Tag Archives: Westport Police Benevolent Association

4 Ways To Make A Difference

Westporters care.

We care about our friends and neighbors. We care about kids and older folks in need, here and in nearby towns and cities.

We want to help — particularly in this holiday season.

But we don’t always know how.

Here are a few great ideas.


The Westport Police Department Local Union #2080 and Police Benevolent Association host an annual Holiday Toy Drive. Thousands of donations benefit underprivileged children throughout Fairfield County, and beyond.

Westport police officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — and cash donations — in the ASF Sports parking lot (1560 Post Road East) on Saturdays and Sundays, December 8, 9, 15 and 16, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Collection boxes will also be set up from Monday (December 3) through December 16, at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road (24 hours a day)
  • Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
  • ASF Sports, 1560 Post Road East (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sundays 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Questions? Email jruggiero@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-6017.

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Westport’s Department of Human Services annual, confidential Holiday Giving Program helps over 400 residents each year.

Donors contribute gift cards to local stores, supermarkets and gas stations. Cash donations are welcome too; Human Services staff uses them to make purchases for clients.

Checks (payable to “DHS Family Programs,” with “Holidays” on the memo line) and gift cards may be mailed to or dropped off at: Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Room 200, Westport, CT 06880.

For more information, email hsyouth@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1069. Individuals and families needing extra support during the holiday season should call 203-341-1050.


A new online option helps Westport’s most vulnerable residents this season — and beyond. Over 400 individuals and families in town meet the federal poverty level.

The “WeCare Westport” portal provides access to 7 funds:

The Barbara Butler Fund connects at-risk youth with enrichment opportunities.

The Residents in Need Fund provides emergency financial assistance for food, shelter, utilities, medical expenses and other critical needs to Westport residents meeting income guidelines.

The Senior Client Needs Fund serves seniors on limited or fixed incomes during periods of financial hardship.

The Family-to-Family Fund supports offers help with unforeseen expenses during times of financial hardship.

Toquet Hall, located downtown, offers social, cultural and recreational opportunities to teenagers.

Prevention and Educational Programming gives free education and awareness events addressing substance abuse, mental health and parenting education.

Donors who want to help but have no preference of which population to assist can direct funds to the Area of Most Need. This assists residents of any age, when most urgently needed.

To donate to any of these 7 funds, click here.


In recent years, Bridgeport’s Cesar Batalla School has become a favorite destination for Westporters hoping to help youngsters enjoy the holidays.

The school serves children in high poverty brackets. Some live in shelters. 100% are fed breakfast and lunch at school.

Their families have no money for basic necessities — let alone holiday gifts.

Westporters can provide some of those gifts, for children in pre-K through 3rd grade.

It’s easy: Click here to order online from Amazon. Orders from the Wish List will be shipped directly to the school. They are also accepting donations at the Family Resource Center in the school (606 Howard Avenue, Bridgeport).  Call 203-579-8526 for drop-off times. For more information, email blabrador@bridgeportedu.net.

In addition, Lucy’s (23 Jesup Road, next to Green and Tonic ) is taking donations for the Cesar Batalla School. Unwrapped new toys can be dropped off Mondays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays noon to 5pm).

If interested, act now! Gifts will be given by Santa on December 20.

In 2016, Westporters donated these gifts to the Cesar Batalla School.

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(These are only a few ways to help. To add your own favorite cause, click “Comments” below.)

 

Man In Blue Wears Pink

Foti Koskinas — Westport’s popular police chief — is a firm believer in the importance of community involvement. Under his leadership, the department is involved in a broad array of good causes.

As a leader, he knows the importance of walking the talk.

So it’s no surprise he’s part of Real Men Wear Pink. He’s honoring a friend fighting breast cancer — and advocating for his wife and 2 young daughters.

Foti’s goal is to raise $10,000. As of this morning, he’s nearly 40% there. (Click here to help.)

But he’s not the only cop raising awareness of the disease.

For the next few weeks, a pink Maserati will roll through town.

It’s not there to pull you over.

The eye-popping vehicle — courtesy of Maserati of Westport — reinforces that this October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

You can see it tomorrow at the Saugatuck train station (Sunday, October 1, 8 a.m. to noon). The Concours d’Caffeine is a fundraiser for the Westport Police Benevolent Association Scholarship Fund.

What goes around, comes around.

Cops Collect Toys For Tots

As the holiday season roars into overdrive, we’re (happily) overwhelmed with ways to help the less fortunate. All across town, organizations do their part to bring a little joy to those who truly need it.

“06880” can’t mention all of them. But if you’re looking for one particularly worthy cause, here it is.

The Westport Police local union and Police Benevolent Association are holding their annual toy drive. Each year, they distribute thousands of gifts to children who otherwise would have none, in Fairfield County and beyond. It runs through December 16.

