PLAINVILLE – Local nonprofit PARC presented two individuals with its Shining Star Award and honored William A. Petit Sr. and his wife, Barbara, with the John Sullivan Award at their annual Spring Dance.
PARC, a local 501 (c)(3) organization, was founded 65 years ago to provide individuals with developmental disabilities and their families connections to the community, social opportunities and advocacy.
The Spring Dance, which was held May 7 this year at Testa's Restaurant in Southington, celebrates members along with their families, staff and supporters. It was the first time that the Spring Dance was able to be held in person since the start of the pandemic. The event included a dinner, dancing, and music with DJ Joe with Audio Visual Anarchy.
This year's Shining Star Awards were presented to Luis Fernandez and Samantha Burgess. The award is given out annually to program participants whose positive attitudes promote friendship and enhance activities.
William A. Petit Sr. and his wife, Barbara received the John Sullivan Award, which was established to recognize community service. William A. Petit Jr., one of their five children and a Connecticut state representative, presented his parents with a state citation.
“I am proud to see PARC recognize my parents for their outreach efforts," said Petit Jr. "They have loved the Plainville community throughout their lives, from PTA to Boy and Girl Scouts, Little League, Town Council, Rotary, the Board of Education, the Historical Society and PARC. They love helping others to create a kind and giving community that helps all. Congratulations, Mom and Dad."
Petit Sr. said that he and his wife were "honored and humbled" to receive the John Sullivan Award.
"We do not volunteer to receive recognition, but it is nice to be so honored," said Petit Sr. "It was a wonderful evening being with the PARC board and clients and, of course, our family.”
Petit Sr. added that he knew John Sullivan, after whom the award is named, when as a young salesman he stopped by various stores which the Petit family owned.
Erica Donovan, PARC executive director, said that she was "thrilled" to have such a successful event this year.
“After a two-year hiatus, it was absolutely wonderful to see our members, families, friends, and supporters smiling and enjoying a terrific night together," she said.
Brenda Rodriguez, who is active with PARC’s senior ladies group and also enjoys bingo, said she loved being able to attend the event again. She added that she especially loved being able to get out on the dance floor again.
"The dance was wonderful; it makes me happy,” she said.
For more information about PARC, visit parcdisabilitiesct.org, like PARC, Inc. on Facebook or call the PARC office at 860-747-0316.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.