Fairfield's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield Wed, 19 Jan 2022 15:47:25 -0500 HamletHub.com SHU Receives Lilly Fellows Program Grant for Conference on Vatican II & Catholic Higher Ed https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50695-shu-receives-lilly-fellows-program-grant-for-conference-on-vatican-ii-catholic-higher-ed50695-shu-receives-lilly-fellows-program-grant-for-conference-on-vatican-ii-catholic-higher-ed https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50695-shu-receives-lilly-fellows-program-grant-for-conference-on-vatican-ii-catholic-higher-ed50695-shu-receives-lilly-fellows-program-grant-for-conference-on-vatican-ii-catholic-higher-ed

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University has received a Lilly Fellows Program grant to develop and host a three-day, regional conference next October on Vatican II and Catholic Higher Education which will be held on the 60th anniversaries of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and Sacred Heart University’s founding

Sacred Heart was founded in 1963 in the spirit of Vatican II as the first Catholic institution in the United States led by lay people. Next year’s conference dates, Oct. 13-15, acknowledge that connection, as those were the days of Vatican II’s first sessions. 

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is also supporting the conference, titled “Vatican II and Catholic Higher Education: Leading Forward.” This event headlines several leading keynote speakers including Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, and a prominent historian on the Church as well as a distinguished thinker and writer on Vatican II and Pope Francis. Faggioli’s most recent book is The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving toward Global Catholicity. Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, Washington, D.C. writes and speaks on a wide variety of topics concerning higher education, women and Catholic education, and her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education and other publications. Grant Kaplan, a professor of theology in the department of theological studies at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO, works in the areas of fundamental theology and modern theology as well as the Vatican. Susan Bigelow Reynolds, an assistant professor of Catholic studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA, examines the intersection of ecclesiology and lived Catholicism in contexts of diversity, marginality and suffering.

Michelle Loris, associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Catholic studies department chair, is the conference director. She is honored to have such leading speakers. Loris wants the experience to bring people together and enable participants to generate robust and meaningful conversations about the challenges Catholic higher education faces today.

“The conference aims to bring together thinkers, writers, artists, leaders and teachers who can offer deep, creative and interpretive reflection on the impact of the Vatican II and the Catholic intellectual tradition on Catholic higher education,” Loris said. “This group can then examine and imagine how these ideas can lead and move education forward into the 21st century.”

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Fellows Program seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher education. Among several initiatives, it maintains a collaborative National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities that sponsors a variety of activities including grant and fellowship programs designed to explore the Christian character of the academic vocation and to strengthen the religious nature of church-related institutions. Regional Conference Grants fund programs that encourage examination of topics of special significance to faculty, administrators and students at a particular institution or group of institutions, or matters of special intellectual concern to faculty and others in Christian higher education.

Visit the conference’s webpage to learn more. 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 387 Colleges–2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern” and Best Business Schools–2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre. www.sacredheart.edu

bornies@optonline.net (Beth Koscinski ) Places Wed, 19 Jan 2022 04:18:42 -0500
NPT & Maritime Aquarium Partner for "The Little Mermaid" Live in August https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50694-npt-maritime-aquarium-partner-for-the-little-mermaid-live-in-august50694-npt-maritime-aquarium-partner-for-the-little-mermaid-live-in-august https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50694-npt-maritime-aquarium-partner-for-the-little-mermaid-live-in-august50694-npt-maritime-aquarium-partner-for-the-little-mermaid-live-in-august

FAIRFIELD, CT – For its August 2022 production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid," New Paradigm Theatre is partnering with The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, whose mission is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through exhibits, conservation and education.

“In partnering with the Aquarium, we are excited to highlight for our audiences the many threats facing the ocean in creative and unique ways through our production,” said NPT’s Artist Director and Broadway veteran Kristin Huffman. “For example, one of the interesting elements of this production is that NPT will be using trash collected during beach-cleanup initiatives and volunteer collections to create some of the sets and costumes for our show. If the Little Mermaid was swimming through the ocean today, she might bump into some of the items we will be using in our sets and costumes."

Among the many ways that NPT will collaborate with the Aquarium is by working with teens volunteering in the Aquarium program called ECHO (Education Conservation Heritage and Outreach).

“The focus of ECHO during the next two years is on marine debris, and ‘The Little Mermaid’ will be staged at precisely the time when our ECHO teens will be sharing what they have learned in their first year out into the community,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s Vice President of Education. “We are excited by the opportunity to have them contribute in various ways in the leadup to the production. It will be wonderful for participants in our beach cleanups to know that what they collect might end up in a costume in ‘The Little Mermaid.’”

Jason Patlis, President and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium, welcomed the collaboration.

“The magic and beauty of the fairy tale reflects the magic and beauty of the ocean itself, and that is what we try to capture with our exhibits and our activities at The Maritime Aquarium,” Patlis said. “I am very grateful to NPT for the opportunity to partner with them on educational programming, conservation initiatives, shared marketing for our respective audiences, and on the production itself.”

