Stamfordnorth's HamletHub Tue, 25 Jun 2019 16:46:01 -0400 Stamford Downtown Announces Opening Acts for Wed. Nite Live & Alive@Five Concerts

Stamford, CT - Two of the region’s hottest concert series, Morgan Stanley presents Wednesday Nite Live in partnership with BDO USA and City Carting & Recycling on the Dental365 Stage and Alive@Five in partnership with Reckson and BevMax on the Dental365 Stage, kick off on Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11 respectively in Columbus Park in Stamford Downtown.

And now organizers are happy to announce the opening acts for both series!

Alive@Five kicks off with Shaggy and closes with T-PAIN and also stars 98 Degrees, POP 2000 Tour Hosted by Lance Bass of *NSYNC and Travie McCoy. The concerts begin at 5pm and run five Thursdays, July 11 – August 8. $20 Admission Fee - Alive@Five Happy Hour: $5 BEER/WINE FROM 5-6PM - Over 21 ONLY will be admitted to Alive@Five.

For more information and a complete list of rules and restricted items please visit:  


Morgan Stanley presents Wednesday Nite Live in partnership with BDO USA and City Carting & Recycling on the Dental365 Stage kicks off Wednesday, July 10 with Andy Grammer in Columbus Park in Stamford Downtown. The five-week long series runs Wednesdays, July 10 through August 7 in Columbus Park at 6:30 pm. All ages will be admitted to Wednesday Nite Live. $20 Entrance Fee, 12 and under free with paid adult.  For more information and a complete list of rules and restricted items please visit:


Alive@Five in partnership with Reckson and BevMax on the Dental365 Stage is produced by Stamford Downtown Special Services District. Additional sponsors include NBCUniversal, Bon & Viv SpikedSeltzer, Bud Light, Connecticut Distributors Inc., EFFEN Vodka, Fleur de Mer, J Vineyard, LaMarca Prosecco, Mia Campo, Michelob Ultra, Whitehaven, Crowne Plaza Stamford, Hotel Zero Degrees, Sheraton Stamford Hotel, Stamford Marriott, Palace Theatre, Event Management, Inc., Happyhaha Photography, Kunjan Collective, Simply Signs, Stamford Advocate, 95.9 THE FOX, STAR 99.9 radio stations and our participating Columbus Park Area Merchants.

Morgan Stanley presents Wednesday Nite Live in partnership with BDO USA and City Carting & Recycling on the Dental365 Stage is produced by Stamford Downtown Special Services District. Additional sponsors include BevMax, Connecticut Distributors Inc., Fleur de Mer, J Vinevard, LaMarca Prosecco, Whitehaven, Crowne Plaza Stamford, Hotel Zero Degrees, Sheraton Stamford Hotel, Stamford Marriott, Palace Theatre, Event Management, Inc., Happyhaha Photography, Simply Signs, Stamford Advocate and WEBE 108.

]]> (Annette Einhorn) Events Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:07:51 -0400
Family Centers Honors Employees for Customer Service Excellence

At its employee-wide Town Hall Meeting on June 13, Family Centers recognized five employees for customer service excellence. 

For consistently embodying Family Centers’ core values and providing exceptional service to both internal and external customers, Family First in Education Coordinator Carolina Ahumada, School Based Health Center Office Support Staff (OSS) Jennifer Trinidad, Warburg Center Lead Teacher Verkisha Richardson, Stamford CARES HIV Specialist Jean Lorius and Resident Services Coordination Shawnece Simmons were named Family Centers’ 2019 “Customer Service Ambassadors”. 

As part of an agency-wide customer service initiative called CSI:FC (Customer Service Initiative: Family Centers), the annual Customer Service Ambassador Award honors employees who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure customer needs are met.  Winners were nominated by fellow Family Centers employees. 

“Providing superior customer service is an integral component of our culture, and we continuously strive to build on our excellent reputation,” said CEO Bob Arnold.  “Our Customer Service Ambassadors’ positive approach and the way they uphold Family Centers’ standards of excellence inspires us all.”

Established in 2011, CSI:FC celebrates Family Centers’ rich culture of excellent service delivery, while indentifies ways to improve.  The initiative is based on seven Standards of Excellence, which incorporate Family Centers’ organizational value statement and provides employees with guidelines that should be considered when working with customers. 

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering heath, education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 200 professionals and 4,000 trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and is accredited by The Joint Commission and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Visit for additional information.

]]> (William Brucker) Neighbors Tue, 25 Jun 2019 07:38:48 -0400
FREE Monday Night Movies in Stamford Downtown

Stamford Downtown Monday Night Movies sponsored by Avon Theatre featuring Half Full Brewery

Stamford Downtown Monday Night Movies sponsored by Avon Theatre featuring Half Full Brewery is a series of free movies at Latham Park.  Bring your sense of humor, a  picnic basket & blanket and enjoy our outdoor movie in Latham Park, in partnership with Half Full Brewery and Love Sac.

Kunjan Collective will be on hand to warm you up with some lively DJ music starting at 5pm until the sun goes down (after 8:30pm) and then it’s showtime! Pick up a bite to eat to bring to the park from one of our surrounding eateries.

