By LINDSAY CAREY
The Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of its community awards to be presented at the organization’s 77th annual dinner/meeting on Saturday, April 25 at the Aqua Turf. Ron Serafino, Dan Prus, Mary DeCroce, Mike Drury, and Karen Bobik will be honored, along with chamber awards for corporate beautification and volunteer work.
The annual dinner is the highlight of the Chamber’s year and will feature a “totally 80s theme” with dinner, open bar, dancing, and a gala raffle. New officers and directors will be installed and the event is open to the public.
To register to attend please call the Chamber at (860) 628-8036.
Ron Serafino, owner and operator of Serafino Pharmacy in downtown Southington, has been named as the recipient of this year’s Riccio Brothers Business Person of the Year Award.
Serafino’s family business has been at the North Main Street location for six decades, and is a popular pharmacy for residents. Serafino has been one of the longest operating local businesses, and he is an active player in community affairs. As the main pharmacist, Serafino has assisted residents over the years with advice, kindness, and inspiration.
Dan Prus, a standout employee of the Southington YMCA and New Britain Transportation (NBT), was selected to receive the Ann Hauver Employee of the Year Award.
Prus has been credited with volunteering numerous hours to assist NBT with their bus schedule during poor weather, and he has been officially labeled, “the hardest working persons at the local YMCA.” He has worked at the YMCA for the past 15 years and is the membership services supervisor, overseeing the front desk. As an employee of NBT since 2002, Prus has earned praise for offering suggestions on bus routes and other issues that improve the company. Prus has been called dedicated, loyal, compassionate, kind, diligent and professional by his peers and supervisors at the YMCA and NBT.
Mary DeCroce was selected as the 2015 Gail DePaolo Community Spirit Award recipient. She has been the leader in approaching the town to help promoting the arts by raising one million dollars to renovate the town hall annex into a modern facility for the arts.
DeCroce has been cited as the spark that has inspired youngsters and adults to express them themselves in the arts. She has enjoyed an extensive career promoting her mission: to share the arts through public art installations, teaching, and creative place making.
Football Coach Mike Drury was selected to receive the 2nd annual Sam Woodruff Award for his leadership and dedication to the Southington High School football program. Drury, a teacher at the school, has guided the Blue Knights to a 40-6 record and two consecutive state titles.
He was named Coach of the Year in 2015 and is highly regarded by his players, school administrators, and fans. Former Southington School Superintendent Dr. Joe Erardi won the first Sam Woodruff award,0 which is named after the town’s founder. The honor is presented to a local leader who has demonstrated dedication, determination, and foresight.
Karen Bobik was selected by the Chamber Womens Committee as the 2015 Woman of the Year for her annual contribution with volunteering and service.
Bobik is a realtor with Century 21-All Points and has served annually on the Chamber’s events and golf committees. Born and raised in town, Karen formerly worked at American Airlines for 16 years. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and the University of Salzburg, Austria.
In addition, five Beautification Awards will be presented to area businesses that have renovated existing buildings or have created new structures. Winners include Sign Pro, for its new building on Westfield Drive; Aqua Turf, for a major renovation with new windows and lights and also a large fountain at the entrance; Paris in Plantsville, for renovating its building in downtown Plantsville; Connecticut On-Line Computer Center (COCC), for totally renovating a former Hartford Insurance building; and the new Wine Works outlet, located on West Street.
Several Presidential awards and the Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year names will be announced that evening.
The new officers of the Chamber are Paul Armor, chairman; Dave Pestillo, vice chairman; Lucia Chubet, treasurer; Kate Sirignano, secretary; Al Monaron, director-at-large and Matt O’Keefe, legal advisor. New directors include John Rivers, Edward Pocock III, and Niles Pierson.