TORRINGTON – “It’s about the kids.”
That’s Abe Correa’s take on his involvement with the Torrington Little League Baseball program. He said it multiple times Tuesday night, even after Torrington Mayor Randy Adams and the Torrington City Council named him the first recipient of the Community Hero Award.
As Correa stood in front of the council, flanked by his wife, Beth, and children Bella and Mateo in the gallery – along with over a dozen other family members – with his skin baked to a golden brown after a summer on the baseball diamonds, as the council and the assembly applauded him and his efforts – he maintained his take.
“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this. It is pretty neat to be a part of something like this.”
The Community Hero Award is new initiative spearheaded by Adams and the council to honor people who make an impact in the community. Adams said he hopes a community hero will be recognized during every council meeting.
“I want to start this by briefly talking about those people in our community, and there are a bunch of them, who go out of their way to help others,” Adams said. “Those people are volunteers and we have them in all aspects of her community. They are coaches, church leaders, people walking who pick up trash along the way. They are businesses downtown who contribute time, effort, and money to improve our community. There are many people who work to improve many parts of our community.
“I like what we are doing tonight and this is something we can do it every council meeting, and that is to honor a community volunteer who makes our lives in the community better.”
Adams said there won’t be a formal nomination process for the award – people just have to make him aware of who they feel is a deserving recipient.
“If someone in the community has someone they believe is deserving of such a thing, I would like them to call me,” Adams said. “Just let me know somehow, so I can find out who. We will check it out. We’re not going to just give it to anyone, but someone who’s really deserving.”
And Correa, the president of Torrington Little League, is a great example of community hero, Adams said. During the council meeting, he told the assembly that everyone could look to Correa as an example of selfless community service.
“He has stepped up and set an example for every single one of us here,” Adams said. “He is selfless in his devotion to the community. He is taking on one of the big important jobs and that is to take care of the people in our community, and in particular, their kids.
“He has put in countless hours working with the parks department, with his little league board, with his coaches, players - and done it all without compensation. His actions are greatly beneficial to those kids and this community.”
Adams said he had personally seen Correa at work around the baseball fields, and was impressed with how much he cared for the program and the players.
“I don’t know how many kids were in the Torrington Little League program last year, this year , or how many will be there next year - but the number is in the hundreds. There are numerous players, parents, and grandparents who’ve benefited from his efforts. His actions have made life easier for others through his volunteer efforts.”
As for Correa, he maintained that he does it all for the kids, so they they might experience the joy in playing the sport he grew up loving.
“It’s about the kids that we are there to support,” he said.
“I have a lot of good memories playing baseball in Torrington. This was our 53rd year. A lot of good people come before me, and this is our time to do our part for kids this age.”