Thursday, May 19, 2022

North Haven Courier Person of the Week

North Haven Courier

Autism comprises a wide and diverse spectrum. Helen Pappas focuses her creative abilities through her Nikon camera to capture the emotion of her subjects in still life photography. Photo courtesy of Helen Pappas

Helen Pappas: Living Big Through Still Life

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

Objects, landscapes, animals, and people have a state of existence mostly invisible to the non-artist. For the artistic mind, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. For Helen Pappas, the lens through which she witnesses and celebrates life is two-fold enhanced, one through the lens of her camera, the other, through the lens of autism.

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North Haven Courier

Rob Deko, Jr., credits his mother and father for a childhood filled with life lessons about helping others and the importance of giving back to one’s community. Photo courtesy of Rob Deko, Jr.

Rob Deko, Jr: Heroes Helping Heroes

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

Rob Deko, Jr., comes from a family of helpers, in the form of public service providers via firefighting through his father and nursing via his mother. Born and raised in East Haven, Rob spent his early years serving his local community but now helps in North Haven, North Branford, and beyond.

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East Haven Courier

Lynn LaFogg rides her motorcycle with Bikers Against Animal Cruelty, Inc., to raise funds and awareness to fight against animal cruelty and neglect. She also volunteers to help cook for and serve both the homeless and senior citizens through St. Bernadette Church in New Haven.

Photo courtesy of Lynn LaFogg

Lynn LaFogg: A Two-Wheeler Supports Four-Leggers

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

East Haven native Lynn LaFogg grew up loving animals. Today, when not caring for and enjoying her own dogs—Diva, a blue heeler-Chow mix, and Gunner, a Labrador retriever mixed with three other breeds—she volunteers to help both abandoned pets and feral animals through the organizations she supports.

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North Haven Courier

As an educator with a keen interest in American history, Kimberly Carew is excited to see the return of the North Haven Mayflower Society’s annual banquet, to be held on May 15 at Cascade in Hamden. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Carew

Kimberly Carew: For the Love of History

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

Where history, community, and children converge you will find Kimberly Carew. She has a long history of service to North Haven children as a teacher and in her efforts to help preserve the town’s history through her work with the Mayflower Society of North Haven.

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North Haven Courier

After four attempts, Rudy Vener finally won first place in the Connecticut-based Tassy Walden Awards children’s book writing competition last year. Leila, the tortoiseshell cat, functions as a “mews” when he writes. Photo by Gina Vener

Rudy Vener: The Art of Perseverance

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

The famed science fiction writer Ray Bradbury wrote in his advice to writers, “To fail is to give up. There is no failure unless one stops. Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous and therefore destructive of the creative process.”

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East Haven Courier

Kalie Peccerillo is an adjunct professor of U.S. healthcare and cultural competence in health care at the University of New Haven. She also finds time in her busy schedule each day to help refugees in Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Kalie Peccerillo

Kalie Peccerillo: Gathering Donations for Ukraine

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

When tragedies occur and people step in to help the victims a snowball effect can form. The outpouring of aid in times of emergency is encouraging and heartwarming.

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East Haven Courier

Claudia Giulietti believes in the power of volunteerism. If something needs doing in town, Claudia is likely to be lending a generous hand. Photo courtesy of Claudia Giulietti

Claudia Giulietti: The Joy of Life-Long Volunteering

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

Claudia Guilietti may prefer to avoid the spotlight and remain behind the scenes with all the volunteerism she does, but it is precisely her devotion to helping others that makes the world a better place.

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East Haven Courier

Aaron Marcel believes in the holistic philosophy of medicine, which treats the whole person and not the disease. His additional efforts to help children ages 5 to 12 through sports is a natural extension of his empathy for others. Photo courtesy of Aaron Marcel.

Aaron Marcel: Hockey Haven Founder Helps Underserved Youth

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

Aaron Marcel, a native of the South Shore region of Massachusetts, arrived in North Haven last fall to begin his medical studies at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University on his way to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

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East Haven Courier

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee says of the Irish American Community Center and its annual Connecticut Irish Festival, “It’s a great place if you’re interested in Irish culture. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to learn about Irish culture.” Photo courtesy of Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee: Celebrating Irish-American Traditions

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

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee’s family history drives her love of the Irish American Community Center (IACC), which makes its home on Venice Street in East Haven but serves the entire Greater New Haven area.

