STAMFORD, Conn. -- Tom Hadden was honored on Sunday as the Volunteer of the Year by Curtain Call, Stamford's longest-running and only year 'round, nonprofit producing theatre company.
Hadden served for 32 years in the Stamford Fire Department, following in the footsteps of his father. He was honored before nearly 100 people at Sunday's ceremony.
For more then 10 years, Hadden, an avid theatre-goer with his wife, Nancy, has been volunteering his services by helping the community-based theatre. "He puts out fires for us," Curtain Call executive director Lou Ursone said. "He's always here helping paint the huge amount of scenery that is created each season, but, more importantly, when we're really under the gun and need those last-minute projects painted, Tom is always ready to jump in and hang in with us right till the bitter end."
Besides serving as a Stamford firefighter, Hadden also worked for many years as a professional house-painter, so his skills are very much appreciated by the theatre company. Ursone noted that for the current year, Curtain Call will have produced 187 nights of entertainment with 14 full-scale productions.
Hadden jokes that more often than not, his precision painting skills are "aged down" to be more appropriate to the scenic needs of a show, but he knows it is what adds to the realism of the set pieces created by Curtain Call's resident designer and associate artistic director, Peter Barbieri, Jr.
"With a very small professional staff, there is no way that we could produce the volume that we do without an incredibly large and dedicated volunteer corps," Ursone said, noting that, in addition to all of the performers on stage, there are several hundred volunteers backstage, serving as ushers, helping in the box office and more, to keep the organization humming.
"With so many dedicated individuals, it really is hard to single out one person, but each year we take the task of naming a Volunteer of the Year very seriously, and, ultimately, make the decision not on the number of hours served, but on the impact on the organization that that individual has had," Ursone said.
In addition to Hadden, this year's Youth Volunteer of the Year is Stamford resident and Goucher College student, Molly Eagleton. "Molly has been an incredible asset to Curtain Call over the past several years, especially with her work on our youth advisory board," said Brian Bianco, Curtain Call's education director. "I have been very privileged to work with hundreds of great young artists in my career and Molly is truly one of the best."
For more information on the many volunteer opportunities available at Curtain Call, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-329-8207.