Greater Mystic Chamber Member News

SCORE Southeastern CT to Host Free Workshop On "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis”

DATE: Tuesday, January 7, 2020

TIME: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET

LOCATION: Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Road, Groton, CT 06340

RESERVE YOUR SPOT: REGISTER NOW

The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, Mentors to America’s Small Businesses, presents a free Small Business Workshop on "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis.”

How important is it to have a business plan? Do you know what a SWOT analysis is? Can the two be connected? In this workshop, you will learn the importance of both, what they are used for, what information they should contain, and what they say about your business.

Workshop Presenter Tanisha Baptiste is the Administrative Officer at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Connecticut District Office, acting as an Economic Development Specialist, and as the Assistant to the Veterans Business Development Specialist. Ms. Baptiste is also a Veteran of the United States Army and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration with the UCONN School of Business.

SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers free and confidential advice on starting your own business or improving and growing your existing small business. Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE’s 10,000 volunteer business experts provide hundreds of thousands of free small business mentoring sessions, workshops and educational services to clients in 300 chapters nationwide. SCORE’s nine counseling sites in Southeast Connecticut include Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Essex, Waterford, Middletown, Mystic, Norwich, and New London. For more information on upcoming free workshops and how to schedule a free small business mentoring session with our counselors, visit https://sect.score.org.

Would You Like To Become A SCORE Volunteer? Your business knowledge and experience can help others start or grow a small business. Learn more about becoming a SCORE volunteer at: www.score.org/volunteer.

Southeastern CT SCORE

PO Box 283,

Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Email: ScoreChapter@gmail.com

Telephone: 860.388.9508

Photo Caption: Tanisha Baptiste of the Small Business Administration will present a free workshop for SCORE on "The ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis” on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at the Groton Public Library.

Contact: Anne Driscoll, anne.driscoll@scorevolunteer.org

City of Groton Cabaret 2019-2020 Schedule Announcement

The City of Groton and Groton Utilities are happy to announce the concert schedule for the 2019-2020 City Cabaret concert series.

In a change from previous years we are pleased to announce that we have four concerts on the schedule, instead of the traditional three. The “bonus” concert is a special holiday concert with the very popular regional band The Cartells, to be held on Sunday December 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the City of Groton Municipal Building. The Cartells will be bringing their usual high level of musicianship and energetic stage show into the holiday season, offering up an array of holiday favorites for all to enjoy.

All concerts are held on Sundays and are performed at the City of Groton Municipal Building Auditorium. Concerts begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at roughly 5:00 p.m.

The full schedule of concerts is as follows:

December 15, 2019The Cartells Holiday Concert

January 19, 2020 – Clan O’Cleary.

Clan O’Cleary’s music is firmly rooted in the sounds and the instruments of Ireland. Beautifully harmonious in both voices and instruments, from the soft mysticism of New Age Celtic to the raucous songs of the Irish bar band, this is Irish music played with gusto and grace, as it should be.

February 9, 2020 – Azalea Drive Duo

This is the trimmed down and mellowed up version of the popular full band Azalea Drive. Kym and Ron use their magical musical chemistry to bewitch audiences with the best of the last several decades, including Hall and Oates, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and much more.

March 8, 2020 - Whiskey Wine and Coke

Whiskey Wine and Coke are a musical trio with a male and female lead singer and acoustic guitarist. The band skillfully covers songs from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's and modern country. Through the intimacy of a trio, they engage their audience to experience musical nostalgia while dancing and singing along to timeless favorites!

The City Cabaret concert series is co-sponsored and co-produced by Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department.

Dessert, coffee and bottle water will be available for purchase from the Fitch High School Alcohol and Drug Free Party Committee.

The concerts are free. No alcohol is allowed. The concert info line is (860) 446-4129.

CHELSEA GROTON FOUNDATION Approves Funding Over $173K in Grants to Area Organizations; Passes $3.6M in Giving Since Founding

GROTON, Conn. – The Chelsea Groton Foundation approved funding $173,805 in grants to 42 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island this fall. Included in this dollar amount are a $15,000 grant to New London Area Food Coalition for feeding the food insecure and a $15,000 grant to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich for intensive case management and emergency basic needs. For the second consecutive year, the Foundation has granted $10,000 to Furniture Bank of S.E.CT toward the purchase of over 100 beds.

The total dollar amount being distributed through Foundation grants this fall is $201,305, which includes previous commitments of $20,000 to the future National Coast Guard Museum, $5,000 to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and $2,500 to Waterford Country School. Inclusive of these donations, the Foundation has provided over $3.6 million in total grants to the community since 1999. The Foundation reviews applications and awards grants two times per year.

“For 165 years, Chelsea Groton Bank has been committed to supporting organizations that are critical to the success of our shared community. And for the last 20 years, the Chelsea Groton Foundation has been able to provide financial support in a very big way to these organizations,” said Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, and President of the Chelsea Groton Foundation. “We are proud to give to organizations that support basic human needs – hunger, homelessness and healthcare – as well as those that provide education, economic growth, arts and cultural experiences, and more, to our region.”

Each year, Chelsea Groton Bank and the Chelsea Groton Foundation support more than 200 local organizations through monetary gifts, grants, sponsorships, scholarships and employee volunteerism. More information, including a list of all fall grant recipients, is available at chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

About the Chelsea Groton Foundation

The Chelsea Groton Foundation was formed in June 1998 as a Section 501(c) (3) organization. Initially endowed with a $2 million donation from Chelsea Groton Bank, and recently gifted an additional $5 million from the Bank, the Foundation has, to date, awarded over $3.6 million in grants to hundreds of scientific, educational and charitable organizations located within the Bank’s market area. To learn more, visit: chelseagroton.com/CGFoundation.

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, AVP, Marketing Manager

Phone: (860) 448-4118

Email: bcurto@chelseagroton.com

Randy Richards Design Group Wins Four National Graphic Design USA Awards

November 26, 2019 – (Mystic, CT) The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is pleased to congratulate member business Randy Richards Design Group, a full-service marketing and creative agency, for winning 4 national Graphic Design USA awards for 2019.

The awards were as follows: Brooklyn Blue Collar – Branding; Stanley - Package Design/Website; Porter Cable – Website Design.

The team also designed the Groton Holiday Kickoff banner and posters for 2019.

Now with over 100 awards for their work, the team continues to help many local businesses succeed. Local business owner Mike Mondello of Mystic Financial Group said, “…their customer service was unmatchable. They were always available and responded immediately to all questions and all requests. The team listened to us and incorporated everything we wanted to achieve. Excellent branding company!”

Founded in 2010, Randy Richards Design Group specializes in: branding, print, graphic design, marketing, and website design. The team is located in Noank, CT and has experience promoting growth for all types of businesses.

For more info visit www.randyrichardsdesign.com or call 860-918-1004.

Contact:Kristin Hartnett

Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce

kristin@mysticchamber.org

860-572-9578

Senator Christine Cohen to Speak at The Arc's Bottle and Can Redemption Center December 2nd

The Arc Eastern Connecticut has invited Senator Christine Cohen, Senate Chair of the General Assembly's Environment Committee, to speak at The Arc’s Bottle and Can Redemption Center at 22 Rt 171 in Woodstock, CT., Monday December 2, 2019, beginning at 10am.

CEO of The Arc ECT Kathleen Stauffer will also introduce other invited area state and local legislators. Senator Cohen will open the discussion regarding the proposed new bottle and can redemption legislation and the importance of keeping redemption centers such as this one open.

We would welcome your presence at this event. Please RSVP to Denise Tift at (860) 889-04435 x 116 .

Groton Banker Graduates From Industry’s Ivy League Program

-Rich Balestracci Earns Diploma from American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School-

(GROTON, Conn.) – November 18, 2019 – Chelsea Groton Bank is recognizing the outstanding accomplishment of Rich Balestracci, VP, Commercial Loan Officer, who recently graduated from the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania. The preeminent three-year program is in partnership with the world-renowned Wharton School. Graduates receive both a Stonier Diploma and a Wharton Leadership Certificate.

“Stonier has given me an unparalleled education from the best in the financial services industry, as well as the chance to exchange information and ideas with my peers,” said Balestracci. “Wharton delivers the depth of knowledge needed to address the realities of leadership in today’s volatile market.”

Now in its 84th year, Stonier is the first ABA graduate-level school of banking for bank executives. The ABA-Wharton partnership is the only one of its kind, combining Wharton’s cutting-edge research, leadership insights and top faculty with the ABA foundation.

