Newmilford's HamletHub Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:01:50 -0400 Blood Drives Near New Milford, Urgent Need Before Summer Ends

With many regular donors delaying giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

While thousands of donors have rolled up a sleeve this summer, blood and platelet donations aren’t keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give through Aug. 29 with a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for New Milford through August 31

Town Date Address
New Milford 8/14/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. New Milford Community Ambulance Corp., 1 Scovill Street
New Milford 8/28/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. New Milford Hospital, 21 Elm Street

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


]]> (Red Cross) Events Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:37:57 -0400
Blossoms and Butterflies Adult Ed Bus Trip September 22

This trip includes moderate walking!  Enjoy nature’s beauty and bounty in several different venues.  Our first stop is the Yankee Candle flagship store in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  After a time it’s on to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens. Magic Wings is an 18,200 square foot facility including an 8,000 square foot glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths and tropical vegetation.  Year-round, the conservatory is set at 80 degrees creating a tropical-like environment. 

Next, lunch at the Deerfield Inn.  The menu includes a choice of Apple-Brandy Pork Loin, Herb Crusted White Fish (topped with toasted herbed crumbs with a sundried tomato beurre blanc) or Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Breast. The meal comes with warmed rolls and butter, baby green salad, coffee, tea, and dessert. Please select your entree choice from the drop-down menu when registering.

We end our trip of beautiful things by spending some time at the Bridge of Flowers. It was built in 1908 by the Shelburne Fall Our trip ends at the Bridge of Flowers, built-in 1908.  It began as a freight destination for the Shelburne Falls and Colrain Street Railway. After it was abandoned in 1927, Antoinette Burnham imagined it becoming a garden bridge.  It became a reality thanks to volunteers like the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club.

Learn more and register here.

]]> (New Milford Adult Education) Neighbors Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:39:59 -0400
Many Connecticut Cities Ranked Highest for Number of Nonprofits

New Milford and other nearby cities data can be seen on the chart below.

The Bridgeport Region ranks 20th for the US regions with the highest concentrations of nonprofit organizations according to Governing Magazine.  The Bridgeport metro area has a total of 1,391 nonprofits, which translates to 14.7 per 10,000 population.

The number of nonprofits in towns near New Milford are:

City # of Charities Value of Assets
Bridgewater, CT 23 $12,721,123
Brookfield, CT 78 $22,893,833
Gaylordsville, CT 5 $1,213,122
Marbledale, CT 1 $1
New Fairfield, CT 57 $4,033,563
New Miford, CT 1 $0
New Milford, CT 165 $274,930,876
New Preston, CT 12 $15,695,397
Roxbury, CT 23 $59,007,430
Sherman, CT 27 $15,316,119
South Kent, CT 7 $45,770,397
Washington, CT 21 $88,913,373
Washington Depot, CT 4 $29,616,136
Washington Dt, CT 18 $84,802,002

The magazine studied all of the regions in the United States to try to determine why some regions have more charities than others, and they found some interesting results. "What we found was that the concentration of locally focused nonprofits doesn’t just vary from one part of the country to another -- it varies a lot. The top 10 metro areas on our list have more than twice the number of nonprofits per capita as all those in the bottom quarter."

Other regions in the top 20 according to Governor Magazine include:

Metro Area Nonprofits
Nonprofits Per 10k Pop
Barnstable Town, MA 517 24.2
Pittsfield, MA 286 22.6
Santa Fe, NM 285 19
Missoula, MT 219 18.4
Ithaca, NY 187 18.2
Springfield, IL 358 17.2
Trenton, NJ 634 17.1
Bismarck, ND 222 16.7
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 366 16.6
Madison, WI 1,094 16.6
Napa, CA 231 16.6
Boulder, CO 538 16.5
Duluth, MN-WI 447 16
Fairbanks, AK 157 15.9
Great Falls, MT 130 15.9
Glens Falls, NY 198 15.8
Jefferson City, MO 234 15.4
Portland-South Portland, ME 813 15.2
Anchorage, AK 595 14.9
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 1,391 14.7


Other Connecticut regions on the list include:

  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford with 1,576 nonprofits
  • New Haven-Milford with 1,082 nonprofits
  • Norwich-New London with 318 nonprofits

The governing analysis is based on data published by The National Center for Charitable Statistics.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Charities Thu, 15 Aug 2019 04:30:00 -0400
RVNA Health Source: What You Need To Know About Flip Flops

When you think of the scourges of summer, mosquitoes, ticks and dizzying heat are probably among the first annoyances that come to mind. 

But another health hazard that affects countless individuals during the warmer months are … drumroll, please… flip flops, according to Gigi Weiss, MSPT, RVNA’s Director of Rehabilitation Services. 

Flip flops are breezy and cool, so what makes them so dangerous? 

Explains Weiss: “Their appealing characteristics – lightweight, minimally structured, easy to slip in and out of – often lead to debilitating conditions, including back pain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.” 

