Norwalk's HamletHub Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:44:00 -0500 Rescheduled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at Westport Country Playhouse on Sunday, March 10th

Free event is co-sponsored by the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy,

The Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and TEAM Westport.

The 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 10, at 3:30 p.m., at Westport Country Playhouse. The event was postponed from its original date in January due to weather. The keynote speaker will be winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction James Forman, Jr., a professor of law at Yale Law School. Forman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book is “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”

The event is free-of-charge and open to the public.  However, advance registration is encouraged through the Playhouse box office at 203-227-4177 or by email at" qowt-eid="E421" id="E421"> Prior registrations for the January event will not be transferred. Please call to confirm attendance on March 10. Seating is unassigned and general admission. Registration is required to take advantage of free childcare for children ages 12 and under, provided by the Westport/Weston Family YMCA in the Lucille Lortel White Barn, Sheffer Studio, adjacent to the theater.

The celebration is co-sponsored by the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy, The Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and TEAM Westport.

On behalf of the Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy and Interfaith Council, Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton, pastor, Saugatuck Congregational Church, UCC, said, “For several years, our annual interfaith celebration has tapped the knowledge of renowned scholars engaged in the critical work of unpacking and dismantling racism. This year, we welcome Professor Forman to offer the keynote on the continuing impact of racism in our society.”

Harold Bailey, Jr., chair of TEAM Westport, stated, “Since the 1970’s, the meteoric rise of incarceration in the U.S. has left us with a per-person incarceration rate that is the world’s largest, with black male incarceration five times larger than its white counterpart. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Forman brings a unique perspective to a largely uncovered but undeniably critical aspect of this story.

“Steeped in legal experience and grounded in the civil rights heritage into which he was born, Forman’s insights are key to both how we got where we are and how we should most effectively move forward to remedy it,” added Bailey.

James Forman, Jr. attended public schools in Detroit and New York City before graduating from the Atlanta public schools. After attending Brown University and Yale Law School, he worked as a law clerk for Judge William Norris of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. After clerking, he joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where for six years he represented both juveniles and adults charged with crimes.

Professor Forman loved being a public defender, but he quickly became frustrated with the lack of education and job training opportunities for his clients. In 1997, along with David Domenici, he started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, an alternative school for dropouts and youth who had previously been arrested. A decade later, in 2007, Maya Angelou School expanded and agreed to run the school inside D.C.’s juvenile prison. That school, which had long been an abysmal failure, has been transformed under the leadership of the Maya Angelou staff. The court monitor overseeing D.C.’s juvenile system called the turnaround “extraordinary.”

At Yale Law School, where he has taught since 2011, Forman teaches Constitutional Law and a course called “Race, Class, and Punishment.” Last year he took his teaching behind prison walls, offering a seminar called “Inside-Out Prison Exchange: Issues in Criminal Justice,” which brought together, in the same classroom, 10 Yale law students and 10 men incarcerated in a Connecticut prison.

Professor Forman has written many law review articles, in addition to op-eds and essays for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Nation, and The Washington Post. “Locking Up Our Own” is his first book. He lives in New Haven.

Bill Harmer, executive director, The Westport Library, said, “In celebrating Dr. King’s legacy, we are pleased to collaborate with our community partners for Professor Forman’s candid, thought-provoking discussion of mass incarceration and its consequences on communities of color.” 

Forman’s address will be followed by a moderated audience Q&A and a book signing. Books will be available for purchase at the event. In addition, there will be performances by the Serendipity Choir and students from the Regional Center for the Arts. Complimentary refreshments will be served in the Playhouse lobby after the presentation.

For more information and reservations, call the Westport Country Playhouse box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport, or at Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), or view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus.  The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, Westport Country Playhouse’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round. 

]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:50:26 -0500
Norwalk Residents Can Preserve Their Favorite Trail by Nominating it as an Official Connecticut Greenway

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Greenways Council today announced they are now soliciting nominations for official state greenway designations. Residents of Norwalk can nominate their favorite greenway by downloading this form and emailing it to

A “Greenway” is a corridor of open space which meets the criteria defined here.

“Greenways are an integral part of any community, offering recreational opportunities, providing alternative transportation options, helping to preserve the environment, and supporting economic development. Greenways make a community a more attractive place to live by connecting living spaces with the environment, and they preserve history while cultivating town pride,” said DEEP Commissioner-designee Katie Dykes. “The Connecticut Greenways Council encourages municipalities to embrace the designation process to facilitate sustainable development, enhancement, and preservation of these special places.”

