Darien's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/darien Sun, 24 Mar 2019 14:26:50 -0400 HamletHub.com Why Small Businesses Matter in Darien: Helen Ainson https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46900-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-helen-ainson46900-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-helen-ainson https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46900-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-helen-ainson46900-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-helen-ainson

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story.

You're IT Helen Ainson!

Three questions with Erica Jensen, owner of Helen Ainson.

Why did you start your business?

Fashion is in my blood! My mother started Helen Ainson in New York City in 1948. I spent endless hours in her store as a child, watching the sophisticated women come in and try on all the beautiful dresses. I started working in her second store in Greenwich when I was in high school, and when I was in college, I started doing the buying with her NYC store buyer. In those years I would dress up in beautiful suits with an ornate hat and long gloves to go to the city – my, how things have changed over the past 40 years! After I graduated from college I knew I wanted to open my own store fell in love with Darien. At the time, there wasn’t a boutique providing cutting edge eveningwear and so voila, Helen Ainson of Darien opened in 1977! 

Best selling product/service?

Helen Ainson is best known for our large selection of evening gowns for Mothers of the Bride/Groom, Bar/Bat mitzvahs and cocktail attire. In addition to having a large selection in store from over 150 designers, most of our eveningwear can be custom ordered in different colors or with different detailing. We are a one stop shop and provide a unique experience where a woman can purchase her dress, shoes, evening bag, jewelry, lingerie and organza or cashmere wrap all at the same place. We offer alteration services on site to make our customer’s lives as easy as possible! Over the years we have also grown our selection of casual clothing and carry everything from jeans (or yoga jeans) to the perfect business casual outfit.

How many people do you employ? Any youth or seniors from the community?

The store currently employs seven people and we are proud of the sense of family and community that has been key to the success of Helen Ainson. My most tenured full-time professionals have been with Helen Ainson an average of 17 years! We always look to hire young people in the community and currently have three part-time girls who attend local high schools or NCC. One current full-time professional started working at Helen Ainson while in high school at the age of 16, continued through college and after graduation joined the team full time! 

Helen Ainson is located at 1078 Boston Post Road in Darien.

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Fri, 22 Mar 2019 09:31:13 -0400
WEBE108 Kids Fest at Stepping Stones Museum on March 31 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46897-webe108-kids-fest-at-stepping-stones-museum-on-march-3146897-webe108-kids-fest-at-stepping-stones-museum-on-march-31 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46897-webe108-kids-fest-at-stepping-stones-museum-on-march-3146897-webe108-kids-fest-at-stepping-stones-museum-on-march-31

Join Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center at the 28th annual WEBE108 Kids Fest for a day of entertainment and valuable healthy living information. There will be music, fun activities, face painting, a caricature artist and more!

Experts from WCHN’s community hospitals — DanburyNew Milford, and Norwalk — and Connecticut Children’s will conduct blood pressure screenings and weight/height measurements. During “Ask the Expert” children and their families will learn about healthy eating, concussion and injury prevention, and the importance of exercise, among other topics.

The Norwalk Hospital emergency medical services (EMS) staff will provide tours of an ambulance. Plus, kids can climb aboard an EMS utility task vehicle (UTV) too!

  • What: WEBE108 Kids Fest
  • When: Sunday, March 31, 2019, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Where: Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Mathews Park, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850

Please call (203) 852-2250 for more information about WCHN and Connecticut Children’s booth at Kids Fest.

We hope to see you there!


kerry@ducey.org ( Western Connecticut Health Network) Events Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:04:40 -0400
Rosa Buonomo, of Stoney Brook Farm, is Rescuing Horses in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46898-rosa-buonomo-of-stoney-brook-farm-is-rescuing-horses-in-connecticut-155319669046898-rosa-buonomo-of-stoney-brook-farm-is-rescuing-horses-in-connecticut-1553196690 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46898-rosa-buonomo-of-stoney-brook-farm-is-rescuing-horses-in-connecticut-155319669046898-rosa-buonomo-of-stoney-brook-farm-is-rescuing-horses-in-connecticut-1553196690

Rosa Buonomo, of Stoney Brook Farm, recently saved a number of horses from slaughter according to News 12.

News 12 reported that 17 Mustangs were headed to Mexico to be killed for their meat, but had to turn around when one of the horses gave birth on the side of the road.

The horses were rescued by Rosa Buonomo of Stoney Brook Farm

"Nobody wanted to help me," says Buonomo. "So then I just started rescuing them myself."

Horses are popular in Connecticut.  A 2002 study by the University of Connecticut estimated there were over 43,000 horses in Connecticut.  Each town in Connecticut has its own zoning laws.  The website for zoning laws in Darien is http://darienct.gov/ according to the Connecticut Horse Council. For the zoning http://www.cthorsecouncil.org/legislation/zoning.

The UConn survey also showed that most horses in Connecticut are owned individually and by females.  In addition, they found horse ownership in Connecticut is best described “as a personal recreational activity”.  The report said the most common uses of horses are companionship (71%) and recreation (67%).

Litchfield County has the most horses, with approximately 19% of the total. You can find further charts on the horse population here.

