Ann O'Neil Memorial For Integrity Award
Anna O’Neil always placed a high value on integrity. She raised her ﬁve children to the highest standard of honesty, hard work, and determination. Mrs. O’Neil herself was one of thirteen children who left school in the ninth grade to help support her family. A very bright and well-read woman, Mrs. O’Neil always valued the importance of education and saw to it that her own children graduated high school and have each become lifelong learners. When Mrs. O’Neil passed away several years ago, her family chose to honor her memory by establishing the ‘Anna O’Neil Memorial for Integrity’ Award.
“We wanted to remember our mother in a very special way,” said daughter Barbara Cliﬀord. “We felt it was essential for us to recognize a student for his/her best eﬀorts—not necessarily for being at the top of the class. We also wanted to acknowledge someone who was respected by his/her peers as well as faculty. These are the kinds of people our mother valued, and we wanted to focus on qualities that were important to her.”
Originally housed at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Fund was transferred to the Valley Community Foundation because,“it just made sense to us to have the money closer to home,” said Mrs. Cliﬀord. “We contacted the Foundation once we knew the Valley Community Foundation had been formed, and they were extremely helpful in bringing this money back into the Valley to help us achieve our goals.”
In 2019, upon the passing of Anna's husband, John, the family renamed the fund to honor their father, as well.
The Anna and John O'Neil Award is given to an Ansonia High School graduating senior who exhibits high integrity in his/her personal life, and is pursuing further education and/or training, or entering military service.