“Rich is a key member of Chelsea Groton Bank and his training at Stonier will help us identify the challenges our community faces and create permanent solutions,” said Carolyn Welch, SVP, Commercial Lending Manager of Chelsea Groton Bank. “The Bank invests in continuing industry education for all of our employees as their knowledge enriches our team in addition to their personal career aspirations.”


The Stonier program emphasizes strategic planning, financial management, and leadership. The Capstone Strategic Project is the culminating component of the program and often has a career-changing impact. The student identifies a problem or opportunity facing their bank and proposes a course of action, including an analysis of alternatives, a financial analysis, and an implementation plan. The graduation ceremony was held in June 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rich is involved with many community organizations such as the Stonington Economic Development Commission, as the Treasurer and Board Member of the Stonington Community Center, as a Tee Ball Coach with the Pawcatuck Little League, and as a Loan Committee Member for the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region (SECTER).

Rich and his family reside in Pawcatuck.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

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

StoneRidge’s Management Company Ranked #1 In J.D. Power Study

Life Care Services Awarded Highest Customer Satisfaction Among U.S. Senior Living Communities in 2019

MYSTIC, Connecticut – StoneRidge Senior Living, managed by Life Care Services®, An LCS® Company, announced that its management company ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the

J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Study. StoneRidge is proud to be a part of Life Care Services, which achieved the highest score in all seven study factors: resident services and activities; community staff; food and beverage; new resident orientation; resident cost; community and grounds; and resident apartment unit. Life Care Services, the nation’s second-largest senior living operator, scored 843 on a 1,000-point scale, a full 49 index points above the second-highest performing senior living organization.

The J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Study examines industry-level performance metrics of senior living providers, and highlights the best practices that are critical to customer satisfaction, advocacy, and loyalty. The study’s comprehensive view of the senior living resident experience provides an independent and objective measure of the overall satisfaction levels among U.S. customers. StoneRidge serves more than 300 residents and 220 team members.

“Our company is committed to providing the resources for communities to deliver an exceptional resident experience driven by innovation, signature programs and quality services. The J.D. Power award represents the voice of the senior living customer, and I can’t think of a more important voice than that of the residents we serve,” says Joel Nelson, president and CEO of LCS, the parent company for Life Care Services. “StoneRidge employees have a passion for serving seniors, and their dedication to its residents continually inspires me.”

J.D. Power surveyed 3,021 residents, family members, and friends of residents living in independent living, assisted living, or memory care communities across the United States.

For more information about StoneRidge Senior Living, visit www.StoneRidgeLCS.com or call 860-572-4494.

About Life Care Services®

Life Care Services, An LCS Company, is the second-largest operator of senior living communities in the nation and has expertise in the management of both Life Plan Communities and rental communities. From independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing to memory care, Life Care Services has the experience required to boost community financial performance, increase occupancy, and develop new lifestyle and health initiatives to meet consumer expectations and help communities thrive. For more information, visit lifecareservices-seniorliving.com.

About StoneRidge Senior Living

StoneRidge is a senior living community set on 32 beautiful acres less than three miles from downtown Mystic, StoneRidge offers residents the best of both worlds: a fulfilling lifestyle in one of the most attractive spots on the Connecticut coast. Here, residents have a choice and a voice in how they live. Established in 2004 as the first Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in southeastern Connecticut, StoneRidge offers the security of lifelong care, including assistance-in-living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. It all adds up to a quality of life unmatched in the region.

Contacts:

Kathleen Dess, Executive Director

StoneRidge

desskathleen@lcsnet.com | 860-572-5603

or

Jeri Uhlmansiek, National Marketing Director

Life Care Services

uhlmansiekjeri@lcsnet.com | 515-875-4702

TVCCA joins Meals on Wheels America and Subaru of America, Inc. in Sharing the Love this Holiday Season

The 12th annual Subaru Share the Love® Event will help deliver nutritious meals and compassion to Eastern Connecticut’s seniors


Bozrah, CT (November 15, 2019) – Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA) is proud to announce that it will be participating in the 2019 Subaru Share the Love Event as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national Share the Love charitable partners supported through the campaign. From November 14, 2019, through January 2, 2020, Subaru of America will donate $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer's choice of participating charities.

Participating Meals on Wheels America members, like TVCCA, will receive a share of the donation raised by Subaru in their state. TVCCA has partnered with Secor Subaru in New London to raise awareness for the popular year-end sales and giving event, and drive support for Meals on Wheels through a Business After Hours hosted through the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 20 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Secor Subaru dealership.

“The staff at Secor Subaru has provided the energy and synergy behind Share the Love in New London, CT. demonstrating their commitment to community, to those who live in the community and to a very special population of Senior Citizens,” says Deborah Monahan, TVCCA’s Executive Director. “These seniors have been part of the community and active for many years, have contributed significantly to its vitality over the past seventy years, and now, thanks to Meals on Wheels and support from the community like that from Secor Subaru, are aging in place. We are honored by their partnership, their commitment to community and deeply privileged to be their Hometown Charity.”

“Meals on Wheels America is proud to partner with Subaru of America for the 12th consecutive year to enable more seniors to live with independence and dignity,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America. “Since 2008, the Subaru Share the Love Event has helped deliver more than 2.2 million meals and friendly visits to vulnerable seniors nationwide. We’re enormously grateful to Subaru and its retailers for their long-standing commitment to Meals on Wheels and the millions of seniors who depend on it for nourishment and companionship.”

Over the last 11 years, Subaru of America and its participating retailers have donated more than $145 million to its charity partners. This year’s Subaru Share the Love Event is on track to bring that total to over $170 million, proving there’s no limit to the amount of love we can all share.

Charles Secor, owner of Secor Subaru, says “we are excited to participate once again in the Subaru Share the Love Event and are proud to offer a $50 matching donation for each new Subaru sold or leased at our dealership during the Share the Love Event!”

Over the last five years, TVCCA has received nearly $225,000 in donations through Subaru of America’s partnership with Meals on Wheels America, including the donations of a brand new Subaru Outback that is used to deliver Meals on Wheels in Eastern Connecticut.

By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Subaru Share the Love Event and selecting Meals on Wheels as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to seniors right here in Eastern Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/sharethelove.

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.

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $165 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Megan Brown

Senior Director, Marketing & Development

860-425-6514

Megan.brown@tvcca.org

Original Songwriter’s Night with BONNIE LEE PANDA: December 5, 2019 @ 7-10 pm

Water Street Tavern, 15 Water St., Mystic, CT, 06355

Bonnie Lee Panda is a spirit-rich, singer-songwriter who performs a combination of modern country-blues with a touch of soul. “Her voice is supple and expressive, one of the best instruments in the folk world,” says John Platt from WFUV 90.7 FM (Sunday Morning City Folk, New York City.) Bonnie Lee is drawn to the family-oriented, storytelling, “Americana” tradition of country music. She moved to the “Music City,” Nashville, TN for 8 years to develop her songwriting skills and perform alongside some incredible musicians. She has released 3 albums, and is finishing up her newest release, “Tennessee Miles.”

Bonnie Lee and her husband recently moved back to CT to be closer to extended family while raising their 2 girls. Bonnie Lee has donated her time and talents to important causes such as drug and alcohol addiction, hunger and homeless awareness, domestic violence awareness and various other women’s issues. She also has presented musical educational workshops for Elementary and Middle School students covering topics such as self-esteem, respect, and anti-bullying.

Original Songwriters Night was created by Linda Bonadies and Scott Parry and takes place on the first Thursday of most months. December is at at Water Street Tavern (15 Water St, Mystic, CT).

There is a $10 cover per person, all of which goes to the featured performer.

The featured performer goes on at 8pm, open mic starts at 7pm.

There are seven slots available for local singer/songwriters. PA, Mics and Piano Provided.

Sign up for open mic in advance; email: linda@lindabonadies.com

For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/originalsongwritersmystic

TVCCA’s Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Partners with Charter Oak Federal Credit

Union and Hall Communications for Annual Winter Boot Drive


New London, CT (November 12, 2019) – Thames Valley Council for Community Action and the RSVP Volunteers have some new partners in their annual collection and distribution of winter boots for children in need! From November 18 through December 13, folks can go to one of a dozen Charter Oak Federal Credit Union branches to drop off donations of new boots or cash to provide warm winter boots for children in our community. Hall Communications will be broadcasting live across its six stations (WCTY, WNLC, K-HITS, WICH AM, I98 WILI FM and WILI AM/FM) from several of the branches throughout the drive.