View the Monday Night Movie schedule here.

]]> (Stamford Downtown) Events Mon, 24 Jun 2019 10:11:01 -0400
The Mayor's Gallery presents Marina Shrady "Beyond Boundaries"

The Mayor’s Gallery presents Marina Shrady “Beyond Boundaries” - An eclectic selection of inspired contemporary oil paintings July 1 – August 30, 2019

Reception: Friday, July 12 from 5 - 7pm

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm      

An artist’s way of seeing is similar to a musician’s way of hearing. Some artists imagine work in full form, others imagine it in fragments; both refine the arrangement  - Marina Shrady

Meet the artist Friday, July 12th from 5 -7pm and view an eclectic selection of masterfully rendered contemporary oil paintings created over the paste decade. “Whether abstract or figurative, each canvas is thoughtfully composed and rendered; her forms and colorations enhance and elevate each series.” says gallery director, Lina Morielli.

Marina Shrady attended the Art Students League in NYC and studied under Will Barnet where she was awarded a merit scholarship from the National Arts Club in Manhattan. She earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and also studied at the Corcoran Museum in Washington, DC.

Marina has exhibited widely; at The School of Visual Arts Gallery in Manhattan, The Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY, The Duluth Art Institute, The Clarke Gallery in Palm Beach, FL, The Clarke Fine Arts Gallery in Manhattan and The Bendheim and Flinn Galleries in Greenwich, CT. Her work has also been exhibited at other private galleries in the metropolitan New York area. Her clients include corporate executives, celebrities, and private collectors throughout the country.

Marina is a member of Loft Artist Association and the Contemporary Art Network and continues to create inspired contemporary artwork at her mid-century studio and retreat along the Mianus River in Stamford, Connecticut.

Marina is the granddaughter of sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady and the daughter of artist/sculptor Frederick Shrady.

The Mayor's Gallery is located at 888 Washington Blvd, 10th Fl in Stamford.

For additional info, call 203 858 3082. There is on-site parking and the venue is handicap accessible.

]]> (Lina Morielli) Events Mon, 24 Jun 2019 08:44:56 -0400
Kids In Crisis Final Triathlon on Sunday

Kids In Crisis Final Triathlon on Sunday, June 23 at Cummings Park, Shippan Ave in Stamford

This event benefits Kids in Crisis, a 40 year old organization that provides programs and services to Fairfield County children and families facing difficulties of all kinds.  
7:00 a.m.   Stamford KIC IT Olympic Triathlon race start
7:18 a.m. Stamford KIC IT Sprint Triathlon race start (approximately 10 minutes after the last Olympic swim wave start) 
11:00 a.m. Sprint and Olympic Awards
12:30 a.m. Kids Triathlon starts   
1:30 p.m. Kids Awards
9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Family Festival at Cummings Beach (open to the public, athletes, families, spectators and volunteers) will follow Sunday’s races

The Stamford KIC IT Races raise much-needed funds for Kids In Crisis, Fairfield County’s only emergency shelter and counseling center for children ages newborn to seventeen. Kids In Crisis has helped more than 148,000 children and families struggling with abuse, neglect, homelessness and more. Click here for more information on participating as a fundraising athlete.
]]> (KIC) Events Fri, 21 Jun 2019 11:18:21 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: Dance with El

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 Dance with El!

Three questions with Eleanor Casale, owner of Dance with El.

Dance with El is the newest craze of online dance fitness classes.  

Why did you start your business?

I started my business because, for many years, I had dreamed about starting a dance fitness group where members were family.... a judgment-free and drama-free zone. I wanted a dance studio that would be filled with women who shared the same fitness goal. 

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

I wish I could inspire everyone to realize that health is wealth! Make the time for yourself because no one else can do it for you.

How many people do you employ?

I am a one-man show. Keeping it small and keeping it personal and keeping the family together matters most to me!

Visit Dance with El online here. You can also email or call 203-979-3086.

Dance with El tags Stamford Balance Chiropractic Studio

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

]]> (HH) Places Fri, 21 Jun 2019 09:11:56 -0400
New Peer-to-Peer Mentor Program Announced to Support Lyme Disease Patients and Caregivers

Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) today announced the launch of “Lyme Link,” its new—and the Lyme disease community’s first—peer-to-peer mentor program. Lyme Link is a free resource that matches those affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases with volunteers who provide emotional support and hope. 

“Our new program,” said Sara Tyghter, GLA’s Director of Education and Outreach, “will connect Lyme patients, caregivers or family members with knowledgeable and empathetic individuals who have already experienced the many challenges of living with Lyme, and who can provide effective support.” Tyghter added, “Connecting to others like themselves allows for those affected to share their emotions—fear, stress, confusion, frustrations, guilt—while helping patients find new ways to lighten their load.” 

Peer support is different from other forms of social support. In it an individual is connected to a specific individual who has knowledge from their own experiences with tick-borne illnesses. Studies show that peer support is effective for patients suffering from a variety of diseases including cancer, brain injury, multiple sclerosis and numerous other health conditions. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on the effects of peer mentoring on diabetes patients, those with peer mentors showed significant improvements in blood sugar control after six months. Lyme patients will particularly benefit from mentoring due to the often isolating and misunderstood nature of the disease.

