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First Church's Spollett, an Operation Hope founder, to light Fairfield Christmas tree

Published 5:11 pm, Monday, December 2, 2013
  • Rev. David Spollett, the pastor of First Church Congregational, has been selected to throw the switch to light the town's "official" Christmas tree during ceremonies Dec. 6 on Town Hall Green. Photo: Contributed Photo / Fairfield Citizen contributed
    Rev. David Spollett, the pastor of First Church Congregational, has been selected to throw the switch to light the town's "official" Christmas tree during ceremonies Dec. 6 on Town Hall Green. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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The Rev. David Spollett, pastor of First Church Congregational, the honoree selected by the "Nominate Someone Great to Light the Tree and Celebrate" contest, will light the town's Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Friday on Town Hall Green.

The contest was sponsored by the town's Parks and Recreation Department to recognize a local citizen who contributed his or her time to help others.

"All of the nominees were well-worthy of winning this contest and it is certainly a credit to the town of Fairfield that we are surrounded by these pillars of our community," said Gina Paules, program coordinator and youth services director of Parks and Recreation Department.

Spollett will be recognized by First Selectman Michael Tetreau as one of the founders of Operation Hope of Fairfield. Spollett, along with a group of concerned citizens, asked his church's parish council for permission to set up a shelter at First Church in February 1986. For the next two years, homeless people slept almost every night in the church corridors.

Twelve local churches and synagogues joined together in an effort, led by Spollett and Rabbi Leon Waldmam, to create Operation Hope of Fairfield in January 1988. What began as an overnight shelter has evolved into a nonprofit agency that includes a food pantry, a soup kitchen, shelters for men, women and families, and transitional housing programs. Operation Hope also offers clinical support services, as well as helping its clients to find permanent affordable housing.

Spollett is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and earned a master's of divinity degree from Boston University.

A highlight of the annual tree lighting event each year is the arrival of Santa Claus on a fire truck at Town Hall Green. The festivities will also include songs of the season by the Fairfield Woods, Roger Ludlowe and Tomlinson middle school choirs and the Fairfield Warde High School choir; a performance by the Bridgeport Theatre Company; and refreshments from the Town Youth Council.

After the ceremonies on the green, attendees are invited to a Carol Sing, from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m., at First Church, across the street at Old Post and Beach roads.

For more information, call 203-256-3191.