Wilton resident marks 20 years of service
Wilton’s Billy Tolles was the guest of honor at a party April 6 celebrating his 20th anniversary working at Norwalk Public Library. Tolles is a client of STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way.
“I really love my job and the people I work with,” he said in a press release announcing the party. “I like being helpful and making a difference.” He was joined at the party by library staff and patrons, STAR staff and clients, friends and family, including his twin brother and mother, and other family members from out of state, some of whom he hadn't seen in 20 years.
At the party, Tolles was presented with an engraved clock for his years of service and he and guests enjoyed a decorated cake and other refreshments.
Tolles started working as part of the building services crew at the library on April 7, 1998. Since that day, he has been a mainstay at the main library on Belden Avenue. For 20 years, four days a week, five hours a day, he gets in early, cleans up around the building, vacuums, dusts, sweeps the stairs and empties the wastebaskets.
“Billy comes to work fired up and ready to go,” said library director Christine Bradley. “Billy has his routine but it is not just about coming in to empty the wastebaskets. This is our time for a chat to catch up on the news of the day or to hear about his iPhone or his motorized bicycle.
“Billy brings out the best in all of us,” she said.
STAR, Inc., which has served the greater Norwalk area for over 65 years, placed Tolles in his position through its customized job placement program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). His is among 67 similar job placements in the community made by the agency.
“Billy is a truly wonderful person and is a testament to the mutually beneficial partnership for everyone involved in hiring people impacted by I/DD,” said Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR.
STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a nonprofit organization based in Norwalk to serve individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. Information: starct.org