Seven residents honored for coming to America

Seven residents who immigrated to Milford were honored Monday by the Milford Speaks Out group during its first Thanks for Coming award ceremony.

David Duffner of Milford Speaks Out said he created the award to remind people of the positive contributions that have come from people who moved here from other countries.

Mayor Ben Blake read a proclamation declaring Nov. 20 Immigration Day in Milford.

The honorees were Joseph Garbus, born in Russia, for his service as an alderman, work toward the revitalization of the Walnut Beach neighborhood, service to the arts, and efforts in the Silver Sands Beach area.

Lesley Mills, born in England, was honored for her support for “aging in place” with Griswold Home Care, preservation and restoration of historic buildings, and philanthropy.

Wendy Safyre, also born in England, was honored for feeding the hungry and supporting Native Americans.

Nadia Bajrakterevic, who came here from Bosnia, was honored for helping the infirm, supporting recently arrived immigrants, and her work as an election poll worker.

Moe Elhelw, born in Egypt, who owns the new Milford Diner on Bridgeport Avenue, was honored for making neighborhood improvements, providing jobs here, his support for cancer research, and providing transportation for people to medical appointments. Elhelw was not at the ceremony because he had to work, but he received his award prior to Monday.

Terrance Copeland, who came here from Canada, was honored as a representative on the Planning and Zoning Board and for his work toward environmental protection and his contributions to youth athletics.

Eeva Copeland, born in Finland, was honored for her volunteer work at the Milford Senior Center, as a member of the steering committee of Women Redefining Retirement, for providing supplies for the needy, for work as a school PTA member, for volunteer work at the Boys & Girls Club, and for volunteer efforts as an ESL tutor and museum docent.