Stamfordnorth's HamletHub Sun, 21 Apr 2019 15:00:02 -0400 Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: Pyridiam Block

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 Pyridiam Block!

Three questions with Stephanie Mark, founder of Pyridiam Block.

Why did you start your business?

I started my business because I think my product has merit not only in the architecture but also in the landscape environment. Pyridiam Blocks are precast concrete blocks for curbing and veneer.  

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

I wish I could produce my product locally.

Best selling product or service?

Best selling aspect of my product is that a homeowner can buy the blocks for landscape or wall building use. They are not just for buildings. Each block is made of the finest precast concrete and there are many colors to choose from.  

Visit Pyridiam Block online here, call Stephanie at 203-329-7562 or email

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


Pyridiam Block of Connecticut

]]> (HH) Places Thu, 18 Apr 2019 12:01:48 -0400
CT State Police Seek To Recruit Women, Hold Event on April 24

Join us next week Wednesday for our “Women in Policing” recruitment informational

The Connecticut State Police Recruitment and Selection Unit will be holding a “Women in Policing” recruitment informational on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Connecticut Police Academy, 285 Preston Ave, Meriden, CT.

You’ll have the opportunity to speak to women troopers assigned to various areas of the Connecticut State Police. Women troopers assigned to patrol and specialized units such as Major Crime, Firearms Training Unit, K9 Unit and many more will discuss their background, current assignment, challenges and experiences.

Learn more about this event on Facebook here.

]]> (CT State Police) Neighbors Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:02:22 -0400
Congratulations to the National Corporate Merit Scholarship Winners Near Stamford North

Today, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released the names of the first group of winners in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 160 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Congratulations to these students close to Stamford North! Included is the name of the winner, their school, scholarship name, probable career field, home town, and a description of the scholarship.

Ashley J. Xu
Industrial Engineering
Aon Corporation is an international, strategically-diverse company headquartered in Chicago, meeting the insurance and financial services needs of individuals and corporate clients with a broad range of innovative and specialized insurance products marketed through a wide variety of distribution channels. Its brokerage and consulting services are directed toward helping companies, institutions and associations manage risk in a complex and challenging commercial world.
Angela Xulei Ji
S&P Global provides these scholarships for children of its employees.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited

U.S. college or university of their choice.

Funding for these National Merit Scholarships is provided by corporate organizations that represent nearly all sectors of American industry. Sponsors from the business community have underwritten awards offered in all 64 competitions, expending or committing more than $804 million to support the intellectual development of the nation’s scholastically talented youth.

2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition

Over 1.6 million juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. In September 2018, some 16,000 Semifinalists were designated on a state-

representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.

To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists had to fulfill requirements to advance to Finalist standing. Each Semifinalist was asked to complete a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT® scores that confirmed their qualifying test performance. From the Semifinalist group, some 15,000 met Finalist requirements.

By the conclusion of the 2019 competition, about 7,600 Finalists will have been selected to receive National Merit Scholarships totaling over $31 million. Winners are the Finalist candidates judged to have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some 400 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic excellence at all levels of education.

]]> (National Merit) Neighbors Wed, 17 Apr 2019 03:00:00 -0400
Tickets on Sale: 19th Annual SilverSource Charity Golf Outing On June 10 at Rockrimmon Country Club

SilverSource, Inc., a leader in providing assistance to older adults in need since 1908, will host the 19th Annual SilverSource Charity Golf Outing on Monday, June 10, 2018. Tickets are on sale now for this outstanding event, where golfers enjoy a fun day of world-class golf at Rockrimmon Country Club while supporting the SilverSource “Ride to Wellness” and “Housing Stability” programs.

Enjoy a high-spirited day networking with fun-loving professionals, friends and family. The shotgun start tournament includes brunch, a post-tournament reception and a seated dinner. Golfers compete for trophies for everything from a first-place finish to the longest drive, and participate in a hole in one contest with a chance to win a car. Non-golfers are invited to join the fun for cocktails and dinner. Registration begins at $500 for individual golfers, $1,500 for foursomes and $125 for dinner. Visit for additional details and to purchase tickets.