Those who want to become a GLA mentor or mentee need to complete an online matching survey at A GLA peer mentee is paired with a mentor who has faced similar challenges themselves. The individual is then matched with a person with a similar profile, including age, gender, stage of the disease, how long it took to get diagnosed, and experiences with treatments. Peer mentors are available to communicate by phone, email or video chat.  

“We are thrilled about this new program because it reflects GLA’s ongoing commitment to improving the lives of all those affected by Lyme disease,” said Scott Santarella, GLA’s CEO. “This program will make sure that any individual affected by Lyme or other tick-borne diseases is supported through their often difficult Lyme journey.”

GLA’s new peer program is one of the organization’s many initiatives to provide support to those impacted by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. GLA’s Physician Network, for example, has helped thousands to access Lyme specialists worldwide. Moreover, GLA volunteers answer questions from patients around the globe and provide information about those physicians in a patient’s geographic area knowledgeable about Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. GLA also offers access to support groups; this is a great opportunity for patients, family members and caregivers to talk and meet with others who share their experiences.  

“Each person experiences Lyme in a singular way,” said Santarella. “That makes it essential for us to help patients in any way we can to improve their quality of life.”


About Global Lyme Alliance

Global Lyme Alliance is the leading 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases through research, education and awareness. GLA has gained national prominence for funding some of the most urgent and promising research in the field, while expanding education and awareness programs for the general public and physicians. We support those around the globe in need of information about tick-borne diseases. Learn more at


]]> (Global Lyme Alliance ) Neighbors Fri, 21 Jun 2019 08:56:35 -0400
Tickets Still Available for Brews on Bedford, June 29

Stamford, CT — Brews on Bedford, presented by Stamford Downtown Special Service District, is a craft brew festival featuring over 40 beer varieties from 20+ breweries. The event will be held on Saturday, June 29 from 1pm – 4pm in Latham Park on Bedford Street in Stamford Downtown.

Guests can fill a sampling glass with beer from a variety of breweries from across the region, while enjoying live music with Alpacka, fun games and food for purchase. Participating breweries include: 1911 Established, Asylum Distillery, Athletic Brewing Company, Bad Sons Beer Co., Best Friend Lunch, Black Hog Brewing Co., Bull & Barrel Brewery Restaurant, Devil's Purse Brewing Company, Downeast Cider, Estrella Damm, Gun Hill Brewing Company, Half Full Brewery, Jack's Abby Craft Lagers, Lock City Brewing Company, Moosehead Breweries, New England Cider Company, Owl's Brew, Redding Beer Company, Reverie Brewing Company, RISE Brewing Co., Springdale Beer, Stony Creek Brewery and Super Bock Group.

Tickets for Brews on Bedford are $35 if purchased until June 28 and $40 on site day of event (if tickets are still available). Entry fee includes a tasting glass, unlimited samples (while supplies last), entertainment and more!

Guests must be 21 and over. Proper ID will be required for admission (Valid and current motor vehicle operator's license, identity card issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, or a passport along with another

form of photo ID). We encourage you to drink responsibly and know your limits. No pets or kids under 21 please.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here:

]]> (Annette Einhorn) Events Thu, 20 Jun 2019 08:11:40 -0400
King Middle School Team Takes Top Prize in Cooking Competition

The heat was on, the timers were set, and all eyes were on seven Middle School students competing in the King Cares Cooking Competition earlier this month. Two hours later and three courses consumed, the King team was announced as the winner.

Two years ago, Lelio Vieux, King Director of Dining Services, pitched an idea of offering cooking classes to MS students, with the meals students prepared being served to people in the local community. The Middle School was excited to integrate more service projects into the students’ day, so King Cares Cooking was born! Over the course of the school year all Grade 6 students took a cooking class and then had the opportunity to go to either Inspirica or New Covenant Center to serve the meals. The idea of the cooking competition, in a similar format as Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, was the next part of the cooking program. The classes and competition went so well last year, that there was no doubt we had to make this a tradition. This year the competition grew to include four schools: Wooster School, Christian Heritage School, Fairfield Country Day School, and King School.

Seven students representing King were accepted into the competition. They worked with Chef Estwardo after school in the weeks leading up to the competition to learn additional skills, but not just related to cooking. “The Cooking Competition was a wonderful opportunity for students to work as a team, and discover the best ways to collaborate and communicate with each other, especially while performing under pressure. They also got the opportunity to practice and develop their cooking skills, doing it all in a fun, supportive environment,” said Karen Raidt, Director of King Cares Service. 

Celebrity Chef Jet Tila promoted team building as the basis of the competition. He met with students before the competition and discussed the meaning of the event and that the purpose is not just to win. "Winning is great but that's not why we do these things. The idea is to have fun, work together and raise money for local organizations," he said.

“It was exciting to watch all of the Grade 6 students this year during the cooking classes in the US dining room. They learned various cooking techniques and about kitchen safety while preparing and then serving meals that would help others in the Stamford community,” shared Raidt. Congratulations to our MS team!

