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Newtown Fifth-Graders Organize Game Nights To Benefit Danbury Hospital

From left, Dr. Jo-Ann Maroto-Soltis; Sister Colleen Therese Smith; Julia Cirone: Grace Soltis; Dr. John Murphy, President and Chief Executive Office, Western Connecticut Health Network; and Anthony Cirone.
From left, Dr. Jo-Ann Maroto-Soltis; Sister Colleen Therese Smith; Julia Cirone: Grace Soltis; Dr. John Murphy, President and Chief Executive Office, Western Connecticut Health Network; and Anthony Cirone. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- In an expression of philanthropy, fifth-graders Julia Cirone and Grace Soltis from Saint Rose Elementary School in Newtown raised $850 by coordinating a series of game night events to benefit Danbury Hospital, and invited classmates to participate in their fundraising efforts.

The students established a four-week program where participating classmates played games after school in exchange for a $50 donation. The program concluded this spring.

“What a blessing it is to see these students reaching out and thinking beyond themselves for a most wonderful community cause. We are proud to share in the mission to prepare our children to become responsible leaders and people of integrity and respect,” said Sister Colleen Therese Smith, Saint Rose Elementary School Principal.

In total, the students raised $850 and after a corporate donation from Equale & Cirone, the total raised was $2,000.

Julia is the daughter of Anthony W. Cirone Jr., associate board chair and a member of Danbury Hospital/New Milford Hospital Foundation Board. Her classmate Grace is the daughter of Dr. Robert Soltis and Dr. Jo-Ann Maroto-Soltis.

“The girls didn’t have a particular mission in terms of what they wanted to support. They just wanted to give back to the community and help the hospital. This experience was a great lesson for them about what it means to give of your time and money,” said Cirone.

Soltis is an emergency medicine physician at Danbury Hospital, and Maroto-Soltis is an internal medicine specialist with Western Connecticut Medical Group.

“Julia and Grace sought permission to use the school gym, asked teachers to chaperone the event and promoted it throughout the school. They coordinated the entire plan and it went very smoothly. We’re proud of their efforts,” said Soltis.

Maroto-Soltis said, “They realized there was a need to help in their community and this is how they chose to give back,"

Danbury Hospital is a partner hospital of the Western Connecticut Health Network.

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