December 6, 2022

Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau Hires Prevention Coordinator

Tri-Town Youth Services Bureau, Inc. has recently welcomed Ali Siemianowski to their staff. Hired as the new Prevention Coordinator, Ali will  be working under the Drug Free Communities Grant to strengthen the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council’s efforts to prevent youth substance abuse.

The Drug Free Communities Program, directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), provides grants of up to $125,000 to community coalitions that encourage citizens to prevent youth substance abuse. Tri-Town is one of the 169 grantees selected nationwide from 521 applicants to receive this grant. To qualify for matching grants, all awardees must have at least a six-month history of working together on substance abuse reduction initiatives, have representation from 12 sectors of the community, develop a long-term plan to reduce substance abuse and participate in the national evaluation of the DFC program.

Ali is a recent University of Vermont graduate with her Master of Public Administration and a Healthcare Management Certificate. She has held internships with the National Alliance of Mental Illness headquarters in Arlington, VA and with the State of Vermont’s Department of Health. She was also an active member of substance abuse and suicide prevention coalitions in Vermont where she spoke on the particular issues a campus town faces.

Tri-Town looks forward to her joining the continuing prevention efforts here in our communities.

Culminating Event for Tri-Town Youth Services Community Read

Three Cups of Tea is this Summer's Community Read

On October 17  the tri-town community will come together for the culminating event of Tri-Town Youth Service’s Community Read of the book ‘Three Cups of Tea’, a refreshing, inspiring story of hope and achievement. Keynote speakers at the event we will be Bryan Nurnberger and his wife, inspirational singer/songwriter, Kristen Graves.

Bryan is the President and founder of Simply Smiles, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing bright futures for impoverished children. Bryan will share some of his stories and his philosophy on creating change and building community. 

In the summer of 2002, Bryan, a rock climber, injured and unable to continue climbing on a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, found himself heartbroken and appalled by the severe poverty he saw there.  So Nurnberger, then a special education teacher in Prospect, emptied his savings account of about $5,000.  With that he bought food, clothes and diapers for the children at Casa Hogar, a struggling Mexican orphanage with 80 children.

In 2003 Nurnberger founded SimplySmiles with the start of his first project, The Casa Hogar Benito Juarez Children’s Home in Oaxaca City, Mexico.  In the seven years since, SimplySmiles has continued to grow, work and fulfill their mission of improving the lives of impoverished children in the mountains of southern Mexico and around the world. Like Greg Mortenson, Bryan Nurnberger refused to think that one person with a vision, a heart and a commitment could not make a difference – even if it was one smile at a time!  Also like Greg Mortenson, Bryan would not give up or let “roadblocks” stop him.  Back in the beginning of his journey of hope and compassion, Bryan spent six months battling Mexican authorities as he tried to bring a school bus filled with medical supplies, toiletries, clothing, toys, and eighty personalized quilts to Casa Hogar. 
Like Greg Mortenson, Bryan Nurnberger, admirably does not tarnish or try to “improve” the culture through a western political or religious agenda. Rather, he works with the local communities to provide more opportunities within the context of the existing culture.

Kristen Graves is a folk/pop singer and songwriter with a voice that commands attention, lyrics that catch your heart, and melodies that stay with the listener long after the evening ends. Kristen’s songs have a coziness to them like a well-worn winter blanket, but don’t underestimate her; she can pack a serious emotional punch at a moment’s notice.  Kristen has been writing and performing her own songs since 2000. As an acoustic singer and songwriter she has toured nationally since 2002. She has written and recorded four albums, and has independently sold thousands of copies of her CDs. Kristen will accompany Bryan on the 17th and will sing some of her songs of hope for us.

Three Cups of Tea is about the possibility of cultures coming together for a common goal of peace and hope.  The book, and Mortenson’s own courage and dedication to the mission, are catalysts for change, and motivate, inspire and educate. Bryan Nurnberger and SimplySmiles will do the same for all of us! Through their parallel stories we can come to know and believe that one person can make a substantial and meaningful impact in the world.

The event will take place  on Oct.17 at 2:00 p.m.  at John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River.  All are welcome.

“Three Cups of Tea” at Chester Library

Images of Pakistan’s people and places taken by Keith Dauer during his travels in the area and a sampling of regional foods will set the stage for a discussion of Greg Mortenson’s inspiring story, ‘Three Cups of Tea’ at Chester Library on September 16.  Chester residents and history teachers Sandy and Keith Dauer will lead this intergenerational program which begins at 6:30 p.m.

 This is one of a series of programs being held as part of Tri-Town Youth Service’s effort urging everyone from elementary school on up to get “On the Same Page” by reading and talking about the same book.  From the picture book, Listen to the Wind, and junior version of Three Cups of Tea, written for 6-8th graders, to audio recordings and large print, there is a version or format of this story for every reader.

 Please call Chester Library at 860-526-0018 to obtain a copy or to register for this program.  The library is located at 21 West Main Street in Chester, CT.

 For Additional Information Contact:  Linda Fox, Chester Public Library, 860-526-0018 or by e-mail at

Raise A Fork For Tri-Town Youth Services At Taste Of The Valley 2010!

Don’t miss Taste of the Valley 2010 – an evening of delicious food and toe-tapping music to benefit Tri-Town Youth Services. Circle the date – Friday, September 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm – and get your tickets TODAY!

It’s no wonder Taste of the Valley is becoming a community event that we all look forward to! Each year, our community gathers on a late summer evening on the beautiful grounds of the Deep River Historical Society to sample one tasty morsel after another from local restaurants and caterers. The twelve participants at Taste of the Valley 2010 are: Brushmill by the Waterfall, Cloud Nine Catering/The Lace Factory, Corner Family Restaurant, El & Ela’s Fine Foods, Fogo, The Ivory, Gabrielle’s, The Griswold Inn Restaurant, La Vita Gustosa, Pizzeria DaVinci, Squiggy’s Lakeside, and The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. You will also cast your ballot for the restaurant or caterer that takes home the coveted Taste of the Valley FORK! There will also be awards for Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, Best Presentation, and other categories. There will also be a silent auction stocked with some of the most unique gifts and experiences available in the River Valley. A cash bar will serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Live music will be provided by Ryan Hartt & the Blue Hearts, described by Blues Review Magazine as “young East Coast masters of the jumpin’ West Coast sound.”

Tickets are one for $35 or two for $60 and can be purchased at Celebrations and Tri-Town Youth Services in Deep River. TASTE OF THE VALLEY 2010 is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Whelen Engineering, The Valley Courier, Essex Savings Bank, Angus McDonald, Gary Sharpe, & Associates, FIO Partners, Tower Labs, and many other
local businesses.

For more information or tickets, contact Gail Onofrio at Tri-Town Youth Services at (860) 526-3600 or view our website: If you would like to be a sponsor or donate an item for our silent auction, contact Anne at 860) 526-5895 or Kathy at (860) 526-2463 or email

ABOUT – TRI-TOWN YOUTH SERVICES BUREAU, INC. is a nonprofit agency that coordinates, develops and provides services dedicated to promoting the positive growth and development of youth and families in Chester, Deep River and Essex, Connecticut. The Deep River Historical Society is located at 245 Main Street, Deep River, CT.