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Scott Schmidt) Neighbors Thu, 21 Mar 2019 10:22:58 -0400
Connecticut Repertory Theatre Presents If We Were Birds https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46896-connecticut-repertory-theatre-presents-if-we-were-birds46896-connecticut-repertory-theatre-presents-if-we-were-birds https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46896-connecticut-repertory-theatre-presents-if-we-were-birds46896-connecticut-repertory-theatre-presents-if-we-were-birds

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) stages its second Studio Theatre production of the 2018-19 season with “If We Were Birds” by Erin Shields. Helene Kvale will direct. Performances will be held in the Studio Theatre from March 28-April 7, 2019. For tickets and information, please visit crt.uconn.edu or call (860) 486-2113.

The war in Athens is over. Love blossoms as Procne leaves her beloved sister Philomela for a new life with husband King Tereus. Bored, Philomela begs to see her sister when the unexpected happens and her life is transformed to mythic proportions. Drawing on stories from real life testimonies from 20th century conflict, this empowering revenge tragedy earned Erin Shields the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play.  A powerful drama, examining the horrors of war through a contemporary re-telling of the Greek myth of Philomela. 

Helene Kvale is an Assistant Professor in Residence and has taught Acting in the Department of Dramatic Arts since 2003. Her acting career started in London where she performed on the West End stage, the National Theatre, and in award winning film and television. She regularly directs for The Connecticut Repertory Theatre including “Eurydice,” “Big Love,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and “The Skin of Our Teeth.”

Director Helene Kvale says, “‘If We Were Birds’ is a play for our times. In 2019, with more women finding the courage to speak out, Ovid’s classic myth reminds us that art can transcend the limitations of the human voice and help heal the wounds from life during wartime. Comic, surprising, and brutal, our production questions of concept of heroism and asks, ‘is revenge the answer?’”

“‘If We Were Birds’ is a story as old as the first Festival of Dionysus in Athens and as new as the #MeToo movement. It is a story about the seed of destruction that lies in the center of power and our ability to stand against it. We hope you'll join us for this poetic tragedy that just may be more important now than the day it was written,” added Artistic Director, Michael Bradford.

The creative team includes: Helene Kvale (Director), Casey Lampert (Scenic Design), Allison Zerio (Lighting Design), Taowen Pan (Costume Design), Mack Gauthier (Sound Design), Lizz Mangan and Eddie Vitcavage (Dramaturgs), and Mikayla Carr (Production Stage Manager).

The cast includes: Megan Casagrande (Philomela), Carly Polistina (Procne), Matthew Antoci (Pandion), Aiden Marchetti (Tereus), Pearl Matteson (The Young One), Eilis Garcia (The Pregnant One), Elizabeth Jebran (The Bleeding One/Servant/Itys), Willow Giannotti-Garlinghouse (The Pious One), Adrianna Simmons (The One with Dwindling Dignity) and Thalia Eddyblouin (The Servant).


Evening performances start at 7:30 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 8:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Select matinee performances start at 2:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Single tickets are available now for $33. All student tickets are $10. Discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more.

Co-sponsored by the UConn Human Rights Institute.  Artwork provided courtesy of Shari Weschler Rubeck - Sumo Bunni.

There will be talkbacks following performances on April 4th at 7:30pm, April 5th at 8pm and April 6th at 2pm. Pay What You Can will be Saturday, March 30th at 8pm. Pay What You Can tickets are available based on availability. Ticket price is $1 plus a canned good/non-perishable food item. 1 ticket per food item. Tickets are only available 1 hour prior to the performance in person at the box office. Not valid on prior sales.

CRT recommends ages 17 and up (R-rating) for this production. This production contains scenes of sexual content, including sexual violence and partial nudity. For additional ticket information or to charge tickets by phone, call 860.486.2113. All sales are final; no refunds. Play selections and performance dates are subject to change.

Please call the box office at 860.486.2113 for tickets and additional information or visit www.crt.uconn.edu for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change.

The Studio Theatre is located on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. 

keytocomputing@gmail.com (Connecticut Repertory Theatre ) Neighbors Thu, 21 Mar 2019 09:17:21 -0400
Health & Vitality Workshop in Darien: The Power of Healthy Breath https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46893-dr-leonaura46893-dr-leonaura https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46893-dr-leonaura46893-dr-leonaura

CT Powerteam presents a Health and Vitality Workshop: The Power of Healthy Breath. The aim of the meetup is to bring together people with a passion for personal development and peak performance to learn, inspire and motivate each other to create their best lives. 

The event. This event will be hosted by Osteostrong, Darien and will take place on 28thMarch from 6:30 – 8:30. The guest speaker is Tara Clancy health educator and breathing specialist. $15 in advance, $20 on the door. Visit www.CTPowerteam.org to buy your ticket. 

CT Powerteam. Whether you love reading self-help books, taking online courses or you’re a follower of Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Mel Robbins and one of many other inspirational people or groups such as Landmark, this group is for you!

The CT Powerteam launched in January 2019 and is growing fast, offering monthly educational workshops on personal development topics. Our events are lively, experiential and informative. Prepare to be inspired and energized!

