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Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Appoints Howard Sovronsky Acting CEO and President

July 21, 2014 News, Releases No Comments

Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford Appoints Howard Sovronsky Acting CEO and President

 

GREATER HARTFORD, CT – The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford (www.jewishhartford.org) has announced that Howard Sovronsky has been named Acting CEO and President, stepping in for Cathrine Fischer Schwartz, who will depart at the end of July to direct the Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation located in Boca Raton, Florida.

Sovronsky is an experienced nonprofit management leader with expertise in strategic planning, operations and fiscal nonprofit management. He has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in the behavioral and forensic mental health management field, including work in government, nonprofit and hospital systems. As Vice President for Behavior Health at Nassau Health Care Association between 2005-2007, Sovronsky managed a large municipal hospital, nursing home and health center. Until 2012, he was the COO of Community Health Resources, a behavioral health network in Windsor, Connecticut.

Sovronsky’s role will include leading the staff during the 2015 Annual Campaign, overseeing the work of Federation locally, in Israel and in 70 Jewish communities overseas.  He will continue the collaborative relationship with the Jewish Community Foundation and the Aim Chai Campaign, local synagogues and the partners, programs and services Federation supports.

Sovronsky holds a B.A. from Queens College, New York, and earned his masters degree in clinical social work from Adelphi University’s School of Social Work in Garden City, New York. Sovronsky, a West Hartford resident, will officially begin work on July 15, 2014.

“I am looking forward to working with Howard as we continue to serve the Greater Hartford Jewish community,” said Robert K. Yass, Chair of the Board. “With Howard’s leadership and energy our community will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Jewish Federation’s mission is to create a thriving and caring Jewish community that connects people of all faiths, builds tomorrow’s Jewish leaders, cares for Jews in need around the world and supports the state of Israel. Our partners, programs and services provide opportunities for all generations to connect and share Jewish heritage. Federation’s work is guided by core Jewish values: Tzedakah (righteous giving), Tikkun Olam (improving the world) and Klal Yisrael (Unity of the Jewish People). Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford (www.jewishhartford.org) is located on the Zachs Campus | 333 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite C, West Hartford, CT 06117

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain Funding For Early Childhood Programming in Plainville, Southington

July 21, 2014 Releases No Comments

New Britain, Conn., July 17, 2014 – Early childhood development programming in Plainville and Southington, including Plainville’s pre-kindergarten expansion and Southington’s “Community Plan for Southington’s Young Children,” are the beneficiaries of nearly $40,000 in new grants from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

The funding is part of the Community Foundation’s ongoing “First Years First” early childhood development initiative, the Foundation’s signature focus and funding priority. Since 2006 the Foundation has made a community investment of more $1.36 million in helping to prepare children from the Greater New Britain area for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience.

“These grants further the Foundation’s continued efforts to facilitate our communities’ work on behalf of young children and families,” said Jim Williamson, President of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. “Both Southington and Plainville are making tremendous strides in providing high-quality early childhood education experiences and it is our privilege to be a part of their great work.”

Included in the new funding is a $17,285 Capacity-Building/Curriculum Enhancement Grant to expand Plainville’s pre-kindergarten program for 4 year olds to 80 to 90 students in the 2014-2015 school year, more than doubling current levels. The added capacity will target students from high-risk families.

To date, Plainville has approved $200,000 in added classrooms and extended the pre-K program from four half-day sessions to five full-day sessions. The Community Foundation’s Director of Program, Joeline Wruck, served on the Plainville committee which designed the expansion.

In Southington, the Foundation approved a $20,000 grant that will help enable the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington to move to the next phase of its Community Plan for Young Children, first unveiled in late May. Along with $50,000 from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and another $5,000 from the Southington Board of Education, the grant will elevate part-time coordinator Dr. Mary Yuskis to the full-time positon of Director and also begin the process of implementing the Plan’s recommendations.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.

