Recent Articles:

Students From James Hillhouse JROTC, King/Robinson Inter-District Magnet School Come Together for Financial Education

April 14, 2015 Events, News, Releases No Comments

Students are preparing students for the future in New Haven, as James Hillhouse High School JROTC cadets are working with first and second grade classes at King/Robinson Inter-District Magnet School, sharing Junior Achievement lessons with the young students.

Their curriculum continues on Thursday, April 2, and concludes on Monday, April 6 as 21 high school students and five classes of elementary school students – just over 120 children – come together for their final of six weekly lessons. The cadets are teaching in three first grade and two second grade classrooms, sharing Junior Achievement lessons related to communities and families. It is the third year that the two schools have partnered in the program; it has grown from just two classes in its first year.

“This is a tremendous partnership with two outstanding New Haven schools, demonstrating that even while still in high school, students can begin making a difference in their community and influencing young lives in positive ways,” said Lou Golden, President of JA of Southwest New England.  “By the example of their JROTC teachers, the elementary school children are seeing the importance of continuing their education, and the opportunities that can result.”

Junior Achievement is a global leader in providing cutting-edge, hands-on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness education. Providing children with positive role models, who illustrate ways to build self-confidence, develop skills and find avenues of success in our economic system, is a hallmark of Junior Achievement.

“I am honored to have James Hillhouse High School’s distinguished JROTC cadets teaching our first and second grade students financial lessons,” said Nadine Gannon, Principal, King/Robinson Inter-District Magnet School. “This amazing partnership models our philosophy for our students to take action in their community to make our world a better place. The JRTOC cadets are doing just that! Our students could not have better role models with whom to share this experience.”

“I am extremely proud of our JROTC program for its leadership and service to Hillhouse and the Greater New Haven community.  Our cadets are among the best role models we can present to our elementary school children.  It is my hope that these elementary school students will grow up to exemplify the confidence, civic responsibility and academic excellence that our cadets strive for each day,” said. Kermit Carolina, Principal at James Hillhouse High School.

“The cadets are fully aware of the importance of being role models for the students at King-Robinson and they thoroughly enjoy the time they have while they are at the school,” said SFC (ret) Lisa Rodriguez of the JROTC.  “Some of the cadets have actually followed the first graders they taught onto the second grade to teach them there, they love seeing how the students have changed from the year before.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with both King-Robinson and the Junior Achievement program for many years to come.”

Last year, more than 2,500 volunteers – business professionals, parents, retirees, and college students – offered JA programs to nearly 33,000 students in roughly 150 schools in 49 communities in New Haven, Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Litchfield, Windham, and New London counties.

James Hillhouse Comprehensive High School School is comprised of three different academies.  The Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Action (I.D.E.A.) Academy; the Law, Public Safety and Health (LPSH) Academy; and the College and Career Ready (C.C.R.) Academy.  It is the mission of James Hillhouse High School to graduate students prepared for success in a world of increasing diversity, technological change and global challenges.  Our task is to create an environment in which all students have the opportunity to reach their greatest academic potential and to facilitate their growth as responsible and respectful members of society.

King/Robinson Inter-District Magnet School: An Intermediate Baccalaureate World School aims to develop internationally-minded people who help to create a better and more peaceful world by recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. The school educates students to be rigorous thinkers with positive attitudes using the International Baccalaureate’s inquiry-based learning philosophy, literacy, foreign languages and technology. It is the only school in Connecticut authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Organization Program in the primary and middle years.

Individual interested in learning more about JA volunteer programs should contact 860-525-4510 or visit for details.

Santander Volunteers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford

April 14, 2015 News, Releases No Comments

On March 23, employees from Santander volunteered at the Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club of Hartford. The dedicated group spent the morning painting a multipurpose room that hosts a variety of Club programs, including leadership building and community service.

“Businesses committed to improving the communities they serve like Santander play a critical role in helping Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford put more than 5,000 of Hartford’s youth on the path to Great Futures,” says Samuel S. Gray, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. “We cannot thank Santander enough for volunteering at our Asylum Hill Unit, as well as believing in the power of our Clubs to positively transform Hartford’s community.”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, please contact Kandyce Aust, Vice President of Development, at 860-929-7665 or

Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Hosts Opening the Door Celebration on April 23

April 14, 2015 Events, Releases No Comments

On Thursday April 23 from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the Connecticut Convention Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford presents the Opening the Door Celebration, one of Hartford’s premiere philanthropic events of the year. This celebratory event will be emceed by NBC Connecticut’s Brad Drazen.

