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July 15, 2020
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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

Through her role as vice president of the Chester Library Board of Trustees, Karin Badger has helped foster the metamorphosis of the 100-plus-year-old facility while it has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of Karin Badger

Karin Badger: Re-Decoration Day

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

It’s a familiar decorating story: Paint the ceiling and the walls look so drab, you decide to paint them, too.

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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.

Read More

Harbor News

Clinton’s Robert “Woody” Wilkins founded Dances with Wood more tan two decades ago and continues to expand the mission of helping improve lives through hand-crafted projects. Photo courtesy of Woody Wilkins

Still Dancing with Wood—and More

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

“I always tell people the worst compliment you can give me is to call me perfect,” says video storyteller Pat Lore.

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Guilford Courier

When the pandemic closed in and shut down businesses in March, Pat Lore, a Guilford resident, seasoned TV reporter, and video production expert, found a new niche and a new way to help others by sharing her pro tips on marketing themselves or their business or organization via video and live camera. Photo courtesy of Pat Lore

‘Lights, Camera, Connection’: Lore Produces Live Video Support for Locals

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

“I always tell people the worst compliment you can give me is to call me perfect,” says video storyteller Pat Lore.

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North Haven Courier

Pat Nuzzolillo has served on the Board of Fire Commissioners for more than a decade. Photo courtesy of Pat Nuzzolillo

Pat Nuzzolillo Continues to Serve

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

For the past 12 years, Pasquale “Pat” Nuzzolillo has served as the chairman of North Haven’s Board of Fire Commissioners.

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The Sound

Natalia Imperato joined the Orchard House staff a little more than three years ago and is a much-loved certified nursing assistant, but she has also found many other ways to contribute her time and talent to assist this non-profit organization, such as coming in to the Orchard House kitchen during the pandemic, as shown here, to cook meals for client deliveries. Photo courtesy of Natalia Imperato

Imperato Adds Hands-on Help to Further Assist Non-Profit Orchard House

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

If you’re looking for Natalia Imperato, you’ll probably find her doing everything she can to help Orchard House Adult Medical Day Care in Branford.

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Harbor News

Wendy Mill enjoys giving back to her community as part of Old Saybrook’s Youth & Family Services. Photo courtesy of Wanda Barnes

Wendy Mill: A Sense of Community, Support for Youth

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

For Wendy Mill, her 13 years at Old Saybrook’s Youth & Family Services (YFS) brings together many threads of her life and weaves them together.

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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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Valley Courier

After 50 years serving as a volunteer firefighter, John Divis remains an active member of the Chester Hose Company. Photo courtesy of John Divis

John Divis: Where’s the Fire?

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

John Divis didn’t want to, but he has had to change his Monday night schedule.

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The Sound

Venice Garner Moore made the leap to begin her own practice, Embrace Your Difference, and is sharing the importance of the concept, self career, and more in a column throughout July in honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Photo courtesy of Venice Garner Moore

Venice Garner Moore Shines Light on Minority Mental Health Awareness

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

At a peaceful protest in Madison, Venice Garner Moore—a therapist, life coach, author, and motivational speaker—met an editor from the Courier, and Venice suggested a story highlighting Minority Mental Health Awareness.

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Valley Courier

Given the opportunity to help expand the community’s—and his own—understanding of climate change, Mike Long jumped aboard with the Sustainable Essex group.

Photo courtesy of Mike Long

Mike Long: The Long and Short of It

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

When Mike Long learned about Sustainable Essex, he had no hesitation. He knew he wanted to be involved.

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Guilford Courier

Camp Menunkatuck Director Megan Wallace is overseeing this summer’s carefully planned program, which follows all COVID-19 safety protocols while still delivering the fun factor for kids. This year, Guilford Parks & Rec’s eight weeks of summer camp is based at Guilford High School. Photo by Matt Landry-McWilliams

Keeping Kids Safe & Happy at Camp Menunkatuck 2020

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

While Megan Wallace has led Guilford Parks & Recreation’s Camp Menunkatuck for many years, this summer, Megan, together with her assistant director Matt Landry-McWilliams and a team of six counselors, are working especially hard to keep campers safe and happy.

