Editorial: Unselfish acts

Thanksgiving traditions continue to inspire and encourage good-natured feelings of togetherness around the country, but here in Ridgefield the rituals extend far deeper than pitching in with food and coat drives (of which there are multitudes here in town).

Just this week alone, Ridgefield’s Steve Zemo and Emmanuel Lanzo extended free housing to two groups who had been abruptly displaced from their homes.

Zemo, a member of the Board of Selectmen, extended an apartment to the Coury family after their Encampment Place home was engulfed in flames last Thursday night. The family has accepted the generous offering as it wades through the substantial fire damage that could take six months, or longer, to repair.

Lanzo, a Puerto Rico native who moved to town in 2013, is the head coach of the senior and master group swimmers at the Ridgefield Aquatic Club, as well as the coach of the Ridgefield High School boys swim team.

If he didn’t have enough on his plate already, Lanzo has helped bring three Puerto Rican Olympic swimming hopefuls to Ridgefield so that they can continue their training after Hurricane Maria left their island without power, gasoline, and clean water.

After weeks of non-training, they’re set up in another one of Zemo's apartments, and have re-entered the pool with hopes of winning medals at the Central American games next summer.

Zemo and Lanzo are just the most recent examples of this community’s tireless spirit when it comes to giving back to those less fortunate.

These unselfish acts make Ridgefield a special place to live, and that’s plenty to be thankful for.