The event will honor Rick Silver, senior partner of Silver Golub & Teitell, an advocate and supporter of those in need. Long recognized as a leader of the litigation bar in the state of Connecticut, he has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for the last 25 years. Mr. Silver has also been included in Connecticut Super Lawyers since its inception.

“As our only spring fundraising event, this tournament provides vital funds for the personal and compassionate services we provide to older adults in Stamford and the surrounding communities,” said Kathleen Bordelon, Executive Director of SilverSource. “These funds ensure that seniors have a roof over their heads and transportation to their medical appointments. Join us for a fantastic day of golf that will change lives this year!”

A variety of high visibility sponsorship packages are available, visit or call Marianne Delaney at 203-324-6584. SilverSource would like to thank its generous sponsors, including First County Bank, Silver Golub & Teitell and media sponsor, Stamford Magazine/Moffly Media.

SilverSource programs and services are critical to the health and wellbeing of those in need, preventing homelessness, destitution and health crisis for more than 2,000 older adults each year. Support directly benefits older neighbors in Stamford and the surrounding communities. SilverSource proves a safety net for older adults living in poverty, during times of hardship, or in need of guidance, sometimes when there is nowhere else to turn. Supporting SilverSource provides assistance to keep a roof over their heads, the heat and lights on, and to get the medical care they need.

To learn more, please visit for information on sponsorships, foursomes, single play, or to join us for cocktails and dinner.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Charities Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:13:33 -0400
Gretchen Rubin to Visit Ferguson Library on April 22

On Monday, April 22, the Ferguson Library will host an evening of food, wine, and conversation with Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, and The Four Tendencies. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception. The program begins at 7 p.m. with a book sale and signing to follow. Tickets are $15. Click here to register online.  

In her decade-long investigation into happiness and human nature, Gretchen Rubin has made a key realization about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. Rubin's bestselling books about human nature, happiness, and good habits have sold more than three million copies worldwide, and her award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin boasts more than 42 million downloads.

Now, with clarity and humor, she turns to the challenge of creating outer order. Her new book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize To Make More Room for Happiness, tackles the challenges of clearing clutter to help create order and to make our lives happier, healthier and more productive.  

The Ferguson Library's Main Library, DiMattia Building is located at One Public Library Plaza in Stamford, Conn. For more information, call (203) 351-8243.

]]> (Books, Ink editors) Events Tue, 16 Apr 2019 09:37:00 -0400
Connecticut State Police Accepting Applications at Locations Near Stamford North for State Police Troopers until May 31

Today is the DAY! The Connecticut State Police is accepting applications for the position of State Police Trooper Trainee. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.

The State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police is currently accepting applications to establish a pool of qualified applicants to fill future vacant State Police Trooper Trainee positions across the State.    

The Connecticut State Police offers numerous Career Opportunities across our beautiful State, with opportunities for promotional advancement and geographic transfers.   Adding to the attractive locations and upward mobility are excellent Compensation and Benefits including a full Health Benefitspackage, along with additional Supplemental Benefits and a 25 year Hazardous Duty retirement.  

The CT Troop  locations nearest to Stamford North are:

Troop Street City Phone
TROOP G – Bridgeport 149 Prospect Street Bridgeport (800) 575-6330

There is a six stage process for hiring:

  1. Application Period:How to Apply for the SPTT Job Opening
  2. Physical Fitness Assessment: Candidates must take and pass a Physical Fitness Assessment that measures muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility.  Valid CHIP cards will be accepted prior to the CT State Police Physical Ability Test, tentatively scheduled for August.  To register, please follow the instructions on the CHIP Test Schedule.     

   Instructional Video Links:

  1. Polygraph Examination: Inquiries concerning employment history; driving history; medical history; financial history; gambling history; illegal possession, use and sale of drugs/narcotics; criminal activity; military history; illegal sexual activity; use of alcohol; general personal data; prior conduct in police/security/corrections fields; subversive, revolutionary or gang activity; basic honesty and integrity.
  2. Background Investigation:  Comprehensive review of employment, education, training, criminal, motor vehicle and credit history.
  3. Psychological Evaluation: Combination of written tests and interviews to assess suitability for employment in law enforcement.
  4. Medical Evaluation: Comprehensive physical examination, including drug screening.

