Volunteers honored for their service
NEW CANAAN — Jeff Holland spent his nights building the structures for New Canaan’s annual Pop-Up Park. Lisette Caldero served as a mentor to a girl who’d lost both her parents. Dale Carbonier drove over 100 miles every day to visit his stepson when he was in the intensive care unit.
These stories of triumphant, yet everyday acts of giving are often overlooked or forgotten. However, Holland, Caldero and Carbonier, along with 12 other New Canaan residents and groups, were recognized for their volunteer service at the second annual 2017 Volunteer Recognition Awards held by the New Canaan Community Foundation.
The 15 honorees were chosen by a committee who presented the awards throughout the night. Each volunteer was given a small, glass-encased clock to represent the time they’ve given to their community.
The volunteers ranged in age and field with some working locally with groups like the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and others expanding outside New Canaan to aid organizations like the Carver Foundation of Norwalk.
Logan Diliberto, the youngest honoree at 17, was given the Youth-MVP award for his volunteer work with the The Center of Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling & Education Center in Stamford. The senior at St. Luke’s School has been volunteering with The Center for the past five years. During that time, he’s spent over 40 hours doing everything from fundraising to building shelves for the Center’s computer servers. He’s also enlisted friends to join him, their efforts taking some of the burden off the employees there so they can
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2017 Volunteer Recognition Awards Honorees
Hands-On Community Service Award: Jeff Holland, New Canaan Pop-Up Park
Hands-On Hall of Fame: Janine Smith, Carver Foundation of Norwalk
Hands-On Rookie of the Year: Gerald Katz, Family & Children’s Agency
Hands-On MVP: Lissette Caldero, Family ReEntry
Hands-On Inspiration Award: Paul Reinhardt, New Canaan Parent Support Group
Hands-On Unsung Hero: Dale Carbonier, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce
Hands-On Lifetime Achievement: Joyce Gould, Person-to-Person
Outstanding Group: New Canaan YMCA’s Togetherhood Commitee
Team Hall of Fame: Debbie Eagan and Nancy Roath, Future 5
Youth MVP: Logan Diliberto, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling & Education Center
Community Champions: C.E.R.T. New Canaan
Board Rising Star: Eden Breed, Pivot Ministries
Board Rookie of the Year: Lindsay Burn Grimes, Family Centers
Board MVP: Emily Warren, Arts for Healing
Board Hall of Fame: Janice Luddy, New Canaan Historical Society
“My mom started volunteering there and volunteering is something she’d been passionate about,” Diliberto said. “It made me want to volunteer too. It’s a lot different than a paying job. When you’re working a paying job, you’re doing it for yourself. When you know you’re doing it for someone else, it gives you clarity and a bigger reason.”
Several of the honorees also spoke while accepting their awards. Many expressed humble sentiments, preferring to focus more on the communities which have benefited from their efforts.
Janice Luddy, who won the Hall of Fame award for being “the backbone of the New Canaan Historical Society,” as one of the Volunteer Recognition Committee members put it, said in her acceptance speech she was lucky to be able to give her time to her community.
“People talk about the three W’s: wealth, wisdom and work,” she said. “I think everyone here recognizes what work is.”