NAUGATUCK — Jaime DaSilva recalled his niece, Elisa Sapata Platt, helping out with the Naugatuck Portuguese Club’s annual Sao Paio Feast as a young child.
She would help out in her own way, said DaSilva, who is chairman of the feast, before jokingly adding, or get in the way sometimes.
Platt continues to volunteer with the Sao Paio Feast, and has done so for over 20 years, a shining example of youth embracing an active role in their community. For all her efforts, Platt was honored as Portuguese Mayor of the Day during a ceremony Aug. 30 at Naugatuck Town Hall. The ceremony kicked off the 69th annual Sao Paio Feast.
“I’m very proud to see a young person be mayor of the day,” Naugatuck Portuguese Club President Roldao Carvalho said. “I’m very proud to see young people get involved in the community and the club. We need young blood. I hope you are going to be an example to other people that follow you.”
Platt, 30, grew up in Naugatuck and graduated from Naugatuck High School in 2007. Growing up, she said, she got involved with the Sao Paio Feast because of her aunts and uncles. Over the years, she said, volunteering at the feast taught her to be thankful and grateful and to want to stay involved in the festival.
Platt said she wants to inspire the youth to join and get involved in a well-knit Portuguese community to keep the club’s legacy alive.
“If we take in to consideration the following purpose, to pursue the younger audience to keep the Portuguese festival alive for many more years to come and help leave a legend that will follow for our Portuguese ancestors,” she said. “All the young people would provide a service. They would help those around us and it would help them feel they contributed something positive for supporting our Portuguese community.”