Operational needs of the agency will weigh heavily on the initial assignment of hired Troopers.  However, we work with our staff to identify locations that are geographically compatible to their desired location.  The agency seeks trustworthy, motivated, driven individuals who are able to work well on their own as well as in a team environment.   We strive to provide superior Public Safety Services for Connecticut and achieve them through our Mission.

DESPP is committed to protecting and improving the quality of life for all by providing a broad range of public safety services, training, regulatory guidance and scientific services utilizing enforcement, prevention, education and state of the art science and technology.

In striving to accomplish this mission, State Police embody core values with great PRIDE:

  • Professionalism through an elite and diverse team of trained men and women.
  • Respect for ourselves and others through our words and actions.
  • Integrity through adherence to standards and values that merit public trust.
  • Dedication to our colleagues, our values, and to the service of others.
  • Equality through fair and unprejudiced application of the law.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Connecticut State Police Troopers, please view the video below and visit    

]]> (CT State Trooper) Public safety Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:04:39 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: The Pickel Law Firm

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

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

You're IT The Pickel Law Firm!

Three questions with Alan S. Pickel, owner and founder of The Pickel Law Firm.

Why did you start your business?

The Pickel Law Firm, LLC was started in 2003 with the goal of providing client-oriented zealous and compassionate representation to real people.  I wanted a firm where clients can meet with a lawyer and not just a paralegal or legal assistant.  Too many law firms do not provide clients with hands-on personal service.  I wanted to change that.  Since 2003 The Pickel Law Firm, LLC has been helping real people in Connecticut fight for fair compensation in wrongful death, personal injury and medical malpractice cases.  We zealously and compassionately fight for our clients against the greedy insurance companies and big corporations while also assisting our community through the difficult process of divorce, custody and related family matters.

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

I wish I could change the legal system to make it easier, more efficient and less costly for our citizens.  At the Pickel Law Firm, LLC, we strive to do our best within the system that exists to make the resolution of legal issues easier, more efficient and less costly for our clients.

Best selling product/service?

We are best known for the high-quality representation that we provide to our clients in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death and Divorce.  However, we strive to provide a broad range of legal services to the community.

The Pickel Law Firm is located at 1700 Bedford Street in Stamford. Call 203-348-4100 or visit them online

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

]]> ( Alan S. Pickel) Places Mon, 15 Apr 2019 11:47:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: Accel-Health

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 Accel-Health!

Three questions with Reuben Malkiel, DC, owner of Accel-Health.

Why did you start your business?

I have a passion for helping people become pain-free without the use of drugs or surgeries.

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

I wish I could have people understand that there is an order to your physical health and reducing the pain and inflammation. Self-care should be tried first, if that does not work, try natural remedies, acupuncture, physical rehabilitation, chiropractic, and Chinese medicine to name a few.  Medication can be used to help with the pain, but patients need to understand that there is no correction to the cause of the symptoms with medications. Surgery should be considered the last and final option. Every condition is different and surgery may be required depending on the diagnosis.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

I use several businesses to support my business, including but not limited to, Shape your Being, Crossfit Capability and Haute Healing Spa.

Accel-Health is located at 970 Summer Street in Stamford. Visit Accel-Health online

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


]]> (HH) Places Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:50:55 -0400
Griffin Anthony Performs on Tuesday in Stamford

Griffin Anthony Live Performance at Northern Lights Lounge inside of The Stamford Marriott on Tuesday, April 16 from 4-7pm.

Join us for live music, complimentary tastings, happy hour specials and more on April 16.

- FREE Event
- Live Acoustic Music by Griffin Anthony
- Complimentary Tastings from Atlantic Street House
- New Happy Hour Menu & Specials Available

4pm - 7pm @ Northern Lights Bar & Lounge, Stamford Marriott.

The Stamford Marriott is located at 243 Tresser Blvd, Stamford.


