Mystic Chamber Member News

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

DATE: Monday, January 7, 2019

TIME: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET

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


The Southeastern Connecticut chapter of SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to the success of small businesses, will present 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.

About SCORE: 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. In 2017, SCORE volunteers provided 3.6+ million hours to help create more than 54,000 small businesses and 116,000 full-time, part-time and contractor jobs. All 40 counselors in Southeast Connecticut are volunteers, receive no compensation, and are working or retired business owners, executives, and managers. 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

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:

Southeastern CT SCORE PO Box 283, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 Email: 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 Monday, January 7, 2019, from 5:30 – 7:00 PM at the Groton Public Library.

Contact: Anne Driscoll,


Mystic, Conn. (December 10, 2018): On Friday night, December 7, nearly 5,500 guests visited Mystic Aquarium as part of Olde Mistick Village’s Festival of Lights. Thanks to the generosity of those guests, Mystic Aquarium, with the help of Mystic Transportation, delivered 7,039 pounds of non-perishable food to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center in New London this morning.

An additional $801 was collected in monetary donations in support of the local food center.

“This is one of those events that we, as an organization, look forward to each year,” said Ainslie Daly, Special Events Manager for Mystic Aquarium. “The spirit of the guests, the talent and enthusiasm of the performers, the overall feel of the Aquarium and the Village and the ability to support the food center in this way, Festival of Lights really embodies the true meaning of Christmas.”

Each year Mystic Aquarium proudly joins the Olde Mistick Village for Festival of Lights, a popular local holiday tradition featuring an enchanting light display of thousands of luminaria, shopping, live seasonal entertainment and more. Mystic Aquarium extends complimentary admission during the evening with the donation of a non-perishable food item.

On Friday evening, guests enjoyed pictures with Santa, face painting, storytelling by The Winter Lady & Sprites along with diving Santa and elves. Live entertainment was provided by Saxophone Santa, Ledyard High School Carolers, Mystic River Chorale, The Cutler Brass Ensemble & Jazz Band, Jo Ann Galat Brown Music Teaching School and Kik’s Dance Center.

Outside the Sea Scouts worked tirelessly collecting and sorting the over 7,000 pounds of food in preparation for delivery by Mystic Transportation, who also donates use of the truck.

“It was truly a community event,” added Daly, “from Olde Mistick Village’s leadership to the participation of the Mystic Hilton; all the local school groups, to the Sea Scouts and Mystic Transportation and, of course, those who traveled near and far to join us for this very special night.”

Since 1988, the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center has played a key role in providing one of the building blocks to a good quality of life by feeding food insecure individuals and families all across the community.


Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at

Media Contact: Dale Wolbrink,, 860.694.9011

Images in support of this release can be accessed via FTP server:

Click on the Public folder, FestivalofLights_2018, photos are within



(Groton, CT) December 5, 2018 – Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place, will hold its monthly Office Hours program with Marcum Associates. The accounting firm is returning before the end of the year to answer business and personal tax questions. Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to schedule a one-on-one appointment between the hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm by emailing There is no fee to participate. All appointments will be held at the Innovation Commons, 93 Shennecossett Rd, Groton. More information at

Accountants Darlene Lee, Lisa Borgia & Cassie Carangelo will be the mentors on the 17th. Marcum Associates, LLC is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the nation, with offices in major business markets throughout the U.S., including New Haven, West Hartford and Hartford in Connecticut. Marcum offers an extensive range of professional services and a high degree of specialization. In addition to traditional accounting, assurance and tax, including domestic and international tax planning and preparation, the firm's professional services include mergers and acquisition planning, family office services, forensic accounting, business valuation and litigation support.

Ignite is designed to spur new ideas, businesses, and innovative growth in the Thames River region by producing events, sponsoring education, and connecting entrepreneurs into the business development support system. The Ignite program is established under the Thames River Innovation Place and is made possible by support from CTNext . Office Hours with Mentors will be offered monthly on the last Wednesday and is just one of many programs regularly held by Ignite. In December, Marcum Accountants and Advisors will offer tax help.

Area entrepreneurs, start-ups, business owners and sole proprietors are encouraged to get their business and personal tax questions answered by registering for complimentary office hours with accountants from Marcum Associates on Monday, December 17th. One-on-one appointments can be made between the hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm by emailing Appointments will be held at The Innovation Commons, 93 Shennecossett Rd in Groton. More information can be found at

CONTACT: Emma Palzere-Rae

(860) 961-6067



The Thames River Heritage Park Foundation (TRHPF) is soliciting proposals from Licensed Commercial Tour Boat Operators (referred to here as “Operator”) to provide a Water Taxi Shuttle Service among at least three points linking the cultural and historic sites of the Thames River Heritage Park (TRHP), as well as to operate boat tours in the lower Thames River estuary. The Operator will utilize the two former US Navy Willard launches owned by the TRHPF (See Appendix A attached for boat description.). The hop-on hop- off Water Taxi Service currently operates Friday through Sunday and holidays which may increase over time. The Boat Tour schedule will be based on the number of tours chartered. The contract will be a three-year contract with the potential for additional three-year renewals.

The following three sites make up the Water Taxi route: City Pier – Historic Waterfront District, downtown New London Fort Trumbull State Park in New London Thames River Landing - Thames Street in Groton

The Operator will be expected to be available for additional shuttle service upon request with mutually agreed upon advance notice for special events and charters.

