Thursday, May 19, 2022

Guilford Courier Person of the Week

Guilford Courier

Four years after the loss of his son Ethan to a gunshot, Mike Song and his family continue their efforts to make Ethan’s life and loss meaningful by supporting Ethan’s causes and programs that keep kids safe, including those that inform about the dangers of opioid abuse, texting, and driving and promote gun safety and advocacy. Next up is a return of the Keep Kids Safe SongStrong 5K is on Saturday, June 4. Photo by Ben Rayner/The Courier

Staying Strong After an Unfathomable Tragedy

Published May 18, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Most Guilford residents are sadly all too aware of the tragedy that occurred in January 2018, when 15-year-old Ethan Song lost his life in an accidental shooting. The grief, despair, and frustration the Song family has endured since Ethan’s death simply isn’t possible to truly convey.

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The Sound

Branford resident and well-known shoreline soccer coach Shane Smith is back in Poland for his second humanitarian trip since the Russian invasion broke out in February. He’s shown here at the April 24 Stand with Ukraine gathering outside the Blackstone Library. 

Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound

Smith Seeks to Help Ukrainians in Need

Published May 11, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Shane Smith’s first trip to Ukraine in 1999 was far different from trips he has undertaken in recent months, on his own, to do what he can to help others in need in a time of war.

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Guilford Courier

After COVID created a 2-year upheaval to traditional Project Graduation (PG) celebrations, Christine Blumberg and many parent volunteer members of the Guilford High School (GHS) community are determined to make this year’s all-night, substance free PG party especially memorable for the GHS Class of 2022. Photo courtesy of Christine Blumberg

Blumberg Rallies Support for GHS Project Graduation

Published May 04, 2022 08:30 a.m.

After Covid created a two-year upheaval to traditional Project Graduation (PG) celebrations, Christine Blumberg and many parent volunteer members of the Guilford High School (GHS) community are determined to make this year’s all-night, substance-free PG party especially memorable for the GHS Class of 2022.

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Guilford Courier

An introductory Arabic class at Guilford High School in 2005 is one of the essential elements that helped Andrew Simon, a historian of media and pop culture in the modern Middle East, launch a 10-year journey to research and write his new book, Media of the Masses–Cassette Culture in Modern Egypt. Photo courtesy of Andrew Simon

Press Play: Simon Explores Modern Egypt’s Cassette Culture in ‘Media of the Masses’

Published April 27, 2022 08:30 a.m.

An introductory Arabic class at Guilford High School. Experiencing the Egyptian Revolution in Tahrir Square. Discovering the power of two magnetic tape reels inside a plastic case.

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Guilford Courier

As one who jumps into costume to help host Guilford Free Library (GFL)’s annual Comic Con, it’s safe to say Teen Services Librarian Sara Martone can get pretty enthusiastic about special events at GFL, including the annual Friends Spring Book Sale coming Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7. Photo courtesy of Sara Martone

Martone Shares News of GFL Spring Book Sale and Other Exciting Events

Published April 20, 2022 08:30 a.m.

As one who jumps into costume to help host Guilford Free Library (GFL)’s annual Comic Con, it’s safe to say Teen Services Librarian Sara Martone can get pretty enthusiastic about GFL’s special events, including the annual Friends of GFL Spring Book Sale coming Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 to GFL at 67 Park Street.

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Guilford Courier

Former Guilford resident Morley van Yperen is thrilled to be returning to the Guilford Green on Sunday, April 24 with Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet’s (ECB) presentation of Body & Land: A Dance & Dialogue for Eco-Justice. The free, interactive performance integrates ballet, poetry, science, and theology and comes to town through a partnership of Guilford’s Christ Episcopal Church and First Congregational Church. van Yperen, who has a strong background in both dance and theology, serves as ECB’s theologian in residence. Photo courtesy of Morley van Yperen

Four Seasons of Dance, One Important Dialogue: Morley van Yperen Helps Present ‘Body & Land’

Published April 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

As a former Guilford resident, Morley van Yperen has always loved the Guilford Green—winter, spring, summer, and fall. That’s why she’s thrilled to be returning on Sunday, April 24, when Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet (ECB) presents Body & Land: A Dance & Dialogue for Eco-Justice on the Guilford Green at 1 p.m. The free, interactive performance integrates ballet, poetry, science and theology. Morley is ECB’s theologian in residence.

