Danbury's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury Mon, 21 Sep 2020 05:01:07 -0400 HamletHub.com Connecticut firm requests your love stories https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47887-connecticut-firm-requests-your-love-stories47887-connecticut-firm-requests-your-love-stories https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47887-connecticut-firm-requests-your-love-stories47887-connecticut-firm-requests-your-love-stories

A Connecticut company that offers bespoke invitation design and event planning for weddings and other special occasions is asking the romantically inclined to share their love stories on Facebook.

Entries may take the form of a written story, a photo or 15-second video. The seven entries that garner the most likes will receive a crystal bottle of signature perfume designed for M U R M U R A T I O N LTD, the firm founded by Brookfield resident René Hue.

Hue’s original vision 24 years ago was to sell elegant invitations embracing the preservation of vintage processes and artisanal techniques such as engraving, letterpress printing, and embossing, featuring them on unusual papers and carefully curated objects. Her designs and products were chosen for stationery collections offered by Neiman Marcus and other specialty retailers and Hue was soon being approached for her ideas on how to plan events with the same sensibilities.

M U R M U R A T I O N, which is also the description of flocks of starlings that fly in intricate patterns, is a luxury event design firm that brings together details of a celebration to create memorable events of emotional and visual power.

The request for love stories, at https://www.facebook.com/reneamyhue.murmurationltd, coincides with the autumnal equinox, signifying the harvesting or cultivating of ideas and intentions in a new cycle of growth. Participants are asked to share the hashtag #murmurlovestories.

The natural perfume being offered — “M U R M U R” — is presented in a limited-edition crystal bottle adorned with a sterling wire twining vine, steel cut beads, and a citrine crystal. The fragrance mingles notes of bergamot, violet leaves, rose petals, musk and amber.

Hue (@murmurationltd) is conducting the giveaway in advance of the company’s evolution with a relaunch and a new website in November.

Jeninemichaud@gmail.com (Paul Steinmetz) Life Sun, 20 Sep 2020 13:14:43 -0400
Immaculate High School Grad, Tess Michaelsen Needs Our Help! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47886-21-year-old-ridgefield-native-tess-michaelsen-needs-our-help47886-21-year-old-ridgefield-native-tess-michaelsen-needs-our-help https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47886-21-year-old-ridgefield-native-tess-michaelsen-needs-our-help47886-21-year-old-ridgefield-native-tess-michaelsen-needs-our-help

Immaculate High School, Class of 2017, Tess Michaelsen is 21 years old and fighting for her life. 

If you have ever dined at Bartolo in Ridgefield, you might recognize Tess as the happy hostess who welcomed you to the restaurant owned by her parent’s Art and Julia. She worked there during the heat of the pandemic - as an essential worker. Tess is a 2017 graduate of Immaculate High School in Danbury and is a resident of Newtown.

It was a nagging pain in her elbow that prompted Tess to seek medical attention this summer. Never did this young, energetic college student, bound for her senior year at Xavier University, think she would hear the doctor utter the words cancer. Exterior-Axial Chordoma is an extremely rare form of cancer that, in Tess’s case, has spread to her lungs and lymph nodes. 

Tess is a true cancer warrior. She won her first fight at the tender age of five after being diagnosed with Leukemia. This illness inspired her passion to work at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nonprofit that provides summer camps and programs free of charge to children with serious illnesses. Tess attended the camp when she was a child.

Tess is currently being treated at Sloan Kettering and hope lies in a clinical trial. It is this experimental treatment that doctors believe can shrink her tumor so that Tess can have surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. 

Here’s where you can help. A good part of Tess’s treatment is not covered by insurance, including the clinical trial. 

Two of Tess’s close friends at Xavier, Grace Rieger and Kayla O'Keefe started a GoFundMe for Tess and are hoping to raise $20,000 (or more) to support her treatment. 