The Boat Tours will operate in the Thames River estuary as far south as Ledge Lighthouse and as far north as the length and theme of 1-2 hour tours will allow.


The Thames River Heritage Park is a collection of historic, educational and recreational partner attractions, which, similar to Boston's Freedom Trail, links together existing cultural and historic resources on both sides of the Thames River in New London and Groton. By creating a major attraction in the region, tourists are encouraged to extend their stay, creating additional economic opportunities for regional businesses. Studies have shown that heritage tourism is among the fastest growing segments of the tourism market and that visitors within this segment spend more than their non-heritage counterparts. The water taxi connects two state Parks — Fort Trumbull State Park in New London and Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park in Groton — by boat. The other TRHP sites that are within walking distance to each of the landings include, at Thames River Landing in Groton: the Avery-Copp House, the Groton Bank National Register Historic District, Ebenezer Avery House, US Subvets World War II National Memorial East, and the historic Bill Memorial Library. About two miles up the river is the Submarine Force Museum/USS Nautilus. On the New London side, in addition to the landing at Fort Trumbull State Park, is Eugene O’Neill’s Monte

Cristo Cottage — located a short distance away — and within walking distance from the landing at New London’s Historic District are the Garde Arts Center, the Hempsted Houses, Nathan Hale Schoolhouse, Waterfront Park and the National Register Historic Waterfront District. In addition, the US Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, and the Lyman Allyn Art Museum are located adjacent to or within a short distance from the water. The TRHPF boasts many institutional partners as well including but not limited to New London Landmarks, New London County Historical Society, seCTer, SECT Cultural Coalition, UCONN/Avery Point Maritime Studies and Sea Grant.

The vision of the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation is to be a network of people, communities, institutions, sites and stories connected by and to the historic waterfront of the Thames River and Long Island Sound. Our water taxis help us to make these connections. It is a unique way to transport visitors to our historic and cultural sites on both sides of the river. As importantly, they provide a chance to introduce riders to the places they can visit when they debark.


The Operator shall employ fully licensed boat captains and appropriate crew to staff two fully licensed boats, with certification for approximately 40 passengers each, owned by the City of Groton and maintained by TRHPF. The boats are Navy Utility launches. The specifications for the boats are attached to the RFP as Appendix A.

The contract will be three (3) years in duration with the potential for additional 3-year renewals. Captains and crew will be expected to act as our park ambassadors. When operating the Water Taxi, captains will be provided brief narrations to follow, general area information and will be charged with pointing out landmarks to the passengers as the boat motors up and down the river. Mates will be expected to interact with passengers, answer questions about the area, local events, sell merchandise, get survey information, and assure passengers have a positive experience.

TRHPF will provide a 1⁄2 day of training — paid for by TRHPF based on Operator’s hourly rates — for Operator’s staff to familiarize themselves with the Park sites and the area so they can best assist passengers to make their experience a positive one.

The Operator and its staff will represent the TRHPF and will not promote any other business while operating the TRHPF Boats. The Operator’s staff will wear TRHPF apparel, will promote the sale of TRHPF merchandise including but not limited to t-shirts and hats and will distribute and collect surveys as requested by TRHPF.

The Operator and its staff shall distribute a TRHPF Map & Guide — provided by TRHPF — to passengers the first time they board the boat. They will check local events calendars at the start of each weekend to inform riders of activities and events in the Park.

Water Taxi Schedule

The Operator shall provide crew for the 3-stop hop-on hop-off water taxi schedule listed below. The service is based on the use of one boat with the other boat reserved for back up, especially on busy occasions (such as Sailfest, Connecticut Maritime Festival) and for charters and tours.

The Water Taxi will operate Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays as follows:

• 2019 –May 24 through September 15

• 2020 - May 22 through September 13

• 2021 – May 29 through to September 12

• Note: Schedule subject to change upon mutual agreement.

The daily schedule will be as follows:

Friday: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Sunday & holidays: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Landing sites and scheduled departures are as follows:

Fort Trumbull State Park, New London - departs on the hour Waterfront Park Historic Waterfront District, New London - departs 20 minutes after the hour Thames River Landing, Groton - departs 40 minutes after the hour

The Water Taxi began service in 2016. Ridership for its three years of service is as follows:

2016 - Passenger count (per leg of three-leg circuit) 4,299 2017 – Passenger count (per leg of three-leg circuit) 6,537 2018 – Passenger count (per leg of three-leg circuit) 6,647

Attendance figures for the two state parks that are within the TRHP:

May-Sept. 2018 Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park 48,800 Fort Trumbull State Park 60,000

Boat Tours

In addition to operating the hop-on hop-off water taxi, the TRHPF seeks to operate boat tours. These tours would be at regularly scheduled times, primarily, late June through early-September. TRHPF and the selected Operator will work out an agreed upon schedule for tours. In addition to these tours, the boats are chartered by other groups for fundraisers and company outings. Prospective operators should provide projected costs associated with operating one-hour, 90- minute, and two-hour tours.

It is anticipated that TRHPF will have a dock at the Submarine Force Museum/USS Nautilus in 2020. TRHPF reserves the right to put out a Request for Proposal for this operation and/or may opt to renegotiate with the selected operator for this additional tour schedule.

Description of the Boats

(See Appendix A attached.)

