Print this story

The Dick's Restaurant Scholarship Dinner. Saluting the best students Torrington has to offer.

POSTED May 22, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON: The old Dick’s Restaurant had that thing. That thing that spoke of the history of the City of Torrington.

On the walls throughout the now replaced legendary eatery where the foundation of the community of Torrington was poured so many years ago.

It’s where the scholarship idea came to light.

On Tuesday night at P-Sam’s in Torrington, the group got together again to bring in three more Torrington High School stellar and I mean stellar students to the prestigious group.

It’s a night filled with great conversation, great food and memories.

And oh yeah, checks.

Anybody who has even thought about putting a child in college must first take that deep breath, grab the paper bag and try not to hyperventilate.

Tuition just went up again as I wrote these words ad it doesn’t appear to be getting any better any time soon.

The money (nearly $23,000 this year to seven students) may only be a dent in the overall budget but each an every dollar helps and every student from THS has always been extremely grateful.

It all kicked off back in 1977 when two brothers, Vitto “Billy” Colangelo and Raymond “Brooklyn” Colangelo came up with the idea and soon a committee was formed and the good deeds started from there.

Brooklyn Colangelo is still with us, we lost Billy a few yeas back but Joe Colangelo, the father of Michael (he of ESPN fame) is a fixture at these events.

A true friend to every Torrington High School student, R.J. Poniatoski, was the Master of Ceremonies for the night. There’s not much R.J. doesn’t do for THS kids in his role at the HS.

If the kids need it, count on R.J.

The kindness the Colangelo family has shown to me over the years has been humbling, they are simply good people and it was a pleasure being on hand on Tuesday night.

Sat with Torrington legend, Mike Conway, a guy with a huge heart and a talent for calling a mean football game on the radio or TV in his day.

The stories were flowing from a guy who loves to brag whenever he can about the tremendous students that are honored on these nights.

Matt Stevens took home the top prize this year while Katherine Bossone and Taylor Yurgalevicz (music) took center stage as well.

The music award was added in 1985 in honor of Joe Colangelo Sr. and with the award winning THS band, there are plenty of worthy applications.

The committee does not look at the names on the applications when they get them, they don’t want to be influenced by a name they may recognize.

They focus on what’s on the applications, they are the original “The Voice” type judges!

Each of the students that receive this award are not just going to school to simply get by, oh no, they will more than likely dominate in whatever field of study they participate in.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here