Today Magazine • March 2023

Page 1

Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley

TODAY
MARCH 2023 • WWW.TODAYPUBLISHING.NET
QUICK CLASS ON GREENS AND GRASS
/\ Collinsville Green Canton Village Green \/

ALL EARS

A white-tailed deer is on alert in a Canton backyard — a deer’s large ears can rotate like radar dishes in any direction, so they are able pick up the slightest sound waves from any angle

CALENDAR CLICK for TODAY ONLINE CALENDAR Email Events newsroom@TodayPublishing.net
Photo by Wendy Rosenberg

CONTENTS

4 — Tracing Green Space

Canton town historian Kathy Taylor welcomes you to a brief master class featuring the fascinating history of three village greens in her hometown

12 — Best In Show

The local Raymour & Flanigan has won a notable award comparable to a 99th-percentile SAT score

14 — Road Trip Trivia

Here’s some obscure geography info connected to the Raymour headquarters in Liverpool … NY, that is

17 — Milestone Moments

From big fsh to a toothy teddy bear, we ofer a rundown on landmark biz and nonproft news

“As a family-owned business, it’s especially important to involve our work family in serving the community” — Raymour & Flanigan

Raymour locations in CT — 11

LETTERS

COVER STORY KUDOS

Grass Is Greener Here In Valley

WISE URBAN PLANNERS make green space a key goal when fashioning a cityscape. In Boston and New York, such space is the exception rather than the rule. Here in the Farmington Valley, halfway between those two major metropolitan meccas, green space is as profuse as hand sanitizer at a Let’s Combat Germs Convention.

Valley Land Trust gurus attest that spending time in the woods across our breathtaking state can have a similar cleansing efect on our psyches. As Simsbury native and former Gov. George McLean famously said in establishing his Game Refuge, he wished for “a place where some of the things God made may be seen by those who love them as I loved them.”

While urban green-space planning isn’t necessary in our pastoral Valley towns, we can be thankful that town planners of a bygone era designed villages with greens and green space in mind.

Canton is a classic example — see page 4 for our report … BWD

Today Magazine • Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley

Bruce William Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief

860-988-1910 • Bruce.Deckert@TodayPublishing.net

www.TodayPublishing.net > Digital Editions • Award-Winning

Today Online • 24/7 news — www.TodayPublishing.net/blog

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Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson

Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg

Five Towns • One Aim — Exceptional Community Journalism

Farmington • Avon • Canton • Simsbury • Granby – CT • USA

newsroom@TodayPublishing.net

Today Magazine’s February cover story featured Avon High’s Abrahamic Bus Ride Against Hate on MLK Day and a visit from the only American to stay in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide

—CLICK HERE for our coverage

THANK YOU for such a comprehensive cover story. And thanks for reaching to and including so many diferent individuals. And you wove them together so masterfully. There is a lot, a whole lot of challenging topics and questions, and mixed right in with them are reasons for hope and inspiration. Thanks again for the opportunity. Wishing you all the best.

—Carl Wilkens • Co-Founder + Director World Outside My Shoes

• Among more than 250 Americans in Rwanda before the genocide began, Wilkens is the only one who stayed THANKS for the story about Avon High’s Abrahamic Bus Ride — well done! Curious to hear what people think about your beautifully written article. All the best.

—Stuart Abrams • Avon High School

• Abrams is the Avon High School history teacher who led the MLK Day bus ride

In the February edition editor Bruce Deckert wrote a commentary article: Contemplating marriage, divorce and genocide

—CLICK HERE for the column

YOU ARE courageous and a stand-up guy. This article deserves to be read over and over. I look forward to truly understanding each message that twists and turns and leads to the ultimate wisdom, understanding, hope and Love. Thank you.

—Joe Bekanich • Avon

KUDOS for the powerful piece you wrote intertwining your personal experience about marriage and divorce. Individuals are essentially diferent from each other, and for a relationship like marriage to work it is necessary to have love, respect and tolerance.

—Sana Syed • Simsbury

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QUICK CLASS ON GREENS AND GRASS

ON THE COVER

The Collinsville Green on a 1908 postcard, with Collinsville Congregational Church in the background — The church community was originally established in 1826 and was organized in 1832 as the Congregational Church in Collinsville — In 1922 the church incorporated as First Congregational Church in Collinsville — The ofcial name today: Christ Community Church in Collinsville — Collinsville is a distinct section of Canton

TOP IMAGE

The Canton Village Green on the corner of current-day Route 44 and Dowd Avenue, with Canton Community Baptist Church in the background, circa 1900 — The church has since moved a short distance from current-day Route 44 to Dowd Avenue — The church building still stands today and houses a business — The Collinsville church and the former Baptist church building each has four columns, and the structures can be difcult to distinguish in a close-up photo apart from their surroundings

BOTTOM IMAGE

Images courtesy of Canton Historical Museum

4 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE
ABOVE The Collinsville Green on a postcard circa 1910 — the Collinsville Congregational Church is in the background

Village Greens Reveal Fascinating History

Kathy Taylor is the Canton Town Historian

— join her via this Today Magazine cover story for a quick master class on Canton’s town greens

WHAT IS A GREEN?

