Brookfield's HamletHub Mon, 27 Mar 2023 06:05:18 -0400 Brookfield Residential Yard Refuse Center Opening April 15

The Brookfield Residential Yard Refuse Disposal Center will open on Saturday, April 15 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and through December 9, 2023.

Only residents of Brookfield will be allowed to use the Yard Refuse Center and it is for RESIDENTIAL USE ONLY.


The Center can only accept twigs, small branches up to 3 inches in diameter, brush and leaves. GRASS CLIPPINGS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

Learn more here.

]]> (Town of Brookfield) Places Sun, 26 Mar 2023 14:33:55 -0400
The Brookfield Library, Whisconier Middle School, and Byrd's Books present award-winning author Sherri L. Smith


The Brookfield Library, Whisconier Middle School, and Byrd's Books present Award-Winning Author Sherri L. Smith (Flygirl, Avatar, Wonder Woman) on Thursday, March 30th at 6:30 p.m.

Smith will engage in community conversation. The event topic is: Building a Culture of Community & Literacy Through the Power of Storytelling

Light refreshments and copies of Sherri's books will be available.

Read more about Sherri

Register here.

]]> (The Brookfield Library) Events Sun, 26 Mar 2023 14:21:53 -0400
Red Cross helps Brookfield family after fire on Hollow Drive

The American Red Cross is helping one family – two adults – two children after a fire today on Hollow Drive, Brookfield. The Red Cross provided assistance to meet the family's immediate needs. Responders included: Art Hopkins, Cliff Morgan and Carolyn Breckel.

The Red Cross also provided a recovery envelope containing information helpful to families recovering from a fire, including tips on cleanup; notification of important contacts; dealing with damaged items and more. The Red Cross is also providing comfort kits containing personal care items such as deodorant, toothbrushes, shaving supplies and other items a resident might need when suddenly displaced from their home by a fire.

Those affected will connect with Red Cross caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan. The Red Cross is able to provide assistance through the generosity of our donors and commitment of our volunteers.

]]> (Red Cross) Charities Sun, 26 Mar 2023 14:17:59 -0400
Congratulations to Brookfield Craft Center's Student Art Show Awardees!

Over 200 people attended Brookfield Craft Center's reception and awards ceremony for the Student Art Show: Artist on the Rise 2023!

Over 140 students from surrounding High Schools submitted works for display in the Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery in our Mill Building. The show is now also available to view online, but please do not miss it in person. The works are so exceptional our judges had a hard time determining the award recipients in each of 12 categories and the Best in Show. Yet we gave out 37 awards, 3 in each category and the Best in Show.

Best in Show went to Melanie Boria from Nonnewaug For her drawing “Sweet Tooth”.

Congratulations to all who participated, and to the other award recipients. View image #2 to see a list of awardees for click here.

The show closes this Sunday, March 26th.

Photo shows Arielle Salas of Brookfield High School receiving her 1st place award for Printmaking from Lisa Scails, Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut.

]]> (Brookfield Craft Center) Neighbors Fri, 24 Mar 2023 13:51:00 -0400
RVNAhealth Proudly Introduces the Parkinson’s Center

RVNAhealth proudly announces the opening of the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center, located at 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease, affecting an estimated 10,000 people in CT, with the incidence of newly diagnosed cases rising. With the opening of its Center, RVNAhealth aims to become a premier and integral Parkinson’s resource to those diagnosed, their caregivers, and medical teams.

The Parkinson’s Resource Gap

Gigi Weiss, MSPT, CADDCT, LSVT BIG, AIB-VR, Parkinson’s Center Director, explained the importance of this new RVNAhealth community resource, “People with Parkinson’s and their and families are frustrated! We’ve heard numerous stories from patients who felt somewhat stranded and confused after their PD diagnosis. Truth of the matter is that a playbook for Parkinson’s doesn’t exist and there are very limited local resources available to help. At RVNAhealth, we realized we had the ability to fill this gap and make a difference in the lives of the PD community. Many do not realize that they can effectively slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease with the proper tools, resources, education, and support. We are here to provide that Parkinson’s support to the whole patient – mind, body, spiritual – with these needs met all in one place.”

