GREENWICH — The legacy of the late Selectman David Theis lived on this week as Scott and Icy Frantz were honored for their outstanding service to the community.
The couple were presented with the David N. Theis Award by the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company for all the work they have done for Greenwich through support of schools and community organizations. The fire company gave the Frantzes the awards, official citations and honorary badges Thursday before a crowd of close to 100 at Tamarack Country Club.
“This means the world to us,” Scott Frantz, a five-term Reublican state senator representing Greenwich as well as portions of Stamford and New Canaan, said. “We knew Dave Theis for a long time and he was a terrific example in all respects…No one ever does this kind of work for a thank you and it’s nice when it comes. To have some of your best friends in a room like this and so many selfless, wonderful people here it’s a great feeling.”
“To us Dave Theis was always a mentor,” Icy Frantz added. “He was definitely someone who didn’t just talk about something. He did it. He loved this community and he cared for it like no one else. He was so real. He didn’t try to be someone else.”
The couple were honored for all of the programs and schools they support in speeches given by First Selectman Peter Tesei, Kyle Silver from the Arch Street Teen Center, Alan Mathis from Liberation Programs and the couples longtime friends Stapley Russell and Beth and Peter Barhydt.
The award, which was created in memory of Theis after the selectman died suddenly in 2014, is in its third year. Fire company President Sandy Kornberg said the Frantzses were perfect choices for it, calling them “a great team.”
At the event, Theis was remembered for his years of community service, as a coach, politician and volunteer. And his vocal support for the town’s first responders was also recalled.
“They are simply an extension of what Dave Theis did for the community,” Kornberg said. “He served this community for so long and what we wanted to do was replicate, in honoring individuals, what he wanted Greenwich to be. We want to perpetuate that special spirit of Greenwich.”
Theis’ longtime partner Kerrin Coyle was in attendance, as she has been for every year of the award, and was presented with flowers by Chief of Police James Heavey and State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149th) who was the winner of the first award in 2015. And Coyle said she was overjoyed to see the Frantzes receive the honor.
“It’s wonderful, they’ve done so much for this town,” Coyle said. “They keep giving and giving and giving. I love the fact that this award is being given out. I love that David is never forgotten.”
Scott Frantz’s connection to Theis went all the way back to his youth as a student at Greenwich Country Day where Theis worked and coached. Frantz recalled Theis being a coach in so many of the sports he played in seventh, eighth and ninth grade.
The event was more than just a celebration. It is also a critical fundraiser for the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company. While the company does receive some funding from the town for basic necessities, other items have to be purchased by the company itself. At Thursday’s fundraiser, people had the chance to bid on silent auction items ranging from VIP tickets to see Live With Kelly and Ryan to rounds of golf at local country clubs to an in-home wine tasting or two hours of time at the GPD’s firing range.
The proceeds from the auction items went to benefit the volunteer firefighters and supporters were also given the chance to sponsor directly the purchase of needed equipment like axes, special gloves, flashlights and gas detectors.
“It’s nice to be able to get the support of the community for what we do,” Glenville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Michael Hoha said. “We get so much support from the community. We have people coming out every year to help us.”
Kornberg added, “We’re always appreciate of the community’s help because basically we have to be self-supportive. Our needs far, far exceed what the town can supply us. Therefore we have to do things like this and we want match up the ability to honor people and put forward our needs so we can link it together as a way of serving people.”
The company has been seeking the purchase of a brush truck which it says will help combat fires in some of the areas of Glenville and the backcountry that the bigger engines can’t get to. The truck can help stop fires in wooded areas and other off-road areas like camp sites in town where campfires can be a risk.
Hoha said they expect to have the truck completed and delivered to the company by the end of January or early February. The company was also seeking support at Thursday’s event for the purchase of an ATV to compliment the brush truck.
Scott and Icy Frantz were the stars of the evening, though, with their friends telling stories about them and thanking them for all their work in the community. Icy Frantz was humble about the honor.
“I think this community is so full of people who give so much of their time,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized but I feel for every Scott and Icy Frantz there is 25 to 100 people who are doing it too. I think we’re surrounded by people who are giving back to the things they are really passionate about.”