Hartfordcc's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc Thu, 09 Feb 2023 05:07:39 -0500 HamletHub.com Investment Contemplation During Inflation https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1876-investment-contemplation-during-inflation1876-investment-contemplation-during-inflation https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1876-investment-contemplation-during-inflation1876-investment-contemplation-during-inflation

Although there are no guarantees in life, one thing is certain- the cost of living for Americans continues to escalate daily. Inflation, unemployment and other global factors are causing many financial concerns and confusion.  Timothy Baker, a chartered financial analyst with Metric Financial in Simsbury, Connecticut, offers some tips that will help Connecticut residents stay fiscally fit, while navigating the current economic tide. 

“The #1 question I’m asked by clients and the general public is, ‘what should I do to protect my money during a recession”, said Baker.  “I challenge all investors to ignore the daily ups and downs of the stock markets during these turbulent times since disruptions in the market are quite the norm.  Just as we saw in the dot.com bust of 2000, the 9/11 tragedy, the financial crisis of ’08, and the “Covid crash”,  stocks rebounded after each of these major events and we can expect that history will once again repeat itself.”

Baker reiterates that reacting to current events is a risky business as a person can lose even more money on daily fluctuating stock prices, having to pay taxes on capital gains and high financial advisor fees to process the transaction. It’s also important to note that there is very little correlation between economic activity and stock market returns. The data is very mixed on when and how stocks will react to recessions, which are themselves difficult to define.

“Good investors need to keep saving, have a plan, and let their financial needs drive their investments, not predictions or fears about what financial markets might do tomorrow,” adds Baker.  “In fact, research shows that those who buy and hold for at least a 5-year period have seen a 91% chance of a positive return on investment.”

Baker notes that one of the recent trends seen on the stock market as a result of the current volatile economy is that investors are now trading in their high-priced mutual funds in favor of cheaper Exchange-Traded Funds – or ETFs, which passively track an index, like the S&P 500, as opposed to relying on active fund managers to attempt to beat the market with their particular stock-picks.

Another advantage of ETFs is that they are more liquid since they trade on an exchange and thus, can be bought and sold whenever stocks can, they involve much lower fees for the investor since they are passively managed, and finally, ETFs have a structure that make capital gain distributions rare.  “This means that ETFs are more tax-efficient, which can have a meaningful impact on long term wealth creation for an individual,” adds Baker.

Despite the rising interest rates by the Federal Reserve, Baker encourages people to diversify their portfolio according to their risk tolerance, monitor their investments as they relate to inflation and have a long-term time horizon in which they do not try to “time the market” which could be financially devastating.

Lastly, he stresses the importance of working with a financial advisor that one trusts and who fully discloses their fees. 

“My main mission is to educate people on what you are paying for financial planning services as fees can have a huge impact over time,” concludes Baker.  “The mission of Metric Financial is to offer investors a fairer fee so that they can keep more of their returns, while getting the same or more services. Our primary approach with new clients currently working with an advisor is to show them how reducing fees can significantly improve their financial picture over time.”

Founded in 2018, Metric Financial, LLC is registered as an Investment Adviser with the State of Connecticut.  Led by Chartered Financial Analyst Timothy Baker, the firm provides investment management services, comprehensive financial planning, debt management, estate planning, retirement planning, risk management and tax planning, among others. Baker conducts frequent educational sessions and public seminars on a variety of financial topics of interest to schools, business groups, and associations. For more information, please visit www.metricfin.com or call 860.256.5895.

PHOTO: Chartered Financial Analyst Timothy Baker is the principal owner of Metric Financial, a Connecticut-based investment management and financial planning firm that offers educational sessions and public seminars on creating and preserving wealth for one’s retirement.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Fri, 03 Feb 2023 05:24:56 -0500
The Tastiest Time of the Year is Here! https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1875-the-tastiest-time-of-the-year-is-here1875-the-tastiest-time-of-the-year-is-here https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1875-the-tastiest-time-of-the-year-is-here1875-the-tastiest-time-of-the-year-is-here

Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s 2023 Cookie Order Taking Launches on Feb 4th

It’s the sweetest time of the year as the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie season kicks off in Connecticut.  The girl-led entrepreneurship program that develops the next generation of female business leaders officially launches on February 4th

 

 

“The five fundamentals of the cookie program are goal setting, decision making, business ethics, people skills and money management,” said Diana Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Connecticut (GSOFCT).  “Girls learn to work as a team to accomplish goals, while building confidence in their individual abilities.”

Connecticut troops are rooting for this year’s new, highly anticipated flavor - Raspberry Rally™ - to become a popular cookie. The thin, crispy cookie is infused with raspberry flavor, dipped in chocolaty coating. The decadent treat will be sold exclusively online for direct shipping starting on February 27th via Digital Cookie® online storefronts.

Additionally, troops around the state will set up cookie booths in their local communities from April 1 to May 7 to coincide with the Easter holiday and warmer Spring weather, thus helping troops achieve their financial goals.

Mahoney notes that some troops sell cookies to raise funds for amazing troop activities and trips, or to participate in outdoor adventure during camp season at An-Se-Ox in Oxford, Aspetuck in Weston, Clatter Valley in New Milford, Laurel in Lebanon, and Merrie-Wood in Manchester.

Other troops want to earn entrepreneurship badges and rewards or initiate community service projects. Most importantly, every Girl Scout is looking to have fun. Additionally, all proceeds from the cookie program stay in Connecticut to fund GSOFCT programming, leadership development opportunities, and trainings for girls and adults throughout the state.

Whether you’re a fan of the classics or are looking to find a new go-to cookie flavor, the tasty treats that Girl Scouts of Connecticut is offering this year include:

  •          Raspberry Rally™
  •          Adventurefuls™, last year’s new decadent brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt.
  •          Thin Mints®,
  •          Samoas®,
  •          Tagalongs®,
  •          Do-si-dos®,
  •          Trefoils®,
  •          Lemon-Ups®,
  •          Girl Scout S’mores®
  •          gluten-free Toffee-tastic®.

To purchase Girl Scout Cookies this season:

  •   If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to find out how she’s selling cookies, including via the Digital Cookie ® online platform.
  •   If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit www.gsofct.org or contact GSOFCT’s Customer Care team at (800) 922-2770 to be connected with a Girl Scout in your area.

Through Girls Scouts, girls of all ages can explore what interests them, discover their passions, and take action on issues they care about. Whether they’re using their STEM skills to solve a problem, changing a law to help their community, having a courageous outdoor experience, or starting an innovative nonprofit. Girl Scouts are true changemakers who build a better future for themselves and the world.

“When you buy the delicious cookies you crave directly from a Girl Scout, you’ll enjoy them more knowing you’re helping her gain the business smarts and confidence to take on the world, one cookie at a time,” concludes Mahoney.

Visit www.gsofct.org to discover Girl Scout Cookie sales in your community.

We Are Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit gsofct.org.

PHOTO

Girls Scouts of Connecticut will be offering its new Raspberry Rally™ cookie exclusively online for direct shipping as an addition to this year’s tasty line-up. The popular, annual Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world that teaches girls the important values of goal setting, decision making, business ethics, people skills and money management.  Visit www.gsofct.org for more information.

