Rotary Club of Greenwich celebrates citizens

From left, Lisa Weicker, Peter Tesei, and Scot Weicker.

From left, Lisa Weicker, Peter Tesei, and Scot Weicker. —Christine Chung

The Rotary Club motto is “service above self,” and Rotarians seek to exemplify this philosophy not just in their actions but in their lives, day in and day out.

For the past 18 years, the Rotary Club of Greenwich has chosen members of the community who exemplify its mission and humanitarian values. This year’s honorees, Lisa and Scot Weicker, were recognized at a dinner on May 1 at Round Hill Country Club.

The couple was honored as the 2014 Citizens of the Year before more than 100 Greenwich residents and Rotarians. They grew up in Greenwich and have resided here for decades with their three children, Amanda, Melissa and Matthew.

In addition to being president of SBW Events Group, Mr. Weicker also plans and organizes the Greenwich Town Party and Norwalk’s Live Green Connecticut Festival. He also serves on the board of directors of both Greenwich and Stamford Emergency Medical Services, American Red Cross, the Mar Fund, the Lions Club, and the Urban League of Southern Connecticut. Ms. Weicker is a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty and also finds time to work with the Greenwich Point Conservancy, Beach Ball, the Arch Street Teen Center, Greenwich Green and Clean, and the Greenwich Junior League. She’s also chaired numerous fund-raisers for the local public schools.

Club officials said the Weickers reflect the Rotary’s goals to improve the human condition through humanitarian, intercultural and educational activities. In the words of the Rev. Stephen DeLuca, they “make the world around them a better place to live.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei took to the podium to speak about the couple, whom he has known for more than two decades. He spoke about their family history, as the children of civic-minded parents who stressed community service. Ms. Weicker’s mother, Mary, has been the director of Greenwich Green and Clean since 1986, and her father, Lloyd, is an active attorney who continues to serve the town in multiple capacities, including on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). Mr. Weicker’s father, Lowell Weicker, served as a congressman, senator and governor of Connecticut after beginning his political career as a selectman in Greenwich.

Mr. Tesei said he counts Lowell Weicker as one of the reasons he was standing there before the audience as first selectman.

“I probably wouldn’t be standing before you today as the first selectman had it not been for Scot’s father, Lowell, who had given me an opportunity to get involved in politics at a very young age,” said Mr. Tesei. “So his legacy carries far and wide, and certainly I attribute my service in Greenwich to his recognition of me at a very formative time.”

In addition to honoring the couple, Mr. Tesei recognized their parents for passing down their love of community service, calling them an “integral part of the Greenwich community for decades.” He thanked them for contributing both their time and considerable talents to the betterment of the community and its residents, and for the good foundation and values they instilled in their children.

“The genetics are clear, they’re passed on and they’re exhibited in the works that each undertake day in and day out, in both Lisa and Scot,” said Mr. Tesei. “And they’re a wonderful partnership, and that in itself is often rare to find, when you have a husband and wife who share in interests as they do in bettering their communities and helping others.”

Mr. Tesei then delivered the official town proclamation, announcing May 1, 2014, as Lisa and Scot Weicker Day. In the absence of state Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36th) and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Mr. Tesei also read their issued proclamations and presented several certificates.

He was followed by Jonathan Moffly, of Moffly Media, a former classmate of Mr. Weicker at Greenwich County Day School. Mr. Moffly reminisced about their adventures and misadventures as teenagers, and to resounding applause, presented the “Greenwich Giving Power Couple” with a special edition of Greenwich Magazine.

State, federal and local accolades aside, it was the support from their friends, family, and Rotarians that seemed to mean the most to the couple.

“I would like to extend our personal and heartfelt thanks to all of the Greenwich Rotarians for this honor. When this was first brought up to us, we couldn’t believe that we were the ones selected, and to have been chosen to be citizens of the year, we’re so humbled and so thankful to all the Rotarians for choosing us, so we thank you for that,” Mr. Weicker said.

The Weickers both thanked their parents for leading by example. They credited their dedication to civic and community service to lessons learned from their parents, simply calling their contributions part of their makeup and fabric.

“It is a continual thing and the cycle goes on, and we have our parents who led by example and our friends lead by example and hopefully we have all made the world a better place,” said Ms. Weicker.

Mr. Weicker called the event one of the “most remarkable evenings” he and his wife had ever shared, and thanked the Rotarians involved in planning the event. This year’s Citizens of the Year benefit was chaired by Russ Harden, with help from fellow Rotarians, including Sally Parris, Kathleen DiGiovanna, and Rotary Club of Greenwich President Larry Larson.

Mr. Weicker then turned the spotlight on the Rotary, praising the nonprofit organization for its good works both locally and internationally. On a global level, the Rotary works to eradicate polio, donates medical equipment and supplies, provides educational grants and scholarships, and more. In Greenwich, where it was chartered in 1921, it works behind the scenes to support such local organizations as the Boys & Girls Club, United Way, Kids in Crisis, and Neighbor to Neighbor.

“The Rotary is an amazing organization. … It’s amazing what the Rotary does internationally. What I have an even greater admiration for is what the Rotary does locally,” said Mr. Weicker. “The Rotary is an integral part of the Greenwich community and we just need to spread the message of the Rotary for all the good work they do throughout our town and all of the lives that they touch throughout Greenwich and throughout the world.”

As it stands today, the Rotary Club of Greenwich counts more than 70 members spanning all professions and interests, banded together by their commitment to supporting worthy local and international causes. The nonreligious, nongovernmental club is open to every race, culture and creed. In other words, it’s a group that represents an eclectic cross section of business and professional leaders motivated by one thing: to contribute to the community.

Overall, the evening was a celebration of “good citizens” Mr. and Mrs. Weicker, and behind them, all of the Rotarians also leading lives of service above selves, building goodwill and peace in the community and in the world, one day at a time.

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