The Southington Elks Lodge No. 1669 will host its annual Installation and Awards Banquet on March 24 at their facility located at 114 Main St., Southington.
The installation of the new lodge officers will commence at 5:30 p.m. with the awards banquet to follow.
The Southington Elks will proudly introduce: Darcie Najarian as Elk of the Year, Wesley Willard as Officer of the Year, Jim Gugliotti and Charles Kern Jr. as Grand Exalted Ruler Awards, and a lifetime achievement award which is yet to be announced.
The Elks will also announce Rev. Victoria Triano as the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award.
Triano is a lifelong Southington resident. She is the Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in East Haddam, offers Pastoral Care at the Orchards of Southington, serves as the Director of Pastoral Care at Southington Care Center and is a retired Senior Adult Probation Officer.
She is currently serving on the Town Council as the Minority Leader, a member of Activate Southington, and is chair of the Board of UNICO. Triano is a prior member of the Apple Harvest Committee, Bread for Life and United Way. She has received many honors such as YMCA person of the year, Jaycees Woman of the Year, Wall of Honor recipient and more.
Triano has been involved in many milestones, including coordinating the 9/11 memorial on the town green, and establishing the Circle of Honor in recognition of all WWII Veterans in Southington on the 50th anniversary of WWII. She was the keynote speaker and master of ceremony at the annual red ribbon anti-drug rally.
“One of the mottos of the Elks is, ‘Elks care and Elks share,’” said Jim Champagne, member of the board of trustees. “We felt those words were demonstrated by Victoria. She shares her time and energy and is devoted to serving the town of Southington.”
This year marks the first time the Elks have included a Citizen of the Year recognition during their annual installation and awards banquet.
“There are so many good things that happen in our town, and we wanted to start honoring the residents in Southington who deserve it,” Champagne said.
The event will include a buffet dinner by Ragozzino’s of Southington, featuring music by Greg Allen.
With a network of nearly 2,000 Elks lodges in communities all over the country, the Elks are a generous charitable foundation that each year gives millions in scholarships, an inspiration to youth, a friend to veterans and more. The Elks organization was founded in New York City in 1869 with 15 individuals. Currently, nearly a million members participate.
Their mission is to inculcate the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity. Elks recognize a believe in God and promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members. They seek to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.
Tickets for the annual Installation and Awards Banquet are available in the Lodge Taproom for $25. For more information, call (860) 628-8862.