Hamden Lodge recently qualified for a $2,000 Elks National Foundation (ENF) Gratitude Grant. Lodge members carefully shopped to spend half of this ENF Gratitude Grant, filling 6 carts with $1,000.59 worth of groceries for distribution among Hamden Food Bank, North Haven Congregational Food Pantry and Saint Anne’s Soup Kitchen.
Shown shopping, front to back, are Lodge members Tammy Shea, Cathy Corso-White, Jen Caputo, and Andrew Caporossi. $500 of the ENF Grant was presented to Hamden Youth Advisory Council’s (HYAC) Positive Choices Campaign to prevent underage drinking and drug use. The donation will be used to assist the local campaign to purchase materials to convey outreach messages to Hamden youth and parents.
$500 of the ENF Grant was presented to the Hamden High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (HHS-PTSA) for next year’s After-Prom, a “Positive,” safe, alcohol and drug free event where graduating Seniors and their dates can enjoy themselves after Prom has ended.
Shown are Deborah Stewart, Director of the Youth Development Training and Resource Center at The Consultation Center; Lodge Drug Awareness Chair Brenda Davis who represents Hamden Elks on the Council; Beth Chiarillo, Outreach Counselor at HYSB and HYAC Chair; and Pam Miller, former HHS-PTSA President.
The North Haven Community Service Awards Dinner sponsored by the Hamden Elks, serving Hamden and North Haven, was held on February 23. Honored for their Outstanding Service to their community were North Haven Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler; Outstanding Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga; Firefighter Christopher Murray and Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei. On behalf of North Haven’s First Selectman Michael Freda, Proclamations were presented to each honoree by Executive Assistant Valerie Goodkin; Hamden Elks President 2013-14 Carl Gorman presented award plaques to each recipient on behalf of Hamden Lodge #2224 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and Lodge member and State Representative David Yaccarino presented State Proclamations. Fire Chief Vincent Landisio and Police Chief Thomas McLoughlin introduced their honored Officer and Firefighters. Hamden and North Haven Community Service Award nights are annual Lodge events; proceeds support the Elks many youth and veterans projects and area charities in Hamden and North Haven.
North Haven Community Service Awards February 23, 2013
Our North Haven Community Service Awards Dinner was held on Saturday, February 23, in our Main Hall. We honored North Haven Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler; Outstanding Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga, Firefighter Christopher Murray and Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR RAYMOND FOWLER
Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler is a 40 year resident of North Haven. His commitment to community service began with his earliest upbringing in an Irish and French Canadian household where expressions such as “service above self” were part of the very fabric of his life. A forty-three year military and civilian business career strengthened that commitment. While serving his country, Ray first became aware of the seriousness, commonness, and insidious effects of Child Abuse and for over forty-five years, Ray has been an advocate in promoting the end of this scourge on our society.
During the past two decades, Ray has worked with the North Haven Library, Veterans Memorial Services, and Veterans Educational Initiative. In 1991, based on service to country and community, Ray was presented with the key to the Town and Ray Fowler Day was proclaimed in North Haven. Although a participant in many civic activities, raising awareness of the Child Abuse problem is Ray’s priority and with his wife of 41 years by his side, his work will continue.
POLICE OFFICER VALDEMAR QUEIROGA
Police Officer of the Year Valdemar Queiroga was born and raised in North Haven. He attended North Haven High School, Class of 1999, played football for 4 years and was an All-Conference Lineman. While Attending the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Val was accepted into the Washington Center for Internships and was offered an internship with the United States Department of Justice in Washington. He graduated with honors, Cum Laude overall GPA, Magna Cum Laude and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Theory from the School of Liberal Arts. He attained membership in the Political Science National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, UConn Chapter.
Upon graduation from UConn, Valdemar returned to Washington DC and worked for the United States Secret Service for a year while applying for police officer positions. Upon hire by the North Haven Police Department he attended the Connecticut Police Officer Standards & Training Academy (P.O.S.T) and graduated as #1 overall recruit receiving the TFC Allan J. Tuskowski Award for Excellence in Training.
Currently in his 9th year as a patrolman in North Haven, Val is a member of the South Central Regional S.W.A.T. Team and also acts as a S.W.A.T. instructor. He was instrumental in designing and implementing the use of the North Haven Police Department’s official patch. He is currently President of the North Haven Police Union, Local 3087 and has been active organizing, hosting and participating in numerous fundraising endeavors.
