CFDA Home pageOperation E.L.F.

Operation E.L.F.Connecticut Funeral Directors Association Kicks Off Statewide Effort to Help         
Connecticut National Guard’s Operation ELF’s Gift Card and Toy Drive         
Public invited to Bring Donations to More than 35 Locations Across the State         


More than 35 funeral homes across Connecticut will welcome public donations of gift cards and unwrapped toys for the Connecticut National Guard's Operation ELF collection drive between Monday, November 13th and Wednesday, December 6th.

"This is the second year that members of our organization are inviting the public to bring in donations for Operation ELF, and at even more funeral home locations than in 2016," explains Bob Muccino, a funeral director and the President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. "By doing this, we are adding more than three dozen convenient community sites to supplement Operation ELF's own collection efforts. We encourage state residents to take a few minutes of their time and come donate an item that will mean so much to another Connecticut family."

In addition, on Thursday, December 7th from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., people also may bring unwrapped toys and gift cards to the CFDA's Annual Convention at the Radisson Cromwell Hotel at 100 Berlin Rd. (Route 372) in Cromwell.

Click here for the complete press release and find out more about how you can help!


Operation ELF 2016 Donations

PICTURED with some of the toys collected by the CFDA are:
Standing (left to right):

  • CFDA Executive Committee Member Jacqueline Teske;
  • Incoming 2017 President Robert L. Muccino Jr.;
  • 2016/2015 CFDA President Howard K. Hill, CFSP, CPC, CCO;
  • Executive Committee member Melissa Melin-Miles; and
  • Executive Director John F. Cascio.

Lower right, kneeling:

  • Secretary Edward J. Sheehy, Jr., CFSP, CPC, CCO.

WETHERSFIELD, CONN., December 13, 2016 - Members of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) continued their 11-year holiday tradition of collecting for the Connecticut National Guard Service Member & Family Support Center's Operation ELF (Embracing Lonely Families) program. But in 2016, in addition to encouraging donations from funeral directors and suppliers, 28 funeral homes across the state served as community collection sites for toys and gift cards.

"It has been an honor for the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association to support Operation ELF for close to a decade, assisting the families of Connecticut servicemen and women who are away from home during the holidays," explained Howard K. Hill, CFSP, CPC, CCO, 2016 President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. "Over the past month, we collected more than $5,100 worth of toys, gift cards and funds from our own members, and hundreds of dollars more in toys and funds from the general public. By expanding our efforts, we were able to double the amount we raised for Operation ELF this year."

CFDA staff brought the items to the Connecticut National Guard's Service Member & Family Support Center, which assists the families of Connecticut servicemen and women who are deployed during the holidays, and provides a wide range of support to military families throughout the year. In 2015, the office distributed more than $10,000 in gift cards to military families in need. Its Adopt-A-Family program has supported more than 125 military families since its inception.

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman launched Operation ELF's 15th annual collection effort in early November with Major General Thad Martin, Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard.

The Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that provides emergency financial assistance for Connecticut National Guard members and their families.  Donations are tax-deductible. \For more information about Operation ELF, please call 800-858-2677 or visit the Connecticut National Guard Facebook page.

The 128-year-old Connecticut Funeral Directors Association is comprised of funeral directors at more than 220 funeral homes. Based in Wethersfield, Conn., the professional organization is committed to the promotion and advocacy of high ethical standards in funeral service. This includes the development and presentation of ongoing professional training opportunities for practitioners and educational programs for association members and the public. For more information about the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association or its Operation ELF collection drive, call 860-721-0234 or 800-919-2332, or visit or  Join us on Facebook page.

Click here for the complete press release



Connecticut Funeral Directors Association Collects Toys & Funds for "Operation E.L.F."

CONTACT: Laura Soll - Conn. Funeral Directors Association  860-688-4499, Cell 860-833-4466

WETHERSFIELD, CONN., December 15, 2014 - Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) members and vendors from all over the state collected more than $3,700 in gift cards, toys and checks for Connecticut's Operation E.L.F (Embracing Lonely Families) program. This is the 10th year that CFDA has sponsored an organization-wide effort for Operation E.L.F. which helps to support the families of Connecticut National Guard troops already deployed or preparing to deploy overseas, and who also suffer financial hardship as a result of their call to active duty. The amount of donations collected this year by CFDA was 50 percent more than they raised in 2013! The collection was held at the Wethersfield-based association's 126th Annual Meeting at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. For more information about the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, call (860) 721-0234 or (800) 919-2332 or browse our website.

Connecticut - Operation E.L.F (Embracing Lonely Families) program
Pictured with some of the donated toys and gift cards are (left to right):

  • Howard K. Hill, CFSP, CPC, incoming 2015 President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) and owner of Howard K. Hill Funeral Services in New Haven and Hartford; and
  • Stephen M. King, CFSP, 2014 President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) and owner of Mystic Funeral Home in Mystic; and
  • Rebecca C. Lautenslager, a CFDA Executive Committee member and a funeral director with Shaughnessey-Banks Funeral Home in Fairfield, CT;
  • Bob Arrington, CCO, a Tennessee funeral director who is the President-Elect of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA); and
  • John Cascio, Executive Director of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) of Wethersfield.


The “2006 Community Service Award” of the Connecticut Society of Association Executives (CSAE)

was presented to the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) for its fundraising efforts to help the Connecticut National Guard’s Operation E.L.F. program. The 118-year-old CFDA was honored for its year-round work in organizing funeral directors from around the state to purchase and donate gift cards from stores and gas stations. Operation E.L.F. then sends these cards to families of Connecticut National Guard stationed away from home who truly need help to make ends meet.

2006 Community Service Award
Pictured at CSAE’s Annual Meeting
(left to right):

CFDA Executive Director John F. Cascio;
CSAE Executive Director Lorna M. Bolduc, CAE;
Elsa and Jonathan P. Woyasz, CFSP, Vice President of CFDA; and
CSAE President Charles H.(Chip) Marsh, CAE


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