Friday, May 20, 2022

Person of the Week

Sharon Tiezzi: The Pride of Local Lions

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From Lions international to the local probate court, Sharon Tiezzi has a history of stepping up to help. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

From Lions international to the local probate court, Sharon Tiezzi has a history of stepping up to help. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News)

Whether it’s from food service, to volunteering, to court, over the last 30 years if you’ve lived in Old Saybrook you’ve probably run into Sharon Tiezzi.

Sharon has lived in Old Saybrook for almost 40 years and for the last 27 has been involved with the Lions Club. The Lions Club is a non profit that sees to serve the community in a variety of different charitable ways.

“The purpose of the club is to serve,” Sharon sums up.

One of the major causes for the club is helping those with vision needs, through efforts like helping people get glasses, eye exams, or other issues.

Sharon explains she got her start in the club through her husband David. She says being a Lion’s Club member ran in his blood.

“My husband’s father was one of the original members of the club 65 some odd years ago,” Sharon proudly states.

In fact, Sharon is now the club’s president. She served a term as president several years ago, so it’s her second term in the role.

Sharon has also served as secretary and treasurer for the club before—”I think I’ve done it all!” she says with a laugh.

In her duties as president, Sharon is tasked with running the meetings “making sure we’re involved in community activities” and delegating jobs to other members.

“It’s more of a general thing, I’m not supposed to be the one doing all the work,” says Sharon.

Sharon says the club wouldn’t be able to do all it does without the support of the club members.

“We’re very fortunate the members we have are very hardworking and great at what they do,” says Sharon. “The members there are just a really positive group of people.”

As for upcoming projects, in August the club will participate in the town’s sidewalk sale and in October in the annual Arts and Crafts Fair. Additionally, the Lions members have been doing a once-a-month food drive at various places of workshop around Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

“The food drives have been going very, very well. We’ve been doing them one a month with social services,” Sharon explains.

Sharon says that many people may not associate Old Saybrook with food needs, but that, particularly during the pandemic, there was an increasing need for such support. At the distribution events after the food drives, Sharon is usually toward the end of the line and from her station she can see how grateful the people are after they come through.

“It really is nice when they get to the end and people really are so grateful,” she says. “There’s a really big need in Old Saybrook, believe it or not,” says Sharon.

Besides the Lions, people may know Sharon from the several restaurants she and her husband ran in Old Saybrook and Westbrook. These include the Cup and Saucer and Tiezzi’s.

“We had fun. It’s a 24/7 job—it can be very hard,” Sharon says.

Eventually, she and her husband got out of the business altogether but Sharon says they have fond memories of running the restaurants.

Still another way Old Saybrook residents might know Sharon is through her role as chief clerk for the Old Saybrook Probate Court, where she has worked for more than 25 years.

“If when I was coming out of high school or college and you asked me, I never would have guessed I’d be working there,” Sharon says with a laugh.

Sharon got her start at the court through an acquaintance, one of her husband’s friends, who was a judge at the court and needed someone to clerk for him. After being assured she could be taught what she needed to learn, Sharon began volunteering there a few hours a week and after being an assistant clerk for a while, she became full-time in 1997.

In her role, Sharon says she routinely encounters people who are nervous or upset about going to court to sort out the affairs of a deceased loved one, but Sharon is able to put their minds at ease and help them out which she says is her favorite part.

“That’s our job, to serve the public make them feel comfortable and hopefully not as stressed. By the time they leave, they really do thank you so much,” says Sharon. “I love my job it’s very rewarding I love what I do,” she adds.

Sharon grew up in Madison but has called Old Saybrook home for 37 years. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with her family, gardening, or enjoying music.

Asked her favorite thing about Old Saybrook Sharon says it’s hard to name just one and instead focuses on the varied opportunity there is for all ages.

“There’s something here for every age in Old Saybrook. I find it a really positive community,” she says.


Eric O’Connell covers news for Clinton for Zip06. Email Eric at e.oconnell@shorepublishing.com.

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