Westport's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/westport Wed, 12 Dec 2018 02:19:39 -0500 HamletHub.com Connecticut Press Club Announces 2019 Communications Contest https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45653-connecticut-press-club-announces-2019-communications-contest45653-connecticut-press-club-announces-2019-communications-contest https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45653-connecticut-press-club-announces-2019-communications-contest45653-connecticut-press-club-announces-2019-communications-contest

Annual competition has 61 writing, editing, and visual art categories and is open to all Connecticut-based media professionals.

How would you like to add “award-winning” to your resume?

If you published a book, started a blog, wrote a news article or personal essay, created a social media campaign, or snapped a photograph you're particularly proud of, enter your work in the Connecticut Press Club’s popular Communications Contest, which rewards excellence in a wide range of categories.

Entries in 61 categories will be judged by professionals with corresponding expertise. Categories include:

  •       online and print news articles and columns
  •       personal essay
  •       social media campaigns
  •       nonfiction, fiction, poetry, YA and children's books
  •       specialty articles in the arts, food, business, travel and more...
  •       page design, editing, photography and graphics
  •       radio and TV
  •       podcasts and blogs
  •       advertising and PR

Click here to download instructions on how to enter your work in the contest. If you have questions, email CTPressClub@gmail.com.

Several changes have been made to the contest this year: Some categories have been added, some have been removed, and some requirements have changed. Here is a complete list. The 2019 contest will be ALL electronic. No hard copy submissions will be accepted and no offline payments will be accepted. The entry process has been simplified.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Eligibility: Anyone who lives or works in Connecticut is eligible to enter. Work published from January 1 through December 31, 2018, is eligible. 
  • Contest Fees: The fee is $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry regardless of whether you are a Connecticut Press Club member.
  • Deadlines: January 9th is the regular contest deadline. After this date, a $25 late fee will be charged for the first entry you submit. The final deadline is midnight EST on January 22nd. The final book deadline is January 15th.
  • We will celebrate the winners with a cocktail party and awards ceremony in May.
  • Anyone who receives a first place award in the Connecticut contest will be eligible to enter the National Federation of Press Women National Communications Contest, providing 2018 NFPW membership dues have been paid. (Membership dues can be paid when you register for the contest.)

The Connecticut Press Club is an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW), and includes both male and female members. The club welcomes all types of communicators: writers, editors, bloggers, authors, educators, public relations professionals, media photographers, students and more. Plans for the coming year include lectures by sought-after speakers, professional development workshops, networking and social outings.

For more information, e-mail ctpressclub@gmail.com

kerry@ducey.org (Michele Turk) Life Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:14:10 -0500
CT Chapter of WVU Alumni Association to Meet in Westport https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45650-ct-chapter-of-wvu-alumni-association45650-ct-chapter-of-wvu-alumni-association https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45650-ct-chapter-of-wvu-alumni-association45650-ct-chapter-of-wvu-alumni-association

Calling all West Virginia University graduates in the Nutmeg State ... a Connecticut Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association is being formed, and we want you to join us!

Our first chapter meeting of 2019 will be held on Monday, January 7th at Viva Zapata in Westport at 7:00 pm.  Mark your calendars, and join us to discuss ways to increase membership, fundraise, network, and - of course - cheer on our beloved 'Eers!

Follow us on Facebook at Connecticut WVU Alumni Association to stay up to date on events and information!

kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Tue, 11 Dec 2018 08:31:19 -0500
Whip Salon Launches Product Line, On Trend and On Time for the Holidays https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45652-whip-salon-launches-product-line-on-trend-and-on-time-for-the-holidays45652-whip-salon-launches-product-line-on-trend-and-on-time-for-the-holidays https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45652-whip-salon-launches-product-line-on-trend-and-on-time-for-the-holidays45652-whip-salon-launches-product-line-on-trend-and-on-time-for-the-holidays

Whip Salon is dedicated to delivering top quality hair, makeup and medispa services and has earned a reputation for exceptional dedication to customer service over the past two years since it opened.

