And Your Orange Volunteer Firefighter Of The Year Is….

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Mar 092016

IMG_1151On Tuesday evening, the Orange Volunteer Fire Association held its annual dinner, during which service awards were presented along with the announcement of the Firefighter of the Year.

One dedicated volunteer who joined the department in September 1960 and recently retired after 55 years of service, was honored as the oldest, active member of the Association.

That person is Elfo (Al) Pol, 90, who with his wife (Anita)’s blessing served the town and continued to do so until his retirement.

He served as a Captain and Treasurer in the department, and he dedicated a lot of IMG_1160time to community service: He was Chief of Staff for the 2006 Memorial Day Parade and Parade Marshal; He served as a volunteer firefighter and Legionnaire, Treasurer of the American Legion Post 127 and was a WWII Army Veteran. He also was named an Orange Living Treasure in 2015.

He will still be involved with the Firemen’s Carnival.

In recognition of all his service, First Selectman James Zeoli declared March 8, 2016 as Elfo “Al” Pol Day in Orange.

Chief John Knight presented Anita with a bouquet of flowers and thanked her for IMG_1193her generosity and understanding during Al’s half century of service.

That said, the time came to present the Firefighter of the Year award. The nominating committee chose Al Pol for the honor.

Congratulations, Al, and Thank You for your service.


Thea Torrenti Honored at Orange Ceremony on Monday

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Oct 212014

Thea Torrenti and her family.

Thea Torrenti and her family.

For more than a decade, the town of Orange has been observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month with what I call the Pink Ribbon Wreath Ceremony. 

Click link for a VIDEO of this event

Town resident, Anita Pol crafted a straw wreath festooned with little pink ribbons on which safety pins are attached so they can be removed and worn by anyone who would like to show their support for survivors and victims of breast cancer. 

Each year, even as she grows older, Anita still replenishes the ribbons so the wreath that adorns the front door at Town Hall is full and beautiful and ready to share with the public. 

The Pink Ribbon Wreath Ceremony grew over the years to include cancer survivors from Orange as the honorees, usually one person who shared her story (Angela Booth and Debbie Davis are among the past honorees), but a few years ago several honorees, including a man, were chosen to share what they’d endured from discovery to treatment and some, being declared cancer free. 

The 2014 honoree is Thea Torrenti, who, in 2007 was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer after her sister insisted she go for her first mammogram. 

Thea said early detection is key, a positive attitude and a good support team are what got her through. Last year she again was diagnosed with cancer, but instead of letting it get her down, she said, “I forged ahead, knowing I would get through this.”

First Selectman Jim Zeoli read a proclamation, then Thea and Karen Goldberg hung the wreath on the front door. 

This year’s ceremony was well attended, with Thea’s family support group, her fellow survivors from the “Boob Crew,” State Rep. Paul Davis, Town Hall employees, and several residents.

The First Selectman’s office and Town Clerk’s Office are accepting donations and selling items to benefit the Susan G Komen Cancer Organization.