NEWINGTON - Three residents were selected in Duncaster‚Äôs prestigious 2018 Class of Connecticut‚Äôs 60 Over 60.
Bob Newbold, Ann Marino and Jean Henry were honored for being influential change-makers by the nonprofit organization and retirement community.
It‚Äôs not the first time that Marino and Newbold have been honored at the same time.
In 2015, the town gave both the Volunteer of the Year title, typically awarded to only one person or group.
Marino has made volunteering a daily routine since retiring in 2006 as a nurse.
She is a liaison between the Church of Christ Congregational and Newington‚Äôs Human Services Department, coordinating the Giving Tree program for needy families. She is also one of the founders of Newington‚Äôs Interfaith Community Action group.
Marino serves homeless families through Family Promise of Connecticut, is a board member of the Friends of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library and volunteers at the library two days a week.
‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs really important for a person‚Äôs own mental health and stability to stay involved and to keep challenging theirself,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve always derived much pleasure from volunteering. I get much more out of the experience than I receive.‚ÄĚ
Newbold was chosen by the town three years ago for his work with the Newington Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and several sports organizations. He is one of the ‚Äė60 Over 60‚Äô for a much different cause.
A self-described ‚Äústroke of luck‚ÄĚ took place on March 20, 2017, in his office. Quick-thinking co-workers called an ambulance and emergency responders were able to administer Newbold a life-saving stroke blocker just in time. In the last year and a half, he has told his story countless times in an effort to spread awareness about stroke response.
He spoke at Hartford Hospital‚Äôs annual stroke survivor conference, received the RAISE award from the National Stroke Association for being an Outstanding Stroke Survivor and has advocated for early symptom detection on television and radio.
‚ÄúI enjoy doing it and the great response I‚Äôm getting inspires me to keeping going with it,‚ÄĚ Newbold said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm just going to keep scheduling presentations.‚ÄĚ
His message is simple: Get help, fast.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt try to teach you how to fix a stroke, just how to recognize it,‚ÄĚ explained Newbold, who uses the acronym ‚ÄúFAST‚ÄĚ to get the point across.
‚ÄėF‚Äô is for facial distortion, ‚ÄėA‚Äô the arm can go numb or lifeless, ‚ÄėS‚Äô speech can be slurred or interrupted, and ‚ÄėT‚Äô is time.
‚ÄúWhen you put all those signs together or even just have one of those symptoms it‚Äôs time to call 911,‚ÄĚ he said.
Henry was selected for bringing fun back into retirement.
She founded the Meet-up group, ‚ÄúNewly Retired Newington Women,‚ÄĚ which has blossomed into a large group of women from across the state.
‚ÄúIt started because my daughter came to me and said she‚Äôd be backpacking through Southeast Asia for two years and, at the same time, my best friend was moving to Florida,‚ÄĚ Henry remembered. ‚ÄúI was losing the two people who I did most of my social activities with and I needed an outlet for going out and doing things. It grew faster and faster and now it‚Äôs turned into something much bigger.‚ÄĚ
There are now over 120 participants. The women go together to restaurants, museums, wine tastings and movies.
Check out the full list of 60 Over 60 winners at www.duncaster.org/60-over-60-winners .
‚ÄúTheir stories remind us that no matter what their age, they can make a difference,‚ÄĚ Duncaster CEO Michael O‚ÄôBrien said.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.