Donations of new, unwrapped boots can be dropped off at the following Charter Oak Federal Credit Union branches:

1055 Hartford Tpke, Waterford

3 Boston Post Rd, Waterford

32 Chicago Ave, Groton

625 Long Hill Rd, Groton

1 Rte 32, Montville

1 Connecticut Ave, Norwich

4 Hendel Dr, Mystic

335 Main St, Niantic

20 Liberty St, Pawcatuck

7 Providence Pike, Putnam

893 Main St, Willimantic

589 Hartford Pike, Dayville

The project has been one of RSVP’s signature programs for 24 years, providing new winter boots to children of low income families living throughout New London and Windham Counties. Each year, the requests for boots increases and this year we hope to fill over 1,500 requests. The boots are purchased by community members or with funds donated. Many of the boot donors and volunteers return each year to feed their holiday spirit. Volunteers come from all walks of life. Some donate an hour or two and others spend many hours working on this project over the next two months.

The Corporation for National and Community Service funds RSVP programs around the country with the goal of encouraging individuals over 55 years old to volunteer in their communities fulfilling community needs.

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

Three Groton-based organizations collaborate for 2nd annual event; Serenity Ball: A Night Under the Stars

Groton, CT - Community of Hope, Inc, Community Speaks out and the Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (GASP) are coming together again to host their second event the Serenity Ball: A Night Under the Stars on February 15that 6PM at the Mystic Marriott in Groton Connecticut.

Community of Hope, is a Groton-based non-profit organization and runs a residential home for women that houses women coming out of difficult situations called Hope House. Founded in 2011, this faith-based program helps meet the basic needs of women as they get back on their feet. They help women secure employment, settle into an apartment, live independently as they heal themselves and move forward. Spirituality serves as the cornerstone of this program.

Community Speaks Out, self-described as a grassroots, “people helping people” organization started in 2015 as three mothers leaned on each other for support while they watched loved ones struggle with opioid use disorder. They knew something needed to be done to help families who were experiencing what they were feeling- confusion, frustration and sadness. In addition to helping families navigate treatment options, Community Speaks Out holds forums at schools and around the community, holds a monthly support group at the Groton Public Library and hosts sober events, often in memorial to lost loved ones, such as the Christopher Johns Sober Softball Tournament each fall at Washington Park. Supporting people in safe, sober housing as well as providing people with fun recovery-friendly activities have become main priorities for this organization.

GASP works to prevent drug use by focusing on youth education and advocates for environmental changes that foster healthy decision making. “GASP has been serving the Town of Groton for 20 years”, says Coalition Coordinator Carolyn Wilson. “We know if people can delay any substance use till age 21, their chance for addition is cut dramatically. We do the best we can to get information out to young people and their caretakers.” They are looking to raise funds for additional youth centered prevention projects such as Drug and Alcohol Facts Week in March and National Prevention Week in May.

While the three of them offer services that benefit the entire region, they each have a close connection to Groton. Over the summer they convened local stakeholders to strategize on how to make Groton a more ‘recovery-friendly community’. After hosting last year’s Emerald Ball the group has made several event enhancements. “We hope to max out at 600 guests this year,” Wilson says.

The event includes dinner and dancing, silent auction and brief program updates. Scot Haney from WFSB is scheduled to be emcee. Tickets are $65. Tables of 10 are $500. Non-profit organizations are welcome to participate with an outreach table in the lobby for a suggestion donation of $50. Supporters can also purchase a metal star ($50) to personalize and dedicate to a loved one who has passed away or is in recovery that will be displayed during the event. For more information about the Serenity Ball, including ticket sales, sponsorships, advertising or to volunteer please visit www.serenityball3.com email serenityball3@gmail.com or call Annette Eldridge at 860 856 5655.

Contact: Annette Eldridge

Executive Director, Community of Hope

860-856-5655

Serenityball3@gmail.com

DENSMORE OIL COLLECTS FOR HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE!

Drop off (11/11-12/12) at Densmore Oil, 1 Water Street Mystic (M-F 8:30-5:00)

Between November 11th and December 12th we will be collecting donations for Groton Human Services and The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. Both organizations use the donations to create food baskets, which they hand out to local families prior to the holiday.

The organizations are collecting the following items for their baskets:

-Canned Vegetables

-Instant Mashed Potatoes

-Stuffing Mix

-Cranberry Sauce

-Gravy

-Rice

-Muffin/Bread Mixes

-Jell-O

-Canned Fruit

-Cereal

-Hot Cocoa

-Popcorn

Other donations that the food pantry can always use:

-Canned Soups

-Canned Meats

-Canned Ravioli/Beefaroni etc.

-Pasta

-Pasta Sauce

-Jelly (in plastic containers)

-Juice

All items can be dropped off at Densmore Oil,1 Water Street in Mystic (parking located in back of building or on the street).

Berkshire Bank Awards Grant, Campaign Support, to The Arc Eastern Connecticut

The Berkshire Bank Foundation has awarded The Arc Eastern Connecticut $5,000 for both its program for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities and for its Giving Tuesday campaign. Thanks to the Foundation, The Arc ECT can begin implementing its successful Voices program in northeastern Connecticut beginning in January 2020. This support group helps women with IDD who are at risk of sexual abuse, exploitation, or domestic violence identify healthy behaviors and practice self-care, good decision-making, and self-advocacy. Additionally, through Berkshire Bank Foundation’s donation to the Arc ECT’s Giving Tuesday campaign, gifts to the agency will now be matched by the Foundation on December 3rd.

To learn more about The Arc ECT’s programs throughout eastern Connecticut, please visit TheArcECT.org or contact Denise Tift at (860) 889-4435, ext. 116.

Contact: Andrea Kaiser, The Arc Eastern Connecticut

akaiser@thearcect.org | 860-889-4435 x 118 | TheArcECT.org

PHOTO CAPTION (Left to Right): Eliza Greenman (Nationally recognized heritage orchardist and descendant of the Greenman family), Kathryn Lord (Director of The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation), Davnet Conway Schaffer (Executive Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center), Julie Soto (Homestead Manager of the Denison Homestead Museum) and Steve White (President of Mystic Seaport Museum).

Nature Center Receives Multi-Year Grant Towards Coogan Farm Vision

Lord Foundation of Norwich provides $250,000 over 3 years for several projects at the Route 27 property

Mystic, CT (November 11, 2019) — The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center has received a grant from The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation of Norwich that will advance the Coogan Farm project that began five years ago when the Center acquired the property.

The three-year grant, which totals $250,000, will “allow us to further our collaboration with our neighbors the Denison Homestead and Mystic Seaport Museum,” said DPNC Executive Director Davnet Conway Schaffer.

Projects the grant will support include:

  • Complete the vision for a Greenmanville Trail to tell the story of how the Greenman brothers used the farm in the late 1800s to provide food to sustain Greenmanville shipyard workers with interpretive signs and tours at both the Mystic Seaport Museum and Coogan Farm.
  • Solidify the connection along the historic trails between the Coogan Farm and the Denison Homestead, the two properties that make up the bulk of the 400-acre greenway that serves as the gateway to Mystic.
  • Restore the Farm’s Gallup Orchard has produced fruit since colonial times, guided by nationally recognized heirloom orchardist and descendant of the Greenman family, Eliza Greenman. This restoration will improve habitat for wildlife, bring the trees back into production and include documenting their lineage to research the potential of a unique heritage apple.
  • Develop new indoor and outdoor gathering spaces in the Avery Farmhouse Welcome Center and at the Stillman foundation to meet the growing demand for educational programs that connect children to nature.

In September, the Nature Center marked the five-year anniversary of its acquisition of the Coogan Farm. The 45-acres was the last parcel of undeveloped farmland between downtown Mystic, Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Aquarium. The property, with sweeping views of the Mystic River, contains 370 years of American history; four early successional habitats supporting more than 10 species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as high conservation priority, and protects two crucial watersheds.

At the time the Nature Center obtained the land, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, it identified five values that are critical to maintaining the community’s good quality of life: Conservation, Public Health, Community Spirit, Education and Sustainable Tourism.

