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Torrington senior living center honors community heroes with a special breakfast

Bellies and hearts were both full at Keystone Place at Newbury Brook as neighbors and staff celebrated frontline workers and first responders.

TORRINGTON, Conn. — First responders and frontline workers in Torrington started the new week off on a positive note when they were recognized as community heroes by their neighbors at Keystone Place at Newbury Brook Monday morning.

Those being honored gathered with residents and staff at the senior living community for a special breakfast.

The event was part of a kick-off to this year’s National Assisted Living Week, with recognition for leaders who embody this year’s theme, “Compassion, Community, Caring.”

National Assisted Living Week was created by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995 to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. The annual observance inspires assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to celebrate the individuals they serve, as well as to help educate members of the public about this distinct aspect of long-term care.

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Those in attendance at the breakfast included Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone along with members of the police and fire departments and Torrington School District’s Teacher of the Year, Jim Pepper.

"It’s actually a nice recognition. There’s a lot of people behind the scenes. I like to be behind the scenes. My building at Torrington Middle School won’t believe that but I love to be just active and doing this," said Pepper.

Staff and residents at Keystone made sure to show their deep appreciation for that mission of service and selflessness, especially in light of the pandemic.

"You know, the only time you’d see EMS coming in was when there was a COVID case or an issue, so it’s really nice to have them here," said Keystone Health and Wellness Director Maureen Gwazda.

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"The policemen, the firemen, we know the wonderful job they’ve done during the pandemic," said resident Sue Mollineaux.

The breakfast was also a celebration of the Keystone staff, who have been working hard during a challenging year-and-a-half.

“We have the vulnerable people that live in our community, so the hard work and dedication that my directors and my staff put together to keep them safe," said Keystone Executive Director Allen Miloff.

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Keystone Place at Newbury Brook includes 43 independent living apartments, 42 traditional assisted living apartments and 17 memory care apartments.  

The senior living community has more events planned during the week to celebrate National Assisted Living Week, including a bake sale to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, an Employee Years of Service celebration and a carnival.

Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at abavaro@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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