My name is Daniel DiAntonio and I am a registered voter in the town of Milford. Eleven years ago, my father, Jay DiAntonio passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was a dedicated Milford Fire Fighter and EMT who was very involved in this community. Over the course of his life he maintained a strong passion towards the youth of Milford. He was an avid School Committee Member, DARE facilitator, CCD teacher, as well as Pop Warner and Little League coach, to name a few. Through this continued involvement, my father’s main goal was to open a Youth Center in the Town of Milford. Unfortunately, my father passed away; however, his dream of opening a Youth Center remained alive.
Upon his death, my mother established a fund which put all donations in my dad’s memory towards the creation of a Youth Center. With the help of our State Representative, Marie Parente, a meeting was set up with the National Guard to look into using space in their building to establish a Center. A Youth Commission was soon appointed by the Board of Selectman which consisted of several individuals who wanted to see my father’s dream carried out. Some of the original Commission Members were my mother, Mary DiAntonio, Attny. Fran Small, Attny. Patricia Webber, Officer Omar Recore, Susan Caligione, the late Al Inglesi, Judy Innis, Lenny Morcone, Cindy Larson, Jan Carlin, and five Milford High School Students. After several meetings with the National Guard, a deal was made and a plan was put into place to open the Youth Center. In the spring of 1997, a tremendous amount of hard work was put in to prepare space for a center. Several fundraisers were held such as the Pancake Breakfast, the Spaghetti Dinner, and the youth oriented dances, which all led up to the grand opening in 1998.
I am happy to say that through all of this hard work and commitment, the Youth Center has grown into a place where a large number of youth actively engage themselves in both sports oriented and academic based activities. Not only is this building important to all of the children in Milford, but it too holds a special place in my heart, knowing my father’s dream did not die with him. In many ways, the Youth Center serves as recognition of my father’s love for the town’s youth and the dedication and time he gave to them. I would ask you to support this article in hope that this center may continue to prosper for many years to come. In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote that my father used during his School Committee campaign which reads “The children of today are our future, and preparing for our future begins now.” Thank you.