Saturday, January 16, 2021

East Haven Courier Person of the Week

The Source

Cooper Schwartz is making a difference through his socially conscious company, Hedgehog Beanies, with each sale adding up to give another cozy cap, as well as warm socks and gloves, to homeless folks enduring New England’s winter cold.

Photo courtesy of Cooper Schwartz

Heads Up: Schwartz’s Hedgehog Beanies Help the Homeless

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

In the heat of the summer, Cooper Schwartz was sweating the details on launching his socially conscious company, Hedgehog Beanies.

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The Source

Captain Eva Van Camp’s U.S. Coast Guard career has taken her from the Pacific to the Deepwater Horizon response in the Gulf of Mexico and now to serving as commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

Capt. Eva Van Camp Takes on the Hardest Jobs as Coast Guard Leader, Trailblazer

Published Jan. 06, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Strength and service. That’s what U.S. Coast Guard Captain Eva Van Camp, who oversees hundreds of miles of dangerous waters along the Connecticut and Long Island shoreline, spoke of from her New Haven office along the harbor.

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The Source

With enthusiastic assistance from artist Eileen Eder, Shoreline Arts Trail (SAT) ‘20 Virtual Open Studios is currently at the fingertips of art lovers as an online gallery sharing unique works to view and purchase now through Thursday, Dec. 31 at shorelineartstrail.com.

Photo courtesy of Eileen Eder

Eder Shares Shoreline Arts Trail ‘20 Virtual Open Studios

Published Dec. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With enthusiastic assistance from artist Eileen Eder, Shoreline Arts Trail (SAT) ‘20 Virtual Open Studios is currently at the fingertips of art lovers as an online gallery sharing unique works to view and purchase now through Thursday, Dec. 31 at shorelineartstrail.com.

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The Source

Deborah Gilbert brings her appreciation of and insight into the local arts scene through her VSCTV program Arts and Entertainment with Deborah Gilbert. 

Photo by Eric O’Connell/The Source

Deborah Gilbert is Celebrating the Local Arts Scene

Published Dec. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Deborah Gilbert developed a love of the performing arts at an early age growing up in Madison and North Branford.

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Valley Courier

In a year when a personal touch has often been missing, Margaret Morgan is ensuring those who receive a Christmas dinner from the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries also receive a gift bag intended to make an extra connection. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Margaret Morgan: Better to Give

Published Dec. 09, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It’s the time for gifts—not only the gifts on Santa’s list but the things that come without asking: calendars in all sizes, decals from groups that recipients supported, embossed pencils from different organizations.

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The Source

Whitney Lorenze is curating Future VOICES, Shoreline Arts Alliance’s (SAA) newest opportunity for artists across the spectrum and of all skills to have work with topical themes, particularly those concerning social activism and COVID-19, published on the SAA website during a three-month public exhibit, which opens Thursday, Dec. 10.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Lorenze

The Time is Right for SAA’s Future VOICES

Published Dec. 02, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With the copious gallery space of the Internet, Shoreline Arts Alliance [SAA] is working to draw artists from across the spectrum, and all levels of ability, to enter pieces inspired by today’s topical themes—from COVID to social activism—into Future VOICES.

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The Source

Heather Arcovitch, senior minister at North Madison Congregational church, and her partner Barb McDaniel Black recently won the Gala of the Stars: Dancing for a Cause benefiting Raise the Roof. Photo courtesy of Heather Arcovitch

NMCC Pastor Heather Arcovitch Finds Community Connections While Dancing for a Cause for Raise the Roof

Published Nov. 25, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Heather Arcovitch and her partner Barb McDaniel Black were nominated to participate in the Gala of The Stars: Dancing for a Cause, she was excited for many reasons, including having an opportunity to expand on the ballroom dance class she had taken years ago in college, having a fun hobby to enjoy with her partner during COVID, meeting new people as the couple had recently moved back to the shoreline, and raising money for a local non-profit that the church where she has been a minister has supported since its inceptions.

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The Source

A nurse at Connecticut Hospice and longtime Madison resident, Karen Miller volunteers much of her time to the ministries of the North Madison Congregational Church. 

Photo courtesy of Karen Miller

Karen Miller: Knowing Her Values and Living Them

Published Nov. 18, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Growing up, Karen Miller lived in a multifamily house with her cousins.

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The Source

Guilford Art Center (GAC) volunteer, teacher, and artist Amy Peters of Madison is helping to piece together artful fabric bags that will be packed with take-out containers of soup and more for participants of Soup for Good TO GO on Sunday, Dec. 6. Peters is hard at work with her friend and co-GAC volunteer Ellen Cordes to build enough bags as a way to give a gift of art to supporters during year when COVID-19 restrictions have made some changes to the annual fundraising event. Proceeds benefit non-profit GAC and non-profit Community Dining Room of Branford. Photo courtesy of Amy Peters

It’s in the Bag: Creative Support for GAC’s Soup for Good TO GO

Published Nov. 11, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“It’s a beloved event that’s reinvented for this year, and we hope that its equally beloved this way,” says Amy Peters of Guilford Art Center’s (GAC) Soup for Good TO GO, set for Sunday, Dec. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at GAC.