The savvy stylists of Whip Salon (aka "the glamsquad) are obsessed with keeping current on all the latest trends in hair care and hairstyling. What’s more, they love sharing tips and tricks with their clients. Earlier this year, the salon set out to pinpoint the top products in the market, keeping their clients' lifestyle and needs in mind. The result after months of research hundreds of products tested is Whip Salon’s first product suite. Today they are introducing the most cutting edge and useful products that should be in every client’s arsenal.

"It's been a lengthy process identifying exactly which products to bring to market in order to introduce Whip Salon's own brand," said Amy Pal, owner of Whip Salon. "We have been ruthlessly selective ultimately deciding that to start, less is more. We’ve curated five products that we believe are the very best for creating the most popular looks and complement the rhythm of everyday life."

"I approach everything from the consumer mindset. Clients are on the go and want ease and short-cuts when it comes to products. Collaborating with our salon team of product experts we got the best of both worlds” what clients needs in their everyday routines, yet powerful enough for stylists gravitate to them too. Educating our clients on how to take care of their new color or style is a big part of what we offer and our new product line is going to take it to the next level."

True to the Whip Salon brand, the product names are current, stylish and sassy. "You can't help but fall in love with everything from their hipster names, yummy packaging and the products themselves," said Pal.

This Saturday Whip Salon Ridgefield and Westport will each be holding a product launch event in salon. Clients that book an appointment for this coming Saturday, December 15th are eligible to win one of the new products in the client raffle happening that day. The products are now available and range between $30 - $40 in price and are sold exclusively at Whip Salon.

The Whip Salon Product Suite

"The Struggle Is Real" Dry Shampoo

Dry Shampoo is our go-to product for extending a blowout or shampoo for the next day (or two or three). It allows you to revive your hair so you can skip the trouble of shampooing for a few days. Dry shampoo also helps control greasy looking locks and is ideal for adding a bit of volume while refreshing your style. "The Struggle Is Real” Dry Shampoo absorbs your hair’s natural oils for a fresh clean feeling,” said Pal. “It’s ideal for my son's hair too for when he puts up a fuss to shower - he has very fine hair so it cuts through the grease and works like a charm.”

"Sorry Not Sorry" Dry Texture Spray

Dry Texture Spray is something we just cannot live without. It's incredibly versatile and easy to use and perfect for creating the “undone/done” look. It helps with creating that popular beachy waves style by creating piecey locks with natural movement and isn't hard like normal hairspray. "If you haven't tried using Dry Texture Spray, our “Sorry Not Sorry” one is honestly life-changing," said Pal.

“Slay All Day” Black Clay and Charcoal Exfoliating Shampoo

This is a must-have for keeping your hair healthy especially for clients that are combating hard water in their household. Whip Salon’s “Slay All Day” Black Clay and Charcoal Exfoliating Shampoo promotes hair growth, exfoliates and cleanses the scalp and removes product build up leaving you with a blank canvas. It also helps hold your style. It is very powerful so we do recommend using sparingly, not more than once a week at most.

“Follow Back” Violet Toning Platinum Conditioner

Every client with blonde, gray or silver hair color needs this for hydration and vibrancy. The “violet” ingredient is what helps to cancel out yellow tones and adds luster and shine to combat dull looking locks especially in winter. We chose “Follow Back” Violet Toning Platinum Conditioner because we color so many blondes and silver is a huge color trend as well!

“Humble Brag” Volume Spray Mist

If you don’t have volume spray mist in your repertoire, it’s time to get you into this century in hair products. Spray mist is a great alternative to old school styling products like mousse or gel. It goes on damp, clean hair and adds volume, shine and gentle holding power. It’s great for a va-va-voom blowout or for holding your style.