As an example, here are the CT Greenways within 20 miles of Norwalk:

Housatonic Riverbelt Greenway
Mianus River Greenway (Greenwich/Stamford)
Mill River Greenway, Stamford
Norwalk Heritage Greenway
Norwalk River Valley Linear Trail
Pequonnock/Housatonic Railbed Greenway
The Ives Trail, Danbury

For a map of all the greenways in CT, please click here. For more details about the above greenways, click here.

An official designation by the Greenways Council recognizes a greenway as an open space that not only meets the definition of a greenway, but also enhances the community and is supported by local government initiatives.  Designated greenways, both for recreation and resource protection, will be listed in a subsequent revision of the State Plan of Conservation and Development and may receive increased consideration for a variety of grants.  There are currently approximately 75 designated greenways in Connecticut.

The Greenways Council will evaluate all nominated greenways for consistency with designation criteria.  Those selected for designation will be announced by the Greenways Council in conjunction with their National Trails Day event in June.

The nomination form is available as a word document or a PDF.  The preferred method for submission of completed nomination forms is by e-mail to, and digital photos and maps are preferred (digital photos of hard copy maps are acceptable).  Nominations may also be submitted on CD or other electronic storage device and can be mailed to Laurie Giannotti, CT DEEP, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127. The deadline for submission of nominations is April 26, 2019.

For more information please visit

]]> (Tara Daly) Places Thu, 14 Feb 2019 02:21:07 -0500
Norwalk Drivers In Love With Lower Gas Prices this Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and, according to AAA Connecticut, Norwalk drivers continue their love affair with declining gas prices in The Nutmeg State. “Today, a gallon of self-serve, regular in Connecticut averages $2.45, down 3 cents compared to this time last week and 30 cents lower compared to this time last year,” says AAA Connecticut.

Nationally, things are not synonymous with the lower local prices at the pump. There are several reasons sparking an increase in national prices, said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “Frigid temps enveloping much of the nation have prompted a decline in consumer demand,” she said. “Couple that drop with ongoing refinery maintenance and cheaper crude oil prices, and drivers are seeing slightly higher prices at the pump.” The good news, however, is Connecticut prices haven’t yet reversed its downward trend, she added.

AAA’s weekly survey of prices in Connecticut’s six regions are:

Greater Bridgeport - $2.56

Lower Fairfield County - $2.53

New Haven/Meriden - $2.46

Greater Hartford - $2.38  

New London/Norwich - $2.49

Windham/Middlesex - $2.43

Statewide Average:  $2.45

Today, Arkansas and Missouri both register the lowest average per-gallon prices in the nation at $1.96 and $1.97, respectively.  California and Hawaii continue to trade places each week with the highest prices at $3.27 and $3.25, respectively. Connecticut moved down to the 10th spot on the list of states with the highest prices in the nation.

Average gas prices may be obtained daily through

]]> (AAA Connecticut) Life Thu, 14 Feb 2019 02:13:24 -0500
Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities Musical “Story Pirates” Celebrates Creative Writing by Students

Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series will present “The Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show,” celebrating creative writing by students in a sketch comedy musical performed by professional actors and musicians, on Sunday, February 24. The show is produced by The Striking Viking Story Pirates.

Performances are at 1 and 4 p.m., approximately one-hour in length, and appropriate for ages 4 and up. Tickets are $20 each.

The performance is based on stories written by elementary school students nationwide, with part of the show made up on the spot by the kids in the audience.  “Story Pirates” includes puppets, songs, and sketches.

According to the show’s producers, “Kids have the best ideas, so we turn their original stories into wild sketch comedy musicals featuring professional actors to show those kids just how amazing their ideas are. There is a powerful link between literacy and confident self-expression.”

The Story Pirates’ Play/Write Program, from which the show’s stories originate, began in 2003 as a pilot in a Harlem school. It has grown to become a nationally respected creative writing and drama curriculum in place annually at over 200 schools across the country. Their assemblies and performances have been recognized and sponsored by partners such as Penguin Books and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and on television programs such as “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. The Story Pirates have a weekly show on Sirius XM radio, and an internationally popular podcast. Story Pirates has invited tens of thousands of students to see their own words and ideas come to life on stage, and watched as, one by one, these children began to call themselves writers.

To enhance children’s experience of “The Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show,” The Westport Library will host a free-of-charge, hour-long program called “Story Explorers,” on Saturday, February 16, at 2:30 p.m., one week prior to the performance. “Story Explorers” will include activities surrounding the show’s themes led by staff from Westport Country Playhouse and Broadway Method Academy, the resident conservatory of Westport Country Playhouse. Presenting partners for “Story Explorers” are Westport Country Playhouse, The Westport Library, and Westport Young Woman’s League.  

