Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Member News

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

ADVISOR JOINS CHARTER OAK RETIREMENT AND INVESTMENT SERVICES

Golam Ahmed Has More Than Three Decades of Extensive Financial Services Experience

Waterford, CT – June 4, 2020 – Golam Ahmed, who has spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, has joined Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services* as its newest Financial Advisor.

Ahmed has extensive experience in a broad range of banking and financial services, including branch management, mortgage and commercial lending, and financial wealth management. Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services has experienced strong growth over the past several years and its growing staff now includes two Financial Advisors and a Vice President of Wealth Management in addition to support staff.

Charter Oak Retirement and Investment Services offers investment and insurance products and services, as well as financial and retirement planning. Its broad product line includes IRAs, mutual funds, managed accounts, stocks and bonds, life insurance, long-term care, and annuities.

“I’m looking forward to working with Charter Oak’s members to help them reach their financial goals by carefully developing a financial plan that aligns with their specific needs, experience, and time horizon,” Ahmed said. He will work with Charter Oak’s members to create a customized plan to achieve three important financial goals: wealth accumulation during the working years, security and independence at retirement, and the transfer of assets in the most advantageous tax-efficient manner. “Regardless of where Charter Oak members are in their life, I’ll work with them collaboratively to help them create and achieve their overall financial goals,” he said.

Ahmed is available for no-cost, no-obligation consultations and can be reached via email at Golam.Ahmed@cunamutual.com or via telephone at 860.446.3477.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of more than $1.2 billion as of March 31, 2020. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services please visit CharterOak.org. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Contact:

Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 | acronin@cofcu.com

Door-side Pick-up Now Available @ MNL!

(Monday-Friday 2:00-6:00, Saturday 10:00-1:00 by appointment)

Great news! Although we are not yet able to welcome the public back into the Library building, patrons are now able to place holds on materials for pick-up outside the Library entryway.

Here’s how it works:

1. Place item(s) on hold

Use our online catalog (https://wgpl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/mysticnoank/) or call us at 860-536-7721.

2. Wait for a pick-up notification

We will call you to arrange a day/time to pick up your item(s). Appointment times are available Monday-Friday between 2:00-6:00 and Saturday between 10:00-1:00.

3. Pick up your items

Upon arriving at the Library, please call us to let us know you have arrived. Your items will be placed on the bench outside our doors in a bag with your name. Please wear a mask when retrieving your items and maintain proper social distancing.

A note about returns:

Items may be returned in our book drop during these hours as well. All items checked out have a due date of July 1, so feel free to hold onto them until that time. Overdue fines will not accrue during this time. Please, no donations at this time.

Reference and information services are still available Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 10-1 by phone 860-536-7721 or email reference@mysticnoanklibrary.org.

Please check our website (mysticnoanklibrary.org) or Facebook page for further updates.

Mystic Seaport Museum Honored with Sustainability Award

Mystic, Conn. (June 2, 2020) — Mystic Seaport Museum is one of four museums in the country to be recognized with a 2020 Sustainability Excellence Award, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

First presented in 2014, the awards recognize sustainability efforts in facilities, programming, and exhibits in both large and small institutions. In the last five years, the award program has recognized 20 different museums for their efforts.

Mystic Seaport Museum received a Special Award of Merit for its accomplishments in eliminating single-use plastic on its entire 19-acre site. The awards jury “was impressed by the institution’s comprehensive approach: the attention paid to inculcating behavior change; addressing cost challenges; data collection and analysis; and the detailed documentation of its process,” the award announcement stated.

“The Mystic Seaport [Museum] is a powerful example that illustrates a deep dive in one sustainability topic that was consistently tackled with rigor,” said Joyce S. Lee, the Jury Chair for the Facility Award.

The Sustainability Excellence Awards, which strongly encourage museum energy benchmarking to address climate action, are sponsored by the Environment and Climate Network, a professional network of AAM members committed to establishing museums as leaders in environmental sustainability. The other museums receiving 2020 awards are the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures in Urbana, IL, the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA.

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

CHARTER OAK TO RE-OPEN BRANCH LOBBIES ON MONDAY, JUNE 8TH

All Lobbies Open To General Public Will Re-Open With Extensive Safety Measures in Place

Waterford, CT ­– June 1, 2020 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union will re-open all of its branches that are open to the public on Monday, June 8, 2020 with extensive protective measures in place to ensure the safety of its members and employees.

“We’re excited to re-open our lobbies again and welcome back our members, and we’ve made sure that all of the safety measures we’ve put in place will create a safe and comfortable banking experience for everyone involved,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Signage has been posted in Charter Oak’s branch lobbies including directional guidance for members, such as “enter” and “exit” signs and floor decals spaced six feet apart for social distancing. In addition, special protective plexiglass shields are in place for all tellers and Member Service Representatives, hand sanitizers will be available, and cleaning will occur within the branch lobbies throughout the day.

In March, Charter Oak responded to the growing COVID-19 crisis by closing its branch lobbies and instituting safe banking practices through its Drive-Up facilities, Contact Center and its extensive 24/7 eBanking services and its Info-Phone service.

“We’re proud that Charter Oak has remained open and fully operational throughout this pandemic. I applaud the great work of our entire branch team and all of our employees who continue to open accounts, process banking transactions and approve and close loans for both individuals and businesses,” he said.

Additional information about Charter Oak’s upcoming branch lobby re-openings can be found at CharterOak.org, including a brief informative video showing all of Charter Oak’s protective measures to keep its members and employees safe.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of more than $1.2 billion as of March 31, 2020. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services please visit CharterOak.org. 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 or acronin@cofcu.com

CHARTER OAK COMMUNITY OUTREACH DONATES OVER $3,100 IN FOOD ASSISTANCE

Donations From Employee-Led Committee Feed Health-Care Workers, Elderly, and Food Center Recipients

Waterford, CT ­– May 26, 2020 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union’s Community Outreach Committee has donated more than $3,100 for food assistance to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center as well as health-care workers and “meals on wheels” recipients in eastern Connecticut.

The Community Outreach Committee is an employee-led assistance program that receives its funding from Charter Oak employees who pay $3 weekly to dress down on Friday “Casual Days.” These funds are used to assist Charter Oak members in need.

“I’m very proud of our Charter Oak employees’ generosity and thoughtfulness to earmark their donations to help those most in need during this current pandemic,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “These donations are typical of the kind of generosity and helping hand that this committee provides throughout the year to help Charter Oak members who may be facing hardships,” he said.

The Community Outreach Committee’s donations of $3,133 in late April follow the credit union’s donation of $75,000 that same month to 15 food pantries and food centers in eastern Connecticut to help re-stock their shelves during the Coronavirus health crisis. Charter Oak’s donation of $75,000, which comprised $5,000 individual donations to each food pantry and food center, is the largest single-month donation in the credit union’s 81-year history.

The Community Outreach Committee donated $1,000 to Filomena’s Restaurant in Waterford, which combined the committee’s donation with those from New London’s Wireless Zone retailer, for lunches for the staff at the Bayview Health Care facility in Waterford. In addition, the committee donated more than $700 toward the Sift Bakery in Mystic’s “Buy a Loaf, Give a Loaf” initiative to benefit the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. The Community Outreach Committee donation allowed Sift Bakery to donate large amounts of non-perishable food items along with 50 loaves of freshly made bread for those in need of food assistance from the Pawcatuck social services organization.

An additional committee donation of $1,400 went directly to the Thames Valley Council for Community Action’s “meals on wheels” program for senior citizens in both New London and Windham counties.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of nearly $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services please visit CharterOak.org. 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 or acronin@cofcu.com

THAMES RIVER QUESTS ARE FAMILY FUN FOR ANYTIME THIS SUMMER

The Thames River Heritage Park and Connecticut Sea Grant are inviting people to solve a word puzzle while exploring historic sites in New London and Groton by completing one or more of the four Thames River Quests any time this summer.

Those who complete the quests can enter a prize drawing for heritage park T-shirts and water taxi tickets.

The quests have been offered as part of Connecticut Trails Day events on the first weekend in June in 2018 and 2019. This year, instead of group gatherings, Trails Day hosts are promoting activities that can be done at any time.

“The quests offer families a safe and affordable opportunity to enjoy being outdoors on a pursuit that is both fun and educational,” said Marian Galbraith, president of the Thames River Heritage Park Board of Directors.

The Thames River Quests are treasure-hunt style tours of four park sites: Fort Trumbull State Park and the downtown Waterfront Park in New London; and Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park and Thames Street in Groton.

Participants follow clues to solve a word puzzle that leads to a special location where the quest ends. At the ending spot, people are asked to take a photo and email it to: info@thamesriverheritagepark.org to be entered into the drawing. Winners will be randomly selected throughout the summer.

Photos of the winners will be posted on the Thames River Heritage Park’s Facebook page. In addition to the Thames River Heritage Park and Connecticut Sea Grant, the Thames River Quest is also sponsored by The Day Publishing Co.

Directions for the four quests can be found at: https://www.thamesriverheritagepark.org/quests/

“We enjoy partnering with the Thames River Heritage Park and The Day to highlight the maritime heritage and history of the Thames River region through this interactive quest,” said Nancy Balcom, associate director of Connecticut Sea Grant.

  • The Fort Trumbull Quest begins at the Blockhouse building at the park.
  • The New London Waterfront Park Quest begins at the submarine statue near City Pier.
  • The Fort Griswold and Hidden Thames Street Quests begin at Thames River Landing Park in Groton.

Allen Boutin

Boutin of Avalon Health Center Receives Industry Leadership Award

Mystic, Connecticut, May 22, 2020: Allen Boutin, administrator of Avalon Health Center at StoneRidge in Mystic, has been honored by the American College of Health Care Administrators with the 2020 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. Boutin is one of 78 administrators in 23 states that will receive the award at the organization’s Annual Convocation and Exposition in New Orleans in September.

The Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award recognizes administrators who provide leadership excellence. Eligibility for this award is based on three years of skilled nursing facility survey data, including the health, fire safety and complaint surveys, as well as top quartile performance on designated quality measures. The criteria also include at least an 80 percent (or greater) occupancy and a three-year avoidance of a Special Focus Facility Status.

This industry recognition is named in honor of Eli Pick of DesPlaines, Illinois, who served as executive director of the Ballard Rehabilitation Center for more than 30 years. Pick was beloved by his residents and their families and was dedicated to advancing professionalism and leadership in long-term care.

About ACHCA

Founded in 1962, the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the only professional association devoted solely to meeting the professional needs of today’s long-term care administrators and executives. ACHCA’s mission focuses on advancing leadership excellence in long-term care through the provision of leadership education, promotion of professional advancement programs such as fellowship and the organization’s keystone mentoring program. ACHCA’s diverse membership includes administrators from across the continuum of post-acute and aging services care.

About Avalon Health Center

The CMS five-star rated Avalon Health Center at StoneRidge provides compassionate, personal, 24-hour-a-day skilled nursing care for both short and long-term residents, as well as memory care at the Cottage at Avalon, a rehabilitative therapy center. Located on the StoneRidge campus, just off Jerry Browne Road in Mystic, Avalon is proximate to Backus, L&M, and Westerly Hospitals, providing easy access for visiting physicians.

