Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

This is the place where our member businesses and state and local organizations share good news

Woodstock Emporium Scheduled to Reopen October 5

The Emporium, an upscale thrift store on 22 RT 171 in Woodstock, will be reopening for shopping on October 5th. One of The Arc Eastern Connecticut’s micro-enterprises, The Emporium provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the skills they can use to secure competitive employment with area businesses. “We’re so happy to be able to finally re-open again,” said Jennifer Ricci, Director of Community Enterprise at The Arc.

“Our employees are eager to get back to work, and while we were closed due to the pandemic, we were able to still accept some really great donated items, which we’ll have ready for sale, along with hundreds of other beautiful things.” The Emporium sells high-end gently used clothing, household and vintage items, jewelry, and furniture. Store hours are Monday-Friday 10am-2pm. Please note: The Emporium will currently be allowing 5 people in the store at a time, and only one member of a family at a time. Temperatures will be taken and face masks must be worn while in the store to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

To learn more about The Arc Eastern Connecticut and its programs throughout the region, and for weekly agency updates and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.
The Arc Eastern Connecticut 125 Sachem Street Norwich, CT 06360 T: 860.889.4435
TheArcECT.org

Contact: Andrea Kaiser
The Arc Eastern Connecticut
akaiser@thearcect.org 860.889.4435 x118 | TheArcECT.org

Westerly Community Credit Union donates $5,000 to the Jonnycake Center of Westerly

Westerly Community Credit Union recently donated $5,000 to the Jonnycake Center in Westerly. This donation will help support programs designed to help those neighbors struggling in the communities of Westerly and Chariho. This donation is continuation of #WCCUCares initiatives to help local community organizations that directly help those in the community struggling by the effects of COVID-19.

“During these unprecedented times, helping those who need it the most has never been more important,” stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. “We know that the Jonnycake Center of Westerly will use this donation to help many in the community, struggling to make ends meet.”

“The Jonnycake Center of Westerly is incredibly grateful to Westerly Community Credit Union for their wonderful donation of $5,000 to help families who are struggling during this pandemic.” said Lee Eastbourne, Jonnycake Center of Westerly Executive Director. “Many in the community continue to suffer from the economic and financial fallout of COVID-19, and thanks to the generous, ongoing support of WCCU, we can continue to serve the most vulnerable in our local area during this time of extraordinary need.”

If you would like to support the Jonnycake Center of Westerly through a personal or corporate donation, call (401) 377-8069. You can also donate directly online at www.jonnycake.org

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, and online at www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019-20) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

About Jonnycake Center of Westerly:

The Jonnycake Center of Westerly’s mission is to provide a continuum of services in cooperation with other agencies in their service area to assist people through crisis situations and work with each individual to find a path out of dependency toward self-sufficiency. Jonnycake Center of Westerly has many programs to assist the community: Food Assistance programs, Social Services, Education, Scholarships, and Heating Assistance. For more information, visit jonnycake.org, become a fan on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, or call (401) 377-8069.

Destroy Documents and Declutter at Chelsea Groton Shred Days

Bank to host three free, secure, and safe shred and recycling events

GROTON, Conn. – Many have spent a lot of time at home over the last six months, and likely had an opportunity to go through old bank statements, bills, tax documents and other sensitive records. If you haven’t yet been able to securely shred this paperwork, Chelsea Groton Bank is providing FREE secure document shredding services this fall, to protect confidential information and avoid identity theft.

“The number of people who are victimized because sensitive data is stolen continues to rise,” said Lori Dufficy, EVP, Director of Sales & Service at Chelsea Groton Bank. “Although criminals are increasingly using cyber-attacks to gain access to personal information online, we encourage everyone to properly dispose of hard copy documents that can literally put their financial future in the wrong hands.”

To make the process quick, convenient and safe, three separate Shred Days will be available at Chelsea Groton Bank branches:

  • Saturday, October 3 from 9am – 12pm at the Center Groton Branch, 1319 Gold Star Highway

  • Saturday, October 24 from 9am – 12pm at the North Stonington Branch, 391 Norwich Westerly Road

  • Saturday, November 14 from 9am – 12pm at the Norwich-Westside Branch, 444 West Main Street

These complimentary services are available to members and non-members of the Bank. Simply bring up to three file-sized boxes of documents to any of the events and bank representatives will ensure everything is destroyed. Once shredded, the paper will be recycled.

In order to protect the health and safety of all present, please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and refrain from participating if you recently traveled to a state on the CT Travel Advisory. The staff assisting with shredding will be wearing masks and gloves.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education programs. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit www.chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Media Contact: Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Best of Bauer Chelsea Groton Bank

Thriving in the Face of Adversity

GROTON, Conn. – BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, proudly announced that Chelsea Groton Bank, New London County, Connecticut has once again been awarded its highest (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability. That means that, even in the current climate, Chelsea Groton Bank is able to excel in such areas as capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality. Earning and maintaining this top rating for 106 consecutive quarters, especially now, makes this accomplishment even more significant. A “Best of Bauer Bank” designation is bestowed upon those banks, like Chelsea Groton Bank, that have earned and maintained Bauer’s highest 5-Star rating for at least 25 consecutive years.

“Chelsea Groton Bank is proof that some banks are able to thrive even in the face of substantial adversity. And we know the secret. As your local, community bank, Chelsea Groton Bank has a deep understanding of the needs and conditions of this area, perhaps better than anyone,” reflects Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “In times of need, community banks coalesce with the community itself and work toward one common goal, making it to the other side. Chelsea Groton Bank has been committed to the people and businesses in this community since 1854 and its dedication is stronger than ever.”

Chelsea Groton Bank was established in 1854 and has been working side by side with neighbors and friends for 166 years. Today, its guiding principles and can-do attitude are more important than ever as Chelsea Groton continues to be there for the people and businesses in the community. Currently, Chelsea Groton Bank operates through 14 retail bank branches in Southeastern Connecticut, a lending office in Hartford County, and online at chelseagroton.com.

About BauerFinancial, Inc.

BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star-ratings are all available for free at bauerfinancial.com.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education programming. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Westerly Community Credit Union is the sole sponsor of the Ocean Community YMCA School's Out program

Westerly, RI – September 11, 2020: The Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that they will be the sole sponsor of the Ocean Community YMCA’s School’s Out program. The sponsorship of $10,000 will help the Ocean Community YMCA continue to offer before and after school enrichment and childcare for families of elementary school children in the Chariho District: Charlestown, Hope Valley, Richmond schools. It will also now allow them to add the Westerly District: Dunn's Corners, Springbrook, and State Street schools.

These funds will help offset the initial start-up costs that the Y will incur to be able to bring the program to Westerly Public Schools sites. These expenses include staff training, file cabinets, cell phones for all three sites, materials for the program, and supplies related to COVID-19 such as PPE, thermometers, and sneeze guards for certain areas.

“Having before and after school enrichment will help many families during COVID-19,” stated Stephen White, President & CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. “Childcare for working families is crucial and we are happy to help an organization that shares our goal to strengthen and support our local community.”

“The Ocean Community YMCA is grateful for the generous support the Westerly Community Credit Union is providing for our School’s Out Program,” said Maureen Fitzgerald, President & CEO of Ocean Community YMCA. “This support will enhance our School’s Out program, the children involved will benefit from this wonderful support. The Westerly Community Credit Union continues to support local non-profits, and strengthen our community.”

If you would like to support the Ocean Community YMCA through a personal or corporate donation, call (401) 596.2894 or donate online at http://oceancommunityymca.org/support-the-y/

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, and online at www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019-20) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

About Ocean Community YMCA:

At the Y, strengthening community is their cause. The Y believes that social change happens when people come together and invest in our children, health and neighbors. To achieve this vision, the Y has three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Ocean Community YMCA is recognized as one of the leading community organizations in our area by directly engaging children, adults and families from all segments of our communities in achieving healthier lifestyles. As a result, they inspire philanthropic support, engage more volunteers, develop staff and strengthen collaborations within the community.

The Arc ECT’s Annual 43rd Strides Road Race Continues the Tradition!

Consider involving family and friends from across the country and around the world

Waterford, CT- The 43rd annual Jack O’Keefe Memorial Strides Road Race, sponsored by The Arc Eastern Connecticut, will kick off in modern style going virtual this year. “Virtual road races are nothing new amid the pandemic, which has forced many agencies to think outside the box,” said Kathleen Stauffer, CEO of The Arc ECT. “So many people look forward to this event, and we knew we had to find a way to keep it going.”

This year’s race allows participants to enjoy the traditional Camp Harkness 5k, 10, or 1-mile fun/run/walk/roll on their own, or whenever the park is open from October 4-11th. Participants can also use their own measured course. Document and submit your winning time to be eligible for great prizes. All proceeds benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) throughout Eastern Connecticut.

“Our community partners have been wonderful,” Stauffer said. “Sponsors signed on early, trusting that the race was going to be something special.” Platinum Race sponsors are Berkshire Bank, Gerardi Insurance Services, Inc., and the Robert F. & Maureen T. O’Keefe Family Foundation. The 21st Century Tolland Fund continues as the race’s official T-Shirt sponsor.

Gold Sponsors include Wireless Zone, Hilltop Contractors, LLC, The Schuster Group and Linemaster Switch Corporation LLC. Brunet & Company Real Estate, CorePlus Federal Credit Union, Spirol International, bankHometown, Willimantic Waste Paper Co. Inc., Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Putnam Rotary Club, and Putnam Bank a division of Centreville Bank are Silver sponsors.

Last year more than 275 runners participated in Strides. Because of the flexibility of a virtual race, even more people are expected this year. Runners and walkers can join in with their families and friends from all across the country or around the world.”

First hosted in the late 1970s, the race honors the late Jack O’Keefe, a great advocate for athleticism and inclusion for people with IDD. For more information, and to sponsor or register online, visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435 x116.

HIGHER EDGE SEEKING BOARD MEMBERS

NEW LONDON, CT – Higher Edge, Inc. is looking for those who might be interested in serving on its Board of Directors. “We are looking for community-minded, energetic, resourceful, forward-thinking people interested in ensuring college access and success services to limited-income students in Eastern Connecticut,” says Kristi D. Kelly, Board President.

Higher Edge guides limited-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge will serve up to 70 high school seniors and 200 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year.

If interested in serving as a board member, email a letter of interest and bio and/or resume to go@higheredge.org. To learn more, visit HigherEdge.org or @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code.

C: Theresa Armendarez

T: 860.439.0034

Olde Mistick Village Celebrates 47th Anniversary

Members of the community will gather for a dedication ceremony of the refurbished waterwheel, a symbol of Olde Mistick Village since it opened on September 11, 1973.

Who: Olde Mistick Village

What: To celebrate the 47th Anniversary of Olde Mistick Village, Joyce Resnikoff and family will proudly install a refurbished water wheel, a fixture and symbol of the shopping center from its opening in 1973. During a dedication of the refurbished waterwheel, Olde Mistick Village is pleased to dedicate this renovation project to first responders of 9/11 and to all front-line workers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Susette Tibus will serve as MC, and State Senator Heather Somers will be in attendance, along with other local business and community leaders, friends and family.

Where: Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT 06355

When: September 11th, 2020, 11:00 am

Why: Olde Mistick Village was established in 1972 and has been a fixture of our community since it officially opened on September 11, 1973. More than 400 people attended its opening ceremony in front of the Meeting House, which was dedicated to Martin and Julie Olson. Olde Mistick Village was originally inspired by Peddlars Village in Pennsylvania.

Facebook: @OldeMistickVillage | Instagram: @OldeMistickVillage

A (Virtual) 75th Anniversary Celebration for the COMO!

Stonington Community Center celebrates 75 years with No Go Gala online auction.

The COMO is celebrating 75 years of serving the greater Stonington community with a no go gala and online auction. The two-week auction begins Saturday, September 19. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support the many educational, social and recreational programs the COMO offers year-round for youth and adults. This year, funds raised from the virtual Fund-a-Need “paddle raise” will support upgrades to the COMO gymnasium.