Learn more about King School by scheduling a tour or by attending Coffee and Conversation on July 23. Click here for information.

King Cares Cooking Competition 2019

]]> (King School) Neighbors Thu, 20 Jun 2019 07:46:59 -0400
Diversity Defines Winners of Stamford Board of Realtors Scholarships

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The diversity that runs through Stamford public schools and makes the district extraordinarily unique is reflected in the Stamford Board of REALTORS® 10 Frank N. Green Memorial scholarship award winners.

The winners each received $1,000 from the Stamford Board of REALTORS®, which is celebrating its 100th year. Since the organization began distributing scholarships, more than $163,000 has been distributed to students who are graduating from the community's public, private, technical, and parochial schools. Award are based on community service and academics, and each of the students made significant contributions and spent countless hours supporting local programs. Forty-seven students applied for scholarships.

The Stamford Board of REALTORS®started the program in 1993. The organization has selected 10 recipients every year since 2016 except for 2018, when 12 students were honored.

This year's class is particularly diverse, with different backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, communities, and values. Yet for all of their differences, all of the students are exiting the public schools with an appreciation for the mix of students and educators within the system that makes the city a model for embracing multicultural dialogue.

"The diversity in Stamford public schools has helped me be more open-minded,'' said Shayna Druckman, a Stamford High School senior and one of the scholarship winners. "Seeing people from all walks of life every day was a terrific experience. The other day, there was a spring concert for the band and choir, and there were so many different kinds of people. It made me happy to see that. It fuels my soul. Stamford is good about that. There's not much separation between races or gender. That's how it is in the world. I'm happy that I've grown up that way."

Three Stamford students also won scholarships from the Connecticut Association of Realtors. Benjamin Grass and Kevin Zyskowski were awarded $1,000 Raymond F. Gates Memorial Scholarships. Jared Tuttle was awarded $500.

Here's a brief look at the Stamford Board of REALTORS®scholarship winners: 

Samuel Diamond, Stamford High. Elementary and Middle Schools:Newfield, Scofield. College: University of Delaware, Health.Sam amassed more than 400 hours in community service, including time with Big Brother Big Sister, the Jewish Community Center, New Covenant House, and BBYO, a Jewish Teen Youth organization. He also served as an editor with the student newspaper, the school's Environmental Action Committee and the Leadership Academy, where he mentored freshman. When Sam entered Stamford as a freshman, a friend convinced him to sign up for a community service club. His parents also encouraged him to become involved in community service. "I remember people talking about how you have to do community service to build your resume,'' he said. "I've grown to like it, growing connections and talking to the advisors, administrators and other students. I had no idea that I'd ever reach that many hours in community service."

Shayna Druckman, Stamford High. Elementary and Middle Schools: Newfield, Rippowam. College: George Washington, Human Services and Social Justice. Shayna was the President and lead student advisor for Friendly Faces, a group that works with special needs students; the founder of Students Demand Action, a group dedicated to creating awareness and programs to end gun violence, and editor of the Stamford Round Table, the school's online newspaper. She also served as a student intern for State Representative Matt Blumenthal. "I had a couple of teachers that challenged me to step out of my comfort zone,'' Shayna said. "That was a big thing for me. I was a little shy and introverted. Now I'm totally comfortable being out there. The values of the Stamford Public Schools emphasize to treat people the way you want to be treated. That's something that I'll always keep with me."

Donia Elmansy, Academy of Information Technology and Engineering. Elementary and Middle Schools:Stark, Stillmeadow and Scofield. College: Harvard University, Economics and Government and International Relations. Donia volunteered with the Islamic Cultural Center, Domus Kids, Ferguson Library and Stamford Nature Center, and was also the Co-President and Founder of Girl Up at AITE, a United Nations campaign that aims to raise funds to support girls in impoverished nations. Originally from Egypt, Donia saw firsthand Stamford's acceptance and embracement of different cultures. "It gives me a new perspective,'' Donia said. "Not a lot of towns have that. The Stamford community did a good job of helping me integrate into the school system. I had an ESL teacher in first grade, because I didn't speak English at that point. It was nice and welcoming. I don't think I could've have done what I have without the support of Stamford Public Schools."

Alyssa Goldberg, Westhill. Elementary and Middle Schools:N/A. College:New York University. Alyssa served on the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council and Congressman Jim Himes. She is also Vice President of the Westhill Feminist Club and the lead student organizer for Stamford March for Our Lives, a demonstration in the wake of the Parkland School shootings in 2018. 

Zoe Karukas,Westhill. Elementary and Middle Schools:Newfield, Rippowam. College: Temple University, Psychology. The scholarship for the Stamford Board of Realtors carries additional significance for Zoe, whose grandfather, Allan Plumb, has worked as a real estate agent in town since the 1970s. Zoe volunteered at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center and March for Our Lives, and served in leadership positions on the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council and Abilis. Her work with the youth council and a mental health club at school helped her identify her educational path. "I fell in love with learning about the brain,'' Zoe said. "I know it's going to be a good career field. There are so many different options. I'd like to work as a counseling psychologist for children." Zoe said she's grateful to have been educated in a diverse environment. "It's an experience not everyone has,'' she said. "I got to learn a lot about different people."

