On Monday State Senator Bob Duff joined Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Police Chief Tom Kulhawik and Fire Chief Denis McCarthy to present several local charities with the proceeds of the donation drive the Duff family held at a Holiday Open House at their home in December.
"We've been doing this at our house since 2009," Duff said adding that most people bring a lot of food and toys at Christmas time. "But we'e gotten into a groove where people ask if they can donate money, and I have a very loving and wonderful and understanding wife who allows me to invite 100,000 constituents into our home every year."
"Kevin Hennessy of Dominion stepped up to the plate very early with a generous check," said Duff.
"We just recently became a neighbor here in southwest Connecticut where we bought a power plant called Dominion Fuel Cell Energy. When we come into a community we like to get involved. It's clear that Senator Duff represents the district very well, connects businesses like mine with the community," said Hennessy whose organization donated $1,500 to the Police Activities League.
Duff praised the Norwalk Fire Victims Fund. "When somebody loses their home or apartment in a fire they may not have the things they need to get off the ground," he said.
"The fund was first established in 2009 after a house explosion and Michele DeLuca developed a program so we could be a conduit for the community's charitable giving," said Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. "When folks lose everything and they're struggling their first few days after a tragedy, it's important for us to funnel that goodwill back to them in some financial support."
Duff also introduced Novelette Peterkin of the Carver Center; Jennifer Young, Government Affairs Manager for Cablevision; Stephen Bentkover, Chairman of Norwalk Reads and Ceci Maher Exec. Director of Person to Person.
"We rely on Sen. Duff to point out those charities that are most in need," said Jennifer Young of Cablevision, which is located in Norwalk. "We hope to continue being able to donate to Norwalk Reads in the future."
Ceci Maher from Person to Person, who that her organization provided over 300,000 meals last year. "To make sure that people are fed is very important to us."
Stephen Bentkover of Norwalk Reads said his organization is entirely volunteer run and that over the last ten years they have given away about 90,000 books. "We are very grateful for any assistance we can get and particularly this money from Cablevision," Bentkover said.
“It is always gratifying to see our community step forward to help those in need, which is exactly what these gifts represent. Whether it’s providing children with a safe place for athletics and recreation, or helping families to recover after a devastating home fire, these are worthy causes well deserving of our support,” said Mayor Rilling.
A total of $13,850 was raised to benefit the following seven local charities and organizations: the Norwalk Police Activities League, the Norwalk Fire Victims Fund, Norwalk Reads!, The Children's Connection, George Washington Carver Community Center, Person-to-Person, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Norwalk.
The full list of donations is as follows:
- Carver Center - University of Phoenix $250
- Carver Center - Alex DeBoissiere $500
- Carver Center - Capitol Strategies Group $500
- Carver Center - PSEG $500
- Childrens Connection - Carlos Vasquez $50
- Childrens Connection - NECTA $250
- Childrens Connection - O'Brien Associates $250
- Childrens Connection - Thames Shipyard $250
- Childrens Connection - Verde Energy $500
- Childrens Connection - Travelers $1,000
- Fire Victims Fund - CT Asso Management $250
- Fire Victims Fund - Keith Stover $250
- Fire Victims Fund - Levin, Powers, Brennan $250
- Fire Victims Fund - Capitol Strategies Group $500
- Fire Victimes Fund - Gaffney Bennett $500
- Fire Victims Fund - Verde Energy $500
- Fire Victims Fund - Wheelabrator $500
- Fire Victims Fund - Cablevision $1,000
- Norwalk PAL - Covanta $500
- Norwalk PAL Pepsi $500
- Norwalk PAL - Dominion $1,500
- Norwalk Reads! - Cablevision $1,000
- Person to Person - Joan Nickering $50
- Person to Person - Re Energy Holdings $500
- Person to Person - Altria $1,500
- St. Vincent de paul - Roy & LeRoy $500