Brookfield's HamletHub Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:52:40 -0400 Brookfield Police Officers Don New Look!

Our New Look... External Vest Take a Load off Officer's Backs!

Residents will soon begin to see a New Look to the uniform worn by some Brookfield Police Officers.  A new External Ballistic Vest Carrier has been authorized for officers to wear in an effort to reduce back injuries attributable to carrying all of their equipment on their waist belts.  

The new external vest carrier will allow officers to wear much of their gear on the vest itself, transferring the load off their waist and hips.  The external vest carrier will also allow officers to more easily remove the vest and gear when they are working inside the police station or in an emergency situation.  

Not all officers will choose to wear the new external vest but for those who do, the vest will feature the officer's name and badge on the front, just as the uniform shirt does now and the back panel will display the words "BROOKFIELD POLICE" for easy identification.

The new look may cause some second glances, at first, but please remember that it is actually more comfortable to wear, reduces back injuries, and it makes it easier for officers to access their equipment.

We hope this explains the New look you'll be seeing and we thank you for your continued support!

]]> (Brookfield POlice) Neighbors Sat, 13 Oct 2018 05:08:14 -0400
WCSU to host conference on opioid crisis and addiction

The Western Connecticut State University Justice and Law Society will present the documentary "Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict at the Heroin and Opioid Awareness Conference presented by the Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT), a partner program with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut. The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The conference will be free and the public is invited.

The documentary was created by the FBI and DEA to educate students and parents about the dangers of addiction. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion with a federal prosecutor, DEA agent, and two local parents who lost children to an opioid overdose.

The HEAT program aims to increase community understanding of the dangers associated with deadly drugs like oxycodone, heroin and fentanyl, which have become widely and easily available in Connecticut.

WCSU senior and member of the Justice and Law Society Joseph Tamberelli found HEAT through research last semester and decided to spread its message to WCSU. He believes there needs to be more awareness about the opioid epidemic, especially in Connecticut.

"Many of us, myself included, have all been affected by this terrible epidemic in a personal way," Tamberelli said. "The objective of this event is for as many people as possible to leave this event with knowledge about the epidemic, in hopes to prevent further deaths from occurring."

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

]]> (WCSU) Neighbors Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:27:23 -0400
Melissa Woodhouse named Director of HomeCare and Client Services

RVNA, the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, is delighted to announce that Melissa Woodhouse, RRT, MOT, OTR/L, CDP, has been promoted to Director of HomeCare and Client Services. HomeCare by RVNA is the agency's non-medical service line, offering live-in and hourly caregivers to help clients with household tasks and personal care.  

In her new role, Woodhouse will be responsible for the overall direction and management of the HomeCare service while continuing to be responsible for the Centralized Care Coordination team.

"Our HomeCare clients and caregivers are very important to us," says Theresa Santoro, RVNA president and CEO, "and our knowledge of, and experience with, Melissa gives us great confidence about the future of this service and the quality of care and service we offer to our clients."

Woodhouse joined RVNA in 2014 as an occupational therapist, arriving with several years of experience as both a respiratory and occupational therapist in sites as varied as hospital emergency rooms, rehab facilities, patient homes, and -- of course -- the Life Star critical care helicopter out of Hartford Hospital. 

Woodhouse was promoted to Rehab Manager in 2017 and assumed management of the centralized care coordination department in early 2018. The care coordination team is responsible for giving RVNA patients and clients the help and guidance they need — right from the first phone call, or as soon as they walk in the door.  

Melissa brings a depth of clinical, management, and customer service skills to her work, as well as an adept and creative problem-solving ability, a strength she honed working one-on-one with patients in their homes, helping them return to their activities of daily living. 

Melissa's familiarity with the RVNA organization, approach and commitment to excellence means she will hit the ground running in her new position. She officially assumed the role on Monday, October 1. 

Woodhouse holds a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, both from Quinnipiac University in Hamden CT.  Woodhouse also holds an associate's degree in Respiratory Therapy. 