Photo Courtesy of: Girl Scouts of Connecticut

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Fri, 03 Feb 2023 05:14:35 -0500
Baribault Jewelers Celebrates 75th Diamond Anniversary https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1874-baribault-jewelers-celebrates-75th-diamond-anniversary1874-baribault-jewelers-celebrates-75th-diamond-anniversary https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1874-baribault-jewelers-celebrates-75th-diamond-anniversary1874-baribault-jewelers-celebrates-75th-diamond-anniversary

The start of a new year is always met with hope, expectation, and endless possibilities. One Connecticut jeweler is not only planning ahead in 2023, but also reflecting back on the past 75 years when it officially opened its doors. Specifically, Baribault Jewelers, a family-owned, fine jewelry company in Glastonbury, Conn., is celebrating its dazzling diamond 75th anniversary with an array of community programs, public events and special promotions. 

“We attribute our success over the past 75 years to our welcoming and thriving community that has sustained us,” said Lewis Baribault, owner of Baribault Jewelers.  “We have become active participants across the region, partnering with non-profit organizations that would most benefit from our involvement, whether that be donating merchandise for silent or live auctions or sponsoring an original fundraiser for the Glastonbury Education Foundation, Bristol Police Heroes Fund, HOPE for Fertility Foundation and the Breast Friends Fund, among many others.”

Being the first jewelry store in Glastonbury, founding father Philip Baribault Sr, was inspired to bring an amazing array of diamonds and innovative jewelry designs to his hometown, while offering outstanding customer service.  Although the inventory in the display cases has changed since 1948, the Baribault family’s impeccable reputation in delivering a very personalized shopping experience has remained the same, a crucial element in the jewelry industry.

Since its inception, nineteen Baribault family members have played a part in growing the business with Lewis Baribault, Jr. and his wife Cathy, taking over the reins in 1988.  Today, Lewis’ three children- Christina Baribault Ortiz, Raeann Baribault Schwartz, and Lewis Baribault III- help manage the daily operations of the company and will ensure that the Baribault legacy continues long into the future.

Memorable business milestones that Baribault Jewelers has achieved in the past 7 ½ decades include a major, modern retail renovation in which all glass, jewelry showcases are strategically positioned throughout the store that allow customers 360-degree viewing potential, a decadent display of D-color diamonds, the rarest and clearest diamond available in the market and largest collection in Connecticut, an onsite workshop for jewelry repairs and custom-created designs, national notoriety for the company’s The Power to B inspirational bracelet line, which debuted at the 2022 Oscars and appeals to Hollywood’s top celebrities and the general public alike, the B-Linked Permanent Jewelry Bar, one of the hottest jewelry trends that connects friends, family members and couples through a clasp-less 14k gold bracelet and the launch of the B Transformed department where customers can bring their unworn jewelry to the store, redesign them with the help of the talented Baribault team and create vibrant, new items that will get maximum use.

“We work very hard together to make things happen in our fast-paced business but the most important thing to me is that we keep a healthy family dynamic,” adds Baribault.

As part of its diamond anniversary celebration, Baribault Jewelers will unveil a new festivity each month of the year, including:

  • a ribbon rededication ceremony with various state, municipal and civic leaders
  • a presentation of a key to the town by Glastonbury Town Manager Richard Johnson
  • $7,500 worth of giveaways to customers
  • $75 discounts on select jewelry pieces from the Baribault vault
  • periodic in-store celebrity visits
  • a public unveiling of the Baribault “Diamond-tini” drink at the Rooftop 120 restaurant
  • and many other exciting educational programs, demonstrations, and exclusive collections

From January 25th through the 28th, the family jeweler will host its signature Winter Sale, in which most store merchandise is deeply discounted to make room for fresh, new inventory. 

Additionally, the company invests in its people, employing certified Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond graders and gemologists and Personal Jewelry Shoppers to enhance the experience for both new and seasoned customers. 

Lastly, Baribault Jewelers is at the top of its craft having earned the Blue Diamond Tacori dealer designation, the #1 highest rating in the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) organization and is both an exhibitor and member of the JCK Jewelry Show, the most significant and prestigious jewelry event in North America.

As for the future, Baribault says, “I’ve got the best of both worlds right now - I love what I do and will continue to be active at the store, but I also enjoy the fact that my three children can professionally run our business.  When I finally sashay into the golden sunset, one thing is certain; with eight grandchildren, the Baribault Jewelers brand will be around for centuries to come.”

About Baribault Jewelers

Since 1948, Baribault Jewelers has been guided by its core values of authenticity, integrity, service, gratitude, courage, trust, and respect in providing sterling service to its local, statewide, and national clientele.  While styles come and go, the mission of the family business has always been to help its valued customers create beautiful memories with the people they love. Visit www.baribaultjewelers.com.

PHOTO

(from left): Baribault Jewelers Owner Lewis Baribault, Jr. runs the successful family business with his three children Lewis Baribault III, Raeann Baribault Schwartz, and Christina Baribault Ortiz to ensure that the Baribault legacy continues long into the future.  The Glastonbury store celebrates its 75th diamond anniversary in 2023 with a variety of educational programs, demonstrations, and exclusive collections. 

Photo Courtesy of: Baribault Jewelers

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 31 Jan 2023 04:49:53 -0500
‘SuperAger’ Secrets to Staying Sharp As You Age From CT Senior Experts https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1873-superager-secrets-to-staying-sharp-as-you-age-from-ct-senior-experts1873-superager-secrets-to-staying-sharp-as-you-age-from-ct-senior-experts https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1873-superager-secrets-to-staying-sharp-as-you-age-from-ct-senior-experts1873-superager-secrets-to-staying-sharp-as-you-age-from-ct-senior-experts

SuperAgers are people over the age of 80 who have the cognitive abilities of someone decades younger. So what’s their secret? According to recent research, the one trait that SuperAgers possess is to learn something new every day. But based on 25 years of caring for Connecticut seniors, Mario D’Aquila of Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) explains it’s really a combination of brain exercises and healthy eating.

 

“Use it or lose it is just as true for mental fitness as it is for physical fitness,” said D’Aquila, MBA, Chief Operating Officer of home care agency ALS with offices in Cheshire and Westport. “We often see significant improvement in our clients after engaging in new activities with caregivers who also help prepare meals.”

D’Aquila cites a CNBC article summarizing the 18-month study that compares our memories to a bank account. The deposits, which are pieces of new information, help build brain connections. Memories are kept in these connections. As we age, the connections can weaken or be lost altogether. However, the more deposits you have, the less impact there is on your memories from these withdrawals.

D’Aquila shares ways to cross train your brain:

  • Do something mentally stimulating, such as listening to a podcast, joining a book club or taking an online course.
  • Do something that requires learning through movement, such as a new sport, dance or yoga.
  • Be social. Grab coffee with a friend or go to a dinner party, as social interaction is a form of learning that has been associated with staving off dementia.