More than 500 guests from the Capital Region’s professional and philanthropic community will join together in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford’s critical programs and services for more than 5,000 of Hartford’s most in need children and teens.

The Opening the Door Celebration will announce Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford’s 2015 Youth of the Year, which is the highest honor a Boys & Girls Club member can receive. The Youth of the Year is Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national youth recognition program for members who excel in Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship as well as Healthy Habits. During the event, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford will also present its annual inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame.

“Every day, millions of children leave school with no place to go, leaving them at risk of being unsupervised, unguided and unsafe,” says Samuel S. Gray, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. “Our Opening the Door Celebration raises the funds Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford’s needs to put Hartford’s children and teens on the path to Great Futures both afterschool and in the summer. When School is Out, Clubs Are In!”

To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford’s Opening the Door Celebration, or to purchase tickets to the event, contact Kandyce Aust, Vice President of Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, at 860-929-7665 or

The Last Romance at the Ivoryton Playhouse

April 14, 2015 Events, Releases No Comments

Ivoryton Playhouse Contact: Jacqui Hubbard
(860) 767-9520
Press Release
April 6th, 2015
A crush can make anyone feel young again!
The Last Romance
by Joe DiPietro
At The Ivoryton Playhouse

Ivoryton: On an ordinary day in a routine life, an 80-year-old widower named Ralph decides to takes a different path on his daily walk — one that leads him to an unexpected second chance at love. Relying on a renewed boyish charm, Ralph attempts to woo the elegant, but distant, Carol. Defying Carol’s reticence — and the jealousy of his lonely sister Rose — he embarks on the trip of a lifetime and regains a happiness that seemed all but lost.

Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro’s The Last Romance, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a little Puccini and a smidgen of dog treats, opens in Ivoryton on April 22nd.

DiPietro recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical Memphis, which also received the 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and which will be opening in Ivoryton in August this year. DiPietro is an Ivoryton favorite; his shows I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off Broadway history), and the Broadway musical All Shook Up were both popular successes at the Playhouse.

Directed by Maggie McGlone Jennings, the cast includes Chet Carlin* as Ralph, whose Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and the National Tour of Sir Peter Hall’s As You Like It; Kate Konigisor*, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare with Benefits, as Rose; Stephen Mir as the Young Man and Rochelle Slovin*, making her Ivoryton debut as Carol and reigniting a theatre career after spending the past 30 years as the Founding Director of the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
The set design is by William Stark, lighting design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Vickie Blake.

The Last Romance opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 22nd and runs through May 10th.Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Photos by Anne Hudson
1. Stephen Mir and Chet Carlin*
2. Rochelle Slovin* and Chet Carlin*

*Indicates member of Actors Equity Association

Members of the press are welcome at any performance.
Please call ahead for tickets.

Generously sponsored by Essex Meadows and The Clark Group


April 14, 2015 Events, Releases No Comments

Fran Pastore
April 8, 2015 President & CEO, WBDC

Amanda Allen
Program Manager of New Initiatives


WHAT: Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) hosts its second annual Women Owned Business Day at the State Capitol, an interactive and empowering discussion with key national and state leaders about the economic clout of women entrepreneurs. Women small business owners from every corner of the state gather together with key national and state leaders to discuss key policy issues facing women entrepreneurs and the future of women owned small businesses in Connecticut.

WHO: Over 200 registered women business owners
104 Connecticut State Legislators
Fran Pastore, President & CEO, Women’s Business Development Council
The Honorable Nancy Wyman, Lieutenant Governor, State of Connecticut
The Honorable Patricia Billie Miller, Deputy Speaker, State Representative, 145th District
The Honorable Terrie Wood, Asst House Republican Leader, State Representative, 141st District
The Honorable Themis Klarides, House Republican Leader, State Representative, 114th District
Catherine Smith, Commissioner, Department of Labor
Sharon Palmer, Commissioner, Department of Economic & Community Development
Amanda Brown, Executive Director, National Women’s Business Council
Tina Byles Williams, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, FIS Group

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 2D
300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106

WHEN: April 8, 2015 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

For a complete list of programs offered by WBDC visit, or follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram #ctwbdc

The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women become economically self-sufficient. WBDC is the leader of entrepreneurial and financial training for women in Connecticut and has been educating, empowering and promoting women through entrepreneurship, financial education and expanded career opportunities for 18 years.
# # #

Jewish Federation’s Interfaith Seder A Success!