Guest speaker. Tara Clancy, is an international speaker and local favorite known for her clever conceptualizations and practical solutions. Currently, she serves as the President-elect of NSA-CT. She is a certified educator, breathing specialist and creator of the o2 TARA GUIDES health series. Tara knows sleep problems and is writing a groundbreaking book on how to prevent sleep apnea

The venue. Osteostrong Darien is the ultimate biohack for bone and muscle health. It works for people at all ages and levels of activity. Sessions are 15 minutes, once a week, and utilize robotic musculoskeletal devices to trigger a natural response of our body to increase athletic performance, bone density, posture, balance, and reduce or eliminate joint and back pain.

leonaurarhodes@gmail.com (Dr Leonaura) Events Wed, 20 Mar 2019 09:09:42 -0400
Fairfield County Bank's Lynne Byington Recognized As Community Pillar https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46895-fairfield-county-bank-s-lynne-byington-recognized-as-community-pillar46895-fairfield-county-bank-s-lynne-byington-recognized-as-community-pillar https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46895-fairfield-county-bank-s-lynne-byington-recognized-as-community-pillar46895-fairfield-county-bank-s-lynne-byington-recognized-as-community-pillar

Lynne Byington, Branch Manager of the Fairfield County Bank Cranbury Office in Norwalk, was recognized by The Exchange Club of Norwalk as a Pillar of Public Service. The recognition demonstrates Lynne’s commitment to the Norwalk community, devoting her time to making the community a better place.

Through the years, Ms. Byington has volunteered for the American Cancer Society, previously served as an active board member of the Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, an ambassador of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of the Norwalk Police Athletic League.

Lynne is currently serving as president of the Norwalk Senior Center board and finance committee. She is also a trustee with the Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum as secretary and a member of the executive committee. Lynne also volunteers at the Norwalk Public Schools as an active mentor of the Norwalk Mentor Program and a teacher for Junior Achievement; a business focused course.

“Lynne has made the Norwalk community a better place through her volunteerism. We are very proud of her accomplishments and are fortunate to have someone like Lynne working with us,” said Andrea Coreau, Senior Vice President of Fairfield County Bank.

Lynne resides in Norwalk with her husband James, a retired Norwalk Police Officer. With more than 40 years of banking experience, she currently works as an Assistant Vice President at Fairfield County Bank. After graduating from Norwalk High School, Lynne attended Norwalk Community College, the American Institute of Banking, the Connecticut School of Finance Management and the Norwalk Leadership Institute.

Her proudest accomplishment is raising her two children, Adam and Lillianna. 

kerry@ducey.org (Ryan Arconti) Neighbors Wed, 20 Mar 2019 08:00:30 -0400
Celebrate First Day of Spring on Wednesday with Dairy Queen Free Cone Day https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46894-celebrate-first-day-of-spring-on-wednesday-with-dairy-queen-free-cone-day-155303520546894-celebrate-first-day-of-spring-on-wednesday-with-dairy-queen-free-cone-day-1553035205 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46894-celebrate-first-day-of-spring-on-wednesday-with-dairy-queen-free-cone-day-155303520546894-celebrate-first-day-of-spring-on-wednesday-with-dairy-queen-free-cone-day-1553035205

Dairy Queen is giving away a free cone to celebrate the first day of spring.

In honor of their 35th year of partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, DQ® locations across the nation will celebrate Children’s Hospitals Week and the first day of spring with their annual Free Cone Day on March 20.

Below are the Dairy Queen Locations near Darien:

Address URL
949 Huntington Rd Bridgeport https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/locator/Detail/48
1902 Post Rd Fairfield https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/locator/Detail/54
885 Summer St Stamford https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/locator/Detail/76
1514 Barnum Ave Stratford https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/locator/Detail/80

Please reach out to your local DQ using the link above to see if they are participating!

Everyone can celebrate the first day of spring with a free sweet treat at participating non-mall Dairy Queen® and DQ Grill & Chill® locations and help bring happiness and healing to kids at their local children’s hospital.

Customers will receive a free small soft serve cone just for coming in on March 20. Some locations will use the opportunity to raise critical funds for their local children’s hospital, with the goal of bringing comfort and smiles to kids treated at 170 children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.

Over the last 35 years, the Dairy Queen system has raised more than $145 million for local children’s hospitals in an effort to bring hope and happiness to kids when they need it the most.

In addition to the free cone, Some DQ stores offer a $1 donation for delicious dipped cone upgrades on #FreeConeDay benefiting our wonderful partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donations and participation are determined by each of our independent franchisee owners and will vary by location, along with menu items offered.
Celebrate the first day of spring with Dairy Queen! They’re offering a free soft serve ice cream cone to fans and raising money for Children’s Miracle Network.

Visit your favorite participating Dairy Queen location for your free cone and to make a donation to Sanford Children’s Miracle Network! 

Click here to find a Dairy Queen near you!