Exclusive rights to operate:

The Operator shall have exclusive rights to operate a water taxi using TRHPF boats only at the Thames River Heritage Park water taxi landings pursuant to a contract to be negotiated, under the auspices of the “Thames River Heritage Park” name, logo and brand, for the term of the contract. Nothing in the terms of this RFP or the contract should be construed so as to grant the operator an exclusive right of access to these sites otherwise (when the taxi is not in service). TRHPF sites remain the property of their respective owners and may be used by them for any reason and purposes that do not unreasonably interfere with the water shuttle services. Except for unusual circumstances, it is expected that the operator will be able to dock or moor the water taxi boats at or near these docks when the boats are not in use. The TRHPF will secure necessary agreements with CT DEEP and City of New London to use the respective docks.

Other Terms and Conditions:

The Operator shall comply with any and all conditions and requirements of the CT DEEP for use of the landings at Forts Trumbull and Griswold, with any and all conditions and with any and all conditions and requirements of the City of New London and/or its Port Authority for use of the landing at City Pier Historic Waterfront District.

The Operator should note that, from time to time the City of New London utilizes City Pier for large functions and festivals. This may require the Operator to relocate to another pier. Every effort will be made to accommodate the Operator so as to ensure business is not interrupted. Details will be made final during negotiations.

The Operator may negotiate with the TRHPF for excursions or functions not related to the Water Taxi or Boat Tour Schedule.

The TRHPF is located in a Security Zone. The United States Coast Guard or the United States Navy may close all docks/sites without notice in cases where National Security levels warrant.

The Operator will be responsible for:

1. Hiring and managing water taxi/tour personnel. All Personnel will not be TRHPF

employees. They will be employed by the selected operator. 2. Training personnel 3. All personnel drug testing and screening 4. Scheduling water taxi and tour boat personnel 5. Coordinating with COI inspection/service from the US Coast Guard 6. Budgeting the operating expenses associated with labor for each of three seasons 7. Preparing the boats for 2019 and following seasons (cleaning, inspecting, testing all

systems) 8. Making minor repairs and troubleshooting possible mechanical failures. 9. Coordinating with Crocker’s Boatyard for repairs, maintenance schedules, getting the

boats in and out of the water on schedule. 10. Stocking the boat with ice and water every day. Checking and replenishing inventory of TRHPF map & guides (on the boats and at the landings), tickets, and other TRHPF printed material as requested. 11. Maintaining inventory and selling TRHPF merchandise. 12. Monitoring weather and communicating all delays to TRHPF Executive Director.

13. Executing emergency procedures in case of inoperability due to weather or other event.

The Operator must be familiar with diesel engines.


Selected Operator will be required to provide copies of valid USCG Licenses and Certifications (including for his or herself).

All captains must be licensed before he or she can operate the boats.


The following shall be required to operate Water Taxi and Boat Tour Services as part of the Thames River Heritage Park and should be considered an integral part of the RFP.

1. U. S. Coast Guard requirements:

The Operator shall meet, maintain and have on board all Licenses, Certifications and Requirements of the United States Coast Guard and any other state or federal agencies to operate a commercial passenger vessel.

The Operator shall have on board at all times a Captain and First Mate who shall meet and maintain all Licenses, Certifications and Requirements of the United States Coast Guard to operate a vessel of the tonnage used in this concession contract.

The Operator shall schedule and secure all necessary inspections and approvals for the TRHPF boats from the United States Coast Guard.

2. Boat Maintenance and Repair

The Operator will be responsible for identifying repairs needed in a timely manner and will coordinate with the TRHPF and the boatyard to schedule such repairs. The Operator shall be responsible for the overall daily maintenance of the boats. The Operator shall be required to provide daily written logs for inspections and documentation and/or fuel. TRHPF will be responsible for the costs to repair and insure the boats.

3. Loading/unloading of passengers:

The Operator shall insure that staff assists passengers when embarking and disembarking.

The Operator shall provide information on how fluctuating capacity would be handled, particularly for event weekends.

4. Handicapped issues:

The Operator shall enforce the TRHPF’s Accessibility Policy which is posted on the TRHPF website.

5. Security of the sites:

The Operator shall secure Gates to the Docking facilities at Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold after each arrival and departure.

6. Trash:

The Operator shall provide a trash receptacle aboard the vessel and shall be responsible for disposal of same.

7. Storage of supplies:

No storage of materials or supplies relating to the Water Taxi Service Operation shall be allowed at or on docking sites.

The Operator will provide an emergency number that TRHPF will post at each landing for passengers to call if stranded or for any unexpected delays.

8. Meetings:

The Operator will be expected/required to attend periodic meetings throughout the duration of the contract.


The selection of the Operator will depend on submission of all requested material and a demonstration of the ability to successfully operate tourism-related water taxi and boat tour services. The Operator must also demonstrate the ability to comply with all requirements prior to the commencement of operation. Other selection factors may include, but not be limited to, the following: references, crew experience, and fees.


The proposal should include, but not be limited to, the following information:

Business Information:

1. Name and address of Company/Corporation 2. Name and address of Principal Owner of Business 3. Contact person with Business Phone, Email, Mobile Phone 4. Number of years in business 5. Business Plan for a Water Taxi Service to include:

Number of captains and crew to be employed Hourly rates for captains and crew Total costs per day for captains and crew for water taxi service Total costs per 1-hour, 90-minute and 2 hour boat tours and charters Expenses Any other costs

Experience: Describe any experience the company and/or staff has had in operating a water taxi service or related service as well as experience in the tourism-related industry and/or customer service field.

