December 19, 2018

Essex Garden Club Recognized for Civic Work

Essex Garden Club (EGC) Civic Committee Chairs (past and present) pose holding their civic awards with EGC President Augie Pampel.  From left to right are Janice Strait, Suzanne Tweed, Pampel, Barbara Powers and Liz Fowler.

ESSEX — The Essex Garden Club (EGC) was recently recognized by the Federated Garden Clubs Of Connecticut for its civic work maintaining parks, traffic islands and especially the fundraising used for the planting of trees, shrubs and perennials.

This is part of the ongoing effort of the EGC Civic Team that helps support the mission to create civic beautification in our community and promote educational opportunities for our members and the general public.  

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Local Historical Societies Commemorate End of WWI, Honor Local Veterans in ‘A Patriotic Salute,’ Nov. 4

The Corinthian Band will play patriotic music during the slide show.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and 100 years of women serving in the US military, the historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex will sponsor a program that combines local history, spirited patriotic music and a unique way to honor our veterans.

The area’s historical societies are combining forces to present “A Patriotic Salute,” a digital slide show of images of local veterans over the past 100 years, to be shown on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium at 174 Main Street, Deep River. The slide show will be presented with musical accompaniment by the Corinthian Jazz Band, performing patriotic music. Historic commentary will be provided by Angus McDonald.

The event is free and open to the public. Handicapped access is available. Refreshments will be served.

Questions? Call 860-558-4701 or go to chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

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All Youth — Boys and Girls — Invited to Join Chester/Deep River Cub Scout Pack 13

CHESTER & DEEP RIVER – Cub Scouting wants you!

Now is the time to join the fun and excitement of America’s foremost youth program for boys and girls — Cub Scouting. 

Cub Scouting is for boys and girls in the kindergarten through fifth grades. The program combines outdoor activities, sports, academics, and more in a fun and exciting program that helps families teach ideals such as citizenship, character, personal fitness, and leadership.

For more information, visit www.beascout.scouting.org and enter your zip code for more information, also at http://chesterdeeprivercubpack13.scoutlander.com

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Chester Resident Margaret Wilson Honored as a Member of 2018 Class of 60 Over 60

Margaret Wilson of Chester was recently named a member of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60.

CHESTER — Chester resident Margaret Wilson was recently honored as a member of the 2018 Class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60. She was celebrated at a reception and ceremony at Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community.  Over 200 people, including family, friends and admirers of the honorees celebrated her accomplishments. The event was sponsored by The University of Hartford’s The Hartt School whose students also provided the music throughout the event.

“We were so honored that almost all of the members of this year’s class were able to attend,” said Duncaster CEO Michael O’Brien.  “We are pleased that, for the second year, we had the honor of showcasing some of the state’s most influential individuals who are age 60 or better.  We are overwhelmed with the contributions each member of the Class of 2018 has made to the world; the people they touch every day and their families.”

“It is truly a pleasure to nominate Margaret Wilson for this recognition. Margaret is Vice President/President-elect of the Resident Board of Masonicare at Chester Village. A woman of many interests and gifts, she unselfishly shares them with the community-at-large,” so begins the nomination of Margaret Wilson by Masonicare’s Executive Director, Annie Hoefferle.

For the past 20 years, Margaret has served as treasurer of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, which is a state-local compact dedicated to the protection of the 30-mile Lower Connecticut River Valley. She also serves on the town of Chester’s Conservation Commission, is a monthly volunteer at the YMCA’s Camp Hazen in Chester and authors a weekly “Envirotrips” column.

After her retirement, Margaret continued to volunteer on nature and environmental projects at Chester Elementary School where she was a substitute teacher. Her retirement also allowed her to attain her Master Gardener status through UCONN.

Her nominator enthusiastically concludes, “With her passion for the environment and continued love of learning and serving, Margaret is truly deserving of this recognition.”

The search for 60 individuals began in January.  Nominations came in from across Connecticut from people who wanted to honor those who had contributed to their businesses, the arts scene, the local and international nonprofit community and their families.  They were selected by a panel of judges that included three members of the first class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60: Molly Gavin, President of Connecticut Community Care, Inc.; Kathleen Miller Murphy, Board Member, Simsbury Library and Terry Borjeson, State of Connecticut, Pardons and Paroles Board Member.

The search for the 2019 Class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60 will begin in January.

For profiles of the members of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60, go to: duncaster.org/60-over-60-winners.

Editor’s Note:  Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to the active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings. Duncaster was voted the Best Retirement Community by readers of Hartford Magazine and the Connecticut Law Tribune.  Residents have a role in governance and sit on the board – a rare distinction. For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Ädelbrook Recognizes CFO for 30 Years of Service

David Maibaum, Ädelbrook CFO stands by the Bradford Pear Tree planted in honor of his 30 years of service to the agency.

CROMWELL — Ädelbrook recognized David Maibaum, Chief Financial Officer, for his dedication of working for the agency for 30 years. In recognition of this service there was a Bradford Pear Tree planted on campus, a tradition at Ädelbrook in recognizing extraordinary length of service. Additionally he received a 30 year length of service award at the Employee Recognition Ceremony.

Being recognized for his 25 years of service was Tony Murphy,  for 20 years,  Brenda Gorski, for 15 years Jason Leeman, and for 10 years, Steven Short, Siobhan Leavy along several staff who have been with the agency for five years.

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Essex Library Receives $20,000 Gift

The Friends of Essex Library recently presented Library Director Richard Conroy with a $20,000 check.

ESSEX — The Friends of the Essex Library presented a $20,000 check to library Director Richard Conroy at their Annual Meeting held on June 13.  This generous gift was made possible thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers who put in countless hours organizing book sales, and working on highly successful fund raisers such as the “Festival of Dinner Parties” held in the fall of 2017 and recent tour of “Our Friends Gardens.” 

“Quite simply, the Library could not offer the level of services we provide if it weren’t for the vital financial support we receive from our Friends” said Conroy, who marveled at how vibrant the organization has become over the past few years.  He offered special thanks to outgoing Friends President Jo Kelly for being “the sparkplug” that has kept the group on task during her tenure.  He also mentioned that he looked forward to working with incoming President Suzy Baird. 

In addition to their usual fall and spring book sales the Friends are hard at work planning upcoming fund-raising events such as a Swallow Cruise in September, and Library Mini-Golf in January.  To learn more about the Friends, or how to become one, visit their webpage at: www.youressexlibrary.org/friends/.

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Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Donors from Essex Garden Club’s ‘May Market’ Silent Auction Committee

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 12th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 66th May Market. The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends, and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction. They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Blue Hound Cookery & Taproom, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, Connecticut River Museum, Cooper & Smith, Copper Beech Inn, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Earth and Fire Art Studio, Essex Chocolatier and Coffee Bar, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Ivoryton Playhouse, Wendy and John Madsen, Charlotte Meyer Design, Melanie Carr Gallery, Al Moncovich, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, Olive Oyl’s, Patricia Spratt for the Home, Perfect Pear, Eve Potts, Savour Café & Bakery, Saybrook Country Barn, Scotch Plains Tavern, 1738 Farm, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, The Essex, The Valley Railroad Company, Gay Thorn, Truffle Shots, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks to them all.

Sincerely,

Dawn Boulanger, Genie Devine, Barbara Hall, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club May Market Silent Auction Committee

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9 Town Transit Faces Bus Cuts, Fare Increases; Encourages Public to Voice Their Opinions

AREAWIDE — 9 Town Transit (9TT) is preparing for a 15 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2018 with a proposal of service cuts and fare increases.  The agency says the reductions are due to the failure of revenue into the state’s Special Transportation Fund to keep up with expenses.

Under the proposal, bus fares would rise from $1.75 to $2 on bus routes and to $4 on Dial-A-Ride.  This would be the second fare increase in 18 months.

The agency is also proposing multiple service reductions.  They include:

  • Elimination of the senior fare subsidy, which would result in seniors paying a fare on all services for the first time in 37 years.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 2 Riverside, which provides service between Chester and Old Saybrook, by eight hours per weekday.
  • Elimination of all Saturday service.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 1 Shoreline Shuttle by three hours per day (7:30 a.m. trip leaving Old Saybrook, 9 a.m. leaving Madison).

 

Written statements concerning the proposal may be submitted either at the hearing, by email to info@estuarytransit.org or mail.

