PLAINVILLE — Two area high school seniors were recently presented with the Petit Family Foundation’s Be the Change Award.
The annual award is given to one graduating senior each from Cheshire High School and Plainville High School for efforts to improve the community. This year’s recipients – Alexa Confrancesco of Cheshire and Andrew Kane of Plainville – received the award at William Petit Jr.’s home on June 6.
They each also received a $1,000 grant and a $500 donation to a nonprofit of their choice on behalf of the Petit Family Foundation.
“We wanted to reward people, but also allow them to give back to their charities they worked for,” Petit said. “It honors the kids for what they do … and hopefully inspires more.”
When she moved to Cheshire four years ago, Confrancesco began volunteering for the nonprofit Lights of Hope, which sells thousands of luminaries that are placed throughout the town during an annual charity event each year. Recently she helped revive the Lights of Hope Club at Cheshire High School and led it in raising $700 in a bake sale and $200 through another fundraiser. The club now has 90 members, the second largest at the school, and contributed to Lights of Hope by selling luminaries.
“It feels nice that my hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed,” said Cofrancesco, who will be attending Sacred Heart University to pursue a nursing degree.
Kane made his contribution through Faith Living Church in Southington, where he used his expertise to help with audio and video equipment, culminating in creating a way for services to be streamed live over the internet.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but I know that I do a lot of good for people too,” he said.
The Be the Change award was in part inspired by Petit’s daughter Hayley Petit’s reaction to her mother’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Hayley captained an MS Walk team – Hayley’s Hope – and raised $55,000 for the MS Society.
Hayley, her sister and mother were all killed in a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire. William Petit Jr. was severely injured in the attack.