Dedicated Democrats: Judy Villa, Frank Villa to be honored by CDTC with Volunteerism Award at OctoberFest event on Monday (Oct. 2)
Several months ago, Cheshire Democratic Town Committee member Breina Schain came up with an idea to honor longtime Cheshire Democratic volunteer, former Town Councilor and current CDTC Chairperson Judy Villa and her husband Frank Villa for their many years of service.
On Monday (Oct. 2), Judy Villa and Frank Villa will be presented with the Judy and Frank Villa Volunteerism Award at the CDTC’s annual OctoberFest fundraising event at the Watch Factory Restaurant. The event begins at 6 p.m.
“I came up with an idea to formally honor and recognize Judy and Frank Villa with an award to acknowledge all the work they do for our Democratic community," Schain said. “I shared the idea with (Town Council at-large candidate) Ron Gagliardi and he enthusiastically agreed to do it.
“Since Judy and Frank have made so many significant contributions in terms of their time, efforts and extraordinary leadership to the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee, Cheshire Democratic Women’s Club, and to the town of Cheshire over the course of many years, we made plans for an award in their name.”
Judy Villa served as a member of the Cheshire Board of Education from 1987-1990 and was a Cheshire Town Councilor from 1995-2000. She has been a member of the CDTC since 1998 and has served in many capacities as a Cheshire Democratic volunteer. She was a longtime CDTC vice chairperson before her election as chairperson last spring. She has held various positions on the Cheshire Democratic Women’s Club including past president. She is a current 1st Vice President of Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women and current Resolutions Chairperson on the National Federation of Democratic Women. The many contributions of Frank Villa include being a desktop publisher for Cheshire Town Democratic party political campaigns (1987-present), developing spread sheets for CDTC and CDWC membership and fundraisers and before the VAN existed produced a data base from the town of Cheshire voter records.
“Honestly, I was and am embarrassed by this award as so many people today and in the last few decades have made CDTC a viable organization representing Cheshire Democrats,” Judy Villa said. “This is a collaborative effort by people who volunteer their time and talents to Democratic candidates and causes on the local, state, and national level.
“Frank and I have been involved in campaigns, fund-raising, publicity, and leadership since my Town Council days in the 90’s, he working behind the scenes while I hogged the stage. This year has been especially challenging since I assumed the role of CDTC chair upon (former CDTC chairman) Ernie DiPietro’s passing. He always believed that volunteerism was its own reward, so accepting an award for service to the party and the community seems somewhat self-aggrandizing. However, as always, my husband has been “the wind beneath my wings,” encouraging me to accept gracefully.”
After the first award is presented to Judy and Frank Villa, it is anticipated they will choose a committee to establish criteria for future yearly awards. They can also determine the time of year that the award will be given as well as who will be receiving the Judy Villa and Frank Villa Volunteerism Award for Outstanding Contributions to Democratic Ideals.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.