9 Town Transit is encouraging transit users and supporters to let their state representative and senator know how important 9 Town Transit, Shoreline East or other public transit services are to them.

More information about the possible service reductions and ways to help prevent the funding cuts can be found at www.9towntransit.com/fundtransit.

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Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Club Welcomes New Members of Any Skill Level From All Along Shoreline

Dan Janiak and Will Tuthill confirm it was a pleasure to play.   All photos by Peter Pearce.

“Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it.”   Andy Murray, professional tennis champion

AREAWIDE — For the men of the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Organization, the tennis is far from perfect – but that’s not the point. Oh, they may step onto the court feeling sure that today, for just once, it’s all going to come together. But the reality of slower reflexes and an aging body’s aches and pains quickly snaps them back to reality.  The players all accept their shortcomings and can even joke about them; it’s the camaraderie that matters.

For men 60 years or older, the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis group is a great retirement activity and a perfect way to spend two to three mornings a week.  You’ll get exercise, competition, laughter, friendship, caring, and more.

Dave Cassano puts away a volley.

But you don’t have to be retired …

Some players adjust their work schedules to fit in tennis. Along the way, you just may be stimulated by seeing guys in their 80s who can still get around the court and hit winners. As player Greg Fahey said, “I happen to be one of the younger members of the group … all of the members are an inspiration in both physical and mental condition … in the spirit they demonstrate and the example they provide.”

The league is now recruiting new players for both the upcoming summer season as well as next winter’s. There’s no need to worry about your skill level. As octogenarian Tom Dolan told one player who was feeling dejected by his poor play, “Don’t worry about it. Think about the alternative; you could be horizontal.”

Art Paquette hits a forehand while his partner John Kraska watches the play closely.

Players range from beginners to seasoned veterans and span in age from 60 to 88. The league’s steering committee divides them into three groups based on ability, the goal being to slot players into the level in which they are likely to find comfortable, enjoyable play. A wide geographic area is represented, stretching from Hamden and New Haven up to Cromwell and down to Old Lyme.

Matches are all doubles, with partners being agreed upon by the foursome at the start of the match. You will be in a different foursome every match. With the emphasis on recreation and friendship, no standings are kept.

Matches are scheduled year-round, with the summer season running from May through early October and the winter season from October through April. Summer season is outdoors at public and private courts in the Madison/Guilford area; winter season is played indoors at the Madison Racquet and Swim Club. You may choose to play one, two or three days a week.

Article author Tom Soboleski runs down a forehand.

Madison Seniors Tennis is now in its 21st year. It began when a small group of friends, led by John Sadek and Joe Pegnataro of Madison, began playing at Pegnataro’s home court. It now includes more than 70 men and all scheduling is administered through a web-based program.

Whether you’re a high-skilled player or just a beginner, Madison Senior Mens Tennis will happily and comfortably welcome you. “Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Peter Lemley. “I find more often than not, when a player scores a great point, not only his partner, but his opponents will cheer.”  Besides the aforementioned benefits, your ego may get a boost as well. As tennis great John McEnroe has said, “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

If interested in joining, or if you have any questions, the organization can be contacted:

  • By text message or call to: Chris Hill at 203.641.7100, or John Sadek at 203.245.1261

More information is also available on the league’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/mseniortennis/home

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Chester Girl Scout Honored With President’s Volunteer Service Award, Certificate of Excellence

Chester resident Juliette Linares has been honored for exemplary service in her community 

CHESTER – Juliette Linares of Chester, a local Girl Scout, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service. Certificates of excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Juliette, from Chester, Connecticut, has been in Girl Scouting for 13 years and has spent her career as a Girl Scout giving back to her community. She was chosen to represent local Girl Scouts on the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Board of Directors as Girl Board Member, where she speaks on issues affecting Girl Scouts throughout the state.

Since she was young, Juliette has used funds generated from selling Girl Scout Cookies for community service projects, including volunteering with a local inner-city elementary school. She began conducting book drives and shared 100 stories with 100 kindergarten students and gifted each child the shared book.

Juliette’s community service experience paved the path towards earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Nationally, only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn this prestigious honor. Girls must complete 80-100 hours of community service to earn this award. Juliette’s Gold Award Project, Dinner & A Book was a literary celebration addressing the importance of literacy among young children.

Juliette started in 2014, writing a proposal, composing a budget, and fundraising, and 148 hours of planning time later, Juliette hosted an evening where she advocated for literacy. Her program will continue to run after she graduates high school.

“We are extremely proud of Juliette for receiving these incredible honors and for all that she has accomplished in Girl Scouting,” said CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut Mary Barneby. “I look forward to following her future endeavors and witnessing her continue to make our world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 41,000 members strong – over 27,500 girls and nearly 14,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

They are part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Their journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy are honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts of America are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls … and with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Seeking Golfers, Sponsors for Ädelbrook Golf for Kids Tournament

AREAWIDE — Spring is here and Ädelbrook’s Golf for Kids Tournament is right around the corner. This year’s tournament will be held on Thursday, May 31, at the Robert Trent Jones Course at Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield, CT.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get involved with Golf for Kids to support the children and families served by Ädelbrook. Download the golf brochure at https://adelbrook.org/learn-more/events/golf-for-kids

This is a great sponsorship opportunity as golfers from all over the state with varying business needs attend, providing a diverse audience to showcase your business. As this tournament is in its 23rd year, it has a history of success and our golfers know that they get what they pay for.

The day includes 18 holes of golf, continental breakfast and afternoon buffet, contests for long drive and closest to the pin, free neck and shoulder massages, silent auction and a prize drawing, and a golf cannon. Yes, you read that correctly, a golf cannon.

Golf for Kids offers a wide variety of sponsorship levels from $150 up to $3,500. Being a sponsor allows you to get your company name out, while also benefitting the many children and young adults who are served by Ädelbrook. Being a golfer at this event promises a really great day with good food, fun activities all for a great cause.

Ädelbrook is a multi-service agency specializing in behavioral and developmental services. We are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of families and individuals, of all ages, as they relate to intellectual/developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The organization provides short-term, long-term and respite residential programming for children and young adults. In-home and community-based services are customized from, as little as two hours a week, to round the clock staffing.  Additionally, an educational continuum for students aged 3 – 21 is provided.

For further information, call 860-635-6010 x327 or email Sharon Graves at sgraves@adelbrook.org

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Middlesex Hospice & Palliative Care Seeks New Volunteers

AREAWIDE — At Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, volunteers are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team, reaching out to patients and families as they cope with the challenges of terminal illness. Volunteers are eligible to begin after completing 12 hours of classes and a 12-hour mentorship on our inpatient hospice unit.

Training is held on Saturday April 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and April 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both sessions are mandatory. The Hospice is specifically looking for individuals who would like to work in homecare and nursing homes visiting patients. 

For more information and to begin the application process, contact Jackie Orlowski, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at (860) 358-6955 or jaclyn.orlowski@midhosp.org at your earliest convenience.

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Tavern Night Returns to CT River Museum, March 23

ESSEX — On Friday, Jan. 26, the Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night.  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit riverside tavern from the War of 1812. 

The evening includes a bourbon whiskey tasting hosted by Highland Imports, songs by noted musician Don Sineti, tavern games, and a food pairing of early American cuisine provided by Catering by Selene.  Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

Folk singer Don Sineti will play and sing some rousing tunes at Tavern Night.

Sineti is a folksinger, songwriter, part-time sea chantey man (with one of the most powerful voices on the Eastern Seaboard!), and long-neck, 5-string banjo picker.  For over 20 years, he has entertained with his boundless energy, to deliver rousing renditions of songs from the days of wooden ships and iron men.  With a booming voice and a hearty laugh, he shares his music with audiences of all ages.

There are three candle lit evenings planned.  Two additional Tavern Nights will be held; 

  • March 23 – Heritage Wines and Port Tastings with folklorist Stephen Gencarella & historian Chris Dobbs; Music by Joseph Mornealt
  • April 27  – Olde Burnside Brewing Company beer tastings; music by Rick Spencer, Dawn Indermuehle & Chris Dobbs. 

Save $10 when you buy all three evenings!

Tastings take place at 6 and 8 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit ctrivermuseum.org.  Tickets are $24 for museum members or $29 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Includes bourbon whiskey tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Catering by Selene, Connecticut Rental Center and Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for students, $6 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

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St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Offers New Wednesday Evening Celtic Prayer Service

EAST HADDAM – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is starting a new tradition.