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The Source

When Suzanne Hens-Kaplan retires in June as Guilford Art Center (GAC) chief financial officer and operations director, it will be knowing that, for 18 years, she’s helped GAC to become a “happy place” for many. During her tenure, non-profit GAC also grew, and has succeeded financially despite challenges including those wrought by the pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Hens-Kaplan

Hens-Kaplan Helped Make GAC ‘A Happy Place’ for Many

Published April 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Suzanne Hens-Kaplan retires in June as Guilford Art Center (GAC) chief financial officer and operations director, it will be knowing that, for 18 years, she’s helped GAC to become a “happy place” for many.

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Guilford Courier

While a childhood vision issue led some to conclude Mike Walston wouldn’t be effective in emergency services, his dedication and skills led to a successful, 40-year career in Guilford. Photo courtesy of Mike Walston

Walston Retires After 40 Years with Emergency Services

Published March 30, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Ever since Mike Walston was in high school, he knew what he wanted to do and despite those who said he would never be able to succeed, Mike was able to forge a 40-plus year career in the town emergency services departments.

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Guilford Courier

Florence Verdurmen taught her first Guilford Parks & Recreation gymnastics class to local kids in 1972. Fifty years later, she’s still teaching at the Community Center. Through the years, she’s become a much-valued asset not only to the recreation department, but to many programs she has supported and fostered in her hometown of Guilford. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

50 Years with Florence, and Counting

Published March 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When you learn why Florence Verdurmen values the impact of gymnastics on a young life, it helps to explain why her Guilford Parks & Recreation programs have been in demand for 50 years, and counting.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford’s Dawn Emerman, a music teacher in East Haven elementary schools, is also the music director for East Haven High School’s upcoming production of The Little Mermaid, which will be performed live Thursday to Saturday, April 14, 15, and 16. Photo courtesy of Dawn Emerman

Emerman Loves Helping Make Performance Possible

Published March 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Even though Guilford resident Dawn Emerman had been involved with high school musicals since 2016, she had decided to take a break this year as her position within the East Haven Public Schools district recently changed.

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Guilford Courier

North Guilford resident and career/personal development coach Kathy Leckey has authored a new self care workbook, My Self Care Sh*t. The book is filled with prompts that engage participants in releasing codependency by writing down the things that will ultimately carve out healthy boundaries and allow each person to know themselves, enjoy who they are and truly care for themselves. Photo by Vincent Lopez

A Self Care Workbook by Kathy Leckey and (Your Name Here)

Published March 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

One day, Kathy Leckey started making lists on her phone. She’d put down something she wanted to do, but had doubted she could. Did a person, place, or thing trigger a sense of peace in her daily swirl of life? On the list. Did something make her smile, remind her to simply breathe, inspire her to try? Added in. Before she really realized it, Kathy had built the bones of her new workbook, My Self Care Sh*t.

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Guilford Courier

On Feb. 6, with a section of the national AIDS Memorial Quilt as a backdrop, David Knapp spoke to members of Guilford’s First Congregational Church on the 25th anniversary of becoming an open and affirming church, a change in which Knapp, now 95, played a significant role bringing about. Photo courtesy of David Knapp

Speaking Out for Positive Change: David Knapp

Published March 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

In 1994, David Knapp stood up at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (UCC to share something many wouldn’t dare to say at the time: that he was a closeted, gay church member.

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The Sound

Adult Services Librarian Teresa Holabird is ready to welcome 15 eager teams back to the Edward Smith Library’s annual Puzzle Off on Saturday, March 12. Established at the Northford library by Holabird in 2010, the contest has grown to become one of the state’s most popular puzzle competitions and is returning after a two-year pandemic pause. 

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Holabird Pieces Together a Winner with Smith’s Annual ‘Puzzle Off’

Published Feb. 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Take it from Teresa Holabird, the competition can be fierce during Edward Smith Library’s annual Puzzle Off, which is hands-down one of the hottest contest tickets in the state for puzzle teams. After a two-year pandemic pause, the Puzzle Off returns to the Smith Library in Northford on Saturday, March 12.

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Guilford Courier

Since 2019, during regular playing seasons (except in the months derailed by the pandemic) Guilford High School (GHS) student Jacob Halsema dedicates upwards of 20 hours a week to shoot and share photos of most every GHS boys’ and girls’ sports squad through their fall, winter, and spring seasons. Photo courtesy of Jacob Halsema

Halsema Captures Grizzlies Through the Lens

Published Feb. 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

On a cold winter day in 2019, Guilford High School (GHS) freshman Jacob Halsema viewed a GHS boys’ ice hockey game through his camera, snapped some great shots, and shared them with his friends. From that point to this day, Jacob, now a GHS senior, has been actively capturing and sharing the sweat, tears, drama and joy of Grizzlies at play through his lens, in just about every sport.