About the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center

The RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center is a multi-disciplinary team, certified through the Parkinson’s Foundation, that works together to help each center member from all angles of health. The rehabilitation team consists of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists – all LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD certified. Additional resources of the Parkinson’s Center include a dedicated medical doctor, registered nurse, and registered dietitian; a team of mental health professionals, including social work and spiritual care; a resource library comprised of local and national resources; a video library of exercises and support tools; a monthly newsletter; and access to the RVNAhealth Continuum of Services.

Kate Campbell, DPT, SCS, Cert. MDT, CSCS, LSVT BIG, Parkinson’s Center Program Manager, provided more details, “The Parkinson’s Center aims to become a central resource to help develop, coordinate, and support the best possible proactive attack against Parkinson’s disease for our members. Here, people with Parkinson’s will take control of a difficult diagnosis with the help of trained specialists to support them, their caregiver and family. In addition to supporting our members and family, we look forward to partnering with the medical community to develop the most needed programs to support their Parkinson’s patients.”

The Center is comprised of three main components: exercise classes led by physical therapists; monthly programs, including support groups to address mental health, activities to promote social engagement, and education on disease awareness and management; and “PD Bootcamp”. Campbell described RVNAhealth’s unique PD Bootcamp, “PD Bootcamp is an eight-week intensive program that leads the person with Parkinson’s through bi-weekly exercise classes and one-on-one sessions with members of the Parkinson’s Center interdisciplinary clinical team to create an individualized care plan to help them continue living their best life with Parkinson's.”

RVNAhealth’s Parkinson’s Center Kickoff Starts in April!

April officially kicks off the opening of the Parkinson’s Center with a few key community events, including an exercise lecture on April 6th at the Ridgefield Library and a cooking class on April 12th at RVNAhealth--all focused on Parkinson’s disease. All event and registration details can be found online through the RVNAhealth calendar at

On April 20th, RVNAhealth will host a “Welcome to the Parkinson’s Center” event at its offices in Ridgefield. Attendees will meet the entire team, experience short lecture discussions, and learn more about what the RVNAhealth Parkinson’s Center has planned. Vendors with Parkinson’s-related offerings and expertise will also be available. Details and registration can be found on our website calendar or by contacting us at 203.438.5555 x1082. You may also learn more about the Parkinson’s Center at

Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, President and CEO of RVNAhealth, “I am extremely proud of the work our team has put into creating this much-needed program for those affected by Parkinson’s. The Parkinson’s Center is an excellent example of how we continue to grow and evolve in our mission to serve the lifelong health and wellness needs of our communities. We look forward to sharing our Parkinson’s Center with those affected and giving each person and their family the tools and confidence to live their best life.”

RVNAhealth is a private, non-profit, mission-driven organization founded and focused on care and dedicated to serving the lifelong health and wellness needs of individuals in the 35+ communities we serve across Connecticut. While our name and services have evolved since our founding as a home health care agency in 1914, our guiding principles have remained steadfast: a mission to serve, exceptional patient care, and a commitment to excellence in quality and service.

]]> (Lisa Fleming) Life Thu, 23 Mar 2023 02:33:16 -0400
Brookfield Resident Alison DiPinto to Model in Fashion Show to Benefit Ann's Place!

Ann’s Place is thrilled to once again host its spring fashion show, On the Runway - Celebrating Role Models on April 25th at The Ridgefield Playhouse. The event is hosted by the hilarious Christine O'Leary. 

Now in its 7th year, the 2023 models will be wearing spring and summer fashions expertly curated by Audrey Road, located on Bailey Ave in Ridgefield. Tickets to the show are $30. Purchase tickets HERE.

Today we kick off our fashion show model spotlight series with our fabulous clinician Alison DiPinto.
Read a bit about why Alison is participating in this year’s show and learn how to support Ann’s Place here.

*With your donation, you are supporting the mission of Ann's Place- to provide comfort, support and resources to people living with cancer and to their loved ones- all free of charge. For more information on the fashion show and Ann's Place please visit their website:


]]> (HH) Neighbors Tue, 21 Mar 2023 14:31:00 -0400
It Takes a Village: Supporting Connecticut's Foster Care Community

It Takes a Village

*Names changed to protect privacy
by Deb Kelleher -Executive Director, Annie C. Courtney Fdtn.