St. Stephen’s is offering a Wednesday evening prayer built upon the Celtic Christian tradition. This quiet and meditative prayer service begins at 7 p.m. and lasts for about half-an-hour.

This time represents an opportunity to find an oasis in the midst of busy lives where you can sit and be still with God. This service is open to any person who hungers for rest in the divine and is seeking a deeper connection with God, regardless of their religious background.

The Celtic Evening Prayer Service places an emphasis on silence, meditation, the mysteries of our faith, and creation. Celtic Spirituality draws its inspiration from the earliest manifestation of Christianity as well as the wisdom of pre-Christian Ireland.

The prayers of the Celtic Saints are filled with the experiences of God’s presence in creation, the simplicity of living in harmony with creation, and the awareness of the sacredness of all things. In the prayers, the passion, and the practice of the faith in the early church on these islands, there is a clarity, simplicity and wisdom that speak to many of today’s concerns.

“The Celtic Evening Prayer service offers an opportunity to come to a quiet place, to be reflective and through prayer to be renewed. We are pleased to offer this unique prayer experience,” comments Thom Hagerth, parishioner of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

“Preparing for this Celtic Evening Prayer Service has been very rewarding and it is my hope that people will find a new way to worship through time honored traditions,” comments Mike Corey, Intern, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

St. Stephen’s is located at 31 Main St., East Haddam, Connecticut, 860-873-9547.

For more information, visit www.ststeves.org.

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Friends of Deep River Public Library Seek Reader’s Votes at Essex Savings Bank

The handsome Deep River Library building stands at 150 Main Street, Deep River

DEEP RIVER — The Friends of the Deep River Public Library are asking for your vote!

Throughout the month of February, Essex Savings Bank is giving thousands of dollars to help aid projects that improve our communities. Customers of Essex Savings Bank can vote for their three favorite non-profit organizations. Help support the Friends of the Deep River Library by voting. Paper ballots are available at any of the Bank’s six branches or an electronic ballot may be submitted by logging into your Essex Savings Bank online account.

The Friends of the Deep River Public Library help raise funds for programs that provide education and enrichment for children, families and adults. Visit your local Essex Savings Bank or log into your online account today to help us continue supporting these important community programs!

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pmTuesday 10 am – 6 pmWednesday 12:30 – 8 pmThursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; andSaturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Volunteers Needed to Help Valley Shore Residents With Literacy Challenges

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization.  Its mission is to train tutors to help residents of the Valley Shore area who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills.  This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each spring and again in the fall of every year.  The next training session begins March 22 and runs through May 15. Workshop Leaders have developed a comprehensive program that provides prospective tutors the skills and resources to help them succeed.

A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to helping a student improve their skill in basic literacy or English as a Second Language over the period of one year after the completion of training.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library by phone at (860) 399-0280 or by e-mail at jargersinger@lvvs.org .  Registration for the spring session is open now.

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Looking Ahead to 2020, CBSRZ Leaders Network With Thousands of Peers at URJ Biennial in Boston

CHESTER –  Leaders from Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) in Chester will join 5,000 Jewish leaders for the 2017 Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial, being held in Boston, Massachusetts, from Dec. 6-10.

The URJ Biennial is the largest Jewish religious gathering in North America. Clergy, professionals, lay leaders, educators, youth leaders, and high school and college students will come together to learn, pray, share ideas, network, celebrate, make Reform Movement policy, and create engagement opportunities for the 2 million people – representing nearly 900 Reform Jewish congregations in the U.S. and Canada – who comprise the Reform Jewish community.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is one of 138 Reform Jewish congregations from across North America who will send a group delegation to the conference. Participants from 480+ congregations in 57 states/provinces will attend intensive leadership training and learning sessions about congregational life, designed to enrich personal skills and knowledge, and deliver tangible take-aways to bring back to their congregations.

Attendees may choose from more than 200 learning sessions from 400 expert presenters. Programming is organized within five intensive tracks that reflect the top priorities of the URJ’s bold 2020 Vision action plan: Strengthening Congregations, Audacious Hospitality, Tikkun Olam (social justice), Youth Engagement, and Transforming Texts (presented in partnership with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion). View the detailed schedule.

“For clergy, synagogue professionals, and lay leaders, the URJ Biennial offers new and creative solutions about every aspect of congregational life,” said Chair of the URJ Biennial 2017 Luise Mann Burger. “Biennial is simply the best way for local leaders to learn from, share ideas, and network with peers and leading experts.”

“URJ Biennial is like a big family reunion – you get to learn, pray, share best principles, network, and catch up with 5000 of your closest Reform Jewish friends and colleagues,” shares Rabbi Marci Bellows, spiritual leader at CBSRZ. “I always return from Biennial feeling refreshed, as well as reinvigorated with new, creative programs, music, and other ideas for our wonderful congregants back at home.”

Biennial attendees will hear from a variety of speakers and expert practitioners, including:

  • Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
  • Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, social justice leader of Moral Mondays, Repairers of the Breach
  • Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative: her study exposed elevated lead blood levels in Flint children
  • David Grossman, Israeli author and activist, just named the winner of Man-Booker International Prize for Literature
  • Krista Tippett, host of On Being public radio show and podcast
  • Jodi Nussbaum, VP, Sesame Workshop
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President
  • Daryl Messinger, Chair of URJ North American Board of Trustees

Visit www.urj.org/biennial for event info. Use hashtag #URJBiennial. Follow the URJ on Facebook & Twitter.

 

For more information about URJ, visit www.URJ.org

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Garden Club Decorates Essex for the Holidays

Hard at work on decorations for the Town of Essex are, from left to right, Diane Sexton, Pat Mather and Renate Houchin.

ESSEX — In preparation for the holidays, members  of the Essex Garden Club decorated merchant window boxes,  and tubs of the villages of Essex using a variety of evergreen cuttings from members and other generous donors from the community.

Decorating the “Silent Policeman” are, from left to right, Gay Thorn, DeeDee Charnok and Sandy Meister.

The “Silent Policeman” has been decorated with layers of evergreens, berries and lights. The gazebo also has been decorated with garlands and lights.

The Essex Garden Club has helped the town put on a festive face for Trees in the Rigging on Nov. 26, and the Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1.

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Essex Elementary School Foundation Kicks Off Annual Appeal


ESSEX —
The Essex Elementary School Foundation (EESF) is kicking off its annual appeal and needs your help.  This not-for-profit, volunteer organization provides funds for enrichment programs and tools at EES.  Examples include a 3D printer, an iPad lab, the Justus W. Paul World Cultures Days and an Engineering with Legos program.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, members met in the school’s media center to stuff envelopes, all part of the foundation’s annual direct mail campaign to Essex area residents and businesses.  In the photo above, board members Chet Kitchings, Marta Collins, Sarah Whitney, Linda Reamer and Bill Jacaruso are seen stuff envelopes.

Send donations to Essex Elementary School Foundation, P.O. Box 882, Essex, CT 06426.

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Bushnell Farm Hosts ‘Harvest Home,’ Tomorrow

AREAWIDE — On Saturday, Nov. 4, Bushnell Farm in Old Saybrook is preparing for one of their public events, the annual Harvest Home, a celebration of the season, on Saturday, Nov. 4,  from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. . The event is free and open to the public with on-site parking. Privately owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex, Bushnell Farm is open for occasional programs related to agriculture and enterprise in the pre-industrial age and for area education programs.

The 1678 Bushnell House will be the site of hearth cooking and the huge task of processing the apple crop while preparing for the cold and dark days of winter at the same time.  The bulk of the apple crop would have gone into cider barrels to see the family through the year and visitors can help press this year’s crop of apples.

The Forge will be fired up and the farmer-blacksmith will be working on hardware to make repairs to the house over the winter. The source of  charcoal for the forge and the processing of local bog iron will be part of the discussions during the day.  Early metal on the Farm and gun-making during the colonial wars in which the Bushnell men participated will also be part of the program.

Members of this Bushnell family were weavers and the Loom House is one of eight buildings that will be open with demonstrators on the 22 acre farm.

The fire ring near the Wigwam in the Grove will be live with seasonal cooking in contrast to that of the English colonists.  There will be examples of the adaptation of trade metal by Native People for their own uses.

