United Way Announces Honorees for 4th Annual Hometown Heroes Gala in Danbury

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

New Emerging Hero Awards Will Celebrate Tomorrow’s Leaders in Community-Minded Service

DANBURY, CT -- United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) is pleased to announce the local individuals who will be honored as Hometown Heroes at its 4th Annual Hometown Heroes Benefit Dinner on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury.

New this year are Emerging Hero Awards, which will be awarded to area high school-aged youth who demonstrate strong leadership in volunteerism and community service. In addition, special awards will be presented:

  • Corporate Philanthropy Award to Union Savings Bank for exemplifying corporate social responsibility and demonstrating a strong commitment to giving back to the community

  • Small Business Hero Award to Elmer Palma, Restauranteur and Owner of Elmer’s Diner in recognition of his leadership, commitment and generosity to the greater Danbury community.

Hometown Hero and Emerging Hero Awards will be presented to the following individuals, nonprofit agencies and youth in appreciation and recognition of their service to towns within UWWC’s service area including:


  • Bethel - Mary Korin
  • Bridgewater - Wendy and Richard Jones
  • Brookfield - Julie Osborne Blick
  • Danbury - Celia Bacelar-Palmares, Emanuela Palmares, Angela Barbosa - Tribuna Newspaper and The New American Dream Foundation
  • New Fairfield - Noah Alviti
  • Newtown - Dorrie Carolan
  • New Milford - Dawn Hammacott
  • Ridgefield - Ridgefield Thrift Shop Volunteers
  • Roxbury - Stuart Daly, Alice Daly, Cindy Winton-Bunting - Little Britches Therapeutic Riding
  • Sherman - Ted Hollander
  • Washington - Mary Anne Greene


  • Bethel - Alexandra Schulman (Bethel High School)
  • Brookfield - Ahjeetha Shankar (High School)
  • Danbury - Kendra Dascano (Immaculate High School)
  • New Fairfield - Jeremy Perillo (New Fairfield High School)
  • Newtown - Gabriel Locke (Henry Abbott Technical High School)
  • New Milford - Rajinder Kandhari (New Milford High School)
  • Redding - Lucia Gorman (Joel Barlow High School)
  • Ridgefield - Zoe Butchen (Ridgefield High School)
  • Sherman - Avery Putnam (New Fairfield High School)

“Our Hometown Hero and our Emerging Hero awardees have all made deep and unique contributions to the fabric of their local communities,” said Kimberly Morgan, CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut. “It is such a pleasure to be able to shine a light on their accomplishments and service.” Nominees were selected based on several criteria, including achievement, action, commitment, impact and initiative.

Tickets are now on sale for the event online at www.uwwesternct.org/hometownheroes. For more information about Hometown Heroes, please contact Stacy Schulman at stacy.schulman@uwwesternct.org or 203-826-8479.

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) improves the lives of hard-working, struggling households by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. We help residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health. We are committed to ensuring that every child enters school ready to learn, every family is financially stable, and every community we serve is healthy and strong. We are particularly focused on a population that United Way identifies as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in our communities. A United Way report published in October 2016 revealed that in Connecticut, more than 1 in 4 households has earnings above the Federal Poverty Level, but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. Combined with those who are struggling below poverty level, 38% of all households in the state are experiencing financial hardship. By leveraging the collective power of the community, we are focused on creating an environment where individuals and families are self-sufficient and can achieve financial independence.



Sofi Dupi
United Way of Western Connecticut

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