Queen Ann Nzinga Center to honor local women at concert

The Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. will host its 6th Annual Connie Wilson Collins Exceptional Women Concert honoring outstanding women from the Greater Bristol, Plainville, and New Britain community on March 21. The celebration includes live musical performances, poetry, dance and tributes to the honorees. Crown Imperials, Nzinga’s Daughters, Mr. J. Bill Beverly and David Mayes will perform.

The event was renamed in 2014 in honor of Constance “Connie” Renee Wilson Collins (1928-2013), an African-American woman who made a tremendous contribution to the Greater New Britain community, according to a press release from the organization. Collins worked to help people reach their full potential through her work in political, spiritual, fraternal and nonprofit organizations.

The celebration will honor: Kimberley D. Finney Carmelich and Ellen Zoppo-Sassu of Bristol; Pamela Bianca, Shirley Black and Evelyn Newman Phillips of New Britain; Betty Boukus and Gail Williams of Plainville; Lorna Little of West Hartford; and Salome Raheim, Ph.D. of Bloomfield.

The event gives girls in the PRIDE program an opportunity to learn about successful local women and celebrate their accomplishments.

The organization wrote of the two Bristol honorees:

Kimberley D. Finney Carmelich is director, Parent and Child Center of Bristol Hospital, a nonprofit focusing on parental education and child abuse prevention. Until recently, she served as chair of the Bristol Early Childhood Alliance. She also serves as the vice-chair of the Bristol Youth Commission, Forestville Little League Board of Directors’ secretary and served as a coach and mentor to a team of elementary school students competing in the state “Odyssey of the Mind” contest.

Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, a Bristol City Council member, has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. She is director of communications and marketing for the Connecticut Pharmacists Association, part-time director of development and grants for the Bristol Historical Society and serves on several town and school boards, including the high school booster club, Friends of the Library, Bristol Federal Hill Association, the Boys and Girls Club Keystone Auxiliary and as an advisory board member to “For Goodness Sake,” a nonprofit that collects home goods to distribute to people needing new starts.

The public is invited to attend the concert and celebration, scheduled for March 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Raymond Hill School, 370 Linwood St., New Britain. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors.

To purchase tickets, visit qanc.org or call 860-229-8389. All proceeds help fund programming for the QANC, a nonprofit which emphasizes artistic expression and teamwork to build program participants’ skills and self-esteem.