“This grant will affect all five of Coogan Farm’s mission values,” Schaffer said. “Completing the trail system and restoring the orchard will continue our work to preserve and enhance the habitat of Coogan Farm. Being able to stabilize the Stillman Foundation and make improvements to the Avery Welcome Center means we can provide even more nature and history-related programming to the region’s children and adults. Collaborating with the Denison Homestead and Mystic Seaport Museum will help us tell the stories of how 400-plus years of nature and heritage intersect at the Nature Center’s Coogan Farm to enhance the visitor and tourist experience to all three venues.”

About the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Since 1946, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic has provided visitors and community the opportunity to experience nature first hand in year-round programs for all ages and interests. Visitors can explore more than 10 miles of diverse trails and walk among 17th century stonewalls, woodlands, wetlands and meadows to enjoy views across the Mystic River and beyond connecting the main facility and Coogan Farm. At the DPNC’s main facility, guests can discover nature through meeting rehabilitated wildlife and natural history exhibits. The creation of the Coogan Farm in 2013 has added additional layers of education, history, and a Giving Garden that donates thousands of pounds of bio-nutrient rich produce to the food insecure of New London County each year. DPNC’s mission is to inspire an understanding of the natural world and ourselves as part of it – past, present and future.

Mystic Seaport Museum Celebrates 40 Years of Lantern Light Tours

Holiday Performance Transports Audience to Christmas Eve, 1876

Mystic, Conn. (November 8, 2019) — Mystic Seaport Museum is celebrating 40 years of its holiday performance, Lantern Light Tours with a nod to past productions and a return to classic holiday themes.

A Mystic holiday tradition, Lantern Light Tours is a progressive play that weaves a heart-warming holiday story in the setting of the historic buildings and vessels of the Museum.

The Lantern Light Tours plot changes every year and the writing and production planning begins early in the spring. This year’s script was written by Rebecca Bayreuther-Donohue, a longtime Museum staff member and a 20-year veteran of the production. Titled A Christmas Sea-Chantey; in prose being A Story of 1876 Greenmanville, the story is an adaptation of the quintessential 19th-century Christmas tale Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Bayreuther-Donohue incorporated elements from Dickens along with characters who appeared in past versions of Lantern Light Tours.

“As this year marks our 40th Lantern Light Tours production, the script has some call-backs to previous shows for a touch of nostalgia for those who have been coming for years,” says Nathan Rumney, the Museum’s Supervisor of Interpretation, Theatre and Music. “The story will be rich and fulfilling regardless of it being a tour-goer’s first or 40th trip through 1876 Greenmanville.

Visitors join a group of 16 to tour the Museum’s village, stopping at designated points to take in the next chapter of the story. Along the way, they will enjoy scenes of seasonal delight, including a winter fantasia, a spirited dance, a visit with St. Nick, and a scene on board one of the Museum’s historic vessels.

Performances are November 23, 29-30, December 6-7, 13-15, and 20-22. Tours begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mysticseaport.org/lanternlighttours, or by calling 860.572.0711. Tickets are $33 for adults ($28 for Mystic Seaport Museum members) and $28 for children ages 4-17 ($23 for members). Lantern Light Tours are not recommended for children under the age of 4.

Media previews are available during the dress rehearsal November 21.

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. The new Thompson Exhibition Building houses a state-of-the-art gallery that currently features J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, the most comprehensive exhibition of Turner watercolors ever displayed in the U.S. 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:

Cassandra Meyer-Ogren, Director of Marketing and Communications

cmogren@dpnc.org

401.339.8018

GU/Bozrah Light and Power Present Rebate to Elmbrook Village

On Wednesday, November 6th Groton Utilities/Bozrah Light and Power presented Optimus Senior Living with a rebate check in the amount of $53, 560 as part of Groton Utilities’ energy conservation program. Elmbrook Village in Bozrah, owned and run by Optimus Senior Living, is a senior living community that features independent living, assisted living and memory care support. Elmbrook recently completed a LED installation project, for which they applied and were granted the rebate from Groton Utilities/Bozrah Light and Power.

“Elmbrook Village, which is brand new, has over 1,400 light fixtures,” said Groton Utilities Energy Engineer Hollis McKee, “and these LED light installations reduce their energy consumption by 60% compared to conventional fluorescent lighting. It really is a great thing.”

Groton Utilities encourages customers and businesses to embrace energy conservation and offer a number of rebate programs to assist customers and businesses in making the switch to energy-conscience technologies.

At the presentation were (from left to right) Dean Forier (Elmbrook Village Maintenance), Ron Gaudet (Groton Utilities Director), K. Christian Boyson (Optimus), Keith Hedrick (Mayor, City of Groton), Frederick Mielke (Optimus Owner), Glenn Pianka (Bozrah First Selectman), William Ballinger (Bozrah First Selectman).

Groton Utilities offers residential and business customers a variety of energy conservation programs to help reduce energy costs. These programs are designed to help people reduce energy costs by promoting the installation of more energy efficient lighting, air conditioning, heat pump water heaters, electric motors, and refrigeration solutions.

In addition to these programs Groton Utilities has started a pilot rebate program for the acquisition of plug in electric cars and level 2 chargers. Read more about Groton Utilities energy conservation programs on the company website (www.grotonutilities.com) under the Energy Conservation section.

Elmbrook Village at Bozrah features 115 apartments, including one and two-bedroom options as well as studio apartments. Independent living residents are encouraged to live active lifestyles with a wide variety of activities and entertainment onsite. Those needing more care are provided the appropriate level of assistance given their condition. For more information about Elmbrook Village at Bozrah visit their website or call them at 860-861-9704.

Popular Mystic Restaurant Continues Tradition of Supporting Local Veterans

S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar is donating 20 percent of its Veterans Day revenue to support local vets.

Mystic, CT – S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar continues its tradition of supporting local veterans by donating 20 percent of its revenue from November 11th to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We are thrilled to continue our tradition of donating a percentage of our Veteran’s Day revenue to our veterans! Many of our friends and staff have served in the armed forces and I think one of the best ways we can show our gratitude to our past and present servicemen and servicewomen is by giving back to the charities that are focused on veteran’s assistance.” – Cathleen Holland, Co-Owner

“It’s great to see S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar support veterans as well as being strong supporters of patriotic events in Mystic, including our annual Flag Day and the Doolittle Raiders Reunion. Their support is truly humbling and deeply appreciated.” – John Kennedy, CDR USNR-Ret, and Vice President of the Mystic Flag Committee.

20 percent of the total revenue from November 11th will be donated to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. Please call (860) 536-2674 for more information and for priority seating.

S & P Oyster Restaurant has been proudly serving guests from around the world for over 25 years. Through relationships with local vendors, farmers and fishermen, Chef Edgar and his team ensure “Mystic Fresh, Distinctly South American” culinary delights with only the freshest local seafood and choice cuts of beef. Special events, offers, and a full menu, including the area’s best Vegan and Gluten-Free dishes, are available at http://sp-oyster.com/.

Contact: David Labbe

(860) 572-0851

David@bridgemarketingct.com

Mystic Seaport Museum and Connecticut Library Consortium Launch Partnership to Provide Free Institutional Memberships

Mystic, Conn. (November 4, 2019) — Mystic Seaport Museum and the Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC) launched a new three-year partnership in recognition of the enduring importance of museums and libraries to our communities. On behalf of the Museum, the CLC is managing an annual lottery for five free Mystic Seaport Museum Library Memberships, underwritten by the Museum’s Susan Lewin Memorial Library Membership Program.

The five winning libraries – drawn at random from CLC’s membership roster of libraries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York – will enjoy all the benefits of library membership at the Museum for one year:

· One library pass for each day of the week that entitles up to two adults and three youth/children ages 3-17 to receive 50 percent off regular admission to Mystic Seaport Museum (children ages 2 and younger are free);

· A non-transferable Director’s Card that entitles the bearer to one year’s free admission as well as discounts at the Museum Store and our various restaurants;

· A subscription to Mystic Seaport Museum Magazine.

This year’s winners are Kent Memorial Library, Weston Public Library, Southington Public Library, Scotland Public Library, and Otis Library in Norwich.

The Susan Lewin Memorial Library Membership Program honors the memory of Susan Lewin, who died in 2013.

“Susan was an ardent believer in the power of museums and libraries to foster community, civic engagement, and life-long learning. She loved Mystic Seaport Museum and was committed, through her philanthropic support, to the goal of increasing access to museum resources for under-served audiences. She was the driving force behind the initiation of the Museum’s Library Membership Program in 2003,” said Museum President Steve White.

