Brick-laying honors First Town Downtown award-winners

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Oct. 10, 2013
A brick was laid in commemoration of the 55th wedding anniversary of Betty and Joseph Mancarella. Photos by Lisa Stone.
A brick was laid in commemoration of the 55th wedding anniversary of Betty and Joseph Mancarella. Photos by Lisa Stone.

On Sept. 25, the Windsor Town Green was buzzing with people who were honoring the hard work and commitment of local residents by means of engraved bricks to be laid into the brick patio. These special “Heritage Bricks” were engraved with the names of people who are a strong part of Windsor.

First Town Downtown and Windsor’s Chamber of Commerce announced their 2013 award winners: Ray Embury, Michael Deneen and Mary Beth Welsh. Each was honored with an engraved patio brick for residents to enjoy for years to come. The presenter of the awards was Kristen Barbarotta.  The recipients placed their brick in an empty spot in the patio to remain there permanently.

Welsh is a member of FTDT, is the Economic Development Committee co-chair, and a realtor for Century 21. “I am extremely proud of this honor,” said Welsh. “I love Windsor. There are a great deal of changes going on here and they are all for the better. I am happy to be a part of that change. The green is the nucleus of the town and I am very happy to be a permanent part of that.”

Though First Town Downtown merged with the Windsor Chamber of Commerce and there is still only one board for both parts, some activities are separate.  FTDT helps find suitable tenants for vacant shops and office buildings. They also want to inspire a community feel in the town. They help raise money for local activities to promote unity and pride among the residents.

Ray Embury works for Konica/Minolta. “I had served as the director for the Windsor Chamber of Commerce for seven years,” said Embury. “I understand the needs of the organizations. Because of that, I have been successful in orchestrating help from Konica/Minolta to these groups. We donate printing for the events that they have as well as any other printing needs that they may have.  These are two great organizations to be a part of. People should look into becoming a part of the change in Windsor by becoming members.”

Embury has received the Chamber’s Ray of Hope Award in 2011 and the Hallas Award in 2012. “Out of all of my accomplishments, the one that I am the most proud of would have to be my 20-month-old grandson, Dawson,” said Embury. “He is the light of my life. I’m so proud of him.”

“We have a brick ceremony twice a year,” said FTDT coordinator Ashley Dufresne. “Usually it will be in the fall and spring. We have an annual awards dinner, and that is when we decide who will receive an honorary brick. We also sponsor ‘Taste of Windsor.’ We are always trying to get the town together to celebrate life in Windsor.”

Heritage Bricks are also available for purchase from the First Town Downtown website for $50 each and include three lines of text, up to 20 characters per line.

One such brick was engraved for Betty and Joseph Mancarella’s 55th wedding anniversary. “This was a great way to celebrate,” said Betty. “Our 55th is coming up in October. This is definitely something we will never forget. What a special way to be a part of Windsor forever.”

The Mancarellas’ daughter, Paula Pierce, was at the ceremony. “I’m so proud of my parents,” said Pierce, the secretary for the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. “They are truly wonderful people.”

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