STAR honors New Canaan family, others at annual meeting
STAR, Inc. Lighting the Way… a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving people impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities from infants to adults, as well as providing support services to their families, recently held its 67th annual Meeting and Achievement Awards at STAR Headquarters on Wolfpit Avenue in Norwalk.
The new chairperson of the STAR Board of Directors, Meghan Cioffi of New Canaan, called the meeting to order and welcomed guests. The “Anne O’Callaghan Parent of the Year Award” honored Susie and Ernie Mysogland of New Canaan for their commitment and love in raising 11 children, some with disabilities. The “Media Partner of the Year Award” went to Mike Dinan founder of local online news service NewCanaanite.com for his coverage and inclusion of STAR news and events.
The Norwalk Public Library received the “Community Partner of the Year Award” for their continued commitment to hosting STAR classes and programs and employing STAR client Billy Tolles for 21 years; the “Jeannette Shivers Award” was presented to Norwalk resident and STAR client, Walter Paul for his conscientious work on the STAR maintenance crew. The “Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award” was presented to Tony Aitoro and Aitoro Appliances for their continued hands-on involvement and support of STAR. Westport resident and STAR client, Stacy Banzhof, received the “Self Advocacy Award” for her work in enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities through the self-advocacy group at STAR.
Weston High School Sophomore, Emily Melito, received the “Jo Mercede Youth Volunteer of the Year Award” for her involvement and dedication to organizing groups of student volunteers from Weston High School to help at STAR events. The “STAR Heroes’ Award” went to Adrian Moore. BMW of Darien and the Callari family received the “Employer of the Year Award” for their continued relationship in hiring STAR clients. Dave Gurliacci, founder of Darien-based online news service, the Darienite, received another “Media Partner of the Year Award.” The “Volunteer of the Year Award” went to A.J. Discala for his commitment to enriching lives of individuals impacted by disabilities through physical fitness.
Guests at the annual Meeting and Achievement Awards ceremony enjoyed appetizers and hors d’oeuvres by STAR Café head chef Matt Fazackerley and music by Rubberband, an inclusive rock and roll musical group of STAR staff and participants.
For information about STAR, visit its website at starct.org.