The Westport Rotary Club has presented its 2015 public service awards and selected the Community Partnership organizations that will share a record $40,000 in financial grants from the club this year.

This year's grants total twice the size of those bestowed in each of the previous two years, and the largest in decades, according to a Rotary announcement. These funds are generated by the club's fundraising efforts, including its annual Lobster Fest, as well as regular donations from member.

The 2015 Public Safety Award recipients are Lt. Brett Kirby and Firefighters Nicholas Marsan and Paul Spennato of the Westport Fire Department, for "outstanding performance at a cardiac emergency" last November, according to the announcement.

Community Service Awards were presented to Officers Craig Bergamo and Ashley Del Vecchio with the Westport Police Department, for "going above and beyond their duties as police officers by serving the youth of Westport as coaches and role models," the club said.

The club also named new Paul Harris Fellows, including Staples High School Principal John Dodig, who is retiring at the end of this school year; Michael and Carrie Aitkenhead, co-stewards of the Wakeman Town Farm; Westport Public Library Executive Director Maxine Bleiweis, who also is retiring this year, and Rotarian Leslie Wolff.

Organizations selected this year to receive Rotary Community Partnership grants include 24 local groups serving Westport and neighboring communities. Among the grant recipients are the Staples High School tuition grants program, Homes with Hope and a range of Westport-based social service, housing, education and addiction services organizations. Also receiving grants are several Bridgeport and Norwalk organizations that serve the needy, such as the Mercy Learning Center, Family ReEntry and the Carver Center.

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