"I truly love patient and client contact and helping patients get the help they need on every level," says Woodhouse. "I have relished and learned from all of my roles at RVNA, from being an in-home occupational therapist, to Rehab Manager, and most recently re-constructing the care coordination team. I understand the excellence that our clients expect and require, and I am committed to delivering that in our HomeCare offering."

Woodhouse grew up in Brookfield, CT and is raising her own family there as well. Melissa and her husband, Ben, a Physician Assistant, have two daughters, Brooke, 4, and Charlotte, 2. 

To learn more about Melissa Woodhouse or HomeCare by RVNA, please call 203-438-5555 or visit



]]> (Tracy Brady) Neighbors Thu, 11 Oct 2018 17:07:58 -0400
DEEP and AAA Urge Motorists to Watch for Deer and Moose This Fall

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and AAA remind motorists to be watchful of increased deer and moose activity along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours.

Fall is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut's moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season (also known as "the rut") for white-tailed deer closely follows the moose breeding season, running from late October through late December.

DEEP’s Wildlife Division says motorists should be aware of and heed "Deer Crossing" signs along state highways. Motorists are advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road. Because moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles. All moose and deer vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state, or DEEP Environmental Conservation Police Officers (860-424-3333).

According to the DEEP, there were more than 4,000 deer strikes in Connecticut last year, though most go unreported.

"During 2017, approximately 4,122 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles, which is down considerably from 10 years ago," said Andrew LaBonte, Deer Program Biologist for the DEEP Wildlife Division. "While the number of collisions has fallen over the past 10 years motorists should remain vigilant this time of year as to the presence of deer near roadways."

"Hitting a deer can be costly, even fatal" says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. "According to UConn Crash Data, deer strikes resulted in a driver’s death last year and the year before."

According to the latest DEEP data Glastonbury had the greatest number of reported deer strikes.

"The fact that the greatest number of reported deer strikes was in Glastonbury clearly illustrates that where deer and drivers intersect, there’s a greater risk to both", Parmenter says.

In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends:

· Following the collision, call the police.

· Avoid making contact with the deer/animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself.

· Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on; whether it’s light or dark outside.

· If possible, immediately move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the roadway, and wait for help to arrive. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is most important.

· Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car. Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.

AAA has some tips to help prevent a crash or to reduce damage from an animal collision:

· Pay attention to road signs. Yellow, diamond-shaped signs with an image of a deer indicate areas with high levels of deer activity.

· Keep your eyes moving back and forth. Continuously sweep your eyes across the road in front of you for signs of animals and movement. Animals may also be alongside the road, so make sure to look to the right and left, as well. While the most likely crash is you hitting an animal, on occasion they might also hit you by running into the side of your car.

· Be especially attentive in early morning and evening hours. Many animals, especially deer, are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. – prime commuting times for many people.

· Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic. You can spot animals sooner. Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will reveal their location.

· Slow down, and watch for other deer to appear. Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be more nearby.

· Slow down around curves. It’s harder to spot animals when going around curves.

· One long blast. A long blast on your horn may frighten animals away from your vehicle.

· Resist the urge to swerve: Instead, stay in your lane with both hands firmly on the wheel. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something like a lamppost or a tree.

· If the crash is imminent take your foot off the brake: during hard braking the front end of your vehicle is pulled downward which can cause the animal to travel up over the hood towards your windshield. Letting off the brake can protect drivers from windshield strikes because the animal is more likely to be pushed to one side of the vehicle or over the top of the vehicle.

· Always wear a seatbelt. The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are much higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on. Also never drive drunk, distracted or drowsy.

· Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance, if you don’t already have it.Comprehensive insurance is the type of insurance that covers animal strikes.

While rare, moose strikes do occasionally occur in Connecticut, and because of their size can result in significant damage to a vehicle.

"Over 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2017, with an average of two per year since 2002,"said LaBonte. "One moose-vehicle accident was recently reported in late September on Route 20 in Hartland, where the majority of the moose-vehicle accidents have been reported over the years."

