Council on Aging holds surprise party for Maria Connor dedication
The Dartmouth Council on Aging held a surprise party on Friday, May 13 to celebrate the birthday of the beloved president of the Dartmouth Friends of the Elderly, Maria Connor.
The party doubled as a dedication ceremony for the senior center, which was recently renamed the Maria Connor Center for Active Living by the Select Board.
When Connor arrived to find the center filled with about 60 friends and community members, she addressed the guests calling the party “one of the biggest surprises and a well-kept one.”
Connor thanked everyone for the honor and remarked with characteristic modesty that “you don’t get here by yourself.”
“It’s been a long journey, but I’ve been one of those lucky people that always surrounds herself with like-minded people,” she said. “So thank you for everything — thank you for your friendship — and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
In unveiling the center’s new sign, COA director Amy DiPietro spoke about several women who have been honored for their dedication to the center over the years and her pride in seeing Connor added to that prestigious group.
“The COA is so pleased to add another woman to that great list,” she said. “Today we honor Maria’s legacy and recognize that she has many years of helping the community yet to come.”
Several politicians and public figures sent representatives to the event to present Connor with certificates of recognition and appreciation including Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III, State Rep. Christopher Markey, State Sen. Mark Montigny, and U.S. Rep. William Keating.
Select Board Chair David Tatelbaum also spoke, expressing the board’s enthusiasm at being asked to pass the resolution officially naming the senior center after Connor.
After the speeches were finished, a luncheon was held and the new sign was mounted above the building’s front entrance.
“Thanks again for everything,” said Connor, giving a few closing remarks. “As I look around I see all the people who were so instrumental to getting me here.”