When we count our blessings at VOICES, we usually start with our favorite couple, Kate and Duane Orloske. We were delighted to hear that our favorite couple was to be recognized by the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County as the “Outstanding Established Volunteering Couple” in New Canaan. The award, presented at a ceremony at New Canaan Library on May 6th, recognizes their tremendous dedication to Voices of September 11th.
Duane lost his wife, Margaret, in the attacks on 9/11. Margaret was Vice President of Knowledge Management at Marsh & McLennan Companies in 2001, working on the 96th floor of Tower 1. She really loved her work and made a daily 2 ½ hour commute from her home in Windsor, Connecticut to engage in it. She loved her husband Duane and son Stephen, and thoroughly enjoyed living in the early American community of Settlement Hill with all of its reproduction and rebuilt 18th century homes, where she tended her gardens and cooked on the open hearth whenever she could.
In 2007, Duane came to VOICES with their friend Kate, to create a moving Living Memorial tribute for his wife Margaret. Duane and Kate then stayed on to volunteer together to help other families create tributes to loved ones they had lost in the attacks. Their friendship deepened over the years and today Kate and Duane Orloske are living their own love story. They married in 2011 and they continue to donate their time and talents to Voices of September 11th and its mission to help families and communities heal after tragedies.
All of us at VOICES are honored to work with Kate and Duane. Duane created a database that we use to track the services we provide to members of the 9/11 community. It is also a project management tool that organizes the wide variety of projects and events that we hold each year. In addition to working with Duane on these projects, Kate has recently served as an adviser and beta tester on the new website that we recently launched.
But by far the most valuable service they offer to us at VOICES is their wise counsel and generous spirit. We couldn’t be more delighted that their contributions have been recognized in this meaningful way.