Most of Connecticut is not considered ideal habitat for moose because the state’s landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (approximately 10-15 square miles). Moose venturing into southern Connecticut, with high population density, road networks, and traffic volumes, pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared to deer-vehicle accidents. Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at

]]> (CT DEEP) Public safety Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:45:32 -0400
Brookfield resident Mary Ellen Clune Pritchard, 60, has died

Mary Ellen Clune Pritchard, 60, of Brookfield, formerly of Bethel, died on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at her home.

Mrs. Pritchard was born in Peekskill, NY, July 11, 1958, a daughter of Joan (Quigley) Pritchard of Brookfield and the late John Clune III.

 She attended Danbury schools and graduated from Danbury High School with the Class of 1976.

An area resident since 1965 coming from New York, Mrs. Pritchard was a secretary with the Danbury School system at Rogers Park Middle School.

She was a member of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church of Danbury

One of her greatest joys in life was the time spent with family and friends and most especially the time shared with her grandchildren.

In addition to her mother, Joan of Brookfield, Mrs. Pritchard is survived by two daughters, Jennifer (Justin) Lewis of Bethel and Stefanie (James Yoder Jr.) Pritchard of New Milford,; a brother, John Clune and his wife Patricia of Copperas Cove, Texas; five grandchildren, Aubrey, Austin, Brayden, Connor and Dylan and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

In addition to her father, Mrs. Pritchard was predeceased by a sister, JoAnn Clune.

The Liturgy of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10 a.m. in St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church, 13 Pembroke Rd., Danbury with the Rev. Father Ronald Hatton officiating.

Burial will follow in St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury.

The family will receive friends in the Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury on Sunday, October 14, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Parastas prayer service will take place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the funeral home.

Contributions in Mrs. Pritchard’s memory may be made to Autism Speaks-Connecticut, 85 Devonshire St. – 9th Floor, Boston, MA  02109.

]]> (Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home) Neighbors Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:49:15 -0400
Meet RVNA Staffer of the Week, Brookfield Resident, Melissa Woodhouse

Meet RVNA Staffer of the Week, Brookfield Resident, Melissa Woodhouse

Melissa Woodhouse has a knack for fixing things, and for making good things even better.

Perhaps it’s her original training as an Occupational Therapist (OT), a field dedicated to returning patients to their activities of daily living after an injury or illness. It requires intelligence, insight, creativity, patience, ingenuity, persistence and, of course, a positive outlook.

These traits have served Melissa well as an OT, and have been employed and enjoyed en route to her current RVNA role, Director of HomeCare and Client Services.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Brookfield, CT and moved back six years ago!

What is your role at RVNA?
Director of HomeCare and Client Services. I oversee RVNA’s private caregiver company and centralized care coordination team (also know as ‘intake’). Together we ensure that clients receive care from one of our many service lines at RVNA.

How long have you been at RVNA?
Almost five years.

When brought you here?
I began working in home health as an Occupational Therapist, where I got to treat the most amazing patients in their homes.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Getting to interact with clients, families, and caregivers.

When did you originally decide to become an OT?
After working many years as a Respiratory Therapist, I decided I wanted to pursue a career that furthered my ability to help change the lives of those who recently suffered an illness or injury.

How does your prior experience inform your new position?
It allows me to understand where clients are coming from, train caregivers how to manage clients, and ensure that our clients can age at home safely.

What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Go hiking or camping with my two daughters and husband. We love the outdoors!

What is your hidden talent?
Art — I love any and everything art related! Painting, drawing, or doing crafts with my kids.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
Buy a house on a lake in the Adirondacks!

Do you have a favorite RVNA moment or story?
Getting to watch Nick Depuy and Barbie Tatum perform at the Autumn Dinner this year as a tribute to his late mom and my former patient. It’s something I’ll never forget. This event brings so many wonderful RVNA supporters together and is an amazing reminder of how many lives the RVNA impacts.

]]> (Nancy Rowe) Neighbors Wed, 10 Oct 2018 08:05:10 -0400
Brookfield's 189 Sports Cafe Chili Cook-Off To Battle Cancer

Brookfield's 189 Sports Cafe will be home to a Chili Cook-Off to support Ann's Place on Saturday, October 20 from 1 to 4pm.

Local contestants and chili fans and cooks are invited to submit their chili for your enjoyment, while we raise money for Ann's Place - a local cancer support agency.