Lauren Klym, Westhill. Elementary and Middle Schools:Toquam, Rippowam. College:Syracuse University, Business. Girl Scouts honored Lauren with its highest honor, the Gold Award, for a lockdown plan that included a checklist, written procedure and a visual overview of every classroom at Westhill in the event of an active shooter on campus. Lauren worked with school administrators and the Stamford Police Department to develop the plan. Pieces of the plan are now incorporated into all 21 public schools in the district. She also volunteered with Abilis, St. Leo Youth Group, the Stamford Education Foundation's mentoring program and Stamford Education for Autism, to help promote awareness and inclusivity. "Stamford schools allowed me to grow as a person and to figure out what I wanted to be in the world,'' Lauren says. "I would describe my educational experience as challenging, fulfilling and exceptional."

Rehana Konate, Westhill. Elementary and Middle Schools: Northeast, Scofield. College: University of Connecticut, Political Science. Rehana started her journey through the Stamford school system in third grade, after her family moved from The Bronx. "They were completely different settings and atmospheres,'' she said. "The teachers were not as encouraging, there were fewer resources. I know my educational path would have been completely different if we had stayed in New York." Rehana immersed herself in her new community, serving in various leadership positions with the student council, mentoring ESL students and helping 8th graders transition to high school. She also volunteered with several groups, including the Mill River Collaborative, Bartlett Arboretum, New Covenant Center and Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. "The opportunities that are available to you as a student and the support system in the schools has really shaped who I am,'' Rehana said.

Claudia Lucien, AITE. Elementary and Middle Schools: Davenport, Rippowam. College: University of Connecticut, Nursing. Like all of the other scholarship winners, Claudia embraced many community causes. She served in a leadership capacity with Future 5, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income students from Stamford reach their full potential. Claudia, who is of Haitian descent, also contributed more 1,000 hours in community service throughout her four years in high school. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and Future 5 Student Ambassador and member. Claudia said she is "the person who likes dissections and getting my hands dirty. Eventually you build up a stomach for it." In her senior year she did a full dissection on a fetal pig. "It was gruesome and intense. There were times I lost my appetite, but it reminds me why I love medicine: I love that intensity and problem solving to try to achieve a goal."

Chris Matrullo, Westhill. Elementary and Middle Schools: Northeast, Turn of River. College: Georgetown University, Business. Chris ranks first in his class, played soccer, ran track and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America for all four years. He also served as a Senior Patrol Leader with the Boy Scouts, where he led a team of 20 scouts and volunteers to re-roof and repair an equipment shed at the Stamford Animal Control and Care Center. His interest in business developed from his parents, each of whom owns a small business. With his wide range of activities, Chris paid particular attention to time management. "When you know what needs to be done and what your limits are, I think that helps you manage time,'' Chris said. "I don't think there was any time where I felt like I would bite off more than I can chew. I don't think it's a challenge if it's something you enjoy doing."

Zachary Rubin, Westhill. Elementary and Middle School: Private. College: Tulane University, Finance and Communications. Unlike the other scholarship winners, Zachary's first public school experience came as a freshman. He embraced his new school enthusiastically, and his classmates responded in kind. "The diversity of the schools impacted me in a very different way,'' Zachary said. "I did not have the opportunity to speak and befriend people from all of the world before coming to Westhill. I knew what I was getting into, and when I got to Westhill I was excited to meet people with all ethnicities. I became friends with people from all corners of the world." Zachary served as captain of the lacrosse team, volunteered for several organizations and worked as an intern for Legg Mason last summer. He also served on the Student Governance Council and was President of the Stock and Finance Club. "My experience in Stamford Public Schools has been extraordinary," Zachary said. "It's one of the greatest experiences I could have ever asked for."

]]> (Scott Thomas) Neighbors Wed, 19 Jun 2019 12:35:20 -0400
Swim Across America Fairfield County Make Waves on Saturday to Fight Cancer

On June 22, 2019, more than 300 swimmers and 100 volunteers will participate in the 13th annual Swim Across America Fairfield County open water swim. The swim takes place in Long Island Sound on the Old Greenwich/Stamford border at the headquarters of the swim’s beneficiary, the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT). This year is expected to be bigger than ever with a goal of raising more than $300,000 to go toward crucial cancer gene therapy research.

Kicking off the swim on Saturday will be a motivational presentation on “Why We Swim and Volunteer” by Mike Brock of Old Greenwich, Connecticut, whose wife Shân is a stage IV colon cancer patient. When diagnosed in 2014, Shân was given less than a five percent chance of surviving five years. Today, five years after enduring 42 chemotherapy treatments and three radiation treatments, Shân is enrolled in an immunotherapy clinical trial at Yale University. She is the first person in the world to receive three immunotherapy medications simultaneously - and progress is thankfully being seen. Shân’s first scan after eight weeks showed nearly a ten percent reduction in tumor size. Shân’s subsequent scans have shown further small reductions in tumor size. “It’s amazing to note that the last few years have seen exponential growth in the number of clinical trials available for many different types of cancer with some extraordinary curative results,” said Mike Brock. “This gives hope where there was none before. But many of these novel clinical trials and treatments require and continue to require funding. That’s why it’s so important to fund Swim Across America Fairfield County and the swim's beneficiary ACGT.” Come Saturday, Mike Brock and he and Shân’s youngest daughter Brontë, will be swimming in the open water swim and Shân will be volunteering as a kayaker, keeping watch over the swimmers. “Swimming and kayaking are our small contribution to helping make waves in the fight against cancer,” said Shân.

