As featured in The Bristol Press online, 12.5.17
Staff Writer: Brian Johnson
PLAINVILLE – State Sen. Henri Martin and state Rep. William Petit donned Santa hats Monday night to ring bells for the Salvation Army at Gnazzo’s Grocery.
The legislators were joined by Salvation Army Lieutenant Emmanuel Echavarria who provided them with the official collection buckets and aprons and thanked them for their support.
Within minutes, customers began regularly stopping to make donations.
“There is a lot of need this time of year,” said Echavarria. “Some people have lost their job or maybe others have lost their homes with the flooding in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida and are being supported by relatives. We are here to support them and we couldn’t do anything if not for the charity of volunteers and the people that support them.”
Martin said that ringing bells for the Salvation Army is an opportunity to “remind people about what the Christmas season is all about in our own little way.”
Martin noted that in previous years he had rung bells at Walmart and as part of the Rotary Club. He wished that everyone enjoys their Christmas.
“I hope everybody takes the time to enjoy being with their family and to reflect on why we are celebrating Christmas,” he said.
Petit said he also has rung bells with the Rotary Club. Although he was not a member he supported his father’s and sister’s efforts.
“I think everybody is looking to help people out this time of year,” he said. “While many people in Connecticut are reasonably prosperous there are also many in need. One of the reasons that people like to support the Salvation Army is that they are able to do a lot with very low overhead.”
Petit wished everyone a merry and healthy Christmas and happy holidays.
“I hope everyone will be able to maintain a positive attitude and reach out to help others,” he said. “With the budget cuts we are facing it will be especially important to help out your neighbors, your nonprofits and your churches.”
Plainville– State Representative William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) will participate in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells at Gnazzo’s on Monday, December 4 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Community members are invited to support the cause and donate whatever they can.
Gnazzo’s is located at 73 East Street in Plainville, CT.
WHO: Rep. William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and Sen. Henri Martin(R-31)
WHAT: Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign bell ringing
WHEN: Monday, December 4 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
WHERE: Gnazzo’s – 73 East Street, Plainville, CT
WHY: State Legislators will join fellow volunteers ringing bells to raise money for the Salvation Army this holiday season.
Legislators show Solomon Schechter Day School students that lawmakers from different parties can work together
State Reps. Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, and William Petit, R-Plainville, spoke to middle school students at the Solomon Schechter Day School in West Hartford Wednesday morning and stressed the need for bipartisanship in government.
The lawmakers were invited to the school as part of its civics and government curriculum. The school often includes outside speakers as part of the instruction, but this is the first time Solomon Schechter has hosted two representatives – from different political parties – at the same time.
“We invited state Reps. Slap and Petit to come and share and demonstrate to our middle school students how bipartisan politics can work. Seeing that people go into public service to work toward a common good, even if through different viewpoints, with the willingness to compromise is essential for our system and also for our students to see. It is a means to restoring our faith in our democratic system. My sense is that local politics has the ability to show this to us in profound ways,” said Andrea Kasper, head of Solomon Schechter Day School.
“While we may hold different political views, as lawmakers, we must come together to find common ground and work together for the good of the people of Connecticut,” Petit said. “We must respect our differences, be willing to listen, even if we see things differently, and celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us. It is my hope that the visit yesterday with Rep. Slap and myself helped to demonstrate these values to our young learners. These students are the future, and it is incumbent upon us to set a strong example of bipartisanship and good will, from which they can learn.”
“Success in politics and governance depends on a lot of the same practices we teach our children – collaboration, mutual respect and compromise,” Slap said. “That’s my message to these students. No matter what career they pursue, it’s important to listen to others and be open-minded. I enjoy serving with Rep. Petit and greatly value his perspective on issues. I hope by our visit yesterday, students see the spirit of bipartisanship is alive and well in Connecticut.”