Your aching back 

For starters, says Weiss, many flip flops have thin soles and minimal arch support. “This can wreak havoc on your kinetic chain - the muscles, connective tissues, joints, bones and nerves that work together – and cause back or knee pain.” 

Heel and lower-leg pain 

Another threat unique to flip flops is that tiny thong that separates your big toe from the rest of its partners. While this design allows your feet plenty of room to breathe, it also means that the tendons in your toes need to work constantly to grip the bottom of your footwear. 

This, says Weiss, often leads to plantar fasciitis – a painful condition resulting from inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. 

Traveling a bit farther up the leg, another area where you might experience discomfort is in the Achilles tendon. This largest tendon in your body connects your calf to your heel bone, notes Weiss. “Flip flops that lack support and structure cause the Achilles tendon to strain in unnatural ways, particularly if you have low arches or flat feet.” 

What to do? 

Patients who visit RVNA Rehab with the conditions described above are generally prescribed a routine that includes biomechanical stretches to address the underlying symptoms, says Weiss. But, she adds, prevention is the best medicine. “If you must wear flip flops, purchase a pair with good orthotic support. And try to avoid wearing flip flops exclusively.”

]]> (Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, President & CEO) Life Tue, 13 Aug 2019 18:36:37 -0400
Meet 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Face, Donna Mae Gardiner-Spano

On October 3, 2019, the 11th Annual Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House in Ridgefield. This event supports Ann’s Place while putting a spotlight on local breast cancer survivors.

The photo you see here is one of Kristen Jensen’s “Courageous Faces”. This and many other photos of cancer survivors, and those in the midst of treatment will blanket the walls of the Lounsbury House telling a story of life, struggle, friendship, and hope.

Here, we couple the many Courageous Faces with their unique stories. We thank each and every one of these ladies for sharing their journey with us.

Visit Crowdrise HERE to support the 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Faces. 

Meet Drink Pink model and Courageous Face, Donna Mae Gardiner-Spano

Hometown: Southbury 

When and how did you first learn you had breast cancer? 

I have always had issues with my breasts.  They were Dense and always required both Mammography and Ultrasound.   On a routine visit to my radiologist back in March of 2009, the cancer was picked up on the Ultrasound and not the Mammography.

Who did you turn to for support and how was that person or organization supportive? 

Back in 2009, my warrior husband succumbed to cancer 3 months after I was diagnosed.   He was my supporter as I was his for the 4 years he was ill prior to that. I also have two wonderful sisters whom I am very close to.  

Tell me about something someone said or did that helped you through your most difficult days 

The company I work for ExecuNet got me through those tough times and allowed me to take the time I needed to heal from my cancer and also the loss of my husband.  When I went back to work – got all sorts of compliments on how great my hair looked very gray and short. Since then, I’ve gone back to color and longer hair.

What was your photoshoot with Kristen Jensen and your day of beauty at Adam Broderick?   

The best thing about that day was my one on one with Kristen.  I loved that she indicated she needed to interview me and not just shoot photos.  Having your pictures taken like you’re a real model was quite an experience for me.   Kristen talked while she did the shoot which relaxed me. Quite a wonderful lady. Adam Broderick experience was wonderful.  The lady who did my makeup was beautiful and made me feel pretty and confident about my makeup. The young lady that did my hair was adorable and got it perfect.

What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer?

 Stay positive, exercise, go to support groups and you will beat cancer’s ass!

Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House, located at 316 Main Street in Ridgefield on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Learn more about Ann’s Place here.

Support the 2019 Drink Pink models and Ann’s Place by making a donation HERE.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Tue, 13 Aug 2019 08:09:52 -0400
Governor Lamont Takes Additional Action to Move Connecticut Port Authority Forward

Furthering his commitment to exercise intrusive leadership and assess the operations and management of the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA), Governor Ned Lamont today announced the implementation of several measures by his administration to ensure continued success of the quasi-public state agency under the highest standards of transparency and fiscal best practices; consummate a historic partnership with the offshore wind industry to make Connecticut the hub of renewable energy development in the Northeast; and provide continued access for traditional maritime commerce in New London and throughout Connecticut’s other ports.


The actions Governor Lamont announced today include:

  1. Independent Review of CPA Finances and Management: The governor has directed CPA Acting Chair David Kooris, who sits on the board as a designee of the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, to engage an independent firm to audit the authority’s financial and management practices, including recommendations to make the CPA a model of good governance, accountability, and transparency.

    In addition, the governor has directed Kooris to work with the independent auditors and retired submarine base commander Captain Paul Whitescarver to ensure that their reviews include the board’s bylaws and internal conflict of interest guidelines, as well as the memorandum of understanding between the CPA and the Connecticut Department of Transportation regarding State Pier operations.

