STAMFORD, CT - On behalf of the City of Stamford, the Jewish War Veterans Fred Robbins Post 142 is pleased to announce the selection of Cathy Ostuw as the 2019 City of Stamford Citizen of the Year (COTY).
With perhaps just a touch of irony, one could say that Cathy Ostuw has made it her business to volunteer. To indulge in another, over the past nearly 20 years Stamford’s nonprofit community has made a mint from her leadership, her activism, her compassion and her time. And the list of those who have benefited from Cathy’s generous spirit is incredibly long. As co-founder and current board member of Building One Community-The Center for Immigrant Opportunity, she is personally responsible for helping welcome and transition thousands of Stamford area immigrants into the still-enduring promise of the American Experiment. As Treasurer of Impact Fairfield County, she helps guide an organization dedicated to collective philanthropy and its delivery of hundreds of thousands of dollars of transformational grants to community organizations serving those in need. As the Treasurer of St. Francis Episcopal Church, Cathy helps deliver in-kind services and monies raised by parishoners to support local and international service organizations as well as helping with various church activities. As the district coordinator for the AARP Tax Aide program, she oversees a group of volunteers who help about 2,000 people each year with their taxes. And those are just some of her current pursuits.
For over eight years until 2018, Cathy served on and chaired the Board of Trustees of the St. John Community Foundation, a social services foundation that has provided over four million dollars in grants to community organizations since its inception. She was the chair of the steering committee for the Fairfield County Funder’s Collaborative for Affordable Housing for over seven years, a troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut for nearly eight years and served on the board of Directors of Domus Kids for nearly seven years. She served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Greater New York, the Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Western Connecticut, has volunteered her Information Technology expertise to the Red Cross, and was a board member and the Executive Director of Person to Person for 4 years.
On a more personal level, she has served countless families as a hospice volunteer through Greenwich Hospital (now with the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County), providing comfort to those facing end of life experiences.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Cathy Ostuw grew up in Queens and earned a degree in English Literature at Queens College before starting a career in Information Technology. Upon discovering her passion for service, she went to graduate school at The New School where she obtained a Masters in Nonprofit Management. She has two very proud sisters, Clara Garvey and Beth Brady, and is married to Rich Ostuw, with whom she has two stepchildren, Peter and Pamela. Pamela is also mother to Cathy’s granddaughter Caroline, who is the apple of her eye. Cathy and Rich live in North Stamford.
“Cathy has selflessly supported this community for decades,” said Mayor David Martin. “She stands out in Stamford’s not-for-profit community due to her dedication to bridging the gap between federal, state, and city government. She’s always been on the ground helping those in need. We could not have picked a finer Citizen of the Year.”
Those who enthusiastically nominated Cathy for COTY also had a lot to say:
“Cathy is the type of individual who makes such a difference in the lives of so many in a community and embodies the virtues that are fundamental to our common life: compassion, generosity, service, inclusion, and hope”, said Reverend Mark Lingle, Rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church.
Said the Reverend Dr. James R. Wheeler, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church “She has the rare gift of being able to connect with the poorest of the poor and with people of wealth and influence. I cannot amagine anyone whose life better embodies the key qualities of interfaith harmony, high standards of civic responiblity, promotion of the public welfare and personal work with distinction that are the hallmark of this citizenship of the year award.”
The COTY selection committee for the City of Stamford and the Jewish War Veterans wholeheartedly agree, and are excited and proud to honor Cathy Ostuw as our 2019 Citizen of the Year.
Two upcoming events will celebrate Cathy as the 2019 Citizen of the Year. The first is when her name plaque is added to the past recipients previously honored at The Government Center, and the second is at the 75th annual Stamford Citizen of the Year dinner which will be held this Spring. Details to follow.
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