First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recognized Mary Ellen LaRocca as the July Woodbridge Person of the Month. Scalettar initiated the Woodbridge Person of the Month Recognition program to spotlight the many Woodbridge residents, volunteers and employees who go above and beyond the expected in their dedication and commitment to Woodbridge and its residents.
LaRocca is the Town’s Director of Human Services and oversees the Senior Center and Youth Services. She has worked for the Town of Woodbridge since 1989. Recently, LaRocca saved the life of a Senior Center visitor who was choking during a luncheon. She performed abdominal thrusts (aka the Heimlich maneuver) on the resident while an ambulance was en route.
“Woodbridge residents know to rely on Mary Ellen when they need help, and this episode was a particularly noteworthy example of her dedication,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “Mary Ellen saved a resident’s life and never boasted about it or even mentioned it. That speaks volumes about what a caring, passionate and discrete person she is.”
LaRocca and her department look out for our most vulnerable residents. LaRocca organizes a food and gift basket drive in the winter. Under her leadership the department offers yearly CPR training for Town staff and residents, provides hot, healthy and inexpensive meals for our seniors and disabled residents, processes home heating oil assistance for low-income residents, maintains a food pantry for low-income residents and offers income tax assistance.
Twenty-eight years ago LaRocca wanted to honor the plethora of volunteers that assist her department and ever since then she has been hosting a Volunteer Tea Ceremony to publicly thank them. LaRocca also serves as the Town’s Veterans’ Advocate and participates on the Town’s Safety Committee.
If you know a Woodbridge employee, resident or volunteer who’s gone above and beyond expectations, please nominate that person for this award by contacting Betsy Yagla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-389-3403.