    Governor Lamont also plans to work collaboratively with legislative leaders to identify any necessary statutory changes, including the makeup and oversight of the board, as well as examine potential changes in current membership of the board.
  2. OPM Secretary to Oversee CPA Finances: The governor has directed the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management to take a direct and active part in the financial decisions of the CPA board through her official position on the board as well as her role as the state’s chief fiscal officer. The governor expects the secretary to have active involvement in and oversight of any financial decisions made by staff until completion of the independent audit and the management review.
  3. Prioritize Wind Deal: The governor has directed Kooris and his other appointees who are ex-officio voting members to hold all board business that is not directly related to moving the offshore wind deal forward or to honoring existing contracts until after completion of the Harbor Development Agreement and completion of the independent audit and management review. This will ensure timely review and execution of an historic partnership that will make Connecticut the center of the Northeastern offshore wind industry and greatly increase economic potential at the State Pier for decades to come.
  4. Governor Accepts Resignation of CPA Board Member Scott Bates: The governor today noted with appreciation for his outstanding record of selfless and honest service the resignation of former CPA chair Scott Bates from the board. Bates was instrumental in the formation of the CPA as its first chair and in the major successes it has had in its first few years. In addition to being the driving force behind recruiting the offshore wind industry to Connecticut, Bates led negotiation of a 20-year port operations contract that attracted substantial private investment to the State Pier, more than doubled its revenues, and ensured a steady and increasing income stream for the City of New London.
Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont
]]> (Office of the Governor. ) Politics Mon, 12 Aug 2019 07:02:29 -0400
Michaels Jewelers In Torrington To Begin Closing Sale Aug. 16

After 93 years in Torrington, the inventory of Michaels Jewelers store at 80 Main Street will be offered through a closing sale that is open to the public on Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM. All warranty concerns, repair services, merchandise pickups, and any other customer needs will be fulfilled at the Michaels Avon location.

Mark Michaels, owner of the ten Michaels Jewelers stores across Connecticut, announced that “Having opened the Torrington store in the mid-1920s, we thank our customers, the city of Torrington and our landlord, the Warner Theater, for their support spanning over nine decades. The decision to close was difficult, however, we recognize our need to evolve and meet our customer’s shopping preferences through our other Michaels locations, especially at the Avon Market Place. We will continue to support our community programs and our ongoing commitment to give back to the Torrington community.”

Originally opened on Water Street in Torrington in 1926, the store was moved to 80 Main Street to coincide with the 1931 opening of the Warner Theater as part of the Warner Bros. movie theater chain.

Ken Bacon, manager of the Torrington Michaels Jewelers store for the past 30 years, and also manager of the Avon Michaels Jewelers store for the past 3 years, commented, “Our team of diamond and fine jewelry professionals are looking forward to serving our loyal long term friends and customers, and the new ones as well, one last time at the Torrington store. We are preparing our vast inventory for the general public Store Closing Sale that will begin on Friday, August 16 and run for a few short weeks.

With nine remaining stores across the state, Michaels Jewelers is Connecticut’s leading retailer of engagement rings, fine jewelry, repair services, and appraisals. This family-run business was founded in 1885 in Novia Scotia by Abraham L. Michaels and has been managed most recently by fourth-generation family member W. Mark Michaels, as CEO, and fifth-generation family member Lindsay Michaels-Gorski as director of marketing.

Michaels Jewelers stores are currently located in Avon, Bristol, Danbury, and Orange, plus several well-known malls including Westfarms, Manchester’s Buckland Hills, Westfield Trumbull, Westfield Meriden and Waterbury’s Brass Mill Center. During this coming fall 2019, they will open their first out-of-state store in a Maryland MGM Casino.

Michaels has been the first jeweler in Connecticut to earn Certified Gemologist and Appraiser titles, and it possesses one of the few AGS Accredited Gem Laboratories in Connecticut. Michaels has consistently brought the most desirable jewelry brands and products to their customers, from Pandora to the diamond standard of quality, their Hearts and Arrows Bridal and Diamond Jewelry. Additionally, they annually contribute to multiple community programs funded from the Michaels Jewelers Foundation

For more information on all the Michaels Jewelers, visit

]]> (Barbara Branagan-Mitchell) Places Thu, 08 Aug 2019 07:21:05 -0400
Meet 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Face Kristen Hatcher-Fontaine and Support Ann's Place on October 3

On October 3, 2019, the 11th Annual Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House in Ridgefield. This event supports Ann’s Place while putting a spotlight on local breast cancer survivors.

The photo you see here is one of Kristen Jensen’s “Courageous Faces”. This and many other photos of cancer survivors, and those in the midst of treatment will blanket the walls of the Lounsbury House telling a story of life, struggle, friendship, and hope.

Here, we couple the many Courageous Faces with their unique stories. We thank each and every one of these ladies for sharing their journey with us.

Visit Crowdrise HERE to support the 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Faces. 

Meet Drink Pink model and Courageous Face, Kristen Hatcher-Fontaine

 When and how did you first learn you had breast cancer?