]]> (Stamford Marriott) Events Sun, 14 Apr 2019 15:56:22 -0400
CSCU Will Grant Academic Credit to Students Receiving 3 or Higher on AP Exams

Board of Regents Adopts Uniform Advanced Placement Policy

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) are pleased to announce that the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) has adopted a uniform policy for advanced placement credit and student placement. Under the new policy, all CSCU institutions will grant academic credits to any student earning a score of 3 and higher on any AP examination. Students transferring from a CSCU community college to a CSCU university or Charter Oak State College or transferring between two-year colleges or between four-year institutions within CSCU with AP scores of 3 and higher shall be considered for the awarding of course credits and/or placement at any CSCU institution.

“This is commonsense policy is a step in the right direction, and I thank the BOR for taking action,” CSCU President Mark Ojakian said. “Thanks in large part to SDE’s outreach efforts, more and more high school students – particularly students from lower-income districts – are taking AP exams each year, and the uniform policy will not just help high school students gain college credit, but it will also make higher education more affordable and accessible.”

“This is wonderful news for our high school students and we appreciate the work of CSCU and BOR to create a policy that will result in more certainty and clarity for Connecticut students during their higher education experience,” said Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell. “The adoption of a uniform policy aligns with existing CSDE efforts that have contributed to a steady increase in AP participation and performance among all students over the past several years, including students of color and those from low-income families. It is an excellent example of how state leaders can and should partner to foster an environment that leads to an increase in student success.”

“A system-wide Advanced Placement credit policy recognizes the hard work of so many Connecticut students achieving a 3 or higher on AP exams and supports the BOR Mission and Vision,” said Dr. Jane Gates, CSCU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

The CSCU and the CSDE recognize that honoring AP courses that students take in high school and awarding college course credits through these examinations advances their preparedness for college success and impacts positively upon the affordability of attending college. The policy allows CSCU institutions to award credits as the equivalent of a specific course, as fulfilling a general education category, or as elective credits.

The CSCU and CSDE originally began exploring the benefits of this policy to students, while also reviewing the relevant research about AP. The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and the Connecticut School Counselor Association (CSCA) expressed strong support for such a policy. CAPSS noted that it could help to “keep AP students in the state” and support “their momentum for persistence and retention,” not to mention the substantial savings in time and money. The CSCA observed that school counselors across the state are encouraging students to challenge themselves with college-level coursework while in high school and that such a uniform policy will be efficient and effective in the college planning process.

This is a win for all students pursuing higher education in our state. Read the Advanced Placement Credit and Placement Policy here or visit BOR’s website for more.

]]> (CT Dept of Education) Neighbors Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:35:32 -0400
The Food Revolution is Back on May 18


The New Canaan Food Revolution, inspired by Jamie Oliver returns for a FIFTH year on Saturday, May 18th between 9.30am – 11:30am

The Bravery Passport and Food Trail was created by local resident Rachel Lampen to encourage children of all ages to sample small bites that they would never normally try. Food they haven’t heard of, food that looks or smells different or food that just sounds weird. In previous years, parents have been amazed to see their children’s food barriers broken down as they try everything from Kale Smoothies, to Snails! Nowadays children AND adults are encouraged to participate - as long as you are wearing a special wristband. You earn a stamp for everything you taste and if you complete your passport then you get entered into a prize draw. 

This year registration and vendors will be located in front of New Canaan Town Hall with FREE parking at the back! Proceeds from ticket sales will go to New Canaan CARES.

This event has become a Fairfield family favorite. With between 12-18 delicious food stops on the trail it’s a great way to discover New Canaan. There will be entertainment by award winning local band Mind The Gap.

Topic of focus include: avoidingfood waste andrecycling. Sponsors include Walter Stewart's Market, Treasure Hunt Tours and Serendipity Magazine.

Ticket price includes food samples, a Bravery Certificate and upon completion entry into a prize draw

For further information on participating, sponsorship or images please contact 

]]> (New Canaan Editor) Events Thu, 11 Apr 2019 13:06:16 -0400
Pacific House Thanks Supporters At 11th Annual Food & Wine Experience

Hundreds of community leaders, food and music enthusiasts and community-minded area residents gathered together at the Pacific House Food & Wine Experience Thursday night at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel. The event raised nearly $40,000 to help homeless youth and the Pacific House Young Adult Program.

