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Brookfield's 2013 People of the Year

This year's honorees include three volunteers, an educator and a town employee who's always ready with a story and a smile.

We asked you, our readers, to submit nominations for Brookfield Patch’s 2013 People of the Year and you responded in kind.

There was a great outpouring of suggestions, from local business owners and teachers to activists and politicians.

Unfortunately, there were too many to include everyone nominated. Below you’ll find the top five most-nominated for recognition as People of the Year and some words about what makes them such an important part of the community.

Thanks to everyone who participated and all the people who work to make Brookfield what it is.

Bill Elsenboss


I nominate Bill Elsenboss. Mr. Elsenboss has spent decades making Brookfield a better place. He worked with the Town Crew, fixing things, plowing and generally making Brookfield function. He has overcome some hard things medically but never gives up. But most of all, he always has a ready smile and a warm hello. Bill Elsenboss represents what is best about Brookfield.
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Tirelessly works at town hall helping coworkers and residents and visitors! Always goes above and beyond! He's a wonderful man with a kind heart and incredible work ethic.
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He constantly works behind the scenes throughout the town's buildings making everything work properly and as it should. He seemingly always has a smile on his face and is always good for a conversation.
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Seriously, he should be considered. Truth be told... he holds no public office... and he may not be known fully to the towns people he serves... but he's there daily making things work... he truly makes that difference.

Peter Brady


Peter works tirelessly to help those in need around Brookfield. He is responsive and hard-working. His organization, Handy Dandy Handyman, accomplishes many good works.
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The Handy Dandy Handyman organization has been serving Brookfield and the greater Danbury community for almost 15 years. Peter Brady, HDHM President is a well-established household name in town. My friend has dedicated his retired years in life helping other fellow citizens who really need support and assistance given their life circumstances. The support ranges from a ride to a doctor appointment, to remodeling a home that is in disrepair. The HDHM sponsored "Rake n Bake" is held each November and remains the largest one-day volunteer event in the state of CT. It is now deemed by many as the right of passage to the end of the fall season. I appreciate the opportunity to nominate Peter for this well deserved award.
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This goes without saying... what can't this man do? He's always out there in the trenches helping folks in need... no matter what! Time after time... year after year! Sort of like a cross between the John Wayne and Will Rogers of Brookfield regarding philanthropists. He gets the job done! Brady is an ambassador of Brookfield.

Donald Winkely


Don is retired and has been very active as a volunteer in Brookfield. He is a member on the Board at the Brookfield Museum and Historical Society. He maintains many of the flowers seen around the signs in Brookfield. He is very active at St. Paul's Parish. Runs a Boy Scout troop and volunteers once a month at the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury. I am sure there is more, but that is all I am aware of.
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He has been a Scout Leader for more than 50 years, Troop 5, presented many young men for the Eagle Scout Award, he has been president of the board at the at the Historical Museum, organizes the bell ringers for the Salvation Army every year for many years, was Warden at Saint Paul's Church, he is a lay reader at Saint Paul's church, supports the local car club, visits the sick and shut-ins in local nursing homes and provides leadership for a Saturday Morning Men's Group for over 25 years. His concern is clearly for those in need in the community.

Joe Palumbo


He is one of the best people I know. He cares about every student at BHS and does a great job with them, our school and our community. He has taken our schools to new levels and he truly cares about improving our town. If you walked into BHS first thing in the morning it would put a smile on your face. There is Jolly Joe, smile, laughing engaging the students as they walk thru the door. He truly loves those kids! He is the BEST!
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Great with students, school and community.

Susan Ludwig


She volunteers countless hours to Brookfield’s pantry, which services over a hundred families here in Brookfield. She is one of the most warm, loving, kind and thoughtful people I have ever met. I look forward to volunteering with her each Monday because she is so full of light and good. She truly is humanity.
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Susan has organized the volunteer efforts for the Brookfield Food Pantry for many years. She makes sure there is food on the shelves for the clients, she updates the Facebook page, coordinates the numerous volunteers for putting away donations. She greets clients and helps them shop the pantry. In addition, she acknowledges every donation that arrives. There's no better person to rep Brookfield!

Other 2013 Nominees


High School music teacher John LaMendola
Brookfield Vision Care owner Dr. Pamela Schramm
Former First Selectman Bill Davidson
Chamber of Commerce Director Susan Murphy
Town Clerk Joan Locke
Musicians Gary Blumberg and Barbara Bock
Barber Gary Haggas
Parks and Rec Director Dennis DiPinto
Business owner Charlie Craemer
Huckleberry PE/Health teacher Danielle Olivier
Teacher of the Year Lisa Schang
Brookfield Lacrosse Club’s Kevin Madden
“Brookfield Public Advocate” host Bruce Sennick
Local activist and volunteer Kerry Swift
Brookfield Education Foundation member Carol Dores
Politico Matt Grimes
Jim Marks January 01, 2014 at 01:08 AM
I thought Ed Butt should also receive an honorable mention.. After 12 years of coaching the Boys Cross Country team, they finally won states!

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