'Seymour Strong' fundraiser aims to honor first responders

The Seymour Strong logo

The Seymour Strong logo


SEYMOUR — In a small town like Seymour, the community is quick to rally around a common cause and stand strong.

That’s why, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Seymour High School Assistant Principal Ernie DiStasi and girls soccer Coach Tom Cunningham are rallying the community to stand “Seymour Strong” for its first responders.

“First responders have worked to keep us all safe during these challenging times,” said DiStasi. “They have also gone above and beyond to make our students and members of the town feel special, organizing birthday celebration parades and leading two Team Seymour caravans.”

As a way to support their efforts, DiStasi and Cunningham have coordinated a fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds to be donated to town police, fire and ambulance personnel.

A Seymour Strong online store is now open, where residents can purchase limited edition adult and youth apparel and items, bearing a blue-and-gold Seymour Strong logo. The store can be found at www.bsnteamsports.com/shop/yjXHDwJKVY, and all orders must be placed by May 15.

Cunningham drew inspiration for the fundraiser after learning a friend in Stratford was doing something similar.

“I thought this would be a great way for our community to give back to our first responders who are doing so much for our kids and the community, on top of their everyday responsibilities,” Cunningham said. “When the pandemic started my son turned 7, and Seymour EMS Chief Kyle Kelley helped organize a caravan to drive by our home and made it the best experience possible for my son’s birthday. This was one of the first birthday parades and, since then, the town has done the same for so many without looking for praise or recognition.”

DiStasi said the fundraiser is a great way to show solidarity.

“This is yet another way for the members of the town to stand together in the face of a crisis,” he said. “As the town starts to re-open, it will be awesome to see our students, their families, and other residents wearing their shirts around town.”

Cunningham said the Seymour Strong saying is representative of the tight-knit community’s strength.

“If a community member or family is in need, the whole town will come together,” he said. “It’s not about the size of the town, but the size of its heart.”

Fire Marshal Timothy Willis was moved by the fundraising efforts

“I think yet again this proves that Seymour is more than just a town,” Willis said. “It’s a community that supports one another through thick and thin.”

Police Chief Paul Satkowski echoed the sentiment.

“Over the course of the past two months, many organizations, businesses and individuals have been really generous with various types of donations ranging from food, to sanitizers, to gift cards, masks and gloves,” Satkowski said. “I believe it makes it a little easier for the officers to come to work knowing they have support from the community during these unprecedented times.”

Seymour Ambulance Association Director/Chief Kyle Kelley expressed his gratitude, as well.

“I have been truly humbled by the outpouring of support by our community,” Kelley said. “Tom and Ernie prove what it means to be here for their community 100 percent. Knowing that our community has our back while we have theirs is truly a blessing.”

For more information about the fundraiser, contact DiStasi at edistasi@seymourschools.org or Cunningham at cunninghamsoccerllc@gmail.com.