The COMO Reopens for Childcare!

Limited spaces available for childcare beginning June 1.

As a nationally-accredited and licensed childcare provider, and with the guidance of its partner, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC), the Stonington Community Center (COMO) is excited to welcome children back to the COMO campus beginning June 1. The reopening will incorporate all COVID-19 guidelines pertaining to group size, health screening and social distancing.

Registration is now open for parents and guardians who are looking for childcare for the summer months. Due to the new guidelines, very limited spaces are available. Full-day and half-day care options are available. Additionally, this year, families will have the ability to register for partial weeks of care. If care is requested during weeks that school is still in session, experienced teachers at the COMO will be able to offer support for children as they complete school work on site.

New drop-off and pick-up policies will be in place, as well as the continuation of vigorous facility cleaning and disinfecting procedures. To learn more about the COMO’s COVID-19 guidelines or childcare options, visit the COMO website at www.thecomo.org for more information and a full list of frequently asked questions regarding childcare during COVID-19.

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

Mystic Seaport Museum to Reopen to the Public May 23

Free Admission May 23-29

Mystic, Conn. (May 20, 2020) — Mystic Seaport Museum announces it will reopen to the public Saturday, May 23. To celebrate the occasion and to thank the community for its support of the Museum during its closure, admission will be free May 23-29.

Visitors will be welcome to explore the grounds, including the historic village and gardens, the shipyard, and the Mystic River waterfront. The indoor exhibitions, village buildings, and the historic vessels will not be open at this time. The Museum plans to expand access and programming for the public in the coming weeks as permitted by state and local authorities.

Operating hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., May 23-25, and 12-4 p.m., May 26-29.

For the safety of visitors and staff, the Museum has implemented a number of COVID-19 prevention measures.

· The Museum has limited the capacity of the grounds to ensure safe distancing. This may result in asking some guests to return at a later time. Status updates will be posted on the Museum website (www.mysticseaport.org) and social media feeds.

· While on Museum grounds, visitors are required to wear masks or cloth face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth unless doing so would be contrary to the visitor’s health and safety due to a medical condition.

· Visitors are expected to observe six-foot social distancing at all times.

· Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance point and other common areas. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and wipes.

· Entry will be via the South Entrance. Visitors should park in the South Lot.

· Currently there will be no food service, water fountains or shopping available on the grounds.

· Restrooms will be limited to one person or family at a time. The Museum will be cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms frequently.

· Visitors experiencing COVID-19 CDC-defined symptoms may not enter. People who have reason to believe they have been exposed to the virus are encouraged not to visit.

The Museum has been closed since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Higher Edge Announces Graduating Seniors College Decisions

New London, CT – Higher Edge is pleased to announce that 56 Windham and New London region high school Class of 2020 graduates have completed its College Access Program (CAP). The program usually culminates with a gathering to celebrate each student’s college decision. This year’s graduates are being celebrated in creative “socially-distanced” ways.

Edwin O. Smith High School Class of 2020

Aylen Valencia, UCONN Storrs

LEAP High School Class of 2020

Kenneth Adams, Quinebaug Valley Community College

Tatiana Arbonias, Quinebaug Valley Community College

Eryka Gomez-Garcia, Quinebaug Valley Community College

Angelica Villafane, Quinebaug Valley Community College

Windham High School Class of 2020

Jovan Almodovar, UCONN Avery Point

Leisha Bencosme, Southern Connecticut State University

Karen De Los Santos Dominguez, Quinebaug Valley Community College

Kelis Figueroa, Southern Connecticut State University

Estefani Garcia, Central Connecticut State University

Julia Henck, Bennington College

Alden Murillo, UCONN Storrs

Natalie Nilsson, Eastern Connecticut State University

Mia Ray, UCONN Storrs

Jonathan Rodriguez-Garcia, UCONN Storrs

Dayshalee Torres, UCONN Storrs

Viaivannie Vargos-Negron, UCONN Storrs

Adriana Vellon, Southern Connecticut State University

Windham Technical High School Class of 2020

Nashelee Ferrer, UCONN Storrs

Angelize Guerra, Eastern Connecticut State University

Arisai Perez, Eastern Connecticut State University

Dellanira Rodriguez-Perez, Eastern Connecticut State University

Kiyana-Nicole Smith, Eastern Connecticut State University

East Lyme High School, Class of 2020

Angelena Ebersole, UCONN Avery Point

Grasso Technical High School, Class of 2020

Anthony Arizaga, UCONN Avery Point

Kaitlynn Brito, UCONN Storrs

Angeelina Ildefonso, Eastern Connecticut State University

Joel Ortiz, Three Rivers Community College

Tre’Vaughn Taylor, Undecided

Nancy Villacorta, Eastern Connecticut State University

Ledyard High School, Class of 2020

Salma Tumbaco, UCONN Storrs

New London High School, Class of 2020

Tayna Castillo, UCONN Avery Point

Natasia Chandler, UCONN Avery Point

Francesca Ledoux, Eastern Connecticut State University

Shariena Green, Eastern Connecticut State University

Tajzay Green, Eastern Connecticut State University

Brianna McPherson, UCONN Avery Point

Karelys Meletiche, UCONN Avery Point

Jammie Mills, UCONN Avery Point

Stacey Ortiz, Three Rivers Community College

Wilmalis Rodriguez, UCONN Storrs

Destiny Rosa, UCONN Avery Point

Anaya Vega, UCONN Storrs

Janiyah Williams, Goodwin University

Olivia Yard, Three Rivers Community College

Charles Zeigler, UCONN Avery Point

Science & Technology Magnet High School, Class of 2020

Eliza Brown, Mount Holyoke College

Luisanny Castillo, Providence College

Angie Correa, Eastern Connecticut State University

Keren Gabriel, Bentley University

Taijana Green, Three Rivers Community College

Desiree Johnson, Barry University

Cristian Santos, Undecided

Elena Valentin, Undecided

Three Rivers Middle College, Class of 2020

Ra’anaa Clarke, University of Akron

Jenesys Rodriguez, Three Rivers Community 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 62 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 at @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

E: go@higheredge.org

CHARTER OAK AWARDS $90,000 IN 2020 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS

45 Students in Eastern Connecticut Each Receive $2,000 Annual Scholarship

Waterford, CT – May 13, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has awarded $90,000 in 2020 scholarships to 45 high school and college students in New London and Windham counties in recognition of their outstanding academic and community achievements.

“Once again, our selection committee was greatly impressed by the significant achievements of these students, from their strong academic results to the countless hours they spent helping their local communities,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This year's selection process was especially competitive with nearly 200 applications from very well qualified students,” he said.

Since 2015 when Charter Oak first expanded its annual scholarship program, the credit union has proudly awarded $528,000 in scholarships to 264 students in eastern Connecticut. Students who are members of Charter Oak compete for the annual scholarships by submitting a brief essay and highlighting their academic, athletic, and community accomplishments.

As part of Charter Oak’s community commitment to its members, the credit union has pledged to award one $2,000 college scholarship to one college-bound senior at each high school within New London and Windham counties with an attendance of at least 100 students. Additional scholarships, when available, are given to students already enrolled in college. Recipients of Charter Oak’s scholarships excel academically but also take an active role in supporting local community initiatives.

This year’s high school student award winners (sorted by school) are:

Nicholas Sedor, Bacon Academy; Andrew Gatesman, Bacon Academy; Sophia Rogers, East Lyme High School; Gabrielle Villa, East Lyme High School; Ana Julia Da Silva, Ella T. Grasso Technical High School; Hannah Bagley, Ella T. Grasso Technical High School; Kyla Atwood, H.H. Ellis Technical High School; Lauren Hyatt, Killingly High School; Brianna Hogan, Killingly High School; Cassandra Wells, Lyman Memorial High School; Elizabeth Cravinho, Lyme-Old Lyme High School; Elena Spangle, Marianapolis Preparatory School; Stephanie Weber, Marine Science Magnet High School; Evan Spalding, Marine Science Magnet High School; Sydney Winakor, Montville High School; Luisanny Castillo, New London High School; Mackenzie Maher, Norwich Free Academy; Samantha Tracey, Norwich Free Academy; Jackie Chen, Norwich Free Academy; Zeb Carty, Norwich Free Academy; Shaun McGuire, Norwich Free Academy; Chelsey English, Plainfield High School; Justin St. Martin, Putnam High School; Kyle Mashia-Thaxton, Robert E. Fitch High School; Sakshee Patel, Robert E. Fitch High School; Elizabeth Teskey, Robert E. Fitch High School; and Diana Sefransky, Robert E. Fitch High School.

Also, Liam Power, Saint Bernard High School; Brigid Kunka, Saint Bernard High School; Carly Potts, Saint Bernard High School; Kiera Burlingame McCord, Science & Technology Magnet School of Southeastern CT; Cassandra Cannon, Science & Technology Magnet School of Southeastern CT; Benjamin Fyke, Stonington High School; Jake Verbridge, Stonington High School; Nathan Craig, The Woodstock Academy; Grayson Walley, The Woodstock Academy; Anna Schleck, Waterford High School; Ashley Metivier, Waterford High School; Dylan Davino, Wheeler High School; Elizabeth Conger, Fishers Island Public School; and Katherine Henderson, Old Saybrook Senior High School.

Additional scholarship recipients who are currently attending college are:

Holly Noe, Goodwin University; Jessica Coggeshall, Three Rivers Community College; Daniel Gaiewski, Franklin and Marshall College; and Daniel Marcolina, University of Connecticut.

In addition to Charter Oak’s $90,000 annual scholarship awards, employees awarded two separate scholarships through their employee-funded Community Outreach Program. Jeffrey Andruskiewicz, a student at Norwich Free Academy, was awarded the $2,000 Community Outreach Memorial Scholarship and Jada Fuentes, a student at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, was awarded the $2,000 Louise Jackson Community Outreach Scholarship.

Charter Oak awards scholarships on an annual basis and will begin accepting applications again in January 2021. Information will be available at that time on the credit union’s website at CharterOak.org.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of nearly $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services please visit CharterOak.org. 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

WCCU Announces New Board of Directors Chairperson

Westerly Community Credit Union would like to congratulate Pete S. Stefanski on his newly appointed position on the Board of Directors. In an Election of Officers meeting held April 23, 2020, Pete S. Stefanski was elected to the office of Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union.

Stefanski, Westerly Community Credit Union's newly elected Chairperson, has been on the Board of Directors since 2012. He originally served on the Supervisory Committee (2008-2013), and as Board Member (2013-2017), followed by his most recent position of secretary since 2017. He is the Chairperson of the CEO Succession Planning Committee and is a member of the Board Development, Building, Business Continuity Review, and Orientation Committees. Pete also volunteers his time with fundraising efforts to benefit the Saint Clare Church. He is a graduate of both Central Connecticut State University (Bachelor's Degree in Accounting), and the University of New Haven (Master's in Business Administration Degree). He is employed at Electric Boat Corporation in Groton, CT as a Senior Finance Manager and Ethics Director.

