With the end of 2018 quickly approaching, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, Inc. (NOW) recently celebrated the success of the past year with a dinner honoring businesses and individuals that have made a positive impact on the organization. On Friday, October 19th, members of the NOW Board of Directors and various community members gathered at Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam for an evening of recognition and appreciation. NOW presented eight special appreciation awards, recognized four Board Emeritus members as well as two employees for their efforts in supporting the local non-profit.

The Special Appreciation award recipients included individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made a lasting impact to NOW’s mission of improving youth wellness in Northeast CT. For 2018, NOW presented awards the following: Lisa Andrews of Artique for donating $3,000 through an annual Paint for a Purpose event held from 2015 – 2018; Chase Graphics for donating goods and services for NOW’s annual Taste for NOW tickets, Road Race, and past Touch-A-Truck events; The Courthouse Bar & Grille for participating in all seven years of the Annual Taste for NOW events, donating food and volunteering staff & time; Jewett City Savings Bank for their longtime support of the NOW Road Race, most recently as the 2018 Prize Sponsor, and to the bank’s foundation for funding various NOW community outreach programs in the region; The Putnam Rotary Club for their annual donations, totaling thousands of dollars over the history of the organization; Putnam Wireless Zone for donating goods and funds over the past several years; The Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club for their $5,000 donation of proceeds from the 2018 Rotaract Cornhole Classic event, and for their past sponsorship of the NOW Road Race and volunteer work at the Taste for NOW events; Quinebaug Valley Community College for sponsoring the Taste for NOW event in 2017 and 2018, opening their campus to NOW to host the fundraiser. The tradition of presenting these awards began in 2016, with past awards given to: The Byrnes Agency, Friendly Spirits, The G Seven Catering Company, Gerardi Insurance Services, Inc, Linemaster Switch, Peter & Kelly Newth, Nutmeg Container Corporation, Putnam Bank, The Putnam Lions Club, and United Services.

The evening also included recognition of four NOW Board Emeritus members, all who have served on the NOW Board of Directors for several years and have made significant contributions to the organization. For 2018, NOW recognized Jack Burke, one of NOW’s earliest directors and a member of the NOW Facilities committee, NOW Hiring Committee, NOW Legal Committee and Executive Committee. NOW also recognized Ed Higgins, another long-time member of the Board of Directors and member of the NOW Finance, Scholarship, and Legal Committee as well as the NOW Programming Committee. Earl Rosebrooks was recognized as a Board Emeritus member for his role as past Fundraising Chair, making significant contributions to such events as the Kerri Murphy Spin for NOW, Taste for NOW, the NOW Road Race, NOW Clinics, and most recently as chair of the NOW Celebrity Bartender Night. Finally, Debra Spinelli, one of NOW’s founding Board members, was recognized for her roles on the NOW Programming Committee and NOW Facilities Committee, and NOW Building Study Committee. Deb was also recognized for her continued contributions to the NOW Wellness & Sports Clinics.

The final two awards of the event were presented to past employees, Kim Rosebrooks and Kelsey Quinn. Kim Rosebrooks served as NOW’s first Business Manager and handled day to day business for the organization prior to the NOW Executive Director. Kim was instrumental in many fundraising events and community programs during her tenure and she continues to serve the organization, recently co-chairing the successful NOW Celebrity Bartender Night in August of 2018. Kelsey was recognized for her time as NOW’s first Programming Coordinator and her work on improving NOW’s fitness & nutrition outreach in the community. For the past two years, Kelsey served as the main contact for the many partner organizations NOW works with to offer youth scholarships.

Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, is a non-profit human services organization focused on youth wellness. Serving the 10-town area of Northeast Connecticut, NOW provides children with the opportunity to participate in area athletic programs and activities, offering scholarships to the youth of the community with up to 95% of the cost being subsidized by NOW. The mission of the organization is to provide all children, regardless of financial resources, equal opportunities to achieve & maintain youth wellness, beginning at an early age.