2008 - Jennie and John Velleco

Jennie and John Velleco

2008 Volunteers of the Year

Jennie and John Velleco have volunteered for St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound for more than 15 years at such events as the SWIM Marathon, the Circus for Children with Special Needs and the Swiss Army Sale.

Both in their early 90's, they amaze everyone with their fortitude. Jennie is a two-time cancer survivor and has spoken at the SWIM's cancer support groups. A World War II Army Veteran, John was on the front lines in the Normandy Beach Invasion and the Omaha Beach Invasion. Before their retirement, Jennie ran a greeting card store in Bridgeport and John, a barber shop in Stratford.

Married for 30 years, John and Jennie were both widowed by their first spouses and found each other through their parish, St. Michael's in Stratford, where they also give a lot of their time. Jennie remains actively involved in St. Michael's Ladies' Guild and volunteers at the YMCA. They believe in America, practice their right to vote and are honest, hardworking people who have always shared what they had.

They have a daughter, Linda Rirkin and a son Michael Litwinsky. Litwinski, his wife Joan, their son Thomas and daughter Rachel Drenkhahan attended the event to join the SWIM in honoring the Vellecos.

SWIM Volunteers >>