We’re all familiar with the saying, “It takes a village.” For one foster mom, her “village” is truly a godsend, enabling her to care for children whose needs would overwhelm most parents.

Alicia always wanted to be a foster parent, her whole life. As a single adult, it seemed like a good way to experience parenting and, even, under the right circumstances, form a permanent family.  In 2017, she completed the training through the CT Department of Children and Families and began her foster care journey. For the first two years, Alicia cared for several kids, all of whom either returned home to their parents or moved on to another family. Along the way, Alicia became certified to care for children with complicated medical issues. She’d found her calling. In July of 2019, Alicia received the call to care for a 5-month-old baby boy with medical issues. Little did she know that this boy would remain with her forever, beginning a journey that also would include reuniting him with his two older sisters, all of whom are now adopted by this single mom.

Alicia is the kind of woman who loves hard, a woman with a soft place in her heart for children in need. This description would embarrass her as she desires no recognition for her selflessness. Shortly after the adoption of her 3 children, while chatting with a foster parent friend, Alicia heard about another little boy in DCF care who desperately needed a family – a 7-year-old little boy named Phillip with very significant medical needs. As a special education teacher, she was likely more comfortable with children whose needs can be complex and challenging, but the hands-on care – is something entirely different. What Alicia knew though, was that this little boy needed a family and DCF was struggling to find the right fit for him. She wondered if the right fit could be her. This drove her to stretch out of her comfort zone, take a leap of faith that help would be there when she needed it, and ask about bringing Phillip into her growing family.  Alicia reached out to the DCF supervisor.

Jean Norvig is the supervisor for the foster care division unit in DCF supporting Alicia. Jean has done this work for many years and has deep relationships with many of the families who foster children from the Greater Danbury area. Jean and Alicia and Alicia’s support worker, Jerry, as well as Phillip’s DCF team of workers and supervisors, met and talked about Phillip’s needs and Alicia’s ability to meet those needs. One advantage Alicia has is that as a special education teacher, she has summers off making some of the challenges around childcare a bit more doable. She is also comfortable with children with differing abilities. They talked about how the department could help find support for Alicia given the big job she was willing to take on. Between all of them, they figured out how to make it work so Phillip could be cared for by Alicia. Ultimately, a decision to place Phillip in Alicia’s home was made and Phillip came home in January 2022.

Phillip is a sweet child. He is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair. He is fed through a feeding tube, and he requires assistance with all activities of daily life from bathing to dressing. He has an ongoing relationship with his dad and his sister which Alicia supports as she does for each of her children. Alicia’s girlfriend, Yvette, was a part of the decision to care for Phillip. Like Alicia, she has known Phillip since he was two, and Alicia says, “Yvette was fully supportive and onboard for bringing him into our family.” Even though they do not live together, Alicia and Yvette consider themselves family. Yvette also is a part of Phillip’s “care team.”  She went to the hospital and completed the same training Alicia received so that she could care for Phillip.  She frequently takes Phillip to doctors’ appointments. She is regularly in the home and always lends a helping hand. She is an occupational therapist, and so well-suited to meet Phillip’s needs. She provides overnight care on rare occasions when Alicia treats herself to a little self-care.

Here’s where the rest of the village comes in. Many of Alicia’s friends and colleagues agreed to jump in when needed. Two different foster parents care for the children when there are early dismissals at school and during the four teacher in-service days over the school year when Alicia is required to work. Phillip needs one-on-one support with daycare as well as after-school care. Another friend helped out after school. Early morning care became the last hurdle. And after a few bumps in the road, Jean came up with the perfect plan – a “retired” foster mom named Darlene. Alicia, smiling, recalls it like this: “Jean had been reaching out to all her contacts. And then she remembered Darlene, a former foster mom so Jean reached out to her. And it ended up working and she got trained. Pretty sure she fell in love with all four kids.” Not only did Darlene agree to provide Phillip’s support before school, it turned out that Alicia would need her on Monday afternoons also and Darlene quickly jumped in to help.