“The Connecticut Library Consortium is thrilled to partner with Mystic Seaport Museum on this exciting library program and partnership to provide increased access to the Museum and its programs for our members,” said Jennifer Keohane, executive director of the CLC.

The inaugural winners were determined Tuesday evening at a special event celebrating the new partnership. Librarians from across the state as well as Museum Library Members came to hear a presentation on the artist J.M.W. Turner by Elysa Engelman, Ph.D., director of Exhibits, followed by a private viewing of the Museum’s acclaimed new exhibition J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate.

Libraries who would like to consider Mystic Seaport Library Membership for their communities should reach out to Margaret Milnes, director of Membership and Corporate Partnerships, at Mystic Seaport Museum at margaret.milnes@mysticseaport.org.

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. The new Thompson Exhibition Building houses a state-of-the-art gallery that currently features J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, the most comprehensive exhibition of Turner watercolors ever displayed in the U.S. 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.

About the Connecticut Library Consortium

The Connecticut Library Consortium is a statewide nonprofit membership collaborative serving all types of Connecticut libraries by helping them strengthen their ability to serve their users. We achieve our mission by initiating and facilitating cost-effective services, creating and supporting educational and professional development, and fostering innovation. For more information, please visit www.ctlibrarians.org and follow CLC on Facebook.

A Magical Night at the Mystic & Noank Library Fall Fundraiser

On Thursday, October 24th, the Mystic & Noank Library held its annual Fall Fundraiser Gala featuring a performance by the Yale University Wiffenpoofs. We are extremely grateful to everyone who took part in this important event that helped raise over $20,000 for the Library. It was a magical evening of fun, food, and fundraising to help ensure the future of this valued community treasure.

A very special thank you to our Champion Sponsor, Jimmy Doyle, and daughters Katherine and Alison.

Since it's opening in 1893, the Mystic & Noank Library has been a treasured resource for the residents of Groton and Stonington, as well as those in the surrounding communities and a large seasonal and tourist population. It serves as a vibrant gathering place offering a diverse collection of books and other reading materials, videos, music, and many engaging programs for all ages.

We welcome all visitors to our beautiful, historic Library Monday through Wednesday from 10:00-9:00, and Thursday through Saturday from 10:00-5:00. Visit us online at mysticnoanklibrary.org for more information.

Groton Utilities Assists Avalonia Land Conservancy with Land Purchase

October 23, 2019 - Groton Utilities and the Avalonia Land Conservancy celebrated the formalization of their partnership with a check presentation. Groton Utilities has agreed to donate $159,945 to the non-profit, tax exempt organization for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of land important to the region’s water quality.

Groton Utilities is happy to assist the Avalonia Land Conservancy in the purchase of land that will help protect the Groton Utilities watershed. The Avalonia Land Conservancy is currently finalizing the purchase of two properties on Long Cove Road in Ledyard with the intent to preserve them for recreational opportunities and watershed protection.

This property, known as the Atkinson and Dirlam properties, was of concern to Groton Utilities as it is adjacent to the Morgan Pond Reservoir and its purchase will protect the Great Brook Watershed. Having Avalonia manage the property will help insure that water running into the reservoir is as clean as possible. Tributaries and streams are highly effective natural filtration systems and being able to control access and activities in those areas helps ensure the purity of the water running into reservoirs.

“This partnership with Avalonia will help us to protect the regions water supply while sharing the land with the community,” said Groton Utilities Director Ron Gaudet, ”The Avalonia Land Conservancy will protect the land while educating the public on the importance of the preserving the watershed.”

Morgan Pond Reservoir

The Groton City Council voted earlier in the month to approve a contribution of up to $159,945 from Groton Utilities to the Avalonia Land Conservancy for the purchase. The total cost of the purchase is $1,101,925, so while the contribution is significant, there were many participants, including the Town of Ledyard, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, the Fields Pond Foundation, and many others. The purchase is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year barring no unexpected obstacles.

Groton Utilities has had an interest in protecting this property for the last 30 years, but just now had a true opportunity through this partnership. Once the purchase is complete, the area will be accessible to the public for passive recreation, with the exception of specific areas.

“Water is our most important natural resource, and Groton Utilities believes that all efforts should be made to protect its purity to ensure clean and safe drinking water for its customers,” Groton Utilities Manager of Communications Daniel Bouges said. “This is an economical way to protect the watershed with a one-time donation, while Avalonia maintains the area going forward. Both Avalonia Land Conservatory and Groton Utilities have a mutual interest in protecting the environment and water resources, so this donation works for everyone.”

Avalonia is a non-profit land trust, founded in 1968 with the mission of preserving natural habitats in southeastern Connecticut by acquiring lands and communicating the values of these irreplaceable resources. Avalonia believes that the conservation of natural resources for the benefit of people and wildlife is essential and will ensure healthy and livable communities for generations to come.

The Avalonia preserves are open to the public and have many trails available for hiking. To learn more about the Avalonia Land Conservancy visit their website or visit one of their many hiking trails.

Best of Bauer 5-Star Chelsea Groton Bank: Doing the Right Thing

GROTON, Conn. – BauerFinancial, the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm, commends Chelsea Groton Bank, New London County, Connecticut 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 102 consecutive quarters giving it the added status of being a “Best of Bauer Bank”. This designation is reserved specifically for banks that have earned Bauer’s highest rating consistently for 100 consecutive quarters… or longer. Earning and maintaining Bauer’s highest 5-Star rating indicates Chelsea Groton Bank is one of the strongest banks in the nation.

“BauerFinancial would like to congratulate Michael Rauh, President and CEO and the entire team at Chelsea Groton Bank. Strong leadership and dedication to excellence both inside the bank and outside in the community are the building blocks for success,” remarked Karen L. Dorway, president of the research firm. “Community banks, like Chelsea Groton Bank, are fiscally-fit because they go the extra mile to help their neighbors and friends be fiscally-fit as well. In the end, Chelsea Groton Bank reaps the benefits of the strong communities it helped to build,” concluded Dorway.

Chelsea Groton Bank was established in 1854 and has been serving its neighbors and friends both ethically and fairly for 165 years. Today, Chelsea Groton Bank operates through 14 retail bank branches in South Eastern Connecticut and a lending office in Hartford County. It can also be found online at chelseagroton.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.

Media Contact: Krissa Beene, Marketing & Events Coordinator

Phone: (860) 448-4212

Email: kbeene@chelseagroton.com

Longtime Educational Leader Chosen to Serve as Executive Director of Education at New England Science & Sailing Foundation

Eric Isselhardt, PhD, named NESS’s first Executive Director of Education

STONINGTON, CT: A veteran executive with deep experience in both nonprofit and for-profit educational organizations has been selected to serve as the new Executive Director of Education for the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS), a nonprofit ocean adventure education organization.

Isselhardt comes to NESS after serving as President and acting CEO at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. Most recently before that, he served as Chief Executive Officer at Calvert Education where he led the design and development of an inquiry-based blended and virtual international high school system, and as Chief Academic Officer at Green Street Academy Foundation where he designed a project-based learning curriculum tied to Common Core standards. In addition, Isselhardt served as CEO/Head of School at independent schools, and as Executive Vice President at a small college in Vermont. NESS’s Board of Directors, which conducted a national search, was particularly impressed by his breadth and depth of educational leadership.

Isselhardt has over 25 years of education leadership experience as Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, and Chief Academic Officer. His work focuses on educational opportunities for urban youth, inquiry-based pedagogical development and delivery, virtual and blended learning, organization culture, and systemic reform—all designed to increase student achievement. Isselhardt will start his post as of January 1st, 2020.

“We are delighted to announce Eric’s appointment as Executive Director of Education here at NESS,” said NESS President and CEO Spike Lobdell. “Eric is joining NESS at an exciting time in our 17-year history given our recent New England Schools and Colleges accreditation as a school partner program. We are confident Eric is the right person to build on our successes and bring us into the future.”

NESS, a nationally-recognized and award-winning nonprofit ocean adventure education organization, provides students of all ages with year-round ocean adventure programming that includes marine science, sailing, and water sports. NESS scholastic programs support teachers’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curricula with a unique combination of on-the-water and in-the-classroom lessons intended to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. With 25 fulltime 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.

“I am honored professionally and personally to be joining the NESS community. I am humbled by the breadth and depth of what NESS represents: an education jewel that promotes experiential STEM learning powered by the engine of its astonishing staff, friends, and partners,” Isselhardt said. “I am exhilarated at the prospect of being a part of that work, contributing to its further development and impact.”