The Staff and Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union would like to congratulate Pete on his recent elected position. For more information on the Westerly Community Credit Union, please visit us online at www.westerlyccu.com, stop by any of our four branch locations, or call us today at 401.596.7000.

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 19,500 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.

Workers’ Compensation Trust Awards $2,099 to The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Arc Eastern Connecticut has been selected as one of 116 non-profit agencies to be awarded a statewide Safety Grant from The Worker’s Compensation Trust.

The $2,099 grant will allow The Arc to purchase a hydraulic Hoyer lift for its Day program in Danielson, greatly reducing the risk of injury to both program staff and participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Workers’ Compensation Trust distributed a pool of $450,000 in grant funds to various organizations to help provide safer working environments for everyone.

For more information about The Arc and its programs throughout the region, please contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435 x 116.

Lauren Vincent

Holly DePerry

CHARTER OAK PROMOTES TWO TO MEET GROWING BUSINESS LENDING NEEDS

Holly DePerry Is New Assistant Vice President; Lauren Vincent Is New Commercial Credit Manager

Waterford, CT ­– May 11, 2020 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has promoted Holly DePerry to Assistant Vice President-Business Lender and also promoted Lauren Vincent to Commercial Credit Manager to accommodate the credit union’s expanding business lending business.

DePerry has extensive business lending experience in eastern Connecticut as well as southern Rhode Island and has been with Charter Oak’s Business Lending Department since 2017. Vincent joined Charter Oak in 2015 and has served in numerous banking positions as well as serving as a credit analyst for the business lending team.

“Both Holly and Lauren have been instrumental in growing our business lending operations, and I’m pleased to recognize their talents and achievements with these well-deserved promotions,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Charter Oak’s Business Lending Department had a record year in loan activity during 2019,” he said, “clearly dispelling the myth that credit unions cannot thrive and grow in the business lending arena.”

Over the past several years, Charter Oak has ramped up its Business Lending team to meet the growing demand for its many products. The department now features three experienced business lenders in addition to its commercial credit manager overseeing a team of credit analysts. Charter Oak offers a full suite of business-enhancing products for a broad range of businesses, from business checking products to business loans including fixed-term loans, commercial real estate loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans. Charter Oak also offers a full complement of business eBanking services as well as employer-sponsored Health Savings Accounts.

DePerry attended Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT with a concentration in Business Administration and also attended the Center for Financial Training Commercial Lending School. In addition to her business and banking experience, DePerry is active in numerous civic organizations including the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s Leadership Program. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Connecticut Women’s Network. Vincent is a graduate of Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration and Management.

To reach DePerry directly for your business lending needs, please email hdeperry@cofcu.com or call 860.446.3313. Additional information about Charter Oak’s complete line of business banking products and services is available by visiting CharterOak.org.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of nearly $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services please visit CharterOak.org. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Groton Utilities Accepting Nominations For the Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award

Groton Utilities has announced that it is accepting nominations for the 17th annual Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award. The purpose of the award is to honor a member of the community who has contributed his or her time, energy and resources to make the community a better place in which to live and work. Now more than ever people are stepping forward and helping their fellow residents and Groton Utilities would like to honor those who have put the needs of others ahead of themselves.

Online Nomination Form

Persons eligible for the award must live in Greater Groton, which encompasses the City, the Town, and any of the subdivisions or fire districts. The person should exemplify all the qualities suggested by Groton Utilities’ slogan of “Giving back to the community.”

Groton Utilities will present the award to the winner of the 17th annual Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award this upcoming August.

Groton Utilities named the award The Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award to commemorate Mrs. Nixon’s service to her community. Jackie, as she was known to most, operated a food pantry in her residence for 24 years. She distributed food on a regular basis to many needy families. Jackie passed away July 6, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer.

Like Jackie, the nominee’s contributions to the community should make other citizens describe the nominee as generous, committed, and other similar admirable qualities, which exemplify “service.”

The closing date for nominations is Friday, July 3rd. You may nominate online by going to https://bit.ly/2zpXcHG. Applications may be obtained at the Groton Utilities Customer Service Center at the City of Groton Municipal Building at 295 Meridian Street. In addition, you can call our Customer Service Center at 860-446-4000 and request an application be mailed to you. The application is also available on our web site at https://bit.ly/35IwQNd.

Earle A. Williams was the recipient of the first Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award. Other winners were Robert “Bob” Leeney, E. Marion “Mimi” Orkney, Lillian “Lil” Hansen, Sarah Stanley, William “Bill” Welsh, Jr., Alfred “Al” Restivo, Robert “Bob” Austin LaFrance; Archie C. Swindell, Milly Carlson, Lian Obrey, James “Jim” Streeter, Charlie Eppenghaus, Marcia R. Gipstein, Martin Cloudas and Tim LeHouillier.

TVCCA Meals on Wheels to Host Virtual Comedy Fundraiser

An evening of comedy from the comfort of your home to support our senior neighbors

Bozrah, CT (May 7, 2020) – Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA) has partnered with Franco’s Comedy for Your Cause and the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce (GNACC) to host a virtual comedy fundraiser on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The event will raise money for TVCCA’s Meals on Wheels program, which has seen a dramatic increase in requests for services that include nutritious meals and wellness checks for homebound seniors. TVCCA delivers about 1,000 meals a day to home-bound seniors throughout Eastern Connecticut.

Anyone interested in “attending" can register online at https://bit.ly/MOWcomedy. A minimum donation of $10 is required, but attendees are encouraged to give what they can. The event is limited to the first 90 registrants due to restrictions on the online platform.

TVCCA has gotten creative with fundraising for its Meals on Wheels program since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of their signature annual event, Carnevale. May 30th would have marked the 10th annual Carnevale fundraiser for TVCCA Meals on Wheels, but with the closure of Mohegan Sun, the event’s title sponsor and host location, and uncertainty for local businesses that support the event, TVCCA cancelled it.

The virtual comedy fundraiser was the brainchild of Franco Carofano, well-known local radio personality and owner of Franco’s Comedy for Your Cause. “Due to The Coronavirus we had to cancel 22 comedy fundraisers that we had scheduled,” Carofano said. “We wanted to support our community and continue to raise money, so we turned to technology. Many of the comedians in our circle were dying for an outlet, so online comedy fundraisers made sense.”

Angela Adams, GNACC Executive Director, says that “part of GNACC’s mission is to support our local businesses and keep our community connected. We’ve done many community events and this was a no brainer. How can we give back to those in need but also bring some laughter into our homes? Franco’s Comedy for Your Cause of course!!”

GNACC and Franco’s Comedy for Your Cause partnered in mid-April to host their first ever virtual comedy event to raise money for Norwich AOK. That event sold out and raised $2,790 with the tremendous help of community member Miria Gray. Gray has generously volunteered to handle the technical aspects for TVCCA’s event as well.

“Franco and I both know that we have such a pro-active and loving community, that people will come together. He called me up and asked me ‘Are you ready to do another one?’,” says Adams.

Carofano says he wanted to do something for TVCCA’s Meals on Wheels after visiting TVCCA’s commissary and learning they had to postpone their major fundraiser. “We wanted to help.”

Many of the businesses that had already made sponsorship donations for TVCCA’s Carnevale have agreed to repurpose those sponsorships for the virtual comedy event. TVCCA is grateful for the support of Sayet + Seder Attorneys at Law; Brown & Brown of Connecticut; Brown Jacobson PC; Doherty, Beals & Banks, P.C.; and Flanders Donut + Bake Shop.

Where: Register and learn more at https://bit.ly/MOWcomedy

Participate from anywhere in the world!

When: Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm

How: Be among the first 90 to give at least $10 through the event registration page

After registering, an email will be sent with instructions for logging into the event.

For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/MOWcomedy

To learn more about Franco's Comedy for Your Cause visit comedyforyourcause.com

About TVCCA Meals on Wheels: Every day, TVCCA Meals on Wheels delivers meals and smiles to seniors in need across Eastern Connecticut. The impact that Meals on Wheels has on the seniors they serve goes far beyond the wholesome meals provided. The friendly visit and safety check that accompany each visit ensures that our clients remain healthy, safe and at home, where they belong. For over 44 years, TVCCA has contributed to the overall well-being of seniors by providing regular nutrition and daily contact with a caring volunteer. Learn more at www.TVCCA.org or call 860-886-1720.

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 Info:

Megan Brown

Sr. Director, Marketing & Development

860-425-6514

megan.brown@tvcca.org

HEARST CREATES $75,000 RECOVERY MARKETING FUND Matching dollars earmarked for CT tourism and hospitality businesses

MAY 4, 2020 (NEW HAVEN, CT). The Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Connecticut’s dominant news outlet and marketing solutions provider, announced today the allocation of advertising space valued at $75,000 to help get state tourism back on track, post-COVID-19.

This program was designed to particularly but not exclusively benefit members of the Connecticut Tourism Coalition, and is tied to Hearst’s July Travel issue of Connecticut Magazine, reaching over 450,000 readers throughout the state. Every ad dollar spent will be matched by Hearst in print advertising space, up to $75,000 total for all participants. The recovery marketing fund is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stated Rich Medeiros, SVP of Sales for Hearst CT and CTC board member, “Especially proven during this pandemic, Hearst has stepped up its commitment to safeguarding the health of our readership, in addition to the well-being of local businesses. This is yet another measure to ensure the economic vitality of our communities in the months ahead.”

Hearst’s marketing consultants will also be at the disposal of Connecticut Tourism Coalition businesses, to assist in crafting personalized 2020 media plans. The deadline for July’s Connecticut Magazine is May 28. Please reach out to Rich Medeiros at rmedeiros@hearstmediact.com for further details.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert DiGioia rdigioia@hearst.com

A Hearst Connecticut Media Group publication 100 Gando Drive, New Haven, CT 06513 • ConnecticutMag.com

“There When You Need It” - Drinking Water Week

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assured consumers that drinking water is safe to use as normal. The consistent and reliable quality of drinking water is at the heart of the theme for this year’s Drinking Water Week, “There When You Need It” which will be held May 3-9 this year.


Groton Utilities and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) is observing Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role tap water plays in daily life, the infrastructure that is required to carry it to and from homes and businesses, and the important work of water professionals “behind the scenes”.

Many communities, including ours in Groton and our consecutive water systems here in southeastern Connecticut, are fortunate to have reliable access to safe water when they turn on the tap. In large part this stems from the regular testing Groton Utilities are subject to ensure that regulatory standards for water quality are met. In fact, every water system must publish a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), which details its water quality.

“Shortly after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, the EPA and CDC each reminded us that we should trust our tap water as we normally would for hygiene and hydration,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance. “This proved to be extremely important because handwashing is an important way to stop the spread of the virus. We couldn’t do that without high-quality drinking water.”

“Groton Utilities takes great pride in the quality of its drinking water and how safe it is,” said Director of Utilities Ron Gaudet. “Our upcoming water treatment plant is going to allow us to be able to offer the safest drinking water experience possible. So good drinking water gets even better.”

To commemorate the week, water utilities, water organizations, government entities, environmental advocates, schools and other stakeholders throughout North America and beyond will encourage consumers to understand and appreciate their drinking water.

