(Children from WSO’s Bravo Waterbury! program entertain the crowd.)
The Bells Are Still Ringing!
Waterbury’s Breakfast Bigger and Better than Ever!
WATERBURY - The guests had an easier commute this year for the "5th Annual - Keep the Bells Ringing Kettle Kick-Off Breakfast." As they entered La Bella Vista for a delicious buffet breakfast and exciting program, they were greeted with joyous music by The Salvation Army’s Brass Ensemble. Waterbury Corps Officer, Major John Lock, soon welcomed the crowd, thanked God for a beautiful morning (without snow), and then delivered the Invocation.
Next up was WATR’s Tom Chute, who served as the terrific Master of Ceremonies. Tom kept the program moving, delivered some funny stories, and even led a sing-a-long in a grand fashion. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Amani Scott, and followed with the National Anthem, sung by Advisory Board member and guest soloist Deborah Del Prete Sullivan.
(Girl Scout Troop #64178.)
While the eggs were still warm, the awards ceremony began. The Extraordinary Youth Awards went to Gemma Sanchez and Mikal Scott-Williams. The audience was then entertained with various Musical Selections by WSO’s Bravo Waterbury! program at Children’s Community School. Next, the Friends of the Army Award was presented to Girl Scout Troop #64178. The Creative Partner Award was then presented to Dina Daddario from Agnew Florists. After that, the Community Service Award was presented to Michael Salvio, by Advisory Board member Laura Marsala, for his work in the city’s historic Overlook neighborhood.
(Kathy Dalton accepts her award.)
After a spirited sing-a-long, the Veterans Appreciation award was presented to Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee, and they in turn offered The Salvation Army a donation. Major Annette Lock then presented the Doing The Most Good Award to Cathy Dalton and recognized her for all she has done to help the Army. "While it takes a team to make an event happen, this breakfast would not have happened without Cathy Dalton," reflected Major John Lock. Cathy headed up this event for its first four years, but her extraordinary work in recruiting new Advisory Board membership brought to the Army Donna Paternostro, the Chair of this year’s Events Committee, who seamlessly continued her established efforts.
(Pastor Will speaking to the audience.)
Next was the Key Speaker, Pastor Will Marotti, Senior Pastor of New Life Church in Meriden, Connecticut. Pastor Will has become a familiar face at Army events and is a fill-in host on WTIC 1080, where he has also helped promote the Army on many occasions. As everyone in the audience could agree, he is a great speaker and truly "part of The Salvation Army’s family."
(Major Champlin announcing the "Others" Award winner.)
The final presentation was the Army’s top civilian award, the "Others" Award. Major Dave Champlin, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Southern New England, and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary presented the award to Frederick "Fritz" Blasius, Jr.
"Fritz" is president of Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac, which is the largest GM Dealership in Connecticut and ranks in the top 50 Chevrolet dealers in the country. "Fritz" started the "Little Flower Fund," which has provided more than $600,000 of tuition assistance to local Catholic grammar schools. He has served on the boards of Holy Cross High School and Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation, as well as currently serving as a Trustee for the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. He is also a major financial supporter of the Waterbury Police Activities League, which he helped found, and has served on its board of directors.
(Fritz with his "Others" Award.)
Fritz is a lifetime resident of Waterbury area and is well-known as a pillar of the community who constantly gives back. He is a role model in business leadership and community involvement. He truly deserves to be recognized by "Others."
The event then concluded with the Presentation of Citations, Final Words by Majors John and Annette Lock, and the Benediction by Major Eunice Champlin. Everyone left remarking what a wonderful and fun event it was, expressing how proud they were to support an organization like The Salvation Army.
"Our hearts overflow with thanksgiving. The work of the board members, the support of local businesses and community leaders, and the potent words of Pastor Marotti have made this an event that gives us great expectation for what we hope to accomplish for others in the holiday season ahead," said Majors Lock.
Welcome! You can view our 5th Annual Kettle Kick-Off Breakfast flier below, download it at the bottom of the page, or click here to Register/Sponsor Online.