A $10 minimum donation gets you a spoon and a vote. Don't forget to check out our "Raffle Room" filled with great prizes, which in the past have included tours to local breweries, tickets to sporting events, gift certificates, PS3's, bar swag, and other awesome items. Also, our Specialty Drink Menu will consist of beer, wine, and liquor from our sponsors, with $1 from each drink sold going to the donation. Kids will enjoy getting their face painted and decorating pumpkins for a small donation too!

If you'd like to be a part of the event on any level, please call 189 Sports Cafe, 203-775-7072, and ask for John, or email with "Chili Cook-Off" as the subject.

Learn more here.

189 Sports Cafe is located at 189 Federal Rd, Brookfield

]]> (189 Sports Cafe ) Charities Mon, 08 Oct 2018 14:32:32 -0400
State says AP test scores increase, more students take courses

Malloy: Advanced Placement Test Scores Increase Nearly Four Percent

More Students Taking AP Courses and Tests

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that Connecticut public school students are continuing to increase their performance and participation on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, according to the 2017-18 results from the College Board. These improvements were evidenced among students from all racial/ethnic backgrounds and extend to the state’s Alliance Districts.

“Over the last eight years, my administration has worked to ensure that every student – regardless of his or her zip code – has the opportunity to succeed in Connecticut,” Governor Malloy said. “Today we are announcing another step toward that longstanding goal. We should be proud that for two years running, increases have been driven in large part by students of color, who have traditionally been underrepresented in AP testing.”

The number of students who took at least one AP exam in 2017-18 rose to 30,411 – an increase of 5 percent from 2016-17. Those students took 55,738 exams, also an increase of 5 percent from the prior year. Of the exams taken, 37,804 achieved a score of three, four, or five – an increase of 3.8 percent from 2016-17.

“This makes a big difference, in many cases allowing students to take college-level courses and receive college credit during high school, relieving some of the financial burden on hardworking Connecticut families,” Governor Malloy continued. “This should not be seen in a vacuum. Coupled with seven consecutive years of graduation rate increases – with the largest gains coming from traditionally underperforming school districts – and continued statewide improvement on Smarter Balanced Assessment, we have seen real improvement in our education system over the past eight years. It’s real progress, and it is why we have fought to ensure that traditionally underserved and underfunded districts have received necessary resources and support. And it’s why we need to continue to fund our education system equitably.”

“It is heartening to see that all student groups in Connecticut’s public schools have not only increased their participation in AP exams for since 2011 but are also receiving scores of 3, 4 or 5 on those tests,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “We can attribute this to the hard work of students and educators to meet the high expectations set for them, as well as the fact that we are following through on our promise to ensure students graduate prepared to succeed in college and their careers. This includes continuing to proactively expand access to and participation in challenging college-level material, like AP courses, and college-entrance exams for all students in order to maintain the positive trend we have seen over the last several years.”

To improve access and remove barriers for underrepresented student populations, the State Department of Education for the fifth consecutive year paid the remainder of fees not covered by the College Board for low-income students to take AP exams in spring of 2018. CSDE will continue to cover this cost going forward. Based on the results of the fall 2017 PSAT exams, CSDE sent letters to over 19,000 students identified as having AP potential. CSDE will continue this practice as well.

The Next Generation Accountability System acknowledges that students may demonstrate their abilities through options other than the AP, which is why the system recognizes participation in International Baccalaureate (IB), dual enrollment, and career/technical education courses, in addition to exam performance on the IB, SAT, and ACT.