"Funding organizations like ACGT with Swim Across America Fairfield County is a game changer for cancer treatment," noted Michele Graham, co-chair of Swim Across America Fairfield County. "At the forefront of cell and gene therapy is immunotherapy, which aims to awaken the immune system to the threat of cancer and deactivate the inhibitors that block the invasion of killer T-cells. The long-term goal is to develop treatments that attack only cancer cells, eliminating adverse effects on the body. ACGT is dedicated to this type of research.” Michele’s 22 year-old daughter Nicole is a leukemia survivor who was diagnosed at age 16 and was cancer-free for almost five years before relapsing last year. Nicole has spent the past year undergoing another round of treatment and was just recently given the green light to resume normal activities. Nicole will be volunteering at the event and her brother Clayton will be swimming on Team Julian. Clayton not only swims for Nicole, but for their friends and family members who have been touched by cancer. Michele Graham and Nancy Carr are co-chairs of this year’s open water swim.

Swim Across America Fairfield County is held at the headquarters for the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT)

96 Cummings Point Road, Stamford, CT

Parking is available in the Conair parking lot at the end of Cummings Point Road - walk east across street to where the Swim is held and come to the beach

]]> (Jenifer Howard) Charities Wed, 19 Jun 2019 10:11:10 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: Daisy-Bella

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 Daisy-Bella!

Three questions with the owner of Daisy-Bella, Mary Ann Tooker.

Why did you start your business?

Daisy-Bella was built on the idea that there’s nothing better than a group of positive, inspired women.  Our fashion encourages and empowers women and girls to be their best selves, and want all women and girls to feel confident and positive.

Our Values:

  • Inspiring – Our line is dedicated to inspiring both the people who wear our clothing and the people that see our messages
  • Empowering – Our line shares a message of empowerment with women and girls
  • Encouraging – Whatever their shape, size, or age, our line encourages women and girls to be their best selves
  • Uplifting – Our line shares uplifting messages and designs
  • Paying it Forward – Our line reaches out to others and a portion of our proceeds is always dedicated to organizations that improve the world

Now, more than ever, today’s clothing market lacks positivity. Women and girls hear and see words and graphics that reinforce subtle (and not-so-subtle) negative images – of themselves and of others.  With more than two decades in the clothing industry, I want to send a different message: I believe that women and girls are perfect – just the way they are.  Daisy-Bella is about encouraging women to look in the mirror and love the person they see... and then sharing that message with others.

Daisy-Bella is not just about positive messages. We’re also committed to paying that feeling forward in action.  When you make a Daisy-Bella purchase, part of our proceeds will be donated to DB Gives back program, donating to local charities.

Daisy-Bella is a company that has been inspired by an incredibly, strong and positive mom who reminded me & my sisters every day how very special were. This resiliency inspired me – even facing my deepest challenges.  Now I want to share this message of positivity to inspire and lift up others... through Daisy-Bella.

What is your best selling product/service?

 We strive to contribute all we can to inspire a movement, make a difference and stand for good.

Our inspirational & empowering t-shirts send positives message to remind all of us how important we - along with being soft & comfy. Each tee has a name & a philosophy behind them - for example like the 2 below ... not only sending a great message but looking very cool too.

  • Be your own kind of beautiful T-Shirt
  • We are Who We are T-Shirt

How many people do you employ? 

 It is a family business! It's myself and my husband with the help of our family.

Visit Daisy-Bella online here.

I am tagging Dance with El in Stamford!

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

]]> (HH) Places Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:12:32 -0400
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Networking Event Tomorrow Officially Launches Yorktown HamletHub


The Yorktown HamletHub Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Networking Event will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 5:30-7PM at the Jefferson Valley Mall "Hub" 2nd Floor, 650 Lee Blvd, Yorktown Heights, NY. The official ribbon cutting is scheduled for 6PM and the evening holds more in store!

Yorktown HamletHub is a free digital publication focused on Yorktown. All are welcome to read, submit, and share positive news about Yorktown on their interactive website. Visitors can sign up for a daily e-newsletter, browse the community calendar, and follow them on their social media platforms. Yorktown HamletHub joins over 50 HamletHub sites in NY and CT.

Since Yorktown HamletHub's location is in cyberspace, the Jefferson Valley Mall has offered the use of their "Hub" co-working space for the event which will include light refreshments, raffle prizes, a free 15 minute productivity workshop, and ample networking opportunities. "Boost Your Productivity: Clear Your Way to a Profitable Path" workshop will be presented by Lisa Zawrotny of Positively Productive Systems. Lisa is a Certified Life Coach specializing in Productivity & Organizing.

