The National Federation of the Blind
of Connecticut
by Betty Woodward

In honor of Mary Brunoli's eightieth birthday, this issue of The Federationist in Connecticut is dedicated to her. A gala event was held on May 7th to celebrate Mary's birthday, where more than fifty of Mary's friends and family gathered to celebrate. Many memories were brought to mind as the festivities progressed.

Mary graduated from Connecticut School for the Blind (Oak Hill), an honor student, in 1940. In little more than a year Mary began operating a vending stand in the Capitol Avenue State Office Building where she worked until her retirement in March of 1989 - more than 47 years!

Mary has participated in so many worthwhile projects. She was active in 4-H during her years at school and later served as a Cub Scout Den Mother. Over the years, she played the organ on retreats for the blind with the Villa Marie Retreat House. In addition, she has been active in her church, serving as president of the Legion of Mary, as well as participating as a lector, Sunday school teacher and leader of a small choir.

Mary's love for music has been evident throughout her life, as you may have observed. She has played the accordion and keyboard for many occasions, for church activities as well as for NFBC functions.

She has been an active and participating member of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut since its reorganization in 1971. Mary has served as Greater Hartford Chapter president, state affiliate secretary and board member. She also organized and served as president of the Music Division of the National Federation of the Blind. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind representing the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut. Since 1971 Mary has never missed a National or State convention. She has been presented with two awards of appreciation for her dedication; one in November of 1999 at the NFB state convention and one in October of 2000 from the Agency Consumer Advisory Committee (ACAC).

Mary's commitment to the National Federation of the Blind and to the sharing of her philosophy of independence is commendable. Mary, we salute you for your dedication to the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut. For your years of service to the NFB, we publish this edition of The Federationist in Connecticut in your honor and wish you a happy birthday from the Connecticut affiliate.

Return to The National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut Home Page

For more information, E-mail us at:

The National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut
477 Connecticut Boulevard, Suite 217
East Hartford, CT 06108
(860) 289-1971


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Updated August 15, 2002