Giving Back To Enfield

As members of this community, we show pride and respect for Enfield by taking seriously our responsibility to be active citizens.  Through our actions, we demonstrate genuine concern and compassion for our neighbors.  As John Donne so eloquently wrote “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”  While our Enfield community may be composed of individuals, none of us are alone.  We are all part of the patchwork of this town and are compelled to act when someone is in need.  Whether it is donating time, money or goods, preserving our natural resources, helping clean the streets, walking for a cause or just helping someone with some yard work,  you can find Enfield Republicans out doing what they can to help make our community a better place.

(Left) Just some of the supplies collected by the Enfield RTC; (Right) Rich Regnier with some more supplies talking about why we need to help.

Recently, in response to the need for art supplies for Enfield’s K-2 schools, Board of Education member Rich Regnier organized a school supply drive (pictured above) and before the school year, these supplies were presented to the Superintendent for distribution.  “We wanted to make sure our children have what they need to learn” said Rich.  “Our wonderful teachers are always willing to help out.  But supplies can be expensive.  Fortunately, a lot of generous people donated and we had help from several drop off locations in town.  I want to be sure to thank, Awards & More, Dollar General, Bosco Automotive, AllState Insurance and the entire Enfield Republican Town Committee for their outpouring of generosity.  There were so many crayons and markers and construction paper donated it filled the whole table in Superintendent Drezek’s office.  We were pleased to help and I was thankful for the outpouring of support” said Rich.

Marie Pyznar (left) volunteering at the Amy Romano Memorial Field Hockey Scrimmage.

The Amy Romano Memorial Field Hockey Scrimmage began with an idea and a love for Amy Romano. When Amy passed away unexpectedly in 2007 her loss was a difficult moment for many.  Amy was an outstanding teacher, a marvelous varsity field hockey coach and member of the Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame.  She encouraged her teams to strive for their best and reminded them to always move forward in a positive way. In 2010 Marie and others stepped forward and began a scholarship in Amy’s name.  The $1000 scholarship goes to a deserving senior each year. Marie Pyznar, who organizes the scrimmage, said Romano was a woman who made a positive impact on the girls she coached, especially Pyznar’s daughter, Erica Pyznar, who played under Romano’s guidance for three years at the high school. “I am proud to help out with this event in her memory and I will for many years to come” said Marie.

Ashley Depeau donating groceries at Stop & Shop to the Enfield Food Shelf

At her company, The Hartford Steam Boiler, Ashley has been involved with their annual United Way Day of Sharing for years.  She sees it as a day to open your heart and join hands for a common reason.  Ashley says her company is very generous to allow her and fellow co-workers to embrace our volunteer spirit and she makes sure that spirit carries her back to Enfield. “Children can’t learn well if they are worried about their next meal and they can’t learn at all if they are hungry, that is why I believe the Enfield Food Shelf is a group vital to our community” said Ashley.  Not being one who sit back and waits to help, she jumps in and just gets to it.


Walter Kruzel bagging groceries (left) and Ray Peabody, Lori Unghire, Mike Ludwick and Walter Kruzel volunteering at a ShopRite event for our local food pantries.

Walter Kruzel is a man who is very generous with his time, talents and skills.  When it became clear the new Enfield High School was going to use the weights from the previous schools, Walter stepped up, brought all the weights back to his shop at Peerless Tool & Machine and sanded them down and repainted delivered to the new weight room.  “I’ve been involved in Enfield because it matters to me and my family. I know how to stretch a dollar to be sure Enfield gets more bang for its buck” says Walter.    If you don’t find him fixing something you see him “bagging” something at the annual ShopRite “Help Bag Hunger.”

Two organizations in town receive many hours of Republican volunteer time …  The Enfield Food Shelf, on Alden Avenue and Enfield Loaves and Fishes, on Prospect Street.  Both organizations are committed to providing meals and fellowship to the poor, hungry, and disenfranchised within our community and Kelly Hemmeler has been a volunteer at both for a very long time.

Kelly Hemmeler (left) and Chris Rutledge (right) volunteering at Enfield Loaves & Fishes.

“(Enfield) Loaves and Fishes is such a wonderful organization that helps out those in need.  I feel blessed to do what I can to serve and be part of the community.  By volunteering at both of these groups, I feel my time is well spent,” said Kelly.  Kelly is entwined in the Thompsonville fabric because she sees the good that is accomplished.  When tragedy struck, Kelly was there to help fire victims.  She has used her talents to organize fundraising and bottle drives and is the first one to offer assistance.

Chris Rutledge, mentor to the Enfield High Debate Team, completing his background check.

Chris Rutledge gets involved because it is in his blood.  When he realized the Enfield High School didn’t have a debate club he offered to start one and be their “team leader.”  This weekend the team participates in its first tournament and you will find Chris cheering the team on.  “I believe that opportunities are all around us and sometimes folks need a little help realizing things can happen.  I don’t see obstacles.  I see challenges and solutions.  That is why I volunteer as much a I do in Enfield.  It makes me happy and it doesn’t take that much effort” said Chris.

Peter Falk (Town Council) and Joe Muller volunteering with the July 4th Celebration.

Peter Falk and Joe Muller are just two of many, many Republicans that volunteer at the annual July 4th Celebration and they do it with a smile and a hug.  Joe will tell you he will change his plans to make sure he can be at the event and be part of the “volunteer squad.”  This three-day event won’t happen without volunteers and he has been involved for more years than he can count.  “My real reason to attend and volunteer is to spend time with my friends and make some new ones.  I love those three days and it is one great time to make memories and be part of the Enfield community” said Peter.

Charlotte Riley, Board of Education member, volunteering with Enfield First Readers.

Enfield Republicans also support our children’s education.  First Readers is a program in Enfield that celebrates a key milestone in learning.  “Literacy is a quintessential part of a child’s development” says Charlotte.  “I love working with Enfield First Readers to help instill the joy of reading at a young age.”

Walter Kruzel (Board of Education) and Donna Szewczak (Town Council) at the Buzz Robotics Pasta Dinner.

And who could forget the Buzz Robotics Team… a program promoting math and science through robotics, and is certainly one of Donna Szewczak’s favorite activities.  “Students need to learn about technologies of the 21st century, and Buzz Robots helps put many skills into practice.  Buzz Robotics provides our students with a fun way to apply what they learn in school” says Donna.

Charlotte Riley, Joe Muller, Donna Szewczak and Chris Rutledge helping to clean up Scantic Park.

We also see it as our responsibility to keep Enfield Clean.  That is why we participate with so many others in the Enfield Clean Sweep as well as helping to keep the Scantic River State Park beautiful.  “The Scantic is such a precious local resource” says Joe.  “The State and Enfield have teamed up very well recently to maintain this park” continued Chris.  “And it is important that we all lend a hand.”

In Philippians 2:4, it says “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Living in a community means taking this message to heart.  And that is what we try to do every day.  Whether it is picking up trash around town, donating to a local food pantry, volunteering one’s time with a local event or just helping someone in need around the house, we understand the importancs of looking out, not just for our own interests, but also the interests of others.  We are one community.  We are one Enfield.  And we are stronger when we work together for the betterment of others.  The Enfield Republicans believe community service is the best work of life and we all live it every day.


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