Huffman and Patlis believe NPT and The Maritime Aquarium will form a powerful partnership that will transcend the production.

“The ocean inspires art in all forms – ‘The Little Mermaid’ being just one example – and this partnership allows us to explore how the ocean inspires us through the performing arts in a way that complements our own exhibits of living animals,” Patlis said. “In fact, our own Ariel – one of our five resident harbor seals – is named after Ariel the mermaid.”

Huffman agreed that the organizations are a natural fit.

“It not only aligns with the show, Disney's ‘The Little Mermaid,’ but also with our own nonprofit’s mission of promoting social responsibility and fostering creative problem solvers, leaders and global citizens through theater-arts education and productions,” Huffman said. “New Paradigm Theatre believes that we can produce shows and display a social justice conscience. These shows not only entertain with Broadway pros, local performers and youth of all abilities on stage, but they also connect directly to our community. During the rehearsals, youth from both organizations and college interns will participate side-by-side with Broadway pros to learn and to create this production of Disney's ‘The Little Mermaid.’”

As partnerships between nonprofits continue to form in order to tackle social challenges from all sides, and as youth lead the way to a better world, this type of collective impact production has become increasingly relevant and a vital component of a community, she said. 

For more information about the show, which will be performed Aug. 19 and 20 at Black Rock Church’s state-of-the-art theater, please visit www.nptheatre.org. Registrations for students will begin in mid-January. Auditions for adults will be starting in early spring. 

Learn more about The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk at www.maritimeaquarium.org.

About The New Paradigm Theatre Company

The New Paradigm Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theater company promoting social responsibility and fostering creative problem solvers, leaders and global citizens through theater arts education and productions. Learn more at www.nptheatre.org.

About The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

One of the top places for family fun in Connecticut, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution whose mission is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science and environmental education. Learn more at www.maritimeaquarium.org.

bornies@optonline.net (Dave Sigworth ) Events Tue, 18 Jan 2022 05:28:46 -0500
SHU Dean Takes on Vice Provost Role for Strategic Partnerships https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50692-shu-dean-takes-on-vice-provost-role-for-strategic-partnerships50692-shu-dean-takes-on-vice-provost-role-for-strategic-partnerships https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50692-shu-dean-takes-on-vice-provost-role-for-strategic-partnerships50692-shu-dean-takes-on-vice-provost-role-for-strategic-partnerships

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University’s dean of the Farrington College of Education (FCE), Michael Alfano, is taking on the role of vice provost for strategic partnerships, developing public and private sector connections while maintaining his current responsibilities.

In his expanded role, Alfano will solicit market and employer information to guide academic decisions and connect external organizations with SHU’s division of academic affairs. He reports to Provost Robin Cautin, serving as an ambassador for academic affairs to identify specific educational and training needs in the marketplace. He will work with SHU’s academic departments to meet those needs.

Since Alfano came to the FCE nearly four years ago, he has enhanced the status of the college through his hands-on approach to program development, and his vision about the role of the college and faculty across the university and within the community. He is responsible for several grants related to the redesign of the FCE’s teacher preparation program and for the inception of the college’s first Ed.D. program (a member program of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate). The program, which began in the fall of 2019, focuses on social, emotional and academic leadership (SEAL), and is among the only doctoral programs of its kind in the country.

Alfano, a Wallingford resident, has been the FCE’s dean since 2018. Previously, he served as dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. where he helped create its center of excellence in social and emotional learning and its teacher leadership fellowship program.

Alfano earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology and special education from the University of Connecticut.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to expand my role here at SHU to include serving as vice provost for strategic partnerships,” Alfano said. “In this new and expanded role, I will be working with the provost and other colleagues to champion existing initiatives and to seek out and secure new and meaningful partnerships that will enhance outcomes for our students while advancing our University’s presence in the state, region and nation.”

Alfano also will chair a committee that University President John Petillo recently created to design and coordinate University outreach and partnerships with external organizations. The committee will ensure that the University maintains a unified voice when proposing and negotiating partnerships.

Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 387 Colleges–2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern” and Best Business Schools–2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre. www.sacredheart.edu

bornies@optonline.net (Beth Koscinski ) Places Mon, 17 Jan 2022 11:27:34 -0500
The Norwalk Art Space Announces a Quilt & Illustration Exhibition, "Lizzy Rockwell: Friends & Family" https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50690-the-norwalk-art-space-announces-a-quilt-illustration-exhibition-lizzy-rockwell-friends-family50690-the-norwalk-art-space-announces-a-quilt-illustration-exhibition-lizzy-rockwell-friends-family https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50690-the-norwalk-art-space-announces-a-quilt-illustration-exhibition-lizzy-rockwell-friends-family50690-the-norwalk-art-space-announces-a-quilt-illustration-exhibition-lizzy-rockwell-friends-family

NORWALK, CT — The Norwalk Art Space will host an exhibit of art quilts and original book illustrations by Lizzy Rockwell and her friends and family beginning on February 3 and running through March 10. The Opening Reception is February 3, 2022, from  6:00-9:00pm and will include performances by DJ Hauswife and Quiltet. The public is welcome to attend, but pre-registration for one of three timed entry slots (6pm, 7pm and 8pm) is required through the website: https://www.thenorwalkartspace.org

Lizzy Rockwell, who studied at Connecticut College and the School of Visual Arts, is a quilter, illustrator, author, and game designer. Lizzy’s visual narratives, created primarily for children, spark conversations about emotions and personal wellness. Most of what Lizzy learned about books she learned from her parents, who made books in their home studio. Illustrations by her mother, Anne Rockwell, and abstract woodcuts by her father, Harlow Rockwell, are included in this show. 

