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The morning after St Rose of Lima School hosted its rescheduled Hands & Hearts in the Community Service Award/Tuition Assistance Benefit Dinner, this year’s Monsignor Robert E. Weiss Hands & Hearts in the Community Award recipient Todd Ingersoll was also celebrated at the school.

Both the Hands & Hearts benefit dinner and the school celebration had been scheduled for March 2, but high winds canceled school that day and postponed the events.

Mr Ingersoll, president and CEO of Ingersoll Automotive, was celebrated at both events, which were held on the evening of March 4 and the morning of March 5.

The school announced Mr Ingersoll as this year’s honoree in January. At the time, St Rose Principal Sister Colleen Therese Smith said Mr Ingersoll was chosen for his humility, work ethic, and commitment to helping children to have better lives. Mr Ingersoll and his family live in Newtown and he is a St Rose of Lima Church parishioner.

The Community Service Award/Tuition Assistance Benefit Dinner was first held in 2016 to celebrate community service and raise money for the school’s tuition assistance fund, which helps students who cannot afford to attend the school receive a Catholic education.

Funds raised through ticket sales and donations go to the school’s tuition assistance fund. Monsignor Robert Weiss, senior pastor of St Rose of Lima Church, was chosen as the inaugural honoree and the award was named for him at the first celebration. Then-First Selectman Pat Llodra was honored as the 2017 awardee.

“Last night,” Sister Colleen said on Monday, “kind of took your breath away. It was truly a celebration.”

Sister Colleen said the total raised for the school’s tuition assistance fund by the event is still being calculated.

The school celebration began with a Mass held in St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church. The school assembly was held after, and as Mr Ingersoll entered the school’s Gathering Hall, students stood and held out their hands for him to high-five as he walked to the front of the assembly. Mr Ingersoll’s family members and First Selectman Daniel Rosenthal were present. Sister Colleen, Msgr Weiss, and students ran the assembly.

Different grade levels at the school took turns honoring Mr Ingersoll with gifts or presentations. Some grade levels sang songs and others handed him gifts.

The eighth grade played videos of students sharing ways Mr Ingersoll has impacted their life or taught them a lesson.

At the end of the assembly, Mr Ingersoll said the celebration and being able to share it with his family members has been a highlight of his career.

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