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Dairy Queen) Events Tue, 19 Mar 2019 13:16:43 -0400
Darien Depot Announces Scholarships Available to Graduating High School Seniors https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46892-darien-depot-announces-scholarships-available-to-graduating-high-school-seniors46892-darien-depot-announces-scholarships-available-to-graduating-high-school-seniors https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/46892-darien-depot-announces-scholarships-available-to-graduating-high-school-seniors46892-darien-depot-announces-scholarships-available-to-graduating-high-school-seniors

Darien Depot is now accepting applications for our annual college scholarships to be awarded to two graduating seniors who are involved in the Depot Community. These awards will be announced and presented at Darien High School on May 23, 2019.

Applications will be submitted to Janice Marzano and the Depot Scholarship Committee. All information received will be held confidential.

To receive consideration for the scholarships please fill out the application in full and choose which application you are applying for, you may choose both. The Bankwell for Good Merit Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who has been a key member of a Depot club or organization and who consistently exhibited a high level of commitment and service to the Depot. This winner will receive $2,500. The award amount of $2,500 will be paid directly to the college the student is attending.

The Janice Marzano Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who embodies the most positive aspects of Janice’s personality; spirit, kindness and a true love for the Depot and its core values. This winner will receive $2,500. The award amount of $2,500 will be paid directly to the college the student is attending.

Applications are available at the Depot or can be printed or downloaded
by clicking here.

Applications must be postmarked, handed in or emailed to Janice Marzano at the Depot no later than April 5th, 2019.

Janice Marzano
Attention: Depot Scholarship Committee
The Depot, Darien Youth Center
25 Heights Road
Darien, CT 0682

kerry@ducey.org (Darien Depot) Neighbors Tue, 19 Mar 2019 04:16:37 -0400
Celebrate Certified Nurses Day in Darien on March 19 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46890-celebrate-certified-nurses-day-in-darien-on-march-19-155294643546890-celebrate-certified-nurses-day-in-darien-on-march-19-1552946435 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/46890-celebrate-certified-nurses-day-in-darien-on-march-19-155294643546890-celebrate-certified-nurses-day-in-darien-on-march-19-1552946435

From our birthday on, we have all had a nurse helping us when we needed them most.  Today is Certified Nurses Day.

Darien is ranked number 65 of all towns in Connecticut based on the percentage of workers in the health diagnosing and treating practitioners according to the American Community Survey.  Darien has 140 males (41.8) and 195 females (58.2) for a total of 335 in the health diagnosing and treating category.

In Connecticut, there is a total of 3,079 male nurses and 28,928 female nurses.

This day is to honor nurses worldwide who contribute to better patient outcomes after attaining national board certification. A registered nurse (RN) license allows nurses to practice. Certification affirms advanced knowledge, skill, and practice to meet the challenges of modern nursing according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Every March 19, employers, certification boards, education facilities, and healthcare providers celebrate and publicly acknowledge nurses who care enough to earn and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty.

“Inspired by Dr. Margretta 'Gretta' Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN, a pioneer in nursing certification, Certified Nurses Day is the perfect opportunity to invite all nurses to advance their career by choosing certification.” according to ANCC.

More than 70 organizations participated in the first Certified Nurses Day by signing the proclamation and sponsoring annual events including:

  • Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)
  • National Organization for Competency Assurance
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Canadian Nurses Association

Tell a Nurse how much they are appreciated!

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Scott Schmidt) Events Tue, 19 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter: The Life Solution Center of Darien https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46889-why-small-businesses-matter-the-life-solution-center-of-darien46889-why-small-businesses-matter-the-life-solution-center-of-darien https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46889-why-small-businesses-matter-the-life-solution-center-of-darien46889-why-small-businesses-matter-the-life-solution-center-of-darien

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story.

You're IT The Life Solution Center of Darien!

Three questions with The Life Solution Center of Darien.

Why did you start your business?

Problems are a normal part of living. Most of the time, life's problems are not confined to one area. Maud Purcell, MSW, LCSW, CEAP and seasoned Psychotherapist, saw the need for a one-of-a-kind consortium of independent businesses and practices designed to treat the whole person. As approved by our clients, our professionals work together to provide the highest and most thorough level of care for those going through any type of life transition.

Finish this sentence in regard to your business. “I wish I could…”

...get the word out to the community about our unique collaborative community of professionals that provide prevention, treatment, and multi-disciplinary answers to life's problems. Life is hard enough -- we try to make it easy to see the professional you need with our in-house referral system. Our professionals and areas of expertise include Psychotherapy, Psychological Services & Medication Management, Medicine, Health & Nutrition, Substance-Related & Addiction Issues, Financial Management & Advising, Legal Services, Investigative Services, Lifestyle & Wardrobe, Consultation,  Coaching, & Career Management, and Educational Services & Tutoring.

How many people do you employ? Any youth or seniors from the community? 

Approximately 30-35 people -- but we always growing our group of professionals!

The Life Solution Center of Darien is located at 28 Thorndal Circle, 3rd Floor in Darien. Visit them online here.

The Life Solution Center of Darien tags Darien Women's Boutique, Helen Ainson!


