Healthy Valley 2000, Connecticuts first healthy community initiative, celebrated five years of improving the quality of life in the Valley on Wednesday, October 13, 1999 at the new Ansonia High School.
The event was an opportunity to showcase Healthy Valleys accomplishments over the past five years and invite citizens to participate in sharing their vision for the Valley in the coming years. Attendees participated in the "Vision for the Millenium" interactive board where they depicted their vision for the Valleys future.
The event featured keynote speakers Dr. Joxel Garcia, State Health Commissioner, and Judith Kurland from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. They spoke about the importance of healthy communities and the healthy community effort across the state and the nation. Entertainment included songs by the Valleys Youth CONNection, and accordion music by Mayor Marc Garofalo. Creative decorations were provided by Meg Kane and Balloons by Design.
The first Healthy Valley Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Judy Augusta of the Derby Neck Library, and John Sponauer, former Director of the Valley Substance Abuse Action Council. Judy Augusta has been one of Healthy Valleys most active volunteers. She is an active member of the Arts & Recreation Committee, whose projects include the Guide to Arts & Recreation, the Valley Heritage Driving Tour and the River Event. Judy is also an active member of the Education Committee which is implementing a Valley-wide Mini-Grants Program which fosters parental and community involvement in the schools. Judy also participates actively in the Electronic Valley committee and manages one of the communitys Internet public access sites at the Derby Neck Library. She is an active Stakeholder and can be counted on to be a cheerful regular at numerous Healthy Valley meetings and events. Her community-mindedness is apparent in the many civic organizations that are privileged to have her as a volunteer.
John Sponauer has been a dedicated proponent of Healthy Valley and its initiatives since the projects inception. He was an active member of the Coordinating Committee, whose goal is to oversee all operational aspects of the project. He was also an active player on the Electronic Valley Committee and was responsible for creating several innovative web pages on the site. John was also the first Chair of the Education Committee whose work ultimately led to the first Valley-wide Community Conversation on Education. Johns refreshing sense of humor and commitment to community have made him an asset to all the Valley organizations with which he has been involved.
Each person in attendance received a free copy of the newly published Valley Heritage Driving Tour and raffle tickets for meals at such Valley eateries as Roseland Pizza, the Oxford House and Eddys Bakery. "When Healthy Valley began five years ago we were determined that it would not be just another report that sat on a desk and gathered dust," said Co-Chair Jodi Ann LaFreniere. "Five years later we are proud of our many concrete accomplishments including the Valley Heritage Driving Tour, a river festival, our Guide to Arts & Recreation, the education mini-grants program, the health risk assessment project and the Electronic Valley web site to name a few," she added.Back to Healthy Valley 2000 index