About Drinking Water Week

For more than 40 years, AWWA and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week, a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in daily lives. Free materials for download and additional information are available on the Drinking Water Week webpage.

Groton Utilities is a municipally owned and operated utility providing electric, water and sewage services to thousands of consumers in Southeastern Connecticut. It is our mission to provide the best quality water and electric services at the best possible rates while giving back to the community as a publicly owned utility.

Mystic Noank Library Closure Information

  • Reference assistance is available Monday-Friday from 10:00-4:00, via phone at 860-536-7721 or email at reference@mysticnoanklibrary.org.
  • If you wish to access our downloadable services, and your library card is not working (or you need a temporary library card) please call or email us.
  • WiFi is available 24/7 from outside the Library: MN Library/no password.
  • Visit our outside Library Annex 24/7 for free books, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs, and puzzles. Take what you would like, don't return the item(s) to us, and please don't add any of your own items (thank you anyway!)
  • The book drop is closed. We ask that you hold on to your materials for now.
  • All items currently checked out are renewed until June 1, 2020.
  • Overdue fines accrued during this time will be waived.
  • Holds on materials have been suspended to avoid backlog.
  • Visit our Facebook page for updates on Library news and information.

CHARTER OAK DONATES ADDITIONAL $37,500 TO 15 FOOD PANTRIES

Donations Total $75,000 During Month of April To Feed Those In Need Across Eastern CT

Waterford, CT – April 27, 2020 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is providing an additional $37,500 in emergency grants to 15 food pantries and meal programs in eastern Connecticut, bringing the credit union’s total food-assistance donations in April to $75,000, the largest one-month donation in the credit union’s 81-year history.

“The need is still great to provide food assistance to the many individuals and families who’ve been directly impacted by the Coronavirus,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Now more than ever these food centers need our help to meet the overwhelming demand they’re facing.”

Each of the 15 food pantries and meal programs in New London and Windham counties will receive an additional $2,500 grant donation, bringing their total individual donation from Charter Oak to $5,000 each during April.

Earlier this month, Charter Oak’s Community Giving Committee provided an initial $37,500 to these same 15 organizations to help re-stock their shelves. In past years, Charter Oak has made year-end donations to these soup kitchens and food pantries as a special holiday gift and thank you for all they do throughout the year. “But given this unprecedented health crisis we’re all confronting, we felt these donations are the best use of our grant monies at this time to meet this critical food shortage,” Orenstein said.

Charter Oak also continues to assist its members during this COVID-19 crisis through numerous initiatives, including individual mortgage relief, skip-a-pay programs, and small-business lending assistance. “We’re here for our members, and we want to hear from them if they need help right now to get through this,” Orenstein said. Charter Oak’s full-service Contact Center is available for member assistance by calling 860.446.8085 during regular business hours.

In addition, Charter Oak offers numerous safe banking practices to its members through full-service drive-up locations in New London and Windham counties as well as its convenient and extensive eBanking services. Members can also call Charter Oak’s 24/7 Info-Phone banking service at 860.445.4636 and additional information can be found on the credit union’s Coronavirus Updates section on its CharterOak.org website.

The 15 food-assistance agencies who will receive a total of $5,000 each from Charter Oak are: Always Home in Mystic; Care & Share of East Lyme; Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic; Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London; Groton Social Services Food Lockers; Friends of Assisi Food Pantry in Danielson; Interfaith Human Services of Putnam-Daily Bread; Montville Food Bank; New London Area Food Pantry; New London Community Meal Center; New London Homeless Hospitality Center; Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center; Rosalyn Allen Food Pantry in Norwich; Saint Mary’s Church Food Pantry in Jewett City; and Saint Vincent De Paul Place in Norwich. These combined donations total $75,000 in emergency grant funding from Charter Oak that will allow these 15 agencies to provide much-needed food assistance across eastern Connecticut.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of nearly $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving all of New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services, as well as Coronavirus updates, please visit CharterOak.org. 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 or acronin@cofcu.com

Always Home Offers Mother's Day Recognition Program & Extra Support Mothers in Need

MOTHER'S DAY IS MAY 10th! This year, you can recognize your Mom (or someone special) while supporting mothers who need extra assistance during these uncertain days of COVID-19. A gift of just $25 to Always Home will help a struggling family pay the rent, a utility bill or childcare when a parent goes back to work. In gratitude, Always Home will send a customized Mother’s Day card to the recipient of your choice, explaining that you have honored them with a gift to Always Home. Just click on the link below to give a Mother's Day gift she won't forget! https://www.alwayshome.org/help-a-mother-honor-a-mother

Free Webinar: How to Use QuickBooks to Manage Your Business Finances (I)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM | Register Here

You have started your own business, and you have bills to pay, customer sales to track, and taxes to file, requiring paper, paper and more paper. If you have turned to QuickBooks™ for help as a new user, and find you need help setting up the program, this webinar is for you.

NOTE: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Workshop presenter Elizabeth Santaus has more than twenty years of experience in the financial accounting software and bookkeeping industry. She has worked for a variety of software companies and is a certified trainer in many advanced software programs. Elizabeth has consulted, trained, and provided bookkeeping services for over 200 small businesses in CT and NY. As an Intuit ProAdvisor with advanced and point-of-sale certifications, Elizabeth has been a QuickBooks trainer for the Community Economic Development Fund's Bridgeport location.

Contact SCORE Southeastern CT: (860) 388-9508, scorechapter@gmail.com

What You Need To Know Today: Grants Available for Connecticut Artists Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recognizing that artists provide inspiration, connection, and education, particularly at times when the creative sector is needed most, the Connecticut Office of the Arts – a state office housed within the Department of Economic and Community Development – today announced that two grant programs have been created to help local artists negatively impacted by COVID-19:

DECD’s Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) has created two new grant programs for artists negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The Connecticut Artists Relief Grant provides $500 grants to over 100 individual artists and teaching artists who live in the state and whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by the safety measures put into place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The grant is partly funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).

The Connecticut Artists Respond Grant helps artists translate and present their art virtually. Individual or collaborative artists who create, or have created projects that respond to the needs of the times by presenting arts activities, classes or other creative experiences online at no cost to the public will be eligible for $1,000 or $2,000 respectively.

Artists provide inspiration, connection, education, and so much more, and these programs provide funding for artists at a time when the creative sector is needed most. Applications will be accepted for both programs through May 4, 2020. For specific questions, artists may contact Tamara Dimitri at tamara.dimitri@ct.gov and teaching artists may contact Bonnie Koba at bonnie.koba@ct.gov

NEH Grants Available for Cultural Organizations

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognizes that the nonprofit humanities sector is an essential component of America's economic and civic life. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has received supplemental funding to provide emergency relief to institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been affected by the coronavirus. In keeping with Congress's intent in enacting the CARES Act, proposed short-term projects should emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staff.

NEH invites applications from eligible organizations seeking support for at-risk humanities positions and projects that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other cultural organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount: $300,000

Open to: Organizations

Period of performance: June 15, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Application available: April 20, 2020

Application due: May 11, 2020

Expected notification date: June 15, 2020

Project start date: June 15, 2020

For more information, guidelines, details and application, click HERE.

Upcoming CT Grants from CARES Act

In addition, both the CT Office of the Arts and CT Humanities received funding from the NEA and NEH respectively as part of the CARES Act to re-grant to nonprofit organizations in CT. (NEA, NEH to Each Distribute $75 million in Relief Aid to Arts & Humanities Organizations in Need)

Both are working on the grant programs and guidelines, which will become available as soon as they are ready. Stay tuned!​

Tips for Navigating Relief Programs

Individual Artists, Self-Employed, Contractors, Gig Workers - From when to file weekly claims to whether you can get an extension, your Connecticut unemployment questions answered (Hartford Courant)

· Ex. When can self-employed individuals and independent contractors expect benefits?Like the additional weekly $600 benefit, the Department of Labor had to program the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program into its system. Lamont said those benefits will begin April 30.The department recommends that self-employed individuals wait until the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is up and running to file their claims.

Forgive and Forget? Important Practical Advice for Borrowers Receiving a PPP Loan and Seeking Forgiveness (Baker Donelson)

CT Women's Business Development Council - Weekly Group Support Zoom Calls - Join our Business Advisors and your fellow small business owners for virtual chats featuring Q&A, resources and advice to keep moving you forward during these challenging times. Choose to join one call or several! Held Mondays at 10am and Wednesdays at 7pm

Virtual Programs: Know Your Numbers for Loan Applications, Pivot Your Company in the Current Environment, and Stress Management. For complete schedule, click HERE.

New London sharing Spanish-speaking resources with region (The Day)

"The aid comes in the form of a help line that will connect Spanish-speaking business owners and individuals running nonprofits with someone who can help navigate available local, state and federal relief programs." www.developnewlondon.com

Paycheck Protection Program Tip (from a Facebook forum): "Just a word of advice. It is not enough to just submit the application. You must make sure your lender receives the application and submits it to SBA and gets a SBA number confirming your allocation. Make sure you follow up with you lender and you get an SBA number!"

It is unclear if those businesses that applied for PPP before the program ran out of money will need to re-apply or be in cue when the next round of funding is approved. Contact your lender.

Need help navigating the options?

Email Wendy Bury at W.Bury@CultureSECT.org or call (860) 448-5135 or email Deb Mathiasen at D.Mathiasen@CultureSECT.org or call (860) 460-5236. We are here to help!

Information & Resources Reminder

Cultural Coalition Public Facebook Group Page with Daily Updates, News & Posts - Resources/Info/Q&A - COVID CultureSECT Arts & Cultural Org/Bus Artists

Financial Relief Resources for Artists During COVID-19 - Artwork Archive

National Endowment for the Arts

Americans for the Arts Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource & Response Center

National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net

State of CT COVID-19 Business Resources

SBA Disaster Assistance Funding

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

CT Small Business Development Center SBA - COVID-19 Resource Center

Sign up for no-cost advising

CT Women's Business Development Council

CT Department of Labor - Resources available to help workers and employers, unemployment benefits, and alternatives to layoffs (Shared Work Program).

Grants & Loans for Small Businesses and Nonprofits - Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT

Groton Utilities Earns Platinum Level RP3 Award

[Groton, CT, April 20, 2020]— Groton Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. Groton Utilities joins more than 275 public power utilities nationwide that hold the RP3 designation.

“Receiving an RP3 designation is a great honor and demonstrates a utility’s commitment to implementing industry best practices in utility operations,” says Aaron Haderle, Chair of the Association’s RP3 Review Panel and Manager of Transmission and Distribution Operations at ‎Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida. “RP3 utilities are consistently looking to improve their workforce, system reliability, and safety to serve their communities better.”

“This is a great honor,” said Ron Gaudet, Director of Utilities. “We take a lot of pride in the work we do to power our community and to bring them top-notch service at the best rates possible. It’s nice to be recognized as among the ‘best of the best’ on a national level.”

Groton Utilities is a municipally owned and operated utility providing electric, water and sewage services to thousands of consumers in Southeastern Connecticut.