About Whip Salon

Whip Salon is committed to offering top quality salon services such as cuts, color, blowouts, makeup and medi-spa services for women, men and children. Whip Salon is focused on ease for their customers and offers an easily downloadable app called Whip Salon so customers can book at the spur of the moment.


kerry@ducey.org (Whip Salon ) Places Tue, 11 Dec 2018 08:22:24 -0500
Landmark Preschool Fun For Ones Program Begins January 2019 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45651-landmark-preschool-fun-for-ones-program-begins-january-201945651-landmark-preschool-fun-for-ones-program-begins-january-2019 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45651-landmark-preschool-fun-for-ones-program-begins-january-201945651-landmark-preschool-fun-for-ones-program-begins-january-2019

Landmark Preschool, which serves children ages one through five with a broad range of activities and schedules to foster the education, growth and development of the whole child, is offering their next Fun For Ones Program in January 2019.

To learn more and to register, click here.

Our Fun For Ones program was created for our youngest “students” who are always on the move and discovering the world around them. Fun For Ones is a great way for parents (or caregiver) and children to explore a preschool environment together.

This program is chock full of activities built around your child’s limitless curiosity and natural desire to learn…through exploration, play, music, and the arts. Each class centers on a different theme including colors, numbers, letters, animals, and holidays through creative and purposeful play. Children enjoy songs, stories, and games to encourage socialization and learning.

The winter session begins in January 2019 at each of our Bedford, Redding, Ridgefield, and Westport campuses.

To learn more, visit: https://www.landmarkpreschool.org/fun-for-ones

We look forward to seeing you and your little one at Fun For Ones!

Landmark preschool has over 40 years of experience in early childhood education and is affiliated with Ridgefield Academy. Both Landmark Preschool and Ridgefield Academy are accredited by Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. 

kerry@ducey.org (Ashley Moran) Life Mon, 10 Dec 2018 08:54:02 -0500
WHS Presents An Evening of Winter Solstice Storytelling, Dec. 21 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45649-whs-presents-an-evening-of-winter-solstice-storytelling-dec-2145649-whs-presents-an-evening-of-winter-solstice-storytelling-dec-21 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45649-whs-presents-an-evening-of-winter-solstice-storytelling-dec-2145649-whs-presents-an-evening-of-winter-solstice-storytelling-dec-21

Westport, CT - Once there was, and once there wasn’t… so begins the tales of ancient Persian storytellers, especially on the Winter Solstice when they told exciting stories to cheer gatherers on the year’s longest night. Throughout history the first day of winter has always been a time to gather and share a good tale while enjoying friendship and food. This year Westport Historical Society revives the Winter Solstice tale-telling tradition and invites you to join them for some cheer as they follow the Yule traditions and honor the Winter Solstice. Help them keep this lively tradition going by taking part in reading a story they’ve selected or bring your own to share. You’ll also hear about the origin of celebrations around the world associated with the winter holidays.

Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Winter Solstice Storytelling, December 21, 6 – 7 pm

Online registration $8 for members, $12 for non-members. At door $10 members, $15 for non-members. Students $5 with ID. No charge for children 5 and under. Reservations strongly recommended, register online or call (203) 222-1424 x5.

kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Sun, 09 Dec 2018 11:57:03 -0500
Meet the Author in Westport: Heather Frimmer at Le Rouge Chocolates https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45648-meet-the-author-in-westport-heather-frimmer-at-le-rouge-chocolates45648-meet-the-author-in-westport-heather-frimmer-at-le-rouge-chocolates https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45648-meet-the-author-in-westport-heather-frimmer-at-le-rouge-chocolates45648-meet-the-author-in-westport-heather-frimmer-at-le-rouge-chocolates

Just in time for the holiday shopping crunch, Le Rouge Chocolates will host a Meet the Author event with Heather Frimmer on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Signed and personalized copies of the book will be available for purchase. Add La Rouge's gorgeous handmade chocolates for a perfect gift combo for the readers in your life. 

Released in October, Bedside Manners follows a mother and daughter, Joyce and Marnie Novak, as they navigate the medical field from two perspectives: patient and physician. Joyce is newly diagnosed with breast cancer while Marnie has recently graduated medical school. Through their interlocked journeys, both Joyce and Marnie’s futures change in ways they never would have expected. To learn more about the author and her book, visit heatherfrimmer.com.

