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West Hartford’s Ronit Shoham Named Malta House of Care ‘Wonder Woman’

Ronit Shoham has been named a Malta House of Care 'Wonder Woman.' Photo credit: Christine Petit/La Petit Studio (courtesy photo)

Ronit Shoham will be honored by the Malta House of Care as a ‘Wonder Woman’ on May 9.

Malta House of Care’s “Wonder Women of 2018” are (front row, from left) Ronit Shoham of West Hartford; Sr. Theresa Fonti, CSJ of Hartford; Sr. Maureen Faenza, CSJ of Hartford; and Mikaela Nelson, a University of Hartford student from Buffalo, NY. (Back row, from left): Rosa Morales of Hartford; Dorothy Beaucar of Bristol; and Hyacinth Yennie of Hartford. Photo credit: Christine Petit/Le Petit Studio (submitted photo)


Tireless community volunteer Ronit Shoham of West Hartford has been named a Malta House of Care “Wonder Woman” for 2018. She will be honored with six other women at “Celebrating Wonder Women ’18,” a fundraiser to be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.

Proceeds from the event, which is open to the public, will benefit the Malta House of Care mobile medical clinic, which provides free primary health care to uninsured adults on a van that visits four Greater Hartford neighborhoods each week. For reservations, which are $100 per person, go to www.maltahouseofcare.org/wwtickets.

The seven Wonder Women of ’18 are as diverse as the communities they represent, but they are similar in two key ways, according to Michelle M. Murphy, executive director of the Malta House of Care Foundation, and also a West Hartford resident.

“Each of these women is completely other-focused; each lives a life of service, framed by the question: ‘What can I do for someone else today?’” said Murphy. “And each one was completely shocked to learn she’d been selected as a Wonder Woman. Their humility – individually and as a group – is amazing!”

Shoham could be considered a “professional volunteer,” Murphy said with a smile.

Highlights of her community involvement include founding or helping to found:

  • The Miracle League of Connecticut, which enables children with physical and mental challenges to play baseball;
  • The Underground, a drug- and alcohol-free place for West Hartford teens to hang with friends;
  • West Hartford Little League;
  • The Challenger Division of West Hartford Little League, which allows kids with cognitive or physical disabilities to play baseball; and
  • Cut Out Cancer, which provides free days of beauty at Bloomfield’s Milano salon for people undergoing treatment.

Most recently, she teamed up with her friend, Amy Jaffee Barzach, to raise $1.2 million to refurbish Jonathan’s Dream Reimagined, located at the Jewish Community Center in West Hartford – one of the first inclusive, accessible playspaces in the U.S. It reopened in October 2017.

In addition to Shoham, the other six Wonder Women of 2018 honorees are:

  • Dorothy Beaucar, 99, of Bristol, who’s spent 30-plus years of “retirement” actively volunteering for the Haitian Health Foundation, the American Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce, and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bristol, to which she has belonged all her life
  • Maureen Faenza, CSJ and Sr. Theresa Fonti, CSJ of Hartford, co-founders and current managers of the 38-year-old House of Bread, which has grown from providing coffee and donuts from the back of a van to serving 130,000 meals and 140,000 lunches for schoolchildren annually, along with a wide range of other support and services
  • Rosa Morales of Hartford, a well-known and well-respected neighborhood activist who’s worked tirelessly for decades to improve her Behind the Rocks community
  • Mikaela Nelson, a University of Hartford student from Buffalo, NY, who uses a 3D printer to create dolls customized with prosthetic limbs, scarred skin, hearing aids, etc. to help kids with disabilities feel more comfortable about their bodies
  • Hyacinth Yennie of Hartford, a small business owner and longtime president of the Maple Avenue Revitalization Group, who has earned a reputation as a smart, fair, and persistent South End neighborhood advocate

This year’s Wonder Women event is the eighth annual celebration in support of Malta House, which was founded in 2006 and has since provided 46,298 free patient visits to uninsured Hartford-area adults. This care is provided by a small paid staff and 55 medical volunteers, who donate $1.7 million of in-kind care each year. Malta is completely independent and receives no local, state, or federal funding.

To cover its other clinical expenses, Malta relies on partnerships with non-profit institutions – particularly the Archdiocese of Hartford and St. Francis and Hartford Hospitals – along with grants from foundations, corporations, family funds, and thousands of individual donors.

For more information about Malta House of Care, visit www.maltahouseofcare.org.

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