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United Way Celebrates Its Supporters

WESTPORT, Conn. – Supporters of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County gathered at the Inn at Longshore on Wednesday to celebrate the successes of the past year and look ahead at the challenges of the next year.

At Celebration 2011 , those in attendance applauded eight award winners in various categories. Chuck Firlotte, president and CEO of Aquarion Water Co. and chairman of this year's annual campaign, gave what might be considered the kickoff speech for the group's fundraising efforts.

The United Way supports nonprofit groups and charities throughout central Fairfield County, focusing on three areas targeted for improvement: income, health and education.

Winning this year's awards in those areas were Genevieve Halloran of the Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County for education, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia for income, and Bob Halstead of the Bridgeport Community Land Trust for health.

Halloran is the president of the JLEFC, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the action and leadership of trained volunteers. Halloran was instrumental in helping organize the Dr. Seuss Throwdown, a United Way early literacy effort that collected more than 100,000 children's books across 12 towns.

Donna L. Pfrommer, executive vice president of brand management and volunteer engagement, said the income award is given to an individual, group or organization that helps the United Way further its work in getting families and individuals financially stable and into a stable housing situation if they are homeless. Moccia was recognized for his work in stewardship in Norwalk to create a 10-year plan to end homelessness.

"Ending homelessness is a complex issue that takes bold action and requires many partners working together to help individuals and families in distress," the presenter said during the ceremony. "The value of developing ten year plans has been recognized nationally as the best way to work on the issue. Leaders in all facets of the Norwalk community came together to develop a plan that was best fit for its needs and leading that charge was Mayor Richard Moccia. His dedication and compassion is profound."

Donna L. Pfrommer, executive vice president of b rand management and volunteer engagement, said the income award is given to an individual, group or organization that helps the United Way further its work in getting families and individuals financially stable, and into a stable housing situation if they are homeless. Moccia was recognized for his work in stewarding Norwalk to create a 10-year plan to end homelessness.

“Ending homelessness is a complex issue that takes bold action and requires many partners working together to help individuals and families in distress,” the presenter said during the ceremony. “The value of developing ten year plans has been recognized nationally as the best way to work on the issue.  Leaders in all facets of the Norwalk community came together to develop a plan that was best fit for its needs and leading that charge was Mayor Richard Moccia.  His dedication and compassion is profound.”

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