(Left to right: Major Wilder Garcia, Recent Salvation Army Retiree Jim Gordon, Major Dora Garcia, Divisional Leader Major David Champlin)

It was a beautiful morning where we celebrated the hard work of The Salvation Army in the Greater Valley!

Greater Valley Says Thank You to Volunteers
(Greater Valley Corps Officers Major Wilder Garcia and Major Dora Garcia.)

ANSONIA – The Greater Valley Salvation Army held its 3rd Annual Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, April 28th, 2016, also celebrating its 125th year anniversary.

Major Wilder Garcia, Greater Valley Corps Officer, welcomed everyone to the event. “My wife Major Dora and I are grateful to God for allowing us to know all of you in the Connecticut Greater Valley.” The wide ranging programs conducted throughout 2015 are made possible by generous donors. Food, clothing, furniture, utility and rental assistance, winter coats, hats and gloves, school supplies and Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets were provided to the community. “We pray a special blessing upon each one of you, as we continue joining efforts to respond to the members of our community in need,” Major Garcia said.

Robert C. Van Egghen, Chairman of the Greater Valley Advisory Board, thanked donors for their active generous support, enabling The Salvation Army to continue to “Do The Most Good.” “The Salvation Army is truly an Army of volunteers – including the wonderful people who come here every day as the face and hands of The Salvation Army, the advisory board liaising with the community at large, specifically the other agencies, keeping us running on an even keel,” Van Egghen said. “We especially want to thank our supporters, whose generosity of time and funding continue to help us assist our less fortunate friends and neighbors.”

The keynote speaker of the morning was James Ryan, President of Shelton Economic Development Corporation. The master of ceremonies was Diane Stroman, Vice President of TEAM Inc. Major Terry Shaffer, Divisional Headquarters Officer, gave the invocation, and the awards presentation was given by Major Wilder Garcia, and Major David Champlin, Divisional Commander.

The "Faithful Soldier Award," presented to an individual who has contributed their time and talents unselfishly throughout the year, went to Jim Gordon. A recent retiree from The Salvation Army, Jim was instrumental in advertising and aiding the Greater Valley Corps advisory board and implementing its Recognition Breakfast. He was responsible for increasing the awareness of The Salvation Army with the media, while disseminating information to better communicate the Army’s mission.

The second award, "Friends of The Army," went to BJ’s Wholesale Club – for an organization or group that has extended its “hands in friendship” to The Salvation Army by promoting the Army with resources and contacts. BJ’s Wholesale Club in Derby very graciously donated more than 112,000 lbs. of food to the Greater Valley Salvation Army in 2015. This included frozen foods, meats, dairy, eggs, fresh and organic produce, bread and pastries, accounting for more than 68% of the 36,000 meals The Salvation Army handed out last year.

Lastly, the "Doing The Most Good Award" was presented to Benjamin “Benny” Cornell and Brenda Tennyson for an organization, group, or individual that has contributed significantly to the expansion of programs, services, or resources of The Salvation Army.

Benjamin “Benny” Cornell and Brenda Tennyson are an immense help picking up food donations from BJ’s Wholesale Foods, Big Y, Stop & Shop, and Massaro Community Farms while helping to motivate other volunteers.

Major Stephen Ditmer, Divisional Headquarters Officer, gave the closing Benediction.