SOUTHINGTON - The Town Council honored the Giving Back Girls Monday for a recent charitable collection.
Roughly two dozen girls of middle school and high school age were at the meeting to be recognized and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Councilor Chris Poulos thanked them for an Aug. 3 “Fill That Bus” fundraiser that they participated in at Walmart, with the help of the Salvation Army.
“They filled up the bus with backpacks full of school supplies that were taken to be stored in a warehouse on East Street,” he said.
Poulos said the Giving Back Girls were founded on 2010 by Erin and Emily Gibney and their mother, Trish. The group has remained active since the sisters graduated. He said the group has received numerous citations and awards, including some from state legislators.
“They have raised money for kids to go to Camp Sloper and collected thousands of pounds for the Food Pantry,” said Poulos. “They collect 350 to 400 backpacks a year and volunteer at Arc of Southington’s annual Christmas event.”
Poulos said it gives him “great pride” in his community to see young people stepping up to give back to others.
The girls who attended the meeting were invited to rise to be applauded and have a picture taken with the Town Council.
Council Chairman Chris Palmieri thanked Trish Gibney for continuing to support the volunteer group even after her daughters have moved on.
“Thank you for your efforts. We appreciate all you have done for the town,” he said. “You do a great job, Giving Back Girls.”
Additionally, Poulos, who is the council’s liaison to the Southington Historical Society, said the society, at 239 Main Street, is collecting donations for its annual tag sale on Sept. 21. He said this is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
Palmieri also announced that the 51st annual Apple Harvest Festival, which will be held Oct. 4 to 6 and Oct. 11 to 13, has attracted a near-capacity number of vendors. Additionally, this will be the second year to feature a laser light show and a national music act. Last year, Bowling for Soup performed before a huge crowd. This year, the Spin Doctors will perform on Saturday, Oct. 12.
“Last year we had a 2000s act and this is a ’90s band, so it will be at little bit of a different demographic,” said Palmieri.
Library Director Kristi Sadowski asked permission from the Town Council to apply for a state grant to fix the roof and veranda of he Barnes Museum. The council granted permission.
“Our veranda, roof and railings were found to be deteriorating in 2017,” said Sadowski. “Water was coming in and causing damage. We are applying for a 50 percent matching state historic restoration grant. The remainder of the money will come from our trust fund. The project has gone out to bid and we estimate that it will cost $120,000.”
At the start of the meeting, Councilors John Barry and Victoria Triano commented on the recent discovery of a puppy abandoned in a paper bag. They urged people who cannot take care of their pets to contact animal control instead.
Andrew Rennie, account executive and business development with AMR, demonstrated CPR techniques on a dummy in a presentation. He said that if they come upon someone having a heart attack, people should first call 911 and then push hard and fast on the center of the victim’s chest until emergency services arrive to help.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.