There will be corn to be shelled and water to be drawn and carried from the well; lots of activities for young and old. Visit to step back into a quieter time; let your senses relax in this reflection of the past.

Bushnell Farm is located at 1445 Boston Post Rd. Old Saybrook, CT,

For more information, call (860) 767-0674.

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Soroptomist CT Shoreline Club Offers Cash Grant to Women Seeking Financial Assistance for Education/Training Expenses

AREAWIDE — The CT Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International of the Americas has announced that it is currently accepting applications for its annual Live Your Dream award.

The award seeks to support women who serve as the primary wage earners for their families seeking financial assistance to continue their education or to receive training. Information and an application are available at https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf, or by contacting the co-chair Mary Jean Cummiskey at maryjeancummiskey@gmail.com. The application deadline is Nov. 15. Applicants will be notified in January 2018.

The CT Shoreline club will provide a $1,000 cash grant to its award recipient, who will then advance to the Soroptimist Northeast Region level, where recipients could receive up to an additional $5,000. The program culminates with three finalist $10,000 awards.

Recipients can use the Live Your Dream Award to offset costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education or additional skills and training. This includes tuition, books, childcare, carfare or any other education related expense. 

Nationally, the Live Your Dream Award provides over $2 million in cash grants to head-of-household women in need each year. Since the program’s inception in 1972, more than $30 million has helped tens of thousands of women achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. 

A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the efficacy and impact of this program. It improves the recipients’ quality of life; builds their confidence; strengthens their self-determination and makes them want to, in turn, help others. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations and the world. 

Chartered in February 2017, the new CT Shoreline club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a global organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. CT Shoreline members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, also powers LiveYourDream.org—an online community offering offline volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit www.soroptimist.org. 

This new chapter welcomes members. To learn more, visit www.soroptimistner.org or www.liveyourdream.org.

Applications available at: https://soroptimistnortheasternregion.org/files/ShorelineLYDapplication2018.pdf

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Deep River Library Children’s Programs for October

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Public Library is offering a terrific selection of children’s programs during October, AS FOLLOWS:

Baby Bounce on Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26
Come to a story time for babies, newborn to 24 months. Simple stories and songs, followed by play and social time. Older siblings may attend.

Fun Friday on Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, at 10:30 a.m.
Stories and songs in an interactive setting, followed by craft and open play. Perfect for the preschool set. Get ready for two special Fun Friday Guests this month. Rick Daniels from the Deep River Fire Department will come with his truck on 10/13 and ABC Amigos brings a Spanish story time on 10/20.

Brick Bunch is back on Oct. 5 & 19, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Open Lego play with friends. We provide the bricks, you bring your imagination.

Cook Club makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m.
Make a simple recipe with friends. Registration is required for this program and limited to 10 children. Recommended age is 4-10. Sign-up can be done through Sign-up Genius. Follow this link to sign up: Cook Club Makes Mountain Dew Ice Cream

Deep River Drive-in, evening edition, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m.
Pop in for a fun Halloween movie, Trick or Treat on Sesame Street. This film has a running time of 75 minutes. No registration required. Box car seating for the first 20 kids.

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Jim Benn Presents His Latest Billy Boyle Mystery at Essex Library, Tuesday

ESSEX — The Essex Library welcomes back James Benn in celebration of the release of his 12th Billy Boyle mystery.

The Devouring has earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and Booklist wrote in their review of the book, ​”Benn​ ​molds an entertaining story out of Billy and his cohorts’ encounters with odious Swiss bankers and a cadre​ of ​Gestapo agents stationed in Bern to protect the loot. Great history here.” Benn’s series is very popular with historical fiction fans, mystery readers, and military buffs.

Benn’s latest Billy Boyle WWII mystery addresses the beginning of the end of the war and the U.S. government’s concerns that looted Nazi gold might be successfully laundered through Swiss banks and used to begin a new German Reich. On Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library,

Benn will describe fascinating details from the actual events that he researched for the book’s plotlines and more about the upcoming books in the Billy Boyle series.

James Benn

Benn, a new resident of Essex, CT, worked in the library and information technology field for more than 35 years before he started writing full-time. One lesson he says that’s helped him greatly as an author is a quote from Oscar Wilde, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.”

Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call the Essex Library at (860) 767-1560.

The Library is located at 33 West Ave. in Essex.

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Essex Meadows Completes Renovations to Casual Dining, Wellness Areas

ESSEX – With an emphasis on physical, social and emotional well-being, Essex Meadows has announced the completion of upgrades and renovations to its Fitness Center, as well as an expanded and remodeled Pub for more casual dining. These projects, which totaled more than $350,000, offer residents further opportunities for socialization, fitness and friendship. The majority of these capital improvements were made in the Pub, and major additions and advancements to the state-of-the-arts fitness equipment and their environs.

“We’ve expanded our wellness center with an emphasis on cross-training,” said Susan Carpenter, Director of Community Life Services at Essex Meadows, and a certified personal trainer. “We’ve doubled our cardio space and vastly increased our strength training equipment. The focus is truly on a comprehensive workout.”

New equipment includes NuStep® cross-trainers, which are designed specifically with older adults in mind, along with other compatible and complimentary senior-focused physical fitness apparatus.

David Reynolds, Director of Food and Beverage at Essex Meadows, says a similar line of thinking went into expanding and improving the casual dining venue.

“The resident population is constantly changing, and our newer residents are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.  Many prefer a less staid approach to their dining experience, and want more excitement in the food and drink offerings.  We have taken underutilized space and incorporated it into our existing relaxed-dining zone.  At the same time, we recreated the menu in the Pub to provide expanded selections with an emphasis on creativity and bold flavors.” he said.

To bolster this renaissance, David has added a modest, yet wide-ranging wine list along with fresh and locally brewed beers on-tap.  The success of this expansion is witnessed by the capacity seating at most lunches.

“The Baby Boomers who are retiring in record numbers don’t want to dress formally for meals like earlier generations,” he said.  “What we’ve got here is precisely what today’s, and probably tomorrow’s seniors are looking for,” quipping further, “What other retirement community offers a hot lobster roll and cold draft beer every day?”

Editor’s Note: Since 1988, Essex Meadows has provided a lifestyle of dignity, freedom, independence and security to older adults from Connecticut and beyond. A community offering full lifecare, Essex Meadows, located conveniently near the Connecticut River, prides itself on having a financially responsible and caring atmosphere. Essex Meadows is managed by Life Care Services®, a leading provider in lifecare, retirement living. For more information on Essex Meadows, visit the community’s website or call 860-767-7201.

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High Holy Day Services Continue at CBSRZ

CHESTER — At Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), in Chester, CT, on Jewish holidays, High Holy Days – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – are major highlights every year, with music led by Cantor, Belinda Brennan and the CBSRZ Choir, inspiring teachings from religious and spiritual leader Rabbi Marci Bellows, and lay people within the CBSRZ community, as well as special services and activities for children and young families.

The schedule for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is as follows:

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, Sept.20, 7:30 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah morning service: Thursday, Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m.; children’s service 2:30 p.m.

Second day of Rosh Hashanah, Friday, Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m.

Kol Nidre, Friday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Yom Kippur, Saturday, Sept. 30, morning service 9:30 am; children’s service 2 pm; afternoon Yizkor, Neilah, 3:30 pm

Communal break-the-fast will be at the conclusion of services. All are welcome.

For information regarding tickets, contact the CBSRZ office or visit cbsrz.org.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

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Essex Garden Club Announces Officers for 2017-2018


ESSEX —
Officers for the Essex Garden Club for 2017-2018 are Barbara Burgess, president, 1st VP Augie Pampel, 2nd VP, MyLan Sarner, Recording Secretary, Betsy Godsman, Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Graf, Treasurer , Patricia Mather and Assistant Treasurer is Barbara Muhlfelder.
In her opening remarks at the September meeting, Burgess said that the focus of the Essex Garden Club this year will be on enhancing each member’s floral design skills. These design principles will be applied when the Garden Club decorates the town’s window boxes and planters for the holidays.
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Final Day of Community Music School’s Free Preview Week is Today

AREAWIDE – Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Rd. in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to visit during Free Preview Week Sept. 11 through 15. Children and adults can tour the School’s studios, meet teachers and staff, enjoy a free preview lesson, and learn about a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, adult cabaret, jazz ensemble, string ensembles, music therapy services, Kindermusik for babies and toddlers, and more.