It’s crucial to approach learning the way you would fitness training, according to D’Aquila. “You wouldn’t go to the gym and only work out one body part. The same goes for the brain.” Learning a new language, for example, works out different parts of the brain than playing a sport or instrument does. Doing crosswords and other puzzles are good for your memory, but they are exercising the connections you already have. An activity needs to be challenging in order to have impact. SuperAgers pursue learning opportunities outside of their comfort zone.

In addition to providing transportation to activities and outings, personal caregivers can assist with meal planning, shopping and preparation for optimum health. The best diet should incorporate these 6 best brain foods: 

1.  Spices. These powerful antioxidants help overall health by helping the brain fight off free radicals. Two of the best are turmeric and saffron.

2.  Fermented foods. Fermented foods are made by combining milk, vegetables or other raw ingredients with microorganisms like yeast and bacteria. Some examples include plain yogurt with active cultures, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. 

3.  Dark chocolate. This is an excellent source of iron - just be sure to eat it with as little added sugar as possible.

4.  Avocados. With a higher amount of magnesium, this fruit is great for brain health and for reducing depression.

5.  Nuts. Nuts have healthy fats and oils that our brains need to function well, along with essential vitamins and minerals — for example, selenium in Brazil nuts. Don't overdo - 1/4 cup a day is good.

6.  Leafy Greens. Greens such as kale spinach, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens are excellent sources of folate, which is important for brain health.

Beyond transportation and meal prep, caregivers in the home can provide medication reminders, monitor every-day activities, ensure home safety, and address loneliness and isolation by serving as a companion.

“While we can’t change our genetic makeup, we all have the ability to control our habits,” concluded D’Aquila. “Enlisting the aid of a caregiver gives seniors a partner to keep them on track in all aspects of daily life.”

About Assisted Living Service, Inc.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Its unique CarePlus program blends personal care by over 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.

PHOTO: Assisted Living Services’ caregiver Precious Bobson ensures that client Elaine Kuhrt of Cheshire remains active both physically and mentally.  Since 1996, the family-owned, award-winning homecare agency in Cheshire and Westport, has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut.

Photo Courtesy of: Assisted Living Services, Inc.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 31 Jan 2023 04:41:45 -0500
CT Jeweler Raises $1,500 for Bristol Police Heroes Fund with Charity Event https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1872-ct-jeweler-raises-1-500-for-bristol-police-heroes-fund-with-charity-event1872-ct-jeweler-raises-1-500-for-bristol-police-heroes-fund-with-charity-event https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1872-ct-jeweler-raises-1-500-for-bristol-police-heroes-fund-with-charity-event1872-ct-jeweler-raises-1-500-for-bristol-police-heroes-fund-with-charity-event

If you saw a fleet of police cruisers in the Baribault Jewelers’ Glastonbury parking lot on Monday, January 9, 2023, it was not any type of emergency, but rather, strong visual support for the company’s public National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day celebration. Specifically, the family business hosted a daylong charity event that benefitted the Bristol Police Heroes Fund and featured complimentary coffee and doughnuts, photo opportunities with local police officers and a limited supply of the exclusive, popular “Thin Blue Line” bracelets, which 100% supports the local non-profit organization.

“What an amazing outpouring of love that the Connecticut community showed once again for this important cause,” said Raeann Baribault Schwartz, co-owner of Baribault Jewelers. “Between people coming into our store to purchase the B Fierce and B Brave designs, as well calling us to order them over the phone, we raised $1,500, but still have 30 more bracelets in stock. We want to completely sell out so that we raise the maximum amount of money for the families of the fallen Bristol police officers.”

Baribault Schwartz and her sister Christina Baribault Ortiz created The Power to B jewelry collection four years ago to encourage everyone to B Strong, B Fierce, B Badass, B Limitless or B Fearless by linking these cursive phrases with a colorful cord.

The duo custom-designed a commemorative “Thin Blue Line” bracelet in October when Bristol Police Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy were gunned down in the line of duty. The $78 bracelet features a power word in silver on a navy-blue cord in order to give strength to the wearer while showing support for the men and women in blue. Baribault Jewelers presented a $5,000 check to The Bristol Police Heroes Fund in the fall.

The 30 limited-edition bracelets will be available at Baribault Jewelers store located at 81 Rankin Road in Glastonbury until they sell out.

As the wife of a police officer, I want to ensure that Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy’s ultimate sacrifice are never forgotten,” adds Baribault Ortiz. “We can’t take the pain away, but we hope to make just a small difference by comforting the families now and in the year ahead.”

About Baribault Jewelers

Since 1948, Baribault Jewelers has been guided by its core values of authenticity, integrity, service, gratitude, courage, trust and respect in providing sterling service to its local, statewide and national clientele. While styles come and go, the mission of the family business has always been to help its valued customers create beautiful memories with the people they love. Visit www.baribaultjewelers.com.

PHOTO: Only 30 more “Thin Blue Line” charity bracelets are left in stock at Baribault Jewelers’ Glastonbury store to benefit the Bristol Police Officers Fund. The family jeweler has raised an additional $1,500 for the non-profit in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and hopes to completely sell out of its popular silver and navy-blue cord bracelets, which cost $78. 

Photo Courtesy of: Baribault Jewelers

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Fri, 13 Jan 2023 04:59:14 -0500
CT Stone Company Serves Up Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven Sweepstakes https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1871-ct-stone-company-serves-up-solo-stove-pi-pizza-oven-sweepstakes1871-ct-stone-company-serves-up-solo-stove-pi-pizza-oven-sweepstakes https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1871-ct-stone-company-serves-up-solo-stove-pi-pizza-oven-sweepstakes1871-ct-stone-company-serves-up-solo-stove-pi-pizza-oven-sweepstakes

Outdoor entertaining rises to a delicious new level with the addition of a backyard pizza oven. According to the patio pros at Torrison Stone & Garden in Durham, stone pizza oven construction has become the hottest homeowner project in recent years. Portable stainless steel pizza ovens are a popular alternative, and the outdoor living experts at Torrison are giving Connecticut residents the chance to win a FREE Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven to enjoy this winter.

“The holidays may be over, but we wanted to give our great customers another gift,” said Tyler Gerry, owner of the award-winning landscape construction company. “We also want to encourage homeowners to plan now for their Spring outdoor projects.”

Gerry explains anyone who visits the Torrison showroom located at 422 Main Street in Durham can complete an entry form, no purchase necessary. The winner will be drawn and notified on Thursday, February 9, 2023, in honor of National Pizza Day. The Solo Pi Pizza Oven retails for $630.

“The trend of hosting personal pizza parties shows no signs of slowing down,” said Gerry. “It’s a fun family activity that allows people to gather outside and enjoy nature beyond the warmer weather months.”

Gerry notes that a standard oven maxes out at 550°F, but pizza requires temperatures up to 900°F to achieve a crispy exterior crust with a delicious chewy interior. The high heat also reduces the length of time it takes for a pizza to bake, so everyone can customize their own without the long wait. Portable pizza ovens can either be powered through propane or wood. The oven can be placed on any sturdy, waist-level surface that can handle the heat.

