Bank of Fairfield, Chip’s present Community Spirit Awards


The Bank of Fairfield and Chip’s restaurant honored several community members with Spirit Awards. Shown, from left, are (front row) Aaron Gaberman, Michelle Cole, The Center for Women and Families CEO Debra Greenwood, (back row) Bank of Fairfield Vice President Bob Hojnacki, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Chip’s Manager Adam Kindilien, Gary Rosato and Daniel Caruso.

The Fairfield community turned out in force to support the recognition of four local citizens and one organization, all honored for their outstanding service to the community during the Spirit Award ceremony, co-sponsored by the Bank of Fairfield & Chip’s Restaurant, on March 12. First Selectman Michael Tetreau co-presented the awards, along with Bank of Fairfield First Vice President Bob Hojnacki.

“There are people who make a difference in our community,” Hojnacki said. “We wanted to highlight some of those people and their important accomplishments.”

The winner in the volunteer category was Michelle Cole. As the volunteer co-chair of Relay for Life of Fairfield for the last three years, Cole has worked to make a difference, serving those who are dealing with cancer, whether they are survivors, caregivers or friends.

Daniel Caruso, Fairfield probate judge, received the award for the government category. In addition to serving as the judge of probate for the district since 1995, he is the immediate past president of the Connecticut Probate Assembly, which seeks to improve the administration of justice and achieve uniformity in the practice and procedures of the probate courts.

Aaron Gaberman was selected for the youth volunteer category. He is a youth ambassador for the Connecticut Challenge and its new Center for Survivorship. Diagnosed with two brain tumors on his 10th birthday, Aaron is now a senior at Weston High School and will attend Marist University as a sports management major in the fall. As youth ambassador at the Center for Survivorship, Aaron inspires other young cancer survivors to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle and serves as a role model for living life in a positive and enthusiastic way in the face of adversity.

In the education category, Dr. Gary Rosato, principal at Fairfield Woods Middle School, was recognized. With a long-standing reputation as a well-respected educator in the Fairfield community, Rosato has been principal at Mill Hill, curriculum director for Fairfield and is now principal at Fairfield Woods Middle School.  He also sits on the board of Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut.

The Center for Women and Families was honored in the nonprofit category as a safe haven for greater Bridgeport area residents since 1895. For the last four decades, the organization has focused its energies on responding to the community’s need to ensure the safety and well-being of victims at risk of serious injury or death at the hands of a violent partner. The center is the primary resource for eastern Fairfield County’s domestic and sexual violence victims, and for violence prevention education and professional training.

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