Fairfield Senior Center’s new name is Bigelow Center for Senior Activities

Upon the recommendation of the Human Services Commission, Terry Giegengack, Director of Human and Social Services, proudly announces that the Fairfield Board of Selectmen, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Selectman Sheila Marmion and Selectman Kevin Kiley recently voted unanimously to rename the Fairfield Senior Center as the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, effective July 1, 2015.

First Selectman Tetreau said, “I am thrilled that the Human Services Commission proposed to rename the Senior Center after Cindi Bigelow. Cindi Bigelow deserves our thanks for her decades of support to our Senior Center. We are proud to have the Bigelow Tea Company, a model of community service, in our Town.

Cindi Bigelow, president & CEO of Bigelow Tea

Cindi Bigelow, president & CEO of Bigelow Tea

We thank Cindi and the Bigelow family for their tireless efforts and the goodwill they graciously offer to our Senior Center and to the community at large.”

For those who are new to Fairfield, Cindi Bigelow is President & CEO of Bigelow Tea, a family owned company located in Fairfield. The Bigelow family tradition of service to the community and to others formed Cindi’s personal commitment to giving and to sponsoring events which raise money for local charitable and not for profit organizations. For the past 27 years, Cindi’s personal support and financial contributions have also enhanced the Senior Center by helping it to grow and offer more to Fairfield’s seniors. When informed of our desire to change the name of the Center, Cindi said: “I will cherish this outstanding gesture for the rest of my life.”

A few of the many personal gifts given over the past 27 years include a low vision magnifying reading machine for people with vision problems, much of our exercise equipment, and many furnishings. Cindi also supports our annual volunteer luncheons with donated raffle prizes. In 2012 Bigelow donated the software and installation of MySeniorCenter. This membership system allows the center to study member activities and participation in more than 50 different programs. This data helps staff to identify successful programs and improve efficiency of resource management. In the past two years, the software enabled the senior center to track membership and announce the growth of more than 2,000 members. Last year MySeniorCenter expanded to include the senior center bus transportation system for managing scheduling and generating reports.

The idea to change the name has been “in the works” for a few years, and has been studied and discussed by many people prior to the decision. The first time a change was recommended came when Millward Brown, an internationally recognized market research firm, did a pro-bono research project for the Center. Among Millward Brown’s recommendations was a name change. A group of key volunteers with staff input (the Top 10 Committee) worked for a year and completed an extensive study of the Fairfield Senior Center back in 2012.

The Top 10 Committee agreed with Millward Brown that a name change should be a future goal of the Center, in keeping with the nationwide trend. At the same time, everyone involved believes strongly in honoring our traditions while at the same time looking to the future and to our ever growing membership. The Human Services Commission discussed the trends and recommended the name change to the Town.

All of these elements came together this year and the decision was made.

Fortunately for us, two professionals approached the Center this winter, each hoping to do volunteer work. As it turned out, each person has extensive backgrounds in marketing, communications and graphic design. A committee was formed to develop the sign with our new name, and it will be unveiled at this ceremony. Many thanks go to volunteers Ms. Allison Wade and Ms. Erikka Brickey, and also to representatives from our Town’s Department of Public Works, Planning & Zoning and Engineering for helping make the sign a reality.

The dedication ceremony to unveil our new sign and mark the official “name change” is being planned for July 31, at 10 a.m. Seniors, the Bigelow family and staff, local and state dignitaries and community partners will be invited. Following the brief ceremony on the center’s front lawn, light refreshments will be served in the multi-media room. The community is invited and welcome to attend the dedication. If you wish to attend, RSVP by calling 203-256-3166 Monday through Friday, from 9-3:30.

The Senior Center is handicapped accessible. Free parking is available. Transportation is available to Fairfield residents by calling ahead to: 203-256-3168.

A pilot lunch program is underway through September 30th. Lunches are now served restaurant style and an accomplished chef is creating and cooking the meals which now include soup, salad, entrée and dessert. The monthly lunch menu is found in our newsletter on line at: www.fairfieldct.org/seniorcenter. For more information or directions, call 203-256-3166 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cindi Bigelow, First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau, Terry Giegengack, director of human and social services, and Rick DeAngelis.

Cindi Bigelow, First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau, Terry Giegengack, director of human and social services, and Rick DeAngelis.

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