Describe any experience the company and/or staff have with mechanical knowledge and minor boat repair as it relates to or compares with the TRHPF Willard diesel engine utility boats.

Describe the maintenance procedure you would follow at the start of each operating day/weekend.

Describe any experience you have managing employees. (i.e., payroll, scheduling, customer complaints).


Describe any experience you have developing, marketing and/or selling boat or river tours.

*This is not a criterion for submission. However, should you have experience we would like to know about it and would consider this in the review of proposals.

Operational and Procedural Issues:

1. Describe how on-board emergencies (medical and non-medical) will be handled. 2. Provide information on how stranded patrons will be handled. 3. Provide information on a contingency plan should mechanical or other issues render the vessel inoperable. 4. Describe procedures related to cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances.


The Operator shall submit a projected budget for each of years 2019, 2020, and 2021 based on the schedule below.

• Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays as follows:

• 2019 –May 24 through September 15

• 2020 - May 22 through September 13

• 2021 – May 29 through September 12

The daily schedule will be as follows: Friday: noon – 10 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday & holidays: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Operator shall submit projected budgets for operating 1-hour, 90-minute and 2-hour tours.


TRHPF reserves the right to determine a fare schedule. The Operator shall be responsible for clearly providing a daily account of all ticket and merchandise sales, passengers, cash receipts and credit receipts.

Describe the process and tasks which would be used to collect, record, and accurately account for moneys and passengers. All credit card, cash and online sales will be processed through the TRHPF POS system such as Square or QuickBooks Go Payment.


All information is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute all or part of a contract. The information is designed to assist the potential Operator in determining whether to proceed with the submission of a proposal. While the information herein is believed to be correct, it is the responsibility of the proposer to perform due diligence. Many of the historical sites listed above have websites and be located on web based search engines as well as at Applicants are encouraged to review the information.

Thames River Heritage Park Foundation discretion:

The TRHPF, at its sole discretion, may reject any or all proposals for any reason.

The selected Operator will be required to sign a contract with TRHPF. The Operator shall not be allowed to assign the contract. TRHPF and the Operator shall be the sole and exclusive parties to the contract, and the contract shall in no way be construed as to give rise to a contractual obligation on the part of the United States Government, the State of Connecticut or the Department of the Navy.


Proposals should be submitted as follows:

If mailed: Six (6) copies of the proposals must be postmarked no later than Monday, January 28, 2019 and should be sent to Amy Perry, Executive Director, Thames River Heritage Park, PO Box 851, New London, CT 06320. Proposals postmarked after January 28, 2019 will not be considered.

Electronic submissions must be sent to and must be received no later than 5 p.m., Monday, January 28, 2019. Proposals received after this deadline will not be considered.

All respondents must submit a Letter of Intent on or before Tuesday, January 8, 2019, mailed to the address above or emailed to AND attend a pre-submittal meeting 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 8, 2019, Fort Trumbull State Park Conference Center, 90 Walbach Street, New London, CT 06320 at which time proposers will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Inquiries or questions regarding this RFP may be emailed to

Dec 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Thames Valley Communications Internet, Cable & Phone, one of the area’s leading broadband providers, today announced the availability of TVC’s GIG Internet in Groton, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Pawcatuck and Stonington.

Upgrading to TVC GIG Internet will be easy for existing Thames Valley Communications customers, requiring only a new modem to enjoy the fastest broadband experience in the service area.

"At TVC, we're committed to continually innovate and deliver products that help our customers connect," said TVC’s, CEO, William Pearson. "We are already offering the highest speeds available with our 300Mbps Internet service. By enabling TVC GIG Internet over our existing coax plant, TVC’s Customers will be able to access the fastest Internet service from TVC."

TVC GIG Internet provides broadband speeds up to 926Mbps and allows residential users to stream high-definition video with little to no delay, and download movies, songs and TV shows in a matter of seconds. TVC GIG Internet service gives residential customers peace of mind that they have a reliable data solution to support the growth of personal and smart home devices such as appliances, home automation, home security, telemedicine and more. And customers who have multiple devices on one Internet connection will no longer have to battle for bandwidth, while telecommuters can enjoy blazing speeds, seamless video conferencing and instant access to remote servers and cloud-based services, improving operations at the home office.

TVC GIG Internet will be available as a standalone service for residential customers at $79.99 per month with no term agreement and can be bundled with existing cable TV and phone services. For more information on TVC GIG Internet service, including current bundling options, please visit

About Thames Valley Communications Internet, Cable & Phone

TVC is one of the area's leading broadband providers, with a service area that passes through Gales Ferry, Groton, Mystic, Pawcatuck and Stonington. With an expansive portfolio of advanced services including high-speed Internet services, cable TV, phone and voice, the company provides outstanding customer service at affordable prices. Visit for more information.


Sundae Franklin Has Extensive Banking, Branch Administration, and Sales Experience

Waterford, CT – November 20, 2018 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has promoted Sundae Franklin to Senior Vice President-Chief Retail Officer overseeing Charter Oak’s expansive 16-branch network as well as the credit union’s branch administration and training teams.