Contacts:

Jim Williamson, President, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, (860) 229-6018 x306, jim@cfgnb.org
Dennis Buden, DBPR, (860) 558-0514, dennis@dbpr.net

A Call To Save Lives -LifeChoice Donor Services Spreads Critical Message About National Minority Donation Awareness Month-

July 21, 2014 Releases No Comments

(WINDSOR, CT)– July 17, 2014- Penelope Howes of Hartford was just 44 when she died suddenly in a car accident last year.   Her family was faced with an unexpected question- did they want to donate her organs?   Ultimately, their decision prevented other families from feeling the deep pain of loss that they were experiencing. 

“Our family decided to donate her organs because she was the type of person that liked to help out in any way possible and she would have wanted to donate an organ to help someone else in need.  That’s why we decided as a family to donate her right and left kidneys,” said her daughter Jahnell Howes. 

In the United States, 18 people die every day because of the shortage of organs available for transplant. For minority communities, the need is especially great. In total, 57% of the patients waiting for organ transplants are minorities, even though they account for 36% of the total population.

National Minority Donor Awareness Week, celebrated annually on August 1-7, is a nationwide observance to honor the generosity of multicultural donors and their families, while also underscoring the critical need for people from diverse communities to register their decision to Donate Life as organ, eye and tissue donors. It is a time to promote healthful living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation. In 2013, 11,813 minority patients received organ transplants; while there were 2,887 minority deceased donors and 1,803 minority living donors.

Penelope Howes had immigrated to the US in 2009 from Georgetown, Guyana.  In life, Penelope Howes was a wife and mother of two daughters.   In death she was a Hero.

“We know that there is a female in her early seventies who received our mother’s right kidney and she is doing well.  She is married and enjoys spending time with her family. Also there is a gentleman in his sixties who receive Penelope’s left kidney and he is doing well and has good kidney function,” adds Jahnell.   “We know this makes our Mom happy and she’s smiling down from heaven.”

Evelyn Harris did not receive one of Penelope’s organs, but she is counting on someone just like  Penelope to give her the life-saving gift she desperately needs.   At the age of 14, Evelyn was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering system causing serious scarring.  It’s a condition she has lived with for decades until she needed hemodialysis since 2008.

“I go to the hospital three times a week. I’m on the machine for three hours,” said Harris, a Hartford resident.  “My experience on dialysis is one that cannot be defined in two or three sentences. But to pick one word to sum it up- difficult!”

She has now been on the waiting list for a new kidney for three years.  Harris does her best to remain patient, but the wait is excruciating and the dream of a new, healthy life is what keeps her going.

“For one, I would not be on dialysis. No more hospital. No more fluid restriction. And no more feeling like someone drained the energy right out of my body,” she said.  “You’re always on a tight schedule. Rules need to be followed, directions need to be heard loud and clear or the outcome may be fatal.”

It’s important to note, organs are not matched according to race or ethnicity.  People of different races often match one another.  However, there is a higher probability of a match when received from someone of the same ethnicity because compatible blood types and tissue markers—critical qualities for donor and recipient matching—are more likely.   Ultimately, a greater diversity of donors will increase access to organ and tissue transplantation for everyone.

It’s a message Jahnell Howes hopes everyone receives.  “Like my mother exemplified, just one person donating their vital organs and tissue can save the lives of many people and make a difference in the lives of many more.” 

In Connecticut, only 43% of state residents over the age of 18 are included in the Donor Registry, which is below the national average of 48%. Summer is a great time to consider joining the Donor Registry and while the registry protects your decision to be a donor, it is important to tell your family. The decision to be a registered donor does not impact the quality of care you will receive in a hospital or emergency situation – the ultimate goal is always to save your life.  It is important for people of all ages, races and ethnicities to consider giving the gift of life and many common illnesses and ailments do not make people ineligible to donate.

LifeChoice Donor Services, Inc. is the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for six counties in Connecticut and three counties in Western Massachusetts with a combined population of 2.3 million people.  The OPO serves twenty-three acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation and two organ transplant hospitals, Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

LifeChoice Donor Services is a member in good standing of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO).  For more information about LifeChoice and to join the Donor Registry, please visit www.lifechoiceopo.org or call 1.800.874.5215.