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Guilford Courier

Susan Mulqueen has seen Nonnie’s Toy Closet, which was formed in honor of her late mother, grow over the past six years as it’s been supported by her family and the community at large. Photo courtesy of Susan Mulqueen

Susan Mulqueen Honors Late Mother with Nonnie’s Toy Closet

Published Feb. 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Carol Mulqueen passed away in March 2016, her daughter Susan Mulqueen wanted to find a way to channel her grief to keep memories of her mother close.

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Guilford Courier

For the past three years, 25-year-old Max Ehrlich of Guilford has been busy building his designer fashion line, running his local business, Express Cleaners & Tailors, and even mastering the custom-made Italian men’s suit (see next photo). 

Photo courtesy of Max Ehrlich

Fashion Forward: Ehrlich Crafts a Career

Published Feb. 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Max Ehrlich has been busy building his designer fashion line, running his own business and, oh yeah, mastering the custom-made, or “bespoke,” Italian men’s suit.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford art quilter Gina Frank is a volunteer organizer of the premiere exhibit of A Connecticut Welcome, a juried art quilt show featuring amazing designs by members of the Connecticut region of Studio Art Quilt Associates that’s coming to Guilford Art Center from Feb. 4 to March 5. Photo courtesy of Gina Frank

Not Grandma’s Quilt: Frank Helps SAQA Host Art Quilt Exhibit’s Premiere at GAC

Published Jan. 26, 2022 08:30 a.m.

“It’s not grandma’s quilt, by a long shot,” says Gina Frank.

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Guilford Courier

Culled from her early morning walks, Ruth Chello Cost posts photos and shares her love of her hometown, together with some local history, childhood memories, and much more, as curator of a popular community Facebook page, Simply Guilford. Photo courtesy of Ruth Chello Cost

Ruth Chello Cost Shares ‘Simply Guilford’

Published Jan. 12, 2022 08:30 a.m.

How did Ruth Chello Cost start her community Facebook page, Simply Guilford? With her cellphone, a dog, two cats, and a routine early morning walk in her hometown.

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The Source

When the pandemic separated choir members, local engineer Scott Chassé put his musical and technological savvy together to help keep the singers—and church community—connected. Photo courtesy of Scott Chassé

Scott Chassé: Keeping Voices Connected in Song

Published Jan. 05, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Many area religious institutions were hit doubly hard by the pandemic. Not only were services canceled or modified, but many events and choir singing were also canceled.

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Guilford Courier

As a history and geography teacher, Nancy Addorisio has guided generations of young learners, but her work with the mock trial teams at the former Our Lady of Mercy School and now at East Shoreline Catholic Academy is one that many students say shaped their educational experience. Photo courtesy of East Shoreline Catholic Academy

Nancy Addorisio: Making a Mark Through Mock Trial

Published Dec. 22, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When you’ve been teaching for 40 years, it can be hard to define a single element that has had the most impact, but to numerous students at East Shoreline Catholic Academy (ESCA), and those of the former Our Lady of Mercy School (OLM), Nancy Addorisio’s strength is easy to appreciate.

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Guilford Courier

As a member of the Guilford Saving Bank Non-Profit Committee, and as someone who has turned his love of woodworking into building furniture for his family and friends, Randy Sonzoni raised his hand when Guilford Art Center came to GSB seeking its newest board member. Sonzoni is pictured here with his wife, Alison and their daughter, Brooklyn. 

Photo courtesy of Randy Sonzoni

Through GSB, Randy Sonzoni Supports GAC

Published Dec. 15, 2021 08:30 a.m.

One of the wonderful aspects of working at community-oriented Guilford Savings Bank (GSB) is the opportunity to get involved in the community as a volunteer, says GSB Assistant Vice President-Human Resources Supervisor Randy Sonzoni.

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The Sound

Dawn Carafeno and members of Moms Demand Action-CT Shoreline hope residents will help New Haven area kids and teens in crisis, by bringing unwrapped gifts and/or gift cards and monetary donations to the group’s Holiday Gift Drive on town greens in Branford, Guilford, Madison, and East Haven on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. Photo courtesy of Dawn Carafeno

Carafeno Leads Moms Demand Action-CT Shoreline Holiday Gift Drive

Published Dec. 08, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Dawn Carafeno and members of Moms Demand Action—CT Shoreline hope residents will help New Haven area kids and teens in crisis, by bringing unwrapped gifts and/or gift cards and monetary donations to the group’s Holiday Gift Drive on the Branford Green on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Guilford Courier

A longtime volunteer at A Place Called Hope, Terry Shaw has been a part of 118 osprey platform builds. Photo by Ben Rayner/The Courier

Terry Shaw: Safe Landings

Published Dec. 01, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Connecticut’s shoreline has seen a fortunate improvement in the health of a number of animal species in the last few decades. Marine mammals, fish stocks, birds, and other mammal have all received support, in no small part due to the efforts of people like Terry Shaw who have devoted their time to saving our precious resources.