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East Haven Courier

A cancer survivor herself, Jamie Torello has focused her energies on fundraising for a cure following the loss of her mom to the disease last summer. She’s also discovered a flair for crafting unique wreaths. Photo courtesy of Jamie Torello

Jamie Torello: Fundraising for Cancer in Mom’s Memory

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

Not a day goes by in which East Haven native Jamie Torello doesn’t think about her mom, who passed in July of last year from lung cancer.

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North Haven Courier

Soon after Shauna DeStefano stepped up to the position of assistant director of library services at the North Haven Memorial Library, the COVID pandemic threw everything into chaos. She and her colleagues have been finding creative ways to keep connected and useful to the community ever since. Photo courtesy of Shauna DeStefano

Shauna DeStefano: Meet the New Assistant Director

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

Earlier this year—shortly before word of the COVID pandemic began hitting the news—positive changes were quietly taking place at the North Haven Memorial Library.

Read More

Harbor News

Longtime Registrar of Voters June Hansen is as prepared as can be for the upcoming November elections. Photo courtesy of June Hansen

June Hansen Brings ‘People Person’ Skills to Registrars’ Office

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

Every time there’s an election or referendum in Clinton, people pack into the Town Hall Green Room as polls close and spend the night excitedly talking until the moment the results are about to be announced.

Read More

The Sound

Shown here pictured at last year’s SARAH Gala, a major fundraiser that has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to support the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge fundraising event benefiting SARAH. The program’s traditional one-day cycling event has been re-imagined for participants who can enter online, log miles with a recreational activity of their choice, and raise pledges toward completing their goals anytime between July 1 to 31.

Photo courtesy of Kim Vigliotti

Vigliotti Hopes Many will Rise to the Summer Breeze Challenge for SARAH

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

With some major fundraisers set aside due to COVID-19 this year, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to the challenge—the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge, that is.

Read More

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.

Read More

Guilford Courier

Shown here pictured at last year’s SARAH Gala, a major fundraiser that has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to support the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge fundraising event benefiting SARAH. The program’s traditional one-day cycling event has been re-imagined for participants who can enter online, log miles with a recreational activity of their choice, and raise pledges toward completing their goals anytime between July 1 to 31.

Photo courtesy of Kim Vigliotti

Vigliotti Hopes Many will Rise to the Summer Breeze Challenge for SARAH

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With some major fundraisers set aside due to COVID-19 this year, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to the challenge—the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge, that is.

Read More

Valley Courier

Through his role as vice-chair of the Chester Park & Recreation Commission, John Williams is working to improve the amenities for all ages at North Quarter Park. Photo courtesy of John Williams

John Williams: Par for the Course

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What does a park look like in your mind’s eye: a playscape for youngsters to climb all over, maybe a basketball court for teens, or, if you live in Chester, a nine-hole disc golf course?

Read More

The Sound

On June 19, the third annual StoryWalk along Main Street launched in Branford. For the next nine weeks, Blackstone Library Associate Librarian for Youth Services Carly Lemire is hoping those who follow the picture book story, My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and Freya Blackwood, will also be inspired to embrace the message it shares. Services at the library continue to be virtual this point; information about StoryWalk and other offerings can be found at www.blackstone.lioninc.org. Photo courtesy of Carly Lemire

Lemire Helps Bring StoryWalk to Downtown Branford

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

On Friday, June 19, the third annual StoryWalk along Main Street launched in Branford.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Some make masks, others donate food. For photographer Jennifer Schatz, her way to help others through the COVID-19 pandemic has been to take family and graduate photos. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Schatz

Jennifer Redente Schatz: Capturing Miraculous Moments During Distancing

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A picture is worth more than a thousand words, especially when that picture captures the love of family in the midst of stressful times.

Read More

Harbor News

History, philosophy and law teacher Jeff Motter is retiring after 19 years at The Morgan School. Photo courtesy of Jeff Motter

Jeff Motter Retiring After 19 Years

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Graduation day wasn’t just the last time at The Morgan School for the Class of 2020, it also was the last day for Jeff Motter, who has retired after 19 years at the school.