They write:

Tess is a fighter, and a strong one at that! She is no stranger to cancer, as she was diagnosed with Leukemia as a child, which she won her battle with many years ago! She’s an amazing friend and person, never seen without her bubbly personality or bright smile, she truly lights up a room when she is around. She is a strong young woman who is ready to kick cancer’s butt once more.

This courageous young lady is battling hard and determined to complete her senior year at Xavier University! So, in the midst of treatment, and dealing with insurmountable pain due to a tumor in her shoulder, she is taking 18 credits and working on her capstone project so she can graduate in May with a degree in psychology! 

Let’s help Tess!

Please consider supporting Tess and the Michaelsen family by clicking HERE. All contributions will go directly to Tess and her family to help cover the costs of her treatment and hospital visits, allowing them the opportunity to fully focus on Tess’s treatment and recovery. No amount is too small!

Visit the GoFundMe page HERE.

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Sun, 20 Sep 2020 07:40:47 -0400
Danbury's Caio Ninja Releases New Video: Masks, John Oliver, Autism Tip and More! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47885-danbury-s-caio-ninja-releases-new-video-masks-john-oliver-autism-tip-and-more47885-danbury-s-caio-ninja-releases-new-video-masks-john-oliver-autism-tip-and-more https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47885-danbury-s-caio-ninja-releases-new-video-masks-john-oliver-autism-tip-and-more47885-danbury-s-caio-ninja-releases-new-video-masks-john-oliver-autism-tip-and-more

Caio Ninja has released CNN - Caio Ninja News | Episode 44 | "The Caio Ninja Bump".

In this episode, Caio breaks down how Governor Ned Lamont is laying down the law on masks, adds a new segment to the show inspired by Last Week Tonight's John Oliver, shares how an act of kindness of a police an officer from the Stockton Police Department inspired a very important autism tip and gives his fans access to a #caioninja throwback video that is the cuteness overload they didn’t know needed!!!
The episode is available on youtube https://youtu.be/xempVa2E9cg

CNN - Caio Ninja News | Episode 44 | Caio Ninja Bu...

kerry@ducey.org (Emanuela Palmares) Neighbors Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:27:38 -0400
Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut call to artists for online exhibit to demonstrate community resilience https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47884-call-to-artists-for-online-exhibit-to-demonstrate-community-resilience47884-call-to-artists-for-online-exhibit-to-demonstrate-community-resilience https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47884-call-to-artists-for-online-exhibit-to-demonstrate-community-resilience47884-call-to-artists-for-online-exhibit-to-demonstrate-community-resilience

The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is asking artists to contribute to an online show meant to uplift and show the strength of community members during the crises of the past year.

“Arts Are > Greater Than” is open to artists in Connecticut and New York, and will be curated by Joanne Hunter, the director and co-owner of The Art Spot, a school of fine arts in Danbury.

The deadline for submitting art is 5 p.m. on Oct. 9. The exhibit will run from Oct. 28 through January 2021.

“Art has the power to move. To tell a story. To bring people together. To inspire, and to incite change,” said Lisa Scails, executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut. The common thread for this online exhibit is based on the adage that ‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.’ This art exhibit will show the power of the arts through creative expression individually and as whole. What is art if it doesn’t make you think? Or feel? Or question? Or use its influence to bring people together during a time of extraordinary need? If there is ever a time needed to call upon creativity and to reimagine a better way forward, now is that time.”

Hunter, a graduate of Pratt Institute, is an exhibiting and award-winning member of regional art associations and serves on several art committees and arts boards. She has led collaborative efforts to create site-specific mosaic murals for hundreds of cities, schools, social interest groups, libraries, corporations and organizations. Much of her artwork offers a focus on social justice and humanitarian issues.

To submit an entry for “Arts Are > Greater Than” visit https://cawct.org/arts-are-greater-than/. Click or tap if you trust this link.">https://cawct.org/arts-are-greater-than/. For more information, contact Joanne Hunter at TheArtSpotSchool@gmail.com.