While at the Torrison showroom, people can browse the indoor and outdoor spaces for design inspiration. The Fire Room and Tap Room showcase indoor options and a 10,000 sq ft outdoor showroom offers beautiful gardens and landscaping surrounding walking paths leading to several different fireplace and firepit areas with seating. Additionally, homeowners can consult with an onsite professional.

“Working with an onsite professional from beginning to end actually saves time and money, while preventing costly mistakes,” adds Gerry. “Most importantly, a comprehensive plan brings all of a project’s elements together in one seamless design.”

Further, homeowners can bring their design vision from concept to reality with Torrison Stone & Garden’s unique computerized process that produces a 3D rendering of the project upgrade.

“Our goal with every patio and outdoor kitchen design is to extend the living and entertaining space and season,” concludes Gerry.

ABOUT TORRISON STONE & GARDEN

Torrison Stone & Garden is an award-winning landscape construction company specializing in stone and landscape design, installation and maintenance of patios, fire pits, walls, walkways, and pool scapes using a wide selection of natural stones and pavers. Since 2000, the company has worked with homeowners across Connecticut to improve upon and create outdoor living spaces that set the bar for the industry. Its majestic indoor and outdoor showrooms at 422 Main Street in Durham, CT are unlike anything in the Northeast. Take a virtual tour of a fire room, tap room or 10,000 sq ft outdoor showroom for design inspiration. For information, our winter hours and appointments visit www.torrisonstone.com or call 860.349.0119.

PHOTO: Torrison Stone & Garden, an award-winning landscape construction company in Durham, Connecticut, is hosting a Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven sweepstakes from now until February 9, 2023 in honor of National Pizza Day.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Fri, 13 Jan 2023 04:38:31 -0500
“Thin Blue Line” Charity Bracelet Back in Stock at Baribault Jewelers in Honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9th https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1870-thin-blue-line-charity-bracelet-back-in-stock-at-baribault-jewelers-in-honor-of-national-law-enforcement-appreciation-day-on-jan-9th1870-thin-blue-line-charity-bracelet-back-in-stock-at-baribault-jewelers-in-honor-of-national-law-enforcement-appreciation-day-on-jan-9th https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1870-thin-blue-line-charity-bracelet-back-in-stock-at-baribault-jewelers-in-honor-of-national-law-enforcement-appreciation-day-on-jan-9th1870-thin-blue-line-charity-bracelet-back-in-stock-at-baribault-jewelers-in-honor-of-national-law-enforcement-appreciation-day-on-jan-9th

While many people celebrated a festive holiday season, the immediate and extended families of two Bristol, Connecticut police officers that were gunned down in the line of duty on October 12, 2022, were still mourning the loss of their loved ones.  At the time of the tragedy, family-owned Baribault Jewelers custom-created a blue-cord bracelet as part of it’s the Power to B collection to benefit THE BRISTOL POLICE HEROES FUND.  Since 100% of the proceeds were donated directly to the fund, the “Thin Blue Line” bracelets sold out within hours.  Now, just in time to commemorate National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on January 9th, the Glastonbury jeweler is proud to unveil 50 more limited-edition bracelets for the ongoing support of the local charity.

“As the wife of a police officer, I want to ensure that Sgt. Dustin Demonte and Officer Alex Hamzy’s ultimate sacrifice are never forgotten,” said Christina Baribault Ortiz, co-owner of Baribault Jewelers.  “We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the first round of bracelets and know that the Connecticut community will come through again.”

Thus far, Baribault Jewelers has raised $10,000 for The Bristol Police Heroes Fund, and a check was presented to Bristol Police Lieutenant Robert Osborne on November 4, 2022.

Baribault Ortiz and her sister Raeann Baribault Schwartz created The Power to B jewelry collection four years ago to encourage everyone to B Strong, B Fierce, B Badass, B Limitless or B Fearless by linking these cursive phrases with a colorful cord.

The commemorative “Thin Blue Line” design features a power word in silver on a blue cord in order to give strength to the wearer while showing support for the men and women in blue. The bracelet will be available for purchase for $78 at Baribault Jewelers store located at 81 Rankin Road in Glastonbury and on the Baribault Jewelers’ website: https://baribaultjewelers.com/product/blue-power-word-cord-bracelet/.

“My family is honored that our special charity bracelet was able to help raise funds for such a meaningful cause,” adds Baribault Schwartz. “We can’t take the pain away, but we hope to make just a small difference by comforting the families now and in the year ahead.”

About Baribault Jewelers

Since 1948, Baribault Jewelers has been guided by its core values of authenticity, integrity, service, gratitude, courage, trust and respect in providing sterling service to its local, statewide and national clientele. While styles come and go, the mission of the family business has always been to help its valued customers create beautiful memories with the people they love. Visit www.baribaultjewelers.com.

PHOTO: Baribault Jewelers’ popular “Thin Blue Line” charity bracelet is back in stock at the Glastonbury store and online to benefit the Bristol Police Officers Fund.  From left: Cathy Baribault and Raeann Baribault Schwartz, co-owners of Baribault Jewelers, present a $10,000 check to Bristol Police Lieutenant Robert Osborne on November 4, 2022. The family jeweler has custom-created another 50, limited-edition, blue and silver bracelets in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on January 9th.

Photos Courtesy of: Baribault Jewelers

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Thu, 05 Jan 2023 10:41:45 -0500
Assisted Living Services’ $2,000 Donation to Food Pantry Tops a Year of Giving Back https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1869-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back-16727703321869-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back-1672770332 https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/charities/1869-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back-16727703321869-assisted-living-services-2-000-donation-to-food-pantry-tops-a-year-of-giving-back-1672770332

In a year when businesses and families are facing financial hardships, Assisted Living Services, Inc. presented a $2,000 check to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. on December 22, 2022 in Cheshire, Connecticut. The donation was generated from the home care provider’s “Jeans for a Cause” company initiative. Each year, employees give $1 on Fridays when they choose to wear jeans to work. ALS then matches the total contribution and gives the proceeds to a local cause.

 

“We chose the Cheshire Food Pantry as our designated charity this year based on rising food insecurity in our town triggered by high inflation,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA and Chief Operating Officer of ALS. “According to the Food Pantry, 20% of Cheshire residents or over 1,900 households are ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. That means they are above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost of living threshold.”

“The Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. is different from many food pantries because it uses a client-choice model in which clients are allowed to select their own groceries,” said Executive Director David Defeo. “This model provides food subsidies to low-income families in crisis, while nurturing their ability to be independent. We are grateful for the donation from Assisted Living Services.”

The contribution to the food pantry capped off a year of charitable giving by the compassionate corporate citizen.

ALS donated $500 to The Child Guidance Clinic For Central Connecticut, Inc. (CGC). “Each year we participate in CGC’s Holiday Giving Program, where gifts are purchased by our office employees for children in need,” explained D’Aquila. “For many years, we have also supported the organization’s various other events and fundraisers.” The nonprofit Child Guidance Clinic provides comprehensive mental health evaluation and treatment, crisis intervention and outreach services to children, adolescents and their families in the greater Meriden Connecticut area.