Upcoming Family Festivities shows include “The Wizard of Oz,” on Sunday, March 17, when audiences will rediscover the joy of following the yellow brick road with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion as they travel through a reimagined world of Oz. The show is produced by Vital Theatre Company and geared to audiences ages 2 to 7. “Angelina Ballerina The Musical” will take the Playhouse stage on Sunday, April 7. Angelina is excited to show off her dance skills to a famous visitor from Camembert Academy, but will Angelina get the starring moment she hopes for? Based on the animated series “Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps,” the show is produced by Vital Theatre Company and appropriate for ages 2 to 7.

In conjunction with the Family Festivities Series, the Playhouse will once again host a book collection for Read to Grow, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization that provides free children's books to families with limited access and to community resources that serve them. At each Family Festivities performance, bins will be located in the Playhouse lobby for donations of gently used and new children’s books which will be given to families and programs in the greater Fairfield County area through Read to Grow. During last season’s Family Festivities series, the Playhouse collected nearly 300 books.

Family Festivities Corporate Sponsor is Pitney Bowes.  The Family Festivities Series is also supported by the Westport Young Woman’s League. 

All artists, titles, and dates subject to change.

Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. For more information and to buy tickets, visit or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus.  The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, Westport Country Playhouse’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Tue, 12 Feb 2019 05:48:01 -0500
106 Area Nonprofits Receive Over $1.3 Million in Grants from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has announced the details for its current grantmaking cycle. Competitive grants totaling $1,330,037were awarded to 106 nonprofit organizations who align with the Community Foundation’s result areas and its vision to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County by eliminating disparities in income, education, employment, housing and health.

The Community Foundation’s new strategic plan focuses on fostering a vital and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive while promoting philanthropy as a means to create lasting change in Fairfield County. “It gives us great satisfaction to award 106 grants this season. It is Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s privilege and our honor to provide grants that help advance the work of these critical nonprofit organizations throughout the region. These grantees are creating lasting change and are working collectively to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County,” stated Juanita James, CEO & President, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation’s result areas drive where the organization focuses its grantmaking, community leadership work, and fundraising efforts. The types of grants include program support, capacity building support, general operating support and the Fund for Women & Girls small grants. The following is a breakdown of recent grants by result area:

Result Area: All Fairfield County residents have safe, stable, healthy and affordable housing in communities of opportunity

Total Grants Awarded: $304,207

In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent the Community Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting and sustaining thriving communities and ensuring equitable access to safe, healthy and affordable housing for all Fairfield County residents.  Grantees include Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, Inc ($30,000); Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County ($14,000); Connecticut Association for Human Services ($20,000); Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants ($20,000); Connecticut Legal Services ($40,000); Connecticut Radio Information Systems ($6,657);

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center ($10,000); DataHaven ($35,000); Food Rescue US ($15,000); Norwalk Housing Foundation ($20,000); Partnership for Strong Communities ($25,000); Positive Directions - The Center for Prevention & Counseling ($7,250); Renewal House ($30,000); RYASAP ($6,000); and Southwestern CT Area Agency on Aging, Inc. ($25,000). Connecticut Legal Services, for example, will be utilizing its grant to support two efforts over the next year, including organizational strategic planning and legal advocacy on behalf of low-income housing residents in Bridgeport. Partnership for Strong Communities will be concentrating on its Reaching Home Campaign: Ending Homelessness in CT and utilizing the grant in this regard.

Result Area: All Fairfield County older youth and young adults have training and credentials that lead to meaningful career opportunities

Total Grants Awarded: $223,728

Young people in Fairfield County often graduate without the skills or preparation needed to secure a living-wage entry job. By aligning youth with educational tools and job opportunities, Thrive by 25 aims to empower every young adult to achieve self-sufficiency by age 25 – strengthening the future of our whole community. Within its comprehensive approach to empower every young adult to achieve self-sufficiency by age 25, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Thrive by 25 initiative stresses the importance of providing paid internships for youth and young adults in the region. Several organizations advancing that goal by providing critical paid internships were selected for grants, including: Inroads ($17,500); Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program in Stamford ($25,000); and Mill River Park Collaborative ($14,500). Additionally, a wide range of exemplary learning programs offered by local nonprofits were funded through this area of opportunity received grants. They include Beardsley Zoo ($25,000); Boys & Girls Village ($20,000); Housatonic Valley Association, Inc ($15,000); Justice Education Center ($10,000); Norwalk Community College Foundation ($44,178); SoundWaters ($5,000); Sterling House ($15,000); United We Dream, Inc ($17,500) and Urban League of Southern Connecticut ($15,000).