The auction features items such as gently-used designer brand clothing, local experiences, vintage treasures and local restaurant packages! Running from September 19 to October 2, ticket holders can bid on exclusive experiences including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ocean House, a personalized platter made by local artist Susan Pfeifer Scala, a party for 40 guests courtesy of the Stone Acres Farm and the ultimate SIFT experience including an exclusive tour and Q&A session with Chef Adam plus gift cards to enjoy delicious Sift and Young Buns Doughnuts treats.

A $25 ticket includes access to the online auction and bidding capabilities, and a $100 VIP ticket includes 3-day early access to view and purchase items via “Buy It Now” prices and entry into a drawing with the winner receiving their pick of any auction item (experiences not included). All ticket holders will have the ability to preview the auction items in-person at the COMO annex prior to bidding.

Tickets are available for purchase at thecomo.org/no-go-gala or by texting “NoGoGalaAuction” to 76278. If you are interested in sponsorship or ad opportunities, email Development Director Lacey Arndt at l.arndt@thecomo.org or call 860-535-2476.

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded in 1945, as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. Over the years, the COMO’s 16-acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family, and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the COMO has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information, visit www.thecomo.org.

For more information, contact:

Katherine Adami, Stonington Community Center

k.adami@thecomo.org | 860.535.2476

Photo: Left to Right: Stephen J. White- Westerly Community Credit Union President & CEO; Pete Stefanski- WCCU Board Chair; William Quirk- WCCU Board Director & Donations Committee Chair; Russ Partridge- WARM Center Executive Director.

Westerly Community Credit Union donates $5,000 to the WARM Center in Westerly

Westerly Community Credit Union recently donated $5,000 to the WARM Center in Westerly to help people experiencing financial hardship in Southern RI and Southeastern CT communities. This donation is continuation of #WCCUCares initiatives to help local community organizations that directly help those in the community struggling by the effects of COVID-19.

“Part of our #WCCUCares initiative means caring about our communities,” stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. “We know that donating to the WARM Center is a good start in helping those who need it most during difficult times.”

“Once again the Westerly Community Credit Union steps up to the plate to help those in need. WARM is honored to receive this donation from WCCU. This donation will go to help many of our friends and neighbors who are struggling during this difficult time”, stated Russ Partridge, Executive Director of WARM Center.

If you would like to support the WARM Center and your community through a personal or corporate donation, call (401) 596-WARM (9276). You can also donate directly online at www.warmcenter.org.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19 and top 3 in 2020); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019 & 2020) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

About Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM):

Established in 1987, the Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) Inc. is a comprehensive social services agency providing professional and compassionate wraparound programs for those in need in Southern RI and Southeastern CT. Those programs include: Emergency Shelter, Anita’s Kitchen, Harvest Home, Supportive Homes, Community Outreach, Attire for Hire, Summer Lunches, and Street Outreach. Eight local churches and over 300 volunteers support the WARM Center, along with local businesses, civic groups, Westerly Hospital, and Westerly Fire Department.

From:
Meg Sisco, Vice President of Marketing
Westerly Community Credit Union

401-596-7000 x2117 | msisco@westerlyccu.com

Westerly Community Credit Union Receives “Spreadin’ the Love” Award

The Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) recently received the “Spreadin’ the Love (Giving Back) Award” by the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce 2020 Chamber Choice Awards. This award was given to WCCU because of their support for charities and causes in the community. WCCU was one of six businesses nominated by fellow Chamber of Commerce members for this award and was selected as the winner by the members of the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.

"We are very proud that we were chosen to receive the ‘Spreadin’ the Love Award,” stated Stephen White, President/CEO of Westerly Community Credit Union. "Giving back to the communities we serve is such an important piece of who we are, and we look forward to continuing this support for years to come.”

Westerly Community Credit Union serves over 19,800 members with branch locations in Wakefield, Richmond and Westerly. Membership is open to all who reside or work in Rhode Island & New London County, CT and open a $5 deposit account.

To become a member, or to learn more about Westerly Community Credit Union, please visit their website at www.westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

The WCCU mantra, #WCCUCares, emphasizes their focus on caring about their members, their members’ financial success, and their community. Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution that currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, and online at www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: Westerly Sun’s Readers’ Choice Best Bank Award (2017-18-19); Southern RI Chamber Choice- Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards; as well as PBN Best Places to Work (2018-19).

Mystic Seaport Museum Exhibition to Focus on the Art of the Sailor

Sailor Made: Folk Art of the Sea Dives Deep into the Museum’s Collection to Explore the Rich and Surprising Creativity of the American Seafarer

Mystic, Conn. (August 28, 2020) — When sailors went to sea in the 19th century, they faced difficult working conditions, cramped personal space onboard ship, and voyages that at times could stretch for months or even years. Sailor Made: Folk Art of the Sea, a new exhibition opening September 18 in the Museum's C.D. Mallory Building, explores the art that emerged out of this working world, reflecting sailors' connections to shipboard life, their thoughts about culture on shore, and the souvenirs they created to remember and share the experiences of their travels.

The second of four new exhibitions funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, Sailor Made highlights more than 200 objects from the Museum's collection, many of which have long been hidden from public view. Each artifact has its own story, and through the work of exhibition curator Mirelle Luecke, Ph.D., much new information has been uncovered about the objects in the show.

“When stuck in the difficult, dangerous, and sometimes monotonous environment of the ship, sailors used art to express themselves. The designs they inscribed on scrimshaw, the types of household items they made, and the ways they used different materials were all intentions, and tell us something about the sailors themselves, their experiences, and the world they lived in,” said Luecke.

These stories show how creating art enabled sailors to differentiate their labor and leisure time in the otherwise all-consuming work environment of the ship.

To do this sailors turned to art, carving scrimshaw, drawing in journals, sewing intricate embroidery, and creating intricate knot-work, to name but a few of the media on display. Highlights include:

· Personal items that spoke to sailor-makers professional life and skills, such as knives, needle cases, clothing, and elaborate macramé bags

· Household items such as bowls and boxes fashioned out of exotic materials

· A child’s hammock decorated with scenes from the circumnavigation voyage of the USS Columbia, made by one shipmate for another

· Examples of tattoo flash (sample drawings from which sailors could choose their tattoo)

· Numerous pieces of scrimshaw, including engraved teeth, jagging wheels, bodkins, and a knitting swift

· A coatrack constructed of narwhal tusks

· A cribbage board in the shape of the nuclear submarine USS Hartford

As self-taught artists, sailors engaged with the working world of the ship, imagined their ideal lives on shore, and created objects to commemorate their experiences at sea. This exhibition is a view into the world of the 19th-century sailor, with a few modern examples to show how those impulses and activities continue today in some naval and merchant mariners.

The exhibition is made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support the curation and development of four new collections installations and related programming at Mystic Seaport Museum. These projects will provide new perspectives on the art and ensure the continued preservation and refinement of the collections while also promoting public access.

Access to Sailor Made is included in the Museum’s general admission.

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Former Pawcatuck Middle School to House COMO Childcare

The Stonington Community Center (COMO) has partnered with the Stonington Public Schools and Town to utilize the District Office, formerly Pawcatuck Middle School, to address unmet childcare needs of Town employees and residents.

The Stonington Public Schools will begin this school year with a hybrid distance learning model, which includes children attending two days per week in school and three days virtually. The utilization of the District Office facility permits the COMO to expand upon the COMO’s current childcare program housed at the COMO main building.

In addition to summer camp and school vacation childcare, the COMO childcare program provides before and after school care during the school year for working families. In response to the pandemic’s impact, the COMO added full day distance learning childcare. Experienced COMO staff will assist children with distance learning assignments and classwork, while offering a safe and caring environment on the COMO campus.

Full week and partial week schedules are available. As a licensed childcare facility and nationally-accredited preschool, the COMO meets and exceeds COVID-19 protocols and expectations established by the CT Office of Early Childhood and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. To learn more about this program and to register visit https://www.thecomo.org/como-kids.

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded in 1945, as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. Over the years, the COMO’s 16-acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family, and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the COMO has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information, visit www.thecomo.org.

Westerly Community Credit Union Announces Credit Union College Scholarship Recipient

The Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Sommer Choiniere of Kenyon, Rhode Island, has been awarded a Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) of Rhode Island College Scholarship.

The Association designed the CCUA College Scholarship Program to support the efforts of Credit Unions in Rhode Island and recognize the outstanding talents of three (3) college-bound students with a $1,500 scholarship. These students, their parents or guardians are members of a sponsoring credit union. Each Credit Union submits three applications for consideration. Sommer’s application was submitted by the Westerly Community Credit Union.

Applicants were evaluated on a variety of criteria including the student’s academic performance, extracurricular activities, and the quality and content of an essay that addressed the applicant’s major field of study and career goals. Sommer is a recent graduate of the Chariho High School. She is attending the University of Tampa and pursuing her degree in Broadcast Journalism. The Westerly Community Credit Union Board of Directors and staff wish to congratulate Sommer!

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution, focused not on profits, but on helping its members achieve financial success. It currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: #1 Best Bank in the Westerly Sun’s 2016, 2017, 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards; Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards by the Southern RI Chamber of Commerce; as well as PBN Providence Business News Best Places to Work 2018-2019.

About the Cooperative Credit Union Association:

The Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) is a regional trade organization serving as the voice for credit unions located in the States of Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Along with its legislative and regulatory initiatives and vigilance, advocacy at the CCUA also extends to consumers. Through the Better Values-Better Banking initiative, CCUA educates and builds awareness about credit unions; what they are, the value they offer, and the contributions they make to the communities they serve.

In Rhode Island, there are 19 credit unions who hold combined assets of $7 billion and a collective membership base of more than 436,000 consumers. Annually credit unions in Rhode Island provide their members with $37 million in direct financial benefits and have raised more than $1.2 million for Special Olympics Rhode Island. For more information, visit www.ccua.org.

Groton Utilities Electric Vehicle Charger Now Available in Washington Park

Groton Utilities and the City of Groton are excited to announce the “grand opening” of our first public –use electric vehicle charger. The charger is conveniently located at the corner of Meridian Street and Mitchell Street in Washington Park and is free for all to use.

The charger, purchased by Groton Utilities and installed by the Operations Division, is a level 2 charger – meaning that it is much faster than a standard house charger. Level 2 chargers can fully charge an electric vehicle battery in as little as two hours, depending on the capacity of the battery.

The charger is conveniently located in Washington Park, so it is near the highway as well as many local businesses. Additionally it is an ideal location for those who want to charge their vehicle while they enjoy spending some quality time at the park.

“We are really excited to have this charger in the park – it’s an ideal location for people to drop by and enjoy the park while they charge up their car,” said Ron Gaudet, Director of Utilities. “Electric vehicles are the future – they’re coming – so it’s important to us at Groton Utilities to be able to provide this service to our local community”.

The electric charger in Washington Park is part of Groton Utilities Energy Conservation Program. Through this program GU encourages customers and the community to find different ways to save money, energy and the environment through rebates on energy efficiency-related purchases, including Electric Vehicles, EV chargers, Mini split heat pumps and attic insulation, among other things.

“As a publicly-owned utility Groton Utilities prioritizes helping out our customers and the community in general,” said Manager of Communications and Community Outreach Dan Bouges, “We want to do our part in helping make Groton the ideal location for people to live and work. By providing highly-competitive rates on electric, water and sewage services along with our community outreach efforts and now this charger in the park, we feel like we are getting closer to that goal.”

Increasingly electric vehicles are becoming an attractive alternative to standard gasoline powered vehicles. They are quiet, cheap to run, kind to the environment and they help lower our dependence on fossil fuels. Upwards to 80% of people drive less than 40 miles a day for their commute, and with more and more EV models having a single-charge range of more than 300 miles, it is increasingly possible to go through a week on a single charge. Electric vehicles still cost more than a standard car, but with an abundance of rebates available (including through GU) it is relatively easy to lower the purchase cost a substantial amount.

To speak to someone at Groton Utilities regarding our Energy Conservation program, including rebates and the EV charger, please call Customer Service at 860-446-4000.

