Eight individuals and a Shelton business have been inducted in the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley’s Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

Recognized for their positive impact on our community were Mike Cotela Jr., Ed Deptula, Joe Kirei, Walter Oko, Paul Padilla, Adam Roscoe, Cody Winslow, John Zaprzalka, and Porky’s Café in Shelton. (Read more about each honoree below.)

The inductees were honored at a ceremony attended by more than 170 people at Molto Bene in Ansonia. This marks the eighth year the local Boys & Girls Club’s Alumni Association has honored its own.

Role models for children

Each candidate was nominated by either the club’s Alumni Association, board of directors and board of corporators, or the general public. The criteria for selection included being a former member of the Shelton-Derby Boys Club, the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, or the Community Center.

Each candidate was judged on notable contributions in his or her life that would serve as a role model for children. Non-members of the Club are nominated and judged on their impact on children at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

For information about the local Boys & Girls Club, with facilities in Shelton and Ansonia, go to www.BGC-LNV.org.

Read about the honorees

Some more information on the inductees:

Mike Cotela Jr.:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club before the fire that destroyed the Shelton clubhouse, during the transition, and after the new clubhouse was opened in 1999. Counselor, program director, keystone advisor, and promoted to unit director for Ansonia clubhouse in 2013.

Ed Deptula:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club. Involved in Shelton National Little League, Shelton Babe Ruth League, and Shelton Flag Football. Volunteer and food consultant at St. Joseph’s Church for its annual carnival and fish fry. City of Shelton employee. Semi-retired professional chef; graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Joe Kirei:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club. Graduated Shelton High in the Class of 1972. Chef at the Ascot Club for the past 17 years.

Walter Oko Sr.:  Member when the Boys Club was shared with the Community Center. Worked as physical director for the club, coached the basketball team, and assistant director for summer camp. Attended Bridgeport Engineering, Southern Connecticut State University, and the University of Bridgeport. Worked for 37 years in education as a teacher and administrator.

Paul Padilla:  Member of the Community Center. Coached basketball at the club. Graduate of Shelton High School. Earned a bachelor’s in history and a master’s in education from Sacred Heart University. Teacher in Naugatuck.

Adam Roscoe:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club. Member of Echo Hose Fire Department, and was first man in the door to extinguish the fire at the former clubhouse on Howe Avenue. Past lieutenant of Echo Hose Ambulance Corps and former dispatcher for the Shelton Police Department. Graduated second in his class for Police Academy post training and has been a Bridgeport police officer for 16 years.

Cody Winslow:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club. Owner/operator of Winslow Landscaping and Winslow Oil.

John Zaprzalka:  Member of the Boys & Girls Club. Still has the friends he made here 40 years ago. Earned bachelor’s in accounting from Fairfield University, now a certified public accountant and registered investment advisor, partner in the accounting and consulting firm of Apicella, Testa & Company. Board chairman of the Valley Community Foundation, former chairman and current vice chairman of the board at Griffin Health Services Corp., including Griffin Hospital; serves on the Parish Council and financial committees of St. Michael’s Church in Derby; corporator of both the Valley United Way and the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

Porky’s Café:  Co-owners Paul Piccirillo and Mark Anderson first encountered the club’s Alumni Association during the softball tournament in 1988. Since then, through friendships, sponsorships of leagues, golf tournaments, and even a fantasy football league, they have forged a partnership that has helped a lot of local youth.