All of us can think of special individuals who always manage to find time to help other people.  14/WILI and the Mohegan Sun have a name for those special people.  They are Connecticut's RAYS OF SUNSHINE, and together we're paying tribute to them.   Hear acceptance interviews with many of our Ray of Sunshine winners by clicking here.  To nominate someone, simply email wayne @ or snail mail your entry to WILI Ray of Sunshine, 720 Main Street, Willimantic, Ct. 06226 with a few details on why your nominee is special.

Rosemarie Bessette

Rosemarie Bessette
Jim and Cindy Mello with Rosemarie and Norm Bessette

Jim and Cindy's nomination letter said:

Bring what you can.  Take what you need!  

That’s the mantra of the Lebanon Children’s Clothing Wardrobe.  Begun in 2011 in the garage of her family’s home, Rosemarie Bessette has been gathering and distributing clothing for children throughout the area.  Quickly outgrowing the garage, she held 2-3 swap events at Lebanon Elementary School in 2012, and in 2013 the Lebanon Community Center became its home for 4 events each year.  In December 2014, she organized the first toy swap to ensure that all children would enjoy the holiday season.  Planning for this year’s toy swap is underway.  Recently she has partnered with the Redeemer Lutheran Church on Village Hill as the host facility which will enable the clothing wardrobe to grow for many years of continued service.
Rosemarie has made this a genuine community event by enlisting help from family members and individual volunteers, as well as groups like Cub Scout Pack 58 and the Lebanon Leos.  Setting the example of volunteerism within the community sets the bar high for others to follow.
Watching Rosemarie interact with visitors to the clothing swap is like being invited into her home.  Her warm welcome and engaging manner puts all at ease and feeling welcome.  Her goal is to ensure that every child has what is needed and appropriate.  She is even known to take donated items home and work some magic so that she can take pride in the quality of items available.
Saturday, October 17 was the latest event for the Clothing Wardrobe.  In just 3 hours, 82 families with 212 children were served.  In true Rosemarie style, she thanked the Lebanon Community for their generosity for donating clothing and recognized that this is a community project and a service of which our town can be proud.  

Without the vision, commitment to cause, and perseverance of Rosemarie Bessette, the Lebanon Children’s Clothing Wardrobe would not exist or continue.  She is truly a Ray of Sunshine as she touches the lives of many!

Ray of Sunshine Archive:
November 2018 - Kathy Cote
August 2018 - Nicole Henry
May 2018 - Adrianne DeVivo
February 2018 - Mike and Glenn Morell
November 2017 - Phil Pavone
August 2017 - Pat Tolokan
May 2017 - Carolyn Stanich
February 2017 - Rita Perry
November 2016 - Jonathan Wadsworth
August 2016 - Marie Hakmiller
May 2016 - Lorraine Strenkowski
February 2016 - Alice Bury
December 2015 - Rosemarie Bessette
August 2015 - Tonya Landrie Ohlund
May 2015 - Karen Schenck
February 2015 - Maurice Simard
November 2014 - Dorothy Stevens
August 2014 - Phyllis Pintal
May 2014 - Karen Porter
March 2014 - Joan Merritt
November 2013 - Ron Pires
August 2013 - Dorothy Deptula
May 2013 - AnnMarie Poudrier
March 2013 - Frank Kristoff
January 2013 - Bil Czmyr
August 2012 - Patti Sue Brown
May 2012 - Bobbi Brown
February 2012 - Judy Prescott
November 2011 - Kathy Pekarovic
August 2011 - Dee and Dale Hammon
May 2011 - Sandy Reed
February 2011 - Rich Balogh
November 2010 - Lisa Baker Rose
September 2010 - Dan Hill
May 2010 - Susan Humes
February 2010 - Donna Charron
November 2009 - Pamela Bibeau
August 2009 - Joan Morin
June 2009 - Kay Roan
March 2009 - Marion Russo
December 2008 - Frank and Shirley Mauro
November 2008 - Charlene Perry
October 2008 - Angela LaTour
September 2008 - Joan Goba
August 2008 - Donna Clauson
July 2008 - Rosa Tirado
June 2008 - Barbara Leary
May 2008 - Kord Baker
April 2008 - Joe Henry
March 2008 - Barbara Colon
February 2008 - Charlie Wynn
January 2008 - Jessica Medina
December 2007 - Linda Harbec
November 2007 - Richard Kelley
October 2007 - Lynn White
September 2007 - Paul Doyle
July 2007 - Pam Horrocks
June 2007 - Lauren Perrotti
May 2007 - Jean DeSmet
April 2007 - Gen Micali
February 2007 - Belinda Clark
January 2007 - Miriam Epstein
December 2006 - Anita Sebestyen
November 2006 - Eileen Spear
October 2006 - Monique Roy
September 2006 - Helen Card
August 2006 - Joan Doiron
July 2006 - Roddy McComber
June 2006 - Tom Beardsley
May 2006 - Victor and Martha Funderburk
March 2006 - Barry Shayer
February 2006 - Judith Jencks
January 2006 - Ray Milvae
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