Jeninemichaud@gmail.com (Paul Steinmetz) Neighbors Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:58:45 -0400
Immaculate High School Students and Staff Return to School for 2020-2021 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47883-immaculate-high-school-returns-to-school-for-2020-202147883-immaculate-high-school-returns-to-school-for-2020-2021 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47883-immaculate-high-school-returns-to-school-for-2020-202147883-immaculate-high-school-returns-to-school-for-2020-2021

Immaculate High School began a new school year last week, successfully rolling out their reopening plan and hosting the student body in the building. New protocols throughout the school promote social distancing and safe practices, including temperature sensors at all entrances to the building, directional signage in the hallways and stairwells, air purifiers in all rooms in the building, hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes in every classroom as well as mask mandates for all faculty, staff and students.

Similar to the efforts of all school administrators, school President Mary Maloney and school Principal Wendy Neil, have been coordinating their reopening plan efforts with the Department of Health, local officials, CIAC and the Offices of the Superintendents of Danbury Public Schools and Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools. The first week of school began with Freshman Orientation on Tuesday, September 8 and continued on Thursday and Friday with a hybrid learning platform for the entire student body. Parents were provided an option of sending their student back to the school or for their student to take courses virtually for the first semester. 


While prioritizing the safety and well-being of its students and staff, Immaculate is committed to maintaining the rigor of its programs and its Catholic identity. “We have created two cohorts of students who will be participating in their 55-minute classes whether virtual or in-person using Microsoft Teams.  Our Wednesday schedule includes shortened periods and special programming to allow students to engage in Mass, Prayer services, Advisory, counseling, extracurricular and after school club meetings,” says President Mary Maloney.


Principal Wendy Neil expressed her enthusiasm in a letter to parents stating “Together we can make this untraditional start of the year a success. Our teachers have worked endlessly to master their technology skills while designing their lessons, our staff has tried to prepare for every possible scenario and our building is ready.  Our coaches and athletic department programs have been responding to every new guideline in order to keep our athletes safe on the field and court.”

To see the full reopening plan, please visit https://www.immaculatehs.org/re-opening-plans/september-4-2020-update 

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School also allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others and personal goals.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s school system. 


cwardlow@myimmaculatehs.org (Immaculate High School ) Places Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:11:06 -0400
Danbury Travel Alert: Road Construction on Filmore Ave. https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47882-danbury-travel-alert-road-construction-on-filmore-ave47882-danbury-travel-alert-road-construction-on-filmore-ave https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47882-danbury-travel-alert-road-construction-on-filmore-ave47882-danbury-travel-alert-road-construction-on-filmore-ave

Road Construction Advisory

Beginning September 18th, Danbury Public Works Department will be conducting road construction on Filmore Ave. This construction will not result in road closings, however, there is the possibility of travel restrictions during this work period.

During this period there will be NO on-street parking. Construction should last approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Any questions regarding this notice should be directed to the Danbury Department of Public Works at 203-797-4605.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this construction.


kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Places Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:25:25 -0400
CIAC Announces Full Contact Football Canceled for 2020-2021 School Year https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47881-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year47881-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/47881-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year47881-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year

CIAC Football Board of Control Update

At its September 16, 2020, meeting, the CIAC Board of Control reaffirmed its September 3 decision to cancel full-contact football for the 2020-2021 school year. This decision was made in alignment with the Connecticut Department of Health’s recommendation that football is a high-risk sport and should not be played this fall. The board did, however, agree it would consider allowing competition at a later time for a sport that cannot hold its regularly scheduled season, such as football, provided it does not negatively impact spring sports.

DPH continues to recommend substituting “higher risk” athletic activities with “moderate risk” or “lower risk” options and /or postponing those activities to a later time. In alignment with those recommendations, by the end of this week, through its football committee, the CIAC will recommend low and moderate-risk football activities in which schools may continue to engage their football athletes.