Lizzy’s works will be displayed alongside works by members of Peace by Piece, an ongoing intergenerational after-school art program designed by Lizzy. The diverse group of Norwalk residents, currently aged 8 – 93, have made art quilts which hang in numerous institutions and libraries in Connecticut. Since 2008, thousands of individuals have contributed in some way to these communal works of public art.  

Many of these quilts have been generously loaned to The Norwalk Art Space and are being seen together in one place for the first time. The Norwalk Art Space is grateful to these institutions and individuals for their generous loan of quilts: The Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk Community College, The Norwalk Public Library System, The Newfield Branch Library, The Adam J. Lewis Academy and Kate Scully. 

Artist Talk

On February 6th, 1pm - 3pm, Lizzy Rockwell will be in conversation with her artist friends. David Green from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County will act as moderator.  


On February 26th, 12pm - 3pm, Lizzy will offer a free community workshop for ages 8 and up in paper quilt design, hand stitching, and fabric art drawing. There will also be a community quilting bee at the same time. 

About The Norwalk Art Space

We hope to enhance opportunities and equity in the Connecticut arts community by offering free art education and mentorship to under-served high school students, sponsoring and promoting local artists through our Resident Artist program and Korry Fellow exhibitions, and providing the public an exciting venue to explore art and music.  Our beautiful building, ADK House, was named in honor of our founder, Alexandra D. Korry, whose vision inspires everything we do.

Visitor Information

The Norwalk Art Space is free to all visitors. It is open Wednesday - Friday, 8am - 3pm, and Saturday - Sunday, 9am - 3pm. The Art Space Cafe, located on-site, follows the same schedule. Overflow parking lots are available at 370 West Ave (enter on Maple Street) and at Mathews Park, 295 West Ave (park in the back lot). 

ADK House is handicap accessible with a ramp and elevator. Se habla español. 

For more information, please contact: 

Front desk: (203) 252-2840

Email: info@thenorwalkartspace.org


bornies@optonline.net (Katy Sullivan ) Places Sat, 15 Jan 2022 05:20:31 -0500
Registration for Fairfield American Little League's Spring 2022 Baseball Season is OPEN https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/50689-registration-for-fairfield-american-little-league-s-spring-2022-baseball-season-is-open50689-registration-for-fairfield-american-little-league-s-spring-2022-baseball-season-is-open https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/50689-registration-for-fairfield-american-little-league-s-spring-2022-baseball-season-is-open50689-registration-for-fairfield-american-little-league-s-spring-2022-baseball-season-is-open

Fairfield, CT - "Let's Play Ball!" shouts Fairfield American Little League, sharing that registration for its Spring 2022 baseball season is OPEN!
Please visit: www.fairfieldamericanlittleleague.org and click on the registration tab at the top of the page.
Fairfield American Little League is open to all players born between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2017 (Little League ages 5-13 years old) who live within the Dwight, Mill Hill, Osborn Hill, Riverfield and Sherman school districts.
If you have any questions, please reach out: fairfieldamerican@gmail.com and they will respond as soon as possible.
See you on the fields this spring!
bornies@optonline.net (Lizzie Sherriff) Life Sat, 15 Jan 2022 05:15:11 -0500
Pequot Library Presents a VIRTUAL "Meet the Author" with Violet Lumani, Thurs., Jan. 27, 6-7pm https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50688-pequot-library-164217457750688-pequot-library-1642174577 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50688-pequot-library-164217457750688-pequot-library-1642174577

Southport, CT - This program has gone from in-person to a virtual presentation. A Zoom link will be posted on the day of the event.

Local author Violet Lumani discusses her debut YA fantasy novel "Foretold," in conjunction with the exhibition Magic, Mayhem, and Maturity: The Growth of Youth Fantasy Literature. Lumani was raised by storytellers. She grew up absorbing the lore her family brought from Albania with them, as well as tales of their own trials and triumphs. "Foretold," Book 1 of The Scryers Trilogy, is her YA debut.

When she isn’t writing, she’s usually painting, playing with her precocious littles, or reading – her lifelong love of books saw her intern for a Big 5 publisher and work as a bookseller once upon a time. She is currently a Digital Marketing Director for a company called Oracle. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, and an MBA from UCONN, and lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and a pair of bickering chihuahuas.

This program is supported by Connecticut Humanities.

