When a survey recommended the town name the Fairfield Senior Center after someone, the Human Services Commission established a committee to select a name.

But, Chairman Bruce Carter said, that committee proved to be a pro forma exercise — the group already knew who it wanted to honor: Cindi Bigelow, the CEO and president of Fairfield-based Bigelow Tea, who has for the last several years been an advocate and benefactor of the center on Mona Terrace.

While the name change to the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities took effect July 1, the formal unveiling of the new sign recognizing the change took place Friday morning.

Bigelow’s contributions to the center have been both large and small, First Selectman Michael Tetreau said, many of them made “under the radar.” Some of the more visible contributions have been the computerized membership system, the Bigelow Tea Room and the center’s multi-media room.

“This is something I can’t even comprehend,” Bigelow said, after the blue drape was lifted off the new sign. After first moving her family, and then her company, to Fairfield, Bigelow said she was looking for a recipient of funds raised through the annual Bigelow Community Challenge races. The Senior Center became one of those recipients.

Over time, Bigelow said, she has learned just how valuable the center is to older residents. “It’s just not a place, it’s a very special place,” and one that helps to take care of the people who made the town what it is today.

“I just really love this town,” Bigelow said. “This is a really amazing honor.”

Tetreau said the Bigelows have made a difference in town.

“When I look to the Bigelow family, and at the Bigelow Tea Company, “ Tetreau said, he sees people who “lead by example.”

And, Carter said, it makes sense to honor Bigelow now so she can appreciate the gratitude the town has for her support. “Cindi, we want to thank you so much from our hearts. It means so much to our town,” he said.