NORWALK, Conn. -- After two buses at the Norwalk Senior Center were damaged by vandals, Aetna stepped up with a donation to help pay for repairs.
One of the bus drivers discovered that two of center's buses were defaced by unknown vandals last week, according to a press release from the senior center.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) reached out to officials at Aetna’s Norwalk offices for help. Aetna in turn presented the Senior Center with a $1,000 donation that will be "sufficient to help with the cost of repairs," according to the release.
“The Norwalk Senior Center is a nonprofit organization, and they work very hard to raise the money it takes to serve hundreds of our area seniors on a daily basis," Duff said in the release. "The folks who drive the Senior Center buses haven’t had a raise in five years, so you can imagine what a burden $1,000 in unexpected vandalism costs can be.”
Debra J. Williams, market head for the New England branch of Aetna National Accounts, said in the release the company was pleased to help the community.
“Supporting the communities where our employees live and work is important to Aetna, and we know the vital role the Norwalk Senior Center plays here,” said Williams in the release. “We are pleased to make this donation to help cover the center’s costs so they can focus on their mission of improving the lives of Norwalk’s senior citizens.”
The two buses were reportedly "struck by the vandals, who defaced lettering and destroyed a latch to the rear door of one bus, also breaking antennae on both buses," according to the release. The incident marked the latest of several vandalism reports at the senior center in recent years, according to the release.
“This is the third time our Senior Center has been vandalized. We don’t yet know who is behind any of these incidents, but I suspect it may be the same person. Why someone would target a senior center, repeatedly, is beyond me,” said Paul Palermo, executive director of the Norwalk Senior Center in the release.
"Senator Duff has always been a good friend to the Norwalk Senior Center, and he has brought other people forward who have also been very generous to us. He is a good neighbor and a great friend to our seniors.
"I am also very grateful to Aetna for making this donation to cover the deductible on our property insurance policy for the buses—we don’t even have a policy with them! It is very generous, and as disappointed as I am that our center has been vandalized yet again, this shows that good people are out there, and that kindness will always prevail.”