On Thursday, September 7th, nearly 100 people gathered in the meadow at 863 Danbury Road in Wilton for a groundbreaking celebration. For CT Humane, it was an epic benchmark, nearly a decade in the making, and a critical moment on the way to a new Animal Resource Center in Wilton, CT.

Enjoy some favorite quotes and photos from the evening:

James Bias, CHS Executive Director

“Take a look around. This 18-acre bucolic property is like no other. This will be a place where lives will be changed, a place where resources will keep families together forever.”

Senator Ceci Maher

“We know that a lot of people have had to give up their pets over the years because of the rising cost of living and it’s heartbreaking. The thought that there will be a facility here that will help prevent that-where there will be access to food, access to lower cost vet care, and the way that the facility is built around the client, which in this case is the pet…it’s remarkable.” 

Gretchen Dale, CHS Board Vice-President and Campaign Chair

“The day Ellen Sharon, our board president, and our former executive director, Gordon Willard, asked me “Would you chair the capital campaign?” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It has been an incredible journey, I wouldn’t have missed any of it. I’ve been able to meet so many of you, so many of our donors, thank you for encouraging us to keep going forward.”

Ellen Sharon, CHS Board President

“When pets’ find their new families, it’s not really a happy ending. It’s a happy beginning. It is our mission to ensure that those happy beginnings have all of the support, resources, and safety nets necessary to keep those pets and families together forever.”

Tom Quarticelli, Principal at Amenta Emma and Lead Architect

“As a design firm, our mission is to create great places for people who share our belief that design matters. This project has offered the chance to work on something innovative and meaningful in scope and mission, a chance to change circumstances for pets and people for years to come.”

Anthony Gaglio, Jr., Vice President & Safety Director at Viking Construction

“We talk about how this new building will impact pets for decades to come… that speaks to us at Viking Construction because our legacy continues after the photo ops, after the ribbons cuttings, and it is part of the lasting impact that we will be a part of making in the community for the pets and humans that will use this new facility for many years to come.”

Barbara Naugle, CHS Director of Development

“From lemonade stands to a very sexy red convertible to a million dollar keystone gift from a neighbor in Westport, each act of kindness has made a difference. Each of you has made a stretch gift or a pledge, or has worked into the wee hours of the night to see this project happen. You’ve given until it made a difference, until it felt good, until you knew you were making an impact. And wow – what a difference you have made.”

Wendy Lee, Campaign Chair

“When I was initially thinking of what I’d like to speak about, I was reminded of the phrase “herding cats.”  The charge was to lead a group of people to create a forward momentum for a new animal resource center here, in Wilton.

Fortunately, the folks on the committee were much more cooperative than a room full of cats. They willingly volunteered for jobs, provided insight, and played the devil’s advocate. In reflection, my work as chairperson it was more like leading a team of huskies than herding cats.”

Frank Lovello, Construction Consultant

“Happy wife, happy life.’ My wife, Maria, has been involved in animal welfare causes and with the Connecticut Humane Society for years. And so, seeking true marital happiness, when invited to help with this project, I dove in headfirst, lending my guidance and expertise during the selection of a construction firm… it’s been amazing throughout this process how willingly people put aside their egos for the love of the pets.”