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Mon, 18 Mar 2019 13:06:46 -0400
Darien YMCA Gymnastics Hosts Emily Fedorko Challenge https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/46888-darien-ymca-gymnastics-hosts-emily-fedorko-challenge46888-darien-ymca-gymnastics-hosts-emily-fedorko-challenge https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/46888-darien-ymca-gymnastics-hosts-emily-fedorko-challenge46888-darien-ymca-gymnastics-hosts-emily-fedorko-challenge

The Darien YMCA gymnastics team continued the tradition of honoring their former teammate by smiling their way through a sweep of the team titles at the Emily Fedorko Challenge. Coach Nicole Kapitan began each meet session by reading an inspiring tribute to the memory of Emily Fedorko and encouraged everyone to have fun during the meet as Emily would have done. Graduating senior gymnasts Gianna Cardini, Lily Fairleigh, Kelsey Fedorko and Kaitlyn Moussignac were also recognized with flowers at the conclusion of their final home meet.

Five squads also swept the All-Around(AA) titles for their Level, beginning with the Level 4 team, which placed first by nearly five points.  Jacquelyn Coppola started the scoring by taking first on four events including AA with an impressive 37.60 in the 8-9 age group and second on beam.  Eve Calio placed third on vault, bars, AA and beam where she tied Taylor Davies and also tied Davies for fourth on floor. Violet Peroni scored second on vault and bars, third on floor and fourth AA.  Anna Rogers earned her meet high score on beam.

Avery Hanson topped the podium on four events in the 10s group, including a 37.65 AA and was second on vault. Molly Zengo was the vault champ and was third on bars and second on all other events and AA.  Lily Royce scored third on beam and fifth on beam, floor and AA.  

Katie Cutler had a full house in the 11s group, winning vault, floor and the AA with 37.35 and placing second on bars and beam.  Shayna Moeller swung to a huge 9.85 to win bars and was second on floor, fourth on beam and third AA.  Tanner Shanley placed fourth on beam, seventh AA, eighth on bars and floor and tied Hannah Dudek for sixth on vault. Dudek was also sixth on bars and beam.  

Annabel Clas swung to fifth on bars and placed sixth on floor, seventh on beam and eighth on vault and AA.  Rhea Rai earned eighth on beam and third on vault where Kaia Woodman was seventh.  

Emma Bookless joined her teammates in winning four titles in the 12s group, including a huge 37.75 AA and was second on vault.  Ingrid Kerr tumbled to third on floor and was fifth on bars and fourth on vault and AA.  Jahnavi Orr was steady for second on beam and fourth on floor.

In the 13 and up group, Brook Wallace was champ on bars, beam and AA with 36.75 as well as fourth on vault and tied Olivea Rosenbaum for second on floor.  Rosenbaum was the vault champ and was second on all other events and AA.  

The first place Level 7 squad also swept the AA titles, starting with Julia Decsi in the 11-12 group, who scored 37.5 AA and also placed first on beam and floor, third on bars and tied Lauren Smith for second on vault. Smith was also second on beam and third AA.  Anna Altier soared to the vault title with 9.65 and was third on floor and second on bars and AA. Sofia Alarcon-Frias earned third on beam and second on floor, while Natalie Solis made the most of competing on only one event due to injury, winning the bars title with 9.3.  

Abigail O’Brien had two pair in the 13-14 group with firsts on bars and AA with a huge 37.90, seconds on beam and floor and a third on vault.  Kristie Alianiello and Emma Kelly tied for second on both bars and vault and Kelly also tied Melina Cardini for third on beam.  Kelly was also sixth on floor and fourth AA.  Alianiello scored fourth on beam, third on floor and second AA.  Cardini was also fifth on vault.  Anna Primmer soared to the vault title with 9.6 along with third on bars, fifth on beam and sixth AA.  

Lana Schmidt captured four titles in the 15 and up group including the AA with 36.35 and was sixth on bars.  Megan Cutler placed second AA and was third on vault, fourth on beam and tied Emma Neaderland for fifth on bars and third on floor. Neaderland was also third on beam and AA.  Kerry McDermott scored fifth on vault and seventh on bars, beam and AA.  Lucy Collins took second on vault and sixth on floor. Senior Lily Fairleigh was the bars champ with 9.0 in her last home meet.

The Level 8 squad won the team championship by nearly eleven points along with sweeping the AA titles. Nadia Borja set the pace, winning bars, beam and AA with 37.55 in the Junior group and placing second on floor and third on vault. Sofia DeStefano vaulted to first with 9.3 and was second on bars, beam and AA and tied Abigail Nevin for third on floor.  Nevin was also third on bars. Anna Moss vaulted to second and was third on beam and AA.  Sarah Cross earned her meet high score on floor.

In the Senior group, Sofia Iuteri was champ on bars and AA with 36.90 and placed third on beam and floor and tied Saskia Chermayeff and senior Kaitlyn Moussignac for fourth on vault. Chermayeff was also sixth on beam and floor, fourth AA and tied Tori Ware for second on bars. Ware also placed sixth on vault, third AA and second on beam and floor where she tied Olivia Perkins.  

Perkins also earned fifth on vault and bars where she tied Leilani Nguyen. Nguyen topped the podium on vault and floor with 9.5 and 9.45 and was fifth AA. Bella DeStefano earned third on vault and sixth on bars.