During the academic year, Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson are requested to call 860-767-0026 for scheduling.  The public is also welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/programs or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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Next ‘Lifelong Learning’ Lecture at Chester Village West Features ‘Paradoxes of Wellbeing,’ Nov. 13

CHESTER — Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, continues its Lifelong Learning Program with six free-and-open-to-the-public lectures in September, October and November. The program, in its fourth season, is in partnership with the Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Middlesex Hospital. A Q&A and reception with light refreshments will be held after each program.

Registration is required. To register for one or more programs, call 860.322.6455, email ChesterVillageWest@LCSnet.com or visit https://www.chestervillagewestlcs.com/lifestyle/calendar-of-events/.

Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, CT 06412.

The final lecture was:

Monday, Nov. 13, 4 p.m.

Some Paradoxes of Wellbeing
Karl Scheibe, Ph.D., B.S.
Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Wesleyan University
Director Emeritus, Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, Wesleyan University

Wellbeing has recently moved to center state of psychologists’ field of attention. This is in part a reaction to the traditional focus of psychology on problems of human suffering. But research on this topic has turned up some fascinating contradictions. Pleasure and pain do not accumulate in the same way, revealing a curious asymmetry in our emotional lives. Paradoxes of wellbeing are conspicuous, not the least of which is the observation that older people manifest an unexpected level of satisfaction with their lives.

Editor’s Note: Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the independent seniors community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being. Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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CBSRZ Adds New Programs to Current Education Offerings for Fall

CHESTER — The education team at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) is offering new programming in the Kivvun wing. Kivvun means “direction” or “pathway,” and this year it is CBSRZ’s intention to provide more “paths” or “access points” into Judaism, while empowering each child to grow into their best selves, and experience their lives through a Jewish lens, within a vibrant Jewish Community.

Utilizing the Shalom Learning curriculum, and incorporating many aspects of the Project Based Learning model, learners will drive the creation of “questions” in order to determine how to answer the question,“What makes a strong Jewish community?”

Students will explore answers to their questions through the study of Hebrew, Prayer, Holidays and Values.  The learners will begin to formulate ideas while they analyze and express their thoughts through modes such as art, legos, cooking and storytelling. These electives or “Chugim” will be chosen by the students according to their interests and will offer an opportunity for learners of all grades to interact.

In addition to restructured program for young learners, new opportunities for teens will be offered, including student teaching, social action and recreational interaction. Gesher, a monthly class for 8th and 9th grade students, and Makom, a confirmation class for 10th grade students, will continue to be offered.

Registration is now open to everyone. To obtain your registration packet, contact Belinda Brennan, Cantor and Educator, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, belinda@cbsrzorg, the office at 860-526-8920 and visit www.cbsrz.org/learn/youth for more information. CBSRZ is located at 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412.

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Deep River Public Library to Join Bibliomation

Deep River Library building at 150 Main Street, Deep River

DEEP RIVER — Coming in October, the Deep River Public Library will be joining Bibliomation, Connecticut’s largest library consortium. This is exciting news for our patrons, who will gain access to materials from a network of 82 libraries.

Deep River patrons will benefit from sharing technology and resources, including the ease of placing online holds and reserving items from within the consortium of libraries, some of which are large enough to have specialized collections.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 12:30 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.

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Deep River Historical Society Launches New Book of ‘Deep River Stories’ with Reception, Oct. 19

The Deep River Historical Society (DRHS) is proud to announce the launch of its newest publication “Deep River Stories.” DRHS Trustee Frank Santoro has created 10 short stories bringing Deep River’s legends from XYZ to Dick Smith together in an entertaining and educational book for all ages.  Santoro has a lighthearted approach and each story has a moral ending. The stories are enriched by the talents of eleven local artists who have donated their time to this project.

The Society is grateful for the generosity of these truly creative people: Rachel Carlson, Karen F. Carroll, Janet Edgerton, Linda Elgart, Sarah Gustafson, Andrea Isaacs, Lori Lenz, Alicia Melluzzo, Sophie Spaner, Cindi Stannard (DRHS Trustee) and Virginia (Gin) Wylie. This project truly exemplifies our mission statement as it interacts with our community, interprets Deep River’s place in America’s history and hopefully will inspire current and future generations.

The Deep River Historical Society invites you to an evening reception to meet the author and artists behind “Deep River Stories” on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 245 Main Street Deep River. Come for a fun evening of stories as the Society launches its newest publication. Books will be available for $10. 

All proceeds will benefit the Deep River Historical Society in its work to maintain this gem of a historic building and create new interactive exhibits. For further information, call Rhonda Forristall at 860-526-5086.

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Chester Village West Hosts Blood Drive Today, 1:30 to 6:30pm

CHESTER – Chester Village West, an independent senior living community, will host a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, Aug. 18 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Chester Village West is located at 317 W. Main St., Chester, Conn. 06412.

To schedule your appointment, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Chester Village West employees regularly participate in the blood drive. Old Saybrook resident Richard Mulvihill, one of the community’s security guards, has donated more than two gallons (16 units) of blood over the past 18 years. According to the American Red Cross, Mulvihill’s blood donations have helped to save the lives of more than 48 people. A donor since age 18, Richard has been giving valuable ‘double red cell’ donations three times per year since 1999, when he joined the Old Saybrook Fire Department as a volunteer fireman.

“I feel great about helping people this way,” said Mulvihill, who is Type O Positive. According to the American Red Cross, double red cell donations from Type O donors and donors with Rh-negative blood types play a very important role in maintaining blood supply levels. Double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine, which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. “Because I get my platelets and plasma back, I don’t feel as drained afterwards,” he added.

Other Chester Village West employees who regularly donate blood include Marketing Director and Westbrook resident Sara Philpott, Director of Operations and Deep River resident Jim Jake, Marketing Assistant and Deep River resident Brenda Kollmer, Transportation Coordinator and Killingworth resident Priscilla Soucy and Debra Millspaugh, Accounting Manager and Deep River resident.

“My father’s life was saved by a blood transfusion,” Philpott said. “Most of us don’t think about the importance of maintaining the blood bank until we have a personal crisis. Our blood banks are always in need of more donors. It’s such a small thing to do that can literally save the life of another. It makes me feel good to know that my donation can help someone when they need it most.”

Editor’s Note: Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Since the community was founded more than 25 years ago, Chester Village West residents have directed and embraced active learning. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being. Find out more atchestervillagewestlcs.com; visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Bingo is Back at the Estuary Council Thursdays, Doors Open 5:30pm


OLD SAYBROOK —
Beginning June 15 and continuing through Nov. 9, Bingo is back at The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) and open to all ages. Game play begins at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The Estuary Council is located at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

Join in on the fun for this weekly event.  Admission, including game package, is $12 per player. Cash prizes with the progressive jackpot maximum payout of $1,000 (increases $100 each week.)  

For more information, call 860-388-1611 or visit www.ecsenior.org

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Essex Foundation Completes Second Phase of Gateway Landscape Project

Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.

300+ Perennials Planted Along Intersection of Rte. 154 and Rte. 153 in Essex

ESSEX – Just three months after funding the installation of 12 Chanticleer pear trees along Rte. 154 near the intersection of Rte. 153, The Essex Foundation, Inc. has completed the second phase of a multi-phase gateway beautification project.

Over 300 low-growing, low-maintenance evergreen and perennial ornamentals were planted in the southeast corner of state-owned land in the Rte. 9/ Exit 3 underpass area of Essex. The charitable organization hired Matthew Verry Landscape Design for design planning and state approval oversight while Sullivan Lawn Services, LLC was contracted for the installation services. 

Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.

With the goal of creating a colorful, year-round visual display that is both drought-tolerant and pest-resistant, The Essex Foundation board of directors opted for a combination of Vibernum, KnockOut Rose,  Black-eyed Susan, Sedum Autumn Joy and Winterberry. Funds for the cost of the planning, plant purchase and installation were provided through a bequest to The Essex Foundation by the late Elizabeth “Diz” Barnes Callender and her predeceased sister Mary Frances Barnes.

The gateway beautification project, which also included funding for the highway bridge painting, is a good example of the types of community efforts supported by The Essex Foundation.  The Foundation’s community projects tend to be unique, require quick action, and have an immediate impact.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Sullivan Lawn Service crew members install evergreen shrubs and ornamental perennial plants at the intersection of Route 154 and Route 153 in Essex, the second phase of a landscape beautification project funded by The Essex Foundation.    