About NESS: The New England Science & Sailing Foundation, Inc. (NESS), is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ocean adventure education organization that engages students in experiential learning to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. Marine sciences, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities. For more information, visit www.nessf.org.

Contact: Caroline Knowles

New England Science & Sailing Foundation

860-535-9362 ext. 123

cknowles@nessf.org

SCORE Welcomes Frank LaMonaca as New Chair of Southeastern CT Chapter

Old Saybrook, CT – Frank LaMonaca will become the new Chairperson of the Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, leading a team of more than 40 volunteers who provide free mentoring for people starting up or running small businesses throughout the Southeastern region of Connecticut.

“We are delighted to welcome Frank LaMonaca as the new Chairperson for our SCORE chapter,” said Margo Weitekamp, who has been the Chair of SCORE for the past three years. “Frank brings a wealth of experience in business, client services and banking expertise to SCORE with 21 years in commercial lending. Additionally, he served in a variety of senior executive roles, including CFO at UPS Capital Corp. the UPS parent company, in both the United States and Europe. He retired from UPS in 2017.”

Past SCORE chair Bob Potter added: “As our new Chair, Frank will continue the legacy of strong leadership that Margo Weitekamp has provided over the past three years as chapter chair. During her tenure, our SCORE chapter received both the Platinum and Diamond Awards, which SCORE’s national headquarters presents for outstanding service to clients.”

"l’m excited about this opportunity to lead the Southeastern CT SCORE chapter,” noted Frank. “Throughout my business career, I’ve worked closely with both large and small corporations, and I’ve seen first-hand how important small businesses are to the health of our local communities. They’re the lifeblood of our economy. Working with our SCORE volunteers, passing on our business knowledge and experience to help existing businesses and the next generation of entrepreneurs succeed is a great way to give back. SCORE is in the business of helping make small business dreams come true."

About SCORE: SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and has more than 10,000 volunteers in 380 chapters nationwide. The Southeastern Connecticut SCORE chapter has more than 40 volunteers who provide free business mentoring each month in Guilford, Madison, Essex, Old Saybrook, Middletown, Waterford, Norwich, New London, and Mystic.

SCORE also provides year-round small business workshops on subjects including how to write a business plan, managing small business finances, using QuickBooks, social media marketing, small business bank loans, product manufacturing, starting up a non-profit and more.

To learn more about how to schedule free mentoring with a SCORE counselor, our workshops, or becoming a SCORE volunteer, go to https://sect.score.org or contact Southeastern Connecticut SCORE at (860) 388-9508 or scorechapter@gmail.com.

WCCU is collecting stuffed animals in November to benefit the Mini’s Making A Difference.

The Westerly Community Credit Union will be collecting donations of NEW, UNWRAPPED stuffed animals and selling $1 paper medallions—November 1st through November 30th to benefit the Mini’s Making A Difference. Donated stuffed animals will be accepted during regular business hours at all 4 WCCU branches located in Westerly, Richmond and Wakefield. All donations will benefit local police and emergency departments and will be made available to children when they need it most. The Mini’s Making A Difference Comfort Animal Drive will be held, Sunday, December 8th at MINI of Warwick.

Minis Making a Difference is a 501c3 non-profit charity. Visit www.minismd.org for information on times and more ways to be involved.

For additional information, contact Westerly Community Credit Union at 401.596.7000 or visit their website at www.westerlyccu.com.

About Westerly Community Credit Union:

Established in 1948, Westerly Community Credit Union is a local, full–service financial institution, focused not on profits, but on helping its members achieve financial success. It currently serves over 19,000 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Membership is open to all who reside or work in RI & New London County, CT. 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.

Mystic Seaport Museum Announces Support for Earth Day 2020

50th Anniversary of Earth Day Marks Pivotal Year for the Planet

Mystic, Conn. (October 22, 2019) — On April 22, 1970, 20 million people took to the streets and college campuses across the country to protest environmental ignorance and demand greater protections for our planet. This first Earth Day sparked the passage of major environmental legislation in the U.S. including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020 will mark a pivotal year for our planet as the Earth needs our attention now more than ever,” says Stephen C. White, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “We recognize our obligation specifically to the Mystic River and its watershed and in the spirit of the Earth Day Network’s mission to activate the environmental movement worldwide; we look forward to engaging a host of like-minded community partners as well as the general public in support of habitat restoration, conservation and overall collective action.”

October 22 marks six months to Earth Day, and on this day, Mystic Seaport Museum announces its support for Earth Day 2020 and the EARTHRISE movement, which will mobilize across the globe on April 22 to turn out millions across generations, sectors, and continents to demand immediate action on climate change.

April 22, 2020, is as a key moment for citizens, institutions, and organizations everywhere to demonstrate our shared demand for bold, transformative change. Mystic Seaport Museum is proud to join this global movement as we build toward the next half century of action for our planet.

“As someone who participated in the first Earth Day in 1970, the 50th anniversary is an important milestone for all of us to recommit and expand support for our environment in the greater Mystic area and beyond,” says White.

In partnership with Mystic Aquarium and other community organizations, the Museum looks to hold events to share information about the history of the local watershed including human impacts and offer educational opportunities and activities to shed light on ways we all can become better stewards of the planet. It is critically important to protect Long Island Sound and maintain its water quality as a living resource to more than 1,200 species of invertebrates, 170 species of fish and dozens of species of migratory birds.

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. The new Thompson Exhibition Building houses a state-of-the-art gallery that currently features J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate, the most comprehensive exhibition of Turner watercolors ever displayed in the U.S. 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.

Women's Business Development Council to Celebrate "Women Rising 2019" At Annual Gala Luncheon & Awards Ceremony

Long recognized as the signature women's business gathering in Connecticut, the event will salute women's economic empowerment honoring entrepreneurs, business and community leaders.

Stamford, CT, October 21, 2019 - The Women's Business Development Council (WBDC) will host its annual Gala Luncheon celebrating "Women Rising 2019," spotlighting the positive and critical changes that women are bringing to Connecticut's economy. The event will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, 1800 East Putnam Avenue, Old Greenwich. Networking will begin at 11:00 am, followed by lunch and an awards ceremony at noon.

"We are proud to convene hundreds of Connecticut-based entrepreneurs, business and community leaders, legislators and other stakeholders to honor the accomplishments of entrepreneurial women and their economic impact on our state, our country and our world," said Fran Pastore, President and CEO of the Women's Business Development Council. "We will also reflect on the Women's Business Development Council's 22 years of inspiring, training, educating and advocating for women business owners in Connecticut."

Woman with Impact Award Honorees

At the Gala Luncheon, the Women's Business Development Council will present its "Woman with Impact Award" to three women who have personally exemplified the mission and goals of the organization by promoting economic equality and prosperity for women. They are:

* Roz Brooks, U.S. Public Policy Leader, PWC

* Susan Lasota, Chief Technology Officer, State Street Global Advisors

* Alison Malloy, Managing Director, Portfolio Acceleration Services and Director of Investments, Connecticut Innovations

Special guest, Connecticut First Lady Annie Lamont will present the award to Alison Malloy.

The Patricia Billie Miller Award for Outstanding Community Service

The Women's Business Development Council will present its inaugural award in the name of The Honorable Patricia Billie Miller, Assistant Majority Leader and State Representative of Connecticut, a long-time supporter of WBDC. The award will be presented annually to a dedicated WBDC volunteer - an individual whose dedication inspires others to achieve their dreams, and exhibits a passion for, and commitment to, WBDC and the women it serves throughout the state.

The inaugural Patricia Billie Miller Award will be presented to Bjorn (BJ) Bumactao, Banking Center Manager and Vice President, Webster Bank. Bumactao volunteers as a financial educator and has mentored more than 100 entrepreneurs at the Women's Business Development Council.