Darlene and Jean began their relationship close to 21 years ago when Darlene became licensed to care for infants. Darlene describes herself as “a helper who likes being in the background.” Caring for babies in foster care was a perfect fit for her. Over her 21-year “career,” Darlene cared for 21 infants, the longest one for three years, each baby either returning home or moving on to adoption. Recently, she retired her license, explaining that she felt it was the right time to step down.  Jean approached her about Alicia’s need for before-school care and after some thought, Darlene agreed to help. She missed her foster care work, and this seemed like a good match for someone who no longer wished to provide full-time care. Darlene explained, “You know, it's hard just to stop doing something like that.” Darlene lights up when she talks about Phillip.  Thinking back to when she first met him, Darlene said, “I was a little nervous because I wasn't exposed to Phillip's disabilities, but he's the cutest little thing. And even though he doesn't speak, he's non-verbal. He communicates with his eyes. It's hard not to fall in love with him.”

At first, Darlene just provided before-school care. But within two weeks, this connection morphed into more than just childcare. Darlene explains, “I'm a foodie. I've been cooking for people for a long time. That's how I care about people. For years, Darlene was a stay-at-home mom. She says, “When I went out into the workforce, I went into catering. It's hard to understand the emotional and physical strains on Alicia. She’s just amazing to me So, I talked to her workers to see what I could do to help her, besides caring for Phillip. They said, ‘Oh, she's very self-sufficient. And, you know, she doesn't require anything’ but I know the stronger you show yourself; the fewer people offer to help you.”

When it turned out that Darlene was needed on Monday afternoons for after-school care, this all came together in her head. Monday night dinners. Initially, she worried that she might insult Alicia, so she reached out to Jean for advice. “She thought it would be okay to ask Alicia. And she said “no” right away. But I told her that I wanted to help, that I know how much is on her plate. And so, she finally said okay. So now I'll cook breakfast for the kids occasionally and bring it in the mornings. Because she has to get four kids ready, and she seems like she's good, but everyone can use help.” So, Darlene regularly prepares Monday night dinners for Alicia and her kids. Darlene says that Phillip loves to look at the food even though he is unable to eat it.

Darlene likens these dinners to her time as a foster parent. “People that don't foster say that you're taking care of somebody's kid and you're giving it up? And I don't know how many times I heard that. I don't know how you do that. I would get too attached. Well, I'm not a selfish person.” She believes that this did not win her a lot of friends, but she is comfortable with her life’s work. She goes on to say, “It's not about us. It's about them. Help the children, don’t help me.” So, this is what she does. She sees this as not only helping Alicia but as a way for her to continue to help the children.

Alicia really appreciates the meals and everything Darlene is doing for her. And Darlene is thrilled to be able to cook and bake for her little “adopted” family.  She takes great pride in trying to think up new and interesting meals – and especially desserts – Darlene’s favorite to make. On Hanukkah, Darlene made a beautiful spread for the family including homemade applesauce. Alicia texted her over and over that evening to say how delicious it was, so it is on Darlene’s list to repeat again. Darlene loves to bake so each Monday comes with a delicious dessert. Recently, she made black and white cookies. Alicia says, “Darlene also made everybody individualized Christmas presents. She sews so I asked her to adapt some clothing for Phillip, and she did that as well. She's multitalented.” Alicia goes on to say, “And I think she empathizes with me as well. So, it's nice to have that person there supporting us.”

Alicia, like all foster parents, does not know how long Phillip will be with her but for the time being Alicia and Darlene and the rest of Alicia’s village will pour all their love into Phillip allowing him to live his best life.

Recently, our agency director spoke with Jean and the subject of these dinners came up. Jean was hoping we could collaborate and come up with some funding to offset the cost of the dinners Darlene so generously provides. So, we went to the community to raise money and folks generously responded. So far, we have raised over $300 to help offset the cost of the food. While Darlene was not looking for assistance with the costs, in this economy, we all felt that Darlene’s gift of time and talent should be met with equal community backing. Foster care is a labor of love and commitment. No one can do this kind of “job” entirely on their own. Most foster parents, like Alicia, develop a “village” of supporters, all helping in different ways. When a burden can be shared, almost anything is doable. There are over 3000 Connecticut children just like Phillip and Alicia’s other children deserving of a “village” to meet their needs. When we each do a little, a lot can get done. And these children deserve our best.