As a leader in Southeastern Connecticut Groton Utilities provides essential services at prices which reflect exceptional customer value and quality. Additionally, as a publicly owned utility we consider it our responsibility to be a valuable and contributing member of the community and sponsor many local non-profit fundraisers as well as participate in funding City of Groton Concerts in the Park, Winter Cabaret Concerts and Town of Groton Soundwaves summer beach concerts.

The American Public Power Association has offered the RP3 designation for 15 years now. The Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 49 million people in 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. The Association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations.

#GiveFromHomeDay taking place on April 21, 2020

Jewett City, CT. (April 17, 2020) — TVCCA (Thames Valley Council for Community Action) will be taking part in #GiveFromHomeDay on April 21, 2020. This national fundraising drive puts the power of giving into the hands of Americans who are anxious to help neighbors and strangers alike who struggle with the economic and health impacts of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

With people out of work, small businesses closed, schools shut down, and seniors more isolated than ever, the concept of helping our neighbors and communities has been brought to the forefront of social conversation.

Sadly, at the same time, nonprofits like TVCCA have experienced a sudden and deep drop in funding as events, specifically their signature Carnevale fundraiser for Meals on Wheels, have been canceled.

But for the people who rely on TVCCA, their needs have only increased. Furthermore, the number of new people being served is growing every day. Regardless of the pandemic, economic and food insecurity have not gone away. In fact, this crisis has served to highlight and exacerbate these issues for our neighbors in need. Funding is urgently needed to support the dramatic rise in Meals on Wheels service requests received over the last month.

TVCCA is currently dealing with a 35% increase to the number of homebound seniors receiving Meals on Wheels. Since physical distancing measures began to be put in place across the State of Connecticut on March 13th, more than 200 additional seniors have enrolled in Meals on Wheels as they are now totally isolated in their homes.

The pandemic has made millions of Americans reliant on — and increasingly skilled at — the technologies that are connecting us. #GiveFromHomeDay on April 21 will focus attention on the act of giving and helping fellow Americans in the age of COVID-19. TVCCA has established a dedicated fundraising page on its website (https://bit.ly/MOWDonations) and a Facebook fundraiser to make it easier for anyone wanting to support on the #GiveFromHomeDay movement (https://bit.ly/MOWFacebook).

The community has already begun to step up and donate to support TVCCA’s Meals on Wheels services. TVCCA is grateful for the support of over 65 individuals, businesses, and foundations who have already made emergency grants and gifts toward this program, including:

  • Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation
  • Dime Bank Foundation
  • Lavoie Foundation
  • Meals on Wheels America COVID-19 Response Fund
  • William Caspar Graustein Foundation

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:

Megan Brown

Sr. Director, Marketing & Development

860-425-6514

Megan.brown@tvcca.org

Holmgren Subaru Award $35k to Sails Up 4 Cancer

Sails Up 4 Cancer is beyond proud and grateful to be the beneficiary of $35,000 from Holmgren Subaru. Holmgren Subaru has always been a community-minded dealership and they have stepped up their generosity even more during this unprecedented time in our world.

The Corona Virus has changed our community in many ways but hope springs eternal as we fight the battle over this virus. While fighting the Corona virus is currently first and foremost on everyone’s minds, we also still have many cancer patients who need assistance from Sails Up 4 Cancer. Because of this incredible gift from the Holmgren Subaru Share the Love campaign, Sails Up 4 Cancer can continue uninterrupted grant funding through the Spinnaker fund. Financially-stressed cancer patients can apply for the Spinnaker fund to assist with day-to-day needs like groceries, rent and medical expenses. The collaboration with Holmgren Subaru and the annual Share the Love Campaign allows SU4C to provide funding for families and patients in New London county. Holmgren Subaru has been integral in the success of the Spinnaker Fund which SU4C is extremely proud of. This Fund has been specifically tailored to individuals and families suffering financial hardship as a result of the loss of income due to their struggles with cancer. Sails Up realizes that the last thing a cancer patient needs is additional stress as a result of this predicament. There are not many places to turn for assistance and Sails Up, with assistance from the Share the Love revenue, is proud to help fill this void.

“The Holmgren team and family have long been supporters of Sails Up 4 Cancer. We appreciate the organization for its unique niche in bringing much needed financial support directly to cancer patients and not through a third party,” said Eric Holmgren, president of Holmgren Subaru. Eric Holmgren is an avid boater and dear friend to Bob Davis, President and founder of SU4C. Davis is a two-time cancer survivor and has an intimate relationship with cancer and cancer patients. Eric, and his wife Dawn, along with the Holmgren Family and the staff at Holmgren Subaru, believes that because of Davis’ experience with two cancers and his personal empathy with the agony that patients endure, he is the perfect person to address their needs. Having lived through the stress of cancer and loss of income, Davis is in a formidable position to support those suffering with the hidden effects and stress that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

“We cannot just provide lip service to those in need of financial assistance. We must heed the call and respond effectively and efficiently in sending financial relief,” explained Davis, “Imagine receiving a check from Sails Up 4 Cancer. Not a check large enough to cure your cancer or pay off your mortgage or satisfy all your bills. But maybe just enough to alleviate some financial stress - maybe just enough to know there is an organization that identifies with your issues and is here to help. Some people feel forgotten, helpless and lose all hope. Sails Up 4 Cancer is here and cares deeply.

For Further information: Bob Davis, Sails Up 4 Cancer, Rdavis@su4c.org - www.su4c.org

Stonington COMO Launches COMO Preschool Online Program!

Program Focused on Getting Preschoolers Ready for Kindergarten


The Stonington Community Center (COMO) has launched an online preschool classroom for families who are in need of continued learning experiences for their preschoolers to ensure their readiness as they transition to the next school year and into kindergarten. Currently free for enrolled COMO preschool families, access to the classroom is now available for purchase to the larger community. The COMO is home to the Doris Muller preschool, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a distinction that less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve.

The virtual classroom provides comprehensive lessons, curriculum and activities for families to complete at home, all of which follow the standards established by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education and Office of Early Childhood. Preschoolers and their families will have direct access to the COMO's highly-skilled, preschool team of teachers through the classroom as additional support and guidance through the lessons. Sessions can be purchased in 4-week increments.

For more information about the COMO Preschool online classroom and to access the sample classroom, please visit www.thecomo/como-preschool-online or email our Education Director, Priscilla Rouquayrol, at p.rouquayrol@thecomo.org.

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.

U.S. Chamber Foundation Launches Grant Program to Support Small Business Recovery

Small businesses are the foundation of our communities and our economy, and chambers of commerce are an essential part of that ecosystem. Employing nearly half the American workforce, small businesses keep our neighborhoods running and make them feel like home. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have wrought unprecedented financial uncertainty. These businesses need resources and relief — and they need it now.

That's why today, we are launching the Save Small Business Fund with Vistaprint to provide assistance to small businesses and local chambers of commerce impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Chamber Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in the U.S. and its territories.

The Save Small Business Fund is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Save Small Business Initiative—a nationwide effort to address small business owners’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize the long-term support the small business community needs for recovery.

We want to reach as many businesses as possible through this grant program, and encourage you to share it with those in your community. Use this toolkit to spread the word.

Grant applications will open on April 20, 2020. For more information on eligibility, grant timeline, and more, visit savesmallbusiness.com.

LEARN MORE

Thames River Heritage Park Receives its Third Water Taxi from Virginia

NEW LONDON --The Thames River Heritage Park has accepted delivery of its third water taxi, a surplus navy craft, Wednesday, but its use is a year away. The boat arrived to New London after a 500-mile road trip from Yorktown- Cheatham Naval Base, VA.

Marian Galbraith, president of the park's board of directors, said the 40 footer, known popularly as a liberty launch, must first be adapted for it new role. She adds, “the Park has seen significant growth in the last couple years. Our ridership went form 6600 in 2018 to over 11,000 in 2019. This additional boat will allow the Park to build on its record of success and provide additional programming and tours.” However, not unlike the two boats the Park currently operates, this new one will require exhaustive refurbishing to get it operational.

The craft, known formally as a Willard Utility boat, was last assigned to the sub tender USS Canopus (As-34) that was assigned to ports that would be familiar to veteran submariners in our area including Rota and Holy Loch, Spain; and Bremerton, Washington. The Canopus was decommissioned in 1994.

Executive Director Amy Perry says, “the new boat will allow the park to fulfill its mission of promoting and enhancing public access to local museums, parks, and historic sites. And, given that we are home to the Navy’s first nuclear submarine and Sub Base New London, it's a nice touch that the launch was assigned to a sub tender.”

To get this boat operational as well as convert it into a comfortable riding craft the upgrades and repairs include aft covers for shade, sanding and painting, T-top cover to provide shade for the captain, handrails, life jackets, engine work, stability testing and a host of other repairs. At the appropriate time the Park will launch a fundraising campaign to cover these costs.

Water taxi service and historically themed boat tours offered by the Thames River Heritage Park are planned for the fifth year of operation on Memorial Day Weekend.

ABOUT THE THAMES RIVER HERITAGE PARK

We offer visitors a collection of historic sites in Groton and New London, many within walking distance from our water taxi landings. The Park also offers historically themed boat tours. Created by an act of the Connecticut General Assembly, we are unique among state parks in that we don’t have formal boundaries. Additional information may be obtained by visiting www.thamesriverheritagepark.org.

Contact: Amy Perry

Perryamy1@gmail.com

860-912-0950

Mystic Custom Canvas Provides Shield Solutions for Businesses

Mystic Custom Canvas is a textile/material fabricator serving commercial and marine customers. We currently have a high quality, low cost solution to providing shielding between customers and employees. We offer clear vinyl panels with a Tenara thread stitched Weblon binding and grommets that offer professional esthetics, ease of installation, cleaning and replacement. We offer custom sizes with installation services and standard size installation kits.

Our product quality is superior and we use bacteria resistant marine grade clear vinyl with clarity enhancement features in .20 and .30 gauge thickness. The lifetime Tenara thread will not deteriorate from cleaning chemicals including bleach. The vinyl laminated Weblon is chemical resistant and waterproof.

Our customers have quickly adopted our shielding solutions for employee and customer counter interaction at hospitals, automotive sales offices, parts counters, US post offices, supermarket counters, deli/sea food markets, reception/cashier desks and many other applications. Business owners, employees and customers greatly appreciate the safety and health benefits of our installations.

Contact:

Michael Lague, Mystic Custom Canvas LLC

www.mysticcustomcanvas.com

(860) 383-9194

Dawn Sandvoss Joins Chelsea Groton Bank As AVP, Commercial Loan Officer

GROTON, Conn. – Dawn Sandvoss of Mystic, CT, recently joined Chelsea Groton Bank as Assistant Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer. A former commercial loan officer and credit manager, Dawn will work to develop commercial loan and commercial mortgage relationships with centers of influence across the Bank’s market areas.

“With over 30 years of experience in accounting, financial reporting and commercial real estate, Dawn is a creative and practical problem-solver,” said Carolyn Welch, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “Her experience as a commercial loan officer and credit manager enable her to develop a deep understanding of a customer’s financial situation and to come up with lending solutions to help them reach their financial goals. We are thrilled to have Dawn as part of the Chelsea Groton lending team.”