A green is a gathering place for people and events in town. However, the greens don’t stand alone — they are often surrounded by the buildings a community cherishes most: a church, a school, an inn and/or retail shops.

Canton Center along Cherry Brook Road (Route 179) used to be the center of Canton, but with time the town center shifted to Canton Village and Collinsville.

Following is a short history of two of the oldest greens in Canton and Collinsville, and the emergence of a new green in downtown Collinsville.

CANTON VILLAGE GREEN

Corner of Dowd Avenue and Route 44 aka Albany Turnpike

The Canton Village Green was established shortly after the opening of the Hartford-Albany Turnpike in 1799 — current-day Route 44 traces part of the old turnpike.

Situated about 10 miles from Hartford and less than 90 miles from Albany, New York, this section of Canton was one of many stops along the way, as well as a convenient connection to Simsbury and Farmington.

The former Elmshade Inn — now Union Savings Bank — is located on one side of this green.

The inn derived its name from the large elm tree, believed to be one of the largest in the nation, that was on the green until Dutch elm disease claimed it in the mid-1900s.

A “grandchild” of Connecticut’s legendary Charter Oak, planted on Flag Day in 1914, once stood on the north end of the green.

The old Baptist church was built on the green in 1807 and moved to the north side of the road in 1838, and

later moved again to a new building on Dowd Avenue.

The schoolhouse on the southwest side of the green was in use from 1872 to 1949. The structure is now home to the Gallery on the Green, run by the Canton Artists’ Guild.

So we can imagine that this green area was enjoyed by farmers, traveling vendors, visitors to the inn, churchgoers and generations of children attending the old schoolhouse.

From 1815 to 1825, Canton Village was the main commerce center, until the Collins Company (1826-1966) — manufacturer of axes, machetes and many edge tools — built a factory

The Farmington Valley Band gave well-attended summer concerts on this green for many years, and the Lions Club served refreshments during intermission

in south Canton, now known as Collinsville. The company built housing for employees, and shops and businesses sprang up to provide services for the many families who settled there.

In the mid-1950s, the Canton Lions Club built a gazebo on the west side of the green and has maintained it to this day. The Cherry Brook Garden Club provides wonderful fowers and plantings.

The Farmington Valley Band gave well-attended summer concerts on this green for many years, and the Lions Club served refreshments during intermission.

Alas, it is no longer safe to host such a large event there, and the concerts

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HIGHLIGHTS Today Magazine Cover Story on Avon’s Town Center Debate — CLICK HERE
COVER
HISTORY
Canton Village Green
6 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

were moved to another location. Due to widening of the roads over the years, the size of this green is smaller than it used to be, but it’s still a lovely place to visit.

There is parking on Canton Green Road near Gallery on the Green.

THE GREEN

Collinsville section of Canton

The road between Main Street and the front of Christ Community Church (formerly Collinsville Congregational Church) on South Street is actually

Canton celebrated its centennial in 1906 and many of the festivities were held on this green

called The Green. It is believed that Sam Collins of the Collins Company — Canton’s cornerstone business from 1826-1966 — laid out this rectangular greensward with an X-shaped cross path through the center for buggies and wagons.

Collins had elm trees planted on each side of the street, which were well over 100 years old when they succumbed to Dutch elm disease.

David Lef, the longtime Canton Town Historian and Poet Laureate, lived on this street.

Lef died in May 2022 at age 67. He often wondered — both in his book “The Last Undiscovered Place” and in subsequent writings and lectures — whether Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous father of American landscape architecture, was inspired by his time spent in Collinsville.

In 1838, a 16-year-old Olmsted (1822-1903) spent 1-1/2 years studying surveying while living with the Rev. Frederick Barton of the Congregational Church in Collinsville (now Christ Community Church). Barton built a house on The Green.

Later, this road was lined with six stately homes, three on each side. Many

/\ Gallery on the Green anchors the Canton Village Green — The Green in Collinsville \/ Courtesy Photos

of them were inhabited by Collins Company executives and local doctors and teachers.

Soon after World War I, a large sign — called the Canton Roll of Honor — was erected at the end of The Green facing the Valley House Hotel, with the names of 119 Canton men who served and never returned, including seven Gold Star soldiers.

Canton celebrated its centennial in 1906 and many of the festivities were held on this green. Parades and other events passed through this area.

Fittingly, The Green was blocked

CANTON VILLAGE GREEN • THEN >

• From essentially the same viewpoint as the above currentday image, this archive photo of the Canton Community Baptist Church — seen from across the Canton Village Green — is dated 1909, per Canton Town Historian

Kathy Taylor

• Information written on the original photo identifes the church as being located on Canton Street, known today as Route 44 aka Albany Turnpike

• The entire area around Canton Village Green was once called Canton Street, per Canton Deputy Town Historian Carolyn Woodard Canton Street Cemetery on Canton Springs Road is just south of Dowd Avenue and the green

• The current home of Canton Community Baptist Church is in a diferent building at 125 Dowd Avenue, a stone’s throw west of Route 44 aka Albany Turnpike

CANTON VILLAGE GREEN • NOW >

• The former Canton Community Baptist Church the white building with four pillars — can be seen from across the Canton Village Green in this March 2023 photo, with the green’s gazebo on the left

