BERLIN - To commemorate the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 a small tribute ceremony was held by CCARC at its 49th Annual Golf Open fundraiser Wednesday morning at Timberlin Golf Course.
“We want to thank the Berlin Fire Department and the first responders that are here today that brought this beautiful truck and flag for our ceremony,” said John Barbieri of Barbieri Law in New Britain and one of the co-chairs of the event.
The Berlin T9 fire truck had a large American flag hoisted from it that was hanging behind the speakers.
“So today is 9/11 and it is a very solemn day that we gather. So I’d like to ask everyone if you will, those who are wearing hats if you could take your hats off, as we just take a moment to reflect and think about the victims and the families that were impacted on this day 18 years ago Sept. 11, 2001,” said the Rev. Thomas Mills from Grace Church.
The golf course became still and quiet as everyone participated in a moment of silence.
Mills also said a short prayer and read a poem written by a little boy named Matty.
“Stop; be silent and notice in so many ways we are the same. Our differences are unique treasures we have; we are a mosaic of gifts,” read Mills.
To finish the tribute the CCARC singers sang “God Bless America” in unison.
“That was beautiful. This is why we’re here today to support these beautiful people,” Barbieri said in regards to the CCARC singers and CCARC’s fundraising efforts.
“The fact that CCARC acknowledged it (9/11) by having the first responders from Berlin here with the fire truck and with their huge American flag was great; once you see that flying in the wind that is just a source of pride all the time. And then to have the CCARC singers who understand in various ways what this day means and to have them sing God Bless America and they did it in such a heartfelt way it’s a wonderful tribute to America and the causes we support,” said Paul Salina, CCARC board member and 2019’s honorary chair.
Salina was announced as the 2019 honorary chair for his faithful support of CCARC and five years of service to the New Britain community.
“He always has a camera at his side, is at all of our events and really has a heart of gold for our organization and so many in our community,” exclaimed Anne Ruwet, CCARC’s CEO.
“It’s an honor to be associated with CCARC. They are a main state in New Britain to help a portion of our population seek and obtain their full potential,” said Salina. “It’s been a great experience.”
The golfers separated into groups and headed out on the course following the ceremony.
“I love it,” said Jeff Scalora, owner of Arch Millwork, LLC a general contracting company based in New York and a sponsor. “It’s a great cause; the amount of support from local businesses here is incredible. I’m not even working out here and I come back for it (the golf tournament) because it’s that good. “
CCARC is a private, nonprofit organization offering an array of services to support adults with intellectual disabilities and their families.
“Without the major sponsors that we have this year we would not be here. So we came into the tournament this year with close to $75,000. But I really want to thank our tournament sponsor this year, which is Stanley Black & Decker,” said Ruwet.
“Stanley Black & Decker is really about social responsibility and one of our goals is to help out the community as a partner,” said John Stanko, director within Global IT at the New Britain-based company. “We really enjoy these types of events to help out charities.”
Other sponsors included New Britain Transportation Company who provided the carts and scoreboard, Ion Bank as a Beverage Sponsor, The Schuster Group, Constitution Group of Wells Fargo and Pension Consultants.
Lunch was provided for the participants during the tournament, but they could look forward to a dinner later in the evening at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Hall catered by Teresa’s Catering.
A slew of raffle prizes and a live auction took place throughout the full day event.