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Beleaguered Norwalk Senior Center Gets Boost

The last several months have been tough for the Norwalk Senior Center . A motorist drove through the Allen Street facility's main door in January. And vandals targeted the center twice, stealing letters from its sign.

But Monday, the center had an event of a different character. AT&T awarded the center with a $5,000 sponsorship for its 40th anniversary campaign. This would be welcome under any circumstances, but the center has been coping with a decline in contributions. Staff members have volunteered to take two furlough days a month to keep the center running without closing for a day or cutting programs.

"On behalf of the seniors and members of the Norwalk Senior Center, I would like to thank AT&T for their generous support as sponsors of our annual fundraiser — our 40th anniversary celebration," Senior Center Executive Director Paul Palermo said in a statement. "We always appreciate donations and support of our mission, especially during these extended difficult economic times. With the decline of contributions to nonprofits in general, this support comes at a critical time, and we're grateful."

Harry Carey, director of external affairs for AT&T, said in the statement, "AT&T is all about connectivity. We connect people and places. And so does the Norwalk Senior Center. We both believe in community."

An average of 225 people visit the Allen Street facility each day, while an additional 40 make use of the bilingual and multicultural Norwalk Senior Center South, located on Cedar Street. Now in its 40th year, the center is celebrating with its annual campaign and a reception to be held May 13.

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