Photo credit: Jon Caspar

Kalmar Nyckel, The Tall Ship of Delaware Voyages to Mystic Seaport Museum

Arriving Saturday, August 28 for Haul Out Sunday, August 31; Dry Dock Hull Maintenance through September 18

Wilmington, DE How do you plan for an ocean voyage on the Tall Ship of Delaware during a pandemic? This week Kalmar Nyckel is voyaging from Wilmington for the first ocean voyage of 2020, with a small but mighty crew of 16 officers and volunteers who just completed a 2-week quarantine to safely voyage to Mystic Seaport Museum. The ship is going to “dry dock” which means it will be hauled out of the water for routine hull maintenance and required U.S. Coast Guard inspections, which must be completed by the end of September. No time to waste!

The ship is scheduled to arrive at the Mystic Seaport Museum shipyard on the high tide at 5:40pm Friday, August 28 with haul out on Monday, August 31. Based on their work schedule, the ship will depart for Wilmington on or about Monday, September 21.

Months in the planning, the Captains and Mates have worked with maritime medical experts and their crew on every detail of how to sail, eat, sleep, work, and live safely in close quarters. A total of 28 sailors signed up with overlapping shifts to not only voyage to and from Connecticut, but also to provide manual labor in the shipyard, scraping, caulking, and painting the ship’s hull.

Beyond the four professional officers and a chef, the crew are all volunteers, joining the ship from eight states and even Sweden. To qualify, each crew member agreed to a strict quarantine that began on August 9, with regular health checks and minimal human contact. They committed to these steps because of their loyalty to the Kalmar Nyckel’s mission and to each other. Many of the crew are retirees with an elevated risk for COVID-19, and they are not taking this challenge lightly.

This will be an unusual adventure in the “pandemic era” – with many high and low points – separated from friends and family, with long workdays, following rigid hygiene protocols, and keeping an eye on the tropical storm season. Stay tuned to follow this adventure of a lifetime!

Background: Kalmar Nyckel is a full-scale replica of the Swedish merchant ship that established the colony of New Sweden in 1638, the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware valley. Launched in 1997, today’s Kalmar Nyckel serves an ambassador for the State and offers people of all ages a variety of sea- and land-based recreational and educational experiences.

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-based educational organization, that built, owns, and operates Kalmar Nyckel. The ship has a crew of 200 trained volunteers who help maintain, sail, and teach its programs. No experience is required, and volunteers bring a wide range of skills and experiences on board. Kalmar Nyckel serves as a catalyst for social and economic development and outreach and, in a typical season, the ship sails more than 2,400 nautical miles from Norfolk, VA to Provincetown, MA.

For more information on Kalmar Nyckel sails, tours, charters, educational programs, volunteer opportunities and its home berth at the Tatiana and Gerret Copeland Maritime Center visit www.kalmarnyckel.org, call (302) 429-7447 and follow us on Facebook. Due to COVID-19, visitors cannot tour or sail on the ship this summer. Watch for Kalmar Nyckel sails in the fall in Wilmington, DE. Online tickets for sails can be purchased at www.kalmarnyckel.org/BookASail.asp.

Photo Credit: Jon Caspar, 2019 Chesapeake Bay

  • Horizontal and vertical shots. Hi res available

CONTACT:

Jan Ross

Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation

M 443.480.7486

jan.ross@kalmarnyckel.org

Chelsea Groton Bank Ribbon Cutting Marks Unveiling of Reinvented Downtown Mystic Branch

Event Capped Off with Donation to Work Vessels for Veterans

Photo caption, from L to R: Tony Sheridan, Peggy Roberts, Michael Rauh, Penni Harlow, John Niekrash, Catherine Cook

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank held a ribbon cutting for its reinvented Mystic branch at 2 Water Street in Mystic. The ceremony, which was streamed on Facebook Live for members of the community, included remarks from Heather Somers, CT State Senator; Tony Sheridan, Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT; and Peggy Roberts, Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, spoke about the history of Chelsea Groton Bank, the Bank’s commitment to the local community and the vision for the reinvented space in Mystic. Penni Harlow, Customer Solutions Manager at the Mystic branch, closed the ceremony by presenting a donation to Work Vessels for Veterans, a locally founded organization that provides tools, equipment and education to veterans to prepare them for future careers. Hon. Catherine Cook, Executive Director, and John Niekrash, President and Co-Founder, accepted the check – which was in the dollar amount of 1,854 representing Chelsea Groton’s founding in 1854 – on behalf of the organization.

“Chelsea Groton Bank has a 166-year history of community stewardship. Our mission as a community bank is to serve the financial needs of the individuals, families and businesses in the community, and this mission is critical now more than ever,” explained Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank. “When we started planning for the changes made to the Mystic branch last year, we couldn’t have guessed the way the world would have changed prior to the completion of the project. The health and economic challenges over the last six months have been immense, and have reinforced the importance for people to have direction on how to handle life’s planned and unplanned events, both financially and otherwise. We believe the changes we’ve made to the interior of the Mystic branch, in terms of lay-out, onsite and virtual technology, and most importantly, team member training, will help us engage with individuals and business customers about where they are in their lives or the life of their business, and how we can help them reach their goals.”

“Our hope in reinventing the Mystic branch is that it evolves from a place where people go to perform transactions to somewhere they can learn to feel confident, comfortable, and excited about their financial future. We made similar modifications in our Center Groton branch a few years ago, and saw Bank members really benefit from the opportunity to engage with our team in a comfortable atmosphere, designed for learning,” continued Rauh.

The diverse layout features a diner booth for relaxed conversation, a knowledge bar and lending library with books to peruse at the branch or borrow, a collaboration table for connecting and interacting, a video conferencing room for calling in subject matter experts to help members with specific questions or challenges, private but comfortable spaces for opening accounts and processing loans, and complimentary coffee and conversation brewing all day. The location continues to offer a teller line where typical banking transactions can occur, a drive-up lane for convenient access to banking services from your car, and a walk-up ATM. In an effort to ensure the health and safety of the Bank’s team members and members of the community, use of some of these features are limited at this time.

In the future, personal enrichment programs will be offered, free of charge, at the branch a few days a week. Until restrictions on group gatherings are lifted, fun and informative programming will continue to be offered via webinar. Miria Gray, the Bank’s Community Education Officer, and Customer Solutions Manager Penni Harlow, along with team members from the Mystic branch, various departments, and other subject matter experts from outside organizations, will lead classes on topics related to personal financial wellness, home-buying, business banking, lifestyle topics and more. For the most current schedule of classes and events occurring virtually, visit www.chelseagroton.com/ChelseaUniversity.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.4 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS Institution ID 402928.

Mystic Seaport Museum to Honor Tom Whidden with the America and the Sea Award

Mystic, Conn. (August 26, 2020) — Mystic Seaport Museum will present its 2020 America and the Sea Award to Tom Whidden, one of the most applauded sailors of all time, member of both the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and president and CEO of North Technology Group, parent company of North Sails. The prestigious award recognizes those individuals and organizations whose extraordinary achievements in the world of maritime exploration, competition, scholarship, and design best exemplify the American character.

In announcing the honor, Mystic Seaport Museum President Steve White said, “Tom is a perfect fit for this award. Not only does he have a distinguished record as a competitive sailor, but he has also served as an important ambassador for the sport and the maritime community. For young sailors across the country and beyond, he has been a positive role model and mentor.”

Whidden will be honored for his remarkable accomplishments in competitive sailing and his leadership in the design and manufacturing of technologically advanced sails at North Sails.

“I have spent my life racing sailboats and making products that make those boats perform their best. For me to be recognized by the most prominent maritime museum in the United States, for doing what I love most, is a dream come true,” said Whidden.

Whidden’s career soared in 1979 when he joined Dennis Conner for what would become a total of eight America’s Cup campaigns, racing as tactician in five series races and winning three times: 1980, 1987 (regaining the cup after Australia’s 1983 victory), and 1988. He has won the Newport-Bermuda Race five times, and had repeated wins on the European racing circuit.

Following his racing success, Whidden joined North Sails in 1987, building it into the largest sailmaking company in the world, and later becoming CEO and co-owner of North Technology Group. He led North Sails and North Technology Group through decades of evolution from manufacturing paneled sails in a vast network of sail lofts to the current centrally managed, technologically driven, manufacturing system.

In 2004, Whidden was elected to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame “for his brilliance as a tactical advisor, his soundness as a crew organizer, and his mastery of winning in difficult boats under the most demanding conditions.” Most recently, he was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2017.

Mystic Seaport Museum will recognize Whidden’s exceptional career on and off the water by awarding him the America and the Sea Award on Friday, October 23, 2020. The award presentation, special toast to the honoree, auction, paddle raise, and special celebrity appearances will be livestreamed from the Museum beginning at 6:15 p.m. EST.

This affair is the premier fundraising event for Mystic Seaport Museum. Past recipients of the America and the Sea Award include American businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Schmidt; America’s Cup sailor and trailblazer Dawn Riley; philanthropist and environmentalist David Rockefeller Jr.; celebrated sailors and co-founders of J/Boats, Rod and Bob Johnstone; New York Times best-selling and National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick; oceanographer and explorer Sylvia Earle; former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman; WoodenBoat Publications founder Jon Wilson; yachtsman and author Gary Jobson; maritime industrialist Charles A. Robertson; among other maritime greats.

For invitations, please email advancement@mysticseaport.org.

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Contact:
Dan McFadden

Director of Communications
Mystic Seaport Museum
860.572.5317 | dan.mcfadden@mysticseaport.org

The Coyote River Band Wraps Up Summer Concert Series This Friday

The Coyote River Band wraps up our summer concert series this Friday at 6:30 PM in Washington Park. The band will rock the park with their infectious blend of classic rock, country and dance music. The group mixes three-part harmonies with top-notch musicianship to keep fans entertained deep into the night. More than anything these guys (and gal) are really talented and just a whole lot of fun. Come on down and enjoy a great show.

Last week’s concert featured Concerts in the Park newcomers Andre and Friends. They are extremely talented and really know how to bring the party to the park – so much dancing! It also once again showed that we could successfully hold a concert with the safety precautions in place necessary to have a gathering of this sort. Once again we had a selection of food trucks to help feed the masses. This week the trucks will be Supreme Hot Dog, Rolling Tomato Pizza and Robin’s Ice Cream truck.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

  • The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 18 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size. (Below is a sample diagram of a general look of set up).

  • Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

  • Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

We sincerely hope everyone had a chance to come out and enjoy some live music this summer. Come on down for one last show and then we’ll see you all next year starting in June for another round of concerts.

Westerly Community Credit Union Earns 5-Star Superior Rating

We are proud to announce that Westerly Community Credit Union was recognized with a 5-Star Superior rating by BauerFinancial, Inc. for the 1st Quarter 2020!

BauerFinancial, Inc. is a source for unbiased, independent bank and credit union star-ratings reflecting the overall strength of the institution. The star rating classifies each credit union based upon a complex formula which factors in relevant data including, but not limited to: capital, historical trends, loan delinquencies, differences in the book and market values of the investment portfolio, losses, repossessed assets, reserves, and asset quality.

"We are very proud to earn the 5-Star Superior rating from BauerFinancial, Inc.,” stated Stephen White, WCCU President & CEO. “Our recent Superior rating is one of many indicators that we are well capitalized and financially secure. We are thankful we can provide our members and community peace of mind during such an unsettled time.”

Westerly Community Credit Union serves over 19,800 members with branch locations in Wakefield, Richmond, and Westerly. Membership is open to all who reside or work in Rhode Island & New London County, CT, and open a $5 deposit account.

To become a member, or to learn more about Westerly Community Credit Union, please visit their website at www.westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution, focused not on profits, but on helping its members achieve financial success. It currently serves over 19,800 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Recent WCCU awards: #1 Best Bank in the Westerly Sun’s 2016, 2017, 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards; Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards by the Southern RI Chamber of Commerce; as well as PBN Providence Business News Best Places to Work 2018-2019.