Seniors Kelsey Fedorko and Gianna Cardini completed their last home meet in style, with Fedorko taking first on all events and AA with 36.25 and Cardini sweeping second with 34.45 AA.  Wells Fischer, the sole level 10 competitor, had a highlight meet, scoring 9.55 on beam, 9.4 on floor and a huge 37.15 AA.  

The Level 3 squad won a tightly fought battle for the team championship by just over a point.  Sidney Ogilvie set the pace, winning all four events and AA with 36.40 in the 7s age group.  Elsa Keehlwetter scored second on bars and third on all other events and AA.  

In the 8s group, Sabina Molnar was second on bars,  first on beam, floor and AA with 37.5 and tied Katie Jack for third on vault. Jack was also third on bars, second on beam and fourth AA.  Alina Khilko  had two pair, placing third on beam and floor and sixth on bars and AA.  Olivia Castellanos was the vault champ with 9.4 and was fifth on bars. Tory Brupbacher was fourth on floor and second on vault where Elena Yoon was fourth. Audrey Zuniga earned her meet high score on floor.

Heili Jalakas earned second on beam, third AA, seventh on bars and fourth on vault and floor in the 9s group. Kate Whitticom had two pair, placing fourth on beam and AA and sixth on vault and bars along with third on floor. Chloe Sherman vaulted to third and was fourth on bars and sixth on floor and AA.  Izzy Djiounas was steady for sixth on beam.

Morgan Wise was champ on beam, floor and AA with 37.40 in the 10s group and was second on vault and fifth on bars. Nicole Recinos scored fifth on vault, second on bars, sixth on floor and third on beam and AA.  Carrie Coughlin swung to ninth on bars and was fourth on beam, fifth AA and third on vault and floor where Isabelle Noel was eighth.

Reese Barrett captured four titles including the AA with a huge 38.00 and placed second on bars in the 11s group.  Evelin Arreguin swung to third on bars and was sixth on vault, floor and AA.  Elise DeGennaro was sixth on beam and seventh on floor while Sloane Kosowsky earned her meet high score on vault.  

The Level 5 squad won the team title by a five point margin. Leading the scoring was Kayla Koproski in the 9-10 group, where she took first on bars, floor and AA with an impressive 37.95 and was second on vault and beam.  Emily Rizzi was champ on vault and beam with 9.8 and 9.55 and placed fourth on floor and second on bars and AA.  Tess Hennigan had four thirds on vault, bars, beam and AA and was second on floor. Ava Telgheder earned fourth on beam and AA while Olivia Davis earned her meet high score on beam.  

In the 11s group, Stella Nehro and Hannah Bitsky tied for first on vault and floor with 9.75 and 9.15. Nehro was also third on bars, fourth on beam and second AA.  Bitsky was also third on beam and fourth AA.  Mina Leon swung to second on bars, earned third on vault, floor and AA and tied Elsa Del Bene for sixth on beam.  Del Bene was also fourth on bars. Katie Primmer vaulted to fourth, was fifth on beam and sixth on bars and AA.  Madeleine McGivney flipped to sixth on floor.

Reilly Costello topped the podium on beam, floor and AA with 37.20 in the 12s group and was second on vault and bars. Bella Koproski soared to 9.85 to win vault, placed fifth on bars and second on all other events and AA.  Alexia Buchesky took third on vault, fifth on beam and fourth on floor and AA. Annelise Enters had a pair of sixths on vault and floor.

Chloe Sernick was champ on beam and AA in the 13 and up group and second on bars and floor while Mia Macdonald scored third on beam.  

The team champ Level 6 squad was paced by Alexa Bell in the 12-13 group, where she took first on vault, floor and AA with a terrific 37.80 and was second on beam.  Tanner Generoso was the beam champ with 9.7, placed sixth on bars and second on vault, AA and floor where she tied Ali Kolman.  Kolman was also fifth on vault, second on bars and third on beam and AA.  

Ava Licata scored sixth on floor, fourth on vault and beam and fifth on bars and AA.  Penelope Arredondo earned fourth on floor and third on bars where Sophia Geffner earned her meet high score. In the 14 and up group, Alex Decsi soared to 9.5 to win the bars title and Sommer Schmidt vaulted to fifth.  

In the 10-11 group, Ellie Davies was the floor champ with 9.55, placed third on vault and second on all other events and AA.  Sophie Root never wavered in winning beam with 9.5 and was second on vault and third AA.  Emily McKee swung to third on bars.

The team will compete next at the YMCA State Championships in Wilton.

All photos credit to Team Photo except senior trio.

sfairleigh@yahoo.com (Stephanie Fairleigh) Life Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:45:10 -0400
Singing the Blues in Darien https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/46887-singing-the-blues-in-darien-155285101546887-singing-the-blues-in-darien-1552851015 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/46887-singing-the-blues-in-darien-155285101546887-singing-the-blues-in-darien-1552851015

Zip a Dee Doo Dah, Zip a Dee Dah.  My oh, my what a wonderful day…Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder. It’s the truth, it’s actual,  everything is satisfactual. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, wonderful feeling, wonderful day (Song of the South, 1946).