Most recently, Dawn was AVP, Commercial Loan Officer at Charter Oak Federal Credit Union in Waterford, CT, where she monitored and serviced existing loans, and originated new loans.

An active member of the community, Dawn serves as Treasurer of the Children’s Museum of Southeastern CT, has participated in and organized multiple local Multiple Sclerosis events, distributes food with the United Way mobile food pantry, and is a member of the Southeastern Connecticut Women’s Network and Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

Dawn graduated from Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT with an Associate’s degree in Human Services and she completed a BA in Business and Sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University. Dawn also completed an Omega Performance class in Commercial Loans to Business with an emphasis on Cash Flow, Income Statement Analysis and Projections, and is a 2018 graduate of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Leadership program.

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.

Keith's Appliances is Open for Business

For everyone's safety we have decided to take walk-ins, one at a time or by appointment. Even easier, a salesperson can give one-on-one virtual appliance tours through Facebook Live or customers can shop online at http://www.keithsappliances.com. We clean and sanitize the showroom after each customer, practice social distancing, and our delivery team and technicians are using the highest safety protocols as well, including disinfectant wipes, medical grade spray, gloves, and masks. We are offering delivery, contactless delivery outside the home, and service calls. If customers would like to come in by appointment, the reservation form can be found on our Status & Info site: https://www.keithsstatus.com/ or just call the store at (860) 536-4929 .

NESS ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD LEADERSHIP

In a planned transition, NESS names Jane Leipold as its new Board Chair, Steve Hazard as Vice-Chair.

Stonington, CT - The New England Science & Sailing Foundation is pleased to announce new board leadership changes effective April 1, 2020. Jane Leipold will succeed Bill Follett as Chair of the Board of Directors in a planned change of leadership. The current Board Treasurer, Steve Hazard, will be assuming a newly created role as the Vice Chairperson. "I am confident that this will be a smooth transition as we all continue to take advantages of the significant opportunities that lie ahead," said NESS President and CEO, Spike Lobdell, announcing the change.

Jane Leipold has been a member of the Board for 3 years and brings significant business experience in engineering, operations, and over 20 years in human resource management to the position. Prior to her current consulting work, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for TE Connectivity (TE)-a $13 billion global technology company. She serves as a Board member and past treasurer for the Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg) Board of Advisors and has endowed a scholarship specifically focused on supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students. At NESS, Leipold is head of both the Human Resources and Nominations & Governance Committees. She has also participated on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Education Committee- playing a critical role in the recent search and selection of NESS's first Executive Director of Education.

Hazard was a founder of the Pepe & Hazard law firm in Hartford which merged with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, a 300 plus attorney law firm headquartered in Morristown, NJ. He is a tax attorney who primarily served as outside general counsel to mid-sized companies and non-profit organizations. Hazard has a keen interest in the improvement of K-12 education and serves as a trustee emeritus of Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford. He currently serves as NESS's Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Strategic Planning Committees and serves on the Education Committee.

Outgoing Chairperson Bill Follett was NESS's first Board Chair and held the post for almost five years. He helped guide NESS as it greatly expanded the number of students that NESS's programs reached across the region. Follett will remain on the Board of Directors and will continue to support the NESS mission. Lobdell says of Follett, "His passion and commitment to NESS is outstanding and as Chair he was a great partner to management. We are delighted that he is staying on the Board after a very successful tenure as Board Chair."

About NESS

New England Science & Sailing Foundation ("NESS") is a nationally recognized and award-winning 501(c)(3)nonprofit ocean adventure education organization that provides students of all ages and backgrounds with year-round programming that includes marine science, sailing, and water sports. NESS's scholastic programs support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curricula in over 70 schools and organizations with a unique combination of on-the-water and in-the-classroom lessons intended to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. NESS is the first school partner program accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and has been recognized by US Sailing as the top community sailing program in the United States. With 25 full-time staff members, 9 AmeriCorps members, and over 30 seasonal educators, NESS serves over 9,000 students annually across New England. Since its inception, NESS has enabled over 35,000 students to get out on the water. For more information, visit www.nessf.org.

Contact:

Todd Vorenkamp

Associate Director of Communications and Public Relations

860-535-936

tvorenkamp@nessf.org

Stonington Community Center Seeks Help from Community with COVID-19 Response

Donations needed for production of 3D printed protective face shields.

The Stonington Community Center (COMO) is joining the global effort to support the healthcare and first responder community by producing face shields in the COMO Makerspace. Utilizing the Luzbot TAZ 6 3D Printer and the Glowforge Plus laser cutter, the makerspace is able to print 3D Verkstan Protective Visors that will be distributed to Stonington first responders and healthcare workers at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London.

The COMO is asking the community to assist in this personal protective equipment (PPE) project through donations of materials, cash donations, or face shield visor components printed with at-home 3D printers. Each face shield costs approximately $6 to make and can be printed and assembled in an hour.

“For the past 75 years, the COMO has served multi-generations building and strengthening our community” stated Beth-Ann Stewart, Executive Director. “The COMO makerspace equipment will assist in meeting a critical need for these heroes who serve us all on the front lines of this pandemic.”

The materials needed to produce the face shields include 8.5” x 11” acetate transparency sheets, ¼” or wider elastic, ¼” or wider rubber bands, 2.85 mm PLA filament and 2.85 PETg filament. Community members who have a 3D printer at home can help by printing face shield visors and delivering them to the COMO for assembly and distribution. Instructions for printing and delivering the visor component of the face shield can be found on the COMO website at thecomo.org/3d-print-ppe. It is hoped that businesses and home offices may have ¼” rubber bands and 8.5”x11” acetate transparency sheets in their stock to donate. Donations of 3D printed components and needed supplies must follow specific production and packaging guidelines.

Due to the critical shortage of PPE, the COMO hopes to continue the production of face shields to meet the needs of the local community. To learn more about the initiative or make a donation please visit thecomo.org/ppe.

The Stonington Community Center (COMO) is located at 28 Cutler Street in Stonington, CT. For more information, call the COMO at 860-535-2476, or visit our website at thecomo.org

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:

Beth-Ann Stewart

Stonington Community Center

b.stewart@thecomo.org

860.535.2476

Mystic Seaport Museum to Delay Hotel Project

Museum Extends Event and Food Service Contract with Coastal Gourmet Group through 2021

Mystic, Conn. (April 8, 2020) – Mystic Seaport Museum announced today the Greenwich Hospitality Group (GHG) will delay for one year construction of the new Delamar Mystic Hotel.

Citing the economic and market uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GHG decided to push out the project 12 months. The 26-room boutique hotel and restaurant is to be built on Museum property that is the present site of Latitude 41 Restaurant & Tavern. The project received approval from the Town of Stonington on March 6. Construction was scheduled to begin in early 2021.

The Museum also announced today it has reached an agreement to immediately extend its event catering and food service contract with the Mystic-based Coastal Gourmet Group for one year. Coastal Gourmet operates Latitude 41 Restaurant and provides retail dining and catering in the River Room, Claggett Boat Shed, and the North Lawn for weddings, corporate gatherings, and other events.

“We are very pleased to be able to continue our relationship with Coastal Gourmet Group as they have been outstanding partners with the Museum for many years,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport Museum.

The new contract will be in effect through December 31, 2021.

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

Best of Bauer Chelsea Groton Bank Indisputably One of the Nation’s Strongest Banks

GROTON, Conn. – BauerFinancial, Inc., the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, commends Chelsea Groton Bank on its achievement of another 5-Star Superior Rating. Not only has Chelsea Groton Bank earned Bauer’s highest (5-Star) rating for financial strength and stability, it has maintained that top rating for 104 consecutive quarters, sailing through one of the most trying economic times of our lifetimes and giving it an added designation of “Best of Bauer Bank”. This status is reserved solely for banks that have earned Bauer’s highest rating consistently for a minimum of 100 consecutive quarters. It also indicates that Chelsea Groton Bank is indisputably one of the strongest banks in the nation.

“As the president of BauerFinancial, I am often asked what it takes to be a 5-Star bank,” reflects Karen Dorway, president of the research firm. “Like so many other things in life, success in banking boils down to knowledge. Knowledge of banking, of course, but knowledge of its customers and the communities the bank serves are equally important. This intimacy enables the bank to work with customers for a common goal. It’s what gets so many community banks, like Chelsea Groton Bank, through the tough times unscathed.”

Chelsea Groton Bank was established in 1854 and has been working side by side with neighbors and friends for 166 years, helping to make the community what it is today. 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.

CHARTER OAK DONATES $35,000 IN EMERGENCY FUNDS TO FOOD PANTRIES

Funding Will Assist 14 Eastern CT Pantries Facing Growing Demand From COVID-19 Crisis

Waterford, CT ­– April 6, 2020 Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is providing $35,000 in emergency grants to 14 food pantries and meal programs in New London and Windham counties to help them meet growing food insecurity issues caused by the continuing COVID-19 health crisis.

“We realize this health crisis is creating mounting pressures on food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters, so this emergency funding will help restock their shelves to provide food assistance to those in need,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Typically, we send grant funds to these organizations at year’s end as a special holiday gift and thank you for all they do throughout the year,” he said. “But we recognize the need is great already and right now is the best time to offer our financial assistance for the tireless work these organizations are doing to feed individuals and families all across eastern Connecticut,” Orenstein said.

Charter Oak is also increasing assistance during this COVID-19 crisis to its members. The credit union is part of Governor Ned Lamont’s mortgage relief program for those in need of assistance. “We’re here to work with our members affected by the Coronavirus, and the best way to handle things is for them to call us,” he said. “Whether it’s deferring a mortgage payment, using a skip-a-pay, or working with a business loan issue, we are definitely here for our members affected by this health crisis,” he said. Charter Oak’s full-service Contact Center is available for member assistance by calling 860.446.8085 during regular business hours.

In addition, Charter Oak has instituted across-the-board safe banking practices by offering full banking services at its drive-up locations, encouraging members to use its convenient and extensive eBanking services, or by calling its Info-Phone 24/7 phone banking service at 860.445.4636. The credit union also has established a special Coronavirus updates section on its CharterOak.org website and regularly sends out email updates to all members as well as social media updates.

The 14 agencies and organizations each receiving a $2,500 emergency food grant from Charter Oak are: Always Home in Mystic; Care & Share of East Lyme; Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic; Groton Social Services Food Lockers; Friends of Assisi Food Pantry in Danielson; Interfaith Human Services of Putnam-Daily Bread; Montville Food Bank; New London Area Food Pantry; New London Community Meal Center; New London Homeless Hospitality Center; Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center; Rosalyn Allen Food Pantry in Norwich; Saint Mary’s Church Food Pantry in Jewett City; and Saint Vincent De Paul Place in Norwich.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of nearly $1.2 billion as of December 31, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient branch network serving New London and Windham counties. For additional information about Charter Oak’s products and services, as well as Coronavirus updates, please visit CharterOak.org. 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 or acronin@cofcu.com

COMO Thrift is Virtual and Seeking Donations!