WHEN GRANTS BECOME WINDOWS

Always Home Completes Window Replacement Project Thanks to Two Major Gifts

Mystic, CT (August 21, 2020) – In true community spirit, Always Home completed a major window replacement project this week thanks to The Edward & Mary Lord Foundation and a Rotary Foundation Humanitarian District Managed Grant that matches the support of the Mystic, Groton and Stonington Rotary Clubs. Installation of the new windows will improve safety and energy efficiency at two residential properties Always Home owns in Groton, CT.

Always Home’s mission is Preventing Family Homelessness. “The high cost of our region’s rental housing market is pricing working families out of their homes,” stated Betty Smith, Always Home’s Executive Director. “The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly gross income on housing, yet our client families typically spend 50% or more of their wages just to keep a roof over their kids’ heads. When you’re living this close to the edge, one minor financial crisis can trigger a slide into homelessness.”

The below-market-rate rentals are one of the agency’s successful homelessness prevention programs. Each property has two, 3-bedroom, furnished apartment units that Always Home rents to low-income, working families at below market rates, utilities included. By providing year-long leases to families at rents they can afford, parents are given the opportunity to improve their financial stability and credit history, develop good tenancy skills and build a more resilient future for their children.

Though the properties have been well maintained by Always Home, aging windows needed to be replaced. Always Home is grateful for the generous support of The Edward & Mary Lord Foundation, the Rotary Club of Mystic, the Rotary Club of Groton, the Rotary Club of the Stoningtons and the matching grant from Rotary District 7980 that made this work possible.

Smith expects to see a surge in the number of families at risk of homelessness in the months ahead. “The business closures and record unemployment brought on by COVID-19 have devastated the finances of families across Connecticut,” she said. “Regionally, families who never imagined they wouldn’t be able to pay their rent will face evictions.” But Smith and the Always Home staff believe that through the support of the community, their agency can help turn that tide. Smith added, “Together, we can change the life of local families and their children.”

For more information about Always Home’s https://www.alwayshome.org/

Contact: Kathryn Keller | Kkeller@alwayshome.org | (860) 287-0300

Get Your Groove On with the Soulful Sound of Andre and Friends Friday 8/21

Are you ready to get your groove on? The hot summer fun gets a little funky with the soulful sound of Andre and Friends this coming Friday night (8/21) at Washington Park beginning at 6:30 PM. Andre brings his band of ultra-talented friends down to the park to gift us with his unique brand of R&B, Rock, Funk and Soul. So break out your dancing shoes and join us for an evening of awesome music.

Last week’s concert featured Concerts in the Park veterans The Cartells. They are extremely talented and really know how to bring the party to the park. It also once again showed that we could successfully hold a concert with the safety precautions in place necessary to have a gathering of this sort. Once again we had a selection of food trucks to help feed the masses. This week the trucks will be Supreme Hot Dog, Rolling Tomato Pizza and Robin’s Ice Cream truck.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 18 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size. (Below is a sample diagram of a general look of set up).

Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

With all that said, here is the Concert Schedule for the 2020 season. We hope to see you there.

July 24 th – Mass-Conn Fusion

July 31 st – The Usual Lebowskis

August 7 th – Leaf Jumpers

August 14 th – The Cartells

August 21 st – Andre and Friends

August 28 th – Coyote River Band

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

Mystic Seaport Museum to Host Woodcraft Weekend August 29-30

Outside Artisans Invited to Display Their Work, Hold Demonstrations

Mystic, Conn. (August 20, 2020) — In association with its new exhibition, A Way with Wood: Celebrating Craft, Mystic Seaport Museum will host Woodcraft Weekend August 29-30. Independent craftspeople and woodworkers will be spread throughout the Museum grounds displaying their projects and products, and providing demonstrations for visitors.

Participating artisans are:

· Woodworkers Guild of Rhode Island – Demonstrating a range of skills from sharpening and squaring a board to relief carving and carving in the round

· Tom Lauria – Scratch-built fine scale ship and boat models

· Paul Schmitt – Kit and scratch built ship models

· Alex Bellinger – Ships in bottles, completed and in progress

· Brian Cooper – Demonstrating the creation of a Greenland kayak paddle using all hand tools

· Chris Sanders – Tool-sharpening demonstrations

· Katherine Park – One-of-a-kind furniture

· Laurent Robert – Intricate, decorative wood carving using traditional methods

· David Douyard – Handmade chairs

Centerbrook Architects & Planners industrial designer and model maker, Patrick McCauley, will be working in the A Way with Wood exhibition, where he will fabricate a chair from the Centerbrook Chairshop. The Chairshop is an in-house program where staff members design and build a chair incorporating diverse materials, construction techniques, and finishes. Chairs from previous classes will be on display, as well as imagery that celebrates the history of the program and its participants.

At 11 a.m., Saturday, the principal designer of the Museum’s Thompson Exhibition Building, Chad Floyd, FAIA, of Centerbrook Architects & Planners, will give a presentation to discuss why and how wood was used in the building’s design. The talk will be in the Masin Room of the Thompson Building. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All Woodcraft Weekend events and activities are free and included with Museum admission. Visitors are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Photo: (Top Row Left to Right) Genesis Tejada, Jacqueline Cuevas-Gonzalez, Ailin Cuevas-Gonzalez, Yeni Lopez, Karla Castillo, Karyme Hernandez, (Middle Row Left to Right) Isabel Rios-Sayago, William Ventura, Destiny Sanchez, Luis Gonzalez, Robert Otanez, Junie Dulcice, (Bottom Row Left to Right) Brianna Brown, Robert Parra, Cyndell Pickett, Jazmine Silva, Mayah Brown, Shaneva Edwards and Shane Brooks.

AT&T AWARDS $10,000 TO HIGHER EDGE TO SUPPORT COLLEGE STUDENTS

NEW LONDON, CT – Higher Edge, Inc. was awarded a $10,000 contribution from AT&T Foundation to support students in their pursuit of college and career goals.

The AT&T Foundation contribution provided scholarships to college students enrolled in Higher Edge’s Success Program. Specifically, the donation will help 20 sophomore, junior and/or senior students attending college during the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Students in the Success Program are often the first in their families to attend college. AT&T Foundation’s generous contribution will help students with essential college expenses like tuition and books,” said Higher Edge Executive Director Theresa Armendarez.

“AT&T aims to identify programs that are making real differences in the lives of local students. Higher Edge’s Success Program is a prime example,” said John Emra, President, AT&T Connecticut. “The effort to support students leading up to and throughout their college careers is an impactful resource for Connecticut’s young people, and we are very proud to offer scholarship support to help more local students reach their goals.”

About Higher Edge, Inc.

Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge will serve up to 70 high school seniors and over 200 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year. To learn more, visit HigherEdge.org or @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code. C: Theresa Armendarez | T: 860.439.0034

COVID-19 deflates bicycle shop; Lack of tubes cited

NORWICH, CT – Downtown Norwich business Apollo Cycles announced that they are closing their doors immediately and filing for bankruptcy, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apollo Cycles moved into downtown in August 2019 after three years in Danielson, Connecticut. However, even with increased outdoor activities and physical exercise, this led to an inability to acquire new inventory to sell or to use in repairs. “Sales of new bicycles were about one third of our business, and that has completely vanished,” owner Apollo Ziembroski stated. “My vendors are telling me that we are several months away from any new inventory, and it is more likely March of 2021. I can’t pay my bills if I have nothing to sell,” he added.

“It is unfortunate to lose Apollo and his shop,” stated Jason Vincent, President of NCDC, which operates the Foundry 66 co-workspace in which the retail shop is located. “Apollo’s presence brought a lot of excitement into the neighborhood, and people really enjoyed working and talking to him. The guy knows bikes. It is not surprising to hear that he is struggling, as we have heard that inventory is challenging to come by in a number of sectors, especially anything involving outdoor sports.” Vincent added.

In early May warning signs started to emerge Nationally regarding bicycle shop sustainability, as newspapers across the United States reported on booms in sales and a supply chain that is not keeping pace with consumer demand. “We tried to adjust prices on our labor, but you can’t charge people to fix a bicycle when you can’t purchase the chain to begin with,” Ziembroski added. “It really stinks to be in this predicament.” The now vacant 1,000 square foot storefront is now seeking a new member. “We will do our best to try to attract a new retailer to the space,” Vincent said. “The Sunlight Emporium retail space was at 100% occupancy and we know that there is demand for this place.”

NATIONAL SOURCES REGARDING COVID IMPACT ON BICYCLE SHOPS

Pandemics Cruel Joke on Small Business: https://www.wsj.com/articles/pandemics-cruel-joke-on-a-small-business-a-busy-bike-shop-with-no-bikes-to-sell-11596207605

Thinking of Buying a Bike: Get Ready for a Very Long Wait: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/nyregion/bike-shortage-coronavirus.html

ABOUT NCDC

The Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC), led by business and civic leaders, has over forty years of experience in creating opportunities for business. NCDC has been responsible for several development initiatives in Norwich including the creation of over 45 business locations and 2,300 jobs in the Stanley Israelite Business Park; the Mercantile Exchange building- a 100,000 square foot class A office building and the Norwich Superior Courthouse - both constructed in the heart of historic Downtown Norwich. In addition, NCDC was instrumental in securing and managing funding for both the renovation of Otis Library and the Norwich Marina. NCDC is proud of its reputation for being active in developing relationships and collaborating with the City for the betterment of Norwich and for partnering with the City and Norwich Public Utilities to create a place where businesses grow and thrive. We know how to get things done.

For additional information about the organization and projects that we have been involved:

Contact: Jason Vincent, President NCDC

860.204.1219 | jvincent@askncdc.com

Higher Edge Promotes Team Members

New London, CT – Higher Edge is pleased to announce that Jason Pellum and Gracie Guzman have accepted promotions.

Jason Pellum has been promoted to College Access Program (CAP) Manager. He will be responsible for the Willimantic-based CAP program where he has served as an advisor since joining Higher Edge. Raised in New London since age 8, Jason graduated from New London High School/Science and Technology Magnet High School in 2012, and the University of Connecticut in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. During his sophomore, junior, and senior college years, he was a Walk-On Basketball Player and helped the Huskies win both a Men’s and Women’s National Championship. Jason became interested in education after spending 2 ½ years as a professional recruiter. He joined Higher Edge to inspire first-generation and underrepresented students to seek a higher education and plans to obtain a Masters degree in Counselor Education.

Gracie Guzman has been promoted to Success Program Manager - a position she has held in an "acting" capacity since January 2020. The Success Program will serve almost 200 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year. Gracie has been a New London resident since her youth. After graduating from New London High School, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. Her experiences as an undergraduate sparked initial interest in higher education. After working at a dual enrollment high school as an administrative assistant she decided to solidify that interest and obtain a Masters degree in Counselor Education with a specialization in Student Development in Higher Education. She joined Higher Edge to empower students to learn and embrace their academic, professional, and personal growth journeys.

About Higher Edge, Inc.

Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge will serve up to 70 high school seniors and over 200 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year. To learn more, visit HigherEdge.org or @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code.

Stonington Community Center (COMO) Launches Community-Wide Chalk Art Contest Fundraiser at Mystic Aquarium

[Stonington, CT] - The COMO will launch a community-wide chalk art fundraiser at the Mystic Aquarium on Thursday, August 13. Beginning at 2 p.m. COMO staff, with the help of Stonington Police Department’s Youth Officer, Kerry Browning, will create the COMO logo in chalk outside of the Mystic Aquarium as an official launch. The chalk art contest, sponsored by Stonington Human Services, is part of the COMO’s annual Village Fair celebration, and will raise critical funds to support the COMO mission. Entry to the contest is free and open to all, regardless of geographic location.

The chalk art contest invites artists of all ages to draw their own chalk art picture around the theme of “Better Together”, and submit to the COMO at development@thecomo.org. Chalk art should include the hashtag “#Bettertogether”. Once submitted, entrants are encouraged to share their art with family, friends and local businesses, who can vote on their favorite submissions, each vote costing $1. Voting ends September 30, 2020.