He is an avid cross trainer. In 2010, he began working on his Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Haven. In 2013, Val will marry the love of his life, his inspiration and best friend, Kristy Varvaro.
FIREFIGHTER CHRISTOPHER MURRAY
Firefighter of the Year Christopher Murray was raised in North Haven. After graduating from North Haven High School in 1978, he served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve on search and rescue boats as a small boat engineer. He was a member of North Haven’s Northeast Volunteer Fire Company 4 as a volunteer firefighter from 1976-1980. In 1980, Christopher was hired by the Town of North Haven as a professional firefighter and assigned to North Haven Fire Department’s Headquarters Company 1. He has served the Town of North Haven for 37 years as a department member of which 32 years have been served as a career member. He has worked on Emergency One, as an EMT, engine driver and is a longtime driver of ladder Truck Number 1.
Christopher is a charter member of the North Haven Professional Firefighters Local 2987. He started on the Executive Board in 1984 where he was elected to Vice-President. While President of the North Haven Local 2987, he implemented the grill safety program and the bike helmet safety program. He is a member of the IAFF where he has represented the local as a delegate in conventions in Florida, Las Vegas, Vancouver BC and Chicago and is the Chairman of the Contract Negotiating Committee. Christopher Murray’s certifications include Firefighter I, Hazardous Materials Operation, Hazardous Material Technician and Instructor.
He is a member of the New Haven Area Special Hazards Team, the New Haven County Emerald Society and the Northeast Fire Association. He is the recipient of “The Four Chaplains Award” from the American Legion and numerous Letters of Commendation. He has enjoyed participating in a number of Department sponsored charitable events. He and his wife, Stacy, enjoy cooking together and watching their children Sarah and Christopher Jr. play lacrosse and softball.
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER RONALD MATTEI
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year, Ronald Mattei a lifelong resident of North Haven was born in New Haven in May 1956. He attended North Haven public schools and started his own company, R & M Cleaning that he has owned and operated for the past 34 years. Ron joined the North Haven Volunteer Fire Department, West Ridge Company #3 in 1973. During his 40 years with the department, he has been a top responder several times, with over 5000 Alarms, as well as holding the respective titles of Company Lieutenant for years and President of the West Ridge Volunteer Fire Association.
Recently, Ron served as Chairman of the State Fire Fighters 2012 State Convention held in North Haven during North Haven’s Fire Department’s 100 year anniversary. Ron is an avid motorcyclist and proudly serves as treasurer of the local CT chapter of the International Red Knights MC; Chapter 4 is composed of firefighters (paid/volunteer active and inactive) that enjoy motorcycles and support charitable organizations. Ron is also a member of the BPOE #2224 Elk’s Lodge in Hamden CT. He is also a seasoned snowmobiler and travels to Canada and Vermont annually for riding with friends. His family includes Andrea and Brytani Randlett.
(Shown L-R) Volunteer Firefighter Ronald Mattei. Firefighter Christopher Murray, Police Officer Valdemar Queiroga; Citizen of the Year Raymond Fowler, Hamden Lodge President Carl Gorman, and Hamden Lodge Past President and Master of Ceremony, Stanley Mendygral.
Hamden Lodge #2224 serves the Communities of Hamden and North Haven. Hamden Lodge takes pride in their commitment to community and shows this by hosting or participating in:
Hamden Community Award Night
North Haven Community Award Night
Hamden’s National Night Out (see Youth/Drug Awareness post)
North Haven Girl Scout Bridging and Gold and Silver Award Ceremonies (see Youth/Scouting post)
Hamden Girl Scout Bridging and Gold and Silver Award Ceremonies (see Youth/Scouting post)
Members of Hamden Lodge serve on the Hamden Youth Advisory Council (HYAC) and support their Positive Choices Campaign (see Youth/Drug Awareness posts)
Members of Hamden Lodge diligently fundraise for Fisher House (see Veterans posts)
The Hamden Community Service Awards Dinner sponsored by the Hamden Elks, serving Hamden and North Haven, was held on January 26. Honored for their Outstanding Service to their community were Hamden Citizen of the Year Arthur I. Erickson; Outstanding Police Officer Angela Hall; Firefighter Kevin P. Martin and Volunteer Firefighter Capt. Russell A. Olson. On behalf of Mayor Scott Jackson, Proclamations were presented to each honoree by Hamden Town Clerk Vera Morrison. Fire Chief David Berardesca, Police Chief Thomas Wydra and Hamden Elks President Carl Gorman presented award plaques to each recipient. Proceeds support the Elks many youth and veterans projects and area charities in Hamden and North Haven.