“Sundae has extensive banking experience and her thorough knowledge of our retail branch operations will greatly help Charter Oak as we continue to broaden our banking services to our growing membership in eastern Connecticut,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Over the past five years, Charter Oak has aggressively grown its retail banking network by opening four new branches in strategic locations within New London and Windham counties, creating one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution in eastern Connecticut. “I’m confident that Sundae’s strong service and sales skills, combined with our strategic branch expansion, will further strengthen Charter Oak’s position as eastern Connecticut’s leading financial institution,” Orenstein said.

Franklin, who lives in the Quaker Hill section of Waterford, has nearly 25 years of financial services experience, including expertise in branch operations and lending operations. She joined Charter Oak in 2008 and served as the manager of Charter Oak’s Niantic branch. She was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 2011 and three years later was named Assistant Vice President-Regional Sales Manager. In 2015, Franklin was promoted to Vice President-Sales Manager overseeing Charter Oak’s branch network operations.

Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.1 billion as of September 30, 2018. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of financial products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, or visit our website at, or contact our Call 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!


Anthony Cronin, AVP-Director of Marketing

860.446.3254 |



(Groton, CT) November 19, 2018 Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place, will hold its monthly Office Hours program website and graphic designer Cheney Giordano from This is Fine Design. Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to schedule a one-on-one appointment between the hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm by emailing There is no fee to participate. All appointments will be held at the Innovation Commons, 93 Shennecossett Rd, Groton. More information at

This is Fine Design is a full-service, high-touch agency. In the mentor sessions, Cheney Giordano is available to audit your business’s online presence and offer suggestions for improvements to reach your business goals. This is Fine Design designs logos, a new look for an established website, documents and presentations, and Wordpress transfers. This is Fine Design also can create a complete business presence on the internet including website and social media pages. This is Fine Design has designed websites for New London Community Land Trust, Robert Frank Designs and Ignite Thames River, among others.

Ignite is designed to spur new ideas, businesses, and innovative growth in the Thames River region by producing events, sponsoring education, and connecting entrepreneurs into the business development support system. The Ignite program is established under the Thames River Innovation Place and is made possible by support from CTNext . Office Hours with Mentors will be offered monthly on the last Wednesday and is just one of many programs regularly held by Ignite. In December, Marcum Accountants and Advisors will offer tax help.

Area entrepreneurs, start-ups and business owners are encouraged to get their website and social media questions answered by registering for complimentary office hours with This is Fine Design on Wednesday, November 28th. One-on-one appointments can be made between the hours of 10:00 am - 2:00 pm by emailing Appointments will be held at The Innovation Commons, 93 Shennecossett Rd in Groton. More information can be found at


Emma Palzere-Rae | (860) 961-6067

The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is pleased to release the guidelines for the FY19 Connecticut Arts Endowment program!

Eligible Applicants

An applicant must be a Connecticut arts organization that has raised more than $15,000 in private-sector contributions, from non-governmental sources, for two (2) consecutive fiscal years.

An arts organization is defined as an organization, with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, whose core mission, vision, focus and legal purpose, as stated in its Articles of Incorporation and bylaws, articulate a commitment to create, perform, present or promote artistic activities* AND at least 51 percent of its annual fiscal expenditures is allocated specifically to support artistic activities, arts programming, services or arts-based initiatives.

*Artistic activities include, but are not limited to, music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, literature, films, and allied arts and crafts.

Additional Criteria

An arts organization must be incorporated in Connecticut with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for at least two (2) years prior to the application due date.


Grant awards are calculated solely on a formula which compares the amount of private-sector contributions received by the applicant in its two (2) most recently completed fiscal years.

Required Documents

Applicants are required to submit the organization's tax returns to substantiate reported contributions. The organization must use IRS Form 990 or Form 990EZ. The organization's IRS forms MUST BE FILED with the Internal Revenue Service before the application deadline of December 15th.

Applicants must submit a current Certificate of Good Standing (aka Certificate of Legal Existence) from the Connecticut Secretary of State's Office.

Application Deadline

on or before 11:59 pm, December 15, 2018

Funding Period

April 15, 2019 - October 15, 2019

Program Guidelines: PDF

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted through an on-line portal. Instructions on how to apply can be found on Page 3 of the guidelines.

About the Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund

The Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund (CAEF) was established by the State of Connecticut in 2003 with an initial investment of $1 million. Today, the Fund's principal is exceeds $18 million. The interest earned on the Fund's principal is distributed annually to eligible Connecticut arts organizations. Grantees may apply the grant funds toward programming, administrative/operational costs, capital projects, equipment or to build their own endowments, etc.

The Fund is managed by the Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer and the program is administered by the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

For more information or questions, contact Rhonda F. Olisky via email.

Nonprofit Accredited as School Partner Program

NESS Accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges

STONINGTON, CT: At its meeting on November 6, 2018, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) voted to accredit the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) as a school partner program. This decision makes NESS the first school partner program to be accredited by the oldest accreditation agency in the country.

Founded in 2002 as a community sailing program, NESS has evolved to become an important partner to schools throughout New England. As a nationally-recognized and award-winning ocean adventure STEM education nonprofit, NESS provides students of all ages with year-round programming that includes marine science, sailing, powerboating, and adventure sports. NESS partners with schools to deliver in-the-classroom and on-the-water learning for students across New England.

