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United Way Honors Danbury's Hometown Heroes At Benefit Dinner

Celia Bacelar-Palmares, Emanuela Palmares and Angela Barbosa of Tribuna Media and The New American Dream Foundation Photo Credit: Contributed
Kendra Dascano Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — United Way of Western Connecticut will honor several of the heroes that the city of Danbury has to offer at the fourth annual Hometown Heroes Benefit Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Among those being honored at the dinner are Corporate Philanthropy Award winner Union Savings Bank; Small Business Hero Award winner Elmer Palma of Elmer's Diner; Hometown Heroes Celia Bacelar-Palmares, Emanuela Palmares and Angela Barbosa of Tribuna Media and The New American Dream Foundation; and Emerging Hero Kendra Dascano.

“Our Hometown Hero and our Emerging Hero awardees have all made deep and unique contributions to the fabric of their local communities,” said Kimberly Morgan, CEO of United Way of Western Connecticut. “It is such a pleasure to be able to shine a light on their accomplishments and service.” 

Nominees were selected based on several criteria, including achievement, action, commitment, impact and initiative.

Union Savings Bank, headquartered in Danbury, is being honored for its deep and abiding commitment to the community and extensive record of corporate philanthropy throughout Greater Danbury. In the past six years, Union Savings Bank and the USB Foundation have contributed nearly $6 million into the community, and employees have volunteered more than 100,000 hours to local non-profits.

Palma has an extensive record of community service, particularly around Danbury’s youth. In addition, he serves on the Executive Board of Jericho Partnership and serves on Danbury’s City Council for the 2nd Ward. He has been honored by Tribuna and the Greater Danbury Bar Association for his long-standing contributions to the Danbury community.

Celia Bacelar-Palmares, Emanuela Palmares and Angela Barbosa, as well as the rest of the Tribuna Newspaper family, are well-known throughout the greater Danbury community as community leaders and advocates, particularly to the robust immigrant/New American community, publishing the bi-monthly Tribuna Newspaper, the largest trilingual publication in the state of Connecticut. They have also established a nonprofit foundation, The New American Dream Foundation, which celebrates and supports the cultural, social and economic contributions of all immigrants.

The Emerging Hero Award is for area high school students who demonstrate strong leadership in volunteerism and community service. A senior at Immaculate High School, Dascano is a member of the executive team of the Youth Advisory Board, which leads the Youth Volunteer Corps of Western Connecticut. While she is being honored as Danbury’s Emerging Hero, her volunteerism extends regionally, including Regional Hospice, Village Center for the Arts, Newtown Kindness, The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, Ben's Bells, Interfaith Aids Ministry, Boni Bel Farm and Pratt Nature Center.

Proceeds from the Hometown Heroes Benefit Dinner will benefit United Way’s ALICE Enrichment Fund, which provides funding for children from struggling households in each of United Way's 15-town regional footprint to engage in extracurricular activities to drive achievement in and out of the classroom. 

Tickets for the event are now available at For more information about Hometown Heroes, contact Stacy Schulman at or (203) 826-8479.

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