“Evening of Hope,” Operation Hope’s largest annual fundraiser is tonight, and we couldn’t be more excited to honor and celebrate some special people who have been longtime champions of our mission to end homelessness and end hunger, one person at a time. Please meet this year’s Community Heroes!

The Reverend Spollett/Rabbi Waldman Award – Honoree Alexander J. Trembicki, Esq. is a partner with Lynch, Trembicki & Boynton serving Westport in civil litigation, commercial law and business law cases. Alex has served on Operation Hope’s Board of Directors since 2005 and as Chairman from 2008 to 2010. Alex was instrumental in guiding Operation Hope through a difficult time after the stock market crash in the mid 2000s. Alex has dedicated himself to Fairfield through many volunteer efforts, including serving on the Town of Fairfield Representative Town Meeting (RTM), Fairfield Little League, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and Board member and past President at Brooklawn Country Club, the host of this year’s Evening of Hope. Alex lives in Fairfield with his wife, Cynthia, and they have three grown children. Alex demonstrates his commitment to community time and time again, and his skills are assets to the many organizations that benefit from his guidance and service. This award is named after Reverend Spollet (First Church Congregational) and Rabbi Waldman (Congregation Beth El) for their extraordinary vision and courage that led to the birth of Operation Hope.

The Stewart B. and Lucie C. McKinney Award – Honoree People’s United Bank has had community giving as its central mission for more than 176 years. The People’s United Community Foundation, the Bank and its employees take pride in its collective legacy of supporting the needs of individuals, families, businesses and entire communities across the Bank’s Northeast footprint. People’s United’s ongoing efforts consist of charitable giving, education and outreach, community reinvestment and employee volunteerism. People’s United’s support of Operation Hope runs deeps. On the banking side, People’s United provided foundational support and mortgage lending to purchase affordable housing units, helping Operation Hope build out its portfolio of 58 units of housing, serving low income neighbors as they move from homeless situations to more permanent housing. Leaders in their organization, People’s United employees often serve on Operation Hope’s Board of Directors, lending their skills and time to advance Operation Hope’s mission to end hunger and end homelessness. People’s United is proud of its ongoing commitment to Connecticut, helping communities grow and thrive. This award is named after our former Congressman and his wife who initiated federal legislation that created public policy, critical funding, and a force for those who struggle with homelessness.

The Jacky Durrell Award – Honoree The Bridgeport ladies Charitable Society has been in existence since 1813, and is one of the few organizations serving Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull unmatched for length of continuous charitable service to its community. Managers, all of whom are volunteers, meet monthly to consider requests referred to the Society by friends, local agencies, community services and area churches. What sets the Society apart from other institutions is that it does not fund large programs or initiatives but offers financial assistance for individuals with critical needs when there are no other resources. The funding provided by the Society fills in gaps for many of Operation Hope’s clients, helping them overcome challenges and fulfilling immediate needs. The Bridgeport Ladies Charitable Society feels very fortunate to have many loyal supporters and to be able to partner with Operation Hope in order to fulfill its mission to help change many lives, in many ways. This award is named after our former First Selectman and State Legislator who helped launch our shelter and pantry and championed our work to make the community a better place for all.