 As the daughter of a mother who died from breast cancer, I was always aware of the importance of checking my breasts. I noticed a lump very close to the nipple. It was quite large, about the size of a quarter. At first, I waited and told myself it was nothing and it would go away. It didn't go away in a week so I made an appointment with my breast surgeon and he got me in very quickly. That's when things moved fast -  my world changed in an instant. When the biopsy came back, it indicated that the lump was not cancerous but all the tissue around it was. If I didn't have the lump it would have been a very long time before I would have realized I had cancer. My biggest fears were now coming true - I was 47 years old with two small children ages 7 and 9 and I had an aggressive type of Breast Cancer.

 Who did you turn to for support and how was that person or organization supportive? 

My friends and family became a source of comfort and support for me. My sister and my husband became my advocates and nurses. I had a close friend who rallied around me and created a website so both my family and I could feel supported. I had friends who sat with me through chemo and entertained me during long days of recovery.

Friends and family from all over the country provided, meals, Reiki sessions, laundry service, house cleaning, grocery shopping, babysitting, activities for my kids to attend, rides, cards, gifts and positive support throughout my journey. It was nice not to have to worry about the day to day running of my household. Their help allowed my husband and I to focus on treatments and fighting. 

 I had been involved with Ann’s Place for a few years as a volunteer but now I needed their services for me. I began attending some activities at Ann's Place. I met an amazing group of people who took me in and helped me in a time when things seemed so dark. I received guidance and knowledge about this disease from first-hand survivors. 

Ann’s Place was very critical to my recovery. My children also participated in many of the different programs Ann’s Place had to offer.They loved it. This has helped them adjust to the changes we have had to face as a family.  Thanks to Ann’s Place I now see myself as a survivor.

In prep for your photoshoot with Kristen Jensen, you got your beauty ON at adam broderick salon & spa! Tell me about your photoshoot with Kristen and beauty day at adam broderick 

After I got cancer so many things in my life changed. Not just physical changes but mental changes too. I have really been working on trying to get myself back out there and try new things. 

I applied for the photoshoot with the encouragement of my husband. I thought I would never get chosen. When I did, I had to face my fears of having people look at me. I had to go in front of the camera and people a side of me that was still very raw.

 I was absolutely terrified to go back to a salon and have a makeover because for the last year, I didn't look like myself and the new me had very little hair, no eyelashes, and no eyebrows. I thought, what are they going to do with me? Well, to my surprise I met with the makeup artist at AB and she worked her magic.  I learned how to apply makeup and accent different parts of my face so I didn't look like a cancer patient. This was a great confidence boost for me. It was a great opportunity to show how far I had come through this bumpy journey.  Cancer isn't always pretty and neat. It's not always about pink ribbons and cancer walks. It can be gritty, tough,scaring, raw and beautiful all at the same time. 

When I arrived at Kristen’s Studio she made me feel like I was her only priority. She welcomed me like I was an old friend. She made me feel comfortable and she really makes you feel special. She is very creative and she sees the special part of everyone she photographs. It was an incredible experience and I'm honored to represent Ann’s Place for this great cause.

Tell me about something someone said or did that helped you through your most difficult days

 My cousin gave me a plaque with the quote on it: You are stronger than you know until strong is the only choice you have.

What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Be your best advocate and let people help you. It was so hard to let other people help me because I thought I would never need the help - but I needed to focus all my energy on fighting. 

I was so lucky to have a strong husband and a great core group of people to help me.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent Ann’s Place.  It truly has been a blessing at a time when my family was living its biggest fears. 

Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House, located at 316 Main Street in Ridgefield on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Learn more about Ann’s Place here.

Support the 2019 Drink Pink models and Ann’s Place by making a donation HERE.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Wed, 07 Aug 2019 10:19:00 -0400
New Milford Hospital’s Eating Well program provides extra support to couple during husband’s skin cancer treatment

Diane and Phil Hannah started their lifelong journey together as neighbors who would talk to each other from their bedroom windows. They were high school sweethearts before they married in 1952. They supported each other through 67 years of marriage, four sons, six grandchildren, five great grandchildren and most recently, Diane’s heart surgery and Phil’s skin cancer diagnosis. Diane and Phil now needed additional support, and they found it through New Milford Hospital’s Eating Well program.

Undergoing Treatment for Skin Cancer

In November 2018, Phil was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, on his nose. Then, in April 2019, he was again diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma — this time, on his head.

Under the care of Joseph Bargellini, MD, radiation oncologist at the New Milford Hospital Diebold Family Cancer Center, Phil had 16 rounds of radiation therapy to treat the skin cancer on his nose. He also had 20 rounds of radiation therapy to treat the skin cancer on his head.

Diane, steadfast by Phil’s side, took him to all of his treatments at New Milford Hospital, which were every day, Monday through Friday. Phil walks with assistance and sometimes uses a wheelchair. So getting to the treatments was taxing on Diane and Phil.

Between Diane’s recovery from heart surgery and then caring for Phil, she went from 115 pounds to 104 pounds. The couple had less time and energy to complete everyday household tasks, including grocery shopping and meal preparation.