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1772 Foundation Grant Awarded for deKoven House Exterior Maintenance

The historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown received a grant of $10,700 for exterior maintenance.

MIDDLETOWN — The Rockfall Foundation recently received a matching grant of $10,700 to support exterior maintenance of the historic, 18th century deKoven House Community Center located at 27 Washington Street, Middletown. The grant was awarded by the 1772 Foundation in cooperation with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and will allow for painting, wood repair, and chimney repointing.

Bequeathed to the Foundation by the organization’s founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, the deKoven House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Captain Benjamin Williams House. The brick Georgian mansion was built between 1791 and 1797 and is just yards from the banks of the Connecticut River. Previously renovated with architectural work by Jeffrey Dale Bianco, AIA, the current exterior project is part of a long-range plan to care for the building.

“One of the Rockfall Foundation’s main responsibilities is stewardship of the deKoven House,” said Robin Andreoli, the Foundation’s executive director. “In addition to the Foundation, its offices are occupied by several groups whose missions are concerned with natural resource education, research, and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.”

Since 1942, the Rockfall Foundation has provided subsidized, low-cost office space in the deKoven House to a variety of nonprofit environmental and educational organizations. Current resident organizations include the Middlesex Land Trust, Connecticut River Conservancy, Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Mattabeseck Audubon Society, Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Artists for World Peace, Connecticut Center for Spiritual Living, and the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission.Two meeting rooms are also available to community groups for use and host more than 150 gatherings per year.

The Rockfall Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation that supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation annually awards environmental grants to other non-profits and sponsors education programs and symposia.

For additional information, call 860-347-0340 or visit www.rockfallfoundation.org.

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Diabetes Screening Ongoing at the Estuary Council, 2nd & 4th Wednesdays

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council of Seniors offers diabetes testing for people age 50 and over twice a month at their facility at 220 Main St. Old Saybrook.

Testing is done by a registered nurse, fasting is required and no appointment is necessary.

Testing is available on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 7:30 – 9am and the 4th Wednesday of each month from 7:30 – 9am. There is no charge for this service, donations are welcome.

For additional information call the Estuary Council at 860-388-1611 x 202

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Essex Foundation Provides Support For Essex Place Furnishings

Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

Foundation underwrites cost of common area furniture in newly constructed senior housing 

ESSEX — Two weeks before the grand opening of Essex Place, a 22-unit, affordable senior rental housing complex developed by Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc. and the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development, The Essex Foundation was called upon to help cover the cost of furniture for the common area spaces.

Last minute adjustments to the overall project budget left no available resources for completing the already constructed community room, game room, office, and kitchen.  After a thoughtful presentation by Janice Atkeson and Yolanda Lowe, both representing Essex Elderly & Affordable Housing, Inc., members of The Essex Foundation Board of Directors approved the request for financial assistance.

Funds from The Essex Foundation were used to cover the cost of upholstered furniture, dining tables, game tables, occasional tables, stacking chairs, office furniture, and miscellaneous kitchen items.  Essex Place is located at 26 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex, adjacent to the Essex Court senior apartments.

The common areas are accessible to all residents of Essex Place and Essex Court, and will also be used for general meetings and as a designated emergency shelter. Community members who would like to donate to the project can send a check made out to The Essex Foundation, PO Box 64, Essex, CT 06426, indicating that it is for the Essex Place community room.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses. More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

 

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PHOTO CAPTION: Bruce Glowac. President of The Essex Foundation, Inc. presents a check to Janice Atkeson, President of Essex Elderly and Affordable Housing, Inc. outside Essex Place, the newly constructed affordable senior housing complex on Main Street in Centerbrook.

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So Much to See This Summer at Chester Museum at The Mill

A front view of Chester Museum at the Mill. Photo from chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

Upstairs and down, all the new Chester history being featured at the Chester Museum at The Mill this year will delight you.

Downstairs is the seasonal exhibit prepared by Keith Dauer and Sandy Senior-Dauer, called “Chester Postcards & Three Chester Notables.” There are more than 200 Chester postcards on display as well as exhibits devoted to three people who lived in or impacted Chester, namely, Judge Constance Baker Motley, The Leatherman (see the life-size sculpture made by Weymouth Eustis), and photographer Hugh Spencer.

There is a replica of the Waterhouse Gristmill, intricately and lovingly handcrafted by Nathan Jacobson, in the entry level. And on the second floor, there’s a redo of the Museum’s permanent exhibit, which now includes a replica of Chester Pharmacy’s soda fountain (guaranteed to make you hungry!)

Museum hours are Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free (but donations are always welcome to help the Historical Society continue to collect and preserve items of Chester history).

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Three Chester Residents Honored in 60 Over 60 Awards

Lee Howard has championed access to the arts throughout her life.

CHESTER — Three Chester residents were recently honored with 60 Over 60 Awards.  They are Lee Howard, Phyllis McDowell, and Nancy Smith, all of whom are residents at Chester Village West.

This is the first year the awards have been presented to honor Connecticut citizens over age 60 who make a difference in the lives of others or in their communities.  The 60 Over 60 award was created by Duncaster as a way to showcase the lives of people 60 or better, who continue to have a unique impact on their world. Howard, McDowell, and Smith were celebrated at a reception on the Duncaster campus in Bloomfield.

Howard is a life-long leader in greater access to the arts for all.  Lee has worked with local arts councils and alliances across the country to develop their technical services, and with advocacy and arts programs throughout the country.

Phyllis McDowell has advocated for those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.

McDowell has changed the lives of those with mental health issues and those who care for the environment.  She and several volunteers from the Mental Health Association of New Haven launched Fellowship Place, a socialization program for psychiatric patients.

Smith is a writer, an editor, and a connector of people. She is an active member of the Susan B. and William K. Wasch Center for Retired Faculty at Wesleyan University.

Duncaster began their search for 60 Over 60 on Jan. 1.  It received nominations of remarkable individuals from throughout Connecticut.  “Our state has so many extraordinary people who are 60 or better, so we were not surprised at the number of nominations we received.  Clearly there are many people who wanted to recognize people 60 or better for their continued accomplishments,” says Carol Ann McCormick, VP Sales and Marketing at Duncaster.

Nancy Smith continues her work as a writer and editor, and has been a lifelong learning advocate

She continued, “We’ve all heard of 40 Under 40 awards that highlight the successes of this group of people.  We thought it was high time to recognize the ongoing inspiration and achievement of those 60 or better.  We were delighted with the response to it.”

Duncaster, the Hartford area’s first LifeCare community, is located minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury in Bloomfield CT.  This boutique Life Plan Community sits on 94 acres.  While catering to those who are active and engaged in independent living neighborhoods, Duncaster also offers options for those seeking assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehab services (all private) in intimate settings.

For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

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Key Bank Westbrook Volunteers Help Beautify the Estuary Senior Center


WESTBROOK/OLD SAYBROOK —
Key Bank’s Westbrook employees, some of whom are pictured above, visited the Estuary Senior Center recently and worked hard cleaning up the outside area, making the place even more beautiful! They have a 27-year tradition of volunteering in the communities they serve.

On behalf of all the seniors that the Estuary Center serves, Estuary board members wish to express their sincerest thanks to all the Key Bank, Westbrook volunteers who donated their time to work at the Estuary facility.

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Chester’s Juliette Linares Earns Girl Scouting’s Highest Award

Juliette Linares of Chester has earned Girl Scouting’s top award.

CHESTER – Girl Scout Juliette Linares of Chester has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn in Girl Scouting.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts grades nine through 12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of Connecticut recently honored the 71 Girl Scouts in Connecticut who have achieved this honor on Sunday, June 4.

Juliette’s project addressed the need for families to encourage their younger children to foster a love for literature at a young age. Juliette hosted a Dr. Seuss family event where 25 families along with Girl Scout troops, guests from surrounding towns, two guest readers, teachers, principals, and reading specialists attended. Juliette will continue to host the Dr. Seuss family event until she graduates high school. She hopes that it will continue to be a success and the school would agree to make it an annual event.

“I am beyond proud of our Girl Scouts as we celebrate another century of young women taking the lead and making a sustainable change in our communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in the future!”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit gsofct.org.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 47,000 members strong – nearly 32,000 girls and over 15,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world. They’re part of a sisterhood of 2.6 million strong around the globe—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world.

