Make-shift banner from local nursery school with a timeless and well appreciated message
As concern has risen with the increase in violent acts against police officers, Hamden citizen, Arts Commission and Elks member Nancy Torello wanted to show support and say "thank-you" to those who have given so much in service to our community.
In the foyer of Hamden Healthcare where she has worked for many years, organizer of Hamden's first Police and Firefighter Appreciation Day, Nancy Torello, was busy preparing eight gift baskets for Hamden's fire stations and staff last Wednesday morning.
Nancy had an epiphany last summer when she awoke to the news of two more police officers ambushed in vicious attack, this time in Baton Rouge. Ten days earlier it was five Dallas police officers killed in an ambush. Nancy felt compelled to do something, anything, to have our community show its support to our guardian services. She wrote, "Our police and firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep us from harm's way."
Nancy thought that the Thanksgiving season would be the perfect time of year to express thanks and show gratitude, not only for what we have but also our first responders. In the spirit of the holiday, Nancy organized what has turned into a very special and impressive community effort this past Wednesday.
Nancy approached local businesses and organizations with her idea. The response was universally positive. "What can we do?"
Those businesses and organizations that contributed, either with goods or with services, include Hamden Health Care, Hamden Town House, Bread and Chocolate, Corner Deli, TD Bank, KinderCare Nursery School, Subway at Hamden Plaza, Quinnipiac University, Stop & Shop and Shop-Rite.
Fellow employees of Hamden Health Care did an ourstanding job helping Nancy put together the baskets for the fire department.
Asst. Supt. Glen Tricarico, HFRA Pres. Bob Mordecai, Nancy and Supt. Jim LaFond
With the assistance of Chief Berardesca, Supt. Jim LaFond and Asst. Supt. Glen Tricarico, Hamden Fire Retirees Association president Bob Mordecai helped to arrange pick-up of the baskets from Hamden Health Care. Then it was on to Subway at the Plaza, where the Shop guys made another pick-up.
Eager to pitch in with Appreciation Day, the folks at Subway at the Hamden Plaza eagerly donated a six-foor long sub for the Chief's Office and the rest of the fire department staff personnel.
Next stop was Hamden's town hall, where a crowd of about seventy gathered to honor Hamden's police and firefighters. The crowd would have been much larger were it not for the iffy weather forecast that predicted cool temps and heavy rain. Fortunately, mild temperatures and dry weather prevailed until the minute the ceremony ended shortly after noon. Then the rains came.
SUBWAY at the Plaza
Tricarico, Tina & Julie Cosenza and LaFond
Having just finished building the massive sub in two three-foot halves, Sunway's Julie Cosenza and daughter Tina are pictured here with the Shop's LaFond and Tricarico, who delivered the food and goody baskets to Town Hall just in time for the 11:30 ceremony.
Hamden Fire Department Chaplain, Rev. Owen Sanderson of Christ Lutheran Church, opened the ceremony with a prayer giving thanks to Hamden's police and firefighters and first responders everywhere for the protection they offer by going into harm's way for those whom they serve.
Town Clerk Vera Morrison addressed the crowd of about seventy, including numerous active and retired firefighters. Vera has nothing but the highest regard for Hamden's firefighters, who have been there for the Morrison family on several critical occasions.
Town Clerk Vera Morrison, Appreciation Day Organizer Nancy Torello, Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca, Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra and HFD Chaplain Rev. Owen Sanderson
Some of our members on the town hall steps with HFD Chaplain Rev. Owen "the Rev" Sanderson
Chief Berardesca and Chief Wydra
HFRA Honorary Member Jeanine Aceto
HFRA member Greg Pereira is shown here flanked by Inspector Ralph DiFonzo and Dep. Marshal Tim Lunn
J9 and TD
The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association are grateful to Hamden's Nancy Torello for her outstanding efforts to rally her fellow citizens to recognize and appreciate the personnel of the Hamden Police and Fire Departments and the work they do. Thank you, Nancy!
One of HFD's biggest fans is Hamden Town Clerk Vera Morrison. So when we saw this ad in the current issue of Fire Engineering, it was natural that we congratulate "our Vera" for having a distinguished and accomplished namesake in the fire service.
Here's another of Chan Brainard's photos of the 1954 Connecticut State Firemen's Association Convention parades in West Haven. This handsome and fairly new open-cab Maxim pumper was the pride of Thomaston that year.