April 14, 2015 Events, News, Releases No Comments

A community Seder organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford attracted more than 90 community members of all faiths on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford. Friends of all ages had the opportunity to sing, recite prayer, taste items from the Seder plate and talk traditions with eight community rabbis, neighbors, friends and our extended Federation ‘family’. The mini-Seder was led by Rabbi Debra Cantor from B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom and supported in part by Big Y and The Crown Market, who donated a respectively, a gift card and food items for the Seder plates. If you are interested in future interfaith discussions and events, including working in an interfaith community garden through our partner Jessie’s Community Gardens, visit or email You can see photos of the event in our photo albums on Facebook. Visit our Facebook page to get involved and educate, advocate and mobilize for good in the Greater Hartford community.

Master Class in Film Acting

April 14, 2015 Events, Releases No Comments

Taught by award-winning writer/director Keith Bearden. Saturday, April 18, 10:00 am – 12 noon. $15/person.

Oddfellows Playhouse
128 Washington Street, Middletown

To register, call (860)347-6143 or visit

Nursing Students Receive Nightingale Scholarships

April 14, 2015 Releases No Comments

New Haven (April 14, 2015) – John R. Quinn, President & CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut, has announced that five local nursing students: Jennifer Walker, Jacqueline Ines Palmer, Michelle Sheridan, John LeBlanc, and Erica Gibson, will each receive a $1,200 scholarship through the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program.

The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program was originally developed by the VNA South Central to be a collaborative effort to celebrate outstanding nurses and elevate the nursing profession. The goals of the program are to encourage retention, focus public attention, recognize the breadth and scope of nursing practice at the local level, and inspire future nurses. To help achieve these goals, for the past twelve years, the Nightingale program has provided scholarships to outstanding students from five local nursing schools: Gateway Community College – Department of Nursing, Quinnipiac University – School of Nursing, Sacred Heart University – School of Nursing, Southern Connecticut State University – Department of Nursing, and the Yale University School of Nursing.

Jennifer Walker, the recipient from Gateway Community College, is a second-degree student who holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Public Administration. Jennifer’s experiences volunteering for the Peace Corps in Namibia and working with underserved populations in Texas encouraged her to pursue a career in nursing as well as provided her with the essential skills to deliver care to a variety of patient populations. She is described by clinical faculty as a student who “possesses compassion and empathy, a keen intellect and desire to learn, good moral and ethical principles, and excellent critical thinking skills.”

Jacqueline Ines Palmer, the recipient from Quinnipiac University, is a senior nursing student who was recently inducted into the Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, having achieved and maintained a GPA of 3.54. “She has a strong work ethic, is determined, mature and responsible; yet always willing to seek support from her peers or faculty when needed”, according to faculty and staff at Quinnipiac. Jacqueline hopes to achieve an entry level position in critical care upon graduation and plans to pursue an advanced degree as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

Michelle Sheridan, the recipient from Sacred Heart University, upholds high academic standards while balancing work and community service. She was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society as a junior nursing student and has been on the Dean’s List all four years. Michelle is also a mentor for underclassmen and volunteers throughout her time in different events to support the nursing program. She is described by nursing faculty as “a quiet leader; one who is unassuming and humble.”

John LeBlanc, the recipient from Southern Connecticut State University, is an Accelerated Career Entry (ACE), second degree student in the prelicensure baccalaureate nursing program. His prior academic work was completed at Temple University with a major in Spanish and a minor in Clinical Psychology. His experiences on a mission trip to an impoverished village in Guatemala solidified his decision to pursue nursing education. John is determined to pursue a career that will provide him with an opportunity to advocate for those who are physically and/or psychologically compromised.

Erica Gibson, the recipient from Yale University, has been a Registered Nurse since 2008 and is currently pursuing an MSN in the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A/G ACNP) program. Erica serves on the Ethics and MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit) End of Life Committees at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Erica has written her thesis and was accepted as a poster presenter to represent Yale School of Nursing at the Eastern Nurses Research Society’s annual symposium in Washington D.C.

