The Baker Family were honored with the Bozzuto Family Award at the Special Olympics CT Annual Awards Dinner for their many years of volunteering and coaching with Special Olympics.

Peggy with CHSC President Michael Storz

The award took place during a dinner banquet at The Aqua Turf Club on March 29th. The event celebrated athletes who exemplify the spirit of Special Olympics and individuals and groups who have made significant contributions to Special Olympics CT.

Loretta Claiborne, Chief Inspiration Officer for Special Olympics, and Abby Snyder, a Special Olympics Connecticut Athlete and Global Messenger, were keynote speakers. Speakers also included iHeart Radio’s Renee DiNino, Athlete Brian Drexler, NBC Connecticut’s Ryan Hanrahan, and ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi who was also honored with the Susan Saint James Award. In addition to Tokio Marine, sponsors of the event include Webster Bank and Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc.

The Bozzuto Family Award is presented to the family who, through volunteer and philanthropic support, has made a significant impact on Special Olympics CT. Son Matt has been involved in Special Olympics since he was seven years old and parents Peggy and John and siblings Jack and Mary have coached and participated in Unified Sports including softball, soccer and basketball with the Special Olympics Cheshire and Special Olympics Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc. programs.
“Our family’s involvement with Special Olympics all these years has been because we want to. We love being with our son Matt and all the other athletes. It’s just something we love to do. We don’t do it for any accolades; we do it because it brings so many people such joy,” says mom Peggy Baker.

The family was nominated by Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, Vice President of Admissions and Marketing at CHSC, and EmilyAnne Austin, Supervisor of Recreation. Currently, Peggy and John Baker, their son Jack and daughter-in-law Alison, all contribute to coaching for Chapel Haven’s soccer and softball teams. Besides being active with Special Olympics, Peggy is chairman of Chapel Haven’s Board of Directors, and she is the founder of the Chapel Haven Golf Tournament, heading into its 8th event Sept. 20 at Race Brook Country Club. Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is very active with Special Olympics, competing in basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, track and field and swimming. REACH student Anna Reagle will swim for Team USA this June in Orlando.

To learn more about Chapel Haven’s Recreation program, including Special Olympics, click here

In addition to Negandhi, award recipients include:
• Eunice Murtha Award – Eugene Singer
• Community Award – Southern Connecticut State University
Bozzuto Family Award – The Baker Family
• Eunice Kennedy Shriver Award – Stephen Emblidge
• Lew Perkins Award – John (Jay) Dubinsky
• Outstanding Local Program Award – Special Olympics Trumbull
• Spirit of Life Awards – Alicia Rostkowski, John Breda, Laura Ferraiolo, Macconall “Mackie” Gray
• Unsung Hero Awards – Clem Kasinskas, Patricia McCormack, Sgt. Pete Howard, Damian Frassinelli

Many staff and Baker family members attended the festive evening. We are so proud of the Baker family. Enjoy some photos from the evening!