Diane and Phil raised their family on a farm in Newtown, Connecticut. To this day, they prefer to eat organic, fresh foods and prepare their meals from scratch. Diane used to go to several grocery stores to get specific items, such as goat’s milk, fish, and produce. She also would often prepare meal ingredients in advance, cutting vegetables or sautéing onions in the morning, so the ingredients could be thrown together quickly at dinnertime.

“With Phil’s treatment, I wasn’t sure when I would have time to prepare meals for us anymore,” said Diane. “I couldn’t imagine doing all of the household work, shopping for food, taking Phil to his treatments, then coming home and making supper — all when I wouldn’t have time to prep the food in the morning.”

Diane and Phil don’t dine out and they don’t eat prepackaged food, so the couple just wasn’t eating.

The Eating Well Program

The couple received an unexpected helping hand from Phil’s care team — meal vouchers for New Milford Hospital’s Eating Well program.

The Eating Well program was created in 2017 as an extension of New Milford Hospital’s Plow to Plate program. Plow to Plate meals are freshly prepared onsite with organic ingredients sourced from local farms, antibiotic-free meats, and healthier cooking techniques like grilling instead of frying and no high fructose corn syrup. Plow to Plate meals are available every day for all New Milford Hospital patients, visitors, staff, and community members.

Through the Eating Well program, patients at the Diebold Family Cancer Center and their caregivers receive vouchers for a free, Plow to Plate meal after each chemotherapy or radiation therapy session. Patients and caregivers have the option to dine-in or carry-out from the New Milford Hospital café.

“I was shocked when they gave us the vouchers. I started to cry,” said Diane. “It was such a gift.”

“Diet and nutrition are key components in recovery after illness,” said Kerry Gold, director of dining service at New Milford Hospital. “Our Eating Well program brings local farmers, local culinary students who learn in the New Milford Hospital kitchen, and local donors together to support friends and neighbors in our community who have cancer.”

Kerry and Cindy Tyler, RN, OCN, CBCN, CN-BN, breast care navigator at New Milford Hospital, brought the Eating Well program to life along with dedicated staff from the cancer center and dining services.

“We” Have Cancer

A cancer diagnosis affects more than just the patient — it also affects the caregiver. New Milford Hospital established the Eating Well program to offer comfort to patients and caregivers during a difficult time.

“We hear our patients and their caregivers say, ‘We have cancer’. That’s how much cancer impacts a couple,” said Cindy. “We know that caring for a loved one with cancer can be overwhelming for a caregiver and can take a toll on their well-being too. This is why we include our patients and their caregivers in our Eating Well program — following treatment at the cancer center, they have the added benefit of easy access to healthy, balanced meals from our café.”

Nutritious, Delicious, and Convenient

Diane and Phil appreciate the convenience of the Eating Well program and recognize the benefits, including being able to eat the way they are used to eating — clean, fresh, and local.

“It’s great because New Milford Hospital food service staff cook the way that I do,” said Diane. “It’s important to me that we keep following the diet we like.”

Since participating in the Eating Well program, Diane has gained back some of the weight she lost.

“I’m quite thrilled with the voucher program, it makes life a lot better. I’m especially happy that it’s for Diane too. She does so much for me,” said Phil. “We come to the hospital for my treatments, and then we get a voucher, and bingo! we have food for the day.”

Diane and Phil never miss going to the café. Phil said that although he goes to the hospital for radiation therapy, he looks forward to going to the café and seeing what’s new on the menu. Thanks to the generous servings, the couple said they often had enough food for lunch and dinner.

“They have a wonderful selection,” said Phil. “The menus are well thought out and varied, and the food is excellent. We can go and pick up what we want, and we get something for both of us.”

Diane’s favorite Plow to Plate items include salmon, vegetable soup, and the salad bar. Phil enjoys the chicken pot pie, different types of fish, and freshly prepared soups — especially potato and leek.

Diane and Phil said that the Eating Well program is one of the things that contributed to their positive care experience at New Milford Hospital’s Diebold Family Cancer Center.

“The cancer center is a special place. We’re part of a family,” said Diane said. “I’m very much ‘pro’ the Eating Well program. They’re covering every aspect of a person’s well-being — physical and emotional.”

To learn more about Eating Well and other nutritional programs at New Milford Hospital, like Let’s Get Cooking, visit our website or call Cindy Tyler at 860-210-5302.

Catch up on the latest news at New Milford Hospital. Visit today!