It Took More Than “Just One Thing.” $27.5 Million Delivered Back to Hard-Working Families in Our Community.

July 21, 2014 Releases No Comments

Hartford, Conn – What would you do with $1,850? This was the average federal refund in the regional 2014 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) campaign, an opportunity for lower-to-moderate wage-earners to boost their family income by getting free help in filing state and federal returns.

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, in partnership with The Village for Families & Children, Inc. and Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. provided support for VITA’s free tax preparation assistance through a network of municipal and community providers in the Greater Hartford, and Windham regions, and New Britain. Free tax sites were open from late-January until April 15.

At United Way-supported VITA sites and through United Way’s MyFreeTaxes website, $27.5 million in federal refunds and credits were returned to 10,400 taxpayers, including $6.8 million in federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). VITA helps working families get ahead financially, pay down debt and work toward saving for the future. Filers with household incomes up to $52,000 were eligible for volunteer tax preparation assistance.

“We are proud to announce that we reached 1,000 more tax filers this year compared to last. This means more families in our region were given an extra boost to help make ends meet. Not only do the families benefit, but our entire economy when refund dollars are invested locally, supporting local businesses helping our community to thrive. We look forward to helping even more filers next year,” stated Susan B. Dunn, president and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

How was this done? Three hundred experienced, IRS-certified volunteers prepared and filed state and federal income tax returns at no charge. Volunteers also ensured that taxpayers claimed the proper credits including EITC, Child Tax Credit, Education Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. At VITA sites, people learned about other resources and benefits available to help them become financially secure and independent.

VITA is a meaningful, unique experience for the volunteers who work one-on-one with hard-working individuals and families. This year, volunteers committed more than 10,000 hours of service. Their time equated to more than $265,000 invested in our community, making it stronger for all of us.

The 2014 VITA and MyFreeTaxes partners included: Bank of America and Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies/Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund; City of Hartford/Opportunities Hartford Initiative; Community Accounting Aid and Services; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Human Resources Agency of New Britain; Internal Revenue Service; Liberty Bank Foundation; New Alliance Foundation; United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut; United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1; The Village for Families & Children, Inc.; Walmart Foundation; and, Webster Bank.

United Way has been involved in regional VITA campaigns for 13 years as one way of mobilizing volunteers and investing in strategies that assist families toward financial security. To learn more about becoming IRS-certified as a VITA volunteer, email Maura Cook at mcook@unitedwayinc.org. For more 2014 VITA results in our region, click here

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut serves the 40-town region by mobilizing people and organizations to give, advocate and volunteer to help children succeed, ensure families are healthy and financially secure, and provide access to basic needs. For more information, visit unitedwayinc.org.

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Jazz ‘N’ Blue Festival Benefiting Autism Speaks – Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center – Simsbury, CT

July 21, 2014 Events, Releases No Comments

The 2014 Jazz ‘n’ Blue Festival is presented by Blue Plate Radio and Blue Plate Radio Productions at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center in Simsbury, CT features the internationally renowned jazz band Down to the Bone along with New Haven jazz legends Airborne and West Hartford, CT’s own Doug Jones. Gates open at 2pm for this day-long event and the festival kicks off with Doug Jones and his band at 4pm! A portion of the proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks.

Tickets are just $39 for the event that includes all three bands! Tickets can be purchased at http://jazznblue2014.eventbrite.com. Parking is FREE and kids 16 and under with an adult are FREE! Blankets, chairs, and coolers are welcome and attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite beverages! Gate price day of the show is $45 cash.

Headlining the inaugural 2014 Jazz ‘n’ Blue Festival is the world-renowned jazz, funk, and fusion band Down to the Bone. Down to the Bone is embarking on its first American tour in quite some time and their appearance at the Jazz ‘n’ Blue Festival marks the first time in seven years that they will appear in Connecticut and the only time in 2014 that the band will perform in the state! Down to the Bone is the brain-child of producer and writer Stuart Wade who started out with an idea in 1995 and now, with the release of their 10th CD “Dig It,” Wade’s original idea has become an international sensation!