Le Rouge is located at 190 Main St. in Westport, Conn. For more information, click here.

sally.stra@gmail.com (Books, Ink editors) Events Fri, 07 Dec 2018 07:33:00 -0500
Help Stamford Marriott Keep Our Neighbors Warm, Coat Drive Benefits Person 2 Person https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45647-help-stamford-marriott-keep-our-neighbors-warm-coat-drive-benefits-person-2-person45647-help-stamford-marriott-keep-our-neighbors-warm-coat-drive-benefits-person-2-person https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45647-help-stamford-marriott-keep-our-neighbors-warm-coat-drive-benefits-person-2-person45647-help-stamford-marriott-keep-our-neighbors-warm-coat-drive-benefits-person-2-person

This holiday season, the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa is hosting a Coat Drive in partnership with Person-2-Person (P2P), a community-supported nonprofit with locations in Stamford, Darien, and Norwalk, that provides emergency assistance for basic needs, and support for individuals and families.

As you travel on I-95 through Stamford, please consider stopping at the Hotel and donating new or lightly used jackets, scarves hats, gloves, blankets and other winter accessories. With its easy access to I-95 North and South, the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa is the ideal collection hub. A donation bin is located in the lobby of the Hotel.

And...your donation matters. “Last year, through the generosity of everyone who made contributions of their time or treasure - individuals, businesses, foundations, schools, congregations, and community organizations - P2P was able to provide financial assistance, food, clothing and housing assistance to 23,267 men, women and children in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton,” the nonprofit explains.

Did you know? Giving back to the community is 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.

If you live in Lower Fairfield County (Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, and Wilton), Person-to-Person has programs and services to assist you. Learn more about P2P here.

If you’d like to make a donation to P2P, please go online here.  

Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa is centrally located with easy access to I-95 North and South and across the street from Stamford Town Center Mall and two blocks from Train Station. Learn more about the Hotel click here.

To learn more what community means to Meyer Jabara Hotels, click here.

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Charities Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:50:02 -0500
Unitarian Church in Westport Welcomes Two People to Ministerial Staff https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45646-unitarian-church-in-westport-welcomes-two-people-to-ministerial-staff45646-unitarian-church-in-westport-welcomes-two-people-to-ministerial-staff https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45646-unitarian-church-in-westport-welcomes-two-people-to-ministerial-staff45646-unitarian-church-in-westport-welcomes-two-people-to-ministerial-staff

The Unitarian Church in Westport has added two people to its ministerial staff, Rev. Shelly Thompson, Assistant Minister for Faith Formation, and Intern Minister Margalie Belizaire.

Rev. Shelly earned her Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2016 and as a part of that degree program completed a 2-year internship at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA.  She comes to Westport from Richmond, VA where she served the First Unitarian Universalist Church as their Minister of Membership for the past two and a half years.  She was recently ordained by that congregation.

In her early twenties she considered herself spiritual but not religious- a spiritual seeker who avoided organized religion for many years.

That changed when she first felt called to the ministry shortly after discovering Unitarian Universalism at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines Iowa in 2011.  It was there that she found a true sense of belonging and meaning and developed an awareness of how she was meant to serve in the world. 

Prior to her call to ministry, Rev. Shelly worked for many years in southern Oregon as a youth and family mental health therapist with families in crisis and chronic distress resulting from poverty, abuse, addiction, mental illness, poor educational opportunities and underemployment.  In many ways that work helped prepare her for parish ministry.

Raised in California, college in upstate New York, Divinity school in Chicago, with stops in Iowa and Richmond, she has moved quite a lot in pursuit of her passions and education. Connecticut is state number eight for her.

Intern Minister Margalie Belizaire grew up in a large Haitian family in Miami, Florida, where she was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, a faith that didn’t work for her. After a period of being spiritual but not religious, she happened upon Unitarian Universalism and hasn’t looked back since.

In her ministry she has a particular sense of responsibility, especially to people coming from a turbulent and often painful spiritual background as well as to making Unitarian Universalism more racially and culturally diverse.

Before entering divinity school Margalie’s professional life was one of service.  She worked with people who were developmentally disabled, with battered women, and with youth adjudicated into the foster care system by the courts.