To register go to: https://www.pequotlibrary.org/event/in-person-meet-the-author-violet-lumani/

heitmann@pequotlibrary.org (Pequot Library) Events Fri, 14 Jan 2022 05:34:57 -0500
Fairfield Public Library Offers Free Tax Assistance https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50687-fairfield-public-library-offers-free-tax-assistance50687-fairfield-public-library-offers-free-tax-assistance https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50687-fairfield-public-library-offers-free-tax-assistance50687-fairfield-public-library-offers-free-tax-assistance

Fairfield, Conn. – Fairfield Public Library will once again be offering free tax preparation help to patrons through the services of AARP/VITA/IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Program.

On Tuesdays from January 25 – April 12, patrons can seek assistance at Fairfield’s Main Library between the hours of 9:30am and 4:00pm.  This service is especially suited to seniors and low-to-moderate- income households.  No appointment is necessary; patrons will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.  For those who prefer virtual assistance, tax counselors will also be online at www.SimplifyCT.org;   a Smartphone, tablet with camera, or computer with scanner will be needed. 

Patrons appearing for in-person assistance will need:  a government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license, US passport, CT State ID card); Social Security cards for ALL household members, and any necessary tax documents, such as W-2 forms and past tax returns.  Please note that masks are required to be worn AT ALL TIMES in the tax preparation room, and patrons are asked to bring no more than ONE additional person with them.  Health safety protocols are mandated by the Town of Fairfield and are subject to change. 

The AARP/VITA/IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Program is the nation’s largest, free volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service, and is available to all individual filers regardless of income or age.  In Connecticut last year, the service processed about 52,000 federal returns, in addition to an equal number of State returns and many amended filings from prior years.

Philip Bahr, Head of Adult Reference Services at Main Library, notes that the same IRS-certified volunteers who have been serving Fairfield Public Library for years will be available to prepare taxpayer returns, and adds, “We are very pleased to once again partner with AARP/VITA/IRS to offer this valuable service to our community.”  

bornies@optonline.net (Joleen Marren ) Places Fri, 14 Jan 2022 05:24:48 -0500
Fairfield Receives Support From United Way of Coastal Fairfield County https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/50686-fairfield-receives-support-from-united-way-of-coastal-fairfield-county50686-fairfield-receives-support-from-united-way-of-coastal-fairfield-county https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/50686-fairfield-receives-support-from-united-way-of-coastal-fairfield-county50686-fairfield-receives-support-from-united-way-of-coastal-fairfield-county

Fairfield, CT - United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has awarded the Town of Fairfield a grant to support residents impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, along with a supply of KN95 protective face masks. Presentation was made to First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick and Director of Human and Social Services Julie DeMarco.

On hand from the local United Way were CEO Jeff Kimball and Anne McCrory, a long-time Fairfield resident who serves on the non-profit’s Board of Directors. 

“On behalf of the entire Town, I am deeply grateful to United Way for giving our Social Services Department this generous grant that will help struggling Fairfield families who have been financially burdened by COVID’s impact,” commented First Selectwoman Kupchick. “I appreciate all of United Way’s good work and its support for our community.” 

The Covid Relief Grant provides emergency assistance for food, rent, utilities and critical bills to help keep families in stable homes. This is the third round of grants awarded by United Way to support those impacted by the pandemic.

The goal of the KN-95 mask donation is to help stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus.  Additionally, masks can be an important support for families whose budgets are strained by this additional cost.  

Fairfielder and United Way Board Member Ann McCrory commented, “Our neighbors need our help, and many of them are seeking help for the first time in their lives.  We’re honored to work with the Town of Fairfield—my home town-- to bring help and hope to those who are struggling.” 

According to Director of Social Services Julie Demarco, “Families are doing everything they can to get back on their feet after being out of work or having reduced work hours due to the pandemic.  Even though they may be back to work full time, the crisis is not over.  Utility bills, rent groceries must still be paid, and it’s tough to catch up.”

Even before the pandemic, more than one out of four Fairfield families struggled to make ends meet.  The pandemic and the rising cost of living have exacerbated the situation.  This surging need is reflected in the increased calls to United Way’s 2-1-1 Infoline.  Last year, Fairfielders’ requests for help more than doubled; overall, requests have tripled since the beginning of the pandemic.    

The current grant of $2,000 follows previous Covid relief grants and financial supports provided to both the Town of Fairfield and Operation Hope during the pandemic. As of today, United Way has also donated 3,500 protective face masks to the town for resident use. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County (UWCFC) has made investments in every one of the 12 towns it serves, offering:

  • Supports for basic needs: Approximately $216,000 in grants to support towns and community partners providing for basic needs like food, rent, and utilities. Also, over 3,000 freshly-made lunches were delivered to hungry neighbors in 3 towns, through a partnership with Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company.
  • Direct Help to Families: Over $89,000 in electronic gift cards to families in need, distributed by towns and local social service agencies.  
  • Protective Equipment: Over 140,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, including protective masks, gloves, and face shields to help neighbors including frontline workers, teachers, and families, thanks to donor partners like Bank of America and Yale New Haven Health.
  • Virtual Learning Support: For remote learners in Kindergarten to 12th grade, UWCFC has provided online tutoring, STEM learning programs, and college financial aid workshops. During summer, United Way supported enriched learning in robotics, engineering, e-sports, leadership, and college preparation. These innovative offerings were made by the Greater Bridgeport STEM Learning Ecosystem, an initiative of the United Way’s flagship collective impact movement, Bridgeport Prospers. 
  • Connections to Resources: Through the 2-1-1 Infoline, United Way fielded over 123,000 service requests from Fairfield County residents in the past two years.