• This viewpoint is from Dowd Avenue, looking across Route 44 aka Albany Turnpike out of the photo, to the left of the gazebo, is the Gallery on the Green, on the corner of Dowd Avenue and Canton Green Road

• The Junk Shop, a popular antique furniture and collectibles store, is to the right of the old church building

• Today, the old Baptist church building houses the Spirit of Canton, a gift shop located at 185 Albany Turnpike aka Route 44 — the most recent post on the Spirit of Canton’s Facebook page, upon a visit to the webpage in early March, is from August 2022, accompanied by this message: “Thank you for your patience as our property owner fnalizes renovations to the old church”

• Out of this photo, to the right of The Junk Shop, is the trafc light where Dowd Avenue meets Route 44

The old railroad line in town has been converted via the rails-to-trails movement and is now part of the Farmington River Trail that runs right through Collinsville along the Farmington River
The Farmington Valley Band gave concerts on Canton Village Green — including Hugh McIntyre, Harold Stout and Victor Viering Photo courtesy of Canton Historical Museum Photo by Kathy Taylor

been converted via the rails-to-trails movement and is now part of the Farmington River Trail that runs right through Collinsville along the Farmington River.

So bicyclists and walkers have a chance to relax for a while and feel as if they have stepped back in time while they view the old Collins Company factory complex and Main Street buildings, which look the same as they did in the 1800s.

These buildings now house small shops and restaurants as well as The Canton Historical Museum and a large antiques business. +

Kathy Taylor is the property manager for @Collinsville LLC — the company that owns the Collins Axe Factory

• Info — www.townofcantonct.org

• Town Hall — 860-693-7870

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 11
Above — The Main Street Green in downtown Collinsville is close friends (so to speak) with LaSalle Market Left — The Department of Public Works recently added this wooden bench and another to Canton Village Green Photos by Kathy Taylor
Greens don’t stand alone — they are often surrounded by the buildings a community cherishes most: a church, a school, an inn and/or retail shops

Local Raymour Wins Notable Award

IMAGINE THAT you’re a high school senior — after taking the SAT, you wait anxiously and/or expectantly for the test results, and when they fnally arrive you’re elated at the amazing news: You’ve scored in the 99th percentile!

The Avon location of the Raymour & Flanigan Furniture and Mattresses empire has received similar encouraging news via a prestigious company award. Supervised by store leader Mark Anthony Bonenfant, the Avon-based Raymour & Flanigan has been honored as the 2022 Showroom of the Year — among 145 company locations overall.

“It certainly is an honor for our entire team,” Bonenfant tells Today Magazine. “This is the result of a lot of hard work by all of our associates and employees.”

The award is a sales-based trophy — specifcally, it measures what is known in the industry as “the highest percent-

Avon store #1 among 145 company-wide

company website. Today, the operation is headquartered in a suburb of Syracuse called Liverpool, New York, a village in the town of Salina — see the accompanying sidebar story for further geographical details.

All 145 locations are in the northeastern United States — 104 showrooms, 36 outlet stores, and 5 clearance centers. Customers can also shop via a robust e-commerce internet presence. The Avon store is considered a showroom and is situated on Waterville Road, also known as Route 10, where Route 10 connects with Route 44 at the base of Avon Mountain.

There are 11 Connecticut locations, per Bonenfant — the Avon retail store is the newest location in the state, opening in December 2018 under his leadership. Bonenfant was previously the store leader at the Manchester and Waterbury venues.

In addition to the company-wide 2022 Showroom of the Year award, his Avon shop took home multiple Store of the Month honors last year in Raymour’s New England North region.

PAY-FORWARD FOCUS

age of comp sales over the previous year,” says Bonenfant, adding that in this case “comp sales are comparative sales.”

A larger store in a massive metropolitan area may have recorded more gross sales, but the Avon location registered the most proportional sales company-wide. Measuring sales in this manner makes the award equitable.

“We’re not the biggest store, but we won this award because we beat last year’s numbers for the company’s best sales performance,” Bonenfant says.

His store has also been named the 2022 Large Business of the Year by the Avon-Canton Chamber of Commerce.

Raymour & Flanigan debuted as a single retail store in 1947 in downtown Syracuse, New York, according to the

After one of those monthly prizes, Raymour regional sales director Jose Cabrera posted the following message on LinkedIn: “What a tremendous accomplishment ... Team Avon is just crushing it right now. Congratulations to the entire team and keep up the great work!”

Raymour & Flanigan is the largest furniture and mattress retailer in the Northeast, per the parent company’s LinkedIn page, and the seventh-largest nationwide. Community investment and outreach is a cornerstone of the company’s philanthropic philosophy.

On the company’s website, the Community page afrms that Raymour & Flanigan has been “giving back since 1947.”

“As a family-owned business, it’s especially important to involve our work family in serving the community,” the website notes. “Our associates are able to partner with organizations

12 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE
BUSINESS BEAT
Award-Winning Today Biz News CLICK BELOW to READ MORE ShopBlackCT Seeks Business Equity — Publisher Gives Voice To Holocaust — COVID: What Worked, What Didn’t
“We’ve made an impact in our community, and our community has helped us grow”
— Mark Bonenfant

and charities they’re passionate about serving and feel a close connection to.”

