Fairfield Fire Chief Richard Felner and his wife, Linda, received a surprise award at the St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation's recent 11th annual Sports Gala to honor first responders throughout Connecticut.
They were presented with the David Felner Caregiver Award, named for their son, David, a Stratford firefighter who died in 2002 from cancer. The award is given annually by the St. Vincent's Foundation to a first responder who has shown outstanding care and compassion for cancer patients.
"Dick and Linda Felner have been at the heart of this event from its inception 11 years ago. They were inspiring caregivers to their son, and to so many others in the community," Lyn McCarthy, the foundation's executive director, said at the Jan. 23 event. "Thanks to Dick and Linda Felner, we at St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound have been able to provide much needed support and assistance to so many first responders."
Keynote speaker at the event was former baseball player and coach Mookie Wilson, best remembered as the Met who hit the groundball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in game six of the 1986 World Series against the Red Sox. Proceeds from the Sports Gala go to St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound to benefit first responder personnel and their families battling cancer.
St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound is a charitable organization run by the St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation. The SWIM serves approximately 30,000 people annually by providing over 45 programs, including cancer education, screening, prevention and support programs at low or no cost for the uninsured and underinsured.
For more information, visit www.SwimAcrossTheSound.org or contact the St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation at 203-576-5451.