These supports were made possible through grants, partnerships, local fundraising, and state-wide relief efforts.

Noted CEO Jeff Kimball, “Throughout the pandemic, our United Way has worked innovatively and tirelessly to ease the burden shouldered by our neighbors.  Together with our partners, we will overcome this crisis and keep building more equitable and resilient communities — where all our neighbors have the opportunity to thrive.”

About United Way of Coastal Fairfield County: 

Mission: “Together, we empower people to improve their lives. We do this by working innovatively with partners to tackle the most pressing issues in a community. Our vision is that all children and families will thrive in school and life. UWCFC serves the towns of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. Find out more at: https://unitedwaycfc.org/

bornies@optonline.net (Gail C. Carroll ) Public safety Fri, 14 Jan 2022 05:21:58 -0500
CT's Beardsley Zoo Announces Naming Contest for Baby Giant Anteater https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50685-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-announces-naming-contest-for-baby-giant-anteater50685-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-announces-naming-contest-for-baby-giant-anteater https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50685-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-announces-naming-contest-for-baby-giant-anteater50685-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-announces-naming-contest-for-baby-giant-anteater

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has announced an opportunity for the public to choose a name for the female baby Giant anteater born on June 15, 2021. In December, the Zoo received verification from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Anteater Advisory Group that the Giant anteater pup is a girl. Voters can go to the Zoo’s website at www.beardsleyzoo.org and choose from three names selected by the anteaters’ animal care staff. Voting begins on Thursday, January 13 and ends at noon on Friday, January 21.

The proposed names are: 

  •   Andarilho: Portuguese for “wanderer”
  •   Corajosa: Portuguese for brave, bold, valiant
  •   Chili: A small hot-tasting pod of a variety of capsicum, used in sauces and relishes.

Giant anteaters, unlike most mammalian species, are not easy to sex from their body size, color, and external genitalia. That the baby’s gender is female is welcome news for the species, as the population in Giant anteaters is skewed more heavily toward males than females.  

“We couldn’t be happier that our Giant anteater baby is a girl, important for the continuation of this vulnerable species,” explained Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Now we’re asking the public to help choose her name. Voting is free on our website at beardsleyzoo.org.”

The baby, born after a 75-day gestation period, is increasingly independent. She occasionally rides on her mother’s back, but she spends more time on her own as she grows. In addition to nursing, she now is fed a mixture of grain and water in a smoothie, the same formulation given to her parents. At nine days old, the baby weighed 4.3 pounds. On December 21, she weighed 45 pounds. 

This is the third Giant anteater baby born at the Zoo to third time dad, E.O., and fourth time mom, Pana. The pair was brought to Connecticut’s only Zoo with the hopes of successful breeding, which occurred for the first time in 2016.

Mochilla, the pair’s first offspring, is now in residence at Alexandria Zoo in Louisiana. The second-born, Tupi, is now at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee. 

The Giant anteater parents came to the Zoo from Palm Beach Zoo in Palm Beach, Florida. Both Pana and EO are twelve years old. They arrived in late May 2015 and are a highlight of the Pampas Plains habitat, which opened in August 2015. 

About Giant Anteaters

Giant anteaters can live up to 26 years in human care and are usually solitary animals. They weigh up to 100 pounds and are five to seven feet long. Their home range is from southern Belize to northern Argentina, and they live in grasslands, humid forests, and woodland areas. Anteaters have one of the lowest body temperatures in the animal kingdom at 91 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit and can eat up to 30,000 ants per meal in the wild. The Latin name for anteater is Vermillingua, meaning "worm tongue," which can be as long as two feet.  

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 100thth year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization celebrating its Centennial year when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever. 

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org: we recommend that guests continue to wear masks while visiting the Zoo, but when guests are outside and are able to maintain social distance, masks may be removed. In any indoor area, or when social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are required. Everyone over the age of two, except for those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available. 

bornies@optonline.net (Lisa Clair ) Places Fri, 14 Jan 2022 05:15:40 -0500
RVNAhealth Adds Custom and Semi-Custom Orthotics to its Rehabilitation & Wellness Lineup https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/50682-rvnahealth-adds-custom-and-semi-custom-orthotics-to-its-rehabilitation-wellness-lineup50682-rvnahealth-adds-custom-and-semi-custom-orthotics-to-its-rehabilitation-wellness-lineup https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/50682-rvnahealth-adds-custom-and-semi-custom-orthotics-to-its-rehabilitation-wellness-lineup50682-rvnahealth-adds-custom-and-semi-custom-orthotics-to-its-rehabilitation-wellness-lineup

The importance of a good foundation has long been established.  Whether a skyscraper, novel, wedding cake, or education, it’s that which comes first that provides structure and stability to that which follows.

