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The William J. May III Service Above Self Awards


Bill May was all about honor, and service. The House of Heroes Connecticut Chapter cofounder,

who passed away in December 2016 following a two-year battle with cancer, made a life of serving both his country and his fellow comrades in need through his devotion to the House of Heroes mission. In Bill’s final months, he worked tirelessly in his dual roles as chairman of both House of Heroes National and the Connecticut Chapter to do all he could to expand House of Heroes nationwide impact. One thing Bill knew was that he could not do it alone - fulfillment of the House of Heroes mission was then, and remains today, dependent upon an army of advocates,

volunteers, sponsors and supporters who make our work possible. So it is only fitting that Bill, and his legacy of service, be celebrated by honoring, on an annual basis, those vital supporters who help us keep Bill’s dream alive. House of Heroes Connecticut is proud to introduce this year its

inaugural William J. May III Service Above Self Awards, to be presented annually to a sponsor, contractor & volunteer whose selfless contributions help make our mission possible.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees! Your time, talents and financial support are fitting tributes to Bill May’s legacy, and are helping House of Heroes Connecticut continue to Make a Difference in a Day for deserving Connecticut veterans. Thank you!

The William J. May III Service Above Self Award 2023 Winners 


John Torgerson


A retired Town of Hamden Park Superintendent and Marine veteran, John Torgerson has been volunteering for House of Heroes since the organization’s early days. A skilled carpenter, John’s work assisting numerous veterans on behalf of HOHCT over the years has proven invaluable. And his value goes a long way because when he arrives for a job, he usually brings his twin daughters along, Emily and Alese - who both took after their dad and are skilled carpenters in their own right. John finds helping his fellow veterans very rewarding. “You get the satisfaction knowing you’ve made someone happy and that they can live their lives safely and comfortably.” Thank you, John Torgerson!


David Santello


A skilled craftsman and member of the Connecticut Carpenters Union since 1988, Dave Santello has been a loyal supporter and volunteer with House of Heroes Connecticut since 2016. That was when,
quite unexpectedly, HOHCT showed up the day after Thanksgiving to build a handicap ramp for Dave’s father, an Army veteran. “They put that thing together so fast,” says Dave. “I told Carol (May) right then that if you ever need me, just call.” Dave has been a loyal and important part of the regular HOHCT skilled volunteer labor team ever since, and it is our privilege to honor his service to us tonight. Thank you, Dave Santello!


SkyDive for Veterans


Since 2016 a group of Connecticut shoreline friends have banded together every September to promote a unique event that pairs exhilaration with fundraising for a cause. The event is called Skydive for Veterans, in which ordinary folks from every walk of life jump out of otherwise perfectly good

airplanes for both the joy of the experience and to serve our nation’s veterans. Over the years, Skydive for Veterans has raised nearly $40,000 for House of Heroes Connecticut and a like amount

for another veterans service organization, Work Vessels for Vets. Thank you, Skydive for Veterans!

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