This beloved community tradition offered delicious tastes from award-winning local restaurants, top chefs and sommeliers. Music, a fun photo booth and moving remarks rounded out this inspiring evening of caring for our community.

“Pacific House plays a vital role in our community,” said State Representative Matt Blumenthal. “Stamford is a place that cares for its own, and that can’t happen without Pacific House.”

The evening raised funds for the Pacific House Young Adult Program, which helps homeless young adults in lower Fairfield County find housing and connects them with employment, education and support services that prepare them for adulthood. Specialized case managers, programs and a dedicated living space at the Pacific House shelter helps these young people avoid a lifetime of homelessness.

“I’ve been involved in helping the homeless community for over 20 years,” said Jerre Skeats of Darien, “Pacific House does a great job in executing their vision for transitioning people out of homelessness.”

“We are grateful to our community partners, sponsors and supporters for making this event a success,” said Rafael Pagan, Jr., Executive Director of Pacific House. “The people here tonight are the reason we’re able to accomplish the life-changing work that we do.”

Pacific House is grateful to the evening’s generous sponsors, First County Bank, Webster Bank, ShopRite, Joan A. Connor, and the Fred and Joan Weisman Fund. Additional thanks are extended to the vendors including, Bareburger, The Cakery, Columbus Park Trattoria, DiMare Pastry Shop, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Kashi Stamford, Longford’s Ice Cream, Peter Chang, Stamford Sheraton, Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, Triangles Eats, Westfair Productions and Unbakeables.

Pacific House is the only regional men’s emergency shelter, serving the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and beyond. Since 1985 the organization has served our area by providing food, temporary shelter and an array of support services to homeless men and young adults, including workforce development, recovery programming, and job readiness training. Shelter case managers work with each individual, helping them obtain housing and becoming more self-sufficient.

Visit www.PacificHouse to learn more, or to make a donation.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Charities Thu, 11 Apr 2019 09:20:33 -0400
Stamford Plastic Bag Ban In Effect May 3

On May 3rd, the City of Stamford's plastic bag ordinance will go into effect. Businesses will no longer be allowed to distribute disposable plastic bags. 

The Board of Representatives passed an ordinance eliminating the distribution of disposable plastic bags in Stamford. The goal of this ordinance is to improve the environment within the City by prohibiting the use of disposable carry out plastic bags and implementing a 10 cent charge for recyclable carryout paper bags. The City's hope is that residents will use reusable carryout bags that will help better serve the environment. 

The City encourages businesses to offer plastic bag alternatives, and for residents to utilize reusable bags made of cloth, fiber or fabric.

Quick Facts

  • This ordinance will go into effect on May 3rd, 2019.
  • If you see a business distrubiting disposable plastic bags, you may report them to FixIt Stamford
  • If you qualify for government food assistance programs such as SNAP, are exempt from charges related to disposable carry out bags 
  • Click here to view the ordinance 
  • View our flyer here

If you are a resident or business owner and would like to learn more about the ban please click here  

]]> (City of Stamford) Politics Wed, 10 Apr 2019 04:28:23 -0400
Tracee Ellis Ross Energizes & Inspires at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon

BRAVE. BOLD. YOU. Resounds at FWG Celebration Raising Nearly $600,000

Commemorating its history of community impact, Tracee Ellis Ross was the featured keynote speaker at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon. More than 800 friends and supporters from Connecticut and beyond were part of this celebration held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, Connecticut, on April 4, 2019. The empowering theme —BRAVE. BOLD. YOU. — applauded the heart that supporters have steadfastly brought to empower women and girls in the county for more than two decades. The estimated gross proceeds from the 2019 luncheon was nearly $600,000, exceeding this year’s fundraising goal.

BRAVE. BOLD. YOU. perfectly embodies the role that the Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls has courageously played in our region. We salute our devoted supporters for their brave and bold tenacity for The Fund and their ongoing dedication to changing the lives of our women and girls in our region,” stated Juanita James, President & CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “We are honored that Tracee Ellis Ross joined us to celebrate our accomplishments and the support of our benefactors.”

Over the years, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls has invested over $7 million in sustainable solutions, informed by research, in support of economically secure, safe and healthy women and girls throughout the county. Established in 1998 by a small group of visionary women, The Fund is now New England’s largest women’s fund.