There are three age divisions for the contest; Child (ages 3-12), Teen (ages 13-17) and Adult (ages 18+) with prizes being awarded to the submission with the most votes in each division. A “judge’s pick” will also be selected, with the winning photo being highlighted in future COMO promotions. Complete rules and eligibility for this COMO fundraiser can be found at thecomo.org/chalk-art-contest.

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded in 1945, as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. Over the years, the COMO’s 16-acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family, and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the COMO has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information, visit www.thecomo.org.

For more information, contact:

Katherine Adami

Stonington Community Center

k.adami@thecomo.org | 860.535.2476

Local Business Resource Seeks Website Testers

InnovatorsLINK, a resource being developed for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Connecticut, is seeking beta testers as it nears its launch. Developed through a Thames River Innovation Place grant from CTNext to GMCC member LBI Inc. and Peter Legnos, InnovatorsLINK provides a customized experience where new and established companies can connect to the events, advice, news, and more that will be of most use to them.

InnovatorsLINK is seeking feedback from local businesses to ensure that the site will be a high-quality resource. Beta testers get a premium level business listing on the site for free for one year. Anyone interested in becoming a beta tester should contact Dirk Langeveld at dlangeveld@innovatorslink.com.

Chelsea Groton Bank Team Members Earn Degrees, Diplomas and Certifications

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank team members recently earned bachelor degrees, financial diplomas and certifications in various banking specialties.

Two team members earned degrees from Southern New Hampshire University: Rebecca Dambach, Customer Solutions Specialist in Sprague, earned a Bachelor of Accounting and Marielle Winkelman, AS, Customer Solutions Manager in Waterford, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.

The Center For Financial Training (CFT), dedicated to providing professionally administered banker education and training that continually meets the educational needs of employees in the financial services industry throughout our geographic market, recognized three Chelsea Groton team members for earning diplomas: Chrissy Caplet, AVP, Regional Sales and Service Manager for the Inland Region, in General Financial Services, Advanced Financial Services, and Consumer Lending; Dorothy Houde, Customer Care Representative, studied Financial Services Operations and Consumer Lending; and Jennifer Seuferling, AS, Customer Solutions Manager of the North Stonington branch, earned a diploma in Financial Services Operations.

Professional certifications were also recently earned: Ruth Eckhoff, BSA Analyst, became a Certified AML Fraud Professional (CAFP); Miria Gray, AS, Community Education Officer is now a Certified Financial Educator Instructor (CFEI); Sara Lundy, AS, Compliance Administrator is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM); and Alee Rogan, Financial Services Associate, passed the CT Insurance Exam.

“Even through the challenges presented by the current pandemic, our team members remained committed to their studies, in an effort to complete their certifications and degrees, and further develop professionally,” said Kristin Zummo, VP, Learning & Development Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “At Chelsea Groton, we encourage employees to continually learn and develop themselves. In addition to the Grow, Launch, and Lead leadership programs offered internally at the Bank, many team members pursue additional opportunities offered through local or online universities, CFT and in their specific field to further their learning. We are proud of their accomplishments.”

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit www.chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Chelsea Groton Bank

904 Poquonnock Road, Groton, CT 06340

Office: (860) 448-4118 | Fax: (860) 448-4164 | bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Summer Concerts are Back with the The Cartells, Friday 8/14 in Washington Park

Summer concerts are back and this Friday we will be featuring the band The Cartells at Washington Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Cartells are a Groton favorite and we are happy to have them back again. Masters of jazz, swing, rock, Motown and R&B – The Cartells know how to play practically anything and leave the audience smiling. If you are looking to get out of your seats and dance, this is the band for you.

Last week’s concert featured Concerts in the Park newcomers The Leaf Jumpers, rocking the park with some 90s-style rock and roll. The audience loved it so something tells me we’ll be seeing them again in the future. It also once again showed that we could successfully hold a concert with the safety precautions in place necessary to have a gathering of this sort. Once again we had a selection of food trucks to help feed the masses. This week the trucks will be Supreme Hot Dog, Rolling Tomato Pizza and Robin’s Ice Cream truck.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

  • The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 18 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size. (Below is a sample diagram of a general look of set up).

  • Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

  • Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

Here is the Concert Schedule for the 2020 season. We hope to see you there.

  • July 24th – Mass-Conn Fusion

  • July 31st – The Usual Lebowskis

  • August 7th – Leaf Jumpers

  • August 14th – The Cartells

  • August 21st – Andre and Friends

  • August 28th – Coyote River Band

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

Thames River Innovation Place Opens RFP to Stimulate Regional Innovation Ecosystem and Blue Economy

Groton, CT- Thames River Innovation Places (TRIP) has released a Request for Proposals​soliciting new ideas that leverage and enhance the local Blue Economy to benefit the region. Non-profits, for-profits, individuals, and municipalities are all encouraged to apply by August 21st.

TRIP defines the BlueTech space as a convergence of traditional maritime industries with the advanced technology sector, covering a broad spectrum of activities, for the mutual economic benefit of the greater Thames River region. The region’s Blue Economy. extends to any activity bolstered by the presence of the River, including but not limited to hospitality, tourism, arts, etc.

Under the RFP, the organization has named a number of priorities, and is looking for projects that take an inclusive approach to supporting local entrepreneurs, pair aspiring entrepreneurs with mentors, and market the region to new customers, businesses, and residents. TRIP will also entertain applications that provide innovative solutions for tackling local challenges related to COVID-19. “We are in search of the ideas that can push the Thames River Region forward,” says Liz Pasqualini, TRIP Executive Director.

Projects selected under the RFP will define TRIP’s $1.5M portfolio of projects that will be presented to CTNext for approval at the end of September. Projects funded through the Innovation Places Program must be matched by non-state funds and will result in more than $3M in investment between the communities of Groton and New London.

CTNext​is a public/private network of entrepreneurs, mentors, service providers and others helping Connecticut’s most promising startups succeed and grow. In 2016, CTNext expanded to new initiatives helping key places in the state become magnets for talent, supporting entrepreneurship in higher education, and focusing more on growth-stage companies. The first of these efforts, Innovation Places, launched on

July 1, 2017 with Stamford, New Haven, Hartford/East Hartford, and Thames River as its four awardees. It weaves together entrepreneurship support and relationship-building with physical planning and development.

For press inquiries:

Elizabeth Pasqualini, Executive Director

director@thamesriverinnovation.org | 860.912.9985

Summer Concerts are Back: Join us this Friday for The Leaf Jumpers

Summer concerts are back and this Friday we will be featuring the band The Leaf Jumpers at Washington Park beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Leaf Jumpers are a long-running rock band that are making their first appearance here in the Groton Concerts in the Park series. If you like some good ‘ol fashioned rock and roll with a 90s flavor this is the band for you. Rocking out songs by Counting Crows, The Police, U2, Elvis Costello and much more, Leaf Jumpers will have you singing along all night long.

Last week’s concert had The Usual Lebowskis rocking the park with come pristine 90s-style alternative rock. It also once again showed that we could successfully hold a concert with the safety precautions in place necessary to have a gathering of this sort. Once again we had a selection of food trucks to help feed the masses. This week the trucks will be Supreme Hot Dog, Rolling Tomato Pizza and Robin’s Ice Cream truck.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

  • The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 18 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size. (Below is a sample diagram of a general look of set up).

  • Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

  • Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

With all that said, here is the Concert Schedule for the 2020 season. We hope to see you there.

  • July 24th – Mass-Conn Fusion

  • July 31st – The Usual Lebowskis

  • August 7th – Leaf Jumpers

  • August 14th – The Cartells

  • August 21st – Andre and Friends

  • August 28th – Coyote River Band

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

Sara Baker Bailey, PhD

John Bairos

Tashawn Ward

Higher Edge Welcomes New Board Members

New London, CT – Higher Edge is pleased to announce that Sara Bailey, John Bairos, and Tashawn Ward have joined its board of directors.

“Sara has had a longstanding interest in our work, John has served as a volunteer, and Tashawn is a Higher Edge alumnus,” said Theresa Armendarez, Higher Edge Executive Director. “Their professional backgrounds and commitment to improving access to higher education for low-income and first-generation college bound students will be an asset to the board,” added Kristi Kelly, President, Higher Edge Board of Directors.

Sara Baker Bailey is an Assistant Professor in Communication, Media, & Screen Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. She currently resides in Mystic, CT with her partner. She has three degrees in communication studies: a B.A. from Virginia Tech with an emphasis in public relations, an M.A. from San Diego State University with an emphasis in interpersonal communication, and a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an emphasis in organizational communication. She has worked in higher education for over a decade teaching at public universities, many of which serve first in family and minority student populations. Prior to joining the academy, Sara worked in marketing, consulting, and non-profit administration.

John Bairos is a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Waterford, CT.

He resides in Waterford with his wife (a teacher in the Old Saybrook School District) and two sons. John attended public schools in East Hartford and earned a MPA from the University of Hartford. His past volunteer experience includes serving on the School Governance Committee at New Britain High School and the Greater Hartford Jaycees. In addition to his current volunteer activities with Waterford youth soccer and baseball, he is a member of the New London Elks Club and the Waterford Rotary Club.

Tashawn Ward is a Customer Solutions Associate at Chelsea Groton Bank. He has a BS degree in Business Managerment from Eastern Connecticut State University and an MBA. In addition to being selected by the American Bankers Association as an emerging bank leader, Tashawn has excelled at boxing, winning the Western New England Golden Gloves competition in 2019. He is the first Higher Edge student alumnus to be appointed to the board of directors.

About Higher Edge, Inc.

Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge will serve up to 70 high school seniors and over 200 college students during the 2020-2021 academic year. To learn more, visit HigherEdge.org or @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code.

C: Theresa Armendarez

T: 860.439.0034

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of business.ct.gov – an online, one-stop-shop where entrepreneurs can easily find information and quickly create a checklist with everything required to start up or manage their business in Connecticut. The online service will make it easier to do business in the state, support small business owners as a partner in their success, and improve citizens’ interactions with state government.

The governor explained that the portal aims to prevent businesses from needing to navigate the sometimes complex nature of state government by merging many of their common needs into one simplified location online. When completing transactions through the portal, users will be interacting with several state agencies all in one seamless interaction, allowing them to get their work done quicker.

“It’s been our priority from day one to get more services online and create a true digital government where our business owners can spend time online – not in line,” Governor Lamont said. “Our economy depends on us continuing to lead the way with new technology to attract the best talent and minds in the country. Our citizens expect us to work across agencies so residents can interact with one seamless government – not siloed agencies. I look forward to seeing this program and our business community in Connecticut grow to become even stronger.”

Business.ct.gov is the State of Connecticut’s front door and welcome center for businesses that are starting in or relocating to our great state, and this launch will let them know that we are open for business,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said. “This site will make it easier for businesses to get started and to expand by giving them a one-stop, online portal to state government so that we can grow together.”

“Instead of us making decisions about what this online service should look like within government, we asked businesses about their challenges and built the service based on their feedback,” Department of Administrative Services Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said. “Our businesses expect us to serve them where they are – not the other way around. Business owners and citizens alike think of our government as one entity – not siloed agencies – and they expect us to be working together.”

“This new portal is a game-changer as it redefines how we communicate and interface with small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups,” Department of Economic and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Glendowlyn Thames said. “By providing users with a simple, seamless experience in accessing all the resources needed to start a business or navigate their COVID recovery, we are making Connecticut more attractive to companies and investors alike. I look forward to further innovations as this portal continues to evolve and improve for businesses across our state.”

“The Department of Consumer Protection works with hundreds of industries and processes hundreds of thousands of credentials every year,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said. “We do everything we can to make sure that process goes smoothly – and business.ct.gov takes that a step further. I want to thank Governor Lamont for his leadership in this endeavor, and our sister agencies for their collaboration.”

“The Department of Revenue Services has welcomed the opportunity to contribute to business.ct.gov, which will serve as an important vehicle to enhance online services and provide a more seamless experience for taxpayers,” Department of Revenue Services Acting Commissioner John Biello said. “As a customer service tool, business.ct.gov holds great promise for those seeking to navigate regulatory requirements and access guidance on how to plan, register, and operate a business in Connecticut. I applaud Governor Lamont and Chief Operating Officer Geballe for their vision, and for their support in fostering collaboration across agencies.”

Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said, “This is a great tool to help young businesses navigate the regulatory landscape and connect with the very state agencies that can help them thrive. I commend Governor Lamont and the administration for their ongoing work to develop our economy and invest in the people who make it run.”

Business.ct.gov is a huge step forward for companies looking to launch or manage a business in the state,” Peter Denious, president and CEO of AdvanceCT, said, “I commend Governor Lamont and his team for tackling this herculean project and delivering an efficient, business-friendly solution for companies looking to interact with the state of Connecticut.”

The development of business.ct.gov was led by the Department of Administrative Services Digital Services team with the support for Deloitte Digital, along with the Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Consumer Protection, Department of Revenue Services, Department of Labor, and Advance CT.

Read on CT.gov

Mystic Seaport Museum to Host Antique Marine Engine Exposition August 15-16

Event to Feature Live Demonstrations, Workshops

Mystic, Conn. (July 30, 2020) — Mystic Seaport Museum will hold its annual Antique Marine Engine Exposition Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16.

A collection of more than 150 antique marine engines will be on display, including inboards, outboards, gasoline, diesel, electric, and naphtha engines. The event is one of the largest gatherings of marine engines in the country.

Workshops and activities will be held throughout the event, which is set in the Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard and throughout the Museum grounds. Visitors are invited to see the displayed engines Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Engines will be fired up throughout the day and a selection of operating miniature engines and model boats will be on display.

“This is a rare opportunity to view the progression of marine engine technology all in one place as the entire scope of early motor designs are represented in the show,” said Shannon McKenzie, director of Watercraft Programs at the Museum.

The Antique Marine Engine Expo is free with Museum admission. Visitors are required to wear masks and practice social distancing in line with the State of Connecticut’s COVID-19 restrictions.

About Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Contact: Dan McFadden, Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport | 860.572.5317 | 860.333.7155

Summer Concerts are Back Featuring The Usual Lebowskis at Washington Park

Summer concerts are back and this Friday we will be featuring the band The Usual Lebowskis at Washington Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Lebowskis are a brand new 90s cover band featuring many performers from the 80s cover band The Future Heavies. So are they really brand new? Yes sort of, but not really. But what they definitely are is a whole lot of fun – playing songs by No Doubt, Beastie Boys, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and much more.

Last week’s concert had old time favorites Mass-Conn Fusion rockin’ the park as only they can. It also showed that we could successfully hold a concert with the safety precautions in place necessary to have a gathering of this sort. It was also our first show with Food Trucks, which were very popular. This week the trucks will be Supreme Hot Dog, Rolling Tomato Pizza and Robin’s Ice Cream truck.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

  • The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 18 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size. (Below is a sample diagram of a general look of set up).

  • Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

  • Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

With all that said, here is the Concert Schedule for the 2020 season. We hope to see you there.

  • July 24th – Mass-Conn Fusion

  • July 31st – The Usual Lebowskis

  • August 7th – Leaf Jumpers

  • August 14th – The Cartells

  • August 21st – Andre and Friends

  • August 28th – Coyote River Band

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

Eastern Regional Tourism District Launches Regional Marketing Partnership Program

New program to provide matching funds to support tourism opportunities and venues in eastern Connecticut

Waterford, Conn. (July 29, 2020) – The Eastern Regional Tourism District (ERTD) today announced the 2020 Regional Marketing Partnership Program, a program that will provide funding to support eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy. Eastern Connecticut businesses non-profits and municipalities are encouraged to develop marketing plans, which could then be funded by the program if approved. Plans should focus on marketing eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy and encourage the safe enjoyment of Connecticut’s tourism opportunities.

“Our committee is pleased to support funding for the many different tourism marketing initiatives from the Quiet Corner to Mystic and from Old Lyme to the Rhode Island state line,” said Chris Regan, chairman of the ERTD Marketing Committee. “Our objective is to market the best of our diverse tourism products and drive visitation to all 41 towns in eastern Connecticut. Our tourism industry needs help, now more than ever.”

$180,000 has been allocated to fund the program by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, with a cap of $25,000 being awarded to any single project. Upon approval, projects will receive a 2 to 1 match on the first $5,000, followed by a 1 to 1 match for the remaining $15,000, up to the cap of $25,000. Eligibility for funding includes:

  • Marketing program applicants must be located within the 41-town Eastern Regional Tourism District.

  • Programs must represent a region, theme, or other clusters of businesses or towns.

  • Programs should support the existing tourism brand identity of “Mystic Country”.

  • Funding must be cash and be verified.

  • Marketing plans must be compatible with ERTD and the Connecticut Office of Tourism initiatives and objectives.

  • Programs and messaging must be approved by the ERTD Marketing Committee.

  • Partners will be required to submit regular expenditure and work reports to the ERTD within 60 days of the agreement.

  • Any program selected under this grant process must be completed by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2021.

  • Upon completion of this program, awardees must submit a final report to the ERTD documenting the use of grant funds.

The ERTD Marketing Committee will select program participants on a rolling basis through October 31, 2020 and will have the option to extend the program through the holiday season. To submit a plan for consideration, the plan must be in PDF format and submitted to Courtney Assad at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut at cassad@chamberect.com. Plans should include a full project description, timeline, measurable goals and proposed budget. Applicants will be eligible for one program grant per year.

About Connecticut Eastern Regional Tourism District

Provides visitor and meeting information for 41 cities and towns for the eastern region of Connecticut. The mission of the Eastern Regional Tourism District is to stimulate and support the growth of eastern Connecticut’s tourism economy by providing marketing, grant and collaboration opportunities for the region’s municipalities and tourism venues throughout Eastern Connecticut and Mystic Country. For a full list of represented towns and more information, visit https://www.ctvisit.com/listings/eastern-regional-tourism-district.

Higher Edge Announces Success Program College Graduates

New London, CT – Higher Edge is pleased to announce that 21 students who participated in its Success Program graduated from college in 2020! The program usually culminates with “Caps and Gowns” a fundraising event designed to celebrate each student’s achievement. This year’s graduates were celebrated in creative “socially-distanced” ways. To read “Their Stories” - visit www.HigherEdge.org.

Goodness Adekoya …….. Providence College

Brandon Arizaga …….. Eastern CT State University

Romine Attis …….. Eastern CT State University

Yasmin Chadwick …….. Providence College

Christina Cruz …….. Connecticut College

Genesis Cubilette …….. Connecticut College

Luis Diaz- Chia …….. Eastern CT State University

Tamia Debarros …….. Spellman College

Anguel Esperanza …….. Eastern CT State University

Sandrine Etienne …….. Eastern CT State University

Harry Georges …….. University of Connecticut

Atilana Guzman …….. Eastern CT State University

Katiria Montanez …….. Eastern CT State University

Patricia Obas …….. Southern CT State University

Charee Osborne …….. Farleigh Dickinson University

Josue Pagan …….. University of Connecticut

Pabel Pascual …….. Eastern CT State University

Hadiya Robinson …….. Hofstra University

Olivia Santana …….. Eastern CT State University

Mabel Taveras …….. Eastern CT State University

Isis Torres …….. Connecticut College

About Higher Edge, Inc.

Higher Edge guides low-income and first-generation students through enrollment, retention, and graduation from college by providing the support and resources needed for success. With locations in New London and Willimantic, Higher Edge served 56 high school seniors and 164 college students during the 2019-2020 academic year. The organization is currently accepting applications from rising seniors for its 2020-2021 College Access Program (CAP). To learn more and to apply online, visit HigherEdge.org. Stay connected @HigherEdgeCT on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Higher Edge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the IRS code.

Healthy Habits, Healthy Families with TVCCA WIC

WIC helps families make ends meet

New London County, Conn. (July 28, 2020) - More families than ever are finding it hard to put healthy food on their dinner tables during the COVID-19 pandemic. For young children, a lack of good nutrition can put them at risk for health problems and problems with schooling. TVCCA’s WIC program helps low-income families in New London County meet the nutritional needs of infants and children up to age 5 as well as pregnant and post-partum women.

“While adding more fruits and vegetables to these families’ diets is an important part of our program, participants get more than food from WIC,” Regina Brady, TVCCA WIC Director said. “WIC offers families nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and even healthcare referrals.”

TVCCA’s WIC Program currently serves over 3,000 participants each month. Studies show that children who participate in WIC are more likely to receive regular preventive health services and are better immunized than children who did not participate in WIC.

WIC participants receive helpful one-on-one counseling with a nutrition professional. During “normal” times, group nutrition classes are offered by trained staff on topics ranging from healthy drink choices to grocery shopping on a budget. During the COVID-19 crisis, TVCCA WIC has transitioned to virtual appointments; conducting all nutrition education appointments, income verification and follow up appointments, including breastfeeding support over the phone. In addition, online nutrition education options are available for eligible categories.

Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of the WIC Program. TVCCA has trained staff ready to assist moms in making informed decisions about how they feed their babies. WIC also teaches moms the basics of breastfeeding.

Better educated moms mean healthier babies. Medicaid beneficiaries who participated in WIC had lower infant mortality rates than Medicaid beneficiaries who did not participate in WIC. WIC participation also decreases the incidence of low birth weight and pre-term births.

“WIC is so much more than people realize,” said Brady. “The nutrition education and healthy foods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important.”

The WIC Program is available by calling or emailing either of TVCCA’s program offices - Norwich at 860-425-6562 / wic.norwich@tvcca.org or New London at 860-425-6620 / wic.newlondon@tvcca.org - to determine eligibility and complete a pre certification. If found eligible, TVCCA will make a follow up phone appointment and provide instructions to send in required documentation via email. All clients are mailed eWIC cards to start using their benefits. During the summer and early fall months, TVCCA also provides WIC clients with Farmer's Market Vouchers for use at local markets.

For more information about WIC please visit www.TVCCA.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

THE WIC PROGRAM SERVES THE FOLLOWING:

  • Pregnant women (as soon as you know)

  • Breastfeeding women (up to the infant’s first birthday)

  • Postpartum (up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy)

  • Infants (up to infant’s first birthday)

  • Children (up to the child’s fifth birthday)

Income OR Participation in certain programs

  • Income (set by State, at or below 185% of Federal Poverty level)

Automatic Income Eligibility

  • Do you receive any one of the following?

    1. SNAP benefit (Food Stamps)

    2. Cash Assistance (TANF)

    3. State Health Insurance (specifically Husky A)

Residential Requirement

  • Connecticut resident or transfer from a state where you were formerly served.

About TVCCA: Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA) is a private, non-profit organization that has been providing social services in southeastern Connecticut since 1965. TVCCA is well recognized as a community leader – and partner – in advocating for and meeting the needs of the region’s economically and otherwise disadvantaged citizens. For more information visit tvcca.org.

Contact:
Regina Brady, TVCCA WIC Director
rbrady@tvcca.org | 860-425-6526

Galleries Organizing “Artists of Mystic Festival” and Plein Air Painting Event

Not even a pandemic can crush the spirit of southeastern Connecticut’s artist community.

The Finer Line Gallery, a 35-year downtown Mystic institution at 48 West Main Street, is hosting a one-day “Artists of Mystic Festival” on Saturday, August 8, which will feature a number of related events, most notably a collection of some of the area’s most accomplished artists painting en plein air along the streets of the town and the banks of the Mystic River.

Following the tradition of the outdoor painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists will be found all day at their French easels capturing in oil or watercolor the bustling village atmosphere and shifting light along the river. Participating artists are working by special invitation and represent the finest of today’s regional landscape and marine painters including Don Demers, Jacqueline Jones, Jonathan McPhillips, Del-Bourree Bach, Neal Hughes, Russ Kramer, Leif Nilsson, Len Mizerek and other notable artists. Additional studio works by these exceptional artists will also be on exhibit and available for purchase at special pricing during the Festival.

