Appreciative New Britain funeral home feeds first responders

Published on Thursday, 30 August 2018 20:33
Written by LISA BACKUS


NEW BRITAIN - It’s nice to be appreciated, a tableful of New Britain police officers agreed Thursday as they finished plates of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and chips.

“It’s good to know there are people still behind us,” said Matt Smith, polishing off a cheeseburger.

Dozens of the city’s police, firefighters and emergency medical responders were treated to a barbecue during their workday, hosted by the New Britain Memorial–Donald D. Sagarino Funeral Home.

This was the funeral home’s third annual Public Service Appreciation Day, meant to let emergency responders know that their services are vital.

“We see a lot of these people when we are dealing with sad situations in life,” said Funeral Director Anne Targonski. “Once in a while, we like to say thanks for what you do in the community.”

The funeral home and the responders often deal with each other during families’ worst moments. The barbecue is an opportunity to not only give back but socialize in a happy setting, Targonski said.

“We’ll be open the rest of the afternoon,” she said. “We told everyone to just come and join us.”

Food was available from 11 a.m. with police, firefighters and EMS personnel able to come in between calls, sit down and have a nice meal including hamburgers, “Georgia Red Hots,” hot dogs, kielbasa, salads, watermelon and cookies.

Each public servant who attended was given a “survival kit,” which included Life Savers, Hershey’s Kisses, gum and Starburst candies.

Between 150 and 200 people attended last year’s barbecue. Targonski and her co-worker, Barbara Thompson, expected about the same number Wednesday.

Thompson was the cook, working over the grill placed on the deck of the funeral home’s New Britain Event Center as a ladder truck rolled up to Farmington Avenue, then parked, and firefighters came streaming out.

Meanwhile, inside, officer Peter Scirpo finished his meal. “I had the Georgia Red Hot and it was hot,” Scirpo said.”It was very nice. It’s nice to feel appreciated and it was a nice break to be appreciated.”

At another table, firefighter Katherine Galezowski was working on a hamburger and kielbasa at a table with her co-workers. “It’s very nice and very sweet that they care and show their support and we appreciate it,” Galezowski said. “They always have nice smiles and good food and it’s always nice to see the other agencies.”

Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 30 August 2018 20:33. Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2018 20:36.