BRISTOL - The Central CT Chambers of Commerce honored outstanding individuals and organizations at its 129th Annual Awards Dinner Wednesday night.
Chamber members, local leaders and legislators, members of nonprofits, and other movers and shakers of Bristol packed the Aqua Turf. They gathered in a show of appreciation for those whose efforts make Bristol a better place to live for all.
Chamber President and CEO Cindy Bombard and board Chair Susan Sadecki greeted the guests and provided opening remarks.
“We are here to honor some incredibly distinguished individuals and organizations that represent the essence and the spirit of what the chamber is all about,” said Sadecki.
Bombard congratulated all recipients and spoke about how the chamber has grown and what it has achieved over her two-year tenure.
“We have such a strong group of individuals who work to bring the chamber to its highest levels,” she said. “We will continue to be proactive in partnering with each and every one of you. You can count on the chamber to be there for you; we are proud to be your chamber.”
Jay Sattler, who will succeed Sadecki July 1 as board chair, thanked her for all she has done in her role and presented her with a chair with the chamber’s logo. He also congratulated the award recipients who he said have “shaped the Bristol landscape.”
As a surprise honoree, the chamber recognized John Letizia, a certified public accountant who founded his business in 1975 and retired last year, with the Lifetime Community Service Award. Sadecki said that he had advised many businesses over 42 years.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Linda Lubrico.
“Linda Lubrico is a lifelong Bristol resident who has always enjoyed giving back to her community,” the program book said of Lubrico. “Linda was a member of the Mum Festival Committee for 12 years, serving as chair for four years. Linda has been the executive director of the Miss Bristol-Forestville Scholarship Organization for the past nine years. Linda can be found teaching her titleholders the benefits of giving back to the community. Linda and the young ladies can be found around the city volunteering for many other organizations.
“Each year they hold their annual Turkey Drive to benefit the Christian Fellowship Center and the annual Toy Drive to benefit United Way. They volunteer at Imagine Nation Museum and the Carousel Museum just to name a few.”
Lubrico said she is “humbled and honored” to receive the Volunteer of the Year award.
“I just love giving back to my community,” she said.
Timothy Furey received the E. Bartlett Barnes Distinguished Service Award. For the past 23 years he has been a corporator at Bristol Hospital and he is also a past hospital board chair.
He is also a partner with the law firm Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly.
“It’s wonderful to receive this award as one of the many presented tonight,” Furey said. “These organizations being recognized are part of the fabric of what makes living in this community worth living in. I remember going to the Mum Festival as a kid and the Boys and Girls Club. My kids have spent many summers up at the Barnes Nature Center.”
The Outstanding Community Service Award was given to past and current members of the board of directors for the Bristol Boys & Girls Club Family Center.
“It is an honor to receive this award, it really is,” said Mark DiVenere, who accepted the award on behalf of the club. “There are a lot of dedicated people who have served on our board. The Bristol Boys and Girls Club is a multi-generational cornerstone of Bristol.”
The Special Recognition Award went to Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, which includes the Barnes Nature Center and Indian Rock Nature Preserve.
“It feels great to be honored tonight for the work we do,” said Scott Heth, executive director of ELCCT. “We really encourage people to get outside, out in nature. It has all kinds of health benefits. Even thinking about a natural area makes me relax and reduces my blood pressure.”
The Spirit of Bristol Award was bestowed upon the Mum Festival Committee, which was established in 1961.
“Its an honor, it really is,” said Shannen Tack, marketing chair for the committee. “When I heard that we were getting the Spirit of Bristol Award it made me realize how much the festival really does embody the spirit of our community, especially with the changes we have made in recent years to keep it going. Its really exciting.”
Emily’s Catering Group, a catering and event planning company founded in 1995, earned the Distinguished Business of the Year Award.
“This is a very nice honor,” said Rick Kerzner, owner of the company. “We have a phenomenal team, we love what we do and we have great clientele.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.