Another great night with the Torrington Hall of Fame. Five join the ranks.
TORRINGTON: This night will never get old.
Each of the twenty-two Torrington High School Hall of Fame Induction dinners have been gems and Sunday night was no different to those gathered for a meal and celebration at Chatterley’s Banquet Facility.
This prestigious club, which added five more worthy individuals to it’s membership, puts them over the double-century mark at 204 since their inception back in 1997.
It’s a room filled with some of the most successful and simply good people you’ll ever meet and the common thread amongst all of them is the impact Torrington High School had on them, either as players, coaches or supporters.
Success fills the room as it does every year and it becomes a family reunion of sorts for those able to attend.
This year, five most deserving members, Bruce and Eleanor Fox, Raoul Rebillard, Andrew “Andy Pace” and Thomas Soja Sr. were celebrated for their efforts.
Bruce and Eleanor helped launch the Hall of Fame and haven’t missed a dinner since it started with Bruce performing the Invocation and Benediction as an opening and closing each and every year.
One common theme at each of these events is the sense of team that flows through the room and is mentioned in nearly all the honorees speeches.
While we may have lost Andy Pace two years ago, his legacy lives on through his family who attended to accept the award for him.
It’s hard to describe how important Pace was to Torrington High School and Torrington in general during his days playing four sports as a Raider and then as a founding member of the Varsity Athletic Club, another powerful organization that has been helping Torrington High School athletes since it’s inception.
Pace and Frankie Russo, also a Hall of Fame inductee, were tireless supporters of anything that would benefit the youth of Torrington. They were a powerful force for good.
Soja Sr. was such an exceptional athlete at THS that he was named to the All-Century Team when the school named their top 20 players in the 100-year history of Torrington sports, playing both baseball and basketball.
Rebillard was a four-year letter winner and captain of the Raiders swim team in the early 60’s before going on to start the University of Maryland where he shattered many a record in the pool.
Torrington Mayor, Elinor Carbone spoke of what the THS HOF and other groups like it mean to the student/athletes.
“The real hero’s,” Carbone said, “Are groups like these who take care of our community through their efforts.”
Her husband Gerry and son Nicholas join Gerry’s father, the legendary “Gusto” Carbone in the Hall of Fame, making it truly a family affair.
It takes a great deal of hard work and coordination to put on these events and the THS Hall of Fame has one of the best committee, made up of Pat Fairchild, Toni Tavano, Joanne Arsego, Nancy Famiglietti, Pat Strawson, Tony Turina, Gerry Carbone, Patrick Finn, Mike McKenna and Christine Gamari.
I’ll be booking the last Sunday in April 2019 for another great evening and I’ll take the chicken, can’t miss with the chicken!