In addition to Rev. Shelly and Intern Minister Margalie, the staff at The Unitarian Church in Westport includes Senior Minister Rev. Dr. John Morehouse, Minister of Music Rev. Dr. Edward Thompson, and a part and full-time staff of eight lay people with portfolios ranging from religious education to social justice.

For information about The Unitarian Church in Westport visit: https://uuwestport.org/

kerry@ducey.org (David Vita) Neighbors Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:39:21 -0500
Boys & Girls Village Receives Grant from DCF to Build Stronger Families in Fairfield County https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45640-boys-girls-village-receives-grant-from-dcf-to-build-stronger-families-in-fairfield-county45640-boys-girls-village-receives-grant-from-dcf-to-build-stronger-families-in-fairfield-county https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45640-boys-girls-village-receives-grant-from-dcf-to-build-stronger-families-in-fairfield-county45640-boys-girls-village-receives-grant-from-dcf-to-build-stronger-families-in-fairfield-county

Boys & Girls Village received a $435,000 annualized grant from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) to support delivery of an intensive home-based services program entitled Multisystemic Therapy - Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF).

The program will treat families that are active cases within DCF where there is physical abuse and/or neglect of a child in the family plus substance misuse by at least one caregiver. A two-year pilot study of the program showed significant success, and a large-scale clinical trial of MST-BSF was completed earlier this year in upstate Connecticut.

“We are grateful to have the Department of Children and Families’ support as we bring this important new program to Fairfield County,” said Dr. Steven Kant, CEO of Boys & Girls Village. “The interventions provided by our experienced clinical team will comprehensively address the factors that contribute to child maltreatment as well as substance use, creating stronger, healthier families in our area.”

At Boys & Girls Village, the grant will support a team consisting of three full-time master’s level Clinicians, one full-time Case Manager, one full-time MST-BSF Clinical Supervisor and one part-time APRN. The team is expected to serve 21 families annually, each receiving intensive treatment services several times each week for an average of six to nine months.

In 2003, Connecticut DCF began work to increase services for families engaging in abuse or neglect of a child in the family plus parental substance misuse. DCF brought together faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina and Johns Hopkins University to develop the MST-BSF model.

Results from the two-year pilot study showed substantial improvements. Among families that received MST-BSF, parents showed significant decreases in substance use, depression, and psychological aggression towards the child, while youth showed significant decreases in anxiety. Twenty-four months post-referral, MST-BSF parents were three times less likely to have a substantiated new incident of abuse or neglect, and half as many youth required placement out of the home.

For more information about the MST-BSF program, please contact Christina Trani at Tranic@bgvillage.org.

LauraRobertsMarketing@gmail.com (Laura Roberts) Charities Thu, 06 Dec 2018 09:33:56 -0500
Eversource Launches New Outage Map https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45643-eversource-launches-new-outage-map45643-eversource-launches-new-outage-map https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/45643-eversource-launches-new-outage-map45643-eversource-launches-new-outage-map

As part of its ongoing efforts to better meet the needs of customers, Eversource now has a new, state-of-the-art outage map that provides comprehensive information allowing customers to zero-in on details related to an outage at their home or business. With one click on the new outage map, customers can view up-to-the-minute outage information, including the number of customers affected, the time and cause of the outage, and an estimated time of restoration.  Customers can also now report an outage using new features on the enhanced map.

“We routinely engage with our communities and customers to see how we can improve their interaction with us, and the enhancements to our outage map are in direct response to requests for more detailed information during a power outage,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner.  “Our new interactive map provides our customers with the critical and detailed information they value most – particularly how long an outage will take to repair. These upgrades highlight the many ways we are always working to serve our customers better.”

Eversource launched its first phase of an ongoing effort to improve customer outage communications in December 2016, with the enhanced customer notification system. That feature provides customers with outage information and updates in the method they chose– text message, email, or phone. Customers have since shared positive feedback with the energy company related to the availability of more timely information. The newly enhanced outage map is the latest upgrade providing customers with the greater level of detail they requested.

