NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling presented Person-to-Person and the Norwalk Senior Center with checks for $12,500 on Thursday.
The checks are the proceeds of the annual Mayor's Ball, which was held Jan. 23 at the Continental Manor. Rilling called the ball "the social event of the year" and said that nearly 600 people attended.
He credited the former Mayor Frank Esposito with starting the tradition of the Mayor's Ball, and subsequent mayors for continuing it.
In presenting the checks to the two recipients, Rilling praised the work that both do for the community.
"I go down to Person-to-Person and I’m just amazed at how much help they give to people who can’t afford the things we perhaps take for granted. They can’t afford to shop for their family, so they can come there and pick up groceries from Person-to-Person," Rilling said. "They provide them assistance and guidance in helping them with other things they perhaps struggle to afford, and it’s just really, really nice, a great organization that does so much for so many."
"The Senior Center, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a meal over there, to watch the seniors come and have some friendships and engage in activities that help them keep active," he said. "Rather than staying home they can come and meet new friends, they can engage in activities, they go on some wonderfully amazing trips."
Executive Director Ceci Maher said Person-to-Person provided 500,000 meals to 2,000 families last year, with families coming an average of four times during the year.
"Person-to-Person is absolutely thrilled, not only to be a firmly rooted member of the Norwalk community, serving the Norwalk community, but also to know that this $12,500 – which is more than we expected, so we’re really thrilled – is going to go to provide people help with security deposits and rent and utility bills, keep people in their homes with the lights on and secure housing, and also as Mayor mentioned, to help serve a lot of families with food," said Maher.
“The Norwalk Senior Center is thrilled to receive this funding,” said Executive Director Beatrix Winter. “It will a long way to allow us to further our mission, which is to empower adults 60 and over for personal independence, help with aging, social connections and lifelong learning.”
Winter said the Norwalk Senior Center made 22,000 meal deliveries through its Meals on Wheels program and 104 outreach visits in the past year.
"This money is going to help us continue to fulfill our mission, both with the Meals on Wheels program as well as providing social services and programs that we do for our seniors," said David McCarthy, a Common Council member who sits on the board of the Senior Center.
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