SOUTHINGTON — For the past 18 years, Mike and Teresa Soltys have volunteered to help many organizations in the community. Because of their efforts, the Southington-Cheshire YMCA will recognize the couple as the recipients of the 2013 Compass Award.
For more than seven years members of the community have been awarded this honor for their “work in staying true to the YMCA focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” said a statement from the YMCA.
The couple will receive the honor at the annual “Forever in Blue Jeans” fundraiser gala Nov. 22 at the Aqua Turf Club.
“We’re thrilled to have them as recipients,” said John Myers, YMCA executive director. “They’re ones that really walk the talk, that are truly engaged and involved in any task or any committee or any project. I think they’re great role models for others to emulate.”
Mike and Teresa Soltys volunteer at their church, St. Dominic’s, with Bread for Life and Southington Relay for Life. Mike Soltys has been on the Bread for Life board for the past three years and now serves as secretary.
He’s also helped launch a Facebook page for the nonprofit and a Twitter account to keep them connected to the community.
“I would say shocked is probably a good word,” said Teresa Soltys, describing how she felt she found out about the award. “There are so many people in town deserving of this.”
“It was a humbling experience,” added Mike Soltys.
Balancing their jobs with volunteering and their four children was difficult at times. Mike Soltys works at ESPN as the vice president of Communications and Teresa Soltys works as a literacy tutor at Plantsville School and does development work at St. Dominic Church.
Teresa Soltys has volunteered at Kristen’s Kloset, a local program that provides free and discounted prom dresses to teens across the states.
She participated in Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success, served on various parent-teacher organizations and for 12 years helped coordinate a program at Kelley School that helped students and families through difficult times.
Mike Soltys coached Southington Youth Basketball, served on the Southington Chamber of Commerce Board and is a conformation mentor at St. Dominic Church.
“You get to know a lot of people, meet people and become friends with people,” Mike Soltys said. “It’s a great thing.”
Teresa and Mike Soltys give credit to their church for helping them get involved and stay involved.
Teresa Soltys said she always thinks of a prayer that says, “Christ has no hands, no feet on Earth but yours.”
“When I think of service I think of that,” Teresa Soltys said. “We’re here to serve others.”