Women Rising Awardees

The Women's Business Development Council will pay tribute to ten successful Connecticut women business owners who have prospered from WBDC's training and services. They are:

* Sasha N. Beatty, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, Pure Beauty, LLC

* Bernedette Birney, Founder, Stamford Yoga Center

* Janet Cadsawan, Jewelry Designer, Trilogie

* Rebecca Hopkins, Owner and Principal Interior Designer, No Label Design

* Kelsey Hubbard, Founder, Recess PlayWorks

* Louise Joseph, Founder and Owner, Dough Girls Pizza

* Aarti Khosia, Aartisan Chocolatier, Owner, Le Rouge Chocolates by Aarti

* Suzanne Vita Palazzo, Founder and Owner, Upperdeck Fitness

* Treacy Riiska, Owner, Treacy Riiska CPA, LLC

* Adrianna Robles, Pastry Chef and Owner, Good Morning Cupcake

* Felicia Rubinstein, Founder and Chief Collaborator, HAYVN Coworking Community

The ceremony moderator is Alexandra Lebenthal, Senior Advisor, Empire Global Ventures. Master of Ceremonies is Gilda Bonanno, Principal, Gilda Bonanno LLC.

Dozens of corporate sponsors are supporting the gala luncheon, including Title Sponsor PWC.

For more Gala luncheon information, including a complete list of sponsors and host committee members, please visit https://ctwbdc.org/attend-an-event/luncheon/.

For information on sponsorships and tickets, please contact akalish@ctwbdc.org or click here.

About Women's Business Development Council

The Women's Business Development Council's (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Whether a client is starting or growing a business, WBDC drives business success in a tangible and accessible way by engaging clients with access to education, markets and capital.

Now in its third decade, WBDC has educated and assisted more than 14,000 clients to launch and scale over 5,900 businesses. In their pursuit of economic independence, these women have created and maintained over 6,000 jobs in Connecticut.

WBDC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has offices in Stamford, Derby and New London, CT. Please visit https://ctwbdc.org for more information.

Banking is a Breeze with New Online Accounts at Chelsea Groton

-EASTERN CONNECTICUT’S LARGEST MUTUAL BANK NOW OFFERS ONLINE ACCOUNT OPENING-

(GROTON, Conn.) – October 16, 2019 – Technology has allowed busy people to check errands like grocery shopping off their to-do list without ever leaving the house. However, one important task that still required a special trip was opening a new bank account. Now one of Connecticut’s top financial institutions is making that process simple, easy and online. In just 10 minutes individuals can be on their way to a new personal checking or savings account at Chelsea Groton Bank.

“People have become accustomed to 24-hour access to many businesses and banking should not be any different,” explained Lori Dufficy, EVP, Director of Sales & Service of Chelsea Groton Bank, the largest mutual bank in Eastern Connecticut. “What sets us apart is that we are not trying to simply push everyone online like many banks, we just want them to engage with us in any way that’s convenient for them.”

Dufficy notes the award-winning community bank prefers to see customers in the branch because it gives team members a chance to really get to know them and to help them reach their goals, solve financial problems, and feel good about their banking relationship, but Chelsea Groton wanted to provide accessible alternatives when coming into the branch isn’t an option.

To ensure that customers who open accounts online receive personalized service, a team member from the bank’s customer care center will reach out to welcome them and help create a better banking experience. Ultimately, the customer will be assigned to a retail branch of their choice to learn more about value-added bank offerings, such as Lifestyle Programs and convenient E-Learning opportunities through Chelsea University.

Existing customers who utilize online banking can open a checking or savings account within their online banking service in just a few steps because they are already authenticated (have secure login information). Brand new customers can join the Chelsea Groton Bank family online, in person at a branch or over the phone through the customer care center (subject to authentication).

“We added the online account opening tool because many people say that it’s more convenient to start online and then they know they can call us or stop in if they have questions,” explains Dufficy. “We have 14 branches and endless smiles, so we encourage customers to come in anytime.”

The bank offers several banking programs with free online and mobile banking, debit card, and money management tools.

The Chelsea Groton App is available at the Apple App Store for Apple iOS® users and at the Google Play® Store for Android® users.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

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

Contact: Alisa Picerno; Alisa@AlliancesByAlisa.com; 860.217.0595

SALT MARSH OPERA PRESENTS PAGLIACCI

Opera Company Returns to Westerly, RI with a Special Opera in the Round Performance

Westerly, RISalt Marsh Opera returns to the George Kent Performance Hall in Westerly, RI, for two unique performances of one of the world’s most iconic operas, Pagliacci. This “Opera in the Round” production unfolds around audience members, immersing them in 19th Century Italy and making them a part of the story. This special interactive opera experience is a two-night only performance. Based on a case of true crime, Pagliacci tells the riveting tale of a man swallowed by feelings of love, betrayal, and jealousy. Pagliacci features one of the greatest tenor arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba,” so whether you’re new to opera or a lifelong devotee, you’ll find yourself lost in the music.

WHO: Salt Marsh Opera

WHAT: In the Round production of Pagliacci

WHERE: 119 High St., Westerly, RI 02891

WHEN: Saturday, October 19th, 2019 at 8:00 pm & Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 3:00 pm

TICKETS: Tickets prices are $50 for table seating and $20 for balcony seating.

Visit https://www.saltmarshopera.org/pagliacci for seating information and call 860.535.0753 for tickets.

Contact: David Labbe david@bridgemarketingct.com for more information.

Chelsea Groton Marketing Exec Blazes a Trail in Banking as Women of FIRE Honoree

-BARBARA CURTO RECOGNIZED FOR MOTIVATIONAL LEADERSHIP IN FINANCIAL INDUSTRY-

(GROTON, Conn.) – October 11, 2019 – The community-focused mission of Chelsea Groton Bank ignited an enthusiasm for the financial industry in Marketing Manager Barbara Curto four years ago. Her commitment to excellence has earned her recognition as a Women of FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) by Banking New England and American Business Media. Curto was selected for the prestigious award based on her success as an effective and results-driven leader who motivates employees by encouraging professional and personal growth.

“Barbara inspires her team every day with her commitment and creativity in promoting the bank’s initiatives,” said Lori Dufficy, EVP, Director of Sales & Service of Chelsea Groton Bank. “We are thrilled that her efforts in our industry are being celebrated.”

Banking New England and American Business Media created the award to honor the women who are making a difference in their profession. The FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sector has emerged as a keystone of the New England economy, transforming the knowledge, wealth and dreams of the world’s most ambitious visionaries into reality. As more and more women rise to the top of businesses and institutions in this sector, there is a growing need to shine a light on their achievements to inspire others.

Banking New England identifies the most talented, the most ambitious, the most innovative and the most philanthropic female leaders. Recipients are chosen through a very selective process. The winners were featured in the September/October issue of Banking New England and will be honored at an awards luncheon taking place October 11, 2019 at The Verve Crowne Plaza in Natick, MA.

As she is new to the banking industry, Curto was selected for and enthusiastically agreed to enroll in the two-year program offered by the Connecticut School of Finance and Management that provides insight into all facets of banking and leadership. Curto has enjoyed the challenge of responding to a constantly changing economy, banking regulations and how people do their banking.

“Working for a company that focuses on helping individuals, families and businesses get their start, plan for their future and find success is extremely gratifying,” explains Curto. “I am driven to share the bank’s contributions to the community through donations, employee volunteerism and financial education.”

About Chelsea Groton Bank

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

SALT MARSH OPERA PRESENTS PAGLIACCI

Opera Company Brings One of the World’s Most Iconic Operas to The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Old Saybrook, CT – Salt Marsh Opera returns to The Kate in Old Saybrook, CT, for two stunning performances of one of the world’s most popular operas on Friday, October 11th, and Saturday, October 12th, at 7 pm. Based on a case of true crime, Pagliacci tells the riveting tale of a man swallowed by feelings of love, betrayal, and jealousy. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Pagliacci features one of the greatest tenor arias of all time, “Vesti la giubba,” so whether you’re new to opera or a lifelong devotee, you’ll find yourself lost in the music.

WHO: Salt Marsh Opera

WHAT: Pagliacci

WHERE: The Kate, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook, CT 06475

WHEN: October 11th, 2019 at 7:00 pm and October 12th, 2019 at 7:00 pm

TICKETS: Tickets are available from $55-$65. Please visit https://www.katharinehepburntheater.org/events-tickets/ or call the box office at (860) 510-0453.

Contact:

David Labbe

david@bridgemarketingct.com

CHARTER OAK EARNS 5-STAR RATING FOR 1st HALF OF 2019

Top Ranking Reflects Credit Union’s Strong Financial Condition

Waterford, CT – October 7, 2019 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has earned the top 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial Inc. for its superior financial performance during the first half of 2019, which is an indication that Charter Oak remains one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation.

