By SHERIDAN ROY
Retiring executive director of the Southington-Cheshire YMCA, John Myers had a send-off like no other at the YMCA’s 16th annual Forever in Blue Jeans. The event saw the greatest number of attendees in its history with over 820 guests and a record number of sponsors.
The event was more than a glorified retirement party. The Myers family—John and wife Moira and their two children, Jack and Catherine—were the recipient of the YMCA’s Compass Award.
“Each year at Forever in Blue Jeans, we honor a family or an individual who embodies our YMCA values. The Myers family does just that,” said YMCA director of operations Mark Pooler. “The Compass Award is discussed and voted on by the board of directors, and it was a very easy choice this year. All of the members of this family live and breathe the YMCA values each day.”
Myers had been a cofounder of many of Southington’s initiatives and organizations, including Southington Town Effort to Promote Success (STEPS), the Healthy Family Fun Fest and Activate Southington. He is an active volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce, the juvenile review board, the farm heritage commission and dozens of others.
He has been a coach, mentor and advocate for you organizations including Southington High School cross country, youth soccer, baseball and girls’ softball. He is also the race director of the Apple Harvest road race.
“We could go on for hours and hours of the amazing accomplishments he has given back to our community,” said Pooler.
The event championed the Myers family, celebrating Moira’s retirement, too, as she leaves behind her position in both New Britain and Southington public school systems for over 36 years. She has been a STEPS asset, PTO teacher liaison, co-chair of the early childhood collaboration of Southington, and was instrumental in establishing a family resource center in town. Catherine and Jack have numerous accomplishments, as well, including being role models as staff at YMCA Camp Sloper, leaders at the high school, and fundraisers for several entities in town.
For their accomplishments, the Myers family received a proclamation from the Southington Town Council.
“What’s in this proclamation is one huge, massive thank you to this family,” said councilor Mike Riccio. “Everybody in this room has been involved with the Myers. We owe so many great things to you and your family.”
John Myers and his family looked back on John’s 31 years of service to the Southington-Cheshire YMCA and all of the people they’ve met through their involvement with the community.
“We simply don’t have the words to thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown us. It would be impossible to acknowledge and thank everyone who needs to be thanked,” said John. “As I look around at everyone here, it’s crazy when all of your worlds collide and that’s what’s happening tonight. It’s heartwarming.”
John thanked his family, his friends, his fellow staff, town organizations, schools and sports groups, and the Southington community as a whole.
“We have been truly blessed when it came to the lotto—we hit the jackpot with our friends,” said John.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.