STAMFORD, Conn. -- Retired Stamford Firefighter Tom Hadden was named Volunteer of the Year by nonprofit theater organization Curtain Call at a ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 23.
With a crowd of nearly 100 in attendance, Hadden was noticeably moved and incredibly humbled by this recognition, according to a release from Curtain Call.
For more than 10 years, Hadden, an avid theater-goer with his wife, Nancy, has been volunteering his services by helping the community-based theater.
"He puts out fires for us," said Curtain Call Executive Director Lou Ursone. "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."
Ursone recalled one opening night when paint was still drying as the curtain went up, and Hadden barely making it to his seat in time.
Hadden served with the Stamford Fire Department for 32 years, following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a firefighter.
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 theater company.
Hadden joked 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.
In addition to Hadden, Curtain Call'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.
Curtain Call is the nonprofit community-based theater company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex at 1349 Newfield Avenue in Stamford.