United Way to present annual Community Builders’ Awards

The United Way of West Central Connecticut, serving the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth and Terryville, will hold its 12th Annual Community Builders’ Reception on Thursday, April 10 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Bristol. The event recognizes and honors those who share their time and resources with the United Way to advance the common good by creating lasting changes to improve lives in our communities.

The theme of this year’s event is “Taking it to the Streets.” The evening will spotlight some of the people and organizations in the United Way of West Central Connecticut communities who are trying to change the world by Living United. The evening will also feature spotlights on some of United Way’s own initiatives and a few of our community partners as we “take you to the streets” to see a small sample of all the different areas United Way supports.

During this special evening, United Way will honor those who Live United by giving, advocating and volunteering: Award for Excellence – Webster Bank; Special Initiative Award – United Way Youth Board; Lou Bachman Award – Douglas Kerr from Wheeler Clinic; and Spirit of Caring Award – Plymouth Police Chief Karen Krasicky.

Karen Krasicky will receive the Spirit of Caring Award recognizing her generous spirit of community volunteerism. Krasicky is the chief of police for the Town of Plymouth, a role she has been in for the last eight years. She has served on the United Way’s Board of Directors and is a founding member of the West Central Connecticut TRIAD Program, where she is able to help local seniors flourish in her community. She is also deeply involved in the Plymouth/Terryville community, as a member of the Rotary Club of Terryville, the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, the Terryville Lions Club, the Plymouth Local Prevention Council and the School-to-Career Business Partnership. Krasicky also serves as the Vice President of the Western Area Regional Chiefs of Police Association. When asked how she Lives United, Krasicky said, reported the United Way, “By devoting as much time as I possibly can to improving the quality of life for the citizens in my community.”

Douglas Kerr, the Human Resources Manager at Wheeler Clinic, will receive the Lou Bachman Award in recognition of his work to help the United Way campaign succeed. Doug was assigned to be Wheeler’s Employee Campaign Manager (ECM) only a few months after starting there in 2013. He brought their campaign to life and with his leadership, the campaign increased 47 percent! This past campaign season, Doug went on every single presentation and helped to increase the participation rate across all of Wheeler Clinic’s locations by 12.7 percent. Doug enjoys supporting United Way, as well as other organizations that provide services to the West Central Connecticut region, such as God’s Grocery Store, a food pantry service operated through the SeventhDayAdventistChurch in Plainville.

The Special Initiative Award will be presented to the United Way Youth Board in recognition of their exemplary partnership and collaborative efforts. Formed in 1998, the Youth Board consists of students and faculty advisors from each of the six area high schools. They meet monthly to assess the issues that affect their peers, prioritize the projects they should undertake, and formulate their own plan to accomplish their goals and make the greatest impact. Projects completed to date include participation in the Children’s Holiday Parade, ringing of the Salvation Army bell, personal care drives for local agencies, raising money through the Charity Cycling Challenge, participation in United Way’s Day of Caring, and Youth Forums on peer pressure, leadership and teen suicide prevention.

This year’s Award for Excellence is being given to Webster Bank in recognition of their commitment and support of the United Way Community Campaign. Webster Bank has been supporting the United Way of West Central Connecticut since their bank was founded in 1935. During this past campaign season, their employees raised over $40,000 for our local United Way. When their corporate match and special event sponsorships get added to that number, the total donation from Webster Bank was $65,000. This represented a 45 percent increase in their campaign giving over the previous year. In addition to financial support, many of the Webster Bank employees sit on the United Way Board of Directors, Golf Committee, Income Community Solutions Council, Young Professionals for United Way and many others. They also send a large team of volunteers to our annual Day of Caring event.

Tickets are now available for this event for only $50/person. If you would like to purchase tickets for the Community Builders’ Reception, contact the United Way at (860) 582-9559.