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2016 Gold Medal Award Ceremony - May 17, 2017

2015 Gold Medal 

Southington UNICO announces that Sister Marie Rose Roccapriore, M.P.F., is the 2016 Gold Medal of Honor recipient, the organization’s most prestigious honor.

Called one of Southington’s secret treasures, Sister Marie is truly the epitome of UNICO’s creed of “service above self.”  Her apostolate is at St. Thomas Parish, where she has served for nearly two decades. As part of her own personal ministry, Sister Marie has committed to the sick and elderly and created many special outreach programs and initiatives that help care for and nurture those in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“It is important to reach out, especially to the sick and elderly,” said Sister Marie. “We are all called by God to serve one another.”

A love of music (she sings and plays the piano) and an observation by her mother brought about the beloved Spirit Joy Children’s Music Ministry. Sister Marie explained that while caring for her homebound mother, the two women noted that many televised religious broadcasts were remiss of children. As such, Sister Marie founded Spirit Joy, which allows youth to reach out to the sick and elderly via music.

Sister Marie writes all of the songs performed by the 30-member group and directs the children in their prayer-filled music. Monthly performances take place at area hospitals, health care and assisted living facilities, such as The Summit at Plantsville.

“The children learn the songs and sing to the elderly,” explained Sister Marie.

As an added touch, Sister Marie employed the talent of internationally renowned performer Jose Feliciano, with whom she’s enjoyed a 20-year friendship. To date, Sister Marie has produced in affiliation with Feliciano Productions two CDs and a DVD of Spirit Joy’s music. Feliciano also provided the musical accompaniment for each of the productions.

Sister Marie also founded the Lap Blanket Prayer Ministry, which distributes hand-knitted blankets to those in area hospitals and nursing homes. With 20 women currently involved in the group, Sister Marie maintains that more than 1,000 lap blankets have been created to ensure that the recipient “feel God’s healing warmth.”  

Her enduring dedication to the sick and elderly is also embodied in two books she authored: Moments in the Spirit and Anointing of the Sick and the Elderly. She holds degrees from Villa Walsh College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, LaSalle University and Hartford Seminary. As a lifelong educator, Sister Marie has taught elementary school in several states and is currently the Director of Religious Education for St. Thomas Parish. She is a member of the Religious Teachers Filippini Community, Villa Walsh.

“UNICO’s Gold Medal of Honor is the ultimate form of recognition as it signifies that the recipient has followed a path in life that models the ideals of UNICO, namely ‘service above self,’” said Selection Committee Chairman Mark J. Sciota. “Sister Marie has dedicated her life to others and her heartfelt contributions to our community and others are truly admirable.”

Southington UNICO has awarded the Gold Medal to a distinguished citizen in the community annually since 1945.  The 2015 recipient was Mike Fasulo. Past recipients include Joseph LaPorte, Ralph Mann, William DellaVecchia, Andrew Meade, Gail DePaolo, Helen Henne and Christopher Palmieri.

The three goals of Southington UNICO are service to fellow man and community, to foster and promote Italian heritage and to promote and support charitable educational projects. 

Southington UNICO annually distributes about $30,000 to national and local charities, such as the Unified Sports and Theater program at SHS, Southington Community Services and many more community initiatives.

The 2016 Gold Medal Award Dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club.

Tickets for the Gold Medal Award ceremony are available at the following locations. Verizon Simply Wireless, Queen Street location Shop Rite, Plaza Fasulo and Albini Accounting firm Plantsville, Town Hall, Deputy Manager Mark Sciota's Office, St. Thomas Rectory Bristol Street.  Tickets are $55.

 

 

2014 Gold Medal Award Ceremony - May 20, 2015

2014 Gold Medal Mike Fasulo

Southington UNICO announces that local certified public accountant and community leader Mike Fasulo is the 2015 Gold Medal of Honor recipient, the organization’s most prestigious honor.

Fasulo is a lifelong Southington resident and is the current chairman of the Southington Park Board.  He has been a UNICO member since 1991 and served as president in 2005.  Additionally, he has helped organize the Southington Italian-American Festival since its inception in 2004 and is a founding member of the Southington Drive-In Committee. 

“UNICO’s Gold Medal of Honor is the ultimate form of recognition as it signifies that the recipient has followed a path in life that models the ideals of UNICO, namely ‘service above self,’” said Gold Medal Dinner Committee Chairman Nick Botsacos.

Fasulo graduated from Southington High School in 1977 and Boston College in 1981.  He is a partner at Fasulo & Albini CPAs, which was founded in 1992 and is located in Plantsville, and has been married for 16 years to Cheryl Fasulo. 

A parishioner at St. Thomas Church, Fasulo serves as a Board of Finance member and is an usher.  He is also a Calvanese Foundation volunteer and has received many accolades for his community service work and dedication to civic and charitable endeavors.

Southington UNICO has awarded the Gold Medal to a distinguished citizen in the community annually since 1945.  Past recipients have included Joseph LaPorte, Ralph Mann, William DellaVecchia, Andrew Meade, Gail DePaolo, Helen Henne and Christopher Palmieri.

The three goals of Southington UNICO are service to fellow man and community, to foster and promote Italian heritage and to promote and support charitable educational projects. 

Southington UNICO annually distributes about $30,000 to national and local charities, such as the Unified Sports and Theater program at SHS, the SHS Robotics Team and many more community initiative. Tickets for the Gold Medal Award ceremony are available at the following locations. Verizon Simply Wireless, Queen Street location Shop Rite Plaza Fasulo and Albini Accounting firm Plantsville. Town Hall, Deputy Manager Mark Sciota's Office. St. Thomas rectory Bristol Street.

