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Naugatuck United Way to Honor 50 to Celebrate 50 Years

Individuals who have been instrumental in the success of the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls will be honored.

UPDATE: The speaker is Trish Torello, sales manager at WATR 1320 AM Waterbury. See her full bio below. 

On April 11, the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls will be celebrating its first 50 years at the Crystal Room in Naugatuck.

In preparation for this event, we have been scanning through our history by looking through years of annual reports, photographs, and press clippings.  After collating data on the hundreds of people who have supported the UWNBF through the 50 years, the Board of Directors approved a list of 50 individuals.

These individuals represent the hundreds who gave their time and energy to serve the residents of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls by providing a resource to the many agencies and groups which are supported by a focused fund-raising drive.  The quote of our founder Robert Van Allen still rings true today. “Put all your begs in one asket”.

“The high level of giving and caring by these 50 individuals for this community epitomize what this award is about. Without their foresight, time and effort, so many people would not have had the help that was so crucial to them," said Laurie Yelding, campaign chair for the local United Way.

The 50 recipients include some of our founding members, former staff, people who served as Directors, Campaign Chairs and or Presidents.  Some helped with our Golf Tournaments or Festival of Trees or one of our events throughout the years.  We tried to choose a variety of people from the more well known like former Mayors John Letts and Terry Buckmiller and leaders of corporations who supported Naugatuck well like Jeff Witherwax from Naugatuck Glass, Jack Tatigian and Tony Edwards from Peter Paul and Hershey, to former UWNBF staff people like Marge Brinckerhoff, Clare (Kaufmann) McClure and Alice Bertola, to behind-the-scenes people like Andy Bertola, Michele McDougall, Karen Wilson and Maria Rodrigues.  Some of the 50 were founders like John & Lonnie Evans, Ron Lengyel and Bob Sutherland, some volunteered years ago and some are currently very active.  All in all, the 50 recipients are a selection of people who well represent the hundreds of people who have supported the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls throughout our 50 years. 

Going through the photos and press clippings has been inspirational for our current directors and committee members, as we see the number of people who have been involved and the work that they did which supports us to this day.  Many of the same documents developed by the group who founded the original “United Givers” are used in some form today.

“It is hoped that this celebration will be like a family reunion for the United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls and will encourage even more community involvement.  As a current Director, I would like to thank all of the people who made a difference in Naugatuck and Beacon Falls by establishing this wonderful organization," said Dorothy Hoff, marketing committee/public relations chair for the local United Way.

The 50th Annual Meeting Celebration will take place on April 11, 2013 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St., in Naugatuck. The evening will begin with our annual meeting from 5-5:30 p.m. The celebration will begin at 5:30 with cocktails until 6 pm.  There will be live music from the NHS Jazz Band during that time.  At 6 pm, guests will be welcomed and we will introduce the guest speaker, Trish Torello. Additional entertainment will be provided by the acapella group Love Note Sentiment.

Following that, Kevin DelGobbo, the recipient of the Mary H. Connolly Community Caring Award last year, will pass the torch to the . 

Campaign awards will be presented to those who have been most supportive of our current campaign.  Then, the big presentation of the evening will begin with the presenting of 50 Van Allen Medals. 

“With the hard work of our Marketing Committee, led by Dorothy Hoff, we expect our 50 Year Celebration to be spectacular," said Marcelo Martins, board chair of the local United Way. "We are looking forward to seeing all those who have been involved with United Way from our past and present."

For more information regarding the event or to reserve your seat, please contact the United Way office at 203-729-1564.

Trish Torello

Trish Torello, sales manager with WATR Radio 1320 AM, will be our guest speaker. Trish (Vagnini) Torello started working for WATR-TV Channel 20, at age 18 as traffic manager/ program director. She began doing voice over work for commercials and soon became the TV-20 weather girl and Romper Room teacher. Over the past 36 years, she has been working in different capacities for WATR, Inc. where she is currently sales manager.

Trish’s first love is performing; she is a veteran of over 40 musicals, both community and professional. Favorite roles include Matron Morton in CHICAGO, Salome in THE ROBBERBRIDEGROOM, Ann Collier, which she performed in three productions of 1940’s RADIO HOUR; twice as Maggie Jones in 42nd STREET; Evillene in THE WIZ; Joanne in HAIR; and four productions of GODSPELL.

Seven Angels Theatre audiences saw Trish perform in FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, NUNSENSE, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIETHE SICILIAN BACHELOR, ITALIAN FUNERALS AND OTHER FESTIVE OCCASIONS, MESHUGGAH-NUNS, NUNCRACKERS, ANYTHING GOES,  BEEHIVE, ACHES AND PAINS, NO-NO-NANETTE,  SEVEN ANGELS CHRISTMAS SHOWS,65 YEARS OF BROADWAY,  AND A SUMMER CABARET WITH SEMINA DELAURENTIS,   Trish travels with the cabaret act ‘TOM CHUTE AND THE FABULOUSCHUTETTES’, currently in rehearsals for THE GOLDEN DAYS OF RADIO at the Thomaston Opera House. Trish is a member of AFTRA/SAG, lending her character voices to many commercial voice-overs throughout New England.

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