Across the Northeast, Raymour & Flanigan hosts over 600 in-store showroom events annually to raise funds and awareness for a diverse range of causes, per the website — including children’s hospitals, disabled veterans, food pantries and school programs.

Here in the Farmington Valley, Bonenfant says his showroom has sponsored about four events annually — one each quarter of the calendar year — since launching the Avon store just before Christmas in 2018. He anticipates that his team will have the opportunity to support local nonprofts and other community-focused organizations more often in 2023.

“We’ve made an impact in our community, and our community has helped us grow,” says Bonenfant. “It’s an honor to win the champion showroom award — our teamwork got our name on the map.”

The parent company has bolstered charities such as the American Cancer Society, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the United Way.

“We believe in taking care of the communities where we serve, live and work,” the Raymour website states. “Together, we can make a diference.”

ASTOUNDING DIVERSITY

As the operation’s nomenclature makes clear, yes, Raymour & Flanigan sells furniture and mattresses — yet so much more.

Home furnishings for sale include bedroom and ofce furniture, bufets and hutches, cribs and toddler beds, dining tables and chairs, outdoor equipment, rugs and specialty foor coverings, sectional sofas and statement chairs.

1/4 PAGE AD

4.9” wide x 3.65” high

Further, the retail giant ofers an astounding assortment of home accessories, decor and products, such as — get ready for a quasi-alphabetical roller-coaster ride, courtesy of the company’s extensive website, and away we go — accent pillows, bedsheets and pillowcases, throw blankets, comforters and quilts, chandeliers, lamps and lighting fxtures, candle holders, bottles and jars, bowls and trays, clocks, faux fowers and vases, faux plants and

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 13
Avon’s Raymour & Flanigan address is Waterville Road aka Route 10 — but this visible view fronts East Main Street aka Route 44

planters, garden decor, mirrors, playroom

and wall

If you need to catch your breath, by all means — but please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop. By the way, complimentary design advice is extended as part of a complementary package whenever customers purchase furniture, other furnishings and accessories. Raymour & Flanigan’s mission, per the website, is “to enhance the customer shopping experience.”

Raymour & Flanigan: Geography Trivia Galore

RAYMOUR & FLANIGAN Furniture and Mattresses opened in 1947 as a single store in downtown Syracuse, New York — today, the company is headquartered in Liverpool, New York, a Syracuse suburb.

With such a customer-friendly and community-centered approach, it’s no wonder that Raymour & Flanigan has received, from GreatPlaceToWork.com, the Great Place To Work Certifcation for four straight years, along with the following industry awards — Retailer of the Year via the National Home Furnishings Association, Retailer of the Year via Furniture Today, and Newsmaker of the Year via Home Furnishings Business.

Yes, the Avon showroom has added to an impressive award haul. + www.raymourfanigan.com

Today editor-in-chief Bruce Deckert has received multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his writing, editing and design work

The retail giant features a convenient Farmington Valley location in Avon.

This local outlet has been honored as Raymour & Flanigan’s 2022 Showroom of the Year via the guidance of Avon store leader Mark Anthony Bonenfant, among 145 company locations — all 145 are in the Northeast, including 11 in Connecticut.

If you’re looking for some obscure geography information connected to the Raymour headquarters in Liverpool — perhaps to prepare for a potential trivia game competition in your future — Today Magazine is at your service:

• Liverpool is a village in the western part of the town of Salina, comparable here in the Farmington Valley to Tarifville and Weatogue (villages of Simsbury) and Unionville (a distinct village of Farmington) — and in addition to having another arrow in your trivia quiver, you are further equipped for the next time you endure the analogy section of the SAT: Liverpool is to Salina as Tarifville is to _______

• Raymour & Flanigan’s home base in Liverpool, New York — not to be confused with Liverpool, England — is a half-dozen miles northwest of downtown Syracuse.

• Syracuse is a city in central New York state about halfway between the eastern NY city of Albany and the western NY city of Bufalo.

• Liverpool is situated on the shore of Onondaga Lake, about 30 miles south of New Haven, New York — not to be confused with New Haven, Connecticut.

• New Haven, NY, is on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario — so if you’re following along at home, yes, the Raymour & Flanigan headquarters in Liverpool is roughly 30 miles south of Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the fve Great Lakes.

We’re now about to veer of the beaten path vis-a-vis trivia directly connected to Raymour, but all interested

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“It’s an honor to win the champion showroom award — our teamwork got our name on the map”
continued on page 16
Mark Bonenfant

Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian Site Along the Farmington River

MARCH 23

The LIDAR Revolution in Earth

Surface Mapping, presented by Will Ouimet, Assoc Professor, Departments of Geosciences and Geography, Univ of Connecticut He will explain the techniques used by LIDAR for locating historic human settlements and land use patterns

LIDAR = Light Detection and Ranging using lasers for 3D scanning

APRIL 20

Hunting Techniques of the Paleoindian, presented by Richard Boisvert, retired New Hampshire state archeologist, who is very familiar with the discovery and analysis of the Brian D. Jones (BDJ) site and other Paleoindian sites in northern New England.