D’Aquila notes that while ALS supports local organizations, the family-owned agency truly believes that charity begins at home. ALS awarded an astounding $60,000 in employee bonuses this year through its industry-leading Platinum Caregiver and Home Care Hero Award Programs. The monthly Platinum Caregiver Award program launched in 2019 awards $5,000 to a stellar caregiver who has exceeded expectations for quality care.

“I am extremely proud of how our employees rallied together this year to not only keep our clients safe and healthy at home, but to assist our neighbors in need,” said D’Aquila.  “We’re happy to give back to our communities in any way that we can while showing appreciation for our extraordinary staff members.”

About Assisted Living Service, Inc.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Its unique CarePlus program blends personal care by over 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.

PHOTO: The team from Assisted Living Services Inc. presents a $2,000 donation to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. in Cheshire, Conn. on Thursday, December 22, 2022.  Pictured from left are: Ron D’Aquila, co-founder of Assisted Living Services, Mario D’Aquila, chief operating officer at Assisted Living Services, Dave Defeo, executive director of the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Sharon D’Aquila, co-founder of Assisted Living Services, Nick D’Aquila, chief information officer at Assisted Living Services and Tom Daly, director of live-in services at Assisted Living Services.


Credit: Assisted Living Services, Inc.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Charities Tue, 03 Jan 2023 08:24:56 -0500
Unique Indoor & Outdoor Spaces That Are Perfect Party Places in CT! https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1868-unique-indoor-outdoor-spaces-that-are-perfect-party-places-in-ct1868-unique-indoor-outdoor-spaces-that-are-perfect-party-places-in-ct https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1868-unique-indoor-outdoor-spaces-that-are-perfect-party-places-in-ct1868-unique-indoor-outdoor-spaces-that-are-perfect-party-places-in-ct

Pent-up demand for in-person parties has many event venues in Connecticut booked solid well into next year. For those looking for an outside-the-office space for a corporate meeting or a stylish spot for a sophisticated soiree, small business owner Tyler Gerry has come up with a creative solution. Businesses and families can host any size event at the Tap Room, Fire Room or Outdoor showroom located at Torrison Stone & Garden in Durham.

“Our indoor showrooms are so impeccably appointed, they offer an inviting, cozy spot for any type of gathering,” said Gerry. “We have hosted professional workshops, networking events and retirement/birthday parties, as well as bridal and baby showers.”

Gerry notes the trend of hosting post-holiday season office parties has many organizations looking to book a space after the New Year. Additionally, employers are back to throwing the caliber of holiday parties that were planned pre-pandemic, according to HR Dive. Companies are using their annual party as a morale booster, a toast to surviving COVID-19 and a chance to reunite or even meet coworkers for the first time in person.

The idea to offer Torrison’s spaces for events resulted from the construction of a stunning 10,000 square foot outdoor showroom in 2019. The initial purpose was to allow customers to see Torrison’s materials utilized in real-life displays that unite form and function. Beautiful gardens and landscaping surround walking paths leading to several different fireplace and firepit areas with seating.

“After we completed the design, we thought it was a great place to host a party,” said Gerry. “We added a pavilion with full kitchen, a pub shed and even a putting green and cornhole boards to offer guests of all ages some fun activities.”

The outdoor space has been in high demand with many businesses and families opting to gather outside due to continued health concerns.  

That same year, in response to the explosive popularity of craft breweries, the Torrison Tap Room was built. The rustic paneled 500 square foot room has a 12-foot bar with stools and garage style doors that open to a patio area for indoor/outdoor parties in warmer weather. There is also a large conference table, access to keg cooler, coffee/water station and audio/visual setup for presentations.

Last year, Torrison opened the Fire Room to showcase its natural stone veneer fireplace surrounds and immediately started booking events. With comfy leather couches and a grand fireplace, the 1,000-square-foot room has a fully-equipped bar/kitchen, Sonos system and audio/visual setup. It’s the ideal setting for any winter celebration.

To make party planning stress-free, Torrison’s Event Coordinator is available to assist with every detail.

“Hosting events has become an integral part of our operation that we all truly enjoy,” said Gerry. “With our central location and flexible spaces, we encourage anyone who is hosting a special celebration to come for a tour.”

ABOUT TORRISON STONE & GARDEN

Torrison Stone & Garden is an award-winning landscape construction company specializing in stone and landscape design, installation and maintenance of patios, fire pits, walls, walkways, and pool scapes using a wide selection of natural stones and pavers. Since 2000, the company has worked with homeowners across Connecticut to improve upon and create outdoor living spaces that set the bar for the industry. Its majestic indoor and outdoor showrooms at 422 Main Street in Durham, CT are unlike anything in the Northeast. Take a virtual tour of a fire room, tap room or 10,000 sq ft outdoor showroom for design inspiration. For information, hours and appointments visit www.torrisonstone.com or call 860.349.0119.

PHOTO:

Torrison Stone & Garden in Durham, CT offers unexpected indoor and outdoor amenities like its spacious Fireroom to host a company or family gathering any time of year.

Photo Courtesy of: Torrison Stone & Garden

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Thu, 22 Dec 2022 11:26:20 -0500
Recognizing Signs of “Senior Slide” at Family Holiday Celebrations https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1867-recognizing-signs-of-senior-slide-at-family-holiday-celebrations1867-recognizing-signs-of-senior-slide-at-family-holiday-celebrations https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1867-recognizing-signs-of-senior-slide-at-family-holiday-celebrations1867-recognizing-signs-of-senior-slide-at-family-holiday-celebrations

It’s the time of year for joyous holiday visits with elderly parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. It’s also the time to be on alert for signs of decline that indicate a need for assistance around the house, according to Connecticut senior home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS).

“If it’s been a while since you’ve last seen an older family member in person, look for physical or mental impairments impacting their daily life and safety in and outside of the home,” explained Mario D’Aquila, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire and Westport. “For example, can they prepare healthy meals, keep up with chores and practice good hygiene? Can they run errands and be active?”

D’Aquila shares that clutter in the home becomes dangerous as it increases the risk of falls and impedes the activities of daily living. It can also be a sign of depression.

“Mental health needs to be monitored in conjunction with physical health,” said D’Aquila. “Isolation and loneliness can accelerate decline. Our caregivers provide a crucial social connection by playing games, decorating for the holidays, or taking clients to visit friends or attend religious services.”

 

D’Aquila notes that while a post-holiday slump, or the Winter Blues, affects many people, older adults who may not soak up much fresh air and sunshine are especially susceptible. They may avoid going outdoors even more in the coming months if they are concerned about falling on snow and ice. By utilizing new sophisticated Personal Emergency Response Systems, seniors can be assured that help is available at the touch of a button or devices equipped with Fall Detection can call emergency responders. GPS location technologies enable care specialists to locate the user in an emergency.

