Tree Lighting Brings Holiday Joy

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Christmas came to St. Vincent’s on November 30 as the 18 foot Christmas tree received its  crowning touch of the Snow White Angel during the 14th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting  held in the lobby.

President/CEO Vince Caponi  welcomed the gathering of employees and visitors and introduced young soloist Kiara Simmons, a senior at Fairchild Wheeler Magnet School in Bridgeport, who sang O Holy Night, and perennial favorites, Trumbull’s Hillcrest Middle School Chorus, led by Margaret Winters, who performed a selection of carols and holiday songs.

Santa, Mrs. Claus, and  Jingles and Jangles the elves (who strongly resembled St. Vincent’s staff members Jose Ramon, Maureen Parmelee, Nicole Ashe and Lindsay Knauf),  made an appearance distributing candy canes, while the Grinch (Lou Moretti) and his “reindeer” Cesar were unsuccessful in stopping the Christmas cheer from spreading to a very large crowd. “Alberta Spruce” the Christmas Tree (Dee Ashe) foiled the Grinch’s efforts by stealing the show as she danced with abandon  to Hillcrest’s rendition of “O Christmas Tree.”

But of course the most magical moment came as Employee of the Year Dolores Miele, a popular 22-year veteran of St. Vincent’s got a “lift” to the top of the tree compliments of Engineering’s Dan Rodriguez to put on the finishing touch, while the light switch was flipped to illuminate it and create a truly beautiful sight. Vince Caponi described Dolores as “a dynamo who has served not only as executive assistant to four presidents but as their colleague and confidant.” She attends St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport.

Thanks go to Chief Mission Integration Officer Bill Hoey and Mission Services Coordinator Lucinda Ames for coordinating the event with help from Deb Botticelli of Pastoral Care; Kiara Simmons and Hillcrest Choraleers led by Margaret Winters; Dietary & Environmental for preparing refreshments and setting up; Andy Bess  and Steve Radziewicz for setting up and operating the sound system with support from Deb Guerra; “Engineering Elves” including Ray Figlar, Dan Rodriguez, Chris Silva, Izzy Marrero,  Andy Moore and his young assistant Ryan, Robert Macolino & their leader Tim Clarke who all set up tree and decorations; all the  volunteers who assisted, and especially, Jose Roman, Maureen Parmelee, Dee Ashe, Lou Moretti, Nicole Ashe and Lindsay Knauf for spreading holiday cheer.