STRATFORD—McGivney Center launched its first Celebrity Breakfast in a winning style with pitching great David Cone on the mound and more than 350 enthusiastic fans at Vazzano’s Four Winds restaurant in Stratford.
The event, sponsored by Aquarion Water Company, raised over $60,000 to benefit the diocesan sponsored community center that provides after-school and evening learning and recreational programs to youth.
The five-time All-Star and Cy Young Award winner in 1994 thanked all those present for their commitment to creating a community for the youth in the Bridgeport area.
Cone also shared his appreciation for the McGivney Center, speaking on the importance of the sense of community and family that the center creates for the students they serve. Cone went on to share his experiences in the Yankee clubhouse, including stories about his time with (then catcher) Joe Girardi, Mike Mussina, and Joe Torre.
Before David Cone took the podium, Bishop Frank Caggiano delivered the invocation and reflected on the value of a neighborhood in the life of a child. “In a world where many are guarded or do not feel safe, we must create real neighborhoods where young people are respected, cared for, and loved. That is precisely what the McGivney Center does each and every day, and for that, I am deeply grateful,” said the Bishop
Youth speaker Briana Johnson won the hearts of the gathering with her thoughts on the role that McGivney Center plays in her life. She shared that in the future, she wants to be a nurse so that she can give back to the Center that has meant so much to her.
Bob Matthews, President of the Board of the McGivney Center, handled the welcome, while Terry O’Connor, executive director, served as master of ceremonies. Board members Ken Martin and Sean Rabinowtiz served as event co-chairs.
The McGivney Community Center was founded in 1992 to create an educational “safe haven” by providing youth with After-School and Evening Programs, as well as Summer Camp. Its mission to provide stimulating and enriching programs that foster academic success and self-esteem.
Programs include homework assistance, enrichment activities, Friday club, cooking classes, computers, recreation, holiday events, school vacation program, youth council tutorial services, and summer camp.
The McGivney Center was named for Fr. Michael Joseph McGivney (August 12, 1852 – August 14, 1890) a priest from New Haven who worked tirelessly for the poor and founded the Knights of Columbus to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. in March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI declared McGivney “Venerable” in recognition of his “heroic virtue”.
The McGivney Center is located at 338 Stillman Street on the St. Charles Borromeo Parish campus in Bridgeport. Phone: 203.333.2789 or visit www.mcgivney.org.