Result Area: All Fairfield County students graduate with a high school degree and are prepared for post-secondary education and employment.

Total Grants Awarded: $574,000

In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent an ongoing commitment to education support to close the opportunity gap. The grants were awarded to Boys & Girls Club of Stamford ($5,000);City Lights and Company ($15,000);Educators for Excellence ($25,000);Connecticut Voices for Children ($20,000);Horizons at New Canaan Country School ($25,000);Horizons at Greens Farms Academy ($20,000);LifeBridge Community Services ($20,000);Project Morry ($25,000);SoundWaters ($20,000);Stamford Public Education Foundation, Inc. ($15,000);Green Village Initiative ($25,000);Norwalk Community College Foundation ($20,000);Center for Popular Democracy ($25,000);Center for Children's Advocacy, Inc ($30,000);Building One Community ($15,000); Carver Foundation ($25,000);Greenwich Alliance for Education ($20,000);Danbury Family Learning Center ($24,000);  Danbury Youth Services ($15,000);Horizons at NCC ($10,000);Bridgeport Caribe Youth League ($25,000);Best Buddies Connecticut ($15,000);McGivney Community Center ($15,000);ACCESS Education Service, Inc. ($15,000);Stamford Family YMCA ($15,000);Horizons at Sacred Heart University ($20,000);South End Community Center, Inc. ($15,000);Horizons at Brunswick School ($10,000); and Horizons National ($20,000).

Result Area: All Fairfield County women and girls are economically secure, healthy and safe

Total Grants Awarded: $$166,002.01

Through the Fund for Women & Girls, philanthropists come together to invest in sustainable solutions that support the safety, health and economic security of women and girls across Fairfield County. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls (FWG) awarded five grants through its Renewable Grants Program to the following organizations: Center for Family Justice, Inc ($20,000); Center for Sexual Assault Crisis and Education ($20,000); Triangle Community Center ($20,000); Women's Center of Greater Danbury ($20,000); and YWCA of Greenwich ($20,000) for its Sexual Violence Prevention Program. An additional $30,002 was granted through FWG’s Small Grants Program to organizations that actively promote leadership development and improve the education and employment prospects for women and girls.  They include: Women's Campaign School at Yale University ($3,500); Connecticut Women's Education & Legal Fund (2,797); Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame ($2,500); Franklin Street Works($1,500); Girls Lead ($4,000); LiveGirl  ($355); Mount Aery Baptist Church ($2,250); Ms President US ($3,500); Norwalk Community College Foundation ($2,100); Norwalk Housing Foundation ($2,500); and Saturday Academy ($5,000). A grant was also provided to DataHaven for a research report.

Result Area: Community Advocacy

Total Grants Awarded: $62,100

Nonprofit organizations received a total of $62,100 as part of the Community Foundation’s Community Advocacy initiatives, including its GET OUT THE VOTE 2018 campaign which had 18 grantees. Those organizations receiving grants include: All Our Kin, Inc; Bridgeport Generation Now; Burroughs Community Center; Center for Children's Advocacy, Inc; Center for Popular Democracy; CF Leads; Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness; Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance; Council on Foundations; DataHaven; Domus Kids, Inc; FaithActs for Education; Greater Bridgeport Latino Network, Inc.; Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County; Housatonic Community College Foundation; League of Women Voters – Stamford; League of Women Voters of Bridgeport; League of Women Voters of Northern Fairfield County; League of Women Voters of Norwalk; LifeBridge Community Services; NACCP- Norwalk Chapter; National Coalition of 100 Black Women - New Haven Metropolitan Chapter; New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Norwalk Community College Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; University of Connecticut Foundation; YWCA of Darien – Norwalk; and YWCA of Greenwich.

As a valuable best practice, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence educates and informs nonprofits on Results Based Accountability as a framework for articulating and measuring the changes they are working toward. A complete list of grantees and information about applying for a grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is available at

]]> (Helen Koven) Charities Mon, 11 Feb 2019 09:38:57 -0500
Ridgefield Academy Announces Summer Programs for 2019

At Ridgefield Academy, we believe summer is a time for children to explore, discover, and engage in activities that bring them joy. Whether it is creating through art, learning to code or honing skills in a particular sport, RA offers an enriching summer experience for every child’s imagination. Programs are tailored to children aged 2 to 14 and take place on RA’s spectacular 42-acre campus. RA’s summer programs are open to the public, begin on June 17 and run for six weeks.