(Shown L-R) Hamden President 2012-13 Carl Gorman, Volunteer Firefighter Capt. Russell A. Olson. Police Officer Angela Hall, Firefighter Kevin P. Martin, and Hamden Citizen of the Year Arthur I. Erickson.
Hamden Community Service Awards January 26, 2012
Our Hamden Community Service Awards Dinner was held on Saturday, January 26, in our Main Hall. We honored Hamden Citizen of the Year Arthur I. Erickson; Outstanding Police Officer Angela Hall; Firefighter Kevin P. Martin and Volunteer Firefighter Capt. Russell A. Olson.
Citizen of the Year, Arthur I. Erickson is President of Beecher and Bennett Funeral Service in Hamden. Has been an active and continuous proponent of our veterans, including support and sponsorship of the Hamden Veterans Commission parades & programs, American Legion Post # 88 programs, Antique Veterans Post #1 – Meriden programs, the “Sacred Scars– Call to Service” program at Hamden Middle School and the “Lest They Be Forgotten” D-Day Omaha Beach program at Hamden Wilder Hall. He and the staff of Beecher & Bennett served as Wall Guides for the Vietnam Wall Hamden. He also participates in the “Relay for Life” cancer charity walks.
Arthur is Treasurer of the Greater New Haven Funeral Directors Association. He is a Past President of the New Haven Kiwanis Club, Past President of the Connecticut Funeral Director’s Association, served as a director for the Connecticut Motor Club AAA, was corporate secretary for the Regional VNA and served on the Policy Board of the National Funeral Directors Association.
Police Officer Angela Hall transferred to the Hamden Police Department from the Town of Guilford. She is currently assigned in the Patrol Division. As the Department’s Resource Officer for Hamden Middle School, she worked with the students, developing positive relationships. For the last few years, she has also been the Community liaison for the Town, organizing block watch meetings and attending Town functions such as National Night Out, Earth Day, and several functions with Hamden Youth Services including the SoHa festival. She has visited elementary schools to talk to 5th and 6th graders about the dangers of the Internet and social networking, and day cares to talk about stranger danger. For the last 3 years she has sat on the Hamden Youth Advisory Council (HYAC), which helps create programs for youth and encourages “Positive Choices” HYACs campaign to prevent underage drinking. She recently was the co-applicant for a grant resulting in a $3,000 award to help improve relations between Police and youth, resulting in current police officer weekly visits to the youth center to help plan “discovery dances” with youths in the special needs community. She has given educational tours of the new Police Department to school aged children.
Firefighter Kevin P. Martin was motivated by 9/11 to join the Eagleville, CT Fire Station as a volunteer while a student at UCONN. After stints with the Mansfield and Willimantic Departments, he joined the Hamden Fire Dept.’s First Platoon. He has been assigned to Stations 3, 5 and, presently, 2. He is EMT certified and is a qualified driver of all department apparatus. He photographs fires and Department events for the union website. He serves on the department fund and gift committee, assisting with the turkey drive, toy drive and other activities. He plays on the Department hockey team for charity games. These programs have provided funds for various causes, including the Wounded Warriors, the Conn. Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital and, with the Police Dept, food for needy families. Recently, he helped organize a golf tournament for current department members and retirees. He has been a drummer with the Connecticut Firefighters’ bagpipe and drum band, which travels throughout New England performing at fire service related funerals and ceremonies.
Volunteer Fire Firefighter Russell A. Olson is a Captain with Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Company 5 where he has been active since 2004. He is certified as a Firefighter II, EMT-B, and Fire Service Instructor He was made a Lieutenant in 2010 and elected Captain in June 2012.
He is a Deacon at the Mt. Carmel Congregational Church and an advisor of the Quinnipiac Dancers, Vigil Honor member of Owaneco Lodge #313 Order of the Arrow, BSA Eagle Scout from Troop 608 Hamden.
Russ is currently employed by Bessette Lawn and Landscaping in Hamden. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in West Haven and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Albertus Magnus College.