SEPT. 21

Paleoindian Sites, Site Patterning and Travel

Corridors along the Southern Arm of the Champlain Sea, presented by Jess Robinson, Vermont State Archaeologist, Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center, Barre, VT. He will compare and contrast Paleo sites in Vermont with the Brian D. Jones site in Avon.

OCT. 12

Update on the scientific analysis of the Brian D Jon (BDJ) site in Avon, CT 2019, presented by Eric Heffter, Senior Prehistoric Archaeologist, Archaeological and Historical Services, Storrs, CT His presentation will be 90 minutes with time after for Q&A October is Archaeology Month in Connecticut!

in Avon, CT with

MAY 11

The Big Importance of Small Things: Microscopic and Blood Residue Analysis of Ancient Stone Tools, presented by Heather M. Rockwell, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cultural and Historic Preservation, Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, Salve Regina University. This presentation will examine the process and limitations of blood residue and use-wear analysis, and how they have contributed to our understanding of ancient people.

Photoprovidedby Archaeological andHistorical Services,StorrsCT

Watch the webinars from the 2021 and 2022 series on the Avon Library’s YouTube Channel: www youtube com/user/afplct

Webinar series created by : Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library, Avon Senior Center

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 15
2023 series sponsored by a grant from

parties are invited to keep reading — and please keep your seatbelt buckled.

If you want to nail down where Lake Ontario stands on a list of the world’s largest lakes, good luck — at least fve online sources identify Ontario as #13 on the list, but another apparently more reputable source (WorldAtlas.com) says Ontario is #14, and perhaps the most reliable source (NOAA.gov) asserts that Ontario is the planet’s 17th-largest lake by surface area.

Specifcally, this source is the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aka NOAA.

Down the road, if you fnd the above bullet points to be helpful, trivia-wise or otherwise, feel free to (1) credit

Today Magazine and (2) write to Today Publishing to ofer a thank-you — then we would have the option of publishing your thank-you message as a letter to the editor, essentially making you a published writer and, if you manage or own a business, giving you some free publicity.

Conversely, if you fnd the above info to be unhelpful for any reason, whether now or down the road, don’t shoot the messenger — the source for this info is Google Maps, so kindly take any issues and complaints straight to the source.

By the way, the Avon Raymour & Flanigan store is located on Waterville Road aka Route 10, where Route 10 links with Route 44 at the base of Avon Mountain. +

For further details and info see the main story on page 12

16 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE Granby Location 364 Salmon Brook Street 860.653.6637 Avon Location 301 Country Club Road 860.673.8610 e Carmon Family believes that each funeral should be personal and meaningful. Our services re ect the Carmon family values and our ongoing commitment to serve families with care and compassion. www.carmonfuneralhome.com Owned & Operated by the Carmon Family
If you become weary while shopping at Raymour & Flanigan, there are plenty of places to rest your feet

Big Fish: Angling For Best College Decisions

Consultant helps navigate admissions journey

CHOOSING A COLLEGE is a major decision — and with the numerous recent changes in college admissions, the selection process has become even more difcult.

Denise Karp established Big Fish on Campus LLC in the fall of 2021 to help families enjoy the process and reduce the stress associated with navigating college admissions.

While her business is based in the Farmington Valley, she is available to work with high school students throughout New England and beyond.

An Avon resident, Karp served as a high school psychologist for many years and also helped her two sons navigate the college search — one is a student at Bentley University, and the other is a Lafayette College graduate who now attends the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Karp’s education background has been a foundation for her work as a college admissions consultant.

“Parents and students are more anxious than ever,” she says — and her goal is to alleviate this via Big Fish on Campus.

Karp has a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina, and she graduated with honors from Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) with dual degrees in psychology and Spanish, according to her business website.

“Record-breaking numbers of applications are being submitted year after year, and acceptance rates are in the single digits for more selective schools,” she says.

“Since the coronavirus, more than 1830 schools are now test-optional, which is contributing to the stress among students.”

Standardized college-readiness tests are going digital with a new format, she notes, and families are struggling to keep up with the changes.

Big Fish on Campus ofers free

initial consultations. Karp works with students and families early in the process to narrow down the search for schools and help students prepare essays and applications. The aim is to fnd the college that’s the best ft for the student from an academic, social and fnancial standpoint — focusing on career exploration, test options, extracurriculars, college tours, interview prep, summer planning, resumé building and more.

Karp values attention to detail as well as a creative approach, and she is committed to ongoing professional development. Her clients have gained admission to schools with generous scholarships, she says.

“Students love the fexibility to reach out anytime and meet at their convenience,” she observes.

Karp is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. +

Frosolone Celebrates 25 Years in Telecom

TELECOM EXPERT Dennis Frosolone is marking his 25th year in the telecommunications industry, now serving as a network account executive with Total Communications.

Frosolone is a member of the AvonCanton Chamber of Commerce — he joined the Avon Chamber in 2009, and the Avon and Canton COCs joined forces in January 2021.

East Hartford-based Total Communications ofers customers “comprehensive solutions that include everything from circuits and internet access, to telephone hardware, structured cabling and IT support,” per the company’s website.

