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Conn. seniors do good deeds honoring late former legislator

April 17, 2019

PLAINVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Friends and family members of the late former legislator Betty Boukus celebrated the culmination of a month of good deeds done in her honor Tuesday at the Plainville Senior Center.

The Betty Boukus Month of Service was held from March 16 to her birthday, April 16. All throughout the month-long initiative, people were asked to do good deeds and send them to the senior center. These were then displayed on posters during Tuesday’s event, which celebrated Boukus’ community spirit living on.

Shawn Cohen, director of the senior center, pointed out several of the good deeds which people had done. One of them was snowplowing for a disabled veteran. Another person made scarves, hats and lap blankets for their friends. Other examples were a 96-year-old woman feeding a homeless cat and another person supporting a friend who had breast cancer.

“Plainville has always had a beautiful, caring spirit,” said Cohen, who then read letters from a pair of Boukus’ friends praising the Month of Service initiative.

Councilor Rosemary Morante, who was a friend of Boukus’, thanked all those who participated. She said 260 volunteers from the senior center volunteered to do good deeds.

“Thank you very much,” she said. “Today was so special for her friends and family. This is a wonderful thing that you did in Betty’s name.”

Gary Boukus, Boukus’ widower, said that it was a “beautiful tribute” and thanked all who participated.

Rhonda Guberman, assistant director of the senior center, said that Boukus would frequently visit the senior center and ask people what she could do to help them. She also spoke about how Boukus instilled a sense of community giving in her children and grandchildren.

“We hope that this Month of Service will foster continued service and ongoing compassion for others,” she said. “This is what the world needs right now - more kindness and more compassion.”

Joan McBain, of the town’s committee on aging, later commented how Boukus had assisted the senior center in acquiring funds for two expansions.

“The phrase ‘leave your world better than you found it,’ exemplifies Betty,” she said.

People in the audience were then asked to share memories of Boukus. One woman recalled how Boukus had helped her son, who was diagnosed with bone cancer, to get food stamps and state assistance. A volunteer with PARC recalled how Boukus had participated in 16 walkathons to benefit the nonprofit, which provides assistance to the mentally disabled.

Boukus died in late 2016 after many decades of volunteerism and a long battle with cancer. She had represented the 22nd House District, which includes Plainville and New Britain, from 1994 to 2016.

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Online: https://bit.ly/2Ujum0A

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Information from: The Bristol Press, http://www.bristolpress.com

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