Airborne is a multi-cultural Contemporary Jazz group based in New Haven, CT. Formed in the 1980’s these veterans of jazz celebrate years of recordings, jazz festivals, concerts, and clubs. The members have toured across the World. Airborne has many award winning and chart topping CD’s and has received worldwide airplay and international acclaim.

Airborne’s musical recipe infuses straight ahead jazz with Caribbean and Latino influences, spiced up with its own brand of jazz fusion and urban street funk. It’s no wonder that they opened for the likes of Jeff Lorber, Tower of Power, Acoustic Alchemy, and many more. Airborne is celebrating 25 years of recording with their 8th CD, “Silver.”

Opening the 2014 Jazz ‘n’ Blue Festival is West Hartford, CT’s Doug Jones! Doug Jones expresses his passion for music through his compositions and performances. His career spans many years performing in different venues in the Northeast from the Hartford Jazz Festival to clubs in Newport, Manhattan and Boston as well as South America. His saxophone influences are David Sanborn, Grover Washington, Tom Scott, Bobby Keys and Edgar Winter. In addition to his own contemporary jazz group, Doug’s unique style of playing can also be heard with New England bands as well as blues recording artist Mark Nomad.

Doug Jones’ third and latest release, “Top Down,” is getting positive reviews. Ronald Jackson from the Smooth Jazz Ride calls “Top Down” “A solid gold star effort.” Downbeat Magazine says “Tenor man Doug Jones has a fresh voice…” “Top Down” also features Doug playing flute and harmonica – two instruments that he has been playing for many years but has never included on his previous releases “Shades Of Gray” and “Heart And Soul.” “One Last Dance” is the first single to be released from “Top Down.”

Gates open at 2pm and show begins at 4pm. Blankets, coolers, chairs, and BYOB are all welcome! PARKING IS FREE! KIDS 16 AND UNDER FREE WITH ADULT!

Tickets are just $39 for the event that includes all three bands! Tickets can be purchased at http://jazznblue2014.eventbrite.com. Gate price day of the show is $45 cash.

CONTACT: Ed Tankus/Blue Plate Radio – 203.488.2798 – info@blueplateradio.com

Sister Cities Essex Haiti Recipient of Sister Cities International Award for Innovation: Youth and Education

July 16, 2014 News No Comments

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
BY DANIEL TAYLOR-STYPA
VICE PRESIDENT- SISTER CITIES ESSEX HAITI
CHAIR- PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE
PO BOX 26
ESSEX, CT 06426
It has been announced by Sister Cities International based in Washington D.C., that affiliate member Sister Cities Essex Haiti has been awarded the 2014 Sister Cities International Innovation: Youth & Education (Population less than 100,000 Award. This award is in recognition of the outstanding exchange work done by Sister Cities Essex Haiti in advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement.
Sister Cities Essex Haiti will be recognized at the Sister Cities International 58th Annual Conference in San Jose, California July 31 – August 2.The award will be presented at The Lou Wozar Annual Awards ceremony and dinner to be held on August 2.
The 2014 Sister Cities International Innovation Award (Youth and Education) recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.
The mission of Sister Cities Essex Haiti, Inc. (SCEH) is to build a mutual long-term sustainable relationship between the people of Essex, Connecticut and the people of Deschapelles, Haiti, their extended communities, and Hospital Albert Schweitzer located in Deschapelles.
Since 2011, SCEH has been working on the “Early Education Teacher Training Project” in conjunction with a volunteer group called Organization pour Development Economique et Social (ODES). The objective of the project is to work with teachers in Deschapelles to enhance existing curricula, introduce hands-on educational materials important to cognitive development, provide the necessary equipment and materials, and for American and Haitian teachers to learn from one another.
Stage two of the Early Education Teacher Training Project began in 2013, as SCEH and ODES held workshops in both Essex and Deschapelles. The program has grown from three schools in 2011 to fifteen schools in 2013, as knowledge has been effectively shared collectively with workshop participants and educators at numerous schools in Deschapelles.
Kathleen Maher , SCEH President and founding member upon receiving news of SCEH being the recipient of this award commented, “ We are extremely honored to accept this award. The energy and enthusiasm of all those involved is to be congratulated and commended, particularly the educators in Deschapelles, Haiti (who approached us with the early education program idea), the volunteer educators in our area who have enthusiastically shared their talents and skills, Essex Elementary School, Region 4 Schools, the SCEH Board for their guidance, ODES (our partnering volunteer organization in Deschapelles), Jenifer Grant for her enthusiastic leadership and wisdom, and all our benefactors.”