Camp Landmark’s 2s camp is comprised of half day programs that are sure to bring smiles to all little faces. Themed camp weeks such as Storytime, A Camping We Will Go, Stars and Stripes celebrating Independence Day, and Under the Sea will be offered. Each day will consist of free play, circle time, outside play, and a themed activity under the supervision of experienced preschool teachers.

Camp Landmark also offers children ages 3 and 4 full day camp options covering a wide range of entertaining programs, including sports, cooking, camping, science and art. All programs are offered on a weekly basis.

Patriot Camp is offered to children entering Kindergarten through grade 5. A series of themed weeks include Terrific Trip Week, Science Week and Survivor Camp. Also offered are two weeks of split day programs that include Sparklicious Art Studio or Cupcake Wars in the morning, followed by traditional day camp activities such as swimming, sports, cooking, science, technology, and games during the second half of the day. Returning once again this year during Week 5 is the nationally recognized Camp Invention - a STEM summer program turning curious students into innovative thinkers.

For middle school students entering grades 5-8, our Explorer Programs offer a broad variety of half and full day programs. If you enjoy sports, you can register for the New York Red Bulls Soccer Program, New York NFL Alumni Hero Youth Football Camp, GameBreaker Lacrosse Camp or Revolution Field Hockey Camp. There are numerous programs in science, technology, and mathematics such as STEAM Workshop, Video Game Creation, Junior Economists, Robotics, Coding, and engineering. Campers can also sign up for a Babysitting Training/First Aid Certification. There is no shortage of workshops in the arts and cooking as Broadway Musical Theater, Cupcake Wars and photography are just a few of the many offerings available. 

Come spend your summer at RA for fun beyond your imagination! For more information, please contact Donna Kauth at 203.294.1800 x106, by email at or visit our website at

]]> (Ashley Mmoran) Places Mon, 11 Feb 2019 09:20:43 -0500
Great Connecticut Resources at Your Fingertips, Celebrate 211 Day in Norwalk

United Way of Connecticut 2-1-1 stands ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

On Monday, 2/11, celebrate National 2-1-1 Day by reminding your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to dial 2-1-1 or visit for the information, education and connection to services they need. Are you in a housing crisis? Are you or someone you care about in need of mental health services? Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer in your community? In Connecticut, 2-1-1 Contact Specialists are ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.   

2-1-1 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects more than 94 percent of our nation to essential health and human services either online or over the phone. 2-1-1 Connecticut is one of more than 200 2-1-1's located throughout the country.

Every day, highly-trained 2-1-1 Contact Specialists help callers access basic needs assistance, community resources and financial stability programs and resources such as free tax preparation assistance, job training and budget coaching. Contact Specialists also help callers in distress find relief when they are faced with food insecurity, homelessness, a mental health crisis or addiction. In 2018, 2-1-1 received more than 320,000 requests for service and more than 2 million web visits were made to

Have you created “My 2-1-1 Account”?

My 2-1-1 Account enables community providers, case workers and individuals to create custom resource lists and care plans that can be saved, shared, implemented and updated as needed.

Visit and click "sign up" in the upper right hand corner so that you can:

  • Create unlimited custom resource lists
  • Save resources to access at a later time
  • Create subject-specific resource lists
  • Email or text resource lists

In addition to providing information and referrals to programs and services, the 2-1-1 Connecticut contact center is certified in crisis intervention and accredited by the American Association of Suicidiology. Last year, Contact Specialists handled more than 114,000 crisis calls from individuals faced with situational, behavioral and emotional crises.

2-1-1 is proud to be the first place Connecticut residents turn to access help and find resources in their communities. 2-1-1 Connecticut is operated by United Way of Connecticut and receives support from the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways.

]]> (United Way of CT) Charities Sun, 10 Feb 2019 08:56:05 -0500
Volunteer Opportunity at the Maritime Aquarium

Pursue your interest in marine animals and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with others by becoming a member of the volunteer staff at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Interviews for potential volunteers – with details provided about a training course in March – will be held on Wed., Feb. 13 and Thurs., Feb. 21, on both days at 5 p.m. You need attend only one.

“Volunteering here is fun and personally rewarding, and it’s also vital to fulfilling The Maritime Aquarium’s mission of educating and inspiring guests about Long Island Sound,” said Lisa Slinsky, assistant director of Volunteers and Community Service. “If you’re retired, the Aquarium offers a great way to stay active and connected. A weekday-morning shift could be perfect for stay-at-home parents after they get their kids off to school. And serving as a weekend volunteer is a great experience for high-school students thinking about a career in marine biology.”