Technological devices can help a senior maintain independence inside the home as well. ALS offers a free home evaluation to address the main risk factors that impact seniors and individuals with disabilities the most: falls, medication compliance, fire safety, and rapid access to emergency care. The ALS CarePlus custom care plan includes electronic devices from its sister company, Assisted Living Technologies, Inc., to supplement personal care. There are automated medication dispensers to improve compliance, home safety devices that shut off a stove that is inadvertently left on, fall avoidance technologies, and remote monitoring systems.

D’Aquila offers warning signs that may indicate an elderly person needs additional help around the house or increased personal care:

  • Forgetfulness/confusion
  • Neglect of physical appearance or basic hygiene
  • Neglect of medical needs
  • Trouble performing routine tasks or chores
  • Personality changes
  • Inability to handle finances, pay bills
  • Unsteadiness, clumsiness or recent history of falling

The first step should be a visit to their primary care physician for a check-up to make sure there are no underlying causes and review all medications. The doctor is the best resource to help determine if professional home health care, such as nursing care, or physical therapy is necessary. Oftentimes all that is necessary is the right non-medical support at home.

“Age-related decline can happen quickly, so even if you see a loved one often, subtle changes can be easy to overlook,” according to D’Aquila. “Eldercare specialists are a family’s best resource to make a plan of action to age in place and provide peace of mind for the entire family.”

About Assisted Living Service, Inc. & Assisted Living Technologies, Inc.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their unique CarePlus program blends personal care by over 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.

PHOTO: The Smart Caregiver cordless bed sensor pad and alarm are some of the many technological devices offered by Assisted Living Technologies, Inc that keep seniors safe from falls and wandering.  Courtesy of: Assisted Living Technologies, Inc.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Sat, 17 Dec 2022 09:31:56 -0500
Natural Stone Veneers Reduce High Heating Bill Fears https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1866-natural-stone-veneers-reduce-high-heating-bill-fears1866-natural-stone-veneers-reduce-high-heating-bill-fears https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1866-natural-stone-veneers-reduce-high-heating-bill-fears1866-natural-stone-veneers-reduce-high-heating-bill-fears

Connecticut has one of the most expensive monthly energy rates in the nation regardless of whether a home uses electricity, heating oil or natural gas. According to Governor Lamont, heating costs are expected to rise even higher this winter caused by various supply factors. Torrison Stone & Garden, an award-winning landscape construction company in Durham, is helping Connecticut residents ease their high heating bill fears by offering natural stone veneers, the newest interior design trend to insulate Connecticut homes this cold winter season.

“A natural stone veneer is the most environmentally-friendly building material available as the mass of the stone serves as an insulator, absorbing the heat of the day and releasing that heat when the surrounding air cools down,” said Tyler Gerry, owner of Torrison Stone & Garden. “This natural insulation helps reduce energy costs by eliminating the daily fluctuations in temperature and lowering your heating and cooling costs."

Other benefits of natural stone veneers include:

 

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Natural stone veneer is the most environmentally friendly building option available and the mass of the stone itself serves as an insulator, absorbing the heat of the day and releasing that heat when the surrounding air cools back down. This natural insulation helps reduce energy costs by “flattening out” the daily fluctuations in temperature and lowering your heating and cooling costs.

HIGHER RESALE VALUE - Homes with natural stone veneers have a higher resale value. Natural stone veneer on buildings tend to increase the resale value of a property because of the beauty and the general perception that natural stone buildings are more expensive than buildings constructed with other materials. So, installing a natural stone veneer as an upgrade to the building usually is a good investment which will more than pay for itself in the increased resale value.

DURABILITY - Natural stone veneer is extremely durable with a well-built stone veneer lasting for decades. Another benefit of a stone veneer is that it is fireproof.

LOW MAINTENANCE - Natural stone veneer is extremely low maintenance. You don’t have to paint it or add siding to it and it is easy to clean. You just apply a natural stone sealant every once in a while, to help protect it from the elements.

Further, Gerry explains that a stone veneer can take as little as one day to install, so a project can be easily completed before the holidays. Homeowners can select from limitless stone styles, shapes, and patterns, such as ashlar, mosaic, square and rectangle, in any color to match their decor.

“Our nearby stone yard has a vast inventory of our most popular materials, locally-sourced and supplied, so we don’t experience any delays,” notes Gerry. “Having access to quality materials, from bluestone to travertine to pavers, creates an efficiency of workflow unparalleled in the industry.”

For those who have an electric or gas fireplace insert, Gerry notes that surrounding it with a natural stone veneer can create a stunning architectural statement. Additionally, natural stone veneers can also be applied to stone columns, bathrooms and accent walls to alter the feel of the space without making a major overhaul.

“Many people are surprised by the warm feeling that stone actually brings to a room,” adds Gerry.

Homeowners can bring their design vision from concept to reality with Torrison Stone & Garden’s unique computerized process that produces a 3D rendering of the project upgrade.

Besides interior applications, Gerry emphasizes that an exterior natural stone veneer is a beautiful, yet durable choice for step risers, home foundations, siding and poolscapes to boost a home's curb appeal. The company’s own Landscape Architect will create a custom plan to fit any budget.

ABOUT TORRISON STONE & GARDEN
Torrison Stone & Garden is an award-winning landscape construction company specializing in stone and landscape design, installation and maintenance of patios, fire pits, walls, walkways, and pool scapes using a wide selection of natural stones and pavers. Since 2000, the company has worked with homeowners across Connecticut to improve upon and create outdoor living spaces that set the bar for the industry. Its majestic indoor and outdoor showrooms at 422 Main Street in Durham, CT are unlike anything in the Northeast. Take a virtual tour of a fire room, tap room or 10,000 sq ft outdoor showroom for design inspiration. For information, hours and appointments visit www.torrisonstone.com or call 860.349.0119.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 29 Nov 2022 10:23:57 -0500
Girl Scouts of Connecticut Honors “Women Who Shine” with Prestigious Award https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1864-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-honors-women-who-shine-with-prestigious-award1864-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-honors-women-who-shine-with-prestigious-award https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1864-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-honors-women-who-shine-with-prestigious-award1864-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-honors-women-who-shine-with-prestigious-award

During the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, three Connecticut women did their part to brighten the lives of women and girls throughout the state. Girl Scouts of Connecticut (GSOFCT) is honoring these female leaders at its 26th Annual Breakfast Badge Awards ceremony.  This year’s recipients are “Women Who Shine”, exceptional role models recognized for their outstanding achievements in creating solutions for their communities during the pandemic. The fundraising event will take place on Thursday, December 8, 2022, 7:30 a.m. at the Hartford Marriott Downtown located at 200 Columbus Boulevard in Hartford, Connecticut.
 
“These extraordinary women are brilliant leaders who created original programs that helped mitigate serious issues during the pandemic and have made a positive impact on the Connecticut community,” said Diana Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “They have each become beacons of light during a very dark time in our State’s history.”
 
 
This year’s honorees are:

Francine Farkas Sears of Guilford is President of Francine Collections Ltd and Women in Business (WIB) Ltd; women’s business enterprises designing and producing beautiful women’s and girl’s lap top cases, luggage and accessories. Francine has designed 74 clothing and accessory pieces for Girl Scouts of the USA and has spent a lifetime mentoring girls and women. By example, she has instilled the values of confidence, courage and hard work and has demonstrated the importance of philanthropy. At the beginning of the pandemic she procured and distributed 20,000 K95 masks to inner-city hospitals. Francine has held many sample sales to benefit the local community and her donations to various causes are numerous.
 