Jenifer Grant, SCEH Vice President for Deschapelles Project Coordination and founding member enthusiastically added, “To be able to work with the pre-school teachers in Haiti with my French and Kreyol speaking confreres from the US has been an experience that we will value all our lives. I never imagined that those efforts would inspire teachers here to find ways for their students, in Essex and Middletown, to create relationships which further understanding between the different cultures. We are grateful for being honored for something that provides us with so much pleasure.”
Dr. Ruth Levy, Region 4 School Superintendant and SCEH Board member sent her “Congratulations!” and commented “It’s all about connections…coming together as a community and a school system, uniting not just one small community but countries in which we can learn from one another, be respectful of diversity, and benefit from the relationships created. It is a small world that we live in. SCEH builds relationships that span oceans.”

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman, offered his congratulations on behalf of the Town of Essex and additionally noted, “There is a great community spirit which is alive and well in Essex, and this award exemplifies this community’s ability to achieve within and beyond its geographical boundaries.”

Sister Cities Essex Haiti continues to build cooperation between the people of these communities, enabling them to learn, work and solve problems together by collaborating with ODES, volunteer partners and with Hospital Albert Schweitzer through an exchange of educational, cultural, professional, municipal, business, and technical initiatives and projects.
For more information go to sistercitiesessexhaiti.org, like us on FaceBook

What the Founding Fathers Have to Teach Us – Duncaster World Affairs Discussion July 22

July 16, 2014 Events No Comments

An interview with noted historian David McCullough about lessons that today’s Americans can still take from 1776 will be featured at the July 22 Duncaster World Affairs series. The meeting will be held at Duncaster from 10:30 a.m. to noon. It is free to the public with preregistration.

Charlie Rose will interview McCullough about how these men, who did not consider themselves extraordinary, changed the course of history. “In his interviews, McCullough explains how men who did not judge themselves as being of remarkable talent, and indeed doubted their own capacity for the task at hand, nonetheless persevered in a cause they thought was just and essential to the human condition,” says Ed Fowler, the session’s facilitator and leader of Duncaster’s World Affairs series.

The discussion is part of Duncaster’s World Affairs Series, which is presented to the community by the residents of Duncaster on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Participants include Duncaster residents, as well as members of the community.

Attendance is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, or for more information, contact Fran Kent at (860) 380-5006 or fKent@duncaster.org.

About Duncaster

Duncaster is the Hartford Area’s first LifeCare community for active, engaging seniors. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the boutique retirement community is located just minutes from West Hartford and Simsbury, in Bloomfield, CT. Duncaster residents enjoy an intellectually stimulating lifestyle while experiencing security and peace of mind. Duncaster was voted the Best Retirement Community by readers of Harford Magazine and the Connecticut Law Tribune. Residents have a role in governance and sit on the board – a rare distinction. The community’s 94-acre campus includes apartment homes, assisted living apartments and short-and long-term skilled nursing accommodations (all private). Duncaster offers its residents lifetime protection against the potentially catastrophic costs of long-term care through the LifeCare plan. For more information, visit http://www.Duncaster.org or call (860) 380-5005.

Media contact
Andrea Obston aobston@aomc.com
(860) 243-1447 (office) (860) 803-1155 (cell)
(860) 653-2712 (home)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES RECOGNIZES LIFECHOICE DONOR SERVICES FOR ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION WORK WITH HOSPITALS

July 15, 2014 Releases No Comments

(WINDSOR, CT) – July 14, 2014--LifeChoice Donor Services is among a select group of organ procurement organizations (OPOs) nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reaching gold, silver, and bronze levels of achievement for conducting activities that promote enrollment in state organ, tissue and eye donor registries. The hospitals are part of a national hospital campaign, sponsored by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has added 327,659 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide since 2011, exceeding the goal of 300,000.

