Special Olympics Connecticut held its annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner to honor outstanding athletes, volunteers and supporters at Aqua Turf Country Club in Plantsville on March 2.
David Dennin from Trumbull received the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Award as an athlete who exemplifies the spirit of Special Olympics.
Honorees have demonstrated leadership, spirit and selflessness, as well as a commitment to inspiring respect, understanding and acceptance for people of all abilities in sports and beyond the playing field.
The event was hosted by the Bozzuto and Calvanese Families.
The Bozzuto Family Award was presented to the Lopriore Family from Norwalk for volunteer and philanthropic support.
Awards were presented to organizations: IBM Corporation, Community Leadership Award, and York Correctional Institution, Niantic (Warden Kevin Gause, Lt. Eric Dessaules), the Eastern Regional Award.
To Michael Bozzuto from Avon, the Susan Saint James Award to an individual whose leadership has inspired positive change.
To Lawrence Doherty, Jr. from Beacon Falls, the Lew Perkins Coach Award.
To Matt Smith from Dix Hills, N.Y., the Eunice Murtha Award to an individual whose philanthropic means has made a significant impact
In Memory of George Ford, Fairfield, the Sheila Schmidt Volunteer Award.
To Todd Pelazza from Guilford (Fairfield University liaison) the Southwest Regional Award.
To Darcie-Forgue-McIntyre from Woodbury, the Northwest Regional Award.
Spirit of Life Awards, presented to athletes who exemplify the true meaning of Special Olympics: Anthony Cruz, Bristol; Jason Keeler, Danbur; Kathy Ledwidge, Mystic; James Schlauder, New Haven; Tim Sturges, New Haven; Jeffrey Hungerford, Pomfret; Jessica Kasidas, Watertown; Scott Castellucci, West Haven; and Samantha Hodgson, Westport.
Unsung Hero Awards, presented to volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to benefit Special Olympics: Lt. Tim McConville, Glastonbury, of the East Hartford Police Department; Adam Kilpatrick, Hoboken, NJ; Richard Parker, Manchester; Rose Kalisz, Marlborough; Tony Catapano, North Branford; Maxine Pearcy, Stonington; Craig Staub, Waterford; Captain Teresa Penn of Coorigan-Radgowski Correctional Center, Uncasville; Agent Ron Littell, Vernon, of the South Windsor Police Department; and William Carey, West Haven.
Connecticut Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for more than 13,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities and Unified Partners (their teammates without disabilities).