]]> (Amy Forni) Neighbors Tue, 06 Aug 2019 09:19:16 -0400
CT BBB: Back to School Shopping Tips


CROMWELL, Conn.—It may seem like you still have a little time left for summer fun—but it's already time to start thinking back–to–school. 
With back-to-school specials already popping up in stores, parents and students can start their shopping early and spread it out to avoid a hefty back-to-school shopping bill all at once.
According to the National Retail Federation families with children in elementary school through high school plan to spend an average $696.70 compared to families with college students who are expected to spend an average of $976.78. Overall, consumers are expected to spend a combined $80.7 billion for back–to–school and back–to–college shopping. 
Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut offers up the following tips on how to shop smart when starting your back-to-school or back-to-college shopping:
  • Make a list. You can either wait for the school supplies list to come out, or start shopping without it. Even if you don’t have the exact list, you should have an idea of what to purchase regarding school clothes, and basic supplies. Write it down and stick to it! Impulse buying can jack up your overall total in a hurry.
  • Shop your home. You may already have some of the items from last year hidden in your home. Why purchase the same thing twice?
  • Look for the sales. Compare prices between different retail stores, save your coupons, sign up for email alerts and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help you get the best deals, saving you a nice chunk of dough.
  • Bring your own bag. Connecticut retailers are now required to collect a $0.10 fee per single use plastic checkout bag. Not all retailers may have made the switch to paper so avoid the plastic bag fee and "bring your own bag" (BYOB) to carry your items.
  • Research big ticket items. Before purchasing that expensive laptop, tablet or dorm refrigerator, be sure to do your research. Research the brands, warranty, customer reviews and the prices at various stores to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Ask for student discounts. Many stores and software companies offer discounts to students that have either an .edu email address or a student ID. Even if you don’t see a discount advertised at the store, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Know the return policies and save your receipts. Ask about return policies before making your purchase. Be sure to save your receipts just in case you have to return the item later.
  • Shop safely online. When shopping from an online website the first step is to make sure the URL starts with “https” and includes a lock symbol. An unknown website may offer a similar product at a lower price but the lowest price isn’t always the best route. Read reviews or check out the retailer on and always use a credit card or PayPal if possible. 
Shop tax free!
Connecticut residents have another way to save money too, which is to shop during Sales Tax Free Week. Beginning the third Sunday of August, Connecticut residents can shop tax free for most clothing and footwear sold for less than $100.
The 2019 Connecticut Sales Tax Free Week runs Sunday, August 18th, through Saturday, August 24th, 2019.
For a list of items exempt during Tax Free Week click here.
For more information on how to shop smart online click here.






]]> (Luke Frey ) Public safety Mon, 05 Aug 2019 06:11:16 -0400
New Milford Hospital Announces Fall Series of Strong People Strong Bones Classes

New Milford Hospital is hosting fitness classes for middle-aged and older men and women to increase strength, balance, and flexibility. Strong People Strong Bones is a nationally recognized fitness program designed to prevent and reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia and promote general health and wellness.

September 9 to October 25, 2019
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday (Pick 2)
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:15 AM
Cost: $90.00 for 2 classes per week (7 weeks/14 classes)

September 12 to October 24, 2019
Days: Thursday
Time: 4:45 to 6:00PM
Cost: $55.00 (7 weeks/7 classes)

Classes are located at New Milford Hospital Campus: 30 Elm Street, New Milford, CT 06776

Classes are open to the community. For more information, contact Lisa Lee, Strong People Strong Bones Leader from New Milford Hospital, at 860-614-1737.

About The Strong People Strong Bones Program
The Strong People Strong Bones Program was developed by Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., associate professor at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The program is based upon years of research on how strength training and nutrition improve the health of men and women of all ages. “Strength is a critical factor in living healthier, more active lives. Our research shows that a program of strength training not only improves bone density but reduces falls, improves arthritis symptoms and increases flexibility and strength,” said Dr. Nelson. This program is designed to increase strength, balance, and flexibility, and is appropriate for both sedentary and very active people. Classes are led by Lisa Marie Lee, an instructor who was certified to teach the program by Dr. Nelson, its founder.

]]> (Amy Forni) Events Sun, 04 Aug 2019 13:06:30 -0400
CT Governor on Mass Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Governor Ned Lamont today released the following statement regarding the mass shootings that occurred this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio: 

“There is a real epidemic of domestic terrorism growing in this country, with at least one of this weekend’s mass shootings reportedly perpetrated by a white nationalist. These are acts of evil generated by an expanding ideology of hatred. It’s far past time that leaders throughout our country take action against this plague that is tearing our nation apart.  We need leadership, particularly in Washington, that will not be owned by special interests. We need leadership that will not cave to the NRA and will act in the best interest of the people of our country. We need action because thoughts and prayers will not stop mass murder.”


]]> (Governor Lamont ) Politics Sun, 04 Aug 2019 05:18:21 -0400
New Milford Big Y Is Reborn

Big Y Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the completion of the renovations at their New Milford, CT World Class Market at 1 Kent Road. This renovation effort began in March and included major renovations in many areas of the 52,672 square foot store and various new additions in response to changing customer needs.

Big Y is continuing its focus on supporting their local community with great partners like Kimberly Farms milk and fresh produce from New Milford, CT; Goat Boys soaps from New Milford, CT; Twin Pines Farms jams and jellies out of Litchfield County, CT; Hummel Brothers Provisions from New Haven, CT; and Lyman Orchards pies out of Middlefield, CT.