“CIAC made every effort to weigh all factors in this decision, including the passionate voices of students, parents, and school personnel, and ultimately made the determination to align its decision with the recommendations of the Governor’s office and DPH to not hold high-risk sports at this time,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini stated. “In conversation with other state associations across the country, it was clear that a key factor in playing interscholastic football was alignment with the opinion of their state’s governor and state health agency.”

After consulting with DPH and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), it was apparent that CIAC’s football plan, though endorsed by the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee, will not sufficiently mitigate the risk to lower the categorization of the sport from “high risk” to “moderate risk.” DPH encouraged CIAC to seek affirmation from the NFHS that its proposed mitigating strategies would meet the standards required to recategorize football from its classification as high risk. CIAC immediately consulted with the NFHS which responded by stating that, “As each state association has its own SMAC and state department of health/health agency, the NFHS SMAC will not exercise approval or disapproval of individual state guidelines.” Furthermore, in discussions with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), it was made clear to the CIAC that its members are not public health experts and, as such, on the matter of playing football, CAPSS would defer to the appropriate state and local public health authorities.

The CIAC is concerned that DPH’s recommendation to postpone higher risk sports to a later time is reserved for CIAC sanctioned interscholastic athletics. In fact, as the CIAC is not sanctioning a football season at this time, schools, with approval from their local DPH, may opt to play full contact football as a “club” sport, similar to girls ice hockey, without adherence to CIAC COVID mitigating plans. The CIAC has previously tried to make DPH and the governor’s office aware of the inconsistency that permits our same student population to engage in non-interscholastic high risk sports with less oversight and fewer COVID mitigating strategies. Furthermore, the CIAC has expressed its concern that this inconsistency promotes an inequity in sport opportunities.

In consideration of playing football at a later time, the board seeks to better understand factors such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • How many sports are impacted to the extent where it cannot compete during its regularly scheduled season?

  • What other public health strategies have become available and are supported with better research?

  • How will facility scheduling be impacted?

  • The impact to field maintenance and playability.

  • The viability of synthetic surface fields passing the G-max test during winter months.

  • How has the COVID climate in Connecticut improved to support interscholastic high-risk athletics at a later time?

kerry@ducey.org (CIAC Sports) Life Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:38:26 -0400
Matt Cassavechia is Danbury's New Emergency Management Director https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47880-matt-cassavechia-is-danbury-s-new-emergency-management-director47880-matt-cassavechia-is-danbury-s-new-emergency-management-director https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47880-matt-cassavechia-is-danbury-s-new-emergency-management-director47880-matt-cassavechia-is-danbury-s-new-emergency-management-director

Today, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton introduced the community to the City's new Emergency Management Director, Matt Cassavechia.

"Congratulations to Matt Cassavechia! Our newly sworn in Emergency Management Director," said Mayor Mark.


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Wed, 16 Sep 2020 08:51:06 -0400
How to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47879-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut47879-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/47879-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut47879-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut

If you want to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut, this is what you need to do:

  1. Obtain an absentee ballot application: The Secretary of the State has mailed absentee ballot applications to every active, registered voter in the state. If you haven't received one yet, it should arrive in the mail within the next several days. You can also download the application online here. It is important to note that this is not a ballot – it is just an application that you need to fill out to request a ballot.
  2. Fill out the application: When you fill out the application, state law requires you to check a box indicating the reason why you need to vote using an absentee ballot. This year, all voters have the option of selecting "COVID-19" as a reason, in addition to the six existing reasons.
  3. Send the application to your Town Clerk: Once filled out, you must send the application to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk's office.
  4. Once the application is processed, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter starting on October 2: Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one beginning October 2, 2020. By law, absentee ballots cannot be mailed prior to October 2.
  5. Complete your absentee ballot: When filling out your absentee ballot, make sure to follow all of the instructions as required, otherwise your vote may not be processed. Remember to sign the inner envelope, seal only your ballot inside of the inner envelope (one ballot per envelope), and seal the inner envelope inside of the outer envelope.
  6. Send your completed absentee ballot to your Town Clerk: Similar to how you returned your application, you must send your completed ballot to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk's office.
  7. All ballots must be received by the close of polls at 8:00 P.M. on November 3: To ensure that the Town Clerk receives your absentee ballot in time and it doesn't get held up due to delays in mail delivery, it is strongly recommended that you return your ballot by using the secure drop boxes that have been installed outside of your local Town Hall.