“Our financial performance for the first six months of this year has been very strong, and this top five-star rating from a well-respected firm like BauerFinancial confirms that Charter Oak ranks among the strongest of all the financial institutions serving eastern Connecticut,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Charter Oak’s top 5-Star rating is based on financial data filed with federal regulators as of June 30, 2019.

The Florida-based BauerFinancial is the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm. The firm awards its top 5-Star rating only to those financial institutions that excel in their capital, asset quality, profitability and other financial areas.

Financial institutions that earn BauerFinancial’s top 5-Star rating are safe, financially sound and operating well above their regulatory capital requirements. BauerFinancial compiles its financial data based on information reported to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is the governing federal agency for credit unions. For more information about BauerFinancial, visit its website at www.BauerFinancial.com or call 800.388.6686.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.16 billion as of June 30, 2019. Charter Oak has an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing the largest and most convenient branch network of any local financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, or visit our website at CharterOak.org, or call our Contact Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

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

Contact:

Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254

acronin@cofcu.com

Westerly Community Credit Union Hires Assistant Branch Manager

Westerly Community Credit Union is proud to announce that Ashley Richard has joined the Westerly Community Credit Union as the Assistant Financial Services Manager for the Dunn’s Corners branch located in Westerly, RI. She will be responsible for assisting in all branch operations, staffing and member needs. Ashely comes to WCCU with over 14 years in the finance industry, most recently from Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan as a Lending Specialist. She lives in New London, CT with her fiancé and daughter. The Staff and Board of Directors of the Westerly Community Credit Union congratulate Ashley on her new position.

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 19,000 members with lending and deposit products through their convenient locations in Wakefield, Richmond, Westerly, as well as online via www.westerlyccu.com. Membership is open to all who reside or work in RI & New London County, CT. 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.

Destroy Documents and Declutter at Chelsea Groton Bank Shred Days

BANK HOSTS THREE FREE SECURE & SAFE SHREDDING AND RECYCLING EVENTS

(GROTON, Conn.) – October 4, 2019 – If piles of old bank statements, bills, tax returns and other sensitive records are stacking up, Chelsea Groton Bank is offering the chance to shred it and forget it. As it has for more than ten years, the mutual community bank is providing FREE secure document shredding services to raise awareness about protecting confidential information to avoid identity theft.

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

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

· October 5 from 9am - 12pm at the Center Groton Branch, 1319 Gold Star Highway, Groton

· October 26 from 9am - 12pm at the North Stonington Branch, 391 Norwich Westerly Rd., North Stonington

· November 16 from 9am - 12pm at the Westside Branch, 444 West Main St., Norwich

Everyone is invited to take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of unwanted paperwork. Simply bring boxes of documents to any of the events and bank representatives will ensure everything is destroyed. Once shredded, the paper will be recycled.

Chelsea Groton is also urging people to take proactive measures to protect their online identity. “You should never share your user ID and password with anyone, even for joint account holders,” says Dufficy. “Use caution when conducting business online. Do you know the company or individual you’re online with? Lastly, be watchful when opening attachments or links provided in an email. If you hover over a link without clicking it, you’ll notice the full URL of the link’s destination. Do you recognize the website? If not, do not open.”

To further educate the public about protecting personal information, the Bank offers free online classes through Chelsea U on topics ranging from “Identity Theft and Scams for Retirees,” to “Protecting Your Identity While Online Dating.” Anyone, regardless of if they are a bank customer, can access Chelsea U. A full list of education programs and resources is available on the Bank’s website.

“Our entire team is always available to answer questions about protecting your financial, personal and account information,” concludes Dufficy. “We can also direct to you resources if you are unsure about how long you are legally required to keep records like tax returns and loan documents.”

About Chelsea Groton Bank

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

Publicity Contact: Alisa Picerno; Phone:(860) 217.0595; Email: Alisa@AlliancesByAlisa.com

Bank Contact: Lori Dufficy; Phone: (860) 448.4184; Email: LDufficy@ChelseaGroton.com

Please do not send sensitive or confidential information via unsecured email. If you need to provide us with this type of information, please call us at (860) 823-4800 or write to us at 1 Franklin Square, Norwich, CT 06360.

The information contained in this email message is confidential and may contain privileged information and material. If the reader of this message, regardless of the address or routing, is not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this transmittal in error and any review, use, distribution, dissemination or copying is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify Chelsea Groton Bank immediately by telephone at (860) 823-4800 or by email to info@chelseagroton.com, and destroy all copies of this message and any attachments.

Guests at Dinner in the Dark Encouraged to “Show Their Stripes”

Sofia Sees Hope gala funds research to support diagnosis and treatments of rare inherited retinal disease

Mystic, CT (Oct. 3, 2019) — This year at the sixth Dinner in the Dark on Saturday, October 19, at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa, guests are being encouraged to “show their stripes!”

Recognizing that the international symbol of rare disease is the zebra, organizers of the annual culinary adventure are encouraging attendees to don stripes in some fashion.

“We thought it would be fun to let our guests know that the zebra represents rare disease,” said Laura Manfre, co-founder of Sofia Sees Hope and Chair of its Board of Directors. “In the late 1940s, Dr. Theodore Woodward, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told his students that in making a diagnosis, ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.’ So the zebra evolved into the symbol for rare disease. Since we’re dedicated to supporting our rare disease community, we want to make sure the zebras aren’t overlooked!”

Dinner in the Dark is the major annual fundraiser for Sofia Sees Hope, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and support to individuals and families affected by Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare inherited retinal disease that causes blindness. The organization also raises funds to provide free access to patients for genetic testing, and for research to support diagnosis and treatments.

The event is taking that zebra theme even further this year, as its annual Majestic Box fundraiser sponsored by Simply Majestic jewelers in Mystic features a zebra-inspired custom-made pendant. 99 of the 100 Majestic Boxes available for purchase contain a white pendant with black stripes. The 100th box contains a black pendant with white stripes. The recipient of that pendant wins a spectacular his-and-hers grand prize from Simply Majestic valued at $3,000.

“We are longtime supporters of Sofia Sees Hope,” said Simply Majestic co-owner Susette Tibus. “When Laura told us about the zebra being the symbol of rare disease, we were thrilled to come up with this exclusive design.”

Also new this year is Outer Light Brewing Co. beer flights paired with the three-course gourmet meal, in addition to Angelini Wines’ flights of wine. Guests can choose their preference when they purchase tickets.

Dinner in the Dark begins with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa. Tickets are $150 per person or $2,020 for a 20/20 Vision Table Patron (table of 10 with preferred seating).

This dinner is a true culinary adventure — guests dine blindfolded and the menu is a secret! Mystic Marriott’s executive chef enjoys this challenge of creating an exclusive gourmet menu that appeals to all the senses. This fundraising dinner helps people connect with the organization’s mission through a dynamic and fun culinary experience.

The evening also includes a live auction with exciting travel packages, one-of-a-kind experiences and donations from incredible local artisans, supporters, and businesses.

The festivities conclude with live music and dancing. Be prepared for a unique menu, fine wines, and sensory adventure! Tickets are available at www.sofiaseeshope.org.

Event sponsors:

Renewal By Andersen

Simply Majestic

Window of Giving

Editas Medicine

Spark Therapeutics

Meira GTx

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

Sanofi Genzyme

Dominion Resources Services, Inc.

Hoyt, Filippetti & Malaghan, LLC

Mohegan Tribe

Mystic Aquarium

Groton Utilities

Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law

The Remote Coxswain

Valenti Auto Mall

VoiceGlance

Andersen Oil Company

Eye Specialists

Eyecare Expressions

Groton Dental Group

Groton Eye Center

The Law Office of P. Michael Lahan

Melissa Allen Pilates & Movement

The William W. Backus Hospital

Universal Package, LLC

In-kind sponsors:

ABC PhotoLab

Angelini Wine

Design Intervention, LLC

Eight Six Media

Foxwoods Resort & Casino

Jealous Monk

Le Francois Floral & Gifts

Mary-Jo Shultis Photography

Outer Light Brewing Company

About Sofia Sees Hope

Sofia Sees Hope was founded in 2014 by Laura Manfre and Charles Priebe, whose daughter Sofia has Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). This rare genetic retinal condition is characterized by severe vision loss at birth and leads to total blindness.

The mission of Sofia Sees Hope is to transform the lives of those affected by blindness caused by rare inherited eye disease. The nonprofit organization generates awareness, raises funds for research, and provides outreach, support and education to those affected by LCA and other rare retinal diseases.