The upgraded sales floor now features the all-new Living Well Eating Smart section, which offers hundreds of organic, natural and gluten free products in grocery, health and beauty, dairy and frozen foods, freshly ground nut butters and an ample selection of bulk dry foods. The new layout of the produce department will allow for a greater variety in conventional, organic and local produce.

Additionally, an all-new freshly prepared salad bar has been installed to further enhance the store’s lineup of quick and easy foods. Big Y continues to increase the number of high-quality fresh meal solutions that it offers for its customers to enjoy at home or in the store.

New décor and fixtures in all departments showcase even more products than ever before.

Store Director, Brian Murtha, will continue to manage this store. Murtha has been with Big Y since 1994 where he started as a Meat/Seafood Manager and later an Assistant Store Director. He was promoted to store director in 2006 and assigned to the New Milford location in March of 2019. The store’s most recent remodel was in 2012.

The store is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day.

]]> (Big Y) Places Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:16:46 -0400
Bridgewater, CT Fair - August 16-18, 2019!

The Bridgewater Fair returns for its 68th year - and EVEN BETTER August 16 through August 18 

We have NEW Entertainment/Events/Shows and Exhibitions setup this year. THRILL ACTS! NEW Vendors! NEW Food! NEW Contests! ALL LOCAL BANDS! NEW Goat Show! Toyota Truck Raffle!
And of course, many of our favorites still returning.

August 16-18, 2019
100 Main Street South Bridgewater, CT
**Ask about our Friday Night Ride Pass - Ride all night long for one convenient price!

4:30 PM .......... Racing Pigs
5:00 PM .......... Rides Open
Dissonant Delusion, Progressive Rock
Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
6:00 PM .......... Dock Diving Dogs
6:30 PM .......... Opening Ceremonies .
6:45 PM .......... Firemen's Parade
7:30 PM .......... Racing Pigs
8:00 PM .......... Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show ...... South End
8:30 PM .......... J.R. Waters, Country Band
8:45 PM .......... Skillet Toss
10:00 PM .......... Awarding of Parade Trophies
10:30 PM .......... Racing Pigs
AX THROWING - all day

**Ask about our Friday Night Ride Pass
8:30 AM .......... Sheep Judging
9:00 AM .......... Junior Dairy & Beef Shows
Poultry Junior
Awarding of trophy for Best Animal Show ......
9:30 AM .......... Children's Pet Parade
10:00 AM .......... Racing Pigs
10:30 AM .......... Poultry Judging
Border Collie Demonstration
11:00 AM .......... Pedal Tractor Pull - Ages 10 & under
Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
12:00 PM .......... Dock Diving Dogs
Tractor Mac
12:15 PM .......... Skillet Toss
1:00 AM .......... Antique Tractor Pull
1:15 PM .......... Hay Bale Throw
1:30 PM .......... Racing Pigs
Flash Back, Classic Rock Band ........................... Bandstand
2:00 PM .......... Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
2:15 PM .......... Skillet Toss.
2:30 PM .......... Dock Diving Dogs
3:00 PM .......... Pony Pull
Border Collie Demonstration
4:00 PM .......... Mattson Rose, Country Band
4:30 PM .......... Racing Pigs
5:00 PM .......... Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
Dock Diving Dogs
6:30 PM .......... GoodTime Charlies Band, Classic Rock
Border Collie Demonstration ......................... Sheep Tent
Racing Pigs .................................................... North End
7:30 PM .......... Dock Diving Dogs
8:00 PM .......... Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
9:00 PM .......... The Creative Force Band, Classic Rock
10:30 PM ......... Racing Pigs
AX THROWING - all day

10:00 AM ......... Ox Judgingh Ring
Racing Pigs
Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
11:00 AM ......... Ox Drawing
Pedal Tractor Pull - Ages 10 & under
12:00 PM ......... Border Collie Demonstration
Mad Hatter Chorus
12:15 PM ......... Hay Bale Throw
1:00 PM .......... Dock Diving Dogs
Racing Pigs
Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
2:30 PM .......... Border Collie Demonstration
3:00 PM .......... RivaJean, Classic Country
4:00 PM .......... Majestik Spectacular, Motorcycle Thrill Show
Dock Diving Dogs
5:00 PM .......... Racing Pigs
AX THROWING - all day
6:00 PM Fair Closes for 2019

Learn more: 

More information available where you purchase ride tickets.
Vegetable, Fruit & Flower Shows - Baking, Hobbies,
Needlework, Canning & Eggs, and Art & Photo Exhibits
Cattle Display, Goat Display, Poultry Display, Wool & Shearing Exhibits,
Industrial & Agricultural Exhibits, Entertainment, Kiddie Rides, Amusements,
Commercial Tents, Watering Hole, Food & Refreshment Stands

Photo Credit, Melanie Graham

]]> (Bridgewater, CT Annual Country Fair) Events Mon, 29 Jul 2019 12:24:33 -0400
Meet 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Face Amy Fernandez and Support Ann's Place on October 3

On October 3, 2019, the 11th Annual Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House in Ridgefield. This event supports Ann’s Place while putting a spotlight on local breast cancer survivors.

