Above, representatives of the Possum Queen Foundation at Wednesday’s Wisdom Awards celebration at the Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center. Billy Neller, president of the foundation, received a Wisdom Award at the 21st annual event.
Below, Wisdom Award recipients John and Lynn Fulkerson, fifth and sixth from left, with members of the Litchfield Land Trust. From left are Jim Wu, John Markelon, Peter Ebersol, Marie McFadden, Dean Birdsall and Richard Heys. BZ photos
A festive tradition resumed at the Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Wednesday with the presentation of the 21st annual Wisdom Awards.
Recipients were John and Lynn Fulkerson of Litchfield, a pair of stewards of the environment, and Bill Neller on behalf of the Possum Queen Foundation, which has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to local individuals and families facing medical hardships.
John Fulkerson, a nationally-recognized orthopedic surgeon, is a member of the Litchfield Land Trust, the author of a book on organic farming, and a musican with the Western Lands Trio, a local band that celebrates the environment. Lynn Fulkerson focuses on justice and sustainability through her environmental ministry with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, has worked to ban the disposal of fracking waste, co-founded the Litchfield Energy Task Force and the Inter-Religious Eco-Justice Network, coordinates an Earth film series at the Church of Christ Congregational in Goshen, helped establish the Goshen Green Garden, and is a member of the League of Women Voters of Litchfield County.
Neller, co-founder of the Possum Queen Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the many volunteers who have helped him turn the foundation into a fundraising juggernaut that has assisted dozens of local individuals and families facing unexpected medical issues.
A local sports celebrity, Neller is also co-founder of the Litchfield Hills Road Race and a member of the Litchfield Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Tri-State Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Wisdom Award recipient Billy Neller with, from left, Susan O’Rourke, Patty DiChillo and Beth Murphy.
Wisdom Award recipient Lynn Fulkerson, left, with fellow Goshen Green Garden members, from left, Janet Hooper, Brigitte Michaud and Judi Armstrong.
Father Tucker, left, with Sarah and Jay Bolton.
Cindi Zeller, left, and Lee Brakeman.
Former Wisdom Award recipient Cathy Oneglia and Father Tucker.
Former Wisdom Award recipients, from left, Cleve Fuessenich, Bob Petricone and Greg Oneglia.
Noel Fisher and Louise Saelzer.