Additional Resources

For Connecticut's voter information center, visit myvote.ct.gov.

kerry@ducey.org (Ned Lamont) Politics Tue, 15 Sep 2020 08:34:13 -0400
Danbury’s 7 Avenue Media Harmonizes with “YousicPlay.com” to Present Courses Featuring World Renowned Musicians https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47878-danbury-s-7-avenue-media-harmonizes-with-yousicplay-com-to-present-courses-featuring-world-renowned-musicians47878-danbury-s-7-avenue-media-harmonizes-with-yousicplay-com-to-present-courses-featuring-world-renowned-musicians https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47878-danbury-s-7-avenue-media-harmonizes-with-yousicplay-com-to-present-courses-featuring-world-renowned-musicians47878-danbury-s-7-avenue-media-harmonizes-with-yousicplay-com-to-present-courses-featuring-world-renowned-musicians

In January, when Alain Merville and his team launched a comprehensive new platform where students of all ages could learn from internally renowned musicians through the latest streaming technology, he had no idea that the field of online education would grow exponentially in the months that followed.

A talented jazz pianist and a professor at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Merville was determined to offer students an experience that was truly “state-of-the-art,” both with respect to the quality of the instructors and also to the audio and visual qualities of every digital lesson. To bring his vision to life with the outstanding technical quality he desired, Merville turned to the talented team at 7 Avenue Media in Danbury, and the video segments resulting from this collaboration have received a steady stream of praise.

“As a musician and a music professor,” Merville says, “I wanted to offer music students at all levels of ability access to some of the world’s greatest musicians and also a level of support so that they could truly benefit from these courses.” Noting the enormous popularity of the “MasterClass” series of online courses, featuring instructors like Steve Martin teaching comedy and Martin Scorsese sharing insights on filmmaking, he wanted to feature instructors who might otherwise be out of reach of music students, and allow aspiring music learners the opportunity to be taught by celebrity musicians, yet with a carefully designed curriculum, as well as have some fun along the way. Besides their Masterclass tier of classes, Yousicplay also offers an Academy tier which allows student of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, the opportunity to learn in an even more extensive curriculum-based approach from elite music college level professors.

Merville also realized that it was important to capture each and every lesson with the highest standard of audio and video quality, knowing that students would watch each lesson countless times and truly immerse themselves in the learning process. With this in mind, he sought the help of 7 Avenue Media founder Ardonyx Day, and the team embarked on a busy schedule of capturing lessons by some of the world’s most talented musicians.

Although the YousicPlay platform is only eight months old, students have already had the chance to learn from instructors from around the world. The online course featuring Latin jazz pianist Jesús Molina, born and raised in Colombia, has already been purchased by several thousand music students, featuring lessons that span a wide range of skill levels.

In August, Alain Merville and the 7 Avenue Media team traveled to Los Angeles to film lessons featuring the world-famous jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. This course – which will be available starting in early October – reflects Yousicplay’s goal of offering courses featuring award-winning musicians who might otherwise be “out of reach” to students, because of busy 

touring schedules and other factors. A ten-time Grammy winner, Sandoval – a protégé of the jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie – is also the recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom, honoring his courageous journey involved in defecting from Cuba to become an American citizen.

In addition to the enthusiastic response of music students around the world, who have been eager to learn from the world-class instructors offered by YousicPlay, Merville was also thrilled to receive a nice compliment from a genuine jazz legend. “When we were speaking with Arturo Sandoval to plan his course,” Merville says, “he told us that he had been approached by MasterClass, who wanted to feature him on their platform. Arturo spend some time checking out the classes on our platform and chose to work with us instead because he was impressed with the way we really make certain that music students are given all the resources they need, to make the most of the experience. That tells me that we’re really on the right track!”