AP 2017-18 Results


Percentage increase from 2016-2017 in the # of test takers

Percentage increase from 2016-17 in the # of exams taken

Percentage increase from 2016-17 in the # of tests scoring 3, 4, or 5

All students




















]]> (Gov. Malloy) Politics Mon, 08 Oct 2018 08:17:39 -0400
DMV Expands License and ID Services in Fairfield, New Haven Counties

The Department of Motor Vehicles announced today the expansion of its DMV Express license and ID card renewal program focused on bringing convenience to residents seeking these services. 
The agency and its partners plan to soon open new locations in Southington and North Haven as well as expand service times in Stamford. This follows the start earlier this year of DMV Express offices in Milford and West Haven. 
This customer-convenience driven program is designed to make services more available in New Haven and Fairfield counties while also enhancing existing partner AAA Club Alliance’s current locations elsewhere in the state. The new locations are planned to open in late November and mid-December.
"We see this as a win-win for all our customers because it offers additional locations where they can go for license and ID card renewal services," said DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra. “We are pleased with the continuing growth of DMV Express,” he added.
Last year DMV sponsored an open request-for-qualifications process to find third-party vendors for license and ID card renewal services. It selected Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union of Rocky Hill and The WorkPlace of Bridgeport for new DMV Express offices. The agency wants to spur innovation and create a network of convenient offices in New Haven and Fairfield counties, which are no longer served by AAA Northeast for DMV license and ID services. In northern Connecticut, however, license and ID renewals are offered through a separate franchise, AAA Club Alliance, in its West Hartford, Avon, Enfield, Manchester, Cromwell, Old Saybrook and Waterford locations.
In late November The WorkPlace plans to assume DMV operations in Stamford at 137 Henry St. It intends to have an appointment system only, as DMV offers there now, with scheduled hours Monday - Friday, expanded from DMV’s two-day per week operations. DMV appointments there will end November 16.  In addition, the Stamford office will no longer provide registration transactions, accept license plate returns and cancelations, and issue driving histories and disabled parking permits. DMV branch offices have those services.
In mid-December AAA Club Alliance plans to open its new Southington Car Care, Insurance and Travel Center at 749 Queen St.  The new Southington center is scheduled to provide DMV license and ID card renewal services Monday through Saturday as it does in their other offices.
Then also in mid-December Nutmeg Credit Union plans to open in North Haven a new five-station service center at 109 Washington Ave. It will be open Monday-Saturday and offer the same six-day per week services as in the Milford location. It will allow walk-ins as well as in-office and online appointments for services. 
Nutmeg Credit Union in June opened the DMV Express Center in Milford and earlier the City of West Haven opened a similar center in city hall. For more information about DMV and partner services and locations, please visit
]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Mon, 08 Oct 2018 08:01:41 -0400
3rd annual Danbury Pet Expo on October 14

The 3rd annual Danbury Pet Expo is coming, Sunday, October 14th from 11am- 4pm at Danbury Town Park, 36 Hayestown Road in Danbury CT. For more info visit contact or call 203-702-1467. (rain date 10/21/18)

Presented by Agriventures Agway the Danbury Pet Expo has all kinds of fun activities! Have your pet participate in a pet costume contest parade and an animal blessing! Come meet the E.A.R.S emergency service staff and ambulance and watch the Danbury Police k-9 unit in action!

There will be fun activities for the kids like face painting and a magic show! There will be a variety of exhibitors, pet adoptions, rescues and much more! A portion of the admission fees will go directly to local area animal rescues! 

]]> (NUTRENDS) Events Sun, 07 Oct 2018 11:04:00 -0400
Run/Walk with Team Julia’s Wings

Team Julia’s Wings is making big strides and growing weekly as it plans to participate in the Kent Pumpkin Run for the 6th year on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Team Julia's Wings will be at the Kent Pumpkin Run in Kent, CT on Sunday, October 28, 2018. The 5 mile starts at noon, Kids Fun Run at 11:15 a.m.

Festivities begin with a kid’s Fun Run at 11:15am followed by a 5 mile run/walk at Noon. The USATF certified course begins at Kent Town Hall (41 Kent Green Blvd, Kent, CT 06757) with live music, refreshments, and more. Team members will receive both the Kent Pumpkin Run T-shirt and Team Julia’s Wings jersey to wear at the event. “We are so grateful to our sponsor, CALM & Co, who will once again provide restorative massages to our participants after the race” added Mike Malsin. Julia’s Wings Foundation (JWF) was founded by the Malsin Family after they lost their daughter Julia, and big sister to Alyssa, after a year long battle against aplastic anemia, which is a rare bone marrow failure disease. Julia was only 13 years old. JWF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of honoring Julia Malsin by providing assistance to families of children with the life threatening hematological diseases; aplastic anemia, MDS and PNH, raising awareness of these diseases, and funding medical research. For more information and to register for Team Julia’s Wings visit