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North Haven Courier

George Ambel never leaves home without donning one of the 15 military hats he owns. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years before his honorable discharge. Today, George helps fellow veterans in all branches of the service obtain the maximum disability compensation allowed by law. Photo courtesy of George Ambel

George Ambel: Helping Disabled Veterans

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

George Ambel, 83 years young, likes to remember only the good things related to his career in the U.S. Air Force and his time serving his country during the Vietnam War. Today, with boundless positive energy, George helps other military veterans obtain all the federal help they deserve, but often don’t know they are entitled to receive.

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North Haven Courier

Since a young age, Kathy Rocklin has seen the importance of giving back to the community and has volunteered in many roles in education in town over the years, most recently with the North Haven Education Foundation. Photo courtesy of Don Rocklin

Kathy Rocklin Feels Fortunate to Volunteer for North Haven Schools

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

Kathy Rocklin has lived in North Haven for more than four decades and has been volunteering in some capacity for North Haven Public Schools nearly the entire time she has lived here.

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North Haven Courier

North Haven resident Julie Mountcastle taught at Ridge Road Elementary School for more than a decade and is now the head of school and a teacher at Slate School. Photo courtesy of Julie Mountcastle

Julie Mountcastle’s Passion for Collaboration Fuels Success at Slate School

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

North Haven’s Julie Mountcastle is now 20 years into the second career in her life. Julie taught at Ridge Road Elementary School for more than a decade and is now the head of school and a teacher at Slate School.

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North Haven Courier

Gabriella Brand is North Haven’s first-ever poet laureate. Photo courtesy of Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand Brings Years of Experience as Town’s First-Ever Poet Laureate

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

While Gabriella Brand has been a poet since she could talk and her fiction and poetry have now appeared in more than 50 literary magazines, she has not always been comfortable sharing her work.

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North Haven Courier

Kathryn Speeg, a teacher in North Haven High School’s family consumer science program, volunteers her time to help with costume design for the school musical, which will be held the first weekend in March. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Speeg

Kathryn Speeg Brings NYC Fashion Experience to NHHS Stage as Costume Designer

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

Growing up in Wallingford, Kathryn Speeg always was intrigued by fashion and design. After graduating from Marist College’s fashion program, Kathryn spent more than 10 years working as a women’s sportswear designer in New York City.

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North Haven Courier

David Quijano—pictured with adoptable Luna and his children David Jr. and Valentina—and his family have been fostering dogs with Where The Love Is for the past six months. Photo courtesy of David Quijano

David Quijano and Family Helping Foster Dogs Find Forever Homes

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

Growing up in Colombia, David Quijano always loved animals and had different pets. After going to college, David moved to America when he was 18. A few years later, he met his wife, Christen, and the couple married in 2007.

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North Haven Courier

Lori Mansur has worked in the healthcare field for the past eight years and is now getting her master’s in nursing. Photo courtesy of Lori Mansur

Lori Mansur ‘Born to Be a Nurse’

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

After graduating high school in 1996, Lori Mansur tried a few different jobs, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she found her calling.

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North Haven Courier

Elijah Amendola recently returned from Africa, where he was deployed with the National Guard since last March. Photo courtesy of Elijah Amendola

Elijah Amendola Thankful for Community’s Support During His Deployment

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

North Haven resident Elijah Amendola left his home in March 2021 to serve with the Connecticut National Guard 1-102 Infantry on a deployment to Africa.

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North Haven Courier

Curt Andrews recently retired from the Northeast Volunteer Firehouse after being involved in different capacities for 34 years. Photo courtesy of Curt Andrews

Curt Andrews Celebrates More than Three Decades of Volunteering with Northeast Co. 4

Published Jan. 19, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Even though Curt Andrews had joined the West Ridge Volunteer Fire Association when he was 16 years old because “it was a cool thing to do,” it wasn’t until years later that he became fully involved as a volunteer.

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The Sound

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 Jan. 12, 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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North Haven Courier

When PJ Morgan moved in with fiancée Margo Faherty, he brought his love of holiday decor and the couple has since expanded on their light display at their home on Kings Highway. 

Photo courtesy of PJ Morgan

PJ Morgan Shares Love of Christmas through Lights

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

What started with a few lights at PJ Morgan’s parents’ house has since grown into a glowing display at the home he shares with his fiancée, Margo Faherty. Their home at 92 Kings Highway has drawn visitors throughout the holiday season.

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North Haven Courier

Steve Paik has joined the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University as associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of medical sciences. 

Photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University

Steve Paik: Meet a New Dean at the Frank Netter School MD of Medicine

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

As the new dean of student affairs at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine on the North Haven campus of Quinnipiac University, Dr. Steve Paik, MD, EdM, is excited to bring his experience and passion for medicine and teaching to the institution.

