Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The whole town is invited to an Open House on Sunday, February 12, 2016 at Bread for Life's new home at 31 Vermont Avenue in Southington

A Community-wide Invitation From Bread for Life

The fulfillment of a dream of hope of a legion of compassionate volunteers and supporters who have been part of the Bread for Life story of more than thirty years has become a long-awaited reality.    

Recently appointed BFL Executive Director, Donna Ayer, stated: “The whole town is invited to an Open House at our new facility at 31 Vermont Avenue on Sunday, Feb. 12th, from 1 to 4 pm.  Complimentary tours of our new home will be conducted along with information about the services and volunteer opportunities now open to those who wish to help us continue our mission of meeting the needs of our local hungry.” Entertainment and refreshments, courtesy of Kenzie Kakes, Rogers Orchards, and Subway, will be provided.  Visitors are asked to bring an item(s) from our most-needed list and have their names entered in our open house raffle sponsored by Anthony Jack’s, Geno’s Restaurant, Hen House, Jacqueline’s Nail and Beauty, Paul Gregory’s, Southington Community Services, Tavern 42, and Thai Kitchen 4.  Most needed Items are jelly, cereal, fruit juice or juice boxes, corn, green beans and canned fruit.” Ayer stated.   

BFL Board of Directors Chairman, Mike Soltys, noted the years of exemplary community service of Donna Ayer, particularly in a leadership position at the Southington YMCA. “Donna is a dynamic, creative person who gets things done, the kind of person to step in and take over this transition, working with the Board to consider the new possibilities open to BFL now operating under one roof in an enhanced, more commodious facility.” Soltys said.
Stepping into the entryway and smartly designed dining room, one promptly feels the warmth and sense of comfort of the bright colors and d├ęcor, reaching for a sense of dignity to clients.” Soltys pointed out that “our pride in not without recognition of the endless community gratitude to the extraordinary accomplishments of our recently retired executive director, Eldon Hafford, during his past nine years of distinguished dedication, a time in which he led the pathway to the expansion of BFL services.”  Hafford said: “I’m deeply grateful to the community for supporting BFL’s many programs providing countless thousands of meals through the years feeding so many who might have gone hungry.” 

But, there are so many to thank for the astonishing feat this community project represents. The extraordinary efforts of our Board Vice-Chair, Dave Donnelly in 2016 in managing the project, coordinating the participation and contributions of an amazing coalition of community partners who made it happen.”, said Soltys.  Dave also undertook the writing of a major one-time state grant with Assembly Speaker Joe Aresimowicz leading the charge, with the aid of, (former state representatives), Dave Zoni and the late Betty Boukus.

“It would be fruitless to try to provide an all-inclusive list of those who played a role in the town-wide consortium of this mammoth project.”, Donnelly said.  Significant monetary gifts included $50K from The Calvanese Foundation, a matching grant of $50K from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, (thanks, Jim Williamson), the Hartford County Home Builders Association, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, Close Harbor Seafood and UNICO of Southington, the Soltys family, a dishwasher from the Rotary Club and walk-in freezer from Southington Lions Club.

“The participation was incredible”, Soltys said, “starting with the pro bono services of AA Denorfia Construction & Development and architect Joe Eddy plus some 29 additional contractors and service providers. It was in every sense a full community undertaking.” Opportunities for volunteers of virtually all ages and talents have never been greater. Just ask!

For publication in the Southington Citizen on Friday, February 10, 2017 by Dick Fortunato, freelance writer and community service advocaate. Comments may be sent to dick617@gmail.com 

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