“The human body is no different, with our feet playing a critical role as our foundation, says Kate Campbell, DPT, Outpatient Practice Manager at RVNAhealth. “The importance of our feet is paramount, yet they are often overlooked — and entirely unappreciated! Each foot is composed of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. From our very first steps, they bear the brunt of every stride and skip, every leap and bound, every stub and twist. Our entire body lies above them, and any imperfection or deformity in the foot invariably impacts the whole body, often manifesting in pain or issues elsewhere.”

For this reason, RVNAhealth has added custom and semi-custom orthotics to its Rehabilitation & Wellness service offerings. Orthotics are inserts placed inside the shoes with the purpose of restoring natural foot function and enabling optimal biomechanics. “Orthotics are intended to prevent further change and deformity in the foot,” says Campbell, “and in some cases are successful in 're-training' the foot back to a healthier state.”

The RVNAhealth orthotics methodology includes a detailed evaluation, including a complete treadmill gait analysis; digital photos of the feet; a review of worn shoes to assess wear pattern; evaluation of feet in both standing and non-weight bearing positions, followed by the ‘gold standard’ of casting methodology. “We make a plaster of Paris mold of the foot in a perfect gravity-eliminated state,” explains Campbell, “capturing the foot in its natural state, not its deformed state. With this approach, we can then build an orthotic that compliments the natural foot to optimize balance and alignment.” The RVNAhealth team uses exclusively Stride™ orthotics, and evaluation and fittings are conducted by specially trained RVNAhealth physical therapists.

“Those who already wear orthotics likely understand their value and how they work,” says Campbell. “But for those new to orthotics, RVNAhealth can help you identify if an orthotic is right for you and walk you through the process from start to finish to ensure a successful end result.  The right orthotic can be life changing.”

To learn more and see frequently-asked orthotics questions, visit RVNAhealth.org or call the RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center at 203-438-7862.

kerry@ducey.org (RVNAhealth) Life Thu, 13 Jan 2022 08:48:57 -0500
FCBuzz Weekend: art, comedy, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a bit of magic! https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50684-fcbuzz-weekend-art-comedy-celebrating-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-a-bit-of-magic50684-fcbuzz-weekend-art-comedy-celebrating-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-a-bit-of-magic https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50684-fcbuzz-weekend-art-comedy-celebrating-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-a-bit-of-magic50684-fcbuzz-weekend-art-comedy-celebrating-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-a-bit-of-magic

FCBuzz Weekend - January 14 - January 16

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to Elevate Arts and Culture in Fairfield County! Each week, look for a listing of weekend events and activities! The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free E-Buzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website by our members.

This weekend is all about art, comedy, celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a bit of magic.

All are invited to the opening reception at The Contemporary Art Modern Project (CAMP Gallery) for Margaret Roleke’s solo exhibit March on Society on Friday at 6:00 pm. Roleke’s work provokes a deep investigation into what the American legacy truly is.

Then on Saturday 1:00-3:00pm, The Flinn Gallery at the Greenwich Library is offering an Artist Talk for their new exhibit, Alignments, featuring three artists whose abstract work overlaps in color, strata, and form. Meghan Brady (a Greenwich native), Ben Godward, and Erika Ranee will speak about their work in conversation with the curator, Tracy McKenna, and answer questions from the audience

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Fairfield’s SHU Community Theatre on Saturday at 4:00pm and 7:30pm with a showing of the film, SELMA. This epic film presents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s crusades to secure voting rights. It is directed by Ava DuVernay’s and stars David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey.

Here’s a captivating show for the whole family! Ridgefield Playhouse presents REZA – Edge of Illusion on Saturday at 4:30pm. Reza brings rock concert level lighting and production merged with the most incredible cutting-edge magic and signature grand-scale illusions. Young and fresh, intriguing and engaging, it is no wonder Reza has been recognized as a world-class entertainer.

For guaranteed laughs all night long, come see Matt Pavich LIVE! at the Fairfield Comedy Club on Saturday at 7:00pm. A standup comedian, actor, and creator from Astoria, Matt is the winner of “New York’s Funniest” competition at the 2015 New York Comedy Festival, was recently featured in sketches on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and was selected in the 2016 ABC diversity showcase. 

More laughs in Norwalk as The Wall Street Theater presents Colin Quinn: The Last Best Hope Tour on Saturday at 8:00 pm. From MTV’s “Remote Control” to “SNL” to Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,” this comedian is about as famous as they come. 