The Girl Scouts organization’s extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, her vision and legacy have been honored, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The organization is the preeminent leadership development one for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit gsofct.org.

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Chester Village West Foundation Awards $30K in Scholarships to 10 Employees, Two Employees’ Children

Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. recently awarded $30,000 in college and university scholarships to 10 Chester Village West employees and two employees’ children. Left to right: Chester Village West resident and scholarship committee volunteer Whitey Wilson, Evan Swanson and Julie Fredericksen (both, Killingworth); Gabriella Dess (Madison); Ashlyn O’Boyle (Killingworth); Kira Woodworth (East Haddam); Jack Liggett (Deep River); Kristine Davis (Deep River); Elizabeth Forsythe (Killingworth); Leah Ann Sopneski (Deep River); Kenna Campbell (Chester); Chester Village West resident and foundation president Joan Galliher. Not pictured: Brandon Miller (Madison) and Johanna Regan (Northford).

Residents of Chester, Deep River, East Haddam, Killingworth, Madison and Northford enrolled at local and national colleges and universities

CHESTER – Ten Chester Village West employees and two children of employees have each been awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Chester Village West Foundation, Inc. The scholarships will help the employees and their children continue their education at colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond.

“Chester Village West employees are part of our extended family, dedicating their work to making our community a great place to live,” said Joan Galliher, a six-year resident and the foundation’s volunteer president. “And every year, our residents express their appreciation by generously supporting the foundation’s scholarship program to help staff members – and their children – pursue higher education.” 

Created as not-for profit entity in 1998 by a group of Chester Village residents, over the past 18 years the Chester Village West Foundation has provided more than $280,000 in scholarships to the community’s staff and their children, helping them to further their education beyond high school. The foundation’s income comes from voluntary donations made by residents of Chester Village West and memorial gifts from family and friends.

Recipients of the Chester Village West Foundation’s 2017 scholarships are:

Chester resident Kenna Campbell, a front desk employee and third year student at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Kristine Davis, a dining room employee and second year student at University of Tampa.

Madison resident Gabriella Dess, a dining room employee and fourth year student at Providence College.

Killingworth resident Elizabeth Forsythe, a dining room employee and second year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Julie Fredericksen, daughter of housekeeping employee Debra Fredericksen and a first year student at Middlesex Community College.

Deep River resident Jack Liggett, a dining room employee and first year student at Marist College.

Madison resident Brandon Miller, son of marketing director Sara Philpott and third year student at Muhlenberg College.

Killingworth resident Ashlyn O’Boyle, a dining room employee and first year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Northford resident Johanna Regan, a dining room employee who is in her final year of teacher’s certification at Central Connecticut State University.

Deep River resident Leah Sopneski, a housekeeping employee and third year student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Killingworth resident Evan Swanson, a dining room employee and third year student at Cedarville University.

East Haddam resident Kira Woodworth, a dining room employee and first year college student.

Located in historic Chester, Connecticut, Chester Village West gives independent-minded people a new way to experience retirement and live their lives to the fullest. Within a small community of private residences that offer convenience, companionship, service and security, Chester Village West enriches lives with a comprehensive program that enhances fitness, nutrition, active life, health and well-being.

Find out more at chestervillagewestlcs.com.

Visit the community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChesterVillageWest.

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Essex Historical Society Reopens Much Improved Hills Academy History Center

Volunteers at the newly refurbished Hills Academy History Center catalog and safeguard its historic treasures. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Essex Historical Society (EHS) shines the spotlight on its historic structures in 2017, focusing its energies on setting the stage for a friendlier, community-centric approach to sharing their stories.  The Society’s library and offices at 22 Prospect St. reopen as the Hills Academy History Center on June 10.

Workers prepare for upgraded technology at Hills Academy to better serve the public. Photo courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Improvements include outdoors land design, improved mechanicals, safety upgrades, new security systems, new research technology, painting and window repair to create a community History Center.

The Hills Academy History Center reopens June 10. Courtesy of Essex Historical Society.

Visitors who have negotiated Hills’ narrow staircase to visit the archives or conduct research will be pleasantly surprised that we are moving downstairs to the first floor!  Now, researchers and volunteers benefit from improved access at ground level to examine EHS’s frequently-used collections and visit their database via upgraded technology, funded in part through a grant from Guilford Savings Bank.

The public is welcome to join in the grand opening on Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event is free and refreshments will be served.  Hills Academy History Center is open year-round Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by appointment.

Also that afternoon, EHS’s historic house museum, Pratt House, will participate in the statewide museum event, Connecticut Open House Day, Saturday, June 10, from 1 to 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  Both beautiful properties serve as historic resources for the entire community, helping EHS live up to its mission of Engaging and Inspiring the Community: Essex. Ivoryton. Centerbrook.  

For more information, visit www.essexhistory.org or 860-767-0681. 

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Essex Public Safety Day Scheduled for Today

Firefighters demonstrate the Jaws of Life in a crash simulation.

ESSEX — The Town of Essex, Essex Fire Company and Essex Ambulance will host Essex Public Safety Day on Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Rd.

Activities will include:
• Jaws of Life Extrication Demos
• Lucas CPR Demos
• Quick–Clot Bandaging Table
• Burn Boxes
• Stove Fire Prop
• Walking Wounded
• Helicopter “subject to availability”
• Mobile Command Vehicle
• Lenny & Joe’s Food Truck

This is a hands-on event. Come see and experience how you can become a part of the Town of Essex First Responder team!

Rain date is scheduled for June 18.

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens Opens New Westbrook Meal Site, All Welcome

AREAWIDE — The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) new Westbrook meal site is open for dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. every Friday.  The site is located at the Westbrook Congregational Church, 1166 Boston Post Road.  All are welcome to attend.

Don’t be shy, bring the whole family and enjoy a meal with wonderful dinner companions and nutritious food. You don’t need to call ahead or “make a reservation.”

Did you know that last year over 900,000 meals worth of food were distributed to individuals and families during The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries grocery distribution program?  And, that over 17,000 nutritious and delicious meals were provided at our 9 meal sites, serving seven days a week?

There are those among us who are hungry and alone. You can change that; you can make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry in body and spirit.  Contact SSKP to learn about the many opportunities to volunteer.

The SSKP offers food and fellowship to the communities of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

The SSKP’s family-oriented meal sites serving nutritious and delicious food are located in Centerbrook, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook.  And, SSKP food pantries are located in Clinton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme and Westbrook.  Also, provided to those who have limited cooking facilities are heat-n- meals that can be picked up at any of our pantries.

Community support of the SSKP is appreciated.  If you have any questions or for a more information, call 860.388.1988 or email at pdowling@shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

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Guilford Savings Bank Supports Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries with ‘Green for Greens’

From left to right, front row, Guilford Saving Bank Branch Manager, Dave Carswell, SSKP Board Member Rick Westbrook, SSKP Executive Director, Patty Dowling, and Guilford Saving Bank Community Development Officer, Lisa La Monte. (back row) Guilford Saving Bank Assistant Branch Manager, Sandra Miller, and Guilford Saving Bank tellers Ryan Donovan and Brandy Reilly.

AREAWIDE — Guilford Savings Bank has awarded a $4,000 grant to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) to purchase fresh produce for needy residents of the shoreline. The grant, called “Green for Greens”, helps assure that local families who come to SSKP’s food pantries will be provided with fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to non-perishable foods.

Lisa LeMonte, Marketing and Community Development Officer at Guilford Savings Bank, shared, “I know I speak for everyone at GSB when I say how proud we are to provide “Green for Greens” that allows The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries to supplement their budget with funds to purchase additional fresh produce.”

“The support of Guilford Savings Bank and their generous “Green for Greens” is truly a gift to those we serve at our 5 food pantries.  We all know the feeling of eating a fresh crisp apple, or finding a banana in our lunch bag when we are hungry midday.  Because of GSB, those in need will share in that feeling, and on behalf of those we serve, I sincerely thank Guilford Savings Bank for their commitment to providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director.

Founded 28 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River.

Guilford Savings Bank has been serving the financial needs of the Connecticut shoreline for over 140 years.  Recently named the #1 Community Bank in Connecticut, it is the premier relationship bank, providing banking, lending, wealth management and life insurance solutions for personal, small business and commercial customers. For more information visit www.gsbyourbank.com

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Essex Historical Society Hosts Open House for Volunteers at Pratt House, Sunday

Visit the beautiful grounds of the 1732 Pratt House, a landmark property of Essex Historical Society.