Prior knowledge about marine animals isn't necessary to be a Maritime Aquarium volunteer. That's what will be taught in a four-week training course, which will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 5 to March 28.

You must be at least 15 years old to sign up.

After completing the course, volunteers serve as gallery ambassadors, helping Aquarium guests to learn more about the represented animals of Long Island Sound, from crabs and jellies to seals and sharks. Adults are especially needed for weekday time slots.

The minimum time commitment required from volunteers is 100 hours, at four hours per week for weekday volunteers and four hours per month for weekend staff. Letters of recommendation and other service-award forms will be signed by Aquarium staff at the completion of 100 hours of service.

A $40 fee helps to defray the costs of training materials and uniforms. Volunteers receive discounts in the Gift Shop, Cascade Café and on many programs.

Advance registration is required for the interview sessions and volunteer training course.

To get more details and learn how to sign up, go to or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2225.

]]> (Gina Zammit) Neighbors Sat, 09 Feb 2019 05:44:00 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Norwalk: Danielle Robinson Photography

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

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

You're IT Danielle Robinson Photography!

Three questions with Danielle Robinson Calloway, owner of Danielle Robinson Photography.

Why did you start your business?

Photography has been my passion for as long as I can remember.  I started my business mainly out of my love for photography and desire to capture people as authentically as possible.  I quickly learned how amazing it was to provide people with beautiful images and to tell a story with my photographs, which is what currently keeps me motivated.  Also, I always loved the challenges photography brings - dealing with personalities, different lighting situations, tough exposures, etc.  Photography is a profession that keeps me on my toes and forces me to be constantly learning and growing.

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

I wish I could be more of a self-promoter.  As a creative person, I often think more about the artistic side of things and less about the business end of things.

Best selling product or service?

My best selling service would have to be family photography followed by wedding photography.  Although, I do photograph plenty of newborns, headshots, and events in the area.

Visit Danielle Robinson Photography online or email

Danielle Robinson Photography tags Venture Yachting!

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



]]> (HH) Places Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:45:00 -0500
The Rowayton Arts Center Accepts Four New Exhibiting Members

The Rowayton Arts Center Accepts Four New Exhibiting Members

The Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) announces the selection of four new exhibiting members, who were juried in January. These artists are painters Anda Styler of New Milford, Ronnie Gold of Stamford, and Elena McCoy of Rowayton, plus photographer Josh Iguchi of Rowayton.

To become an exhibiting member, artists submit three works to be reviewed by the Artist Selection Committee, which meets three times a year in January, May and September. Artists who are selected for three of the six RAC juried exhibits within a two-year period are also eligible for exhibiting member status. There are currently almost 250 exhibiting members.

RAC celebrates the study, creation and appreciation of the arts through classes, exhibitions and events open to all in the community. For almost 60 years, this nonprofit organization has been a cultural gem in the Norwalk community. The gallery and art school overlook the scenic Five Mile River in Rowayton, CT at 145 Rowayton Avenue with space for regional artists to exhibit their art and a classroom for workshops and classes at all levels offered to children and adults. Visit and follow @rowaytonarts.

Attached image: Painting by new exhibiting member Elena McCoy, "Yes" 

]]> (Rowayton Arts Center) Neighbors Fri, 08 Feb 2019 07:35:19 -0500
Avison Young Sale Nets New Location for Jewish Family Service

Avison Young Sale Nets New Location for Jewish Family Service

Sean Cahill, Principal and Managing Director of Avison Young's Fairfield/Westchester office, announced agents Christopher Grundy and James Searl completed a sale to find a new home in Stamford for the Elayne and James Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County.

The non-profit organization will relocate to 196 Greyrock Place in Stamford, a 7,500 square foot office condominium. The purchase price of the condominium was $925,000. Cushman & Wakefield, represented by Trip Hoffman and Brian Scruton, served as the agency broker.

The Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County will be relocating from 733 Summer Street in Stamford, which will be demolished and rebuilt as residential apartments.

The organization had intended to sign a long-term lease at another location on Summer Street, but Grundy and Searl secured a space that had been built out for a non-profit with similar operations. The Avison Young team negotiated an aggressive purchase price based on its knowledge of local market trends and the history of the former owner and the building. The building is also known 25 Forest Street, “The Classic.”

The unit is the only commercial space in the building and offers more square footage for the Jewish Family Service than its prior location.


The Elayne and James Schoke Jewish Family Service of Fairfield County has served Stamford, Westport, Bridgeport and Upper Fairfield County since 1978. Its mission is to sustain families and individuals through life’s challenges and build strong communities.

