First County Bank Foundation

First County Bank Foundation raises donation to Getabout

First County Bank employee Michael Victor stand with the Getaboutís Bob Witt and Paul Stein . Photo: Contributed Photo / CT

First County Bank employee Michael Victor stand with the Getaboutís Bob Witt and Paul Stein . Photo: Contributed Photo / CT

Getabout, the van-based transportation service for New Canaan’s senior and special needs residents,
has announced that it has received a major grant from the First County Bank Foundation.

The grant was worth $5,000.

“We welcome this wonderful donation from First County Bank Foundation — increasing its annual generosity — particularly because it comes at a time when the state has reduced its funding for Getabout and other local transport organizations,”Bob Witt, Getabout board president, said. “Getabout would be unable to serve New Canaan without the great support of local residents and organizations, and we are delighted to again have First County as a benefactor of our much-needed service.”

Getabout learned last month that, due to Connecticut’s budget difficulties, the state has reduced its annual support of Getabout’s free medi-rides service to neighboring towns by a total of $5,800.

“The First County Bank Foundation is proud to support the vital mission of Getabout, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of all New Canaan residents,”Reyno A. Giallongo, Jr., president of the First County Bank Foundation, Inc., said. “Over the years, our New Canaan branch manager,
Michael Victor, has worked closely with the Getabout team, and continues to be impressed with their commitment and hard work.”

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with Getabout in this longtime community effort, including helping South Avenue Cottage residents maintain useful and productive work lives, Victor said.” Getabout has transported a number of South Avenue Cottage residents to their places of work in New Canaan for many years.

Created to distribute funds to nonprofit organizations supporting community and economic development for children and families, the First County Bank Foundation is marking its 10th anniversary and the bank’s 160
years of service. First County Bank, headquartered in Stamford, is an independent mutual community bank with 15 branches in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport offering deposit products, mortgages, trust and investment services, business banking services and online banking.

Getabout is a public-private partnership providing local transportation to New Canaan’s seniors and other special needs residents, on a day-in-advance reservation basis. With a fleet of two wheelchair-accessible multi-passenger vans and two mini-vans, Getabout provides more than 10,000 individual rides to local residents annually, at a flat one-way suggested fee of $3 within New Canaan. Although partially funded by the town of New Canaan, Getabout, a 501C charitable organization,relies primarily on private contributions to subsidize the difference between its $3 rate and the actual $16 cost of each ride — costs that have spiked sharply due to higher gasoline prices.

Getabout also offers no-cost non-emergency medical rides, with 24-hour advance reservations, to medical offices in New Canaan and the adjacent towns of Darien, Norwalk, Stamford and Wilton. Transportation is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information and reservations are available at 203-972-RIDE.

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