ESSEX — Enjoy history?  Historic interiors?  Meeting new people?  Essex Historical Society cordially invites you to an Open House for Volunteers at the historic 1732 Pratt House on Sunday, April 23, from 2 to 4 p.m.  The event will be held at the Pratt House, 19 West Avenue, Essex.  A short presentation will occur at 2:30 p.m.

Pratt House’s volunteer tour guides or ‘docents’ lead engaging tours for visitors.

The Society would love to introduce you to their volunteer tour guide program or ‘docents’ that will lead to a rewarding experience for you and our history-loving audience.  Come meet their genial, well-informed guides for a private tour of this historic structure.  No experience is necessary and all training is provided.

The Pratt House has served as Essex’s only historic house museum for more than 6o years and serves as the flagship of Essex Historical Society.  The house tells the story of life in an early CT River seaport town through nine generations of one family, many of whom were blacksmiths.

Tours of the house are offered to the public from June – September, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1 to 4 p.m.; and by appointment.  Beautiful grounds, newly restored kitchen gardens, a community garden, reproduction barn and museum shop make for a memorable visit to this historic landmark.

The Open House for Volunteers is open to the public.  Refreshments will be served

For more info, contact Mary Ann Pleva at 860-767-8560 or visit www.essexhistory.org

 

Captions for Photos:

 

Visit the beautiful grounds of the 1732 Pratt House, a landmark property of Essex Historical Society.

 

Pratt House’s volunteer tour guides or ‘docents’ lead engaging tours for visitors.

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Inter-Religious Clergy of CT River Valley Host Three-Part Interfaith Dinner Reception; Third Event to be Held in Chester, May 15

AREAWIDE — An Inter-Religious Clergy Alliance of CT is organizing an unifying three-part Interfaith Dinner Reception and Scripture study of spiritually awakening proportions free and open to all ages and backgrounds. Amid rising divisiveness, multiple religious communities, including Jewish, Christian, and Islamic, of CT River Valley are uniting on an educational platform to celebrate the affinities shared between their sacred traditions and counter the rise of injustice through peace-loving action.

The progressive gatherings will feature timely topics and interactive workshops advancing fellowship and solidarity betwixt diversity followed by engaging Q & A sessions. The enlightening programs will foster unique opportunities for attendees to work together in building bridges instead of walls and serve as a workable model for the larger community. Complimentary dinners will be served.

The first of these events entitled “Peacebuilding and Justice” was held at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek located at 55 E Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412 on Monday, March 20.

The second of these events entitled “Responsibility to Our Fellow Human Beings” will be held at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community CT Baitul Aman House of Peace Mosque located at 410 Main St, Meriden, CT 06451 on Monday, April 24, at 6 p.m.

The third of these events entitled “Prayer and Spiritual Practices” will be held at the United Church of Chester located on 29 W Main St, Chester, CT 06412 on Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m.

These events are co-hosted also in collaboration with First Baptist Church in Essex, First Church of Christ, Congregational in East Haddam, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook.

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Ivoryton Library Hosts Immigration Exhibition This Afternoon

This photo shows a Comstock, Cheney & Co. recruiter with newly arrived immigrants at Ellis Island c. 1890.

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library presents Immigration: A Tiny Town’s Bonanza on Sunday, March 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. This is the latest exhibit in the series An Intimate History of Ivoryton and will showcase the growth of our village on the strength of the immigrants who came to work at Comstock, Cheney and Co. between 1890 and 1915.

Photographs and other materials will be on display.

Have you been interested in looking into your own background? There will be ongoing demonstrations of ancestry.com and an opportunity to ask questions about the service.

Is your family a part of Ivoryton’s story? Come and share your memories. If you have photographs or other memorabilia that you would like to include in this exhibit as either a donation or a loan, contact Elizabeth Alvord at the library at 860-767-1252 or by email at ealvord@ivoryton.com.

The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Join the ‘Common Good Gardens’ to Discover the Benefits of Volunteering; Orientation Meeting Today

OLD SAYBROOK — Each year, the Common Good Gardens in Old Saybrook raise nearly four tons of fresh vegetables and fruit, and then then donates them to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries  And they do it entirely with volunteers – volunteers who have kept it going and improved it for 15 years.

You’re probably thinking, “How unselfish … doing all that work to benefit other people,” and they are for sure.  But, according to new research, volunteers are also on the receiving end of some amazing benefits; and most likely, they don’t even know it.  They just know that they feel better when they leave the garden.

Never too young … all ages can volunteer at the Common Good Garden.

Solid data on the benefits of volunteering has appeared in a variety of current publications, ranging from the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Health Letters, to a review from the Corporation for National & Community Service, which states,

On average, volunteering 40 to 100 hours per year increases personal satisfaction and happiness, decreases depression, improves functional capacity; and results in fewer illnesses and a longer life span.

Similar articles from the Huffington Post, Atlantic Monthly as well as research released by Johns Hopkins, The London School of Economics and University of Exeter Medical School have all told a similar story.

Greatest Gains for Seniors

Volunteering has health benefits — especially for seniors!

While there are potential gains to be had for high-schoolers and middle-aged persons, the greatest gains related to volunteering are for those 65 and older.  Some researchers suggest this greater gain for seniors may be because they start out lower before volunteering. Their health may not be as good as that of younger people or they may have lower self-esteem and more social isolation due to retirement.  Even if that proves true, starting to volunteer at an earlier adult stage seems to correlate with fewer health issues later in life.

Regarding functional capacity, the Hopkins study showed improved brain function associated with activities that get you moving and thinking at the same time.  As for happiness, though some of the happiness data is based on self-reporting alone, other data show hormone levels and brain scan activity consistent with physiologic changes associated with happiness.

Studies in UK

In addition to the improvements shown above, a large review of nearly 25,000 articles in the UK notes increased coping ability, better parenting skills and richer personal relationships.

Impact on Chronic Illness and Longevity

Several studies examined in particular the impact for those with chronic illness. They found that these volunteers reported decreased pain and depression. People with a prior heart attack also had lower incidences of depression after volunteering.

A United Health Group survey showed these striking figures:

  • 25% reported volunteering helped them live better with chronic illness
  • 76% reported feeling healthier
  • 78% reported lowered stress levels
  • 94% reported improved mood
  • 96% reported an enriched sense of purpose

Finally U.S. census data confirms that those states with high volunteer rates show greater longevity and lower rates of heart disease.

Come Join the Common Good Gardens

There’s always room for an extra pair of hands …

Come join us at the Common Good Gardens.  Whatever your age, level of health, or skill set, there’s a way for you to contribute while benefiting from volunteering.

Yes, gardeners are needed to plant, weed and harvest, and beginners are always welcome. But also needed are people with computer skills, carpentry skills, writing and speaking skills;   people who can drive a car to deliver produce; leaders to organize small groups and work with public schools; people who love nature or are excited about nutrition, and folk who want to help experiment with natural ways to deter pests or make soil richer.

Common Good Gardens by the numbers

  • 14: Number of years garden has been in existence (2002-2016)
  • July 7, 2011: Date the garden incorporated and received non-profit 501(c)3  status
  • 10: Number of Board members
  • 220,000: Total pounds of produce grown, collected and delivered 2004-2016 through garden volunteer efforts
  • 50: Number of core active volunteers (gardeners, drivers, other)
  • 3,000: Number of volunteer hours donated annually
  • 1/2 acre: Size of garden located at rear of Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook
  • 22: Number of different varieties of fruits and vegetablesgrown at the garden during 2016
  • 6,900: Pounds of produce grown at the garden in 2016 season
  • $17,200: Dollar value of produce grown at the garden in 2016 season
  • 7: Number of farm stands that donate excess produce to garden for distribution to pantries in 2013.

Many hands make light work at the Common Good Gardens.

Current volunteers at the Common Good Gardens encourage you to get involved so that together, a healthy future for the garden, ourselves, and our shoreline community can be created.

If interested, contact Common Good Gardens at PO Box 1224, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 or call Barbara Standke at 860-575-8645 with questions, or to sign up for the annual new volunteer orientation on March 11.

Editor’s Note: The authors of this piece, Kate Wessling and Barbara Standke, are respectively Common Good Gardens President and Common Good Gardens Volunteer Coordinator.

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