One of the recurrent themes that you will read in this space concerns why it is that Wallingford is a successful community.
Because it’s election season, most of the coverage we will see concerns the municipal government and its elected officials. But this week we will deviate from that and discuss three of the many reasons that Wallingford is a successful community, and I am betting there isn’t one ounce of disagreement. At the same time, you will see that I am also ingeniously indulging in promoting two events concerned with organizations in which I work.
Reason One: For-profit business support of the non-profit sector. There are dozens of fine examples I could cite, but because of column space and the proximity of the event, I am limiting it to one.
Several years ago, Nucor Steel Connecticut became one of Wallingford’s largest industrial neighbors by purchasing Connecticut Steel. In the past two years, they have become a leading supporter of the Spanish Community of Wallingford. They are further enhancing their community involvement by organizing the Nucor Steel Connecticut Charity Golf Tournament to benefit both SCOW and the Kiwanis Club of Wallingford Scholarship Fund. It is being held on Monday, September 23rd at the Tradition Golf Club here in Wallingford.
Not only will participants have a wonderful day of recreation while assisting two important local charitable efforts, but also they will have an opportunity to meet members of one of the most successful industrial entities left in America. Should you have the opportunity to meet some of their personnel, you will quickly see why they grew to be the largest steel manufacturer in America at the same time that much of the rest of the industry was cratering.
I invite you to contact Nucor personnel Tracy Guyette (203-265-0615), Selma Notaro (203-265-0615) or Jeff Kauk (203-379-6522) for the details of the event. You can also contact Maria Harlow at SCOW (203-265-5866) or Cindy Semrau with Kiwanis (203-494-8568).
Reason Two: Volunteer activism. Again, there are dozens of organizations worthy of mention, but I am picking my beloved Wallingford Center Inc. because Celebrate Wallingford is coming up on October 5th and 6th. This year will be the largest event ever, with participation from eighteen food vendors, thirty-two businesses, thirty-two civic organizations and a record number of craft people. Choate Rosemary Hall has signed on as a new sponsor, and Home Depot is collaborating to bring two new attractions.
While much of the activity will again take place uptown, festival attendees will also want to venture down to Johanna Fishbein Park by the railroad station, where Home Depot will be putting on very interesting activities both days. On Saturday, there will be a Kid’s Workshop and on Sunday they will hold a Home Improvement Expo.
While a lion’s share of the work preparing for this huge event is being performed by Executive Director Liz Landow, whose talent and energy could command much more generous compensation elsewhere, WCI has been also been fortunate to be able to count on a cadre of volunteers who assist her in organizing various segments of the event.
Reason Three: Members of Building Committees. I’m speaking of those volunteers who, over the years, have brought invaluable expertise and devoted countless hours to successfully overseeing huge, complicated building projects. Wallingford has had two school building renovation committees, the library expansion committee, the vocational agricultural building committee and now the school roof replacement building committee to name but a few. I would like to use my counterpart Mike Brodinsky as just the latest example of one of those people who have doggedly seen these projects through with virtually no fanfare or public recognition other than from those whom their work has directly benefited.
As we go through this busy and boisterous election season, it is worth remembering how our community is so well served by so many that labor out of the public eye.
Stephen Knight is a former Wallingford Town Councilor.