“The Fund for Women & Girls has had another great year; one that includes commissioning fresh research to ensure our funding continues to align with the most critical needs of the region. Our vision and values – like those of our keynote speaker, Tracee Ellis Ross – are helping women and girls to be safer and healthier; to achieve equity and equality; experience inclusivity; and to feel empowered to be their authentic selves in their lives and bodies,” stated Tricia Hyacinth, Director, Fund for Women & Girls.

Fund for Women & Girls pioneer, Anne Leonhardt, contributed seed funding that ultimately launched the Fund in 1998. In honor of her legacy, the second Anne S. Leonhardt Award was bestowed upon Vicki Craver, a longstanding supporter of the Community Foundation and The Fund. Craver was recognized for her community leadership and philanthropic efforts to strengthen Fairfield County.

Last year, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls awarded over $985,000 in grants to 30 organizations and have positively impacted thousands of women and girls. Grants were bestowed on organizations that share a commitment to meet the unique needs of women and girls and fuel solutions through research-driven work. The research, which will be unveiled at a community event in the fall, will guide The Fund’s development of new investment areas, competitive grantmaking strategies and advocacy efforts for 2020 and beyond.

Net proceeds from the Annual Luncheon will benefit the Fund for Women & Girls’ programmatic work, including the Family Economic Security Program (FESP) at Housatonic Community College. FESP, a signature program of The Fund, recognizes the critical need that low- and medium-income adult students often cannot attend college due to competing needs, financial hardship, lack of childcare and more. FESP addresses these issues by providing financial aid, as well as comprehensive, bundled support services that foster an encouraging and nurturing environment for its students, leading to economic security and sustainable careers.

During the luncheon, Rebecca and Rich DelValle, the first FESP couple to be highlighted at the luncheon, spoke about how the program has changed their lives and those of their six children. Rich DelValle stated, “FESP has enabled us to accomplish so much more than we ever imagined. And now our children are seeing what’s possible for them and their futures and their families. To be able to make such a generational impact is priceless!” He continued, “Believe it or not, it was the boldest and bravest thing I’d ever done – to go back to school in my late 30s. I wanted our kids to know that change can be good. There are options out there if you’re open to them.” In conclusion, his wife, Rebecca DelValle, said, “When you’re living day to day to survive, that type of hardship doesn’t give you the luxury to dream. But with FESP, you’ve given us – and our family – that gift.”

The Fund for Women & Girls dedicated Steering Committee member, Leah Glover, of Danbury, co-chaired this year’s luncheon with Jane Carlin, of Stamford. They were supported by an engaged luncheon committee from across the region. The co-chairs led a highly successful Text-to-Give fundraiser during the event that will directly benefit this worthwhile initiative. A Text-to-Give challenge matching gift of $50,000 was generously donated by the daughters of Anne S. Leonhardt, Barbara and Melissa. This year’s Text-to-Give effort raised nearly $120,000, generously donated by attendees during the luncheon.

The audience was further invigorated when award-winning actress, producer and activist, Tracee Ellis Ross brought her unparalleled energy to the stage. She uses her voice, platform and social influence to spread an important message of equity, inclusivity and acceptance which aligns with The Fund’s core values and mission.  As an influential voice in modern conversation, she answered a wide range of questions.

When asked about the role women friends play in her life, Ms. Ellis Ross responded, “Being a friend has done more for me than being friended. I grew up in a tribe of women. It was my mom and her three girls. So, this myth in the world that women are in competition with each other is, by the way, not a myth. It’s because the systemic environment has been there is only space for one of us and that we’re supposed to compete with one another, just to get a place for one of us. It’s just a way to silo us off and keep us separated from each other because in the collection of us, there is power, collective power in us.” She continued by saying, “There’s enough sun for everybody. Your win is my win. I really believe that. Every time a woman laughs out loud, lives out loud, loves out loud, I get more permission to do the same. That’s how, to me, the human spirit is supported in that energy of community and connection.”

