As I noted on Memorial Day, it is critically important that all of us recognize and honor the service men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom and our way of life.
On Tuesday of last week, I was honored to attend the press conference that announced construction plans for the at . This memorial will be comprised of beautiful living trees with each one planted for and dedicated to Connecticut’s brave soldiers who gave their lives fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
A personalized plaque will be displayed next to each tree in honor of the fallen soldier. I was honored to stand with Gov. Malloy, Mayor Drew, American Legion Post 75 Commander Phil Cacciola and other dignitaries for this very important announcement.
As Mayor Drew noted, the veterans’ organizations in Middletown are the hallmark of this community which is why the city is the perfect location for this memorial. Governor Malloy added some great remarks of his own about the sacrifice that Connecticut soldiers have made in these conflicts.
The memorial is a fitting tribute to our heroes and will be a great addition to Middletown. I would like to send out a special thanks to Sue Martucci, chairperson. Trees of Honor Memorial Inc. and her committee for their great work. Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who died defending freedom and the United States of America.
The has offered to work with Matt Bevin and his entire team at Bevin Brothers Manufacturing as they recover from the terrible fire that destroyed the historic building in East Hampton. I sat down with Matt at the chamber office this past Tuesday and was inspired by his eloquent words about the company, its history and most importantly, its employees.
Matt is a fine businessman and a true gentleman and he has a partner in the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce as he goes through this difficult process.
We have reached the middle part of June in Middlesex County and another chamber annual dinner is officially in the books. The dinner, held last Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell, was a great event which honored our 2012 Distinguished Citizens, Robert C. Fusari, Michael “Jay” Polke and John W. Rafal, JD, and our Michael L. Green Award Winner, Lester “Scotty” Scott.
These four gentlemen gave terrific remarks and I want to publicly thank them one more time for their service to our county. We were also honored to officially recognize our 2012 Scholarship Award Winners. The 2012 Judge Raymond E. Baldwin Scholarship was awarded to Olivia DeFrances of Mercy High School, The Harry H.S. Phillips, Jr. Scholarship was awarded to Rachel Roberts of Haddam Killingworth High School and The Lorraine C. McHugh Scholarship was awarded to Lydia Walter of Nathan Hale-Ray High School.
We are very proud of these three young women and wish them the best of luck as they enter their college years. Finally, the event provided Chamber members in attendance the chance to offer a heartfelt thanks to our outgoing Chairperson Kelly Smith and a rousing welcome to our incoming Chairperson, Chandler Howard. These are two terrific people and we are all so lucky to have them in our community. I consider myself very fortunate to call both of them my friends and I want to thank them for their dedication to making our Chamber the best in the business.
On June 7, the chamber held its annual real estateluncheon at the Mattabesett Canoe Club at Harbor Park in Middletown. This was a great event which featured over 75 Middlesex County Realtors. I want to publicly thank Danny Cronin and his staff at the Canoe Club for putting out a great spread and for hosting our group. Each year at this event, we give out the Mary Ellen Klinck Realtor of the Year Award. Mary Ellen Klinck is a longtime chamber member who sits on our Executive Committee and is very active with our Real Estate Council.
This year’s recipient of the award is Marilyn Phillips of Sterling Realtors. Marilyn is a lifelong Middlesex County resident who has been in the real estate profession for over 40 years. She has donated countless hours to community service and has been recognized many times for her continued success in the real estate field. I want to congratulate Marilyn on this well-deserved award and thank all of our realtors for their support of the chamber.
The Real Estate Council is led by Co-Chairs David Gallitto of Sterling Realtors and Diane Sayers of William Raveis Real Estate. I would like to thank David and Diane for their support of the council and their dedication to the Chamber.
Looking ahead, we have yet another busy week full of chamber events and activities. Tonight is our Business After Work at the Courtyard By Marriott Cromwell which begins at 5 p.m. We are expecting more than 250 of our members at this event which will feature a great spread of food courtesy of the Courtyard, as well as beer, wine, soft drinks and terrific networking. I would like to thank General Manager Tina Fleming and the entire Courtyard staff for hosting us; we are looking forward to a great event.
This Wednesday, the strong efforts of many people in many cities and towns will come to fruition as we celebrate the official ground-breaking of the Mattabassett District expansion. Investment in this infrastructure is critical and our Chamber will continue to be an active partner with the City of Middletown and the Mattabassett District as we see this project through.
The 15th Annual Cruise Night on Main, Presented by Town Fair Tire and Middletown Nissan, will be held June 13 in downtown Middletown. This event will run from 4-8:30 p.m. and will feature a multitude of activities including: an outstanding car show with awards, street vendors, a variety of food options, entertainment, two DJ’s and sound sponsored by Jackson Chevrolet, and two radio stations that will be broadcasting live.
We are looking forward to an evening of good food, good music and lots of cars. In addition to Town Fair Tire and Middletown Nissan, I would to thank the other sponsors and supporters of this event: The City of Middletown, Eastern Chapter Over the Hill Gang Car Club, Route 66 Cruisers, Charles Computer Services, NAPA Auto Parts, Liberty Bank, Downtown Business District, Servpro and Home Team Supply. This is a great event for downtown and we hope to see everyone on Main Street Wednesday night.
June in Middlesex County is synonymous with the . This tournament is one of the best on the PGA Tour and is a great economic generator for our area. This year, the Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 18-24 and will be played as always at the TPC River Highlands, Cromwell.
Each year, our chamber hosts a member breakfast meeting with a PGA Tour Pro during tournament week. We are very excited to welcome back Connecticut’s own J.J. Henry, who will be our guest speaker at the event June 19. J.J. has been on the PGA tour since 1998 and won the Travelers Championship in 2006.
We are looking forward to hearing his remarks and are very excited for another great Travelers Championship. Discounted tickets for the tournament are available at the Chamber office.
For information, contact Jeff Pugliese at firstname.lastname@example.org.