LIfeChoice Donor Services conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors and community members about the critical need for organ, tissue and eye donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. The hospitals earned points for each activity implemented between June 2013 and May 2014 and was awarded gold, silver, or bronze recognition through the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign.

Of the 1,228 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 400 were awarded recognition during this phase of the campaign.

Medal winners within the CT and Western MA area include:

  • Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, MA) Gold
  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center (Greenfield, MA) Bronze
  • Baystate Mary Lane Hospital (Ware, MA) Bronze
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington, CT)  Bronze
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford, CT) Bronze
  • DayKimball Hospital (Putnam, CT) Silver
  • John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington, CT) Bronze
  • Johnson Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (Stafford, CT) Silver
  • Mercy Medical Center (Springfield, MA) Silver
  • Midstate Medical Center (Meriden, CT) Bronze
  • Noble Hospital (Westfield, MA) Silver
  • William Backus Hospital (Norwich, CT) Silver
  • Windham Community Memorial Hospital (Willimantic, CT)  Bronze
  • Hartford Hospital (Hartford, CT)  Gold
  • Lawrence & Memorial Hospital (New London, CT)  Gold
  • St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Hartford, CT) Gold

“It is quite an impressive milestone to have 70% of the hospitals within our federally designated service area recognized as part of this national campaign,” said Caitlyn Bernabucci, Education Specialist for LifeChoice Donor Services. “It is good to see that these hospitals are committed to the donation process for their patients and families at the time of death and before through education about an important end of life decision. We are proud of the commitment that these hospitals have to donation.”

This campaign is a special effort of HRSA’s Workplace Partnership for Life to mobilize the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, tissue and eye donors. The campaign unites donation advocates at hospitals with representatives from their organ procurement organizations, Donate Life America affiliates, and state and regional hospital associations. Working together, the teams leverage their communications resources and outreach efforts to most effectively spread word of the critical need for donors.

In Connecticut, only 43% of state residents over the age of 18 are included in the Donor Registry, which is below the national average of 48%. The good news is that the community can help. Summer is a great time to consider joining the Donor Registry—and while the registry protects your decision to be a donor, it is important to tell your family. The decision to be a registered donor does not impact the quality of care you will receive in a hospital or emergency situation—the ultimate goal is always to save your life. It is important for people of all ages, races and ethnicities to consider giving the gift of life and many common illnesses and ailments do not make people ineligible to donate.

LifeChoice Donor Services, Inc. is the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for six counties in Connecticut and three counties in Western Massachusetts with a combined population of 2.3 million people. The OPO serves twenty-three acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation and two organ transplant hospitals, Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.

LifeChoice Donor Services is a member in good standing of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). For more information about LifeChoice and to join the Donor Registry, please visit www.lifechoiceopo.org or call 1.800.874.5215.

Southington Early Childhood Plan Gets Boost

July 15, 2014 Releases No Comments

Southington, Conn., July 10, 2014 – Following a year of research into the state of early childhood education in Southington, the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECCS) is ready to enter the implementation phase of its Community Plan for Southington’s Young Children thanks to an infusion of $75,000 in new grant funding.

Included in the new funding are grants of $20,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, $50,000 from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund – a Hamden-based nonprofit that supports community-based educational programming for Connecticut children – and $5,000 from the Southington Board of Education.

The new funding enables the Collaborative to elevate part-time coordinator Dr. Mary Yuskis to the full-time positon of Director, and to accordingly begin the process of implementing the recommendations from the Community Plan that was first presented to local educators, community leaders, the business community and Southington families on May 29 at The Orchards at Southington.

“This is an exciting next step in the road to an even better and brighter future for Southington children and families,” said Dr. Yuskis, the lead author of the plan who has worked closely since her original part-time appointment in January with a wide variety of community partners to bring the plan to fruition. “I am excited about this opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood education, to unite those who feel the same, and to coordinate the services and opportunities that are available in Southington while also trying to recognize and develop new ones.”