Stamford Health was the Presenting Sponsor for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon. In addition, Annual Luncheon champion sponsors included TD Bank; Deloitte Services LP; Eversource; Koskoff Koskoff & Beider, PC; Manatuck Hill Partners LLC; NBC Sports Group; Neuberger Berman;  People’s United Bank; Pitney Bowes; Spinnaker Real Estate Partners LLC; UBS; United Bank; Wells Fargo Private Bank, Ethan Allen and Nielsen’s Florist and Garden Shop. Media sponsors included Media Partner - Hearst Media Group Connecticut, Moffly Media, Star 99.9 and 95.9 the Fox. 

]]> (Helen Koven) Charities Tue, 09 Apr 2019 11:54:37 -0400
Bruce Contemporaries Provide Dynamic Support to Museum

Greenwich, CT - The Bruce Museum is much more than a place of changing exhibitions and collections of objects in fine and decorative art, natural history, and anthropology. It’s also a collection of people – a community of members, friends, and supporters who share a common interest in the wonders of art and science.

The Museum’s family of members now includes Bruce Contemporaries, a dynamic group of art and culture enthusiasts between the ages of 25 and 45 who enjoy insider access to the Bruce Museum and the exclusive events, educational, and networking opportunities the Museum is in a unique position to provide.

Credit longtime Bruce member and active volunteer Grace Djuranovic for providing the spark that brought this new member group together. As the Chair of the Bruce’s popular “Night at the Museum” fall event for two years, she saw the enthusiasm the annual family fundraiser attracted and recognized the opportunity to engage these young local families in a more sustained, inclusive way.

Grace, who spent a decade overseeing art sponsorship programs for a multinational bank, says, “Luckily, I have a wonderful group of friends who also have had careers related to the art world and a passion for art, so we pitched the idea and worked with the Bruce Museum to make this idea a reality. Everyone at the Bruce has been so supportive and wonderful in working together to identify great opportunities and create bespoke events tailored for the Bruce Contemporaries.”

The Bruce Contemporaries’ first gathering took place late last summer with “Sips on the Sound,” a casual cocktail reception at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center in Greenwich Point Park, raising critical funds to support the Center’s educational programs.

Other recent happenings have included a visit to the Charles Patrick Studio in Stamford, a behind-the-scenes tour of the newest aircraft in NetJets’ fleet at Westchester County Airport, and a curator’s tour of the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at The Brant Foundation’s new space in New York’s East Village.

  • Annual dues for the Bruce Contemporaries are $375 for an individual and $550 for a couple. Throughout the year, members will receive: 
  • Family/Dual membership to the Museum which includes invitations to two members-only exhibition openings
  • Invitations to at least four Bruce Contemporaries social and educational events
  • Access to discounted tickets the annual Bruce Museum Gala
  • Access to early registration for the Night at the Museum Family Benefit 
  • Invitations to select additional Museum-hosted events 

Helping brainstorm the Contemporaries’ adventures is a committee of passionate Museum members, including Katie Fong Biglin and Owen Biglin, Hagar and Julien Chemali, Grace and her husband Marko Djuranovic, Asya and Mike Geller, Erin and Taylor Glasebrook, Olivia and James Langston, and Caity and Matt Lischick.

“I’ve had so much fun as part of the Bruce Contemporaries – it’s a great group of young adults who want to socialize, attend unique or private viewings of art collections, and support the Bruce Museum and all it does for our community,” says Hagar Chemali. “I grew up visiting the Bruce and going to its events – it was a key part of my childhood in Greenwich, and I love that I can continue the tradition both as a young adult and for my children.”

Upcoming Contemporaries events include a private tour of a contemporary art collection in Stamford, a Gallery Crawl along Greenwich Ave., and a return this summer to the Seaside Center for more “Sips on the Sound.”

“The new Bruce Contemporaries group has already attracted nearly 70 members, and we look forward to welcoming more active young adults who are passionate about art and science – and the Bruce Museum,” says Becky Conelias, Development Department and Donor Relations Manager.

For more information about Bruce Contemporaries, please visit the new website at The website features upcoming events, a blog covering past activities, and an option to join online. Or contact Becky Conelias; or 203-413-6745.

]]> (Scott Smith) Places Tue, 09 Apr 2019 07:57:46 -0400