All paintings completed that day, framed and ready to take home, will be offered for sale through the Finer Line Gallery beginning at 5:30 pm, under a special festival tent next to the former Bank of America building on Main Street. Live music will accompany light refreshments and the public is welcome to view and bid on the works until 8pm. Donna Williston, owner of the Finer Line, is cutting in half the standard gallery commission on any of the fresh works sold during the day. “The artist community was hit hard by the shutdown, as we all were, and by hosting this event I’m hoping to give a little back, and shine a public spotlight on the major contribution art, and particularly representative painting, make to our region.”

Also that day, beginning at noon, there will be art demonstrations on the sidewalk,

and a chance to meet our art instructors for fall classes, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the afternoon hosted by the Mystic Chamber of Commerce for the brand new Betsy Barry Studio/Gallery, featuring the acclaimed Old Lyme artist’s explorations of nature and botanicals in colored pencil and signature housewares. In addition, the Russ Kramer Marine Art Gallery and Studio will be offering special one-day pricing on yachting and America’s Cup prints, and the Uptown Gallery will be hosting artist’s talks during the day, plus showing new works by many of the area’s finest painters. All three of these art spaces are located on the second floor above the Finer Line Gallery.

For more information visit www.finerlinegallery.com, call Donna Williston at (860) 536-8339 or email: info@finerlinegallery.com

Wireless Zone Announces $40,000 in Grant recipients, Back Pack Give Away and More!

While schools, restaurants and shops closed their doors these past few months, the Wireless Zone- Verizon Premium Wireless Retailers in Groton, New London, Glastonbury, North Windham, Killingly, Putnam and Westerly were not only fortunate enough to remain open to serve their customers as an essential business, but were able to generously give back to their community as well.

With over $40,000 being donated to local nonprofit organizations and anticipating the 4th Annual Backpack Giveaway on July 26th, the locally owned and family operated Wireless Zone teams have been philanthropically busier than ever in their community.

From the onset of the pandemic, co-owners Neil Ryan and Scott Gladstone tried to stay current with the changing landscapes around the world, observing the trends and the grave effect the virus was having on businesses, families, and nonprofit organizations alike. Strategic foresight into how the small states of Connecticut and Rhode Island would be affected helped the Wireless Zone teams collaborate with other local companies to devise game plans that would assist in lending a hand, both personally and professionally.

With increasing restrictions to visiting loved ones in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc., the team at Wireless Zone harnessed the beauty of technology and their love of family to take initiative on a technology donation drive called “Tablets for Seniors.” In collaboration with Maria Miranda of Miranda Creative, the goal of the project was to connect the elderly community, many of whom were isolated, with their families through gently used tablets. After sterilizing and refurbishing the donated tablets, Wireless Zone connected them with local nursing homes and eldercare housing. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the “Tablets for Seniors” project was able to collect and distribute over 180 tablets to those in need of staying connected to family during the pandemic.

Another major sector gravely affected by the pandemic was the hospitality industry. In searching for a way to thank local health heroes, the team at Wireless Zone quickly questioned whether there a way to thank frontline health care heroes and support small business at the same time. ‘Meals for Heroes’ quickly came to fruition and blossomed.

The Wireless Zone locations collected donations from their customers, vendors, co-workers, friends & family and used the collective total to purchase gift cards from many local restaurants. In supporting local restaurants, the gift cards were then used to provide many free meals to healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. With no set amount in mind, Wireless Zone is proud to announce that over $9,000 was raised to purchase gift cards that supported both local restaurants and our community health heroes with free meals.

In addition, Wireless Zone also nominated multiple nonprofit organizations in the Eastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island communities to receive grants from the Wireless Zone Foundation in 2020. A grand total of $40,000 will be donated to these neighboring organizations.

The charities receiving grants in Rhode Island are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island, Inc., Boys Town New England, Inc., East Bay Food Pantry & Thrift Shop, Frank Olean Center, Jonnycake Center of Westerly, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization, Inc., Ronald McDonald House Charities of New England and South County Community Action.

The charities receiving grants in Connecticut are: Camp Horizons, End Hunger Connecticut, Girls on the Run International (Greater Hartford), Hartford HealthCare at Home Center for Hospice Care, Hartford Marathon Foundation, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc., Jewish Federation of Eastern CT, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Northeast Opportunities for Wellness, TEEG and Waterford Country School.

Each year Scott Gladstone and Neil Ryan elect several charities in their community that display extraordinary dedication to serve their respective organizations and fulfill their unique mission statements. This year, twenty of these grant requests were honored. “We’re lucky. Why not pass some of that good fortune onto those who need it most?” says Ryan.

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Waterford Country School and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding were among the organizations receiving grants from The Wireless Zone Foundation for Giving® Inc., established in 2003. The Foundation supports both local and national nonprofit organizations, providing a basic structure for the company’s collaborative giving program and enhancing the individual stores’ ability to give back to their local community. The grant funds will assist awarded organizations with initiatives to both expand upon current programs and implement new ones.

The teams at each Wireless Zone location are currently gearing up for the 4th Annual Backpack Giveaway on Sunday, July 26th. Now through the actual giveaway, Wireless Zone locations will be collecting donations that will be used to purchase school supplies for families in need. Not only will each backpack be filled with school supplies, each child can enter to win one of five $10,000 scholarships. Last year, over two thousand backpacks were distributed, and Wireless Zone intends to exceed that goal this summer.

The giveaway is on Sunday, July 26th and will begin at 1pm and lasts until 4pm, or when all the packs are given away. Stores will have a select number of backpacks, and customers cannot reserve the packs in advance. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more about this initiative, please visit www.wirelesszone.com/backpack-giveaway to see participating locations. Groton and New London, Connecticut as well as Westerly, Rhode Island are participating.

“The looks on kid’s face when they open this backpack filled to the brim with school supplies, replaying that look, well that inspires you through even the most challenging times… even a worldwide pandemic.”

Wireless Zone is the nation’s leading independent Verizon Wireless franchise, offering the latest and greatest in products, services and accessories, as well as repair services. Wireless Zone is open seven days a week, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Wireless Zone encourages all nonprofit organizations to reach out if we can be of any assistance in the future.

Contact: Neil Ryan, 860-608-4901

CHARTER OAK COMMUNITY GIVING TOPS $183,000 IN FIRST HALF OF 2020

Funding Benefits Food Pantries, Firefighters, Students, Job Training, and Housing Efforts

Waterford, CT – July 20, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has awarded more than $183,000 in community giving during the first six months of 2020, including $75,000 in emergency funding to lessen food shortages across the region caused by the COVID-19 health crisis and $90,000 in scholarships to high school and college students throughout eastern Connecticut.

“The Coronavirus has impacted every agency in eastern Connecticut serving those in need, so we made sure that we increased our community giving during the first six months toward essential services, like food and housing,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Charter Oak’s community giving during this year’s first and second quarters totaled $183,875 including grants to 30 charitable and non-profit agencies serving eastern Connecticut and 45 individual $2,000 scholarships that were awarded in May to high school and college students in New London and Windham counties. Since Charter Oak expanded its scholarship program six years ago, the credit union has proudly awarded $528,000 in scholarships to 264 students.

In April, Charter Oak committed $75,000 of its community giving funds to assist 15 food pantries and food centers that serve New London and Windham counties. Charter Oak’s food assistance donations in April were the largest single-month donation in the credit union’s 81-year history.

In addition to these emergency food grants, Charter Oak also assisted an additional 15 charitable groups and non-profits across eastern Connecticut, including a special grant to the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department in Groton for an additional Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for its firefighters. The new device replaced an older AED that firefighters used to assist those facing life-threatening medical emergencies.

The other Charter Oak community giving grants were awarded to Children in Placement; Connecticut Radio Information System; Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association; Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board; Groton Senior Center; Immigration Advocacy & Support Center; LifeFAQs.org; Madonna Place; New London Complete Count Census Committee; Norwich Safety Net Team; S.T.E.P.S.; Thames River Community Service; Thames Valley Council for Community Action; and the Waterford Country School.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of over $1.2 billion as of March 31, 2020. Charter Oak provides one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please stop by any of our convenient branches, visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Westerly Community Credit Union increases Awards to $8,500 in Grants to Local Teachers

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce the WCCU Teacher Grant Program will be awarding $8,500 in grants, in values up to $500, for the upcoming 2020/21 school year. WCCU Teacher Grants are available to local Teachers, Administrators, or Staff from the following public-school districts: Chariho, Exeter-West Greenwich, Narragansett, North Stonington, South Kingstown, Stonington, and Westerly.

The Credit Union awards their grants annually to support creative and experiential educational projects or programs in the area’s school districts. Special consideration will be given to innovative projects that strengthen the relationship between our schools and the community at large, as well as to projects that support student excellence. All applications will be judged on the following criteria: Educational Focus, Promotion of Skills/Excellence, Creativity/Innovation, Community Connection, and Goal Clarity/Attainability.

‘We appreciate the tremendous dedication and commitment of local Teachers, Administration, and Staff in educating our area’s youth,’ stated Steve White, WCCU President and CEO. ‘We feel this is a way to show our support and appreciation for their creativity and determination to help children succeed.’

Grant applications are available online at www.westerlyccu.com and must be submitted no later than October 31, 2020. Grants will be awarded by November 30, 2020 and monies distributed by year-end. For more information regarding the WCCU Teacher Grant Program, please contact Kim Gates, WCCU’s Financial Education Officer, at 401-596-7000 x2124 or kgates@westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

Since 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union has been a local, full–service financial institution, focused not on profits, but on helping its’ members achieve financial success. They currently serve over 18,600 members with lending and deposit needs through their convenient locations in Richmond, Wakefield, and Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com.

WCCU has a long history of supporting local schools largely through their annual Basketball Tournament (solely sponsored since 1984) and financial literacy programs: Everfi Online Financial Literacy Program, CU4Reality Financial Literacy Fairs, Cemark financial literacy booklets (high schools) and School Savings programs (elementary schools).

Recent WCCU awards: #1 Best Bank in the Westerly Sun’s 2016, 2017, 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards; Best Employer (2018) and “Spreadin’ the Love” (2019) community service awards by the Southern RI Chamber of Commerce; as well as PBN Providence Business News Best Places to Work 2018-2019.

Membership is open to all who reside or work in Rhode Island and New London County, CT.

Special Grant Opportunity: Lord Foundation Special Fund for Arts & Culture Established

The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, in collaboration with the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition, established a new Lord Foundation Special Fund for Arts & Culture and dedicated $100,000 to this Special Fund that will be used specifically for making grants to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations located in New London County that have been affected by COVID-19.

The Trustees of the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation understand the many challenges currently facing the arts and cultural sector in our community, and have made a commitment to create this Special Fund offering assistance during this unprecedented time. Grants awarded from the Special Fund will be in the hands of the Grantees no later than 10/31/2020.

The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation is the legacy of Edward and Mary Lord, lifelong Norwich, CT residents. The Foundation was created in 1997 by Edward and Mary Lord as a part of their estate plan, and was funded in 2009 upon their deaths. It is a private, family foundation that provides charitable grants to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. To learn more about Foundation, click HERE.

Grant proposals can include funding for, but not limited to:

  • Small Capital Improvements– grants to make, alter, modify facilities to meet social distancing guidelines and/or permanent physical changes in light of COVID-19

  • Capacity Building – grants to increase technological capacity (IT, equipment, A/V services, contractors, training) to create or expand virtual/online arts experiences, specifically those that will additionally help employ artists

  • Regional Collaboration – grants to support multi-organization, authentic and innovative, collaborations that accelerate recovery, share expenses/costs and/or expand audiences

  • Sustaining Support– general operating support to help sustain organizations that have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 and remain closed and/or cannot financially operate under reopening or capacity guidelines – largely unable to provide public programs except virtual/online

  • Other needs

Process and Timeline of Fund

Letters of Inquiry (LOI) Deadline: August 15

Notification of LOI Decision: August 31

For those invited to submit full proposal, Application Deadline: September 30 (Note: A Special Fund application checklist will be provided)

Grants Awarded by October 31

Letters of Inquiry

Organizations interested in soliciting grants from the Lord Foundation Special Fund for Arts & Culture are welcome to submit a letter of inquiry. Must be a nonprofit 501 c (3) arts and cultural organization located in New London County.