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Guilford Courier

Now in his 75th year in scouting, John Karl Zane has made quite an impact on scouts along the shoreline, and beyond. He’s still a registered member of Guilford Troop 471 sponsored by St. George Catholic Church, which also sponsored a cub pack Zane started up. He recently penned the first part of his scouting memoir, Ever a Scout, recounting his boyhood scouting experiences. Photo courtesy of John Zane

‘Ever a Scout’: John Zane Celebrates 75 Years in Scouting

Published Nov. 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Now in his 75th year in scouting, John Karl Zane has made quite an impact on scouts along the shoreline, and beyond. His journey started in March 1946 in New Haven when he mustered in with his local cub scout pack.

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The Sound

Whitney Murphy counts herself lucky to be part of an extraordinary family and group of dedicated supporters inspired by her six-year-old nephew, Max Herzog (shown here riding with Murphy) as part of a team effort that’s raised more than $1.3 million, in just three years, to assist the research of non-profit biotech Cure Rare Disease through events held at Pine Orchard Club including “Love Fore a Cure,” which raised $600,000 on Sept. 10.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Murphy

Inspired by Max: Murphy Part of a Team Effort Supporting Cure Rare Disease

Published Nov. 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to accelerating the race to find a cure for the rare disease of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Whitney Murphy counts herself lucky to be part of an extraordinary family and group of dedicated supporters helping to make great strides toward the goal.

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Guilford Courier

Having struggled as a young widower raising four children, Bruce McIntyre learned the importance of addressing the grieving process, leading him to become one of the founders of The Cove Center for Grieving Children, which got its start in Guilford in 1995. November is national Children’s Grief Awareness Month. Photo courtesy of Bruce McIntyre

Bruce McIntyre: Triumph Over Tragedy

Published Nov. 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Bruce McIntyre’s efforts have been a lifeline to countless families for decades, via The Cove Center for Grieving Children, which got its start in Guilford in 1995. As shared at the Cove’s website, www.covect.org, November is national Children’s Grief Awareness Month.

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Valley Courier

Local food writer Mike Urban will talk about his latest book, Unique Eats and Eateries of Connecticut, in a Zoom conference hosted by the Essex library on Thursday, Nov. 4.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Mike Urban: Bite by Bite

Published Nov. 03, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Mike Urban knows the question: where’s a good place to eat. But why ask him? Because Mike writes books on restaurants.

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Guilford Courier

Jennifer Wenderoth-Holster is the new executive director of the Women & Family Life Center. The non-profit, now in its 30th year, serves 16 towns across the shoreline. Photo courtesy of the Women and Family Life Center

Wenderoth-Holster Dives In to Lead Women & Family Life Center

Published Oct. 27, 2021 08:30 a.m.

On Oct. 18, Jennifer Wenderoth-Holster officially started first her day as the new executive director of the Women & Family Life Center (WFLC). She’s still pinching herself.

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Guilford Courier

The public is invited to join Mark Sullivan for his solo organ recital, “Fall Bach,” coming Sunday, Nov. 7, from 4 to 5 p.m. to Guilford’s Christ Episcopal Church, 11 Park Street, where Sullivan is music director. Photo by Donna LaFata

‘Fall Bach’: Sullivan Shares Bach Organ Recital at Christ Church Nov. 7

Published Oct. 20, 2021 08:30 a.m.

For Mark Sullivan and the church leadership, a bit of a playful tone threads the program name of his solo public organ recital, “Fall Bach,” coming Sunday, Nov. 7, from 4 to 5 p.m. to Guilford’s Christ Episcopal Church, where Mark is music director.

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Guilford Courier

Robyn Wolcott, who continues to support Guilford programs with which she connected during her years with Shore Publishing Newspapers, was presented with a 2021 Women of Excellence Award by the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce (Guilford, Branford, and North Branford) and Madison Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Bill Wolcott

Network of Support Leads Robyn Wolcott to Success

Published Oct. 13, 2021 08:30 a.m.

A reason many shoreline towns including Madison are such an attraction to families, is not just because of the small-town water view locales and quiet streets, but because of their stellar school systems.

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