“Total Communications is small enough to value each customer, but large enough to support the most

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 17
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complex enterprise scale installations.”

In addition to selling cloud-based and on-premise phone systems, Frosolone says, “I will look at a business customer’s bill to do an analysis to update them with the latest voice and data services, saving them money in areas where their current provider may not be providing them with updates.”

He can also supply advanced data services, fber and coaxial cable, cybersecurity systems and more.

He sells virtually every available phone system provider and internet service provider — including Comcast, Cox, Frontier, Spectrum, Verizon and Windstream — while serving as a direct representative for his customers.

“I pride myself on my customer service, making each customer a priority,” says Frosolone, who began working in telecommunications in 1998.

He joined the Total Communications team in September.

Previously, he was a sales account representative for Phonetel, which rebranded as Link Solutions in April 2022.

Frosolone (pronounced Frahzalone) is known for utilizing a poetic tagline to cap his 30-second elevator pitch at Chamber of Commerce meetings: When you need a phone, think Frosolone. +

Frosolone phone • 860-622-4134

dennisfrosolone@totalcomm.com

Tooth Bear-y Ofers Tooth Fairy Proxy

A FARMINGTON VALLEY mother has come up with a creative way to work around problematic aspects of the Tooth Fairy tradition. Her solution: Tooth Bear-y.

“As a Mom,” says Elizabeth Carroll aka Liz, “my sons’ fears of a strange Tooth Fairy coming during the night to fnd and take their tooth, and startling them in the process, prompted me to change this frightening experience into a new and fun approach to dealing with the loss of their primary teeth.”

The Tooth Bear-y is a special teddy bear that ofers what Carroll describes as “a magical twist to an old tradition” — for the Tooth Bear-y acts as the Tooth Fairy’s sidekick.

When a parent plays the role of the Tooth Fairy and enters a child’s room at night, what is the risk/reward?

The reward for the child is that he or she will receive monetary compensation for the loss of a tooth placed under the child’s pillow. However, the risk is that the parent could inadvertently awaken the child, disturbing sleep while also potentially requiring a discussion about why the parent and not the Tooth Fairy was attempting to recover the tooth.

Carroll’s new approach eliminates the risky strategy of a parent entering a child’s bedroom, yet still delivers a reward for the lost tooth. To ease her sons’ fears and “put the fun back into the tradition,” she says, “I created this cuddly keepsake — Tooth Bear-y.”

“The child can place this cute little friend anywhere in the home where they desire to receive gifts from the

Tooth Fairy,” Carroll explains. Since the Tooth Bear-y has no teeth of its own, the child places a lost tooth in the bear’s mouth before going to sleep. The teddy bear has a cape with a pocket to accept money or a small gift.

“The tooth passes into the bear’s heart, where it remains visible and can be stored along with other lost teeth,” Carroll says. “The teddy bear holds teeth in its heart, making memories around these milestones. Tooth Bear-y lets the child keep their teeth and still get a gift, without the Tooth Fairy worrying about getting caught.”

The teddy bear comes with a custom toothbrush and storybook to promote good dental hygiene, along with a doorknob hanger to communicate the child’s request to the Tooth Fairy.

“As the Tooth Fairy’s sidekick, they work together to celebrate the loss of teeth,” Carroll says.

Carroll is a resident of Farmington. In June 2022, Carroll and the Tooth Bear-y appeared on Good Morning America, the long-running ABC talk show. A trademark and copyright of Tooth Bear-y LLC, this novel teddy bear is protected by two U.S. patents.

www.toothbear-y.com

18 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE
Simsbury Second Chance Shop 12 Station St., Simsbury | (860) 658-7152 | Shop. Donate. Volunteer. Open: Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 10-2
“As a Mom, my sons’ fears of a strange and take their tooth ... prompted me to change this frightening experience into a new and fun approach to dealing with the loss of their primary teeth”
— Elizabeth Carroll

Granby Grange Sets Membership Record

THE GRANBY CHAPTER of the National Grange has set a state record for new members joining in one day.

Granby Grange #5 welcomed 29 town residents into membership at the January meeting, according to town resident Dave Roberts of the Connecticut State Grange.

New Granby Grange members include Salmon Brook Historical Society president Todd Vibert and curator Martha Miller, Granby Conservation commissioners David Desiderato and Kara Marshall, and state Rep. Mark Anderson (Republican, 62nd District).

Roberts is chairman of the Granby Conservation Commission. He is also a member of the Granby Grange, president of Riverton Grange #169 and program director for the state Grange — among a multitude of other volunteer pursuits.

The National Grange is a familyand community-focused organization with roots in agriculture.

The nonproft was established in 1867 “to help both southern and northern farmers recover from the ravages of the Civil War,” according to the Granby Grange website.

As a national organization, the Grange has grown to incorporate the interests of non-farm families and communities.

Agricultural interests, communications access, community service, education and healthcare are among the Grange’s commitments, per the website.

The national organization has about 240,000 members in nearly 3000 local and state chapters across 40 states, with over 60 Grange chapters in Connecticut.

“I was introduced to the Grange by my grandmother, Dorothy Roberts, and my father, Arba Alford Roberts,” says Roberts, adding that the Roberts family has fve generations of continuous membership in Riverton Grange. “My great-grandparents were charter ofcers in 1908.”