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North Haven Courier

Annetta DePino (right) and her husband Todd partnered with the Red Cross to bring a blood drive to North Haven on Sunday, Dec. 19 in honor of their daughter Amelia (left), who passed away from leukemia. Photo courtesy of Annetta DePino

Annetta DePino Honors Daughter Through Blood Drive

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

On Sunday, Dec. 19, a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wakely Community & Rec Center will honor Amelia DePino, a 2017 North Haven High School graduate who passed away on April 15, 2019 after a two-plus year battle with leukemia. Her parents, Annetta and Todd, saw the need for blood and platelets firsthand during Amelia’s treatments.

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North Haven Courier

Pasquale Festa will be celebrating one year serving as the circulation librarian at North Haven Memorial Library in January. Photo courtesy of Pasquale Festa

Pasquale Festa Brings Love for Arts and Museum to Job at North Haven Library

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

Growing up in Fair Haven, Pasquale Festa didn’t have to travel far from his hometown to take a job as the circulation librarian at the North Haven Memorial Library. Though his current job is only just ac ross the town line, the road to getting there was more circuitous.

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North Haven Courier

Suxiao Yang is hoping to bring together crafters to join her in giving back to those in need. 

Photo courtesy of Suxiao Yang

Suxiao Yang Looks to Knit Together Crafters to Give Back to Community

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

One year ago, Suxiao Yang and her husband, Augustine Hadelich, were on his family’s farm in Italy when the country again went into a pandemic lockdown. Little did Suxiao know that she would find a new passion after taking the time to sew a hole in one of her husband’s suits.

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North Haven Courier

Megan Leubner, a recent award recipient for her volunteer efforts helping the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic, will graduate from Quinnipiac University in 2023 with an M.D. degree. Photo courtesy of Megan Leubner

Megan Leubner: Crisis Hero Award Winner

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

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of businesses and schools, most people could shelter-in-place in the comfort of their own homes. The folks in homeless shelters, however, did not have such luxury. One local shelter, Columbus House in New Haven, had little choice but to remove its residents from the close quarters of its facility and place them in available apartments.

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North Haven Courier

David Yaccarino is hosting a cold-weather collection for homeless veterans through Friday,

Dec. 3 in honor of Veterans Day with collection points throughout town.

Photo courtesy of David Yaccarino

David Yaccarino Gives Back to Veterans as Navy Helped Him Find His Path

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

When David Yaccarino was young, he wasn’t sure what path he wanted to take in life. He decided to try to enlist in the Marines, but since he was not yet 18, he couldn’t. From there, David joined the U.S. Navy Reserves, which helped him build a foundation for the rest of his life.

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North Haven Courier

Marjorie Dauster has been involved with the annual Holiday Food Drive sponsored by the churches of North Haven, for nearly two decades. Photo courtesy of Rip Dauster

Dauster Heads Up Annual Holiday Food Drive

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

Every fall for the past 20 years, Marjorie Dauster has volunteered with North Haven’s annual Holiday Food Drive. The food drive was conceived by the North Haven Fire Department, but when storage became an issue 20 years ago, it was taken over by the churches of North Haven.

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North Haven Courier

Angelo Appi leads the largest team of volunteers in the Veterans Day Project, an event Paulette DeMaio organizes in which volunteers do fall cleanups for veterans. 

Photo courtesy of Angelo Appi

Angelo Appi Ready to Lead a Team in Veterans Day Project on Nov. 13

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

When Angelo Appi found out that volunteers were needed for The Veterans Day Project, he jumped at the opportunity. The event was started by Paulette DeMaio in 2014 with a goal of helping veterans in North Haven with fall yard cleanups.

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North Haven Courier

After blazing the trail as one a woman studying sciences, Dr. Marie Zuckerman has spent the majority of her career working in her hometown of North Haven. 

Photo courtesy of Marie Zuckerman

Dr. Zuckerman Honored at Women of Innovation Awards for 60-Year Science Career

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

For as long as she can remember, Marie Zuckerman has had an interest in math and science. While she didn’t realize it at the time, she blazed a trail for women in science as she earned advanced degrees and held a postdoctoral research position at Princeton

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North Haven Courier

Caitlin Hyatt is chairing Vox Church’s Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. Photo courtesy of Caitlin Hyatt

Hyatt Building Connections as Vox’s Director of Community Outreach

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

After joining Vox Church in March, Caroline Hyatt immediately got involved as a member of VoxKids, helping the VoxKids director. Soon Caitlin began asking about different community outreach opportunities and learned that the former director was unable to continue the role.

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