]]> (Julia's Wings Foundation) Charities Sun, 07 Oct 2018 06:45:00 -0400
Wilda Hayes receives Difference Maker of the Week by Patriots Foundation

Wilda Hayes of Danbury honored by the Patriots Foundation for her volunteerism and her dedication to Ann’s Place and the local cancer community

 Eight years ago, the Kraft family and Patriots Foundation introduced Celebrate Volunteerism, a season-long initiative focused on recognizing community volunteers and promoting the importance of giving back to the community through service. 

Throughout the 2018 season, the foundation will continue its Celebrate Volunteerism initiative by teaming with nonprofit organizations to educate fans about the need for volunteering, highlighting deserving volunteers from across the region and seeking to inspire Patriots fans to become lifelong volunteers. The foundation will present a weekly “Patriots Difference Maker of the Week” award, which recognizes deserving volunteers who go above and beyond to support their New England communities.

“We originally started the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative as a tribute to my sweetheart, Myra,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Over the past eight years, it has become the heart and soul of the Patriots Foundation, just like Myra was. We enjoy shining the light on local volunteers that are committed to improving the lives of children and families across the region and we hope that this inspires our fans to get more involved in their communities.”

Wilda Hayes from Danbury, Conn. was selected as this week’s 2018 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for her commitment to Ann’s Place. 

Wilda, a pharmaceutical marketing and advertising executive, was one of the first people to volunteer for the Ann Olsen Endowment in 1987, a fund designated to support cancer patients and their families. Ann lost her life to cancer at the age of 38, before she could fulfill her desire to support others on their cancer journey. The Endowment partnered with I Can, a support services group, and eventually merged into Ann’s Place, a fullservice nonprofit agency that now supports more than 1,100 clients across Connecticut and New York. 

Wilda joined the board of Ann’s Place and later served as its pro bono Executive Director, then President, for 16 years, leading the organization through dramatic clinical services growth during challenging economic times. She played a key role in creating and running key fundraising events like the Ann Olsen Golf Classic, now in its 30th year, and the Festival of Trees in its 16th year.  Wilda currently serves on the board and chairs the festival which attracts 5,000 each year to support people facing cancer. 

“What an honor to be recognized for my volunteer work as a Patriots Difference Maker,” said Wilda. “To fight cancer with only medical means is rarely enough. Dedicated volunteer support has allowed Ann’s Place to effectively offer amazing professional social, educational and psychological services with only a small paid staff.”  

One of her greatest accomplishments was creating a permanent home for the organization. Thanks to Wilda’s efforts, thousands of volunteers came together to build a beautiful 17,000 square foot facility offering comprehensive counseling, support groups and wellness activities.

“Volunteers make it happen everywhere, every day and quietly solve problems that help keep the nonprofit sector delivering services,” said Wilda. “There is very little we could accomplish without volunteers.”

Fifteen individuals will be named Patriots Difference Makers throughout the season. The outstanding volunteers will be recognized on the Patriots website and in print materials, including Patriots Football Weekly and Patriots GameDay magazine. They will also be honored during a special ceremony at the Patriots final regular season home game against the New York Jets on Sunday, December 30. 

Fans are encouraged to nominate a local volunteer for the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week award by visiting 

]]> (Dan MacPherson) Neighbors Fri, 05 Oct 2018 08:17:14 -0400
Adopt-a-Dog Hike at Tarrywile Park on October 13

Adopt-a-Dog Hike at Tarrywile Park on October 13 at 10:00 am

Come on a family-friendly hike with the Candlewood Valley Regional Land Trust and meet some adorable, adoptable dogs from the Danbury Animal Welfare Society!

Join CVRLT board member Cheryl Rykowski and DAWS head dog trainer Julia Klaucke on a light hike to get acquainted with your furry friends. Julie will provide tips on dog behavior and bringing a new dog into your home. Adoption applications will be available at the hike!

