Liberty Bank-Sponsored Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open to Introduce Tomasso Award Honoring Veterans of Distinction; Newly Appointed State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Brigadier General (Ret.) Ron Welch to be Guest Speaker


PLEASE NOTE: The Date of this event has been rescheduled to October 18

New Britain, Conn., July 11, 2023 – The Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open, a Disabled American Veterans Hardware City Chapter 8 event presented by Liberty Bank and considered to be the largest veterans charity golf event in Connecticut, will be back for the 13th time on Friday, September 29, with another record field, a newly created award honoring service and a special guest speaker in store.

Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Ron Welch will be guest speaker.

The event, which this year will surpass the $200,000 mark in total dollars raised for DAV Chapter 8, House of Heroes Connecticut and other Connecticut veterans causes, will welcome newly appointed State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Brigadier General (Ret.) Ron Welch as guest speaker at the post-golf dinner at Tunxis Country Club. Also, DAV Chapter 8 – which since 2011 has honored a distinguished local veteran or veterans at the event – will further elevate this annual award by naming it in honor of two New Britain community icons who not only served their countries admirably but left enviable legacies of community leadership, charitable giving and business achievement.

Beginning this year, DAV Chapter 8 will annually present The Angelo Tomasso, Sr. and Angelo Tomasso, Jr. Veteran of Distinction Award to a Central Connecticut veteran or veterans who has/have made a meaningful impact and inspired others through exemplary military service and/or community leadership. The award is being created in the 100th anniversary year of the Tomasso family’s service to the Greater New Britain community and beyond.

“DAV Chapter 8 has established a fine tradition of honoring veterans at this event, and it is high time that this special award has a name,” said Tournament Founder and Director Dennis Buden. “No individuals are better suited for this honor than Angelo Tomasso, Sr. and Angelo Tomasso, Jr., who each embodied New Britain pride and patriotism, and whose legacies of service continue to this day.”

A new award named in honor of Angelo Tomasso, Sr., left, and Angelo Tomasso, Jr., will be introduced at the 2023 GK.

“This annual award is a wonderful tradition and to have our grandfather and father, and our family name, now associated with it is a tremendous honor,” said William Tomasso of New Britain-based The Tomasso Group. “Both my grandfather and father were proud to have served, to be Americans and to have the wonderful opportunities that America offers. This award is a perfect tribute to their legacies.”

This year’s honoree(s) will be announced July 24. The annual honoree or honorees will be entitled to designate a $1,000 DAV Chapter 8 donation to the local veteran charity of their choice.

Italian immigrant Angelo Tomasso, Sr., served proudly in World War I prior to establishing The Tomasso Company 100 years ago in 1923. His son, Angelo, Jr., served in World War II, earning a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the Philippines before coming home and eventually taking over the legendary company following his father’s unexpected passing in 1952. Tomasso, Jr., passed away at age 90 in 2015.

Opening ceremonies at the 2022 Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open

More than 200 golfers are expected to take part in the 2023 “GK,” as the event is affectionately called. Through 2022 more than $180,000 has been raised for the event’s beneficiaries, and this year’s event is expected to match or exceed last year’s total net charitable dollars raised of $25,000.

Golf registration is $175, which includes range, greens fees/cart, premium gift bag, lunch and beverages, prizes and post-golf dinner, silent auction and raffle. Shotgun start is 11 a.m. Dinner-only registration is available for $75. A variety of sponsorships, ranging from $125 for a tee sign to $5,000 for a Diamond Sponsorship, are available. Information and online registration are available at

Commissioner Welch was appointed by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on May 9. A highly decorated former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger, combat veteran of Afghanistan and Connecticut National Guard officer with more than 39 years of combined service, Commissioner Welch most recently served for more than four years as Vice President for Military Services for Veterans Rally Point, a veterans service program of Easter Seals Capital Region and Eastern Connecticut.

Hardware City Chapter 8 is one of 19 Connecticut chapters of the 1.3 million-member-strong national Disabled American Veterans (DAV). DAV Chapter 8 supports state and national DAV programs at the local level, and its officers and members are active in the local veterans community assisting veterans in need, advocating for veterans rights, representing Connecticut veterans at state and national events, raising funds for veterans programs, and volunteering countless hours on behalf of veterans causes.

House of Heroes Connecticut is a non-profit organization that recognizes, honors and serves military and public safety veterans in need and/or their surviving spouses with one-day, no-cost home repairs. The Connecticut Chapter has served more than 200 veterans in 63 Connecticut communities and seven additional states. House of Heroes national was founded in Columbus, Georgia in 2000.

Established in 1825, Liberty Bank is the oldest and largest independent mutual bank in the country. With more than $7 billion in assets, Liberty has 56 banking offices across Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. As a full-service financial institution, Liberty offers consumer and commercial banking, cash management, home mortgages, business loans, insurance and investment services. Named ‘Top Workplace’ by the Hartford Courant every year since 2012 and designated a 2021 and 2022 Best-In-State Bank in Connecticut by Forbes Magazine, Liberty maintains a longstanding commitment to superior personal service and unparalleled community involvement.

For further information about the Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open, visit or contact Tournament Director Dennis Buden at or 860-558-0514.


Media Contact: Dennis Buden, DAV Hardware City Chapter 8 (860) 558-0514