Susan Hurlburt is the 2018 Citizen of the Year

The Bethany Democratic Town Committee is pleased to announce that Susan A. Hurlburt has been selected as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. For more than 30 years as a Bethany resident, Susan’s contributions to our community have been numerous and noteworthy.


She was introduced to a life of service by her mom and stepdad who were Masons. So, Susan’s instinct for helping people began early in her life when she worked alongside them to prepare and serve meals to the Masons, some of which were elderly and disabled. At age 13, she became a Rainbow Girl, “a Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service and…about the value of charity and service…” This early exposure set the course for a lifetime of service, so when she and Clark made their home in Bethany, we became the beneficiaries of her generous spirit.

She became a certified paramedic in the early formation of this revered group of first responders and served from 1983-1996. Hers was one of the earliest classes in the South Central EMS region to receive this certification and was quickly tested when her unit was called to respond to several shoreline evacuations in preparation for the devastating Hurricane Gloria. She coordinated the complete evacuation of the residents of Cove Manor Nursing Home in the Morris Cove section of New Haven. She is now a member of the Community Emergency Response Team in Bethany for which she also maintains their website.

She has been the chair or co-chair of the annual Bethany Memorial Day Parade since 2000. Said First Selectman, Derrylyn Gorski, “some outstanding volunteers focus on a particular issue or cause. Sue Hurlburt’s cause is quite simple; it is service to her community.” First Selectman Gorski goes on to say that, “Sue is the volunteer people turn to when something needs to get done. I am so pleased that Sue is being recognized for her many years of dedicated, selfless service to Bethany.”
Among her many contributions were her roles as a Girl Scout leader from Brownies to Junior Girl Scouts, member and past president of the Bethany Community School PTO from 1998 through 2001. In 2001 while she was BCS PTO president, she played a key role in helping school administrators and parents evacuate children from the school on September 11th during the national panic resulting from the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

She was recognized as Coordinator of the Year by Beacon Falls/Naugatuck United Way in 2004, the Relay for Life Team Captain or Co-Captain in 2000, 2007 and 2008, a member of the Amity High School Marching Band Parents Group from 2007 to 2011, a member of the Amity High School Athletic Booster Club for Ice Hockey, and a member of the Amity High School Whole Note Club (an organization of parents who supported the music program).

Among her most significant contributions are on the Bethany Harvest Festival Committee and to the Lions Club. For the Harvest Festival, Sue is now responsible for all the publicity, maintenance of the website and managing, coordinating and scheduling many of the food trucks who set up at the airport. She has enabled the committee to expand the attendance of the festival by researching the capabilities of social media to achieve the broadest coverage for the festival. Last year’s attendance broke the record for attendance since its inception. According to Parks and Recreation Director, Janice Howard, “I wouldn’t be able to do all this without her. Whatever anyone else can’t do, she does.”

She is currently the First Vice President of the Bethany Lions Club which makes her responsible for all the publicity and social activities for the organization. According to club Secretary, Janet Brunwin, Sue “volunteers for everything and is a mentor for others in the organization.” Brunwin adds, “she’s not a person who looks for accolades or a pat on the back. She does what she does because she enjoys it. Honestly, she has more energy and passion than anyone I know. It’s a pleasure to know her.”

Susan will be honored at the annual Spaghetti Supper on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 6PM at Town Hall. Many State Constitutional officers will be in attendance during the award presentation. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Carol Goldberg on 203-393-0350 and are $15 for Adults, $12 for Seniors, $6 for children under the age of 12 and $25 for Patrons. The dinner includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti (including meat or vegetarian sauce), meatballs, sausage, salad, garlic bread and dessert and coffee or tea. Wine and cheese and soft drinks will be served starting at 6PM. The silent auction begins at 6PM followed by the live auction featuring Pat Martin and Scott Zimmerman as our long-standing auctioneers.