The 30th Annual Volunteer Tea sponsored by Woodbridge Human Services was held Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at the Center Building. This year 145 were honored at the Volunteer Tea. Volunteers received Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of exemplary volunteer service benefiting Woodbridge. Human Services honored the following as Outstanding Volunteers: Benjamin Inclima, Valerie and Richard Traumer, Beecher Road School Student Council and Coachman Square at Woodbridge.
Benjamin Inclima, a junior at Amity Regional High School, was honored for his dedication and commitment to organize and coordinate the Scouting for Food Drive benefiting the Food Closet at Human Services. Ben is a Life Scout and member of Troop 963. For the past three years, he has coordinated the annual food drive sponsored by the scouts, notified other troops to distribute flyers in the community, and organized the food collection and sorting of food. This past fall, as a result of a superb effort by Ben Inclima and the Boy Scouts, 3,000 pounds of food was donated to the Human Services Food Closet to utilize for the December Holiday Basket Program and to provide non-perishable food throughout the year to residents in need in an emergency. Ben Inclima has also volunteered to assist other scouts in their Eagle Scout Projects. Throughout Ben’s volunteer experiences, he has especially enjoyed helping people in need around the holidays.
Long time Woodbridge residents Valerie and Richard Traumer were honored for their inspiring dedication and hard work to create and maintain a vegetable garden that benefits the Senior Center. After former Selectman and good neighbor Chris Sorensen generously used his rototiller in the senior center vegetable garden, Valerie and Richard arranged funding for seeds and plants with the Woodbridge Garden Club and planted a full garden of tomatoes, eggplant, squash, peppers, herbs and more. They tended the garden all summer – weeding, watering and harvesting. Without friends like Valerie and Richard, the Center would be so much less than it is.
This year an Outstanding Volunteer award also went to the Beecher Road School Student Council and advisors Teresa Nakouzi, Kayla Widmeyer, Beth Green, Liz Heagney and Sandy Simowitz. The Center’s intergenerational partnership with these great students has been most rewarding. The Student Council helped with many of the tasks at the Annual Harvest & Holly Fair last fall and joined the members of the Senior Center for a wonderful intergenerational event in March. They planned games, bought prizes, and perhaps most importantly, they shared conversation and a meal. In addition, through their successful fundraising efforts, they made a significant donation to the Town Food and Fuel Fund to assist families and seniors in need with emergency fuel and food.
Coachman Square at Woodbridge was honored for providing invaluable help and exemplary service to the Center. Coachman Square is both a community partner and a terrific neighbor. Last summer, Coachman Square hosted a town-wide picnic next to the bocce courts in appreciation of all first responders, town employees and residents. As a result, more than 100 people enjoyed barbecue and entertainment. Last fall, Coachman Square assisted with the Annual Harvest & Holly Fair and co-sponsored the annual Thanksgiving luncheon along with the Willows of Woodbridge and Woodbridge Police Union.
The Woodbridge Rotary Club received the Human Services Special Recognition Award for its dedicated service and continuous support of the Woodbridge Senior Center. For countless years the Woodbridge Rotary Club has sponsored a December Holiday Party, bringing holiday cheer to the Center’s members. This past year they expanded the holiday party to invite Bethany seniors to join in the fun. The Rotary Club, under Rotary President Anthony Anastasio, has been instrumental in volunteering to collect ads and donations, and in operating the “Take a Chance” booth at the Annual Harvest & Holly Fair. In addition, the Woodbridge Rotary Club has a longstanding tradition of providing Thanksgiving holiday food, brightening the holiday for many in Woodbridge, Bethany and Westville. This award is in recognition of the Woodbridge Rotary Club’s outstanding contributions which greatly impacted the success of both the Holiday Party and the Harvest & Holly Fair.
Ms. Sebin Park, The First Selectman’s Youth Award recipient, was honored at the Volunteer Tea and was presented with a check by People’s United Bank. The First Selectman’s Youth Award is presented annually to a youth or group who has demonstrated positive actions to improve Woodbridge or assist Woodbridge residents.
“The attitude of compassion and commitment of all the volunteers brings so much to Woodbridge. The staff appreciates and is grateful for the hard work and dedication given so generously by the volunteers,” stated Mary Ellen LaRocca, Director of Human Services.
- Woodbridge First Selectman Beth Heller and members of the Human Services staff honor select volunteers in recognition of their commitment to our community at the 30th Annual Volunteer Tea
- Woodbridge First Selectman Beth Heller, left, and Garrett Luciani, center right, of People’s United Bank join Youth Services Director Nancy Pfund, right, in honoring Sebin Park, winner of the 2018 First Selectman’s Youth Award, at the 30th Annual Volunteer Tea hosted by Woodbridge Human Services