Other musicians who will soon be available on the YousicPlay platform include singer/songwriter Cory Henry, from the popular jazz/rock/funk group Snarky Puppy, and also Argentine-Mexican singer-songwriter and popstar Noel Schajris. At this time when online learning is expanding at rapid pace, Merville is pleased to see, as the expression goes, “the students are ready” and “the teachers have appeared!” The result will be a global expansion of musical expression and joy.

To learn more about the online courses available on the YousicPlay platform, visit: https://yousicplay.com/


kerry@ducey.org (Tom Martin) Neighbors Tue, 15 Sep 2020 08:12:58 -0400
Retired Danbury Educator, Lenni Rodgers Podhouser, 83, has Died https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47877-former-brookfield-resident-lenni-rodgers-podhouser-83-has-died47877-former-brookfield-resident-lenni-rodgers-podhouser-83-has-died https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47877-former-brookfield-resident-lenni-rodgers-podhouser-83-has-died47877-former-brookfield-resident-lenni-rodgers-podhouser-83-has-died

Lenni Rodgers Podhouser, 83, of Beachwood, Ohio, formerly of Brookfield, CT a retired Danbury educator, and wife of the late Nelson Podhouser, died on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Due to the pandemic crisis, all services will be private.

kerry@ducey.org (Jowdy Kane Funeral Home) Neighbors Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:43:56 -0400
The Ridgefield Playhouse Celebrates 20 Years! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/47876-the-ridgefield-playhouse-160010856647876-the-ridgefield-playhouse-1600108566 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/47876-the-ridgefield-playhouse-160010856647876-the-ridgefield-playhouse-1600108566

Although they had to close their doors to inside shows on March 13th, move/cancel more than 120 shows so far (equaling a loss of more than $3 million in ticket income), and cancel their Summer Gala, the other big fundraiser that they depend on, The Ridgefield Playhouse, a nonprofit theater in Ridgefield CT,  is not going to let the hard times of COVID-19 get in the way of celebrating a giant milestone. 

For 20 years, The Ridgefield Playhouse has been the heart and soul of the community, culture and economy in Ridgefield, CT. “We were hoping to have a BIG Gala celebration for our 20th Anniversary Season,” says Executive Director Allison Stockel. “But I think we have turned lemons into lemonade and have come up with a great way to have a really fun 20th Anniversary Gala!” 

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Playhouse will indeed mark its 20th Anniversary season by having performers from the past 20 years make special virtual guest appearances- everyone from Graham Nash, Stephen Schwartz, Todd Rundgren and more- as well as a full LIVE performance on the stage inside the Playhouse with Bruce Hornsby

“We are really excited to have someone perform on our stage again!” Says Stockel.  The Playhouse is offering a variety of ways to participate depending on your comfort level.  There will be a limited number of Sponsor tickets inside the theater, as well as outdoor tented seating for Gala ticket holders (both include open bar and a sit-down dinner with food from Bernard’s and Gallo), and virtual streaming tickets for those who want to stay at home.   

“We want everyone to be able to be able to celebrate with us,” says Stockel.  “For those who feel comfortable coming out, the evening kicks off at 6:30pm - with a red-carpet arrival hosted by Christine O’Leary in the tent on the field next to The Playhouse.  There will be restaurant-style seating, where you only sit with your party and will get served dinner with food from Bernard’s and Gallo at your table.  Gala ticket holders will watch the performance in the tent via a live feed from the Playhouse stage, and Sponsor ticket holders will have a socially distanced seat inside the theater.”

 The Playhouse is also selling streaming tickets for those who want to watch from the comfort of their own home. If you buy a Gala ticket or Sponsor ticket and would like to pick up your dinner and watch via streaming from home- that is also an option.