“We are proud to continue our important role as a lead funder of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington, a major component of the Foundation’s First Years First early childhood development initiative,” said Jim Williamson, President of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. “Thanks to this wonderful collaboration of the Graustein Foundation, the Southington Board of Education and other community partners, we are making a difference in the lives of Southington’s children.”

“On behalf of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington and its partners, we’d like to thank the Community Foundation, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and the Southington Board of Education for the confidence that they have placed in the Collaborative,” added Michelle Slimak, Co-Chair of the Collaborative. “With Dr. Yuskis at the helm full-time, and with the continued support of these and other community partners, we are entering into a new era of diverse resources and access to high-quality early childhood education for Southington children.”

The Community Plan for Southington’s Young Children, said Dr. Yuskis, showcases what Southington is doing right for its young children and what needs to be improved, as well as how the Collaborative can build new and reinforce existing partnerships within the community.  The plan was compiled to outline the process for promoting the next steps in support of the programs and services available to young children and their families.

Over the course of the next year, said Dr. Yuskis, the Collaborative and its network of partners will begin the work of implementing new services and initiatives to promote the health, education and well-being of Southington’s children. Among the priority items to be tackled, said Dr. Yuskis, is heightened community-wide awareness of the importance of early childhood education in preparing children for success.

The Community Plan is available on-line at www.southingtonearlychildhood.org in the About Us section.

The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington is a group of committed educators, community leaders, parents, healthcare providers, childcare providers and members of the community who are deeply invested in the growth, development and academic success of young children in Southington. The Collaborative’s mission is that “all Southington children will enter school ready to learn.”  ECCS is dedicated to three goals:  1) Advocating for high quality preschool and childcare; 2) Empowering parents and families through workshops and educational programs; and 3) Being a wide ranging resource for community members on the subject of early childhood care and education.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.

Contacts:

Jim Williamson, President, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, (860) 229-6018 x306, jim@cfgnb.org
Dennis Buden, DBPR, (860) 558-0514, dennis@dbpr.net

 

 

Record Scholarships for Community Foundation

July 15, 2014 Releases No Comments

New Britain, Conn. (July 10, 2014) – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has awarded 56 area students some $175,830 in 2014 scholarships, the highest total amount of scholarship dollars awarded by the Foundation in its 70-plus year history.

The 60 total scholarships awarded (four students received two awards) came from 40 of the Foundation’s named scholarship funds, established by individual donors. The vast majority of scholarships were awarded to students from the four communities comprising the Foundation’s service area (Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington) while several additional scholarships, based on donor-established criteria, were awarded to students from Farmington, Newington and other communities.

The honored students will attend a wide variety of colleges and universities in Connecticut and beyond, including the University of Connecticut (UConn), Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), the University of Hartford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston University, George Washington University and more.

Scholarship recipients are listed in alphabetical order by town of residence. Listings include student name, scholarship(s) awarded and chosen college/university.

Berlin

Lauren Baretta, Kimberly R. Miller Scholarship (Juniata College); Kasondra Colasanti, Vincent F. Biscoglio, Sr., Memorial Scholarship (Mount Saint Mary); Jessica Karwowski, Helen T. Bianca Nursing Scholarship (University of Saint Joseph); Melissa Lopreiato, Gloria Biscoglio Bosco Memorial Scholarship (CCSU); Alicia Maule, Gloria Biscoglio Bosco Memorial Scholarship (Eastern Connecticut State University); Kelsey Sena, Josephine Suits Arts Scholarship (University of Hartford); Natalie Souza (2), Paul J. and Mary P. Karam Music Scholarship and Keith Benson Kramer Scholarship (Belmont University); Kristen Stack (2), William P. and Janet C. McCormack Scholarship and Harold M. Sussman Memorial Scholarship (Salve Regina University); Timothy Synnott, Dominic DelConte Memorial Scholarship (UConn); Victoria Vega, James W. McDermott, Jr. Memorial Scholarship (UMass Amherst); Megan Wilcox, William J. Tomasso Scholarship (Fordham University).

