2011 Volunteers of the Year
Every race since the very first back in 2002 has featured the design work of Allan and Michael Esposito and Signs Unlimited. Allan and Michael are Derby natives having grown up on Lakeview Terrace in Derby. Allan is a 1977 Platt Tech graduate and the Butera Scool of Art in Boston. Allan in the artistic designer in the business which the brothers started in Derby in 1985. Michael is a 1981 Derby High graduate, and he is the engineer in the business. The business is currently located on Francis Street in Derby.
Signs Unlimited has grown quite a bit because of the quality of their work which can be found all over the country. The sign pictured above is headed for Boston when completed, and you may have seen some of their work at Clinton Crossing or more locally at Danny O's, the new Smoke & Bones or Porch & Patio.
When asked about his involvement in the race, Allan said that he is proud to see so many people on the street wearing one of the 9 race shirts and and he is happy he can make a contribution to the 5K ann help the Boys and Girls Club. He added, "I enjoy coming up with a theme for the shirt and being able to work the colors."
Michael noted that he is happy to see Derby have such a fun event and that it is a treat to see so many runners on Elizabeth St. He said that helping out for 10 yrs has been a treat and he loves to see so many folks. volunteers and runners, enjoying each new shirt.
Allan lives in Seymour with his wife Desiree and two sons Chris and Michael (both in the picture above), who both work with him in the business. Chris is a race fan as well - only his race is NASCAR and he is a big fan of Dale Ernhartjr! Daughter Katelyn is a 5th grader a Chatfield School in Seymour and a favorite activity is to go into Manhattan with dad Allan to explore the city - and maybe look at some of Signs Unlimited work on display in the city.Michael lives with wife Lynette in Derby. Lynette has also been a supporter of the 5K as she coaches the Derby Pop Warner Cheerleaders who have been cheering the runners each yearr at the United Cigar Store in Derby.
If you have run in the race, you have seen the Haywoods on the course as they are responsible for the water stop in front of Adzima's funeral home. Parents Michelle and Brett and sons Tyler (12), Biran (9) and Zack (6) make sure that runners are fully hydrated along the course.
They have both been outstanding athletes in their own right. A native and member of the prominent Shelton Pagliaro family, Michelle had a great career as both a basketball and softball player at Brown University where she first met Brett. He is from Kamloops, British Columbia Canada, and as you might expect, played hockey at Brown. Brett has run in the Hull race once.
Tyler is following the family's sports tradition as a goalie for the MidFairfield Blues. He attends The Hopkins School in New Haven, and will be running the race this year for the third time.
Brian is 9 and Zack 6 attend Sunnyside School in Shelton. Brian also plays travel hockey for the CT Riverhawks.
Brett is a partner at the Riverview and Edward F. Adzima funeral homes, and Michelle might be a great resource for many of our runners as she is a chiropractor at the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center in Trumbull and Shelton.
Michelle said that, "We always look forward to Thanksgiving morning. I remember meeting my dad at the funeral home and setting up water the first couple of years. Coffee, donuts, lots of laughs, and of course lots of cups filled with water. Brett and I have kept the tradition going and have included our children, knowing that if my dad (Joseph Pagliaro) was here he would still be doing it with a big smile."
Her favorite race memory came in 2009 when she was staffing the water station when 10 year old Tyler came running by followed very closely by her 78 year old uncle Carl Sylvester. Carl has also volunteered for every race - and run in every race. Not only has he run, but he has also won his age group several times.
We want to thank our 2011 "Volunteers of the Year" for all they do for us!