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The Source

Myla Perrelli thoroughly enjoys her job as the children’s librarian at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library. “The most rewarding experiences I have had as a children’s librarian have been creating programs from the ground up that are service-oriented,” she says. 

Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Myla Perrelli: Fostering Learning in a Kid-Friendly Library

Published Nov. 04, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Here’s a fun riddle: What legumes do librarians like? Answer: Silentils.

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The Source

As director of land management at The Nature Conservancy and president of the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust, David Gumbart is in his element when he is working outdoors. Photo courtesy of David Gumbart

David Gumbart Talks Conservation and Community Commitment

Published Oct. 21, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If you see David Gumbart in his element, you might find him observing an object with fascination, maybe even using a camera or some visual tool to gather evidence.

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The Source

As head teacher of Circle Nursery School in Madison, Shannon Baker enjoys teaching the young children, but adds that she learns valuable lessons from them, as well. Photo courtesy of Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker Teaches and Learns the Lessons of Life

Published Oct. 14, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Play is the highest form of research—at least that’s what Albert Einstein is thought to have said. Well, if that saying is true, then Shannon Baker is immersing her young students in the best form of research.

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The Source

A high school junior and Madison resident, Nick Koobatian developed and maintains tech-savvy-seniors.org, a website that seeks to teach seniors how to use technology, including email, video chats, social media, and online shopping. Photo courtesy of Nick Koobatian

Nick Koobatian: A Teen Dedicated to Helping Seniors

Published Oct. 07, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Technology is moving with lightning speed.

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The Source

Working for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Emily Shafer learned about the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC), a team of special firefighters who help battle wildfires across the nation. Today, the Madison resident is part of the CIFC and has been to California and Colorado to help fight the wildfires there. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Shafer

Emily Shafer Blazes Her Own Trail

Published Sep. 30, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When 24-year old Emily Shafer traveled from Madison to California earlier this year, some may have assumed she was going to soak up the sun and enjoy the white-sand beaches.

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The Source

An avid naturalist, martial arts black belt, and prolific author and illustrator, John Himmelman has written and illustrated 87 books, of which 83 are for children. His books contain any combination of animal characters, good-natured wit, engaging illustrations, and even martial arts humor. Photo courtesy of John Himmelman

John Himmelman: All in Good Nature

Published Sep. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

He’s been a cook and a carpenter. He’s a naturalist, nature photographer, and lecturer.

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The Source

A wife, mother to two young children, and real estate professional, Cindy Breckheimer worked to find a solution to a childcare problem for many families by starting a fund and linking her efforts with Neighbor to Neighbor. Photo courtesy of Cindy Breckheimer

Cindy Breckheimer Talks About Homes, Families, and Childcare

Published Sep. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Ask any working young parent about childcare arrangements and you’ll likely get the same answer—finding and affording reliable childcare is a constant headache.

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The Source

An assistant principal at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Brian Bodner says his career as a teacher and administrator has been “extremely rewarding.” 

Photo courtesy of Brian Bodner

Brian Bodner: By Way of Education

Published Sep. 09, 2020 08:30 a.m.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from Quinnipiac University, Brian Bodner went back to high school—well, that is, to teach students.

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The Source

Adrian Bassett is a 100-year old Madison resident who served as chief of the Madison Fire Department. Adie, as everyone calls him, still does his own grocery shopping, mows his own yard, and recalls world events with vivid detail. Photo courtesy of Clay Bassett

Adrian Bassett Shares Stories from the Last 100 Years

Published Sep. 02, 2020 08:33 a.m.

When Adrian Bassett was born, the League of Nations was just in its infancy. Its successor, the United Nations, was still a few years away from being created.

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The Source

Peter Gulick is a longtime member of the Madison Hose Company No. 1, a volunteer job he finds personally rewarding. He is also a professional restorer of historical and contemporary houses. Photo courtesy of Peter Gulick

Peter Gulick: Preserving the Past for the Future

Published Aug. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If only the walls of historical houses could talk, what treasure trove of stories and lessons would we hear?

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The Source

A mentoring program coordinator and consultant for the Haddam-Killingworth Youth & Family Services, Patty Coletti worked to have a mentoring program in place despite the delay that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked as a school teacher at the Killingworth Elementary School for much of her professional life.

Photo courtesy of Patty Coletti

Patty Coletti: The Value of Teachers, Mentors, and Pen Pals

Published Aug. 19, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Who would have thought that in the year 2020, old-school pen pal writing would make a comeback?

