By Charles F. Bennett
Turley Publications Staff Writer
WILBRAHAM – One way or another, the five members of the Ferraro Family of Wilbraham have all been involved with church and community service projects in town.
A past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 10195, and a 13-year member, Fred Ferraro and his wife Glenda, and daughters Neliana, Maricel and Isabel, were recognized by his fellow Knights at the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner in the St. Cecilia’s Parish Center Saturday night March 16.
The Ferraro’s were presented with the Family of Year Award by Fr. Joesph Sorrano. The presentation was coordinated by K of C Lector Joe DeRoy and the dinner was chaired by Donald Flannery.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the world’s largest family fraternal organizations according to its website. Families are the foundation of what the Knights do to help others and with the Family of the Year Award presented this year in Wilbraham, they recognized the importance of the Ferraro family.
Fred said he was honored that his tribe was singled out to receive the award. “Because, there are lots of families who participate in the St. Cecilia’s community,” he said.
The Ferraro’s will also be nominated for the organization’s International Family of the Year Award.
Each Ferraro family member is a leader or contributes to the fabric of the church and general community. The entire family has been involved with many charitable causes in the area including a booster of Knights of Columbus activities and fundraisers.
Fred tries to stay humble and under the radar. He is a director of retirement services at MassMutual Retirement Services and has worked for the company for 23 years. He has served as a chancellor, warden and trustee for the Knights. He is president of the New Women’s Center that he and his wife of 24 years, Glenda, founded 2 ½ years ago. The center is a crises center that aids pregnant women who need help.
Fred serves as a chaperone of youth during the March for Life trips, a chaperone for Steubenville East, a youth retreat. He is chairman of the Keep Christ in Christmas Birthday Party, past chairman of the Soccer Challenge, a director of the Survival Center Dinner, has volunteered at the Knights’ Thanksgiving and Easter Food Drives, Free Throw Contest, St. Patrick’s Dinner fundraiser, Rosary events and the Road Race for scholarships.
Fred and Glenda both serve as group leaders of Teams of our Lady that supports healthy marriages.
Glenda is a lead counselor at the New Women’s Center and an Eucharistic minister, a member of the Moms group and the Cenacle Prayer Group for Priests at St. Cecilia’s.
Neliana, 18, was a 2012 winner of the Valley Press Club Scholarship and is freshman at Quinnipiac University. When she attended Minnechaug Regional High School she was president of Celebrate Life, an altar server, volunteered at Wilbraham Public Access and is a Scout retreat leader. She is a youth member of the Girl Scouts Board of Directors.
Maricel,16, is a junior at Minnechaug. She is vice president of Celebrate Life and recently led a project to collect items for needy people in Haiti. She is an altar server and attends youth retreats. She is a youth member of the Girl Scouts Board of Directors.
Isabel, 13, volunteers for various church and Knights of Columbus projects and attends retreats.
All members of the family run stations at the Keep Christ in Christmas Birthday Party, prepare roses for the Pro-Life Rose Sale, help with raffles at fundraisers, man stations at the K of C Road Race and sell tickets to all those events.
Fred said the family philosophy is to participate in as much as they can. “The friendships you build are very good. It gives you a great feeling.”
Charles F. Bennett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.