Volunteering helps keep Foley Award winner young

Linda Ramos

NAUGATUCK — When she moved to Naugatuck about 15 years ago, one of the first things Linda “Gigi” Ramos did was look to see where she could help out.

“It started with me going to a blight ordinance committee meeting,” Ramos said.

Since then, Ramos, 74, has volunteered throughout the borough, including on the Beautification Committee, with the Park and Recreation Department, and to raise funds for an ice rink and skate park in Naugatuck.

For her efforts, Ramos has been named the recipient of the 2018-19 Raymond K. Foley Award, which is presented by the Naugatuck Parent School Council. The award honors individuals or a group for demonstrating outstanding service and unselfish dedication to the betterment of Naugatuck children.

Melissa Teator, a member of the Naugatuck Parent School Council, said Ramos was chosen because of her dedicated volunteer work to benefit children and adults.

“She is always running some fundraising event, raising money to build or improve facilities for kids to enjoy in town,” Teator said. “She is absolutely an asset to our community.”

Although Ramos volunteers in a variety of areas around the borough, most of her efforts center on projects to help the borough’s youth.

Ramos, who has four grandchildren, said she wants to ensure children are able to have new and unique experiences as they grow up.

Ramos pointed to a summer program she helps run at Gunntown Passive Park and Nature Preserve, which will enter its second year this summer. The program exposes children to wildlife, such as butterflies and honey bees, and allows them to explore the area.

“There is something you can do for children of every age. It is important they have new adventures,” Ramos said.

Ramos said volunteering with children helps keep her active and young, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

“I am very lucky I have the ability to do it. I am so lucky I can still run around, do things and work with children,” Ramos said.

Ramos will be honored May 14 at the Foley Award Dinner at the Crystal Room, 98 School St. A social hour starts at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children. Tickets are available at the Board of Education office and all Naugatuck public schools.