With patches of snow still covering the thawing ground, the Eastern Bluebird appears, waking all living creatures and breaking the cold spell of winter with his melodious songs. The bluebirds are not the only ones singing. This docile little animal has the natural ability to make people happy. In the words of renowned poet Henry David Thoreau, “The bluebird is like a speck of clear blue sky seen near the end of a storm, reminding us of an ethereal region and a haven which we had forgotten.”

A radiant color blue with a warm reddish breast, the male bluebird is as beautiful as he is charming. According to Tom Meyer, a trained bluebird rehabilitator referred to as “Mr. Bluebird” in his hometown of Bedford, NY the male arrives in the northeast in late February, ahead of his mate, and searches for a home worthy to present to her. Once he finds it, he beckons her with joyful chirps to come and approve one of the nest boxes he has selected to raise their family. “He will sit on top of the house fluttering and may show her 3 or 4 spots, just like a real estate agent,” chuckles Meyer. The female, who has lighter blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast and grey crown, gets busy creating a nest and promptly lays 4-5 eggs. She diligently incubates her eggs for two weeks. Once hatched, mom and dad share the responsibility of feeding the brood insects. “They kind of alternate, you’ll see the female go in and then the male and as the babies grow, the insects get bigger and bigger,” explains Meyer. It’s the glory and awe of nature at work-  a beautiful story of cohabitation, parenting and shared responsibility.

Believe it or not, if not for the effort and intervention of Eastern Bluebird loving humans, today, spring would arrive without the beauty and promise of the bluebird. There were several decades spanning the years from 1900-1970 when it was not easy for the kind spirited bluebird to find a natural nesting cavity.  Melodee Benoit, administrative assistant to the grounds department and bluebird monitor at the private GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford, is dedicated to the preservation of the Eastern Bluebird. She explains that urbanization caused the Eastern Bluebird to compete with other cavity nesters for a place to raise their young. The submissive bluebird lost out to more aggressive birds such as The House Sparrow and the European Starling.  

”Back in the 70’s, a huge part of increasing the bluebird population was making people aware of the bluebird and their plight and how they weren’t thriving. ‘Backyard blue birders’ started putting up bluebird boxes,” explains Benoit. “I’ve put up more than 2,000 bluebird boxes,” Meyer humbly adds.  On his list: Bedford friend and neighbor, actress Glen Close. “About 20 years ago, Glen called me to put up some boxes. I remember taking her daughter, Annie on my shoulders so she could see the bluebirds, she said, “Oh, they look like pencil erasers,” chuckles Mayer. In addition, after Christopher Reeve’s horseback riding accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down, Meyer received a call from Reeve’s wife. “Dana asked me to put up a box on their back lawn,” says Meyer.

Benoit credits Meyer for making it possible for GlenArbor Golf Club to launch a successful bluebird program. Working in tandem with Benoit, Meyer put up 22 boxes at GlenArbor. “We have an environmental program at the club and the bluebird program is part of that,” explains Benoit.  Once a week, Benoit and Meyer travel the course in a golf-cart checking on each bluebird box. The club recently won an award from the North American Bluebird society for environmental stewardship. “They claim that there are more bluebirds coming out of nest boxes that people put up than natural cavities,” says Meyer.

As a bluebird rehabilitator, Meyer is often called upon when a bluebird is in danger. Benoit recalls a time when bluebird babies were left alone in a nest. “Usually once a year we have to orphan a bluebird.  I can remember calling Tom for help. I put the baby birds in my hands and blew warm air on them. Tom got a heating pad and we put them into a box.” Benoit cared for them until she could add them to a nest box with other bluebirds about the same age. A fascinating trait of the Eastern Bluebird is their willingness to care for another bluebird’s young. “Those parents will then take over as adoptive parents,” explains Benoit.

While having a backyard nest-box is a fantastic way to assure the population of bluebirds continues to increase, Benoit says, ”It’s a commitment, if someone wants to have a bluebird box, they’ve got to monitor it, that’s part of the success. You need to know what’s going on inside the box. You need to check on the babies,” explains Benoit. The Eastern Bluebird can nest up to three times a season. “When they’re done nesting, you need to clean it out right away because they need to get back in there and do their thing again.”

The preservation and recovery of the Eastern Bluebird continues in backyards, parks and golf courses throughout the northeast. “It’s hard not to love this little bird,” says Benoit. “If I could use one word to describe the bluebird, I’d say magical,” adds Meyer. What’s more, the bluebird is the state bird of New York. That’s one more thing to sing about.

*This story appeared in Ridgefield Magazine

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Kerry Ducey) Life Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Darien: AnJu Breathing Space https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46871-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-anju-breathing-space46871-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-anju-breathing-space https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46871-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-anju-breathing-space46871-why-small-businesses-matter-in-darien-anju-breathing-space

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story.

You're IT AnJu Breathing Space!

Three questions with Justa Bucyte, co-owner of AnJu Breathing Space.

Why did you start your business?