The letter of inquiry, no more than one (1) page and due by August 15, should describe the status of the organization, impact of COVID-19 on the organization, and must include a concise statement of the funding purpose, including an approximate dollar amount.

Letters of Inquiry should be sent to the Foundation at the following address:

THE EDWARD AND MARY LORD FOUNDATION

Kathryn F. Lord, Director

116 Case Street

Norwich, CT 06360

Grant information can be found HERE.

City of Groton and Groton Utilities Announce Concerts in Park for 2020 Summer

The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are excited to announce that we will indeed be having Concerts in the Park this summer!

Due to the ongoing national health crisis and the state’s limitations on crowd sizes the decision was made to push back our Concerts in the Park schedule for this summer. Crowd limitations have changed in the meantime, so we are able to host concerts beginning in late July.

The City of Groton takes the COVID-19 Pandemic very seriously and will be making accommodations to ensure the safety of all who choose to come to the shows. Due to the outdoor nature of the shows and the vastness of Washington Park attendees should be able to maintain a healthy distance from others, but we will also be making the following precautions:

  • The viewing area in Washington Park will be marked off with 15 foot-sized boxes in which attendees can sit to enjoy the show. Each box will be separated from each other by empty spaces of equal size.

  • Face masks must be worn whenever you are not in your box – meaning walking to and from your vehicle, the restrooms or any other destination.

  • Stay with your cohert. Please arrive with your group and do not intermingle with other groups. This is vital in our efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

As with everything during the health crisis, everything is subject to change. There is nothing more important to us at the City of Groton and Groton Utilities than the health and well-being of our fellow residents, so if it appears that having Concerts in the Park is not safe for all, then we will adjust the schedule again or cancel the 2020 season.

With all that said, here is the Concert Schedule for the 2020 season. We hope to see you there.

  • July 24th – Mass-Conn Fusion

  • July 31st – The Usual Lebowskis

  • August 7th – Leaf Jumpers

  • August 14th – The Cartells

  • August 21st – Andre and Friends

  • August 28th – Coyote River Band

All concerts are held in Washington Park in Groton, Connecticut and begin at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are free to the public. For the first time food trucks will be onsite beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the performance. Q105 will return to our shows as well.

CHARTER OAK NAMED ‘BEST IN STATE’ CREDIT UNION IN FORBES SURVEY

Credit Union Honored for 3rd Straight Year in Nationwide Analysis of Top Financial Institutions

Waterford, CT – July 15, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has been named a “Best-In-State” credit union for the third consecutive year in the annual Forbes Media survey of the nation’s best financial institutions.

“This is an honor to be chosen for the third straight year as one of the best credit unions in Connecticut by such a respected organization as Forbes,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We work very hard to deliver our best each day, from the products that we offer to the service we provide to our members, so it’s gratifying to be chosen independently by Forbes as among the very best in our industry,” he said.

Charter Oak was honored as one of a select group of “America’s Best-In-State Credit Unions” for 2020 based on a number of criteria, including overall satisfaction and trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services, and financial advice.

The nationwide 2020 Forbes survey awarded “Best-In-State” honors to only 183 credit unions out of the more than 5,200 credit unions serving over 120 million members across the United States. Forbes partnered with the market research firm Statista to produce its third annual “America’s Best-In-State” survey of top credit unions in each state.

In its 2020 survey of the nation’s credit unions, Forbes said that members-only credit unions typically have lower fees and offer better interest rates than traditional banks, and credit unions not-for-profit model also puts their members first, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction. For this year’s annual survey, Forbes surveyed nearly 25,000 consumers nationwide for their opinions on their current and former banking relationships.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of over $1.2 billion as of March 31, 2020. Charter Oak provides one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please stop by any of our convenient branches, visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We’ve been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we’re a credit union, we’re owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It’s easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!

Contact: Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Plimoth Plantation’s Fully Restored MAYFLOWER II to Begin Homecoming Voyage to Plymouth, Massachusetts from Mystic, Connecticut on July 20, 2020

Historic square-rigger will depart Mystic Seaport Museum for two weeks of sail training and sea trials in New London before making journey to her home port

Plymouth, Massachusetts (July 15, 2020) – Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum of 17th century Massachusetts, is delighted to announce that MAYFLOWER II, its 64-year-old historic reproduction of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to the shores of historic Patuxet in 1620, will begin the voyage home to Massachusetts on July 20, 2020.

The ship will depart Mystic Seaport Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at 9:00 a.m. under tow by the tugboat JAGUAR, operated by Mitchell Towing in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. The public will not be able to view the departure from the museum; however, there are several vantage points along the ship’s route down the Mystic River. Spectators are asked to be mindful of local regulations and to practice physical distancing and mask-wearing for the safety of others. Those wishing to track MAYFLOWER can use the MarineTraffic app or website: www.marinetraffic.com. Search for MAYFLOWER and choose the US sailing vessel result.

Once in New London, MAYFLOWER will be docked at the City Pier for just over two weeks. Whit Perry, Plimoth’s Director of Maritime Preservation & Operations and MAYFLOWER’s captain, will oversee a crew of 27. During their time in New London, the crew will conduct sea trials to test the ship’s performance and perform sail training to ensure safe operation underway. For the health and safety of the crew, the ship will not be available for public visitation until she is back home in Plymouth harbor.

“In a year marred by loss and great uncertainty in the world, we are hopeful that once again sailing MAYFLOWER may offer a symbol of courage and perseverance to millions of people,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth’s Executive Director. “We will be forever grateful to Mystic Seaport Museum for their partnership on this remarkable restoration, and we are thrilled to bring MAYFLOWER home to Plymouth in this 400th commemoration year.”

Further details regarding the remainder of MAYFLOWER’s voyage will be forthcoming. At this time, the ship is expected to arrive in Plymouth on or about August 10. All dates and times are subject to change based on tide and weather conditions as well as other factors that may affect the safety of the ship and crew.

For b-roll, images, and interview requests, please contact Kate Sheehan, Plimoth’s Associate Director of Marketing, at ksheehan@plimoth.org. Note that due to pandemic-related safety restrictions, media access to the ship and crew will be limited and must be coordinated through Plimoth’s Media Relations department.

About MAYFLOWER’s Restoration

Designed by MIT-trained naval architect William Avery Baker for Plimoth Plantation, MAYFLOWER II was built in Brixham, England, beginning in July 1955. Intended as a gift to the people of America from the people of England to honor the bonds of friendship formed during World War II, she arrived to Plymouth under sail on June 13, 1957 to great fanfare and 25,000 spectators, and since that time has been a major exhibit of Plimoth Plantation. Millions of visitors have crossed her decks to learn about the Pilgrims’ historic journey and 17th-century maritime life.

Despite excellent routine maintenance by Plimoth, MAYFLOWER succumbed to the deterioration process expected of any organic material exposed to natural elements over the course of sixty years. The Museum’s leadership decided to preserve the vessel, which is historic in her own right, through a fundraising campaign which continues today. To support the restoration of MAYFLOWER and her shallop, please visit https://inspire.plimoth.org/mayflower-ii-restoration/.

The 2020 Groton New London Airport Open House celebrating National Aviation Day is regrettably cancelled due to COVID-19. A notice is posted on the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) website: https://ctairports.org/2020/07/13/public-notice-groton-new-london-airport-and-windham-airport-open-houses-cancelled/

Please know the CAA appreciates your past enthusiastic support for and participation in this unique aviation education event for the community!

Separately, you may enjoy the attached article about the early history of KGON which appeared in The Day newspaper today.

Here’s the link History Revisited: Groton-New London Airport's humble beginnings

StoneRidge Counselor Named President of Mystic Women’s Club

July 14, 2020: Shannon Lewis, lead residency counselor at StoneRidge Senior Living Community, was named president of the Mystic Women’s Club at the group’s June meeting. She succeeds outgoing President Sue Rieger and will hold the term for two years.

Lewis has been a member of the Mystic Women’s Club for three years. Most recently she was vice president and social media chair.

“I’ve been living in Mystic for 13 years and I have long admired the legacy of the Mystic Women’s Club, but I couldn’t join because I was commuting to a job one hour away each day for more than 20 years which left little time for volunteer work.

When I landed at StoneRidge in 2017, I was overjoyed because now I live and work right here in Mystic which has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in this wonderful community. I’ve long admired the work of the Mystic Women’s Club and my goal as president is to grow our membership base with community-minded women of all ages so that we may this organization’s rich legacy,” said Lewis.

In addition to running a Thrift Shop, the Women’s Club has adopted a section of Noank Ledyard Road that they clean and maintain, they provide clothing and household items to victims of natural disasters, sell poinsettias for a holiday fundraiser and use the proceeds to help fund four community scholarships that they fund for high school students at Fitch, Stonington, Marine Science Magnet High School and Grasso Tech.

The mission of the Mystic Woman’s Club is to build community, improve the quality of life and chart a charitable and environmentally responsible path for the residents of Southeastern Connecticut.

StoneRidge is a senior living, life plan community in Mystic, CT. StoneRidge, situated on 32 acres, is next to 100 acres of conservation land at the corner of Jerry Browne and Pequotsepos Roads. A few miles from historic downtown of Mystic, CT, StoneRidge is conveniently located close to Olde Mistick Village, the Mystic Aquarium, the Mystic Seaport, the Nature Center and the Mystic Museum of Art. StoneRidge is managed by Life Care Services (LCS®), the leader in developing and managing senior living communities nationwide.

Mystic Seaport Museum Welcomes Mystic Highland Pipe Band July 18th

Mystic Seaport Museum is excited to welcome the Mystic Highland Pipe Band to perform for the community on Saturday, July 18. The performance will begin with a short set on the Museum’s Village Green at 3:30 p.m. (free with admission) after which the band will proceed to the Museum’s ship lift, where the performance can be viewed from the Mystic Bridge, the surrounding streets, or from the water. A few band members will board Liberty and play while cruising to the bridge and back between sets.

Ledyard Rotary Supports The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Ledyard Rotary Foundation awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut a $500 grant to offset costs of maintaining its garden on Rt 117 in Ledyard during the closures mandated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff and residents of the home where the garden is located have been helping till the garden, amending the soil, and producing a variety of vegetables for 93 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in The Arc ECT’s 22 supported residences around eastern Connecticut. The Rotary Foundation’s grant will help the team working there to improve and maintain the garden so that The Arc ECT will have a bountiful season.

To learn more about The Arc Eastern Connecticut and its programs throughout the region, and for weekly agency updates and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.


Best of Bauer: Chelsea Groton Bank Doing Well While Doing Good

GROTON, Conn. – BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, proudly announced that Chelsea Groton Bank, New London County, CT, has again been awarded its highest (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability. Earning a 5-Star rating indicates Chelsea Groton Bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and much more. Earning and maintaining this top rating for 105 consecutive quarters, especially in this environment, makes its accomplishment even more impressive. The “Best of Bauer Bank” designation is reserved specifically for banks, like Chelsea Groton Bank, that have earned Bauer’s highest rating consistently for 25 consecutive years or longer.

“That’s a noteworthy accomplishment in the best of times,” boasts Karen Dorway, president of the research firm. “Today, it speaks volumes. How do they do it? A solid sense of community, working one on one, providing solutions to people who need it - that’s the mark of a true community bank. Chelsea Groton Bank’s team members have been right there on the frontlines doing whatever they could to help their neighbors and friends throughout the pandemic. And, they’ve done it all without compromising the strength of the institution itself. That’s doing well while doing good.”

Chelsea Groton Bank was established in 1854 and has been working side by side with neighbors and friends for 166 years. Today, its guiding principles and can-do attitude are more important than ever as Chelsea Groton continues to be there for the people and businesses in the community. Currently, Chelsea Groton Bank operates through 14 retail bank branches in Southeastern Connecticut, a lending office in Hartford County, and online at chelseagroton.com.

About BauerFinancial, Inc.

BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution can pay for or opt out of a BauerFinancial rating. Star-ratings are all available for free at bauerfinancial.com.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.1 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning and financial education classes. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.