 

2008 – Vicky Triano
Photo of Vicky Triano
 

Triano to Receive UNICO Gold Medal Award

By Nancy A. Boccuzzio

The Southington Chapter of UNICO National has announced that Victoria Triano is the recipient of the organization’s 64th annual Gold Medal of Honor award. Recognized for her long-standing involvement in a multitude of community endeavors and religious ventures, Reverend Triano joins a distinguished list of public servants who have received the prestigious award since UNICO’s inception here in 1944. Past recipients of the honor include Triano’s father, the late G. Robert Triano.

According to Ralph Campochiaro, III, Gold Medal of Honor Award Dinner Chairman, Triano’s generous acts of benevolence and devotion to the Southington community earned her UNICO’s coveted award. “Victoria truly personifies the UNICO motto of service above self,” he said. Mark Sciota, Gold Medal Selection Committee Co-chairman, agreed. “Her remarkable efforts to embrace the needs of the people of our community are unending. Vicky is truly deserving of this honor,” he said.

In keeping with UNICO tradition of notifying recipients in person, committee members informed Triano recently when they paid a surprise visit to her brother’s home. Triano was there for what she thought would be a quiet dinner with her two brothers, Robert and Gerald Triano. “When the door bell rang and the group walked in, my first thought was, I hope Bob made enough spaghetti sauce to feed his all his guests!” In the moments that followed, Triano learned that the gentlemen hadn’t come for dinner at all but, were there instead to notify her that she had been selected to receive the Gold Medal award. “I couldn’t believe it,” said a humbled and tearful Triano, “after all, there are so many who have done so much more.”

According to UNICO President, Richard Lopatosky, Triano leads by example. “By doing so much to benefit the community, Vicky exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism,” said Lopatosky.

Born in Southington on June 22, 1949, the second child of the late G. Robert and Molly (Mase) Triano has lived a life of service to the Southington community. From political and community volunteering to caring for the needs of individuals on a more personal and often spiritual level, Triano’s record of service is as far-reaching as it is diverse.

While Triano acknowledges that the desire to serve the public is a family trait, she credits her mother particularly with inspiring in her the strong sense of confidence that has allowed her to pursue her purpose. “She was a great encourager who found the good in everyone,” she said.

During the 1990’s, an injury in the line of duty forced Triano to retire from her job as a probation officer with the State of Connecticut Judicial Department’s Office of Adult Probation – a position she held for thirteen years. In the aftermath of the retirement, Triano’s career goals became more narrowly focused as she followed the path she had set out upon many years earlier.

Following Triano’s graduation from Southington High School in 1967, she entered a religious congregation; Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. She later earned a bachelors of arts degree in psychology from Western Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Central Connecticut State University. Triano attended Master Seminary and had done post graduate work at Yale Divinity School before being ordained a minister in 2001. She now serves as the Senior Pastor at Christ Community Church in East Haddam and is the Director of Pastoral Care at both the Southington Care Center and the Orchards of Southington.

For Triano, personal reward is not found in reflecting on all that she has done but rather, in knowing that she is fulfilling with purpose the life she was born to lead. Said Triano, “Each day I ask myself, what is it I can do this day to make an impact on someone else’s life?” And Triano does make a difference – in big ways.

In addition to providing counseling and religious services, she serves on the board of directors of the Southington United Way; the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Bread for Life; SouthingtonCARES; the Southington Clergy Association, the Southington Consortium for Early Childhood Education; and S.T.E.P.S – Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success. Triano is also president of the Rotary of Southington and is a past president of the Southington Community Theater.

Political boards and commissions have also provided avenues for Triano’s service to the Southington community. A past member of the Commission on Disabilities and the Board of Ethics, Triano was first elected to the Southington Town Council in 1991 – a time when very few women pursued service on the town’s highest governing body. She held the seat until stepping down from the Council in 2007.

When asked to reflect on her extensive history of public service, Triano speaks little about her vast range of accomplishments or the numerous leadership roles she has assumed, such as rising to the heights of Town Council Chairwoman or United Way President. Instead, she speaks with genuine passion about particular experiences she has had – moments that remain near and dear to her heart – such as times she spent visiting elderly housing projects during blizzards to make certain residents were safe and not alone.

Another moment she recalls with great emotion is the rally on the town green that took place in 2001. In the days following the September 11th terrorist attacks, Triano was contacted by a local firefighter who asked for her support in quickly arranging a gathering to honor fallen heroes. Triano agreed to help and made a few telephone calls. Much to her surprise, some 3,000 people turned out for the downtown ceremony. For Triano, the event made a lasting impression and spoke volumes about how unity of purpose and goodwill flourish in the Southington community.

Also included among what Triano considers the milestones of her career in public service is the work she has done to help care for the needs of the poor within our community, including participating with the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Run, sponsored by the Law Enforcement motorcycle club known as The Renegade Pigs, as well as her past service as chairwoman of the Southington United Way annual appeal and coordinator of Southington’s participation in the annual National Day of Prayer. On the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, Triano established the Circle of Honor in recognition of WWII veterans.

Triano is also proud to collaborate with the Youth Services department on special projects, including Girl Power conferences and to serve as the keynote speaker at the annual Red Ribbon Anti Drug Rally each year.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Southington community, Triano has received several awards including the Southington Community YMCA Person of the Year and the Jaycee’s Woman of the Year awards. She also received recognition from the Southington Drug Task Force and in 2008, was inducted into the Southington High School Wall of Honor.

Victoria Triano will be honored by the Southington Chapter of UNICO National at the Gold Medal Award Dinner on Wednesday evening, May 20th at the Aqua Turf Club. For ticket information contact: Fasulo & Albini at 276-9787 or Southington Insurance Center at 628-7335.

 

Past Winners: 2007

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