Walk of Fame Feature: “Big” Tom Connolly

By / Life on the Island / Wednesday, 28 January 2015 05:00

The new year brought a new land mark to Carolina Beach with the lake’s newly installed “Walk of Fame.” The first person we are proud to feature is George T. Connolly better known as “Big” Tom, recognized for his 22 years of service to the Town of Carolina Beach as a Police Officer, Connolly made a positive impact on local youth by volunteering and coaching. His dedication to Dixie Youth Baseball, Pop Warner Football, Carolina Beach Youth Basketball, Carolina Beach School safety patrol adviser, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and the Carolina Beach Police Explorer program are just a few reasons he was chosen. If that isn’t enough Connolly served on the PTA and the PTO Board for Carolina Beach Elementary School, the Carolina Beach Boy Scout Board, the Carolina Beach Parks and Rec Advisory Committee, Carolina Beach Youth for Progress Board and most recently the Carolina Beach “Walk of Fame” Board.
In 1985 Connolly was recognized as both Police Officer of the Year and Public Servant of the Year by the Wilmington JC. In 1986 the Carolina Beach VFW awarded “Big” Tom as Officer of the Year. In addition Connolly holds a North Carolina Law Enforcement Certificate and President George W. Bush Public Service Award for volunteers 3500 hours of community service.
After retiring in 1997 Connolly went on to complete his four year degree in Criminal Justice and returned to his passion of working with youth, this time he took on families with special needs. “Big” Tom has worked with the Brunswick County Special Olympics for the past 16 years coaching Basketball, Softball and Bowling all while serving on the Special Olympics Board of Directors until recent health issues of forced him to slow down. The “Walk of Fame” committee along side of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society recognized 10 people who have made a tangible and lasting contribution to the Town of Carolina Beach through outstanding leadership and service.  Each year 5 more people will be chosen for this award by letters of nomination with their contributions to the town.
Throughout the year there will be fundraisers and will be accepting donations for next years recipients.
For the next few weeks the Gazette will spotlight each recipient and more about their impacts on the Island.


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