Above and Beyond
Those among us who make a difference
Chris and Marlene Smith, supporters of many local organizations, at home.
Photo by Douglas Foulke
The holidays are a time of rejoicing and being thankful. They can also remind us of those less fortunate. Working behind the scenes as well as campaigning for the causes, the people profiled here are generous with their time and their resources.
Chris Smith, with his wife Marlene, has been a supporter of many charities and organizations for those in need. Smith has been on the board of After School Arts Program. Through its workshops and programs in the literary, performing, visual, and culinary arts this organization enables children to pursue their passions and to be exposed to worlds not easily open to them. He has spearheaded annual fund drives as well as making major contributions himself.
Marlene Smith has championed the Susan B Anthony Project and has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront the need to protect women who are victims of abuse and domestic violence. She was president and co-chair of the capital campaign that led to a new home for SBAP, enhanced programs, and established an endowment. The Smiths are recipients of the Philanthropy Award from the AFP, Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Separately they have supported many worthwhile causes. Together they are a force to be reckoned with, championing those in need and teaching us the importance of giving. Their awareness of what must be done and their ability to inspire others make this couple an asset to the community.
Susan Haber and her husband Murray believe in giving back. Murray cites one of the great traditions of Judaism: tzedakah. If you have more than you need you should share. And one shares because there are people in need and organizations that need help. The Habers epitomize the art of giving. Murray has worked in the affordable-housing business his entire career. He is a former board member of the Settlement Housing Fund, the Washington, DC, Community Housing Trust and the National Housing Council.
Locally Murray serves on the Foundation Board of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut and the Washington Community Housing Trust. He is a past board member of the Gunn Memorial Library. Susan serves on the boards of the After School Arts Program and the Gunn Memorial Library. She is a founder of the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life. The Habers also support Steep Rock, Greenwoods, Friends in Adoption, and Seed of Peace, among many others. Susan shares her husband’s belief that it’s the act of giving that is important and the knowledge that one is helping to improve the lives of those less fortunate.
Rev. Robert Tucker has been pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Litchfield for over twenty years. While it is of Catholic denomination, Fr. Tucker welcomes each and every person who enters the church, regardless of his or her beliefs. His sermons, while at times humorous and acerbic, stress the importance of being tolerant and understanding and reaching out to others.
In addition to his six weekly masses as well as two on Sunday at St. Anthony’s, Fr. Tucker has also assumed the role of Pastor at St. Thomas of Villanova Church in Goshen.
His daily travels take him to local hospitals, from Charlotte Hungerford in Torrington to St. Francis in Hartford and many in between, visiting the sick and the dying, offering last rites, comforting words, holding hands, and allaying fears. Fr. Tucker and his parish are also involved in supplying food for local charities. He worked with St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown by hosting dinners to honor Sandy Hook Elementary School victims and their families.