Ridgefield Thrift Shop Volunteers & Zoe Butchen are Heroes

United Way honors local heroes at for 4th Annual Hometown Heroes Gala 

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) honored locals as Hometown Heroes at its 4th Annual Hometown Heroes Benefit Dinner on Saturday, December 2 at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury.

New this year: Emerging Hero Awards which were awarded to area high school-aged youth who demonstrate strong leadership in volunteerism and community service. In addition, special awards were presented:

Corporate Philanthropy Award to Union Savings Bank for exemplifying corporate social responsibility and demonstrating a strong commitment to giving back to the community

Small Business Hero Award to Elmer Palma, Restauranteur, and Owner of Elmer’s Diner in recognition of his leadership, commitment, and generosity to the greater Danbury community.

Hometown Hero and Emerging Hero Awards were presented to the following individuals, nonprofit agencies and youth in appreciation and recognition of their service to towns within UWWC’s service area including:


Bethel  Mary Korin

Bridgewater  Wendy and Richard Jones

Brookfield  Julie Osborne Blick

Danbury  Celia Bacelar-Palmares, Emanuela Palmares, Angela Barbosa

Tribuna Newspaper and The New American Dream Foundation


New Fairfield  Noah Alviti

Newtown  Dorrie Carolan
New Milford
  Dawn Hammacott

Ridgefield  Ridgefield Thrift Shop Volunteers

Roxbury  Stuart Daly, Alice Daly, Cindy Winton-Bunting

Little Britches Therapeutic Riding

Sherman  Ted Hollander

Washington Mary Anne Greene


Bethel  Alexandra Schulman (Bethel High School)

Brookfield  Ahjeetha Shankar (High School)

Danbury  Kendra Dascano (Immaculate High School)

New Fairfield  Jeremy Perillo (New Fairfield High School)

Newtown  Gabriel Locke (Henry Abbott Technical High School)

New Milford  Rajinder Kandhari (New Milford High School)

Redding  Lucia Gorman (Joel Barlow High School)

Ridgefield  Zoe Butchen (Ridgefield High School)

Sherman Avery Putnam (New Fairfield High School)


“Our Hometown Hero and our Emerging Hero awardees have all made deep and unique contributions to the fabric of their local communities,” said Kimberly Morgan, CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut. “It is such a pleasure to be able to shine a light on their accomplishments and service.” Nominees were selected based on several criteria, including achievement, action, commitment, impact, and initiative.