Farmington

Nicole DiTommaso, Eleanor and Nathan Berry Scholarship (UConn).

New Britain

Christina Bouaphone, Virginia and William Bray Scholarship (CCSU); Samantha R. Buchalter, Frank E. Rogers Scholarship for Agricultural Studies (George Washington University); Chardynea Crossdale, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (Howard University); Ashley Davis, Carolyn’s Healthy Environment Scholarship (Eastern Connecticut State University); Tyler Ferguson, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (CCSU); Stephon Henry, Louis O. Gagliardi Scholarship (UConn); Jennifer Heppner, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (Pennsylvania State University); Amy Huang, Henrietta R. Demorat Scholarship (UConn); Krystian Koszykowski, Linda Blogoslawski Mlynarczyk Memorial Scholarship (UConn); Prezemyslaw “Preston” Kozikowski (2), Macdonald/Hjerpe Scholarship and New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni and Associates Scholarship (CCSU); Antonio Labas, Catherine C. Conway Memorial Scholarship (CCSU); Diante Lewis-Jolley, Peter G. Perakos, Sr. Scholarship (Santa Barbara College); Patrick Malchar, Peter G. Perakos, Sr. Scholarship (Tunxis Community College); Erica Muzzulin, Harold M. Sussman Memorial Scholarship (Coastal Carolina University); Meghan Pelletier, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (University of Hartford); Kimberly Pena, Vic and Betty Fumiatti Scholarship (CCSU); Asfia Qutub, William J. Tomasso Scholarship (UConn); Michael A. Robinson (2), William F. Burns Memorial Award and Scholarship and Harry L. Stromquist Memorial Scholarship (University of Miami); Alicia Strong, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (Wesleyan University); Juliette Thuillier, Harold C. Rahm Memorial Scholarship (UConn); Damien X. Westerman, Louis (Mattioli) Matt Music Scholarship (CCSU); Keonna Yearwood, Louis P. Gianoli Scholarship (TBD); Tomasz Zarzecki, Harold C. Rahm Memorial Scholarship (UConn).

Newington

Wiktoria Bis, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (Boston University); Kristina Drollinger, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (UConn); Emily Forauer, Joseph T. and Christine J. Schribert Scholarship (UConn); Amy Miller, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (University of New Haven); Nicole Stepak, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (Maywood University); Kavisha Thakkar, Stanley and Margaret Nowacki Scholarship (UConn).

Plainville

April Lemanski, William J. Tomasso Scholarship (Coastal Carolina University); Leslie Mroczek, William G. Bryant Memorial Scholarship (Tunxis Community College); Nicholas Petrucci, William G. Bryant Memorial Scholarship (Sacred Heart University).

Southington

Stephanie Brilla, Michael J. Davey Memorial Scholarship (Tunxis Community College); Caroline Burke, Mitchell J. Porydzy II Memorial Scholarship (UConn); Antonia Cavallo, Mitchell J. Porydzy II Memorial Scholarship (Clemson University); Benjamin Johnson, Dennis J. Stanek, Sr. Memorial Scholarship (UConn);

Melissa Martin, Mitchell J. Porydzy II Memorial Scholarship (Roger Williams); Sarah Mongillo, Dennis J. Stanek, Sr. Memorial Scholarship (UConn); Alexander Queen, Arthur T. Blumer, MD, Merit Scholarship (MIT); David P. Swanson, III, Mitchell J. Porydzy II Memorial Scholarship (Tunxis Community College).

Other Towns

Allyson Clark (Essex, Conn.), Allen M. and Rosalind W. Humes Humanitarian Scholarship (American University); Sidney Eragene (Wethersfield, Conn.), Elizabeth I. and Louis J. Matt Scholarship (CCSU); Jessica Myers (Hamden, Conn.), Alma Exley Scholarship (Southern Connecticut State University); Erin Weber (Phoenixville, Penn.), Kim Miller Synchronized Swimming Scholarship (TBD).

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.

Contacts:

Jim Williamson, President, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, (860) 229-6018 x306, jim@cfgnb.org
Dennis Buden, DBPR, (860) 558-0514, dennis@dbpr.net

 

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