A Room with a Vision…for a Caring Community

Southington Leaders Gather to Learn More about the Work of CFGNB in their Community

Recently, over 70 of Southington’s community leaders, elected officials and most active volunteers gathered at The Orchards to spend an evening with Board members and staff of the Community Foundation. The event celebrated CFGNB’s more than 10 years of service to Southington donors by highlighting the Foundation’s important role in building the local community through activities that help determine areas of concern, address specific needs with strategic grant making, develop charitable gift funds and foster an awareness of informed philanthropy.

The “Vision for a Caring Community” event was hosted by Trish Walden and her husband George Gorecki along with Andy and Fran Meade. Trish is Executive Vice President for Central CT Senior Health Services and a CFGNB Board Member. She and George are longtime Southington residents and active volunteers. Andy Meade has served on numerous CFGNB committees and was Vice-Chair of the CFGNB Board. A native of Southington, he has been very active as a business owner and, along with Fran, is a committed community volunteer and philanthropist in their hometown.

(Left to Right) Rev. Dr. Ronald Brown, First Congregational Church of Southington, Andy Meade, CFGNB Board (Ret'd), Bob Cusano, Southington Historical Society and Ralph Mann, President (Ret'd), Southington Savings Bank. 

(Left to Right) Phyllis Kindelan, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, CFGNB Board, Dr. Jack Miller, President, CCSU & CFGNB Board; and event co-hosts, Trish Walden, Executive Vice President, CT Senior Health Services & CFGNB Board, and her husband, George Gorecki.

Several CFGNB Board members attended the event, including Rev. Victoria Triano, Board Chair Paul Salina and in-coming Board Chair, Phyllis Kindelan, among others. Among the highlights of the Foundation’s past decade of service were several permanent endowments funds created with the Foundation by Southington residents and organizations.

Co-Host, Trish Walden, discussed the newest of those, The Endowment Fund for Healthy Aging, established by Central CT Senior Health Services, which has a $1 Million goal, so that services to the area senior population can always be maintained. Others mentioned included local scholarships honoring several Southington residents, the late Dennis J. Stanek, Sr., Frank E. Rogers, Suzanne Beckius and Michael J. Davey. Other Funds benefiting local organizations are the Their Vision Fund (Southington Community Services), Southington Library Endowment, the Spirit of Beth Telfer Fund and the Southington Robotics Team. Several Southington residents are also members of the Foundation’s bequest society, The Beehive Society. Beehive members have included the Foundation in their estate plans.

Jim Williamson, CFGNB President, shared his thoughts at the event saying, “The Community Foundation is like a Swiss Army Knife when it comes to community building. Like the Army Knife, CFGNB has an array of tools we can use to identify areas of need, reach out to caring donors and support local organizations at work here in Southington.”

“Some of that work is obvious,” Williamson continued, “like capital grants to Southington Community Services’ new building in Milldale, the Southington Historical Society building and the new Community Pavilion at the Drive-In. Some is less visible, like our partnership with the School District to support the Early Childhood Collaborative & its successful Family Resource Center programs, or our provision of a skilled grant writer to help the STEPS Initiative win a 5-Year $625,000 federal grant for its programs. Overall, the work that has been done in Southington through CFGNB grants is impressive. Since 1999, CFGNB has granted $1.4 million to organizations serving Southington residents, a track record of commitment we are extremely proud of and intend to build on in the years ahead.”

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities.

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