All 2015 scholarship recipients will be honored at a special reception hosted by the VNA South Central on April 15. In addition, thanks to the generosity of Platinum sponsor Yale-New Haven Hospital, they will be recognized at the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, which will be held on Wednesday, May 6 at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.

For more information about the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, including sponsorship information and how to purchase tickets, visit the Nightingale website at or call the Nightingale hotline at 203-859-6765.

To make a contribution to the VNA South Central in support of this important event, please contact Melissa Healy, Community Development Specialist, at 203-859-6054.

The Evolution of the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing

The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program was developed in 2001 out of a desire to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. As a nursing organization with more than a century of service, the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut took the lead in creating the award ceremony. The Nightingale vision was quickly embraced by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Yale-New Haven Hospital and The Hospital of Saint Raphael, whose financial support brought the idea to fruition.

In 2003, the program grew to include concurrent galas in the Hartford, Norwich-New London, and Stamford regions, as well as the original program in New Haven. The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing is open and inclusive of all health care settings—hospitals, home health care, health centers, schools, health departments, long-term care, nursing schools, medical practices and more. In 2015 the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing will be held in three locations; Hartford, New Haven, and New London.

Fairfield County Givingday

March 6, 2015 Releases No Comments


Giving Day March 5th, 2015: 24 Hours to Give Where You Live, A Day of Local Philanthropy.

NAMI Connecticut Joins the Giving Day Movement:

Donating In Your Community to Benefit Your Community.

Pledges Fund Fairfield County Programming Needs

[Fairfield, CT February 27, 2015] March 5th, 2015 is Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Second Annual Giving Day. This 24 hour donor event was created to harness the giving power of individuals, charities, families and businesses to benefit and highlight services in their communities.

Fairfield Counties first Giving Day in 2014 saw 9,211 people answer the call to “give where you live” and donations of $756,229 were generously distributed to 267 nonprofits in 24 hours.

The benefit to organizations like NAMI Connecticut and its two strong Fairfield and Southwest affiliates is in making our communities aware of the free support, education programming that is provided year-round to families, those living with mental health challenges and professionals in Fairfield County. Fairfield County affiliates run seven support groups, a vibrant Fairfield Book Club, educational speakers at both affiliate locations throughout the year and peer support groups are being added this year for those living with mental health challenges.

NAMI Connecticut Board President Marissa Walls & NAMI Connecticut Executive Director Kate Mattias support this philanthropic day “Giving Days are a wonderful opportunity. It is a platform we can use to tell our story and the story of so many who have been touched by the work of NAMI Connecticut.”

“What’s more,” says Kate Mattias, Executive Director of NAMI Connecticut, “for many of the people we reach this will be their introduction to NAMI Connecticut and will provide a great deal of hope to them.”

NAMI Connecticut is committed to reaching and serving the 1:4 Americans that are impacted by mental health challenges each year. The benefits of support are immeasurable to those who need it.

Become a donor by visiting and making a secure donation on March 5th at:

This year your gift can be multiplied! Make one or more donations throughout the day and help us win prizes over $20,000.

For more information on our affiliate support groups and educational programs please visit:



Young Professionals Help the Homeless

March 6, 2015 News No Comments

(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) – PULSE Greater New Haven Young Professionals collected more than 100 cleaning supplies for families transitioning out of homelessness. PULSE hosted a drive at their monthly event, which took place at Shake Shack in downtown New Haven Thursday night.

“Families moving into their new homes have very little,” Kellyann Day, CEO of New Reach, Inc. explained, “Items like cleaning supplies are essential and collections like this really support our mission.”

In 2014, New Reach housed 337 people who were homeless through the Connecticut Rapid Re-Housing program.

“Part of being a good citizen is giving back,” stated Leo Connors, PULSE Board Chairman, “These drives provide an opportunity to support those in the community that are less fortunate, and the board of PULSE has made community service one of the core values of our mission.”

PULSE, a program of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce and Quinnipiac Chamber, is active in the community and holds quarterly community service projects in addition to professional development seminars, bi-monthly Leadership Roundtables and monthly networking events. For more information visit

New Reach Inc. was established in 1990 to provide emergency shelter for families, and is working in the New Haven area to address the housing and support service needs of women with children. New Reach provides services to families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. New Reach has developed its programs to include emergency shelter, supportive housing, children’s programs and The Furniture Co-Op. For more information, visit the Web site at
– ### –