For more information on all the different ways you can help a child in foster care, please give our office a call at 475-235-2184. Gift cards for Darlene and other helpers like her are needed and welcome. Donations can be made via Venmo to @AnnieCCourt. Volunteers to provide a meal or respite are always in short supply and truly appreciated. Connecticut needs more foster parents like Alicia, and all our foster parents need their own village of helpers. In the words of the writer, James Baldwin, “For these are all our children, we will all profit by or pay for what they become.” Let’s be their village, let’s love them and care for them and help them achieve their highest potential.

]]> (DK) Life Mon, 20 Mar 2023 11:52:20 -0400
2023 Sky's The Limit Hiking Challenge in Connecticut State Parks

DEEP’s Annual Challenge Invites Public to Go “In, Under, Over, and Through” State Parks and Forests

Ready for an outdoor adventure exploring Connecticut State Parks and Forests? The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (“DEEP”) State Parks ring in spring on Monday, March 20, 2023, with the release of the 2023 Sky’s The Limit Hiking Challenge (“STL”), an annual checklist of hiking locations chosen from the state’s 142 parks and forests.

Take the challenge to get outside for some fresh air and fun physical exercise. Hike and walk the highlighted locations/trails and take designated photos along the way to experience this year’s STL theme, “In, Under, Over and Through” Connecticut State Parks and Forests. Fifteen park or forest locations are identified below for participants to explore, with varying scenery and highlights at each location.

Walk up a tower, go underground in a cave or root cellar, enjoy a scenic vista, or explore a former railway trail. Join the challenge to discover the various places you’ll walk in, under, over, and through. Participants who hike or walk 10 of the 15 trails will receive a “Sky’s the Limit” hiking staff medallion and a certificate for their efforts. For hiking or walking all 15 locations, in addition to the medallion and certificate, 50 participants will have a chance to receive a hand-carved hiking staff made by the DEEP sawyer from the DEEP sawmill or from the Connecticut Woodcarvers Association.

“Spring is here, and our Sky’s the Limit Challenge is back, providing residents with a great way to explore Connecticut’s state parks and forests while joining others in a friendly challenge to visit all 15 locations handpicked by DEEP State Parks staff,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Our state parks and forests, which are free to enter for those driving Connecticut registered vehicles thanks to the Passport to the Parks program, are such tremendous resources here in our state. We hope you’ll accept the challenge and explore your parks by going “In, Under, Over, and Through.”

Follow the Connecticut State Parks social media platforms @CTStateParks and visit for hiking challenge details including the challenge locations:

Rails to Trails:

  • Air Line State Park Trail, Multi-town
  • Larkin State Park Trail, Multi-town
  • Moosup State Park Trail (Moosup Valley Trail), Plainfield/Sterling
  • Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, Cheshire/Hamden
  • Hop River State Park Trail, Multi-town

State Parks:

  • Auerfarm State Park Scenic Reserve, Bloomfield
  • Camp Columbia State Park, Morris
  • Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth
  • Haystack Mountain State Park, Norfolk
  • Hopemead State Park, Bozrah/Montville
  • Machimoodus State Park/Sunrise State Park, East Haddam
  • Mianus River State Park, Stamford
  • Mount Riga State Park, Salisbury
  • Mount Tom State Park, Litchfield
  • Windsor Locks Canal State Park, Windsor Locks

The Connecticut State Park system was founded in 1913 with the creation of the State Park Commission. One year later, the Commission purchased its first property, about four acres in Westport for what became Sherwood Island State Park. Today, Connecticut has 110 state parks and 32 state forests attracting around 17 million visitors each year, generating over $1 billion in economic activity for the state and supporting 9,000 private sector jobs. Those driving Connecticut registered motor vehicles are provided free entrance to the parks thanks to the Passport to the Parks program. For more information on Connecticut State Parks visit:

]]> (CT DEEP) Events Mon, 20 Mar 2023 11:16:41 -0400
2nd Annual Penguin Plunge Candlewood hosted by Brookfield Police Department this Sunday!