“I think when the Playhouse opened its doors 20 years ago no one ever thought that we would have gotten to the point where we would be presenting more than 200 shows annually,” says Stockel. “And in addition to that, doing 33 Arts in Education performances, giving away more than $90,000 in free tickets to Title 1 schools and people from low-income areas, and have some of the most iconic performers from all genres like Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Blondie, Stephen Sondheim, Jay Leno and so many more.”  

Those numbers are of course pre-Covid.  There is no doubt that The Ridgefield Playhouse has grown in size and scope over the past 20 years.  Just ask any restaurant owner and they will tell you that when the Playhouse has a show, their restaurant is full. “In addition to being such an important part of this town’s culture, The Playhouse has been a huge economic generator for the town,” says First Selectman Rudy Marconi, “We know times are tough right now and look forward to getting The Playhouse and the Town of Ridgefield back to where it was.”

And times have been tough indeed.  “The entire Arts and Culture sector is hurting right now,” says Stockel. “So, we really need to do this Gala. We do not yet know what we will be able to do inside the Theater this winter, we are hoping to know soon. Right now, we can do a few outdoor shows, which is good, but not what we would normally do.” In fact, The Ridgefield Playhouse did only four outdoor shows in the month of August, when they originally had 18 shows booked.

  This September they were planning to do 20 live performances and will only be able to do five outdoor shows.  “At least it’s something,” Stockel says, “but it’s not enough to keep us going if we aren’t able to, at some point, start doing regular indoor shows again soon.” Even so, Stockel and her team are proud of what they have accomplished and feel positive about where the Playhouse is going.  “We have wonderful and loyal sponsors, members and donors. 

This Gala is as much for them as it is for us,” says Stockel. “And even though we’re doing it a little differently during these unprecedented times, we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.  We have been through a lot over the past 20 years, and we’ve stood the test of time.  I know we will be okay and come out on the other end, it’ll just be a bit of a journey to get there.” 

The Ridgefield Playhouse Gala is sponsored by  PLATINUM SPONSORS: Berisford, Rabinowitz, Ross & Stockel Families, Missy & Andy Williams; GOLD SPONSORS: Eric Diefenbach & JK Brown; SILVER SPONSORS:  Deb and Howard Bubb; BRONZE SPONSORS: Caroline & Rommin Adl, Amy & Eric Freidenrich, Kathleen & Dave Lyons, Jill & Larry Mango, Dr. Margaret A. Reed & Patricia Fernandes, The Sawtelle Family, Linsey Tully & Joe Racioppo, Mercedes-Benz of Danbury.

For more information about The Playhouse Gala go online to www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org or, you can visit or call the box office (203) 438-5795.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT and is committed to keeping the arts alive and available to all.


kerry@ducey.org (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:00:58 -0400
Fall Sports in Full Swing: OrthoConnecticut Doc Talks Preventing and Treating Injuries in Young Athletes https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47875-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes47875-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/47875-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes47875-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes

It’s “Back to School” season, and in Hearst Connecticut Media’s recent feature, writer Andrea Valluzzo puts a spotlight on fall sports and an orthopedic practice that is at the heart of diagnosing and treating injuries - OrthoConnecticut.

 “Whether or not students return to school this fall, odds are many of them will be participating in some type of athletic activity. When kids are involved in sports — no matter what the scenario — athletic-related injuries are always a possibility,” says Valluzzo. 

 OrthoConnecticut’s very own sports medicine specialist, Dr. Emund Ganal, mentions he can relate to the situation both personally and professionally, “Unfortunately, most kids, mine included, play sports all year round. Overspecialization, I think, is a problem when kids do one specific sport 12 months a year. They develop certain habits that stress only certain parts of the body and when those get overworked too much, they start developing chronic problems like tendon degeneration and a lot of overuse injuries,” he says. 

