On Jan. 19 Mary Tiriolo celebrated her 103rd birthday with family. Born on Jan. 19, 1912, Mary moved to central Greenwich in 1951 and remembers watching the construction of I-95 as it cut through Bruce Park. On Mary’s birthday, three Tiriolo sisters made a stop at Pemberwick park to visit a bench named in their honor.
Throughout January and February, snow storms, dangerous low temperatures and delayed school starts led news headlines. On January 27, an epic winter storm resulted in a statewide travel ban. By the third week of February, the town budget for snow and ice removal was running low.
On March 14, a group calling themselves the hedgeclippers marched from the entrance to Belle Haven to Paul Tudor Jones home.
The protesters who filled three coach buses, voiced anger over what they said was a rigged tax structure that has exacerbated income inequality and altered the political landscape in New York. They carried giant scissors that read #hedgeclippers and chanted, “Pay Your Taxes, Wall Street.”
The longstanding tradition for seniors at Greenwich High School, SRO, lost one performance due to a snow storm. The Friday performance became opening night and hundreds turned out despite a deep freeze.
Though SRO was originally called “Senior Vaudeville,” the show has always served as a benchmark in time, signifying the final push toward graduation.
Throughout the morning of the Scouting for Food drive, scouts and parents shuttled their food from various collection points to Christ Church. Food was sorted in the parish hall auditorium and transported to the Neighbor to Neighbor food pantry.
Snow storms cancelled not one, but two full rehearsals for Central Middle School’s Supershow on Jan 31 and Feb 1, but the show went on as planned. At the time we did not know it would be the last SuperShow, but, in 2015, director/producer Anne Beaty decided to end a longtime tradition in Greenwich Schools.
In March, Cos Cob park opened officially. Though the ribbon cutting took place on a gray rainy day, just days later, lacrosse players swarmed the new turf field. Families walked dogs and children clamored over the equipment in the brand new playground. As each person visited the park for the first time, the breathtaking views from just about every location within the park were something to behold.
The park, located on the water at the former power plant site, was decades in the making.
Greenwich’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 22, took place under clear blue skies and there were tons of smiles from Town Hall to the foot of Greenwich Ave.
In March, GHS celebrated St. Baldrick’s day with a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Among the highlights was the sight of dozens of GHS staff and students, including many girls who donated their entire ponytails for Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Who could forget Jimmy Catalano, who raised $12,000+ on his own for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The charity was created to fund research for a cure for childhood cancer and raise awareness.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich honored Alberto “Chile” Larraguibel, the club’s Youth of the Year recipient. When Alberto embraced his friend and mentor Mike Gerald and spoke of his gratitude to the Club that became his second home when he spoke no English and had no friends, the tears spilled. When Mr. Gerald recalled the moment Alberto gained his nickname, tears turned to laughter.
By April, the storms were relegated to history. On April 25, while many Greenwich High School students were busy with prom, their gymnasium heated up for a celebrity basketball tournament to raise funds for Abilis and Hoops 4 All. The goal was to raise funds for people with autism and developmental disabilities. Sponsors included CT Against Violence and Aces in Action.
A crowd gathered on Sunday April 26 at Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center for the Greenwich Police Silver Shield Association ceremony honoring those who put their lives on the line. Retired Lt. Tom Keegan recounted stories of bravery, quick thinking and multiple instances of lifesaving. Keegan sure knows how to tell a story, which is a good thing because, as he pointed out, police don’t come home and tell their families very much about their work.
In May we first featured Doug Francefort and the book shed he created at Holly Hill. We didn’t know at the time the operation was in jeopardy. PHOTOS: Holly Hill Tour Starts with Doug Francefort
“We’re not out to get rid of the book swap,” Greenwich DPW Deputy Commissioner James Michel told GFP in November. Mr. Michel said there are other auxiliary uses including the Goodwill trailer that he would like to see continue to operate, but there is a finite amount of space, and DPW would like to house the Byram Highway Dept at Holly Hill.
Mr. Michel said the Byram Highway Dept workers are housed in a trailer by the Field Point Rd on-ramp to I95 south. Selectman Drew Marzullo said the book shed should be a priority, and he is worried the community isn’t aware that it is at risk. He said that while campaigning at Holly Hill, he was approached by residents who are concerned the Hollly Master Plan doesn’t include the book shed.
In May, the fourth annual Police Day was a collaboration between the Junior League of Greenwich and Greenwich Police. Captain Kordick worked the hot dog grill and Chief Heavy made families feel welcome. Children enjoyed the moon bounce and frozen ices donated by Give me Five, Inc., in addition to tours of the Special Response Unit truck and a police patrol car.
In June, the Relay for Life Greenwich fundraiser at Brunswick School benefited from warm weather and clear skies. The event is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all.
The campfire ceremony on last day of Scout camp in August at Camp Seton was memorable. The Cub Scout awards ceremony took place in the new in the ampitheater under a perfect sunny sky. The camp allows boys to explore nature, go off the grid, so to speak. Some of the activities include fishing, hiking, sling-shot, archery, scout skills and shelter building.
In September the school year got back into full swing. In Cardinal stadium, Cardinal Crazies, cheerleaders and pep band made football games extra fun.
In November, the 17th annual GYCL cheerleading expo drew crowds. Five teams participated: Bulldogs, Crushers, Gators, Mavericks and Raisers — each with Bantams, Juniors and Seniors. The exhibition also included the Greenwich High School freshmen, junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders.
December meant the First Light festival in Old Greenwich. Darlene’s Heavenly Desires was a popular spot. Between the dancing Santa outside the Rummage Room, the human Santa outside Feinsod’s Hardware, and the illuminated gingerbread house, children were caught in their moments of awe. This year, storekeepers upped the ante in terms of both creativity and generosity, and singing groups and bands punctuated a vast stretch of Sound Beach Ave while horsedrawn carriages clopped along. It was a magical night.
On Dec. 7, Greenwich’s largest outdoor menorah lighting ceremony drew a crowd. After the menorah was illuminated, traditional Chanukah songs were sung by all, with children joining the Rabbi and band. Moving indoors, the joyous fun began with a lavish buffet, including traditional fried favorites just for Chanukah – latkes and jelly doughnuts (because of the central role that oil played in the Chanukah miracle.)
In a fitting New Year’s eve moment, YMCA of Greenwich Executive Director Bob DeAngelo organized a ball drop on the corner of Mason St and East Putnam Ave just before midnight, following a group warm-up led by Lamott Rollins in the gymnasium.
The event, billed as a midnight run/walk, marked the start of the YMCA of Greenwich’s 100th birthday year. What better way to commemorate 100 years than with an event that incorporates fitness, community and a healthy start to the new year?