Last week, five Branford residents were honored for their efforts on behalf of the town of Branford.
First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove was recognized by the New Haven Chamber of Commerce and four residents received Beacon awards at a dinner held at Water’s Edge in Westbbook.
Cosgrove received the prestigious Legislative Leadership Award from the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
The luncheon at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale on Thursday attended by over 500 business leaders.
Cosgrove was cited for creating and maintaining a business friendly culture in Branford that has led to several biotech companies locating in town and expanding, as well as for his leadership that has shown fiscal stewardship at a time when state funding was reduced.
He was introduced by Harry Carey of AT&T, one of the event’s sponsors, and the award was presented by Garrett Sheehan, Chamber president and CEO. Other awards presented during the event included a Small Business Achievement Award, Achievements in Manufacturing, Volunteer of the Year, Technology Innovation, and Community Leadership.
Getting together after the luncheon are Karen Jensen, Director James Blackstone Memorial Library (left); Robin Sandler, president of the library board; Alex Palluzzi, director of Recreation; Lisa Arpin, Town Clerk; Jamie Cosgrove; Tom Mahoney, Branford Fire Department chief, Joe Higgins, selectman; Harry Carey, AT&T; and Cathy Lezon, Economic Development Commission member. Others attending included Bill Aniskovich, town attorney, and RTM member Ray Ingraham.
In addition, 15 individuals from area shoreline towns were honored at the sixth annual Beacon Awards, including four from Branford. Over 300 attended the dinner on Oct. 3 at Water’s Edge, sponsored by Shore Publishing.
Those honored from Branford included Carol Stewart (left), Judith Barron, Jean Kelley, and Norman Bernabucci.
Carol Stewart heads up the “Feed Branford Kids” program, which currently feeds 200 students a week through backpacks of food that are sent home for students whose families need help. Stewart is also a member of the Branford Rotary Club and pitches in to help the Blackstone Memorial Library and Branford Compassion Club.
Judy Barron is the executive director of the Community Dining Room, an organization that feeds those in need, both in the Branford Dining Room and through take-out meals and delivery. CDR actively creates a sense of community through picnics, family activities, and the simple dignity of a shared meal. She also is a girls’ softball and cheerleading team coach, a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, and volunteer for Special Olympics.
Jean Kelley, along with her husband Jack, founded Brian’s Hope, a charitable foundation dedicated to stopping the progression of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) a genetic brain disorder that has affected their son Brian for the past 20 years. Jean works endlessly to broaden ALD awareness, support medical research and educate the public about the efforts to implement newborn screening nationwide. They hope to see the day no young boy will endure the challenges that Brian has faced since he was 6 years old.
Norman Bernabucci, 93, is a World War II veteran who served in the Navy in New Guinea and the Philippines. When he returned home, he began a lifelong commitment to serve the community. He is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Branford, serving a term as president. He and his wife, Louise volunteer, with the Branford Community Dining Room and last year spent Christmas Day at the Senior Center serving meals to the elderly.