Since 1972, the Wilton Family YMCA has served the communities of Wilton, Redding, Norwalk, and beyond. Officials have celebrated the Y’s golden jubilee with a year’s worth of events, including a benefit rock concert, a “romp in the swamp” (aka Kiwanis Pond) to support free swim lessons, and the upcoming planting of 4,000 daffodil bulbs on Wilton’s Golden Mile. The culmination of all the celebrations will happen next month when the YMCA will honor two lifelong Wiltonians as its Distinguished Citizens.
On Saturday, Nov. 5 at Rolling Hills Country Club, the Wilton Y will celebrate 50 years with a cocktail reception and award ceremony sponsored by ASML. Since starting the tradition of the Distinguished Citizen Awards in 1986, the Y has recognized more than 85 individuals, businesses, and organizations that have served the community through volunteerism, on a sustained long-termed basis and made a positive difference to benefit all. This year, Wilton residents Nick Lee and Jeff Turner will be honored for their community support and involvement.
Riverbrook Regional YMCA CEO Bob McDowell summed up his thoughts on the awardees by talking about their selfless service.
“Both Nick and Jeff have selflessly served our community for multiple decades impacting the lives of young people, families, and seniors resulting in improving the overall quality of life for all. They each exemplify the core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility, which sets an example for us all when it comes to Distinguished Service. Our YMCA is proud to honor them with this year’s Awards,” McDowell said.
“The Wilton Family Y has a proud tradition of presenting the Distinguished Citizen Award for outstanding service and commitment to our community. Past honorees have been recognized for their spirit of volunteerism and for their contributions to making our town such a special place to live, work, and play,” Carol Johnson, chair of the Wilton Y’s Board of Directors, explained. This year’s recipients, Nick Lee and Jeff Turner epitomize the active involvement and tireless dedication that are the hallmarks of a stalwart volunteer.”
Lee moved to Wilton in 1969 and since then has been beautifying the community with his degree in Landscape Design from Radcliffe College. Lee served on the Board of the Wilton Family Y and has always shaped the youth of the community through coaching soccer, lacrosse, and hockey. He has served as a Board Member of the Wilton Riding Club as well. Lee’s passion for conservation and keeping Wilton beautiful can be seen in his various positions as part of the Wilton Conservation Land Trust (1995-2011, Trustee), member of the Wilton Conservation Commission (2001-2011), member and current chair of the Wilton Inland Wetlands Commission (1991-2001, 2011-present) and part of the Tree Committee (2008-2018), as well as serving as Deputy Tree Warden since 2010. He is celebrated by the community and his family, wife Jane, son Henry, and daughter Margaret.
Turner has been welcoming and settling families into Wilton since 1997, after a career in sales that spanned the Medical/Pharma field. As a retired Naval Reserves Commander, he has been a member of American Legion Post 86 for 16 years and recently became the Senior Vice Commander and Membership Chair. He has been a member of the Memorial Day Parade Committee for 17 years and a past chair. Turner also has held various positions within St. Matthews Church, Ambler Farm, and Wilton youth sports, most notably Wilton Little League. He is better known for his 20-plus years of service to the Wilton Kiwanis Club, serving in important roles such as chair of the Food Drive, Golf Outing Committee member, and president. This led to his service on the Wilton Family Y’s Board for 12 years. Turner is celebrated by his wife Nadine, son Griffin, and daughter Maddi.
McDowell, Johnson and the full Wilton Family YMCA 50th Anniversary Committee are inviting the community to join them at Rolling Hills for the celebration. Tickets are $125.00 and will benefit the Y’s Mission to be open and affordable for all. Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting Jarred S. Barnes, and the Y Development Office at 203.762.8384, ext. 279.