Margaret and Peter Carey have been HamletHub editors since 2015, starting with Brewster and expanding into New Fairfield, Carmel, Somers, and now, Yorktown. "Our mission is to share positive news and information about the communities we cover," explains Margaret, "Yorktown is filled with interesting places, businesses, community organizations, educational opportunities, events, and so much more. We are thrilled to have Yorktown as our latest HamletHub and look forward to helping people read and share stories about the community." 

Special thanks to sponsors, Master IT Media LLC, Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, and Jefferson Valley Mall.

RSVP at to receive a special gift. If you can't wait until the ribbon cutting, sign up for the Yorktown HamletHub free e-newsletter at

Yorktown HamletHub online digital publication providing free information about the events, places and people in the five Yorktown hamlets of Mohegan Lake, Shrub Oak, Jefferson Valley, Crompond, and Yorktown Heights and the surrounding area. Yorktown HamletHub consists of a website, social media platforms, a daily e-newsletter and a free community calendar that is linked to the 50 other neighboring HamletHubs in NY and CT. Kerry Anne Ducey founded Ridgefield’s Talk of the Town in 2009, a small blog that showcased local happenings and stories in Ridgefield, CT.  In 2011, Kerry Anne decided to share the popular and successful "Talk Of The Town" online news model with other towns and founded HamletHub LLC, a network of hyperlocal news sites. From 2012 through 2019, HamletHub has earned prestigious Connecticut Press Club Awards for original journalism and storytelling on the Web. 

]]> (Master It Media) Neighbors Wed, 19 Jun 2019 06:49:00 -0400
Calling local artists! Loft Artists non members exhibition!

Loft Artists Association presents our 6th Annual Tri-State Juried exhibition 

“The Shape of Memories”

August 24 to September 22, 2019 Deadline for entries: July 15, 2019

Memories are often said to be our link to the past, while at the same time helping to shape our future. Memory is defined, in part, as being vital to experiences and important for the retention of information over time, which influences future action. Our memories make us who we are and differentiate us from others. The power of memory has been expressed through the arts for centuries. Artists often draw on their memories or the memories of others as inspiration for their work.

This exhibition explores the theme of memory and the key role it plays in art. Most artists’ works, whether on a conscious or subconscious level, reflect certain personal experiences and histories. References to the past can be monumental, quotidian or intimate. Everyday objects or places take on new meaning depending on how they are interpreted or experienced. In Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past,” the smell and taste of a madeleine cake triggers a flood of memories and transports the author to another time and experience in his life. The show will explore the various mnemonic devices artists use to create thought provoking connections and commentaries on the passage of time.

Memory can be a very personal journey through one’s own timeline as well as a collective experience of togetherness. We are excited to offer this broad and very thought provoking theme for this exhibit. Work in all media will be considered, including collages or sculptures incorporating everyday found objects.

Juror / Curator: Arianne Faber Kolb, PhD is an art historian and independent curator. She was the Executive Co-Director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, a curator in the J.Paul Getty Museum’s Paintings and Drawings Departments, and a researcher in the Paintings Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has curated numerous exhibitions and her published work includes a book on Jan Brueghel the Elder, articles on old master painting, exhibition catalogues of contemporary Cuban art, and two children’s books on New Canaan architecture and history.

Founded in 1978, the Loft Artists Association is a non-profit organization of professional working artists dedicated to building connections within the visual arts community and offering many artistic and educational opportunities to the public, free of charge. As an established cultural institution, their grassroots events attract thousands of visitors throughout the Tri-state area and have been recognized by funding agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, corporate and private sponsors, the City of Stamford and by visitors who return year after year.

Entry Requirements- Please read carefully:

Deadline Date:           Entries must arrive no later than Monday, July 15, 2019 Eligibility:

  •     Open to all artists, 18 years and older, residing in the Tri-State area (Connecticut, New York and New Jersey)
  •     Media: drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, digital art and mixed media. Three-dimensional work should be accompanied by a pedestal or base upon delivery of art.
  •     All work must be original (no giclee prints) and have been completed within the last two years.


  •     Works must be framed (or have exhibition quality finished edges) with screw eyes and wire attached and ready for hanging.
  •     Maximum dimensions: 48” wide x 72” high
    •     3D work: maximum dimensions: 5’ high and 24” wide including base, which must be provided. An installation photograph must be provided upon acceptance for work that needs to be installed by artist. Artist must be available for installation after juror places work.
  •     No substitution of accepted works will be installed.
  •     Work not meeting specifications will be disqualified

Entry Instructions:    Submitting entries for jurying will all be done through our website, On our home page, you will see a button for “2019 Juried Exhibition – The Shape of Memories ”. That is the portal to our electronic entry system called EntryThingy. There is a form to sign up and log in, with videos explaining the process. All of the information for submitting will be posted there, and the interface is extremely simple. Payment is made there, through PayPal, at the same time.

Entry Fees:      The non-refundable entry is $35.00 for the first entry and $5.00 for each additional entry up to five. Payment to be made through PayPal at time of entry.

Awards:         Cash awards totaling $1000 will be presented at the opening reception. Awards will be made based on the actual work, not jpeg.

