, volunteers sponsor numerous fundraisers to allocate funds for 11 groups that serve Southington residents. Since 1926, United Way has donated thousands of dollars to assist local families and needy individuals in town.

Myers was appointed director in 1998. He has led two capital campaign improvement projects to expand the downtown campus, along with improvements at Camp Sloper.

Myers has been active in many local organizations, and he will be retiring this year. Membership has doubled at the YMCA under Myer’s leadership which employs 700 persons.

Jodi Derwin was selected based on her volunteerism and her work as a community advocate. After moving to town 10 years ago, Derwin became involved as chairperson of the Apple Harvest hostesses and helped to start a donation drive for the Catlin family whose son was badly injured in a skiing accident. The drive rose over $15,000.

Derwin has supported Southington Community Services, Relay for Life, United Way, Make A Wish Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Taste of Southington, and breast cancer awareness drives. She has also served as business manager for the Junior Miss Southington scholarship and volunteers to send out soldier care packages.

The Main Street Community Foundation is a public charity that partners with individuals, families and businesses that wish to build charitable connections. The organization supports the communities in Bristol, Southington, Burlington, Plainville, and Wolcott.

In 1973, a trust was established at the former Southington Bank & Trust upon the deaths of Bradley Barnes and his wife Leila with funds transferred to the Main Street group. Grants are then awarded to non-profit organizations serving Southington for capital projects, programs that will improve the quality of life.

The Southington Middle School Athletic Booster Club is an interactive non-profit organization consisting of parents, alumni and others in the community who support middle school sports and student athletes. The club works throughout the year by sponsoring activities and fundraisers to supplement the budget of the Board of Education and to assist raising funds for middle school teams and programs.

Due to state budget cuts, the booster club has raised $90,000 to allow six sports programs to continue in the 2017-18 school year. The club will continue to raise funds until the school budget can support middle school athletics.

The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $65 per person. Beer and wine are included in the ticket price. Tables of 10 are $650 and sponsors are welcomed. Raffle donations are needed for the silent auction. A special raffle prize includes a $1,500 jewelry piece donated by Andy Bawa of BnV Jewelers.

Tickets, sponsorship and raffle tickets can be purchased by going to unitedwayofsouthingtonannualdinner18.eventbrite.com. For more information call United Way at (860) 628-4565 or visit unitedwayofsouthington.org.

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