 Dr. Ganal, a resident of Ridgefield, sees many cases of overuse injuries in the office and also warns that now is the time to take things slow, " After months of being fairly sedentary, athletes need to be smart about their training. While the forced rest over the past few months can be a good thing, we also want to be sure athletes properly get back into shape to avoid injuries." It's important to listen to your body, your coaches and your doctor. 

OrthoConnecticut is a multispecialty practice staffed by leaders in orthopedic care with offices in Danbury, Litchfield, New Milford, Ridgefield, Sharon and Southbury. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in the Danbury office.  


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Mon, 14 Sep 2020 08:24:24 -0400
Women’s Center SafeWalk to be weekend-long virtual event October 2nd- 4th https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/47874-women-s-center-safewalk-to-be-weekend-long-virtual-event-october-2nd-4th47874-women-s-center-safewalk-to-be-weekend-long-virtual-event-october-2nd-4th https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/47874-women-s-center-safewalk-to-be-weekend-long-virtual-event-october-2nd-4th47874-women-s-center-safewalk-to-be-weekend-long-virtual-event-october-2nd-4th

The Women’s Center will hold its 14th annual SafeWalk virtually as a weekend-long event October 2nd - 4th, 2020. SafeWalk is the Women’s Center’s premier event to unite the community in our vision to end domestic violence and raise critical funds to support our free programs and services. 

Individuals and teams are encouraged to walk, run or creatively move their way to a 4K and fundraise from the comfort of their own homes/communities. Choose a time that works with your schedule, hop on a treadmill, walk around your neighborhood or meet up with a group of friends at a large public space, wear your facemask (included with registration along with a race bib) and hashtag your photos to #safewalk. Participants are also asked to wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. People of all ages are encouraged to participate and create their own personal peer-to-peer fundraising page encouraging family and friends to sponsor them with a donation.

There will be a kickoff party beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 4th with the release of a SafeWalk 2020 video, featuring Pat Zachman, Women’s Center President & CEO, SafeWalk Co-Chairs Kathy Graham of Ridgefield and Vicki Taylor-Bloch of New Fairfield, local officials, Women’s Center education team members, and supporters, telling us why they walk. There will also be an online Zumba warm up with instructor Sarah Imarata.

To create a fundraising team or sponsor this event, please visit www.wcogd.org/events or contact Linda Cummins, Special Events Manager, at 203-731-5200 x232 or linda.c@wcogd.org.

The Women’s Center provides free and confidential services to prevent or lessen the trauma associated with domestic violence, sexual assault and other major life transitions to thousands of women, children and men annually. The programs of the Women’s Center are supported by state and local government, area United Way agencies and the people and businesses in the communities we serve including Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, and Washington, CT.


kerry@ducey.org (Cheryl Kunst) Charities Mon, 14 Sep 2020 05:58:42 -0400
Danbury's Two Steps Celebrates St. Patrick's Day in September! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47873-danbury-s-two-steps-celebrates-st-patrick-s-day-in-september47873-danbury-s-two-steps-celebrates-st-patrick-s-day-in-september https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/47873-danbury-s-two-steps-celebrates-st-patrick-s-day-in-september47873-danbury-s-two-steps-celebrates-st-patrick-s-day-in-september

St. Patrick's Celebration in September? Yup! Luck of the Irish!

Join Two Steps Downtown Grille in Danbury from September 16th to the 19th.

We will be following all health guidelines and social distancing, Reservations can be made by giving us a call. Serving inside and outside on our tented patio.  It's time to get your Irish on!

We were definitely bummed back in March, due to the coronavirus, we were forced to close right before St. Patrick's Day. and...we love St. Patrick's Day. So, we've decided to celebrate St. Patrick's Day exactly six months later. You heard it right, St. Patrick's Day in September! It's been a rough time for all of us and we need a break.

PS: Your support of our restaurant in these times is greatly appreciated!

Call to make your reservation - and get your IRISH ON!  (203) 794-0032.

kerry@ducey.org (Two Steps) Places Sat, 12 Sep 2020 04:25:40 -0400