Click here to view a short video on how to use the new outage map.


kerry@ducey.org (Eversource CT) Life Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:35:00 -0500
JoyRide Cycling and Fitness Announces Launch of New App https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45644-joyride-cycling-and-fitness-announces-launch-of-new-app45644-joyride-cycling-and-fitness-announces-launch-of-new-app https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45644-joyride-cycling-and-fitness-announces-launch-of-new-app45644-joyride-cycling-and-fitness-announces-launch-of-new-app

JoyRide Cycling + Fitness customers will have something extra to smile about, beyond their endorphin-surged workouts this week. This Wednesday, December 5, Connecticut’s premier boutique fitness studio will be offering a new iOS application (app) that enables JoyRiders to manage their accounts and book classes more easily from an iPhone mobile device or iPad. The JoyApp will be available on the App Store and is timed in conjunction with the relaunch and redesign of the company’s website, also occurring this week.

The app creation and rebranded website were also intended to occur well in advance of January, typically a peak fitness month, post holidays. While many fitness studios have long offered apps, JoyRide elected to wait for the right moment to do so. Says co-founder and CEO Amy Hochhauser: "We wanted to debut our new app in conjunction with the exciting launch of our new website this week. In addition, app technology has evolved greatly since we opened our first location over seven year ago. We waited to add this feature until we could offer our users best-in-class technology.” Added co-founder and creative director Rhodie Lorenz: “While our riders leave their mobile devices outside the studio when they take class, we recognize that most people are heavily reliant upon them. We also know that our on-the-go riders are passionate about our classes and making sure their spots are reserved in advance. So, offering an app is just another way to deliver an even more outstanding and JOYful rider-experience.” 

The new JoyRide App will allow users to: 

  • Create and manage their accounts
  • Book classes
  • Edit account info 
  • Select a spot in a class
  • Buy credits and memberships
  • Take advantage of promotions
  • Book guests
  • Purchase class add-ons
  • See class history
  • View studio information and class descriptions

Instructions on How to Download the App

Visit The App Store on your iPhone or iPad and  search “JoyRide Cycling and Fitness.” Click to download.

For more information, class descriptions, instructor bios, blogs and reservations, please visit JoyRide’s web site at joyridestudio.com.   


kerry@ducey.org (Lesley Osborn) Places Wed, 05 Dec 2018 10:10:57 -0500
Bridgeport Rescue Mission Asks for Blankets https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45645-bridgeport-rescue-mission-asks-for-blankets45645-bridgeport-rescue-mission-asks-for-blankets https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/45645-bridgeport-rescue-mission-asks-for-blankets45645-bridgeport-rescue-mission-asks-for-blankets

Bridgeport Rescue Mission Asks for Blankets

Men, women and children from low-income families in the community will be provided with gifts from Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s holiday distribution at their Main Campus and Mobile Kitchens in mid-December.

The Mission is asking the public to donate blankets, sizes twin or queen, through December 14th. Donations can be dropped off at the Donation Center: 1069 Connecticut Ave Unit 2B, Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 5pm.

“We’re grateful to all the Mission friends who will join together to bring Christmas joy to struggling families here in coastal Fairfield County,” said Executive Director Terry Wilcox.

For questions regarding blanket donations please contact Courtney Pandolfi at 203-333-4087 ext. 112 or CPandolfi@BridgeportRescueMission.org.

For more information on the Mission’s programs and services for homeless and hurting men, women and children, visit www.BridgeportRescueMission.org.


kerry@ducey.org (Michelle Chabla) Charities Wed, 05 Dec 2018 09:51:27 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Westport: The Skillful Shopper Antiques https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45642-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-skillful-shopper-antiques45642-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-skillful-shopper-antiques https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/45642-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-skillful-shopper-antiques45642-why-small-businesses-matter-in-westport-the-skillful-shopper-antiques

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 Skillful Shopper Antiques!

Three questions with Christine Utter, Proprietor at The Skillful Shopper Antiques.

Why did you start your business?