Liability:         The Loft Artists Association will not be responsible for loss or damage of any kind for any entry submitted. The Loft Artists Association will exercise care in handling all entries.

Artists must carry their own insurance for shipping and handling during exhibition.

Agreement:    Submitting work to this exhibition constitutes an agreement with all conditions of this exhibition and prospectus. Loft Artists Association assumes the right to photograph and use accepted works for documentation, education or publicity purposes.

Sales:             The Loft Artists Association will retain 20% of all sales. All works must be available for sale and will be sold at the price indicated on the entry form only. Loft Artists Association will not permit changes in prices upon acceptance.

Delivery:         Accepted work should be hand delivered to the Loft Artist Gallery, 575 Pacific Street, Stamford, CT on the dates and times listed below. Accepted work which cannot be hand delivered can be shipped to an address which we will provide at the time, and must include prepaid return shipping documents.



For notification, please see our website:, after August 2 for a listing of accepted work.

Dates to Remember:


July 15                                    Submission deadline

August 2                                  Notification of acceptance/decline via LAA website August 18                                                Hand delivery of work 1:00 to 4:30 PM

August 19                                Hand delivery of work 10:00 am to 12 pm and 5:00 to 7:30 pm

August 24                                Artists Reception and Awards Ceremony 5:00 to 7:00 pm September 22                                                Artwork to be picked up by artist 4:30 to 7 PM

September 23                          Artwork to be picked up by artists 3:00 to 7 PM

Artwork picked up by anyone other than the artist must have written authorization. LAA cannot assume responsibility for artwork not picked up after September 23. Artist must contact Loft Artists Association prior to pick-up to make any special arrangements.

For additional information:

]]> (Mark Macrides) Neighbors Mon, 17 Jun 2019 15:03:52 -0400
Kick Off Summer at The Ridgefield Playhouse with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on June 21

Premium Show-only tickets JUST RELEASED!

Kick off summer with dinner, open bar and a great night of live music at The Ridgefield Playhouse Summer Gala, featuring “Late Show” band leader Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human on Friday, June 21 – the first day of summer!

The gala, which benefits The Playhouse (a non-profit, 501 (c) (3)), begins at 5:30pm and includes dishes prepared by local restaurants, beverages provided by local brewers, wineries and distilleries and a chance to bid on fabulous silent auction items outside under a tent on the baseball field next to The Playhouse. Jon Batiste and Stay Human will perform in the theater at 8pm.

Batiste is a globally celebrated musician, educator, bandleader and television personality whose musical skill, artistic vision and exuberant charisma make him a triple threat with unlimited potential. Recognized for his originality, jaw-dropping talent and dapper sense of style, he transitions from commanding the piano with virtuosic skill to soulfully crooning to wailing on the “harmonaboard” (a kind of harmonica and keyboard) to curating unique "social music" experiences all over the world. Born into a long lineage of Louisiana musicians, Batiste eventually went on to receive both his undergraduate and masters degrees in piano from the Juilliard School and formed his band, Stay Human. This show is part of the Moffly Media Evening of Art Wine & Jazz Series and Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity. Media sponsor for this show is WFUV.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is grateful for the support of Silver Sponsors: Berisford & Stockel Families, Ann & Steve Carlson, De Clercq Office Group, Adam R. Rose & Peter R. McQuillan and Lisa & Michael Shinall; Restaurant Sponsors: Atria Senior Living Culinary Chefs, Bareburger, The Cake Box, Odeen’s Barbecue, Some Things Fishy Catering, Southwest Café, Tablao, Tequila Escape, The Village Tavern and Whistle Stop Bakery; Beverage Sponsors: Asylum Distillery, Campari, Corona Premier, Founders Brewing Company, Got Attitude Vodka, Half Full Brewery, Nod Hill Brewery, Pacifico Clara, Pera Wines, Reverie Brewing Company, The Wine Trust, and Treasury Wine Estates; Additional Support by Abbey Tent & Party Rentals, Hollandia Nurseries, Pepsi, Reliance Merchant Services & Reli-Bid.

Band leader, Jon Batiste has performed with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, and Mavis Staples. The Louisiana native began as a percussionist in his family’s band The Batiste Brothers Band at the age of eight. He switched to piano at age eleven and in addition to taking classical lessons began transcribing songs from video games such as Streetfighter Alpha and Sonic Hedgehog. He studied with Trombone Shorty at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and later attended Julliard. He made his debut at The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam at age 20, producing and performing his own show and went on to conduct music classes and clinics throughout the Netherlands, eventually returning to play Carnegie Hall in New York City.

For Batiste’s latest album Hollywood Africans he worked with the legendary T Bone Burnett. Batiste states, “The goal was just to collaborate on something that felt authentic to both of us. What we came up with was an intimate, stripped-down portrait of who I am, and the lineage of musicians and performers who are really vital to my work and to his. On this record, I want us to bop, dance, laugh and cry to the sound of the music while we remember our black heroes and wield the superpowers they left us with. Because of them, I don't have to wear a mask. I get to be who I am.”

For tickets ($75- $175) call or visit the box office, 203-438-5795 or go online at The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

]]> (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Mon, 17 Jun 2019 09:11:50 -0400