In The Easy Chair: Sandy Maniscalco

In The Easy Chair: Sandy Maniscalco

The Westerly Sun

AGE 71.

OCCUPATION Co-founder of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, where I’ve served in a number of roles since its launch in February 2006 (at both managerial and yeoman levels); retired from Pfizer in 2004.


BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Stonington Borough. I graduated from Stonington High School in 1960.

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME Enjoying my family and friends, and staying active in fitness and community service.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Co-founding the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation with Norma McPhail Logan (1958-2006), whose dream was to raise donation dollars to fund research to find a cure or an effective treatment for breast cancer. Since 2006, TBBCF has raised over $2.5 million with 100 percent directed to breast cancer research. Norma was an amazing woman and remains the spirit of TBBCF. She recruited many of the core volunteers who remain active to this day. We all love the work we do for the foundation.

WHAT I HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR Someone you can count on.

TOP ITEM ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit Vietnam with my husband, Phil, and some of our veteran friends. Phil and I also hope to visit all the presidential libraries and the national parks. It’s a work in progress.

ALWAYS IN MY POCKET Cellphone, keys and wallet. I’m not a purse person.

WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP Boss of something …

PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOST INFLUENCED ME: My grandmother, Stella; my friend, Norma; and my National Guard supervisor, CSM Tom Twomey. They all assumed I could do things I had never imagined possible. And Phil Maniscalco, who models kindness, courage and service every day.


LAST BOOK READ “Beautiful Ruins,” by Jess Walter.

FAVORITE SONG “My Funny Valentine,” from Frank Sinatra. I also love all the songs sung by Jimmy Durante on his “As Time Goes By” album, especially “I’ll Be Seeing You.” Whenever I hear that song I feel close to my parents, Ann and Al Nunes.

FAVORITE MOVIE The 1943 version of “Jane Eyre,” with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine.

FAVORITE TV SHOW Love all the PBS mini-series. One of my favorites lately has been “Lark Rise to Candleford.”

FAVORITE PET Our three pups: two golden retrievers, Tony B and Jenny, and later our rescued chocolate lab, Pele.

FAVORITE FOOD Homemade soups.

AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK Often. I assist our TBBCF administrator with postings on the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Facebook page. I also check up on my grandchildren. 

TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE Courage and kindness.

PET PEEVE Political rhetoric.

FAVORITE QUOTATION “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead.

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD The Ocean Community YMCA, downtown Westerly, great neighbors and, of course, the beach.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Philip Anthony Maniscalco and our amazing family and friends. We are so blessed!

LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME My sister, Mary Nunes Maranell, and I wrote a children’s book, “A Gift for Marsandale Forest,” and my former sister-in-law, Terry Capizzano Kiefer, and I wrote a cookbook, “Culinary Treasures from the Calabrian Aunts.”

BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED Always try to do the right thing.

ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE It’s better to wear out than to rust out! Get off the couch!

IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD Put an end to violence, war and injustice.


I DRIVE A Gray 2009 Pontiac G3.

I WISH I DROVE A I loved my 1980s Renault Le Car and now I love the 2013 Fiat.

ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Yogurt and pimento moida.

IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE My late grandmother, Stella Starr Sylvia. She was a great storyteller. I never took notes. If I had another chance to talk with her I would definitely record the conversation.

— Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro


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