On Sunday at 2:30 pm, honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. right from your home. The Westport Library offers its 16th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration virtually this year. This event features Heather McGhee, author of New York Times bestseller, THE SUM OF US: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. The program will also include a recital by the Bridgeport Boys Choir and a dance performed by the Regional Center for the Arts. 

It’s Christmas in January on Sunday at Fairfield’s FTC Stage One. At 7:45 pm, doors open for A Very Magnetic Post-Christmas Show with Morgan James. Called "the most promising young vocalist to come along so far this century" by The Wall Street Journal, Morgan has been described as having it all: “soul, charm, chops, blue-chip musicianship, and the kind of absolute individuality that makes her singing as recognizable as a fingerprint.”

Finally, one last chance to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday at 1:30pm. Organized by the young people of Bridgeport, Connect-Us Presents: Bridgeport Has A Dream is at The Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport. This special MLK Day performance celebrates Dr. King in the very location where he spoke in 1961 and 1964 and where he was honored in a memorial service four days after his 1968 assassination.

For details on these and hundreds more events check fcbuzzevents at culturalalliancefc.org

kerry@ducey.org (Lorie Lewis) Events Thu, 13 Jan 2022 08:40:21 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Fairfield: Two B's Accessories https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50521-why-small-businesses-matter-two-b-s-accessories50521-why-small-businesses-matter-two-b-s-accessories https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50521-why-small-businesses-matter-two-b-s-accessories50521-why-small-businesses-matter-two-b-s-accessories

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 Two B's Accessories!

Three questions with Beatrice Vornle, founder of Two B's Accessories.

Why did you start your business?

We are a fashion accessories company bringing unique and upscale fashion accessories at affordable prices for the busy woman on the go!

We (my business partner and I) started the business 12 years ago as a new venture in our lives and to bring some European flavor to women's wardrobes.

"Every woman has the right to feel fabulous!" - I always loved business and as my children were leaving for college, this felt like the right thing to do, bringing my European taste to the ladies around me. They are many times complementing on their purchases which is the best reward for me.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Our best selling service is to advise our clientele as a fashion consultant. Our best-selling products are accessories that are unique (scarves, handbags, tops, hats, etc..)

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

We did reinvent the small business, especially with COVID-19. We had to put everything online. We filmed a fashion show so our clientele could see the clothes and accessories worn. We had various viewing and posted it on our website.

Beatrice would nominate BE Chocolat to be featured next!

Visit Two B's Accessories online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook page as well!

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

daliborboldis@gmail.com (Dan) Places Thu, 13 Jan 2022 05:03:13 -0500
HCC Commemorates MLK Jr. Day with a Virtual Event on January 14 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50681-hcc-commemorates-mlk-jr-day-with-a-virtual-event-on-january-1450681-hcc-commemorates-mlk-jr-day-with-a-virtual-event-on-january-14 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/50681-hcc-commemorates-mlk-jr-day-with-a-virtual-event-on-january-1450681-hcc-commemorates-mlk-jr-day-with-a-virtual-event-on-january-14

Bridgeport, CT - Housatonic Community College (HCC) will host a virtual event to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. this Friday, January 14. The event will take place online from 10am – 11am and can be viewed by clicking here, or join by phone by calling 1-650-479-3208.

In addition to inspirational messages, musical selections, poems and an informative video, attendees will enjoy a keynote address by State Representative Brandon McGee, Jr. who proudly represents the areas of Windsor and Hartford, CT. Rep Mc Gee is the former chair of the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. 

LauraRobertsMarketing@gmail.com (Laura Roberts) Events Thu, 13 Jan 2022 02:36:50 -0500
Daniel E. Offutt Trust Grants $50K to WestonArts, Inc. https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50680-daniel-e-offutt-trust-grants-50k-to-westonarts-inc50680-daniel-e-offutt-trust-grants-50k-to-westonarts-inc https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/50680-daniel-e-offutt-trust-grants-50k-to-westonarts-inc50680-daniel-e-offutt-trust-grants-50k-to-westonarts-inc

WESTON, CT — WestonArts, Inc. (westonarts.org) announced the award of a $50,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust. WestonArts (WA) is grateful for this significant grant and similar gifts provided by the Trust in past years. In 2017, WestonArts received a $104,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust that funds WestonArts Scholarships ‒ annual awards for graduating Weston High School seniors to support their continuing education in the arts. This additional $50,000 grant will enable the creation of the “WestonArts Offutt Enrichment Fund,” and will be applied towards the organization’s mission to support and develop the arts in Weston. 

Daniel E. Offutt lived in Weston for over three decades in a home he built. This property proudly displayed many of his own large, beautiful, steel sculptures.  He had a career as a stockbroker after obtaining an MBA from Columbia University in 1965. Richard Orenstein, trustee of the Offutt Charitable Trust, said of Daniel, “Those who knew him would remember him as a tennis player, traveler, sailor, metal sculptor, woodworker, fixer of anything, collector of everything, lover of projects, stock market investor, and good friend.

