The New Canaan Gridiron Club's 54th honoree -- fall guy -- will be John Hetherington, who has been active on the state and local levels.

The traditional roast, a male audience, is Friday, April 25 at the Country Club of New Canaan, with Ladies Night on Wednesday, April 23. A reception with cash bar begins at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. on both nights.

"John Hetherington is a spirited member of our New Canaan community who has given years of dedicated service to both town and state," Gridiron Club president Eric Thunem said. "Like our previous fall guys, John is also a good sport. We hope he'll enjoy seeing our all-male cast portray the men and women who've been significant in his life story. Our gridiron thespians -- businessmen by day -- have been polishing their performance skills in dramatic scenes, song and dance rehearsals for several weeks, memorizing the new `customized' lyrics to familiar Broadway melodies."

Hetherington has been active in the Town Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He has worked with Getabout, served on the advisory council of Staying Put New Canaan and was a director of the United Way of New Canaan. In 2002, he was elected to the state House of Representatives, where he served on the Appropriations, Finance, Judiciary, Transportation, Public Health and Program Review and Investigations committees. He was ranking member of the Labor and Public Employees and Government Administration and Elections committees. He was appointed assistant minority leader in 2009 and served as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for the 2011-13 legislative session.

Growing up in Forest Hills, N.Y., he was president of his school's student council. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1963, his career included positions as an attorney with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a litigation associate with the law firm of Dickerson & Reilly and counsel for Westvaco in New York, where he became corporate secretary.

He married Hope in 1976. They have lived in New Canaan since 1983 and have two children, Kells and Jane.

Hetherington has also served in the Naval Reserve JAG in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, retiring in 1993 with the rank of captain.

Hetherington said he believes in community service. "We all benefit from the services and organizations in town. If we are to continue our quality of life here, we must re-stock the community with our own efforts."

Each year, the Gridiron Club makes a donation to the nonprofit organization of the roastee's choosing.

Gridiron member John Murphy said, "The Gridiron Club has been in existence, celebrating volunteerism for over 50 years, and it is one of those quintessential New Canaan traditions which make this town such a special place to live."

For reservations to the dinner, email For Ladies Night reservations, email Tucker Murphy at