Stonington Community Center Launches Online COMO Thrift Store and Facebook Live Sales

The COMO Thrift shop is currently seeking donations of gently-used items. The store is open for curbside donation drop-off 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, weather permitting. A full list of accepted donations can be found at thecomo.org/thrift. All proceeds go to support the Stonington Community Center (COMO) and are tax deductible.

While closed to the public due to COVID-19, customers can now shop at COMO Thrift from the comfort of home with COMO Thrift’s new online store, “Shop Thrift”, and Facebook live sales! The COMO Thrift Facebook group “Stonington COMO Thrift Shoppers” hosts live sale videos featuring new items for sale to purchase digitally. Curbside pickup and shipping options are available. The “Shop Thrift!” online store includes a broad range of inventory, with name brand bargains and one-of-a-kind finds. “Shop Thrift” can be found at thecomo.org/shopthrift. Customers in search of specific items can also schedule a virtual tour of the store with a Thrift personal shopper.

Serving the community since 1947 as one of the region’s oldest thrift stores, the Stonington Community Center Thrift Shop is located at 45 Cutler Street in Stonington, CT. For more information, call the Thrift Shop at 860-535-2476 or visit our website at thecomo.org/thrift.

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

The Chelsea Groton Foundation Is Accepting Grant Applications Until April 17

Now more than ever, we know funding is critical for your organization. The Chelsea Groton Foundation is accepting applications for the spring grant cycle through the Foundation's online application portal until Friday, April 17, 2020. Local and regional charitable organizations in the areas of Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services, Housing, and Youth Activities, should visit www.chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation to access the online application portal and more details on specific requirements.

The Foundation accepts grant applications two times per year. Formed in June 1998 as a Section 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation has, to date, awarded over $3.6 million in grants to hundreds of organizations located within the Bank's market area. Each year, Chelsea Groton Bank and the Chelsea Groton Foundation support more than 300 local organizations through monetary gifts, grants, sponsorships, scholarships and employee volunteerism. More information, including a list of last fall's grant recipients, is available at chelseagroton.com.

If you are in need of any additional support, please call Chelsea Groton Bank's hotline at 860-448-4195 to schedule an appointment with a member of our team or visit the Our People page for individual team member's contact information.

We wish you, your loved ones and our community good health at this time and always.

New England Science & Sailing Foundation Extends Deadline for Long Island Sound Calendar Contest until May 8th!

Hello Teachers, Parents, and Young Artists!

Due to the recent situation and the fact that students are schooling at home, New England Sailing & Science Foundation has extended the deadline for our 2021 Calendar Contest-"Long Island Sound and Its Watershed: What It Means to Me."

Submissions must be received by NESS on or before May 8th, 2020.

For those new to the contest, the drawing competition is open to any and all Connecticut students, grades K through 6, that want to create a drawing showing what Long Island Sound means to them. The contest is designed to engage youth in environmental stewardship and watershed conservation.

For full contest rules, requirements, and more information, please click here. We look forward to seeing your artwork!

Mystic & Noank Library Loans 3D Printers to Local Doctor to Make Face Masks

After seeing an article in The Day about a local doctor who is making face masks for local hospitals with a 3D printer, Mystic & Noank Library Director, Karen Wall, knew of a way the Mystic & Noank Library could help. She reached out to Dr. Chris Wiles to offer their two 3D printers for the cause. The printers, MakerBot Replicators, were gifted to the Library by the Meiyan and Stephen Gross Fund in honor of Sidney and Roger Gross for STEAM programming. With the Library closed to the public, the printers (affectionately named Sidney and Roger), had been idle and were ready for a job. Both a functional and creative device, 3D printers have been an incredible resource in alternative options when shortages of conventional supplies are not readily available.

Dr. Chris Wiles began creating 3D face masks after seeing a national shortage of N95 masks that are typically worn in healthcare settings. He has made instructions of his design available online as well as started a GoFundMe campaign for mask materials. As The Day reports, Dr. Wiles currently has half a dozen printers working on the project and enthusiastically accepted the Mystic & Noank Library’s offer of two more. “Libraries everywhere are finding new and inventive ways to provide for our communities, and we always strive to be part of the solution,” said Ms. Wall.

Visit our web page at www.mysticnoanklibrary.org, or find us at Mystic & Noank Library on Facebook and Instagram.

Contact: Kate Kenney, Marketing and PR Coordinator

Telephone: 860-536-7721

Eversource: To our Chamber of Commerce and business leaders

During this challenging time for all of us, Eversource is providing several measures that will lessen the financial hardship on all our customers, including small businesses—the backbone of our communities.

In addition to postponing customer disconnections for non-payment and assisting customers with financial programs to help pay their bill, Eversource is also providing extended payment arrangements for small business customers.

In normal operations, small business customers get up to three months for bill payment arrangements. To support small business customers through the COVID-19 crisis, Eversource is offering a $0 down payment and a 12-month payment arrangement, with the first payment not due until June 1.

The reliability of our essential service has never been more important than it is today during these uncertain times. With many people working from home, and students studying remotely, customers are increasingly relying on electronic devices to accomplish their goals.

Throughout the health crisis, be assured that Eversource is taking strict personal and public safety measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 while also performing essential tasks to ensure all our customers have a safe and reliable energy system.

Essential work is that which maintains or improves the condition of our energy system to ensure safe and reliable service to customers. Examples include replacement of electrical lines, poles, and other equipment; installation of automated switches that speed restoration of customers following an outage; new utility connections; vegetation management along electric lines; repair of natural gas leaks; replacement and upgrade of natural gas lines and other equipment; and work mandated by law or regulation or as required by regional electric grid operator ISO-New England.

During this time, we are rescheduling all planned outages, as well as routine non-outage, service-related work inside residence or business. We are also reducing non-critical field work in our gas operations that requires access to homes or businesses.

Eversource is proud to be part of the communities we serve, and we are committed to serving all our customers during this difficult and uncertain time.

MANGO'S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA CO. & DEVIANT DONUTS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR MYSTIC AQUARIUM

Fundraiser to be held the entire month of April

MYSTIC, CT. (March 31, 2020) - In an effort to join forces for the greater good of the Mystic community, Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. and their sister shop Deviant Donuts will be hosting a month-long fundraiser to give back to their neighbor, The Mystic Aquarium.

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, many local businesses have been forced to shut down. To help alleviate the distress caused from a loss of ticket sales at The Mystic Aquarium, Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. and Deviant Donuts will be giving back by donating a portion of sales from their pizza and donuts. Despite the restaurants also feeling the impact of the Coronavirus, they have been able to keep doors open for both takeout and delivery.

For the entire month of April, $2 for every regularly-priced pizza sold will be donated. In addition, for the weekend of Thursday, April 2 to Sunday, April 5, $1 for any of the “Under the Sea” themed donuts purchased will be donated. Customers can pre-order these donuts by contacting Vault Coffee directly. A minimum of six (6) donuts are required for pre orders from Thursday-Sunday which can be placed immediately. Like other businesses in the area, Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. and Deviant Donuts are practicing safe social distancing guidelines and allowing at most 5 people in the coffeeshop at a time.

“For the past ten years the Mystic Aquarium and their visitors have played a large role in our success. And during this difficult time, we’re committing to pay it forward,” says owner, Stefan Ambrosch.

And the feeling is mutual, according to Roslyn Gilhuly, Mystic Aquarium’s Senior Vice President of External Relations. "Mystic Aquarium is incredibly grateful to be a part of the civic pride that exists in Mystic every day. Even more so, in times like this we understand how fortunate we are to be a part of this community. Support from our neighbors including Deviant Donuts and Mango’s will help us to maintain the high-level of animal care during temporary closure in these very uncertain times."

Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. is located in the Olde Mistick Village and has been operating since 2009. The restaurant is owned and run by two local brothers, Stefan Ambrosch & Ben Hall. They live by their slogan “Real pizza, real good.”

Deviant Donuts is a small-batch gourmet donut pop-up shop located in their sister-shop, Vault Coffee Roasters. The donuts are all carefully crafted with the latest trends and interests in mind and are 100% Instagram worthy.

For more information on Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co., visit https://www.mangospizza.com/ or follow on Instagram and Facebook. For more information on Deviant Donuts, visit https://www.deviantdonuts.com/ or follow on Instagram and Facebook.

Rotary Club of Mystic Seeks Public Support for Restaurants Offering Take-out

The Rotary Club of Mystic is reaching out to the community to ask that you please SUPPORT OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS by ordering take out or buying a gift card for the future. Some have prepare at home meals as well and the meals look delicious. Facebook is the best option to check out the options available.

These restaurants (and several others that remain closed at this time) support our club through the Mystic Dining Passport program. 100% of the proceeds go towards scholarships, community and global charities. (We are asking all Passport holders to refrain from using the Passports until we get through these tough times).

Now it's our turn to show our gratitude by helping them in their time of need. Check out the list below and check the restaurant websites/FB page for details and any potential changes.

Bravo Bravo - Takeout 4 - 8 pm

Breakwater/Go Fish/Steak Loft - Takeout, with specials from each restaurant being served from Go Fish only, 4-8 PM

Chapter One -Takeout, open Wednesday-Sunday 12-8 PM

Daniel Packer Inne - Takeout, open Friday-Sunday 12-9 PM

Engine Room - Order online for curbside pickup only 12-8 PM

Grass and Bone - Takeout/store open 10 AM-8 PM

Dog Watch Mystic - Curbside pickup /delivery 11:30 AM-8 PM

Rocks 21 - Takeout and curbside pickup 11 AM-8 PM

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services Grants Automatic Tax Extensions for Small Businesses

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has granted small businesses an automatic extension of filing and payment deadlines for state sales and room and occupancy taxes.

March and April monthly and quarterly payments are now due May 31, 2020.

Businesses must have $150,000 or less in annual sales tax or occupancy tax liability—based on the 2019 calendar year—to qualify for the extension.

I’ve also been hearing from many of you looking for information and guidance about the small business emergency relief programs included in the federal CARES Act.

We expect detailed guidance from the appropriate federal agencies this week and will share that with you as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, we have information about current and pending loan programs on our website.

CBIA Partners with Connecticut Hospital Association & United Way of Connecticut 211 to Secure Supplies

In this time of crisis, we stand together and ask that you help support and protect our healthcare providers by donating supplies.

CBIA is partnering with the Connecticut Hospital Association and United Way of Connecticut 211 to secure donations of personal protective equipment such as N95 masks, medical supplies, and other supplies from businesses and organizations across the state.

Unfortunately, the shortage of critical supplies is hampering the response to the coronavirus pandemic and endangering the health and safety of those on the front lines of this fight.

Many in the business community have in stock, or access to, supplies that can be used in hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare providers in the state.

Most-needed Items include:

· Nasal swabs

· Surgical masks

· N95 respirator masks

· Disposable face shields

· Protective eyewear/goggles

· Protective gowns

· Coveralls/Scrubs

· Shoe-covers

· Disposable gloves—sterile and non-sterile

· Disposable head covers/Caps

· Powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs)

· Hand sanitizer

· Disinfection wipes and liquids

· Bleach cleaning wipes

· General purpose hand cleansers

· Digital thermometers and covers

There are two ways to donate:

1. To donate to a specific hospital in your area, please email CHA’s Brian Cournoyer, who will connect you with hospital staff.