I started my business for many reasons!  I will not go into all of the reasons for lack of space on this page, so I will tell you the main reason:  I'm passionate about all things beautifully crafted and the thrill of the hunt!

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

I wish I could explain to the world the importance of buying second hand.  Just the emissions alone is helping your home not emit toxins -- Antiques are Going Green on steroids!  So GO GREEN and buy antiques.  Buying anything second-hand helps the earth and the quality of the craftsmanship is SO - So much better!  

Best selling product or service?

My best selling product(s) and service are customer care!  We love what we do and it shows.  We love our customers :).  We offer unique products that you will not see in your neighbor's home.  We pride ourselves on not being a conveyor belt of inventory.  We are a unique fun place to shop.  We offer free consultations for one piece or an entire estate. One of our great services is running well organized, well advertised and gainful estate sales!  

The Skillful Shopper Antiques is located at 748 Post Road East, Westport. Email Osun101@hotmail.com, Call (203) 536-4865, or visit them online here.

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

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Wed, 05 Dec 2018 07:26:55 -0500
Millennial Generation Produces Overachievers – Meet Tom Velazquez and You’ll Agree https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45641-millennial-generation-produces-overachievers-meet-tom-velazquez-and-you-ll-agree45641-millennial-generation-produces-overachievers-meet-tom-velazquez-and-you-ll-agree https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/45641-millennial-generation-produces-overachievers-meet-tom-velazquez-and-you-ll-agree45641-millennial-generation-produces-overachievers-meet-tom-velazquez-and-you-ll-agree

Can millennials have it all? The generation born in the 80s gets a tough rap. They are often dismissed as a generation of folks who were overprogrammed, over-coddled kids that demand trophies for last place and immediate gratification. Those kids are now adults in their thirties and we’re wondering what kind of adults have been produced from a childhood in the fast lane. Daigle & Travers looks to one of their newest hires, Tom Velazquez, for the answers.

Tom Velazquez joined Daigle & Travers Insurance Agency in 2018 as a Commercial Lines Account Executive. He was first introduced to the insurance world through a high school internship. He came back to it getting licensed in Life & Health Insurance and Property & Casualty Insurance after getting his Bachelor of Science in Business and Technology from UConn. If you’re picturing Ned Ryerson (from the movie Groundhog Day), you will be happily mistaken. On first meeting, you’ll see someone dressed to the nines with a gregarious smile and hearty laugh that fills every corner of the room with warmth. First impressions set the bar high and Tom does not disappoint – behind the charm is a man who is dedicated to charity and volunteerism.

Tom is a former triathlete who traveled to Spain to hone is his skills. When he returned to the states, he shared his skills while mentoring a half-marathon running group of new to moderate runners in Stamford. His dedication to helping others doesn’t stop with his two-footed neighbors; his lifelong love of animals led him to volunteer at the Stamford Animal Shelter. And of course, because millennials are inclined to be equally engaged in athletics, humanities and arts, Tom also serves on the board of the Stamford Symphony. He was recruited by their CEO to advocate for Symphony on Tap, a program that engages the under 40 crowd to connect with classical music and their peers. In fact, they have an event this Wednesday, December 5th, which still has tickets available here . Are you intimidated? Well, one last thing we should share, will make you want Tom as a best friend. He has a soft spot and its for doughnuts. He loves them so much that he takes selfies with doughnuts wherever he travels. You’re definitely going to want to follow his Instagram page @TheTravellingDonut .

In 2018, Velazquez met Bonnie Piazza (an executive at Daigle & Travers) at a focus group and they became fast friends. When Tom relocated from Greenwich to Norwalk later that year, he took the opportunity to bring his talents to a new agency, joining Bonnie at D&T. The Darien based agency loves having an energetic and driven millennial in their midst. 

Tom came back to insurance after college because he loved helping people and building relationships. Fourteen years later he says, “People think of insurance as a boring industry, but when you give it a second look there’s more to it than policies and premium payments. Cultivating relationships with clients to help them manage everyday risks is a gratifying experience.”.