Avison Young is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 2,600 real estate professionals in 84 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family and hospitality properties.

]]> (Thomas Renner) Places Fri, 08 Feb 2019 05:24:04 -0500
Give Your Valentine a Behind the Scenes Experience at the Maritime Aquarium

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 8th, give your sweetie what he or she really wants: the chance to hand-feed a cow-nose ray. And a horseshoe crab. And a diamondback terrapin.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is making the magic possible by putting a special twist on its popular behind-the-scenes “Feeding Time” program. On Sat., Feb. 9, the Aquarium is opening the program exclusively to couples age 18 and older, who will make the morning feeding rounds with staff prior to the Aquarium’s opening.

“Nothing says ‘I love you’ like giving your significant other the chance to have a ray slurp a piece of fish out of his or her hand,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth (who, surprisingly, is married).

Ceding to tradition, all couples also will go home afterward with a box of specialty chocolates. After they wash their hands.

“Valentine’s Feeding Time for Couples” starts at 8:30 a.m. Participants will feel the vacuuming slurp of rays at the “Shark & Ray Touch Pool,” and go behind the scenes to hand-feed horseshoe crabs and diamondback terrapins. They’ll attend a private seal feeding by staff, and also visit the Aquarium’s “fish kitchen” where food is closely inspected and prepared.

Highlight of the program is going above the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit for a thrilling view while staff feeds the 7-and 8-foot sharks prowling and snapping just below the railing. Participants can toss in some bonus food for the sharks, large rays and other fish.

“The backstage access of ‘Feeding Time’ is a special treat for anyone who is passionate about the Aquarium and wants to deepen their understanding of the creatures we display and the quality care we provide,” Sigworth said. “So it truly is a unique Valentine’s gift. Plus, you get a delicious box of chocolates.”

Cost of the “Valentine’s Feeding Time” is $100 per couple ($90 for Aquarium members). Optional Aquarium admission at 10 a.m. is discounted.

The program is limited to 10 couples. Advance registration is required. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or register online at

]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Fri, 08 Feb 2019 04:41:05 -0500
Helping Neighbors In Need: Stamford Marriott Coat Drive Supports Person-To-Person

After completing a successful winter Coat Drive benefiting Person-2-Person (P2P), a community-supported nonprofit with locations in Stamford, Darien, and Norwalk, the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, was able to make a rewarding donation to a charitable agency that provides emergency assistance for basic needs, and support for individuals and families.

Did you know? Giving back to the community into woven into the fabric of the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, part of the Meyer Jabara family of hotels.

“The difference between being a good business and an amazing business can be found in the company's footprints made by giving back and serving others,” says Mark Ranieri, Vice President and General Manager at Meyer Jabara Hotels.

Learn more about P2P here.

Make a donation to P2P online here.  

]]> (HH) Neighbors Fri, 08 Feb 2019 03:24:21 -0500
Norwalk Is Invited To Stand With ALICE


Residents of Norwalk are invited to a legislative forum on Monday, February 25 to learn about the true scope of financial hardship in Connecticut and to participate in an in-depth discussion on strategies to help ALICE households achieve financial security.

Six years ago Connecticut United Ways committed to shining a light on households that, despite working hard, live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to afford life's most basic necessities such as housing, food, child care, transportation, technology, and healthcare. We call these households ALICE, an acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained Employed.

Norwalk residents can learn more about ALICE by visiting United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, or calling (203) 334-5106.

According to the 2018 Connecticut United Ways ALICE Report, Connecticut's 3rd ALICE Report, 40 percent of Connecticut households are unable to make ends meet. Of this 40 percent, 30 percent (404,035 households) have earnings above the federal poverty line but below a basic cost-of-living threshold known as the Household Survival Budget.

ALICE cares for our children and aging parents, fixes our cars and works in our local grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants. ALICE is our friend, neighbor, coworker and family member. We lean on ALICE for support; yet, many ALICE households are one emergency away from a financial crisis impacting their ability to feed their family, heat their home, maintain their housing, and ensure their medical care.

On Monday, February 25, Connecticut United Ways, the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors and the Commission on Equity and Opportunity are sponsoring a legislative forum on financial hardship. The forum will focus on the immediate needs of ALICE families and strategies to help families achieve financial security. Click HERE to view the We Stand With ALICE Legislative Forum Agenda.

"The 2018 ALICE Report confirms that a significant number of Connecticut's working families live under real financial strain, sometimes only one unexpected event away from distress" said Steven Hernández, Executive Director, Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, and Commission on Equity and Opportunity. "On February 25, we will bring together policymakers, researchers, business leaders, community providers and ALICE families to discuss how we can better serve those who struggle to make ends meet."