Dress for the weather and bring sunscreen, bug spray and drinking water. We kindly ask that you don't bring family dogs; we want our potential adoptees to be the stars of the show!

What better way to spend a Saturday morning than at a healthy, fun-filled hike that also happens to showcase future
four-legged members of your family?

10 am at Tarrywile Park, 70 Southern Blvd, Danbury, CT 06810. 
Meet in the parking lot.

RSVP's to are appreciated.

For more detailed information on each hike click HERE.

]]> (submitted) Events Thu, 04 Oct 2018 15:04:39 -0400
Carve Out Fall Fun at Brookfield Day on Saturday, October 13

Don’t Miss Brookfield Day on Saturday, October 13! A full day of fun throughout Brookfield!

Celebrate fall with fellow residents at Brookfield Day! The day includes free family activities, a Farm Fest courtesy of Brookfield Conservation Commission, a Barn Sale, and demos at Brookfield Craft Center. 

Visit the Brookfield Library's "Brookfield Day 2018" page for information on the events scheduled for this town-wide celebration.

]]> (Brookfield Library) Life Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:59:32 -0400
Are You Doing Your Monthly Breast Self-Exam?

Are You Doing Your Monthly Breast Self-Exam?

Do you know that about 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected through breast self- exam? That’s the reason why breast self-exam remains as a key method in the diagnosis of breast cancer and with October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to walk you through the steps on how to do it. First, here are some important facts:

  • Statistics say that about 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Women are diagnosed with breast cancer more than any other type of cancer. It is the second deadliest type of cancer in women, with lung cancer being the first.
  • There is an estimation that 266,120 new cases of breast cancer in women will be diagnosed in 2018, with 63,960 of those being non-invasive.
  • About 2,550 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. Yes, men’s risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 1,000 in their lifetime.
  • For 2018, the number of deaths expected in women from breast cancer is 40,920.
  • Up until January 2018, there were more than 3.1 million women with history of breast cancer in the U.S.
  • The risk of breast cancer in a woman almost doubles if she has a mother, sister or daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations inherited from mother or father.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of breast cancer or inherited mutations, it is as a result of genetic mutations due to lifestyle and aging.

How to perform a breast self-exam?

  1. First start by looking at your breasts in the mirror keeping your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Pay attention to size, shape and color. Look for any distortion in shape, swelling, dimpling, puckering, bulging of the skin, change in nipple shape/position, redness or soreness.
  2. Now, still looking at your breasts in the mirror, raise your arms and clasp your hands. Look for the same changes. Also, pay close attention to any fluid and/or discharge coming from one or both nipples.
  3. Then, put your hands on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Breasts usually do not match, but look for signs of dimpling, puckering or one-sided changes.
  4. Standing palpation: some women prefer to do this in the shower because with the combination of water and soap the hand will slide easier during palpation. First, raise one arm and put your hand on the back of your head. Use three to four fingers of the opposite hand to perform palpation starting from the outer edges towards the nipple with a firm circular motion. Very important to cover the whole breast including armpit, the area between the breast and the armpit, between breasts and the bra line. Perform the palpation with light, medium and firm pressure. Repeat the same for the other breast.
  5. Palpation lying down: when lying down, the breast tissue will spread out evenly on the chest wall. Place a pillow under the shoulder of the breast you are going to examine and the arm behind your head. Using the opposite hand, palpate with your fingers using light, medium and deep circular motion. Make sure to cover the whole breast including the armpit, the area between the armpit and the breast, between breasts and bra line. When you’re done, squeeze the nipple and note any discharge or lumps. Repeat the same steps for the opposite side.
  6. When to do it? Monthly. For women who do not get a period, do your self-exam on the same day every month. For those who have a period, do the exam every month right after your period ends.

If you feel and or see anything abnormal, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation. Also, come to us and we can evaluate your risk and determine what’s best for you.

Dr. Yarilis Vazquez, ND
Naturopathic Doctor- SOPHIA Natural Health Center

]]> (Dr. Yarilis Vazquez, ND) Life Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:51:48 -0400