BERLIN - The Salvation Army of New Britain held their Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner on Thursday evening, April 27, at the Baltic Restaurant. The purpose of this annual event is to thank supporters and recognize groups and individuals for their contributions to the success of The Salvation Army in New Britain.
Diane Briggs, Advisory Board Member and Co-Chairperson of the event, welcomed the guests, thanked them, and promised everyone that they were in for a most entertaining evening. She then introduced, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Southern New England, Major Dave Champlin. He then thanked everyone for attending and delivered the invocation to bless the meal. Master of Ceremonies Kevin Nathan from NBC Connecticut was up next. Kevin is a member of the New Britain Advisory Board and has served as both master of ceremonies and featured speaker many times over the years. He certainly has experience with this audience and always does a masterful job of entertaining everyone, while keeping the program running smoothly and on time.
After a delicious meal, the Keynote Speaker was introduced. Lt. Colonel Carole Jeanne Bate, Social Justice Consultant for The Salvation Army Eastern Territory, took over the microphone. She addressed the audience in character as Evangeline Booth, the daughter of The Salvation Army founders William and Catherine Booth. She was born on Christmas day in 1865 and went on to become the fourth General of The Salvation Army in 1934. Colonel Bate/Evangeline Booth spoke about life in London during the early years of what would become The Salvation Army. She was very informative and gave the audience a better feel for the 150-year, global history of the Army.
Immediately after the speaker came the awards! Lieutenant Anthony Rivera, New Britain Corps Officer, came to the podium and presented the Holiday Award to Moore Medical. Then, the Good News Award went to Dorris Rudnicki and the Friend of the Army Award was given to Elaine Pavasaris. Next, the Doing The Most Good Award winner was Robert Smilnak and the Hand to Man Award was presented to the New Britain Police Department. Kept secret until the event, a special presentation followed where this year’s Faithful Soldier Award was presented to Master of Ceremonies and New Britain Advisory Board Member Kevin Nathan.
Before Bob Baumann, Advisory Board Member and event Co-Chairperson, started the live auction, he was presented with another previously unannounced award by Lieutenant Rivera, the Corps Gratitude Award. Lt. Anthony commented, "Bob has become a very dedicated and hard-working member of the Advisory Board and was extremely helpful in putting the Recognition Dinner together. Therefore, we want to give him a special thank you this evening." After an energetic live auction and expression of appreciation, the program came to a close with a final benediction. Attendees then collected the many generously sponsored silent auction items that they won.