Specifically, the “WestonArts Offutt Enrichment Fund” will provide need-based financial support to Weston youth to pursue advancement and enrichment in all facets of the arts. Providing need-based grants has been a critical part of WA’s mission since its formation in 2005. WA partners with the Town of Weston Social Services Department, led by Allison Lisbon, Director of Social Services. Ms. Lisbon identifies youth in need of financial support for art-based education, instrument rentals, and event and program participation fees.

“WestonArts is thrilled to be the recipient of this generous gift which specifically supports our organization’s vision. The newly established fund will help countless students pursue artistic education without bearing a prohibitive financial burden. The fund will nurture the arts in Weston and, in turn, benefit our community at large. Art stimulates the imagination, opens the heart and mind to possibilities, and fuels the soul,” said Patricia Perez-Goodrich, WestonArts Chair.

To make these arts-based enrichment opportunities as impactful as possible, WestonArts also facilitates reduced rates for classes, rental services, and instruction with educational institutions and individual artists. Some of the generous organizations WA has partnered with include: The Westport Country Playhouse, The American Classical Orchestra, Suzuki School of Music, The Dance Academy of Westport, The Music Shed with David Morgan, The School of Rock in Fairfield, MOCA Westport, the Wilton Dance Studio, Jodi Stevens Bryce (voice lessons), SBE Performance & Productions, Leslie Giuliani (art classes), and Westport-based Atelier Constantin Popescu music instrument rentals. Individuals or organizations interested in partnering with this community effort or joining WestonArts, should contact info@westonarts.org.

In addition to raising funds for local scholarships and grants, WA also supports the arts in many other meaningful ways, including hosting events such as this past July’s first Weston Fine Arts Festival held in partnership with Gordon Fine Arts. The festival featured over 100 fine art vendors, along with a full weekend of live entertainment performed by a talented array of local performers including José Feliciano.  

“WestonArts pulled off a Herculean feat with the first annual Weston Fine Arts Festival. With the Offutt Trust as one of its sponsors, the organization gathered willing volunteers and orchestrated an upbeat outing that simultaneously built community and celebrated the arts.” said Samantha Nestor, Weston First Selectwoman.

Additional updates regarding WestonArts, its members, and the organization’s endeavors can be found in the WestonArts Spotlight, a new column in Weston Today featuring WestonArts news and happenings.

Through the years, WestonArts, a 100% volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has raised and disbursed over $600,000 in funds to support its mission in the arts. The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust’s generous grant to WestonArts will enrich the community of Weston well into the future. 

PHOTO: WestonArts Volunteers and Weston Social Services gathered to celebrate the recent $50,000 grant from the Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust which will further the arts in Weston, CT. Bottom row (from left): Aline Weiller, Allison Lisbon, Cindy Wagner, Casey Lerner, Patricia Perez-Goodrich, Susan Young, Erin Gorman. Top row (from left): Christine Walder, Sally Eiler, and Adria Belport. WestonArts board members not pictured include Marc Fontaine, Hanna Przada, Debbie Rehr, Amy Borowik, and Agata Tria. 

Photo Credit: Veronica Hauresz, photographer & WestonArts board member

bornies@optonline.net (Aline Weiller ) Places Wed, 12 Jan 2022 05:17:18 -0500
CFJ Receives $30K Grant from FCCF https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/charities/50679-cfj-receives-30k-grant-from-fccf50679-cfj-receives-30k-grant-from-fccf https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/charities/50679-cfj-receives-30k-grant-from-fccf50679-cfj-receives-30k-grant-from-fccf

Bridgeport, CT - The Center for Family Justice has received a $30,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to help the nonprofit provide crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse in the Greater Bridgeport area.

The funds from FCCF’s Fund for Women and Girls will help CFJ address a significant increase in demand for its free, confidential services, which spiked by 25 percent since the Covid-19 pandemic first impacted the region in March 2020.

“The current public health crisis has affected us all, but it’s been especially devastating for victims of abuse,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “The isolation, economic instability, stress and anxiety the Covid-19 pandemic has caused have been especially detrimental to those living in abusive relationships. We’ve witnessed that firsthand in significantly increased demand for the safe shelter and crisis services we offer.”

“The generous grant we have received from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation will go a long way toward helping us meet the increased demand for services we offer victims who come to us for help,” said Greenwood. “We are grateful to the foundation for its constant support of women and girls impacted by abuse in our communities.” 

About FCCF: Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations, and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded $180 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org

About CFJ: Last year, CFJ provided crisis and supportive services to more than 4,100 residents of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and child abuse. As a Family Justice Center, CFJ works to provide its clients with all the comprehensive services they need in one safe place. Those free, confidential services include safe shelter, 24/7 crisis hotlines, counseling, support groups, Pro Bono Legal Services and psychotherapy for children impacted by the trauma of abuse. CFJ also operates the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport, a trauma-informed camp and year-long engagement program for youth ages 7-17 who have experienced abuse of a domestic or sexual nature. 

bornies@optonline.net (Beth Fitzpatrick ) Charities Wed, 12 Jan 2022 05:13:35 -0500