Released 20 September 2010
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SOUP, SOAP & HOPE EVENT HONORS ROBERT FIONDELLA
HARTFORD, CT - "The Salvation Army stands for hope, when other flames are extinguished and other stars go dim, this one light continues to shine brightly." The word "Hope" was highlighted during the Army's annual Soup, Soap and Hope Event, Thursday, September 16th at the Bond Hotel. When you entered the lobby, you were greeted by the Army's brass ensemble playing inspiration music as you waited for the elevator to the ballroom floor.
In the ballroom, the centerpieces were the familiar red kettles, surrounded by a soup cup and ingredients, a bar of soup and a message of hope for each guest. As the ceremony started The Greater Hartford Advisory Board Chairman, David J. Lemkuil welcomed the guests and introduced the master of ceremonies, WDRC local radio personality Brad Davis. Brad entertained the audience with stories of his recent recovery from surgery. He also spoke of the hope that The Salvation Army provides for so many. The Reverend Gary Miller, our neighbor and Senior Minister of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church performed the invocation. The Brass Ensemble performed the National Anthem and the evening began.
After the national anthem was over, Brad Davis introduced Heidi Capodanno, Vice President of Retail Marketing at TD Bank the presenting sponsor of the event. Mrs. Capodanno spoke of the Army's child care program the Right Place and shared with the audience her mother's inspiring experience manning kettles during the holiday season. She then introduced a short video presentation titled "The Salvation Army is... The video was entertaining and well received as it had a diverse group of people speak on what The Salvation Army is all about.
The keynote speaker, Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts spoke to the crowd about the obstacles faced in today's society. He pointed out the many services that The Salvation Army offers and spoke of the Army's much needed commitment to society.
Almost 200 friends and supporters of the Army attended the fund raiser. They were introduced to the various soups provided by the local restaurants. Guests made frequent trips to the different serving stations. Hot Tomato's served Lobster Chowder; the Salute Restaurant prepared Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds; the Hook & Ladder provided "Mean Green" a combination of spinach, broccoli and asparagus; the Lincoln Culinary Institute with chef Eric Maak and students Sara and Bea prepared Posolé a Latin soup with beans, corn and pork; City Steam served Tuscan Sausage & White Bean Soup; while our host Ann Howard @ The Bond kept us filled with a delicious Split Pea and Ham Soup. The restaurants added fun, flavor and panache to the event and their generous contributions help make the evening a success.
The award ceremony immediately followed with Lt. Col. Barbara A. Hunter presenting the Army's highest civic award, the "Others" Award to Robert F. Fiondella, retired President and CEO of the Phoenix Companies. Mr. Fiondella accepted the award, thanked the Army and spoke of his passion for giving back. Mr. Fiondella said he lives by ten two letter words, simple "if it is to be, it is up to me,' and he takes it upon himself to improve the condition of underserved youth in our community. The event was a success, thanks to the help of many. Members of the Greater Hartford Advisory Board worked hard to make this event what it has become. With the support of the funders such as Mr. Fiondella, the Salvation Army's light of hope will continue to shine brightly.
(Pictured left to right. Major Doug Hart, The Salvation Army Southern New England Divisional Secretary; Heidi Capodanno, Vice President of Retail Marketing at TD Bank; Brad Davis, WDRC local radio personality; Robert F. Fiondella, retired President and CEO of the Phoenix Companies; Lt. Col. Barbara Hunter, Southern New England Divisional Commander; Daryl K. Roberts, Hartford, CT Chief of Police.)