Jendayi Scott-Miller from Hartford is Founder, CEO, and President of Angel of Edgewood (AOE), a non-profit organization dedicated to working on the issue of food insecurity in the state. AOE provides grocery giveaways, business development, workforce training and an entrepreneur training program for those in the Greater Hartford area. Jendayi was named one of 2021’s 100 Women of Color in the Hartford area and one of 50 “Magic Makers” selected by Disney from 300,000 nominations nationwide. Magic Makers are people and organizations that stepped up and helped out during the pandemic.
 
Melanie Sinche is from West Hartford and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Director, Career Development Center and Executive Director of Women's Leadership Center at the University of St. Joseph. Her career passion is to embrace, empower and engage an individual’s strengths and dreams to make their world a better place for all. She has a significant background in bioscience, healthcare, and STEM areas at some of the country’s most highly respected universities. After 2020, when Connecticut and the world were experiencing a time of “darkness”, Melanie designed a career development program for area women in healthcare so that they could network, share experiences and learn from each other, while teaching USJ mentors how to use their grit and persistence to overcome the various challenges of the pandemic.
 
Besides the stellar stories shared by each honoree, the keynote speaker of “Women Who Shine” is Elizabeth Driscoll Jorgensen, CADC of Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, CT and a Consultant to Newport Healthcare. She is the author of Delay Your Gray: How to Keep Your Teen Safe and Yourself Sane based on her 30 years of experience with adolescent and adult psychotherapy and counseling. She is a nationally recognized expert in counseling, particularly in engaging resistant teens and motivating them to change. Liz has received a Congressional Award in 1994 for her work in treatment innovation and prevention and was recently featured in the Netflix documentary, “Take Your Pills.”
 
Rounding out the roster is Tricia Hyacinth, Chairperson of the 26th Annual Breakfast Badge Awards and member of Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Board of Directors.  She is also Founding Executive Director of Five Frogs, Inc., the only statewide, multi-sector leadership development organization building a movement for equity in Connecticut. She comes to the role following nine years with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation where she was Sr. Director of the Fund for Women & Girls. There, Tricia oversaw the Fund’s grantmaking portfolio, annual fundraiser, thought leadership initiatives that advance gender equity, and grew the Fund’s visibility. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Tricia served as Program Manager of Community Engagement at Hands On Hartford, an affiliate of the national Hands On Network. In May 2018, Tricia was awarded the Excellence in Public Service Award for her contribution in the area of philanthropy on behalf of the Milford Connecticut Chapter of Links, Inc. She holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
 
All proceeds from the Breakfast Badge fundraiser support the Annual Fund for GSOFCT to sustain its mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character. The Fund promotes affordable and accessible programming throughout the year for over 18,000 girl-members and provides essential resources for more than 9,000 adult volunteers, offering opportunities for girls to participate in the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Leadership Experience across the four program pillars; STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship. Tickets are $85 or $1,500 for a table of 10.
 
“These women exemplify Girl Scout values by courageously facing the unknown with an unwavering passion to step up when their community is in need,” said Mahoney. “We encourage everyone to join us to hear their inspirational stories.”
 
For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and event details visit www.gsofct.org.
 
About Girl Scouts of Connecticut
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit gsofct.org.
 
 
PHOTO: Jendayi Scott-Miller of Hartford, Francine Farkas Sears of Guilford, and Melanie Sinche from West Hartford are the three at the prestigious 26th Annual Breakfast Badge Awards hosted by Girls Scouts of Connecticut on December 8, 2022 in Hartford, Connecticut.  This year’s theme is “Women Who Shine”.
Credit: Girl Scouts of Connecticut
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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 29 Nov 2022 07:35:26 -0500
Four Girl Scouts of Connecticut Connected to New Moon Rocket Mission https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1863-four-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-connected-to-new-moon-rocket-mission1863-four-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-connected-to-new-moon-rocket-mission https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1863-four-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-connected-to-new-moon-rocket-mission1863-four-girl-scouts-of-connecticut-connected-to-new-moon-rocket-mission

Girl Scouts of Connecticut (GSOFCT) proudly announce that four local Girl Scouts are winners of the national “Girl Scouts to the Moon and Back” essay contest. Girl Scouts of the USA sponsored the competition during the summer to give troops a chance to win a Space Science badge that’s actually been to space on NASA’s Artemis I moon rocket. The Artemis I launched on November 16, 2022.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment considering that there are only 90 winners in the entire country,” says Diana Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “The girls will have to wait a bit to receive their prize—but we think it will be well worth it!” 

The essays revolved around the topic of travelling to the moon and required the Girl Scouts to use their creative writing skills, as well as research facts from NASA and include current information on the planets.

The four winners from GSOFCT are:

  • Lila Schlissel, an Ambassador in troop 50105 from Danbury, CT
  • Madeleine Corbin, a Junior in troop 62007 from Middletown, CT
  • Ruby Weiner, a Juliette from Ridgefield, CT
  • Nadia Khokhar, a Cadette in troop 60617 from Branford, CT

Mahoney explains the Artemis 1 mission will be an uncrewed test flight that orbits the moon and returns to Earth with 90 Girl Scout Space Science badges on board. This mission is NASA’s first step toward the goal of sending the first woman and the first person of color to the moon.

The winners received congratulatory videos from Cindy Marten, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, and Pam Melroy, Deputy Administrator at NASA.

“This is one of many Girl Scout initiatives to encourage interest in the STEM field,” adds Mahoney. “Everyone is encouraged to follow along and participate in Artemis I activities before, during, and after the launch on the Girl Scouts’ NASA page.”

About Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit www.gsofct.org.

PHOTO: (from left to right): Lila Schlissel from Danbury, Madeleine Corbin of Middletown, Ruby Weiner of Ridgefield and Nadia Khokhar from Branford are among 90 national winners of the “Girl Scouts to the Moon and Back” essay contest. The four Girl Scouts of Connecticut will receive a commemorative Space Science badge that travels on NASA’s Artemis I moon rocket.

Courtesy of: Girl Scouts of Connecticut

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Tue, 29 Nov 2022 07:25:19 -0500
A Warm Holiday Home Starts with Natural Stone https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1862-a-warm-holiday-home-starts-with-natural-stone1862-a-warm-holiday-home-starts-with-natural-stone https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1862-a-warm-holiday-home-starts-with-natural-stone1862-a-warm-holiday-home-starts-with-natural-stone

Stockings hung on a fireplace mantle with festive decorations are often the focal point for cozy holiday family gatherings, photo opps and memorable moments.  But if your fireplace is in dire need of an upgrade, there’s still time to spruce it up with low-cost, natural stone veneers. Torrison Stone & Garden, an award-winning landscape construction company in Durham, is bringing the hot new interior design trend to Connecticut homes this cold winter season.