The state membership record was previously held by Wallingford Grange with 28 new members.

The infux of new members was the result of a collaboration with the Riverton Grange to help reinvigorate Granby Grange, Roberts notes.

Newly elected Granby Grange ofcers were also installed in January — including town residents Ron Cowdrey as president and Philip Marshall as vice president.

At the January meeting, Connecticut State Grange president Robert Buck made his frst visit to the historic Granby Grange Hall on North Granby Road aka Route 189, according to Roberts.

Granby Grange #5 is the home of Connecticut’s very frst state president, Harvey Goddard, from 1875-78. +

www.granbygrange.org

Biggest Pizza Party Boosts Make-A-Wish

THE OWNER of Avon-based E&D Pizza Company has helped set a Guinness world record with World Pizza Champions to beneft the MakeA-Wish Foundation.

“This record attempt was logistically a challenge,” says E&D owner Michael Androw. “We are so proud of the way multiple entities came together for the sake of raising money for a welldeserving organization and in doing so … accomplished a huge title of worldrecord holder for the World’s Largest Pizza Party.”

The milestone endeavor was a charitable initiative of World Pizza Champions, an invitation-based U.S. nonproft comprised of multinational pizza professionals. Through

international competition, educational outreach, public demonstrations and community service, the nonproft aims to promote pizza-making as a respected craft and career choice.

A group of 3,357 World Pizza Champion team members established the Guinness record in January at the University of Tulsa.

The event raised $42,000 for MakeA-Wish Oklahoma. The nonproft is confdent this will make many wishes possible for critically ill children. +

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 19
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Today Magazine Feature on Super-Volunteer Dave Roberts
The National Grange is a family- and communityfocused organization with roots in agriculture
20 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE Funeral Home 880 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT 06070 (860) 658-7613 The Vincent Family caring for yours for over a Century, since 1902 120 Albany Turnpike Canton, CT 06019 (860) 693-0251 www.vincentfuneralhome.com We offer complete cremation services at FARMINGTON VALLEY CREMATORY The only on-site crematory in the Farmington Valley ◆ www.carmonfuneralhome.com Owned & Operated by the Carmon Family Granby Location 364 Salmon Brook Street 860.653.6637 Avon Location 301 Country Club Road 860.673.8610 …the Carmon Family believes that each funeral should be personal and meaningful. Our services re ect the Carmon family values and our ongoing commitment to serve families with care and compassion. ADVERTISER Directory – TODAY Magazine Long-Term Advertisers – Alphabetical Order by Category Barbershop
TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 21 Health Care Center 860-651-8236 www.Insuranceagentswhocare.com LIFE IS COMPLICATED, WE CAN HELP.... Better Insurance! Find out how you can get improved value and peace of mind. Three generations serving local families for over 60 years. your approval or changes to: Allison@Terraboost.com APPROVED date signature ank you for placing your ad with us! 860-651-8236 www.Insuranceagentswhocare.com LIFE IS COMPLICATED, WE CAN HELP.... Better Insurance! Find out how you can get improved value and peace of mind. Three generations serving local families for over 60 years. (Layout includes a margin clear of text and graphics as this information may be covered by frame and/or clips during installation) Please carefully proof your ad AD PROOF
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22 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE
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TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 23 Physical Therapy Magna Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center LLC Sports Medicine | Orthopedics | Dance Medicine | Pilates Neurological Care | Post-Operative Care | Personal Training Vestibular Care | Massage Therapy | Dry Needling Book Your Appointment Today! 860.679.0430 AVON • CANTON www.magnapt.com CELEBRATING 15 YEARS 860-965-3652 • CELL 860-676-1200 • OFFICE odalys.bekanich@cbmoves.com 290 West Main Street Avon, CT 06001 Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC 290 West Main Street Avon, CT 06001 ColdwellBankerHomes.com 860-674-0300 860-693-2876 Office 860-593-9826 Cell 860-676-1400 Fax juilusandgail@cbmoves.com JULIUS FIALKIEWICZ Associate Broker GAIL FIALKIEWICZ Realtor® Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC ODALYS BEKANICH Associate Broker Five Star Professional Award-Winning Real Estate Agent Real Estate Emergency Service 24/7 SEPTIC CLEANINGS * INSTALLATIONS & REPAIRS * PUMP CHAMBERS VIDEO INSPECTIONS * SEWER CONNECTIONS * EXCAVATION & DRAINAGE Chris & Bryan 1983 (860) 243-3500 Ask your neighbors about us!  Family Owned & Operated Since 1983  Professional & Knowledgeable  Fully Licensed & Insured CT License #HIC0559131 www.ChristopherBryantCompany.com Proud Member of Septic Systems

• This is a list of advertising sponsors who have seen the value of investing in Today Magazine’s award-winning journalism as we cover the heart of the Farmington Valley — this is intended to be a comprehensive list

• If you have advertised with Today Publishing but don’t see your business or organization listed, please contact us so we can add you to our Advertiser Hall of Fame — advertise@todaypublishing.net

Anthology Senior Living — 860-546-8037 — Simsbury www.anthologyseniorliving.com > Location