The event will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 2-E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), at 300 Capital Avenue in Hartford. Coffee and light refreshments will be offered in the 2nd Floor Atrium prior to the event from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The forum is free and open to the public, though anyone planning to attend is asked to register at:

"ALICE households are vital to our state's economic well-being, and we all know and depend on ALICE," said Richard Porth, President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut. "The ALICE legislative forum provides an opportunity for people who care about ALICE to think together about short-term and longer-term strategies that can lead to opportunity and financial stability for ALICE households."

We Stand With ALICE Legislative Forum Details:

When: Monday, February 25, 2019

Where: Legislative Office Building (LOB) Room 2-E, 300 Capital Avenue

Time: Coffee and Networking 12:00-1:00; Legislative Forum 1:00-3:00

Registration Link:

More information on ALICE and the We Stand With ALICE Legislative Forum:

About Connecticut United Way

Connecticut United Ways identify and build upon strengths and assets in their local communities, helping individuals and groups find ways to contribute their time and talents, support direct-service programs and community-change efforts, and advocate public policy changes toward advancing the common good. Connecticut United Ways advance the common good by creating opportunities for all, with a particular focus on education, income, health, and basic needs - the building blocks for a good quality of life. We engage people and organizations throughout our communities who bring passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done, and we invite everyone to be part of the change.

]]> (United Way of Connecticut) Charities Thu, 07 Feb 2019 11:47:28 -0500
Keri Linardi, RN joins RVNA as Chief Clinical Officer

Ridgefield, CT – RVNA, the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, is delighted to announce that Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA has assumed the position of Chief Clinical Officer (CCO). In this role, Linardi will have oversight of all RVNA clinical service lines — In-Home Health Care, Rehabilitation, Hospice, and Community Health and Wellness — as well as the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement team. Linardi is a seasoned clinical executive and practitioner with experience managing multi-functional teams at large home health and hospice organizations. 

Linardi received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles and has worked in health care for over two decades, most recently as Vice President of Hospice at VNA Health Group in New Jersey where she specialized in palliative and end-of-life care. Prior to joining RVNA as CCO, Linardi, a certified hospice and palliative care administrator supported RVNA’s Hospice accreditation process as an expert consultant. 

Following graduation from nursing school, Linardi began work as a Home Health case manager in Compton and Watts in Los Angeles County. Since then -- with the exception of four years working in women’s health in the hospital setting -- Linardi has spent her entire career in community nursing. She has worked as a homecare and hospice liaison; an on-call night nurse for hospice in the community; and an inpatient hospice nurse and community hospice case manager in California, New York, and New Jersey. 

“Keri Linardi is already a tremendous asset to RVNA,” says Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, President and CEO of RVNA. “She brings strong management and vision, plus true hands-on clinical experience that benefits all of our service lines. Keri also has a deep sensitivity to patients and their families, a sensibility which reflects RVNA’s approach and drives the quality and the consistency of our care. The CCO role is critical to RVNA’s success, and we are thrilled to have Keri onboard.” 

“I am impressed with the authenticity of RVNA’s mission and by the strong integration of RVNA’s individual and community care across services that serve a lifetime,” says Linardi. “Being invited into patient and family homes – and lives -- is a privilege that RVNA takes very seriously and I look forward to helping the team remain strong, reliable, and poised for ongoing progress and growth. RVNA has an excellent reputation in the communities we serve, and I am proud to be a part of the team.” 

Originally from Massachusetts, Linardi lived in California for over 20 years and now resides in Stony Point, New York. She has three children, ages 22,18, and13. Linardi serves as a leadership mentor to inner-city youth through Mentored and, when time permits, enjoys the occasional beach vacation. 

Linardi began her role with RVNA on January 7, 2019 and is based out of the RVNA Center for Exceptional Care in Ridgefield, CT. 

About RVNA 

Founded in 1914, RVNA is an accredited non-profit Medicare-certified home healthcare agency that also supports public health and safety, and promotes the highest quality of life. RVNA provides compassionate care to all individuals, whether young or old, through a continuum of care that encompasses health care at home and in the community. RVNA also provides home health aides and companionship through a non-medical subsidiary called HomeCare by RVNA, end-of life care through Hospice by RVNA, and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy in its Rehab by RVNA facility at 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield. 

To Contact RVNA Call RVNA at 203-438-5555. Visit RVNA at

]]> (Nancy Rowe, Marketing and Public Relations Director) Neighbors Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:52:55 -0500