The photo you see here is one of Kristen Jensen’s “Courageous Faces”. This and many other photos of cancer survivors, and those in the midst of treatment will blanket the walls of the Lounsbury House telling a story of life, struggle, friendship, and hope.

Here, we couple the many Courageous Faces with their unique stories. We thank each and every one of these ladies for sharing their journey with us.

Visit Crowdrise HERE to support the 2019 Drink Pink Courageous Faces.

Meet Drink Pink model and Courageous Face, Amy Fernandez 

  • Hometown: Brookfield CT.
  • Three children ages 13,11, and 8 at time of diagnosis.

When and how did you find out you had breast cancer?

After my routine yearly mammogram in November 2013, I was told something looked suspicious. A few days after my biopsy, I received the call that I had invasive lobular breast cancer. This diagnosis came at a difficult time since my husband had recently lost his job in Manhattan and I retired early from my teaching career due to a rare neurological voice disorder (laryngeal dystonia). I was also just beginning to feel better from a six year bout with chronic lyme/babesiosis. I felt numb and didn’t think I could take much more. It was a rock bottom feeling for me. 

After the news sunk in and my initial shock was over, I had and mostly maintained a calm, centered feeling, knowing that all would be OK, no matter what. It was a feeling that came from deep within. 

Who did you turn to for support and how was that person or organization supportive?  

My husband, Ralph, was with me the day I received the news and has been with me ever since, supporting and encouraging me, and our three children (who were ages 13,11, and 8 at the time) every step of the way. 

Within days of my diagnosis, I began using the wonderful free services at Ann’s Place. My weekly Reiki sessions were such a gift! This, coupled with my self-daily Reiki sessions, since I am a Reiki Master, helped balance me - my body, mind, and spirit, it helped me tremendously with the healing process. 

I also loved my weekly yoga, meditation, and counseling sessions at Ann’s Place during my active treatment stage. Five years later, I am still enjoying the classes and services Ann’s Place offers.

 I also enjoy “ giving back” by offering Reiki at Ann’s Place every other Friday morning to cancer patients and their families.  I truly believe being in a relaxed state helped my body, mind, and spirit heal on so many levels. I am so honored and happy to be helping others with this through Reiki healing sessions. 

Tell me about something someone said or did that helped you through your most difficult days

The support of my husband, my children, my mom, and a few dear friends was such an important part of my healing. I will never forget my friend saying she will be with me every step of the way, and she was. Acts of kindness from others like a call, saying a prayer, bringing me coffee or a flower, or driving me to my treatments, brought me so much joy and gratitude. 

Through my most difficult days, I felt supported and loved by God, loved ones here, and loved ones who had departed. This got me through a long and difficult breast surgery, radiation treatments, and three subsequent eye surgeries to save my vision, due to a detached retina. My favorite affirmations were and are “ All is well” and “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I silently repeat these over and over, during trying times. During radiation treatments and current testing, I hold a “ Saint Michael” touch stone in my palm and ask for protection and feel it instantly. I feel God’s love and light all around me and I know that I am safe and all is well. 

 What was your day of beauty like at adam broderick?

I felt so pampered and special during my complimentary hair and makeup sessions at Adam Broderick Salon and Spa in Ridgefield on March 11,2019. Brooke was so kind and treated me to an amazing hair wash, conditioning treatment, and blow out. My hair looked and felt wonderful. 

Alison gave me some great tips for applying makeup and I was so happy with the results. She was wonderful! Everyone was so gracious and friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciate my experience at Adam Broderick Salon.

And, your photoshoot with Kristen Jensen?

After my time at adam broderick I was off to my photo shoot with Kristen Jensen. She and her mom greeted me at her lovely studio in Bethel. Kristen is an amazing photographer! I love the pics she took and want to thank her so much for her time and dedication to this project!! It was so much fun and I had a great time posing and smiling, too. I felt like a VIP and I will always remember that wonderful day. 

What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer? 

For others who have been diagnosed with cancer or any chronic issue, I found living in the present moment, one day at a time, helps a lot. Also enjoying the little things- a beautiful flower,  magnificent sunset, a loved ones smile, etc. Spending time each day in quiet reflection, and seeing myself healed and really seeing it and feeling it, too. 

Also, being in nature, slow-deep belly breathing, spending time with people who make me feel happy, living in truth, learning to say “no”, forgiving all, having gratitude, and most importantly, “ Being Love,” since love is all there is, and truly heals all.♥️

Drink Pink for a cause will take place at The Lounsbury House, located at 316 Main Street in Ridgefield on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Learn more about Ann’s Place here.

Support the 2019 Drink Pink models and Ann’s Place by making a donation HERE.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Mon, 29 Jul 2019 06:25:18 -0400