Former Wilton Selectman Dick Dubow and Dr. Susan G. Weinberger of Norwalk have been named recipients of this year’s Distinguished Citizen Awards by the Riverbrook Regional YMCA. They will be honored at the YMCA Community Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Millstone Farm.
A tradition of the Y when it was the Wilton Family YMCA, the Distinguished Citizen Award has been given to more than 83 individuals, businesses and organizations since the Community Celebration began in 1986. It honors outstanding volunteers who have served their communities on a long-term basis and made a positive difference that benefits the Y’s expanded range of Norwalk, Redding and Wilton and its residents.
Through the years, Dubow has generously offered his time and talents to serve others in Wilton. He and his wife Anna Jo moved to Wilton 40 years ago with their five children and had two more children born in Wilton. For almost all that time, he has actively served the town as a volunteer.
He has served multiple times on three of Wilton’s major boards:
- Board of Selectmen (1996-1999, and 2011-2017).
- Board of Education (1979-1987 and 2007-2011).
- Board of Finance (1999-2007).
During his tenure on the Board of Finance, he served as chair and vice chair. He was the architect of the pension funding policy by which the town’s contribution inversely increased as the funding percentage decreased, an achievement that helped reassure Moody’s assigning Wilton its highest credit score of Aaa.
Dubow has also served on numerous volunteer committees including the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee, the Cider Mill Building Committee, the Wilton High School Building Committee, the Wilton Retirement and Pension Fund, the Tri-Board Committee to adopt cost-containment strategies, the Land-Use Advisory Committee, the Committee of Six to address the deficit in the Board of Education’s self-funded medical insurance reserve fund, and the Wilton Board of Education Program and Facilities Planning Committee.
In the greater Fairfield County community he has been a longtime volunteer for the Jewish Senior Services of Southern Connecticut where he has served as chair of the Board of Trustees, chair of the Investment Committee and vice chairman of the foundation. Additionally, he has also served on the Board of Trustees for Manhattan Country Day School, served several terms on the Board of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (vice chairman for Legislative Relations), several years on the board of the Wilton Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a trustee of the Wilton Historical Society.
“Dick serves as an example of an exemplary volunteer filled with modesty in what he accomplished,” a press release from the YMCA said. “Dick’s humility is as real as his greatness. He has some unique skills and abilities that he has used in every position in which he has served. He is completely non-partisan and is always able to see a clear way to a solution through a muddy problem. These qualities have made Dick an invaluable volunteer to the Town of Wilton. Wilton is a vibrant community because of people like Dick.”
Dr. Susan G. Weinberger’s (aka “Dr. Mentor”) moved to Norwalk with her husband, Dr. Norman and their two children 47 years ago. Her pioneering efforts in school-based mentoring began in the early 1980s when she developed the Norwalk Mentoring Program for the Norwalk Public Schools — the first school-based mentoring program in the country.
Since then, she has been at the forefront of mentoring’s evolutionary growth — as an educator and an inspirational cheerleader. The guiding principle she established for this program is unchanged: matching students with positive adult role models has a profound impact on the lives of those students. Her work has been published widely and the program she designed has been replicated in the United States, Bermuda and Canada and internationally, impacting the lives of thousands of young people.
Weinberger’s volunteer contributions to the Greater Norwalk area include leadership board positions on:
- Norwalk Community College Foundation.
- Norwalk Mentor Scholarship Fund.
- United Way of Norwalk & Wilton.
- Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield.
- United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
She has collaborated with several lower Fairfield County organizations including Person-to-Person (P2P) advancing their Mentoring for Success Scholarship program; the Marketing Chair for the Carver Center as marketing chair; Norwalk ACTS; and the Norwalk Symphony. She will chair the symphony’s 80th anniversary gala next year.
She is a recipient of the August F. Serra Community Engagement Award for a Lifetime of Excellence in Community Engagement from the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County and the William A. O’Neill Legacy Award from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership in Wethersfield. In 1993, she traveled to the East Room of the White House to receive President Clinton’s Volunteer Action Award for her work in mentoring.
“Her passion and efforts in this field have made a tremendous difference and is a natural part of her life,” the YMCA said in a statement. “For students and mentors alike, the positive experiences gained in her programs inform their interactions with others in the community and, as a result, improve quality of life for us all, thanks to Susan.”
The Riverbrook Regional YMCA and Fairfield County Bank will present the Community Celebration. For ticket information, call 203-762-8384, ext. 273 or visit ymca.givesmart.com.