Read More

A bookkeeper and human resources manager at MJW EA & Company, Charon Squitiero helps small business owners navigate the options and government programs available to them. “The relief in their voices when the required documents are uploaded properly, or the application is accepted, or when they say the funds appeared in their bank account just in time is so gratifying,” she says. Photo courtesy of Charon Squitiero

Charon Squitiero: Guiding Business Owners Through a Pandemic

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Charon Squitiero has a front-row seat to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on people’s lives.

Read More

North Haven Courier

North Haven mom Monica Hatton has applied her experience and commitment to forming the Special Needs Advisory Group, which is dedicated to supporting kids with special needs and their families. Photo courtesy of Monica Hatton

Monica Hatton: Community-Wide Help for Special Needs

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Monica Hatton moved to North Haven a little over a year ago, she quickly learned the town was missing something when it came to helping special needs children.

Read More

Guilford Courier

On March 16, 2020, A’s Unique Boutique was poised for owner Kara Engstrom’s peak prom gown sales weekend, when COVID-19 restrictions shut down her store. From that point until this moment, staying in business has been a matter of connectivity, creativity, and community support. Photo courtesy of Kara Engstrom

Engstrom Grateful for Creativity, Connectivity, Community Support

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

On March 16, A’s Unique Boutique was poised for a peak prom gown sales weekend when COVID-19 restrictions shut down the store. From that point until this moment, staying in business has been a matter of connectivity, creativity and community support for owner Kara Engstrom.

Read More

The Sound

As valedictorian of the North Branford High School Class of 2020, Ava Galdenzi videotaped her valedictorian’s speech and its positive message to her classmates for this year’s virtual graduation ceremony. The stand-out student athlete will attend Wesleyan University to play field hockey and pursue studying her field of interest, psychology.

Photo courtesy of Ava Galdenzi

Graduating on A Positive Note: NBHS Valedictorian Ava Galdenzi

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

No one could have predicted the pandemic, but those who know Ava Galdenzi can tell you that this exceptional young woman would find a way to help the North Branford High School (NBHS) Class of 2020 graduate on a positive note during a challenging time.

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East Haven Courier

David Emerman has been recognized as a leader soon after he joined the East Haven Police Department in 2004, and his latest move will be a promotion to captain alongside fellow lieutenant (and recent Person of the Week) Joseph Murgo.

Photo courtesy of David Emerman

David Emerman: Rising in the Ranks

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Lieutenant David Emerman of the East Haven Police Department is moving up to the rank of captain, thanks to his good work and 16 years of dedication to the town of East Haven. Dave will assume his new post on July 1.

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Harbor News

Maple Breeze Farm in Westbrook has long helped to preserve the heritage cow breed the American Milking Devon, and now Bonnie Hall is taking the next step by raising and training two calves, Logan and Morgan (shown here), to work the farm as a set of oxen.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Hall

Bonnie Hall: Building a Future on Old-Fashioned Farming

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If things were different, Bonnie Hall would be a vegetarian.

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Valley Courier

Breaking from a career of telling others’ stories, retired journalist Peggy Schenk recently wrapped up her own tale, a work of historical fiction titled It Happened. 

Photo courtesy of Peggy Schenk

Peggy Schenk: It Took a Bit of Time

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Peggy Schenk told her son Rich she had finished her novel, he told her it was about time. He pointed out she had been working on it for 40 years.

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A real estate agent, Camille Ackermann is quite involved in Madison. She tends her garden and makes flower arrangements as proprietor of Flowers by Camille, heads a group of early-morning walkers, and lately, makes face mask extenders and gives them out for free to anyone required to wear face masks for a prolonged period. Photo courtesy of Camille Ackermann

Camille Ackermann: Making a Difference

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Wearing a face mask has now become part of people’s daily routine to help stop the spread of COVID-19. But for many, prolonged use of a mask can feel restrictive or result in headaches and irritation around the ears.

Read More