Brookfield Police Department and Special Olympics Connecticut have teamed up again to host our PENGUIN PLUNGE!!! "PLUNGE CANDLEWOOD" THIS Saturday, March 18 beginning at 1pm at Brookfield Town Beach.
100% of the funds raised go directly towards the costs associated with hosting the Special Olympics summer and winter games!
This is a team-oriented event, where you create your own team and challenge others to see who can raise the most money... and at the end, EVERYONE runs into the frigged waters of Candlewood Lake!
Participants must raise a minimum of $50 and be at least eight years old. Costumes and team outfits are encouraged!
Individuals and sponsors are also welcome to participate.
There will be refreshments, games, music, and lots of fun!
For more information contact: Cpl. Jason Fiege (
]]> (Brookfield Police) Charities Thu, 16 Mar 2023 14:44:51 -0400
This Week On the Children's Shelf: A New Perspective on Old Favorites

I like to reread favorite children’s books because while the story hasn’t changed, I’ve changed dramatically from my original read. Visiting books that I loved as a child is like visiting your hometown that you haven’t seen since you were 11….it’s the same, but it’s different. It’s never exactly as you remembered it. Your house looks smaller than you remember it was, the big hill you raced down on your bike doesn’t seem as scary, and while it all suddenly seems a bit more ordinary than you remember it, you are flooded with memories.

You can stare at what looks like a regular tree and remember planning a tree house with your friends. You remember the time you climbed higher than anyone else and were treated like a rockstar by all the neighborhood kids. It’s the same but you are different, and you see everything through a new perspective that somehow combines with your memories.

Rereading a favorite childhood is similar. You know the story. You remember reading it, but the reread is different. You pick up new details you missed as a child. You see it from a new perspective. You might see characters that you didn’t like as a child a new way….you understand why they act a certain way or the hurt that makes them seem “mean” to a younger reader.

Like life, books are complicated, made up of layers of stories. Depending on our age and perspective we only see part of the whole. Revisiting often shows us a whole new side of things we missed before. While you might remember the basic idea of a book you read as a child, revisiting that book introduces you to those childhood friends in a whole new way. You will see so much more in the story.

If you revisit a childhood favorite, let me know which one and what you thought of it as an adult reader!

Jessica Collins is an award-winning writer who has earned National acclaim for her series On The Children's Shelf. Visit On the Children's Shelf online here to follow along Jessica's reading journey!

]]> (Jessica Collins) Neighbors Thu, 16 Mar 2023 13:55:00 -0400
The Golf Performance Center and Golf Quest Announce Partnership to Bring Golf Instruction to the Masses!

The Golf Performance Center (The GPC) – a junior golf academy and industry thought leader in player development innovations, physical performance and golf skill instruction in Ridgefield, CT– has partnered with Golf Quest Range in Brookfield, CT to offer golf and physical coaching programs and instruction.

The Golf Performance Center will partner with Golf Quest Range in Brookfield, CT to provide all golf and physical instruction. Golf Quest customers will be able to participate in a wide range of instruction programs for golfers of all ages and skill levels as well as junior camps offered throughout the year. Instruction provided by PGA and GPC-certified instructors will allow area participants to receive premier-level instruction in a fun environment and for all age and skill levels. Whether picking up a club for the first time or ready to take their skills to the next level.

Golf Quest, located in Brookfield, CT, features 69 technology-enabled hitting bays, delicious food and drinks, and programs for all golfers. Golf Quest was purchased by Blue Jeans Golf  in November of 2021 and has been transformed into the premier public golf range in Connecticut. The range features Toptracer technology to bring virtual games, courses, and competitions to every bay.  Whether people are coming for their daily range session, birthday party, corporate event, or one of its golf leagues, Golf Quest has golf and fun for everyone.

“We are thrilled to bring over 25 years of golf coaching experience to the newly renovated Golf Quest and provide greater access to the game to the Ridgefield/Danbury/Brookfield area. This partnership allows us to further our mission of helping grow the game of golf and help people achieve their goals on and off the golf course in a fun and relaxed group environment.” – Roger Knick, Founder and CEO of The Golf Performance Center.

