Southington-Cheshire YMCA hands out annual awards

Southington-Cheshire YMCA hands out annual awards


SOUTHINGTON — The Southington-Cheshire YMCA announced the winners of its annual awards for community service on Monday.

YMCA Executive Director John Myers announced Dawn Miceli as the organization’s “Person of the Year”; Nancy Chiero as the “Unsung Hero”; and the Southington Education Foundation as the recipient of the “Reaching Out Award.”

“We get to honor people who have done so many great things in our community,” said Melissa Sheffy, president of the YMCA Board of Directors.

Miceli, a town councilor, serves on several other civic boards. She has also been involved in numerous projects, including the reopening of the drive-in movie theater and the transformation of the Gura Building into an arts center.

“When you’re included, stuff gets done,” Myers said to Miceli. “You fit the bill for Person of the Year.”

During the ceremony, Miceli wiped tears as Myers spoke.

“You don’t do it for the recognition. I do it because it makes me feel good,” Miceli said. “I love this town.”

Jan Galati, the chair of the Southington Education Foundation, accepted the “Reaching Out” award. Since its inception in 2009, the foundation has funded 54 grants and distributed $130,000 to school programs. “I was really surprised, it was really unexpected,” Galati said.

Lastly, Myers introduced Chiero, who has been an educator for more than 30 years.

She was involved with the YMCA since the mid 1990s and served four terms on the YMCA’s Board of Directors. During that time, Chiero held positions as the president and the press secretary.

Since 2009, Chiero has served on the board of directors for Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success. In 2001, she was named the teacher of the year in Southington.

Chiero said her passion is helping students.

“I love to help encourage kids to be the best they can be and to help them find their paths,” she said.

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