Tom Velazquez is a part of the Daigle & Travers team of Fairfield County, a group of insurance experts offering 35 years of expertise and extensive knowledge of personal and business insurance programs. For more information, you can visit daigletravers.com or call Tom at 203-655-6974.

nina@dt-ins.com (Nina Josko) Neighbors Wed, 05 Dec 2018 07:16:10 -0500
Westport Playhouse Presents "Tuesdays with Morrie" Script In Hand Reading, Dec. 17 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45639-westport-playhouse-presents-tuesdays-with-morrie-script-in-hand-reading-dec-1745639-westport-playhouse-presents-tuesdays-with-morrie-script-in-hand-reading-dec-17 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/45639-westport-playhouse-presents-tuesdays-with-morrie-script-in-hand-reading-dec-1745639-westport-playhouse-presents-tuesdays-with-morrie-script-in-hand-reading-dec-17

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand playreading of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” based on the best-selling memoir by Mitch Albom, on Monday, December 17, at 7 p.m.  Written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, the reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Tickets are $20 each.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” is the autobiographical story of Mitch Albom, an accomplished journalist driven solely by his career, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor. Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch happens to catch Morrie's appearance on a television news program and learns that his old professor is battling Lou Gehrig's disease. Mitch is reunited with Morrie, and what starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life.

“In looking to the colder months, in a colder world, this seemed to me to be the right choice for the holiday season,” said Keefe. “It reminds us of our better angels.”

The cast includes Charles Socarides as Mitch.  He was in Westport Country Playhouse’s “The Dining Room,” directed by Mark Lamos, and Script-In-Hand readings of “Better Late,” “Lobby Hero,” and “The Mousetrap.” He plays the recurring character Scott Goodman on CBS’ “Madam Secretary.” He recently completed a successful run of “20th Century Blues” at Signature Theatre.  Other theater credits include “Other Desert Cities,” “Kings,” “Sons of the Prophet,” “The Marriage of Bette and Boo,” “Indian Blood,” “How to Live on Earth,” “Twelfth Night,” “Red,” and “Guadalupe in the Guest Room.”  His films are “Bad Hurt,” “In Lieu of Flowers,” “Breaking Upwards,” and “Virgin. Recent television work includes “When We Rise,” “The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” and “Person of Interest.”

Harris Yulin will play Morrie. He appeared in Westport Country Playhouse’s “So Much of Earth, So Much of Heaven.”  Broadway credits include“The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Hedda Gabler,” “The Price,” “The Visit,” “A Lesson from Aloes (with James Earl Jones), and “Watch on the Rhine.” Off-Broadway productions include “Next Time I’ll Sing to You” (with James Earl Jones), “Hamlet” (three times), “Frank’s Home,” “Arts and Leisure,” and “Raindance.” Selected films are “Clear and Present Danger,” “Scarface,” “Multiplicity,” “All Square,” “Wanderland,” and “The Family Fang.” Selected television work includes “Ozark,” “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Murphy Brown,” “For the People,” and “Billions.” He has done numerous narrations for PBS and many audio books. Yulin teaches master classes at Juilliard and Columbia and is also a director.

Author Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster, and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 39 million copies worldwide, and have been made into Emmy Award-winning television movies.

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s Broadway credits include “Never Gonna Dance.” Off-Broadway credits include “Three Viewings,“ “A Picasso,” “Scotland Road,” “The Turn of the Screw,” “Murder by Poe,” “The Spy,” “Neddy,” and “Fellow Travelers.”

Director Anne Keefe served as artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse with Joanne Woodward in 2008, and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006, also with Ms. Woodward. She co-directed with Ms. Woodward the Westport Country Playhouse production of “David Copperfield,” and directed many Script in Hand playreadings.

Upcoming Script in Hand Playreadings are scheduled on February 25, March 25, May 6, November 18, and December 16, 2019.  Titles will be announced soon.

All artists are subject to change.

The Script in Hand playreading series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation. 

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org 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 producedtheater 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, WCP’s resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

kerry@ducey.org (Pat Blaufuss) Events Tue, 04 Dec 2018 07:29:55 -0500