“Stone veneers offer contemporary, yet classic elegance inside various areas of one’s house,” said Tyler Gerry, owner of Torrison Stone & Garden in Durham. “Made from natural stone, veneers are simple to install and best of all, provide a 150% increase in a home’s value and return on investment if a person decides to sell.”

Gerry explains that a stone veneer can take as little as one day to install, so a project can be easily completed before the holidays. Homeowners can select from limitless stone styles, shapes, and patterns, such as ashlar, mosaic, square and rectangle, in any color to match their decor.

“Our nearby stone yard has a vast inventory of our most popular materials, locally-sourced and supplied, so we don’t experience any delays,” notes Gerry. “Having access to quality materials, from bluestone to travertine to pavers, creates an efficiency of workflow unparalleled in the industry.”

For those who have an electric or gas fireplace insert, Gerry notes that surrounding it with a natural stone veneer can create a stunning architectural statement. Additionally, natural stone veneers can also be applied to stone columns, bathrooms and accent walls to alter the feel of the space without making a major overhaul.

“Many people are surprised by the warm feeling that stone actually brings to a room,” adds Gerry. “It isn’t cold or dungeon-like, but warm and inviting with texture and dimension.”

Further, homeowners can bring their design vision from concept to reality with Torrison Stone & Garden’s unique computerized process that produces a 3D rendering of the project upgrade.

Besides interior applications, Gerry emphasizes that an exterior natural stone veneer is a beautiful, yet durable choice for step risers, home foundations, siding and pool scapes to boost a home's curb appeal. The company’s own Landscape Architect will create a custom plan to fit any budget.

 Popular outdoor areas for natural stone veneers include:

  • Patios
  • Walls
  • Walkways
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Pizza Ovens
  • Fireplaces
  • Firepits
  • Steps
  • Pool scapes

The talented team at Torrison Stone & Garden is also committed to giving back to the community and was selected as the first recipient of the Blue-Ribbon Business Award in Durham for donating its time and services to the local community.  The company offers free yard clean-ups to local veterans during the spring and fall months, and has regularly participated in the annual Relay for Life event in Durham.

ABOUT TORRISON STONE & GARDEN

Torrison Stone & Garden is an award-winning landscape construction company specializing in stone and landscape design, installation and maintenance of patios, fire pits, walls, walkways, and pool scapes using a wide selection of natural stones and pavers. Since 2000, the company has worked with homeowners across Connecticut to improve upon and create outdoor living spaces that set the bar for the industry. Its majestic indoor and outdoor showrooms at 422 Main Street in Durham, CT are unlike anything in the Northeast. Take a virtual tour of a fire room, tap room or 10,000 sq ft outdoor showroom for design inspiration. For information, hours and appointments visit www.torrisonstone.com or call 860.349.0119.

PHOTO:

Natural stone veneers are in-demand by discerning Connecticut homeowners due to their affordability, durability and quick installation ability. Torrison Stone & Garden, an award-winning landscape construction company in Durham, is bringing the hot new interior design trend to homes of all styles and sizes this winter season. 

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Mon, 07 Nov 2022 05:57:40 -0500
CT Alzheimer’s Care Specialists Help Families Keep Loved Ones at Home https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1861-ct-alzheimer-s-care-specialists-help-families-keep-loved-ones-at-home1861-ct-alzheimer-s-care-specialists-help-families-keep-loved-ones-at-home https://news.hamlethub.com/hartfordcc/life/1861-ct-alzheimer-s-care-specialists-help-families-keep-loved-ones-at-home1861-ct-alzheimer-s-care-specialists-help-families-keep-loved-ones-at-home

There are currently 80,000 people living with Alzheimer's disease in Connecticut. While some families may opt for care at a facility, local home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. has developed new solutions in combination with technological devices to ensure comprehensive care at home.

“We know from experience that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis poses real challenges for the entire family,” explains Mario D’Aquila, MBA, Chief Operating Officer of Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) and Senior VP of Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. (ALT). “It may seem overwhelming, but we can offer guidance since 90% of our clients have some degree of dementia.”

D’Aquila notes that if families want to keep their loved one living at home, they need to be prepared for the responsibilities, which include managing medications, monitoring every-day activities, ensuring home safety, and addressing loneliness and isolation.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are new medications that can slow progression and lesson symptoms. According to D’Aquila, Alzheimer’s patients in mild to moderate stages of the disease can significantly improve medication compliance with today’s technology. Automated Medication Dispensers provide both visual and auditory alert, and can even send a call to the patient as a reminder, as well as notify caregivers if a regimen is not being followed. ALS has experienced compliance near 95% with clients across Connecticut who use these dispensers.

“Families should partner with a trusted provider who can create a strong plan for day-to-day care management and ensure it is continually implemented,” said D’Aquila. “Even better, is an agency like ALS that has management staff who are Certified Dementia Care Practitioners (CDP®).”

Administered through the National Council of Certified Dementia Care Practitioners, the CDP® certification represents that the front line staff and health care professional has received comprehensive knowledge in the area of dementia care and completed the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care course/seminar. The CDP® commits to ongoing professional development and re-certification every two years. The certification reflects a deep personal commitment to maintaining the dementia patient’s quality of life physically, emotionally and socially.

In addition to quality of care, families also need to compare the cost of a facility versus in-home. If the client qualifies for Medicaid, they may be eligible for the CT Homecare Program for Elders which pays for in home care. This program can benefit those with cognitive disabilities and memory impairment brought on by Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and other dementia related disorders. ALS is a credentialed provider for this state program.

“Because we are a contracted provider of the CT Homecare Program for Elders, caregivers are required to take Alzheimer’s and dementia care training,” said D’Aquila. “Most of our in-home staff also have previous experience caring for people with dementia.”

In conjunction with personal care, the sister company of ALS, Assisted Living Technologies, Inc., offers a wide variety of primarily wireless, sensor-based technologies for a second layer of security. Stovetop fire prevention devices, personal body worn GPS locators, automatic fall detection sensors, video-visit systems and more provide constant monitoring.

“Wandering is one of the most dangerous behaviors of Alzheimer’s and may happen earlier in the disease than families expect,” said D’Aquila. “Today’s technology allows us to set up a virtual safety net inside and outside a home to ensure the wellbeing of a loved one.”

D’Aquila explains that discreet wireless sensors placed throughout a home can detect motion, activity from room-to-room, exiting, sleep patterns, and even moisture to help caregivers address an issue before it leads to something more serious.

D'Aquila encourages family caregivers to visit the ALT Technology Arts Gallery in Cheshire to view and experience all of the latest devices that can assist with every aspect of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient. All of the products are available online as well.

“Families need to know that they don’t have to go it alone when caring for a loved one,” concluded D’Aquila. “There are countless resources and support to ease the stress.”

About Assisted Living Service, Inc.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) in Cheshire and Westport has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Its unique CarePlus program blends personal care by over 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence”, a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingct.com or calling 203.634.8668.

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kathy@alliancesbyalisa.com (Alisa Gaudiosi) Life Mon, 31 Oct 2022 06:48:08 -0400