FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield Fire Chief Richard Felner and his wife, Linda, were honored recently by St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation with an award named in memory of their son.
The David Felner Caregiver Award was presented to the couple at the 11th annual Sports Gala to honor first responders in Connecticut.
The award is named in honor of the former Stratford firefighter who died of cancer in 2002. The award is presented each year to "a first responder who has shown outstanding care and compassion for cancer patients," representatives said.
“Dick and Linda Felner have been at the heart of this event from its inception 11 years ago," said foundation Executive Director Lyn McCarthy. "They were inspiring caregivers to their son, and to so many others in the community. Thanks to Dick and Linda Felner, we at St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound, have been able to provide much needed support and assistance to so many First Responders. We are sincerely grateful for the legacy they have shared by allowing us to honor their son all these years.”
The proceeds from the gala go to St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound to benefit first responders battling cancer and their families.
Baseball legend Mookie Wilson was the keynote speaker.
“People always ask me how I got my nickname, and the truth is, I don’t know," he said. "A name is what defines you, but your actions are really what define you. You can call anyone on the street Mookie, but it’s just a name. ... When people say, ‘St. Vincent’s,’ there is an expectation. When people say, ‘First Responders,’ there is an expectation – an expectation to be more and to give more that has to be supported by. It’s not your name that makes you special, it’s what you do and what people have grown to expect of you when they hear or say your name.”