STAMFORD, Conn. -- Two community volunteers and one children’s advocate will be honored for their contributions at the 2013 Stamford Community Awards Luncheon on March 20 presented by the United Way of Western Connecticut.
The event will take place at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel, located at 700 East Main Street beginning at noon.
Shari Shapiro, executive director of Kids in Crisis located in Greenwich, will receive The Advocate Award for her energy, leadership, assertiveness and compassion in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.
Shapiro, who prior to the tragedy said she was unfamiliar with Newtown, was able to assist Newtown Youth and Family Services within hours of the shooting by providing a team of mental health professionals as well as a triage plan and crisis counseling for children and families in the following weeks.
Shapiro said she is humbled to receive recognition for her efforts, and stressed that it was actually the network of volunteers and 38 clinicians behind her that made it happen.
She added that Kids in Crisis is an advocate for children with important programs to be a voice and a resource.
“I am very proud that Kids in Crisis had been there for these families in this small way to help them through,” she said.
Andy Zeitlin, a recipient of the Volunteer Award, is an attorney and partner with the law firm Shipman and Goodwin, LLP in Stamford.
Zeitlin, who lives in Westchester County, N.Y., is heavily involved with the United Way, and views volunteerism as a great way to give back to the Stamford community.
As a member of the board of directors of the Sandy Hook Transition Committee, Zeitlin was instrumental in establishing a management structure and disbursement of priorities of the Sandy Hook School Support fund.
Zeitlin said he gives credit to the United Way’s as well as his team leader Kim Morgan, who gave a tremendous amount of time to the project.
“She knew what to do and it was a pleasure to make a difference for that community,” he said.
Zeitlin, who started working with the United Way 12 years ago, additionally played a vital role in the merger between the organization and The Volunteer Center of Southern Fairfield County.
“I have had the chance to see some changes and work with some really great people,” he said.
Zeitlin added that he plans to continue volunteering and helping.
Richard Colbert, who is also receiving the Volunteer Award, is a partner with Day Pitney, LLP and worked together with Zeitlin on the merger between the United Way and the Volunteer Center.
As chairperson of the Center’s board of directors, Colbert spent countless hours negotiating the terms of the agreement to ensure the Center’s mission was preserved.
Colbert, who has been involved with the Center for 30 years, said he is honored to receive the award because it further highlights the difference the Volunteer Center has made in Fairfield County over the past 40 years.
Colbert said he has worked with many “terrific and dedicated” people throughout his tenure, including Zeitlin, former Volunteer Center Director Roberta Eichler, and board members Mark Catalano and Victoria Zerjav.
“We have set the stage for volunteerism to continue flourishing in our community for decades and generations to come,” he said.
For more information on tickets and event details, contact Nanci Natale by email at Nanci.Natale@uwwesternct.org or phone 203-348-7711.