by John Stratton
Three things dear to every Stonington resident: the “COMO,” the fishing fleet, and civic mainstays like retired Judge of Probate and town leader, Paul Cravinho. And all three were honored at the 5th Annual Gala “Stars Over Stonington” event “in honor of the people who uphold the traditions and honor of Stonington.”
COMO is short for the Stonington Community Center, and is a nickname that can be traced back to about 1950, five years after the organization was founded July16, 1945.
The Stars gathering was held September 21 at Stonington Gardens on Route 1, and featured a gourmet dinner, silent and live auctions, and entertainment. It was all to to benefit the COMO’s activities in town, such as preschool, before- and after-school programs, a summer camp, and a diversified athletic program. In all the total number of children served is well over 1000, with programs for more than over 250 adults as well.
Community recognition awards went to the Honorable Paul Cravinho, who retired in 2010 after 25 years in the judgeship and a long career at Pfizer as senior staff accountant, and to the Southern New England Fishermen’s and Lobstermen’s Association, a staple of Stonington life at the Town Dock. They were each cited as having made “a major contribution to our community.”
In addition to the 200 community-spirited individuals who attended, sponsorships for the event were from businesses at several levels: Aurora (Dime Bank, Mystic Aquarium, The Resident); Constellation (AT&T); Asteroid (Coastal Gourmet, Morin Associates); Bright Star (Aquarion Water Company, Pequot Plant Farm); Shooting Star (Lawrence+Memorial Hospital); Shining Star (Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Southeastern CT).
Premium auction items were a South Africa Photo Safari, from Trevor Shaw, Zulu Nyala Group; and 2013 Season Tickets to the Boston Red Sox, donated by Robert Wood Carpentry.