Avon Health Center — 860-673-2521 — Avon www.avonhealthcenter.com

Avon Historical Society — 860-678-7621 — Avon www.avonhistoricalsociety.org

A Teen Edge — 860-593-2822 www.ateenedge.com

Board and Brush — 860-392-8567 — Simsbury www.boardandbrush.com/simsbury

Canton Barn LLC — 860-693-0601 — Canton www.cantonbarn.com

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Canton Food Bank — 860-693-5811 — Canton www.townofcantonct.org

Carmon Funeral Homes — 860-246-1413 www.carmonfuneralhome.com

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Carol Cole Real Estate — 860-212-0687 — Canton www.carolcolerealestate.com

Cherry Brook Health Care Center — 860-693-7777 — Canton www.cherrybrookhcc.com

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Christensen Insurance — 860-651-8236 — Simsbury www.insuranceagentswhocare.com

Christopher Bryant Co. — 860-243-3500 — Bloomfeld www.thechristopherbryantcompany.com

Collinsville Bank — 860-693-6935 — Canton www.collinsvillebank.com

Connecticut Dance Academy — 860-707-4198 — Canton www.ctdanceacademy.com

Connecticut Headshots — 860-263-9277 — Avon www.connecticutheadshots.com

Dynamic Auto Works — 860-693-6359 — Canton www.facebook.com/DynamicAutoCanton

Erica Maglieri: Realtor — 860-324-6842 bhhsneproperties.com/real-estate-agent/757/erica-maglieri

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Fresh Start Pallet Products — 860-266-5726 — Hartford www.freshstartpalletproducts.org

Granby-Simsbury Chamber of Commerce — 860-651-7307 www.simsburycoc.org

Green Door Restaurant — 860-693-9762 — Canton www.41bridgestreet.com

Habitat for Humanity — 860-541-2208 — Hartford www.hfhncc.org

Hartford Symphony Orchestra — 860-246-8742 — Hartford www.hartfordsymphony.org

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Hulme & Sweeney Pianos — 860-408-4895 — Simsbury www.hulmesweeneypianoservice.com

Karedigs.com — 860-379-4340 — Barkhamsted www.karedigs.com

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Kerian Home Health Care — 860-851-6267 — Simsbury www.keriancares.com

Kevin Witkos: State Senator

Landscape Solutions — 860-329-2014 — New Hartford www.landscapesolutionsct.com

Leslee Hill for State Representative

Lifetime Family Dentistry — 860-605-2075 — Collinsville www.lifetimefamilydentistryct.com

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Linda Kessler: Realtor — 860-836-6172 — Avon www.coldwellbankerhomes.com > Agents

Liza Sivek Marketing — 203-278-5492 www.lizasivekmarketing.com

Maglieri Construction — 860-242-0298 — Bloomfeld www.maglieri-construction.com

Magna Physical Therapy — 860-679-0430 — Avon www.magnapt.com

Maher’s Paint & Wallpaper — 860-678-1200 — Avon + Simsbury www.maherspaintandwallpaper.com

Make It GF — 860-693-1300 — Canton www.makeitgf.com

Mandel Vilar Press — 806-790-4731 — Simsbury www.mvpublishers.org

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24 MARCH 2023 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE
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ADVERTISER Hall
Fame

Massage Envy — 860-693-8000 — Canton www.massageenvy.com > Locations

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The Master’s School — 860-651-9361 — West Simsbury www.masterschool.org

McLean — 860-658-3786 — Simsbury www.mcleancare.org

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Nails of Envy — formerly Canton + Avon

Northwest Community Bank — 860-379-7561 www.nwcommunitybank.com

Odalys Bekanich: Realtor — 860-965-3652 — Avon www.coldwellbankerhomes.com > Agents

Peggy’s Personalized Promos — 860-379-7775 — New Hartford www.peggys.biz

Planning Partners LLC — 860-693-9916 — Canton www.planningpartner.com

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Raimie Weber Jewelry — 860-409-3400 — Avon www.rweberjewelry.com

Randy Brolo: Book Author www.lulu.com > Spirit of Delilah

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Ravenswood Natural Health — 860-264-1587 — Simsbury www.ravenswoodnaturalhealth.com

Richman Business Brokerage — 860-408-9177 — Simsbury www.richmanbusiness.com — formerly The Deal Team ———————————————————————————————

Suburban Sanitation Service — 860-673-3078 — Canton www.subsanserv.com

Trading Post — 860-693-4679 — Canton www.tradingpostmusic.com

Transition Fitness Center — 860-398-1449 — Canton www.transition-ftness-center.business.site

UConn Health — 860-658-8750 www.health.uconn.edu

Up Top Barbershop — 860-658-4499 — Simsbury www.booksy.com > Up Top Barbershop

Vincent Funeral Homes — 860-693-0251 www.vincentfuneralhome.com

Vincent Tully: Realtor — 860-214-3030 www.coldwellbankerhomes.com > Agent ———————————————————————————————

Welden Hardware — 860-658-4078 — Simsbury www.weldenhardware.com

William Raveis — 860-693-2987 — Avon www.raveis.com/agentfnd.asp?smart=1

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – MARCH 2023 25
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