Collection boxes for new, unwrapped toys are set up at several locations:

  • Police headquarters, 50 Jesup Road, 24 hours a day.
  • Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East, store hours.
  • Whole Foods, 399 Post Road West, store hours.
  • Renato’s Jewelers, 1765 Post Road East, store hours.

In addition, police officers will be in the ASF parking lot the next 2 weekends (December 10, 11, 17, 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to accept toys and cash donations.

And to personally thank you for your generosity.

Westport Police

 

Help For The Holidays

The holiday season has begun.  Local stores have “Christmas” (can I say that?) decorations up, and Wal-Mart — thankfully not a local store — has announced it will open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” Walmart’s chief merchandising officer said.  (No word on what Walmart’s hard-working, non-unionized workers associates think about punching in late on Thanksgiving night.)

While “06880” cannot become a bulletin board for every worthy help-the-less-fortunate endeavor this winter (bah, humbug!), 3 special events have caught our eye.

First:  Once again, the Conservative Synagogue is partnering with gourmet bakers, caterers and fine food outlets to provide Thanksgiving pies — while making a donation to Homes With Hope.

The “Share the Pie” fundraiser offers apple, pecan and pumpkin pies for $20.  The deadline to order is this Wednesday (November 16); pies can be picked up Tuesday, November 22 at the synagogue parking lot.

Click here to order, or call 203-454-4673.

Second:  The Department of Human Services is again sponsoring a holiday giving program for Westport residents.

Those who can contribute — gift cards for food, gas and discount department stores, for example, along with tax-deductible donations of money that’s used to fulfill last-minute requests — do so.  Human Services acts as a facilitator, protecting the confidentiality of donors and recipients.

To donate — or request help — email humansrv@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1069.

Third:  The Westport Police Department local union 2080 and Police Benevolent Association are again sponsoring a toy drive.  New, unopened and unwrapped toys — as well as cash donations — will be collected at police headquarters any time through December 18.

There are plenty of ways to do good this holiday season.  These are just 3.

And none require a trip to Walmart at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night.

Haiti Hits Home

For many Westporters, the news from Haiti is devastating, despondent — and distant.

For Wilgins Altera, it’s immediate, visceral, and all too real.

Wilgins Altera (Photo by Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com)

Born in Brooklyn to Haitian immigrants, at age 7 he moved with his family to Providence, Rhode Island.  He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2007 with a degree in criminal justice, psychology and accounting.

Last February 2 — almost exactly a year ago — he was sworn in as an officer of the Westport Police Department.

Over 30 members of his extended family live in Port-au-Prince, or nearby.  All are accounted for — but 2 died in the earthquake’s rubble.

Many of his fellow officers did not know of Wilgins’ Haitian background.  As soon as they heard, they rushed to help.

“Everyone has been very concerned and supportive,” he said.  “They ask all the time how my family is doing.  They really care.”

A captain discussed the possibility of sending Wilgins to Haiti, to help.

The Police Benevolent Association raised funds for relief.  Many members donated generously.

Of course, help — through organizations like Save the Children and the Red Cross — is still needed.

“Every day there, people still need food and medicine,” Wilgins said.  “It’s great to see so many people involved.  And it’s not just Westport, but around the nation and the world.”

Police Benevolence

This month’s greening of Pasacreta Park shined a spotlight on both the Riverside Avenue hideaway and its namesake, a much-loved police captain who died at age 50.

Many volunteers helped turned the park into a place of beauty; many donors’ dollars helped too.  Among the contributors was the Westport Police Benevolent Association.  That’s natural — Eugene Pasacreta was one of their own.

Westport PBAIt’s natural too that the PBA donated $6,000 for the renovation of Luciano Park.  That spot — across from Jasmine Restaurant, adjacent to the railroad station parking lot — is also named for a beloved cop who died too young (former chief Sam Luciano).

But the PBA does much more than hand money to parks named for policemen.  In just the past 3 years, the organization has helped fund:

  • Field of  Dreams
  • The American Cancer Society
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Camperships through Westport’s Human Services Department
  • Governor’s Horse Guard
  • March of Dimes
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • Sportsmen of Westport
  • Hole in the Wall Gang
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
  • The Hundred Club of Connecticut (for families of cops killed in the line of duty)
  • Special Olympics
  • Staples Gridiron Club
  • Westport Rotary Club
  • PAL
  • At least a dozen police officers, firefighters and EMTs who were injured or ill (including $5,000 to an officer with a tumor; they then raised an additional $12,000 for her at a fundraiser)

In addition, the PBA:

  • Donated a new bike and helmet for a local teenager
  • Collected donations for veterans in hospitals
  • Collected toys for kids each holiday season
  • Paid for Westport Inn accommodations for a cross-country bike rider
  • Provided Halloween glow sticks to children
  • Helped pay for their own Honor Guard’s new uniforms

There’s more.   But you get the idea.

The Police Benevolent Association is one of Westport’s most consistent, lowest-profile benefactors.  Think of that the next time you get a low-key appeal for funds.

Or they pull you over for yapping on your cell phone.