The nonprofit sought accreditation to demonstrate its commitment and passion to provide the highest quality educational experience for all students, complementing and enhancing students' traditional school experiences. The NEASC accreditation process combined with the peer review will help NESS continue to advance its mission, vision, core values, and curriculum to address the ever-changing educational landscape.

Spike Lobdell, NESS's president, founder, and CEO, stated: "This accreditation underscores the quality and effectiveness of our programs, reinforces our education mission, and validates we are serving the needs of our students. As a partner to schools throughout New England, we should be held to the highest standards of educational excellence. We could not be prouder of this accomplishment."

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, founded in 1885, is the oldest accrediting agency in the country and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the sole agency to award Accreditation to PreK-12 schools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in New England.

To be accredited, an institution must align with NEASC's Standards for Accreditation. NESS staff members spent over a year completing the self-study portion of the accreditation. This self-study was an opportunity for NESS's staff to review all education programs, processes, systems, and practices to determine the degree to which the organization aligns with the rigorous NEASC standards. In August and October 2018, a visiting team observed NESS's programs and reflected on how NESS met the Standards for Accreditation. NEASC's decision to accredit NESS was based upon review of NESS's self-study and evaluation reports prepared by the team that visited NESS in August and October.

Of NESS, NEASC remarked: "NESS makes a difference in the lives of the young people it nurtures-sometimes a life-changing difference and sometimes a simple moment of self-confidence gained. We had a distinct sense the people who make NESS what it is regard this opportunity as a genuine and rare privilege. Their commitment will continue to strengthen this exceptional program."

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

“Finding Your Place” on a Lantern Light Tour

Holiday Performance at Mystic Seaport Museum Transports Audience Back to Christmas Eve, 1876

Mystic, Conn. (November 8, 2018) — Mystic Seaport Museum will open the 2018 season of its Lantern Light Tours Friday, November 23.

A Mystic holiday tradition, Lantern Light Tours is a 90-minute 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. For 2018, the story is Lantern Light Tours: Finding Your Place. Set on Christmas Eve in the year 1876, the play offers windows into the lives of people on the verge of great change, both personal and cultural. Written by award-winning Connecticut playwright and dramaturg Kato McNickle, Finding Your Place invites the audience to explore the world and broaden their point of view to better understand their place within it.

“When we sat down to develop the story for this year’s show, we wanted to explore themes of one’s sense of place and family and connect them into the holiday spirit, while still including all the elements that made previous Lantern Light Tours so beautiful and wonderful for the audience,” said Denise Kegler, the program manager for Lantern Light Tours.

Visitors join a group of 16 to tour the Museum’s seaport 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 23-24, December 1, 8, 14-15, and 21-23. Tours begin at 5 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes.

Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling 860.572.5331. Tickets are $33 for adults ($27 for Mystic Seaport Museum members) and $26 for children ages 5-17 ($20 for youth members). Lantern Light Tours are not recommended for children under the age of 4.

Media access is available during the dress rehearsal November 20.

Images for Media Use

High-resolution images are available for download from the Mystic Seaport Museumwebsite.

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 is a state-of-the-art space that will host Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition, a major exhibition of one of seafaring’s most mysterious tragedies, December 1, 2018, through April 28, 2019. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Contact: Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum


Book Your Holiday Party With Us!

Looking for a unique space to host your holiday party? Look no further. The Manor House at Stone Acres Farm is a perfect venue for corporate groups to intimate family gatherings, cocktail parties to sit-down dinners. All different types of festive holiday events can be hosted on the farm.

Please email Kathie Hewitt at or click the link below for more information. We look forward to welcoming you to the farm and creating a memorable and unique holiday celebration!

City Cabaret Announces Schedule for 2019 Concert Season

GROTON – Come hear the music play! The schedule for City Cabaret 2019 has been finalized. The fourteenth season kicks off in January.

All City Cabaret concerts are held in the City of Groton Auditorium at 295 Meridian Street in the City of Groton on Sundays at 3:00 p.m., January through March.

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

The Mass-Conn-Fusion Duo will kick off the City Cabaret 2019 season on Sunday, January 13. The Duo pairs the up-right bass, played by Jim Healy, with saxophone, played by Liz Roberts. This unique combination separates them from the crowd. “All styles of music are fair game from Take 5 to Maroon 5,” the Duo says. “We enjoy bringing a sense of humor and a touch of class to all we do.”

The OBrien String Trio, a, will be featured February 10. The classical string trio plays everything from “Bach to Broadway.” The trio consists of Kate O’Brien on the violin, Lydia Leizman on the viola, and Corinne Cunha on the cello. The group will play a variety of music, including classical, and Kate O’Brien’s original arrangements of popular, ethnic and fiddling styles.

Whisky, Wine and Coke will perform on March 10, 2019. The band is a musical trio with two lead singers, Renee Morehouse and Dave Warner, and guitarist, Dean Cardinale. In addition to the Coyote River Band set list, the trio does cover songs by The Beatles, Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Eagles, Etta James and much more.

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.


Frank E. Winkler

Co-Chair and Spokesperson

City Cabaret 2019

(860) 446-4095

Mystic Seaport Museum to Open Death in the Ice:

The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition December 1, 2018

Major Exhibition Explores One of the Sea’s Most Enduring Puzzles:

The Fate of 129 Men Who Disappeared in the Arctic in 1845

Mystic, Conn. (November 2, 2018) — Mystic Seaport Museum will host a major exhibition opening December 1, 2018, that explores the fate of the Franklin Expedition, a tragic story of Arctic exploration and death and one of the most enduring mysteries of maritime history – a mystery that remains unsolved to this day.

Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition will display more than 200 objects from the collections of the National Maritime Museum in London (NMM) and the Canadian Museum of History (CMH), alongside finds recovered by Parks Canada from Franklin’s ship HMS Erebus. The artifacts from Erebus – the vessel was discovered under water in 2014 – will be on show for the first time in the United States. The exhibition promises to advance our understanding of the expedition and the fate of Franklin and his men. Death in the Ice will also explore both the Eu­ropean and Inuit perspectives including the importance of the Inuit to those out looking for the remains of the expedition.

“We are very pleased to be presenting this compelling and mystifying story, which has had a hold on the imaginations of so many since the ships disappeared into the Arctic,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “We are particularly pleased to highlight the critical role Inuit have played in the Franklin story, from the years immediately following the expedition’s loss to recent discoveries of the ships. Though much of what happened to the expedition remains a mystery, what we do know is largely thanks to Inuit oral history and underwater archaeology.”

Setting sail from London on May 19, 1845, Sir John Franklin and his 128-man crew aboard Erebus and Terror, were the British nation’s biggest hope of finally traversing the Northwest Passage – the much desired, possibly faster, trade route from Europe to Asia.

Franklin and his men were last seen in Baffin Bay in July 1845. Two years would pass with nothing heard from the men, prompting the first of a series of expeditions to be sent into the Arctic in an attempt to find them and the reasons why they had not been in touch with the Admiralty or loved ones at home. Over the course of the next 30 years, news and relics, such as snow goggles, cutlery, and a portable stove – examples of which can be seen in Death in the Ice – filtered back out of the Arctic and spoke to what had happened: the deaths of the entire crew through a combination of factors including scurvy and starvation, and speculation of cannibalism and potential madness brought on by lead poisoning. It was not until 1859 that a sole piece of paper, often known as the Victory Point Note (and on display as part of the exhibition), was found and revealed anything about what happened, including the date of Sir John Franklin’s death – June 11, 1847.

However, Erebus, Terror, and the bodies of Franklin and most of his crew were still nowhere to be found (three bodies were found buried on Beechey Island and two skeletons were returned to Britain during the 19th century).

That was until 2014, when the wreck of Erebus was discovered by Parks Canada, as part of a multi-faceted partnership that included government, private, and non-profit groups, followed by the discovery of Terror in 2016, marking two of the most important archaeological finds in recent history. As Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team begins to bring to light the ships and their contents, Death in the Ice will see objects relating to the expedition and the subsequent search parties, including personal items, clothing, and components of the ship. Furthermore, finds from Erebus itself will be on display, including the ship’s bell.

The exhibition will emphasize the significant role of Inuit in uncovering the fate of the Franklin Expedition, showcasing Inuit oral histories relating to the European exploration of the Arctic Archipelago. Numerous Inuit artifacts, including some incorporating materials of European origin, which were traded from explorers or retrieved from abandoned ships, will also be on display in the exhibition, highlighting the interactions between the search expeditions and the Inuit.

Also featured will be the work of Dr. Owen Beattie of the Franklin Expedition Forensic Anthropology Project, who has used forensic techniques to examine human remains recovered from Beechey Island. Examination of tissues collected from the men’s bodies found that the amount of lead in the bones of some of the men that had been found was exponentially high, leading to the theory that lead poisoning may have been one of the factors contributing to the expedition’s demise.

In conjunction with new research from Parks Canada and the collections of CMH and NMM, the exhibition will further understanding of the expedition and reveal what life was like for the men aboard the ships, explore the Victorian obsession with the Arctic, and seek to answer questions about what exactly may have happened to those men on their fateful journey to chart the Northwest Passage all those years ago.

The exhibition will run December 1, 2018-April 28, 2019, in the Collins Gallery of the Thompson Exhibition Building.

Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition is a traveling exhibition developed by the Canadian Mu­seum of History (Gatineau, Canada), in partnership with Parks Canada Agency and with the National Maritime Museum (Lon­don, UK), and in collaboration with the Govern­ment of Nunavut and the Inuit Heritage Trust.

Images for Media Use

High-resolution images are available for download from the Mystic Seaport Museum website.

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 is a state-of-the-art space that will host Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition, a major exhibition of one of seafaring’s most mysterious tragedies December 1, 2018, through April 28, 2019. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Canadian Museum of History

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum holds the world’s largest maritime collection, housed in the historic buildings that form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The National Maritime Museum is part of Royal Museums Greenwich, which also incorporates the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 17th-century Queen’s House and the Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich works to illustrate, for everyone, the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars, and their relationships to people. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes more than 2.5 million British and international visitors a year, and is one of the Top 10 most-visited UK attractions (ALVA). Royal Museums Greenwich is also a major center of education and research.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural areas in the world, including 46 national parks, four national marine conservation areas, 171 national historic sites and one national urban park. Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada’s historical and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of Canadians and visitors from around the world, today and in the future.

Government of Nunavut

Established in 1999, the Government of Nunavut represents more than 40,000 Nunavummiut living sparsely on a land nearly two million square kilometers in size. Nunavut is Canada’s largest territory and the newest member of the Canadian Confederation. Nunavut (Inuktitut for “Our Land”) has a rich and complex human history spanning nearly 5,000 years, highlighted by the remarkable ability of Inuit and their predecessors to adapt and to thrive in one of the world’s harshest and most challenging environments.