2. To donate to the general hospital fund in Connecticut, please follow this link: 211-Medical Supply Donations

Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (GASP) #NDAFW2020

GASP will join coalitions across the U.S. in week-long effort to uncover the facts about drugs and alcohol

WHO: Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention is leading the Statewide social Media effort for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW)

Calling all Youth, Parents, Media, Business Owners, Educators, Non-Profits, Healthcare professionals, Faith-based Organizations, State and Local leaders and Influencers!!!

WHAT: National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Social Media Blitz #NDAFW2020

GASP will be posting facts about drugs and alcohol and including the #hashtags #NDAFW2020, #CTPrevents and #GrotonPrevents. We will be using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Community members are invited to help make prevention ‘go viral’ by liking, sharing, commenting and reposting/retweeting content from the week. GASPs goal is to reach at least 10% of Groton’s population approximately 4,000 people.

The event is part of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

WHEN: March 30th- April 5th2020

WHERE: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Groton_Prevents

WHY: While drugs and alcohol can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, many teens are not aware of the risks. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® is for teens and the entire community to get factual answers about drugs and alcohol so they can make informed decisions for themselves and share accurate information with those they care about. It’s a chance for teens to shatter drug and alcohol myths and get the facts!

For more information about GASP’s #NDAFW2020 Social Media Blitz, contact Carolyn Wilson GASP Coordinator at 860.446.3062 or cwilson@llhd.org. Teens and community members can join the conversation surrounding #NDAFW2020 through the hashtags #CTPrevents and #GrotonPrevents and stay informed about drug and alcohol facts and events in Groton by following GASP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Groton_Prevents. For information on the national initiative, visit the NDAFW website at http://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week. For more information about GASP visit www.grotonprevents.org

Contact: Carolyn Wilson | GASP Coordinator | 860.446.3062

Mystic - Noank Library Offer Free Remote Tech Help by Appointment

Now more than ever, it's important to stay connected with friends, family, work, and the world. Ease the stress and frustration of learning how to use new devices, apps, and programs by phoning (or video conferencing) a librarian! Whether you want to learn how to use social media, video conferencing programs, or be guided through the basics of using your smartphone, this free service will help you from feeling isolated while you practice social distancing.

Request an appointment for technology help on your phone, tablet, or laptop by emailing a description of your problem or question to Erik at ecaswell@mysticnoanklibrary.org. You can be coached through your technological woes via phone, email with resources and tutorials, or the user-friendly web conferencing app Zoom.

You can find more resources, technology tutorials, and assistance on the Mystic & Noank Library's YouTube channel, and on our social media platforms.

Visit our web page at www.mysticnoanklibrary.org, or find us at Mystic & Noank Library on Facebook.

Chelsea Groton Bank Fully Operational and Prepared to Serve the Community in Time of Need

GROTON, Conn. – Chelsea Groton Bank’s strength, stability, and advanced technology, as well as forward-thinking planning have allowed the Bank to maintain all operations even as many team members work remotely. All drive-ups are open regular hours, and branch lobbies are accessed by appointment for services that can’t be accomplished at the drive-ups after answering a series of questions to screen for exposure to COVID19. The Bank’s call center is fully functional, and has also established a hotline (860-448-4195) for COVID-19-related banking questions and for scheduling appointments.

All bank services are available; mortgage applications are being taken at record volume. Chelsea Groton has established a set of relief measures for personal and business loan customers as well as all customers who may have special needs and accommodations during this period. Online banking, mobile banking, bank-by-phone, ATMs and all electronic treasury management functions are fully operational. The Chelsea Groton Foundation is also mobilizing to help those most in need.

“We are an incredibly strong and well-capitalized financial institution,” shared Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank. “We have been serving our customers and communities in this way through famines, storms, pandemics, crashes, wars and more for 165 years and we will continue to be supportive and responsive for however long it takes the community to recover from this. Thanks to our investments in technology, we are able to do all of this while still doing our best to ensure the safety and health of our team members, which continues to be a priority for us.”

Chelsea Groton Bank has also created a resource page on chelseagroton.com which contains information on ways Chelsea Groton and the community are prepared to help, such as the Small Business Administration's disaster relief loans, educational resources for school-aged children, access to meal programs and fresh food, ways to support our area restaurants and shops, utility resources, volunteer opportunities and more.

The Bank continues to offer financial education resources through the Chelsea University e-learning platform, accessible from chelseagroton.com/ChelseaUniversity. Some of the Bank’s in-person education classes have been postponed, while others have been turned into webinars, in order to continue to educate the community during this time of need.

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.

Media Contact: Barb Curto, VP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

VCCA current status of Program Services

NEW LONDON COUNTY, CT (March 21, 2020) – TVCCA remains open to provide the critical human services needed by our community, especially during difficult times like these.

In consideration of both our staff and clients’ health and well-being due to COVID-19, the decision was made to close our office buildings to the public in Norwich and New London effective March 17, 2020. The office staff are working and providing services through various means of technology. Many of the programs, like heating assistance, have received guidance from our funders allowing greater flexibility to provide services. Information and updates can be found on the TVCCA website and Facebook pages. TVCCA phone lines are open and clients can call to inquire about program services.

Senior Nutrition

Meals on Wheels: TVCCA Meals on Wheels provides meals to homebound seniors throughout Eastern Connecticut, covering 1200 miles from the shoreline to the Massachusetts border. Currently there are 600 clients on the program, but more clients are being added daily.

The Nutrition Services office in Bozrah has been fielding calls and enrolling additional Meals on Wheels referrals that have come in as a result of the COVID-19 closure of senior centers. As the current Coronavirus health situation has had many recent developments, the program is focused on assisting these homebound seniors to the best of its ability. To enroll in Meals on Wheels, participants must be age 60 or older and homebound.

Sanitation procedures continue to be followed at the agency’s Bozrah kitchen, with cleaning and disinfection of equipment, surfaces, and work areas and staff practicing social distancing to the best of their ability.

Meals on Wheels are being delivered daily for 85% of routes. For those routes where the regular volunteer or staff person is no longer able to deliver daily, multiple meals are being delivered by a staff person once a week as either a 5- or 7-day drop. The program will be putting together emergency, shelf-stable meal boxes to be delivered in case a “Shelter In Place” directive is issued.

No senior is ever denied a meal due to an inability to pay, but it is important to note that these meals are not fully funded by government funding sources. A $3.00 suggested donation per meal is requested, but often the meal recipients struggle to provide that. Donations from the public are critical to ensure that meals can continue to be delivered to all who may need them.

Congregate: Lunch service at senior centers has been suspended. The program is coordinating with senior center Directors to identify at-risk seniors who may have difficulty accessing other food sources. Specifically, TVCCA has reached out to seniors who attended the senior centers using public and/or senior center transportation to ask if they would want or need frozen meals.

Child Development Preschool

Unfortunately, late Friday 3/13/20, TVCCA made the decision to close their childcare facilities to children. This was a very difficult decision for the agency however it was made in the best interest of the vulnerable infants and young children in their care. TVCCA has been committed to limiting the impact to staff and child development staff has continued working during this time. They have been calling parents, checking on the family needs, and working with the parents to keep the children engaged and learning. Additionally, TVCCA’s childcare programs (Head Start and Little Learners Early Education) have been posting videos to their Facebook pages to engage children in story time and staying active.

Contact numbers for those seeking assistance:

WIC: New London Area: 860-425-6620; Norwich Area: 860-425-6562

ENERGY: 860-425-6681

HEAD START: 860-425-6614

HOUSING: SECTION 8 / RAP 860-425-6520

ALL OTHER HOUSING SERVICES 860-425-6545

LITTLE LEARNERS: 860-425-6521

ALL OTHER INQUIRES / QUESTIONS: New London Area: 860-444-0006; Norwich Area: 860-889-1365

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 Info:

Megan Brown

Senior Director

Marketing & Development

860-425-6514

Megan.brown@tvcca.org

GOVERNOR LAMONT ANNOUNCES CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES APPROVED TO RECEIVE DISASTER ASSISTANCE DUE TO COVID-19

March 17, 2020 (HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Connecticut that have been negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak are now eligible for disaster relief loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

On Sunday, the governor submitted a request to the federal agency for expedited approval of the disaster relief to immediately provide aid to businesses in Connecticut. Over the past several days, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has been working diligently to survey companies statewide to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the small business community and the local economy.

“Small businesses and nonprofits of all types are experiencing large, sudden drops in revenue while trying to do the right thing and give employees the flexibility they need to take care of themselves and their families,” Governor Lamont said. “One of our priorities is to help them as much we can. SBA disaster relief loans are an important tool that can help Connecticut businesses.”

“The availability of SBA loans is another key piece of a broader set of relief measures the Lamont administration continues to put into place for individuals and our business community,” DECD Commissioner David Lehman said. “Their ability to successfully navigate this health crisis is of vital importance to our economy in the short and long-term. The DECD team will remain proactive and continue to assess the impact of this pandemic and assist small businesses navigate this unprecedented economic climate.”

Small businesses can learn more about the program and apply for financial assistance at www.sba.gov/disaster or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.​

Small businesses with questions about this SBA loan program or other assistance provided at the state-level can call 860-500-2333 to speak directly with a DECD representative. Businesses can also stay informed on news and guidance related to COVID-19 and its impact on Connecticut by visiting the state’s dedicated coronavirus website at ct.gov/coronavirus.

SBA announces Connecticut businesses now have access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

Click Here for English Version

Click Here for Spanish Version

Click here for Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19

Information for Businesses & Non-Profits Affected by Coronavirus

Loan Assistance: Businesses and non-profits experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 can now apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest loans for working capital of up to $2 million. Log on to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to apply and for additional disaster assistance information. For help with applying call the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, call the CT DECD Business Hotline at 860-500-2333, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Unemployment Assistance: Employers who are furloughing workers can use the Department of Labor’s shared work program, which allows businesses to reduce working hours and have those wages supplemented with unemployment insurance. For more information click https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF

CT Filing Extensions: The Department of Revenue Services has extended deadlines for filing and payments associated with certain state business tax returns. Details are at https://portal.ct.gov/drs

Company Opens Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free, Offers Unlimited Data for Free, Confirms Its Commitment to Connecting Low-Income Families

On the heels of offering new, low-income Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of that program’s service to 25/3 Mbps, Comcast today announced additional steps to help ensure people stay connected to the Internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the Coronavirus.

“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees also live and work in virtually every community we serve, and we all share the same belief that it’s our Company’s responsibility to step up and help out.”

Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:

  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24x7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Connecticut Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Atlanta – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Connecticut small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Ned Lamont on March 15, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Connecticut; and the contiguous counties of Berkshire, Hampden, and Worcester in Massachusetts; and Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester in New York; and Kent, Providence and Washington in Rhode Island.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Connecticut small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non- profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 16, 2020. For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Contact: Michael Lampton (404) 331-0333

Michael.Lampton@sba.gov Release Number: 20-267, CT 16335

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