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A Genuine Love Affair

Stamford Senior Center’s Chris Crain and Stamford’s Senior Community

There is a love affair taking place at the Stamford Senior Center. This is a love story that goes back a decade when the senior population of Stamford was blessed with the arrival of Christina Crain as Executive Director of the SSC. Take one step into the Center and you feel the mutual love between Chris, her staff, and the 600+ members. It’s palpable and genuine. Chris lived in Norwalk most of her life, received her undergraduate degree from UConn, and a master’s degree from Columbia. Now residing in Stratford with her husband Jack and her two dogs (Chloe and Rocky), Chris has become a fixture in the Stamford community through her tireless dedication to her staff and the members of the Stamford Senior Center. “The members lift me up, they inspire me. They are living their best lives, and their vitality is what makes this place so special”, said Chris during a break from her non-stop day, where she touches every aspect of the Center. Gina Compolattaro, who has worked for Chris since her arrival ten years ago, and considers Chris a close friend said of her, “Chris is extremely laid back and has created a fun work environment. She always asks for input from the staff and values our opinions. We make each other laugh all the time, and I joke with her that if she ever leaves, she better take me with her!” A longtime member, Virginia Gilbert of Old Greenwich, tears up when describing her friendship with Chris. “Chris is what makes this place go. She is the most caring individual I have ever met. She has incredible empathy, and nothing is beneath her. Chris rolls up her sleeves and never says no.” Virginia ranks Chris up there with her closest friends and credits Chris with getting her back on her feet (literally) following a severe illness in late 2022. “During COVID, we were forced to create a Senior Center without walls,” says Chris. “We organized fitness classes over Zoom, along with other activities to avoid the isolation that debilitated much of the elderly population around the world during the pandemic.” A long-term goal of Chris’, and what keeps her up at night, is to build a new, state-of-the-art Center. While she keeps that dream alive, she continues to create partnerships outside the walls of the Senior Center to benefit the members, including one with Pickleball America and another with Stamford’s venerable Avon Theater. There are many heroes in Stamford whose work goes relatively unrecognized, but not Chris. She is beloved by everyone she comes in contact with. The senior community, and the Stamford community at large, is blessed to have her.

Chris is what makes this place go. She is the most caring individual I have ever met.

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