“We are excited to work with Golf Performance Center to bring golf instruction to Golf Quest. As the greater Brookfield area has embraced the New Golf Quest, we were seeking a first-class, local partner to help shepherd people along their golf journey, regardless of skill-level, background, or experience. This partnership is an exciting step forward to grow public golf in Connecticut, and we have a lot of fun, creative programs we can’t wait to bring to life.” – Michael Canfield Blue Jean Golf Co-Founder.

Group coaching programs delivered by GPC-certified coaches will begin April 1, 2023 offering drop-in programs for both adults and juniors as well as season passes.

A Spring Break Golf Camp for juniors will be held April 10th through the 13th for ages 7 to 16. Additional summer camps will also be offered.

For more information or to register for all programs visit Golf Quest’s program page here.

For more than 20 years, The GPC has successfully guided nearly 100 competitors as they prepare for golf at the highest levels. Alumni include multiple NCAA All-Americans, current and former student-athletes at 80 different colleges and universities and professionals who have won on the Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and European Tour.

Located in Ridgefield, Conn., The GPC integrates state-of-the-art training facilities and expert coaching to help athletes reach their goals. Beginning with the one-of-a-kind “5 Elements of Success” evaluation, the academy delivers customized instruction designed to provide aspiring golfers with tools for long-term success.

]]> (GPC) Places Tue, 14 Mar 2023 09:29:02 -0400
WCSU presents renowned Afghan potter Matin Malikzada

Western Connecticut State University will sponsor a special event with renowned potter Matin Malikzada, a refugee from Istalif, Afghanistan, who has had his work shown around the world, on Saturday, April 1, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at the university’s pottery studio in White Hall, Room 017, on the Midtown campus, 181 White St., Danbury. Registration is required to attend this event at

Malikzada, a seventh-generation Afghan master potter, fled the Taliban to resettle in New Milford with help from New Milford Refugee Resettlement. His work is internationally recognized for its technical skill and elegant designs, and has been displayed all around the world, including in the Japan International Museum, Tokyo, Japan; the Islamic National Museum, Doha, Qatar; Leighton House and Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom; the Smithsonian Institute’s Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In Kabul, Malikzada served as head of the Ceramics Department at the Turquoise Mountain Institute, where he studied in his youth. After graduating, he was hired as a Master of Ceramics and eventually led the department. Additionally, Malikzada earned a bachelor’s degree in Law from Tabesh University in Kabul, has earned certificates in Design and Crafts from the City and Guilds Institute of London, was a visiting artist at the Institute of Ceramic Studies at Shigaraki, Japan, and authored books on Istalifi pottery. Malikzada revitalized the nearly lost art of Istalifi pottery and has trained more than 100 artisans in these ancient techniques.

Malikzada will provide a presentation on his experiences and a demonstration of his craft. The event is sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Muslim Student Association, and WCSU Adjunct Professor of Ceramics Jurg Lanzrein will serve as co-host. Space is limited; registration for this event is required at

For more information, contact Ken Scaglia at or WCSU Public Relations at

]]> (Janine Azzi) Neighbors Mon, 13 Mar 2023 11:17:22 -0400
Governor Lamont Announces $11.5 Million To Continue Connecticut’s Popular Summer Enrichment Program in 2023 and 2024

Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker today announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education is releasing $11.5 million from its share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to continue its highly successful Summer Enrichment Program in summer 2023 and summer 2024.

The governor proposed the creation of the program in 2021 in an effort to connect students whose education may have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to high-quality enrichment opportunities when they are out of school during the summer months, including at summer camps, childcare centers, and other similar programs, with a priority for those in communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The state continued the program in 2022. With the release of this additional funding for 2023 and 2024, Connecticut will have dedicated $32 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding over four years for students’ summer enrichment programming. Since its creation, the program has provided funding to more than 400 organizations in Connecticut that offer summer learning opportunities.

Governor Lamont said, “Investing in our children’s future is a priority for Connecticut. With this investment, we can extend this successful program for another two years and ensure that more of Connecticut’s children have access to summer enrichment and learning opportunities, regardless of their family’s income level. This program is helping provide a safe and enriching summer experience for our kids and will benefit our communities for years to come.”

Applications from organizations that want to participate in the program in 2023 and 2024 are now being accepted by the State Department of Education. To apply, visit Applications must be submitted no later than April 3, 2023.

