Lending a Hand & a Hammer



Even the imminent threat of Hurricane Irene couldn’t keep volunteers away from Greenwich Police Sgt. Roger Petrone’s North Stamford home late last summer. Total strangers, joined by some of Petrone’s fellow officers, demolished walls, hoisted chunks of concrete and spruced the place up with fresh paint.

Petrone, a seventeen-year GPD veteran, has amyotropic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Since his diagnosis five years ago, he’s been the inspiration for several fundraising events in town. But this project was more personal: Petrone’s home was renovated to make it more accessible.

When Petrone finally got to see the results of the volunteers’ labors—including his new wheelchair accessible bathroom—he insisted he didn’t deserve it. But no one who pitched in to make his life a little easier would agree. “When we started telling people what we wanted to do they inevitably said, ‘Count me in,’” says Greenwich Police Lt. Richard Cochran, who helped coordinate the project along with the nonprofit Greenwich Military Covenant of Care, which supports members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

Petrone, who patrolled New York harbor in a Greenwich police boat in the hours after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, also received $15,000 worth of free painting as the first recipient of A.G. Williams Painting Company’s “Home in Need” grant. “We wanted to honor someone in the community who was a 9/11 first-responder,” explains Doug Kitchen, Connecticut sales representative for A.G. Williams. “And the more we learned about Sgt. Petrone, the more we wanted to help.”

When Petrone saw the results of the volunteer’s hard work he was “surprised and a little guilty.” “I know there are people far more deserving,” he says.  Yet he is indebted to the volunteers who made it possible for him to maneuver his wheelchair into an open, flat-surfaced shower. “I know from my career in public safety just how dangerous confined spaces can be to the elderly and physically disabled,” he says.

The officer was especially thrilled that his nine-year-old daughter, Sydney, was included. Her bedroom was updated with bright paint and new bedding courtesy of Covenant of Care volunteers, according to Mary Jane Huffman, vice chairman of its board. They also treated her to a surprise ninth birthday party.

 “Regardless of the difficulties I am faced with, seeing my daughter happy will always bring me happiness,” says Petrone. “I am forever grateful to everyone involved.”

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Meet Bestselling Author Ayelet Waldman

    2014.10.30
     @ Organic Planet

    On October 30 at 10am, JCC Greenwich will present New York Times bestselling author Ayelet Waldman, who will discuss her latest novel Love and...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

    Meet the author of this powerful memoir. Joshua Safran is an author, attorney, occasional rabbi, and nationally recognized advocate for...


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