My business partner and I started AnJu Breathing Space to bring Halotherapy to our local community. AnJu is designed in one goal in mind: to help you feel, look, and breathe better. Upon entering AnJu, you will find yourself in an environment for improvement. Salt therapy has incredible benefits, physically and mentally, to improve the body and we felt that we must share our findings about salt therapy with our friends and neighbors here in Fairfield County.

We also felt that there are not many places, locally, where a person can go and spend time with their loved ones or catch up with a friend face to face, just sitting and talking, short of a coffee place or a bar. At AnJu, you can do that in a safe, calm, and relaxing environment, all while receiving the benefits of salt therapy.

Finish this sentence in regard to your business. "I wish I could..."

I wish I could educate the local community about the incredible benefits of dry-salt therapy. Whenever I mention Halotherapy/salt therapy very few people know what it is and how to get its benefits. Dry salt therapy has been shown to help alleviate and improve many health conditions such as asthma, seasonal allergies, migraines, acne, eczema, psoriasis, it improves the immune system, is naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Dry-salt therapy is 100% natural and has virtually no adverse effects. And all that is required from a participant is his or her presence; the benefits are gained simply by regular and natural breathing.

Besides all the physical benefits of salt therapy, regular treatments can improve one's anxiety, depression, sleep, and mood. It does not need to be a treatment for a condition, it can just as well be used for relaxation. 

For a more extensive list of benefits see our website www.breathingspa.com 

Best selling product/service?

We have 25 minute and 45-minute sessions. Our best selling service is our 45 minute Salt Therapy Session. Our clients like that the session can be customized to his or her needs. Some clients do self-guided yoga and meditation during the session, some have business conferences, and some just relax in our zero-gravity chairs while listening to relaxing music.

AnJu Breathing Space is located at 682 Boston Post Rd. Floor 1 in Darien. Call 203-814-1712 or go online here.

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!



kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Sun, 17 Mar 2019 06:42:00 -0400
Aqua Boot Camp Class at the Darien YMCA https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46879-aqua-boot-camp-class-at-the-darien-ymca46879-aqua-boot-camp-class-at-the-darien-ymca https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46879-aqua-boot-camp-class-at-the-darien-ymca46879-aqua-boot-camp-class-at-the-darien-ymca

Aqua Boot Camp Class at the Darien YMCA on Friday, March 22, 9:30 - 10:30 am

Back by popular demand - high intensity, interval training workout in the pool!

• High energy
• Circuit training with equipment
• Multiple stations
• An instructor at each station

Fees: Members: Free Non-members: $20 class pass (Purchase at Front Desk)

Please RSVP to Nancy Grune at ndgrune@gmail.com

clewis@darien-ymca.org (courtney lewis) Places Sat, 16 Mar 2019 11:43:41 -0400
Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts In Uniform on March 23 Get Discounted Admission to Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46877-girl-scouts-or-boy-scouts-in-uniform-on-march-23-get-discounted-admission-to-maritime-aquarium-at-norwalk46877-girl-scouts-or-boy-scouts-in-uniform-on-march-23-get-discounted-admission-to-maritime-aquarium-at-norwalk https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/46877-girl-scouts-or-boy-scouts-in-uniform-on-march-23-get-discounted-admission-to-maritime-aquarium-at-norwalk46877-girl-scouts-or-boy-scouts-in-uniform-on-march-23-get-discounted-admission-to-maritime-aquarium-at-norwalk

Girl and Boy Scouts should troop down to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Sat., March 23 to take advantage of admission discounts and special workshops as the South Norwalk attraction celebrates its annual Scout Day.

Any Girl Scout or Boy Scout wearing her or his uniform to The Maritime Aquarium on March 23 receives a discounted price: $16 for children ages 3-12; $20 for adults; and $18 seniors 65+. This discount applies to Scouts of all levels, even adult Scout leaders.

For Scouts, those are thrifty savings off the regular ticket prices of $17.95 for children, $24.95 for adults, and $22.95 for seniors.

Those prices also are available now online for March 23, and advance purchase is recommended because only a limited number of Scouts will receive a Maritime Aquarium Scout Day badge. (The badge is $2 for Scouts who are Aquarium members, who receive free admission.)

Besides close encounters with sharks, seals, sea turtles and other marine animals, Aquarium admission includes an IMAX® movie showing on the six-story screen, the largest in Connecticut. Films and times on March 23 are: “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” at 10 a.m. and 1 & 3 p.m.; “Pandas” at noon; and the new “Superpower Dogs” at 11 a.m. and 2 & 4 p.m..

Plus on March 23, a selection of special workshops are available to Scouts. They range from the one-hour “Life Between the Tides” for Scouts in Grades 2-3 to a nearly three-hour “Animal Habitats Junior Girl Scout Badge” workshop for Grades 4-5. Costs vary from $5 to $18 for the classroom workshops.

Advance registration for any workshop is required. Several merit-badge programs, a Scout cruise aboard the Aquarium’s research vessel and a Scout sleepover on March 23 already are full.

For more information about Scout Day, to purchase discounted tickets and to register for workshops, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org/scout-day.



kerry@ducey.org (Dave Sigworth) Places Sat, 16 Mar 2019 08:52:00 -0400