Inuit Heritage Trust

The Inuit Heritage Trust is dedicated to the preservation, enrichment and protection of the Inuit cultural heritage and identity embodied in Nunavut's archaeological sites, ethnographic resources, and traditional place names. Its activities are based on the principle of respect for the traditional knowledge and wisdom of Inuit Elders. The Trust receives its mandate directly from the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.


Dan McFadden

Director of Communications

Mystic Seaport Museum


Three Groton-based organizations collaborate to support local prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives

Groton, CT - Community of Hope, Inc, Community Speaks out and the Groton Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (GASP) are coming together to host the Emerald Ball on January 12that 6PM at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut. While the three of them offer services that benefit the entire region, they each have a close connection to Groton.

Community of Hope is a 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 need 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 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 and Crafting with Catherine’s Sister, a therapeutic arts and crafts group. Creating more opportunities for sober activities to support people in early recovery is a priority.

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 18 years”, says Coalition Coordinator Carolyn Wilson. ‘In times of crisis, like our opioid epidemic, prevention has its place but it doesn’t do much for people already suffering. We need different options for people to access treatment and thrive in recovery. 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 people.” They are looking to raise funds for additional youth centered prevention projects.

The event includes dinner and dancing, storytelling, and celebrations of recovery, local program updates, recognition of community champions in prevention, treatment and recovery. Tickets are $50 until 11/1/18 and then they go up to $65. For more information about the Emerald Ball, including ticket sales, sponsorships, advertising or to volunteer please email

Ignite, a program of Thames River Innovation Place, will host Office Hours with Marcum Associates on Wednesday, October 24th. Free one-on-one appointments can be made for small businesses to get advice on financial matters including taxes and insurance. To make an appointment, please email

The Mystic Congregational Church Bazaar & Elegant Tea Kicks Off the Holiday Season Nov. 7th

The Mystic Congregational Church Bazaar & Elegant Tea will kick off the holiday season on Wednesday, Nov. 7 (5:30 – 7:00 p.m. for the bazaar and punch party) and Thursday, Nov. 8 (11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for the tea and bazaar). Entry to the events is via the Broadway entrance (at the corner of Main Street, Mystic). The Bazaar Punch Party is free of charge. Tickets for the Elegant Tea are $8 each or four for $30, available at the door or ahead of time by calling the church office at 860-536-4259.

Where else can you enjoy little sandwiches and tasty desserts in the company of family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers and sneak in a little shopping for holiday gifts and hostess treats (all crafted by members of the Women’s Fellowship)? Featured tables include: Art Auction, Attic Treasures (including jewelry and silent auction), Baskets & Holiday Decorations, Crafts, Children’s, Floral, Cheese and Food. Proceeds from this annual event are distributed primarily to regional non-profits who support families in need.

Bazaar Calendar Listing:

Wed., Nov. 7, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Bazaar Punch Party

Thurs., Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Bazaar & Elegant Tea

Mystic Congregational Church

43 E. Main St., Mystic.

860-536-4259 for more information.


Kathleen O’Beirne,

PR Chair, Women’s Fellowship, Mystic Congregational Church

860-536-7179 |

Stonington Community Center Partners with Nationally Recognized Paddle Pros

Offering youth and adult paddle racquet clinics and lessons

[Stonington, CT] - The Stonington Community Center (COMO) today announced that it is partnering with locally renown paddle professionals, Jerry Albrikes and Nick Raho, to grow its racquet programs and provide additional instruction.

The COMO has a long legacy of offering racquet sport opportunities in lessons and play. Last season the COMO renovated its four tennis courts, resurfacing them with a resilient multi-layered surface called DecoTurf. The COMO also expanded its paddle tennis facility, building two courts in addition to its original two and warming hut. Paddle tennis has experienced great growth over the past five years with players of varying abilities.

Albrikes and Raho will bring years of experience and accomplishments to the COMO courts. Albrikes, a two time state champion and 2017 New England Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, has taught and coached professionally for the past 25 years. Raho is a USPTA certified elite professional who began teaching in 2012 and was recently ranked #53 in the country for the 2017-18 platform tennis season.

“Partnering with Jerry and Nick was a natural progression,” said Beth-Ann Stewart COMO Executive Director. “They are dedicated to providing stellar instruction and we are eager to provide our community with increased racquet opportunities for all ages and abilities.”

Albrikes and Raho will offer winter paddle tennis clinics, semi-private lessons and private lessons for both youth and adults. Interested players should email to schedule all paddle programs with either pro.

“We are thrilled to partner with the COMO as we work together to grow the love of racquet sports in the region,” said Jerry Albrikes.

Additional information regarding the pros and COMO racquet membership can be found online at

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded on April 1, 1946 as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. The first COMO programs included high school aged basketball, junior baseball teams, arts and crafts classes, teenage weekend dances and more. Over the years the COMO’s 16 acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, annex, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the Stonington Community Center has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information visit

New book from The Day celebrates region’s parks, nature preserves, farms and waterways

Written and edited by Steve Fagin, The Day’s outdoor recreation columnist, and Dirk Langeveld, the newspaper’s marketing editor, the 144-page, hardcover coffee-table book features more than 50 lively essays and more than 120 color photographs.