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The Source

After a successful law career, Marilyn Shaw moved with her husband, Steven, to live full time in Madison. She now serves the town as co-president of the Garden Club of Madison and as a member of the Coastal Resiliency Commission. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Shaw

Breaking Ground: Marilyn Shaw Carves Her Path

Published Aug. 12, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Marilyn Shaw used to dig into her books and legal cases when she was a lawyer in Philadelphia, then later, in Houston and Washington, D.C.

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The Source

In different capacities and for various scientific research projects, Amy Cornell worked at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NASA Ames Research Center. She now teaches science at The Country School in Madison but took a leave of absence to work for Homodeus on a new and better COVID-19 test expected to be available to the public after FDA approval. Photo courtesy of Amy Cornell

Amy Cornell: Discovering More Through Science

Published Aug. 05, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The long lines for COVID-19 testing will soon be a thing of the past. So will the anxious wait times for results.

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The Source

Catherine King is a professional photographer who uses her skills to help organizations such as the Madison Newcomers, Kisses for Katie, and New Reach. Kat, as she is known to her friends, learned to convey a story and capture emotions, especially through images of newborns and families. Photo courtesy of Catherine King

Kat King: On Newborns, Newcomers, and New Reach

Published July 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

In her photography, Catherine King focuses on newcomers, whether they are infants or adults who have arrived in the community.

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The Source

Charlie Corso became the new commander of American Legion Griswold Post 79 last June. As commander, he is embarking on a fundraising effort for the renovation of the Legion post building at 43 Bradley Road, Madison. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Charlie Corso: A New Commander Serves Madison

Published July 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

As the new commander of the American Legion Griswold Post 79, Charles Corso keeps his eye on a new sign installed outside the post at 43 Bradley Road, Madison.

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The Source

Jack Davis is one of only two recipients of this year’s Don Rankin Community Service Award, an honor bestowed on individuals who have devoted extraordinary efforts for the betterment of Madison. He and his wife Helen have made a positive impact in town in the areas of education, housing, religion, recreation, and the arts.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Davis

Jack Davis: A Lifetime of Achievement

Published July 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

On July 18, Jack Davis celebrates his birthday. Nothing unusual about that, except two days later, he’ll legitimately celebrate it again.

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The Source

With his wife Amy, some key helpers, and an army of volunteers, Bob Stefanowski successfully led Masks for Heroes and Masks for CT, twin programs that procured and distributed 1.2 million masks for health care professionals, essential workers, and anyone in Connecticut who needed them. Photo courtesy of Bob Stefanowski

Bob Stefanowski: A Mask Crusader for CT

Published July 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Robert Stefanowski—or Bob, as he’s known to everyone—is not the kind of person who waits for someone else to act when there’s a need. When he sees a problem, he takes it upon himself to find a solution.

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The Source

A staffer at the Madison Senior Center, Cynthia Barker has made an impact by spearheading programs and groups such as Masks for Madison, a community effort that sewed and gave out some 1,500 face masks; Nimble Thimble, a group of needlepoint crafters; and The Girls, a small circle of women near or well into their 90s who now share a friendship.

Photo by Maria Caulfield

Cynthia Barker: Sewing Up Friendships

Published July 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Cynthia Barker, a part-time staffer at the Madison Senior Center, began sewing protective face masks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she quickly realized that the effort can multiply exponentially if many more hands were involved in the work.

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The Source

An avid runner and a physician assistant at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in North Haven, Tara Anderson devised a way to continue running with friends even in the days of COVID-19. She started a touchless 15K relay, a virtual race that doesn’t use batons or hand slaps but goes on relay routes in Madison and requires runners to take an image of their watches to keep time. Photo courtesy of Tara Anderson

Tara Anderson: Hurdling Challenges Despite a Pandemic

Published June 03, 2020 08:30 a.m.

One might say that Tara Anderson likes to run the extra mile.

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The Source

Adam Coppola is a professional photographer who launched the COVID Superhero project, a social media campaign that puts the focus on health care professionals who work to their human capacity to treat and save COVID-19 patients, and essential workers who risk their safety to provide vital services to the community. Photo courtesy of Adam Coppola

Adam Coppola: Focused on Photography

Published May 27, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What young child hasn’t dreamt of saving the world as Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman?

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The Source

Betsy Himmelman is proprietor of Promethea Pottery and an art teacher at the Haddam-Killingworth High School. She now teaches art remotely and sews masks for those in need of protection from the coronavirus outbreak. Photo courtesy of Betsy Himmelman

From Clay to Cloth: Betsy Himmelman Creates Art

Published May 13, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The ceramic pots Betsy Himmelman creates are nature-inspired and eye-catching.

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