2022 Hero Award Recipients
The Stonington Garden Club · Joyce Pandolfi
Each year, the Board of Directors awards the Hero Award to individuals and organizations that exhibit extraordinary dedication and service of distinction in furthering the mission of the Stonington Historical Society.
The Stonington Garden Club
For almost 100 years, the Stonington Garden Club has had a lasting and positive impact on the community, and its members take great pride in the Stonington community and its environs. The Club was established in the 1920s and became a member of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut in 1929 and Garden Club of America in 2000. The Club’s mission is to “educate and encourage interest in the environment, conservation, community projects, and to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.”
With funds raised primarily through its triennial Gardens by the Sea walking tour, the Club supports a wide variety of Stonington-based organizations that promote conservation and care for the environment. Members of the Club maintain the Stonington COMO’s Children’s Learning Garden, the Lighthouse Museum garden, Wayland’s Wharf Rain Garden, and the Stonington Borough Post Office garden. Educational projects include NatureScapes, a natural science program with annual field trips for each 3rd grade class in Stonington. The Stonington Garden Club also takes an active role during the holiday season, co-hosting Deck the Walls with the Stonington Historical Society and delivering evergreen arrangements to area nursing facilities. The Club also awards annual scholarships to Stonington High School seniors pursuing environmental studies.
Joyce Pandolfi has served as President of the Stonington Free Library, and on the boards of the Stonington Garden Club, and the Stonington Historical Society. Since 2020, she has served as the co-chair of the Lighthouse Museum Campaign. She has helped the Campaign raise more than $2 million to support the complete renovation of the Lighthouse Museum and the construction of an ADA-accessible Visitors Center.
Her volunteer experience also includes former board service on the Briarcliff Manor Historical Society (including as President), Teatown Lake Reservation, and the Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson.
Professionally, Ms. Pandolfi’s career includes work for the Ford Foundation and ownership of The Silver Needle, a wholesale and retail needlepoint design business. She is married to Francis Pandolfi, and together they have three sons and two granddaughters.