Similar to the prior two years, the program will award funding to the most competitive summer programs. For 2023 and 2024, applicants can apply for either two expansion grants (up to $50,000 each, for a maximum of $100,000) or two innovation grants (up to $150,000 each, for a maximum of $300,000) per program site. Camps must use the funds to expand the number of students served, subsidize enrollment costs by providing scholarships, or provide transportation for program participants.

The Connecticut State Department of Education will host a virtual information session for interested grant applicants on March 16, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. Registration is required. A video recording of the session will be published on the Summer Enrichment website shortly after its conclusion.

An independent evaluation of the 2021 program concluded that the initiative successfully connected more than 108,000 Connecticut students with summertime enrichment opportunities. A similar evaluation of the 2022 program is expected to be released soon.

Connecticut families seeking to enroll their children in summer programs this year will soon be able to browse available opportunities online by visiting A listing of opportunities for 2023 will be published on that website in the coming weeks as the summer season approaches.


]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Mon, 13 Mar 2023 11:10:15 -0400
Brookfield Police take the plunge into Candlewood Lake to support Special Olympics on March 18!

Brookfield Police Department and Special Olympics Connecticut have teamed up again to host our PENGUIN PLUNGE!!! "PLUNGE CANDLEWOOD" on Saturday, March 18 beginning at 1pm at Brookfield Town Beach.
100% of the funds raised go directly towards the costs associated with hosting the Special Olympics summer and winter games!
This is a team-oriented event, where you create your own team and challenge others to see who can raise the most money... and at the end, EVERYONE runs into the frigged waters of Candlewood Lake!
Participants must raise a minimum of $50 and be at least eight years old. Costumes and team outfits are encouraged!
Individuals and sponsors are also welcome to participate.
There will be refreshments, games, music, and lots of fun!
For more information contact: Cpl. Jason Fiege (
]]> (Brookfield Police) Events Thu, 09 Mar 2023 03:31:16 -0500
Danbury Arena Launches the Area’s Premier Youth Hockey Training Program

The elite youth hockey experience includes boys and girls travel teams and clinics, staffed by highly experienced, professional coaches.

Building on the successes of its existing youth hockey offerings, Danbury Arena is excited to announce the launch of its elite-level youth Travel Hockey teams for both boys and girls.

Entering the upcoming 2023-24 season, the Hat Tricks Hockey will be fielding full and split-season teams at the 8U, 10U,12U,16U, and 18U levels. All teams will compete and play out of Danbury Ice Arena.

As part of Hat Tricks Hockey, members and their families joining will join the greater Danbury Hockey family with the best in instruction and skill development. 

“We are thrilled to add this premier travel team to our roster of programming for young hockey players in the region,” said Danbury Arena Travel Hockey Director Lou Pedatella. “Our world-class training facility, coaches, and staff give us the ability to offer an unmatched experience for player development and competitive exposure.”

Pedatella, a long-time hockey coach, was recently hired to oversee the Danbury Youth Hat Tricks program and has vast experience including acting as the NY Rangers Youth Hockey lead instructor since 2016. Throughout his career, he has helped orchestrate five national champion bids and three state championships, placing more than 30 players in the NCAA and in prep-school programs.

The Youth Hat Tricks have also enlisted Mark Cardillo as Program Director and Matyas Kasek as Head Skills Coach and Head Coach of the 10U and 12U teams. Cardillo boasts 20 years of hockey experience and has built a top-tier youth hockey program that produced multiple DVHL and National Championship teams. He’s also a former ice-rink owner who understands the importance of customer service and player development at all ages and levels. Kasek, a 2019-2020 team member and first-round pick for the 2020-2021 FPHL Hat Tricks team, is known for his exceptional skills in mentoring the next generation of players. He also helped develop Danbury Arena’s LTS, camps, and clinics.

“Our players will thrive under the expert knowledge and experience that Mark and Matyas bring as coaches and hockey directors. We’re excited to begin building a fun and competitive program that will elevate the level of hockey available to area players, fans, and families,” said Pedatella.

Visit tryout dates and registration beginning in March.

]]> (Danbury Arena) Life Wed, 08 Mar 2023 09:24:56 -0500