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.