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Contents WINTER 2015 ISSUE #12


Publisher Paul J. Grimmer, Executive Director Orange Economic Development Corporation

Editors Mary Bialy Orange Economic Development Corporation Anna Accetta, Executive Director Orange Chamber of Commerce

Contributing Writers Ed Cowern P.E., Alyssa Davanzo, Elizabeth Keyser, Kimberly Kick, Daina Larkin, Jane Opper, Karen Singer

Contributing Photographers Olivia Falcigno, Karen Iassogna, Ben Jarosch, John Mattia, Carl Russell, Paula Severino, Chris Small, Isabel Stark.

Cover Photo Paula Severino

Advertisement & Graphic Artist Paula Severino

Design & Production

Dale J Pavlik

| DJP Design LLC |

Printing RR Donnelly OrangeLife Magazine is distributed semi-annually by the: Orange Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) 605A Orange Center Road Orange, Connecticut 06477 Phone: 203-891-1045 Fax: 203-891-1044 |

Submit your ideas and photos If you have an idea for a story you would like to see featured in OrangeLife Magazine, please submit them to: Also, we are always looking for seasonal photographs for our covers (June and December). If you have any winter or summer scenes, please send them to the email above as well. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the OEDC. The OEDC shall not be held liable for typographical errors or errors in the publication or for failure to publish an advertisement. For more information, email

On the Cover Orange Fence and Supply Co., Inc. prepares for the Holiday Season.



9 13 15 19 23 24 27 31 32 35 36 39 43 47 48 51 55 57 58 59 60

BUSINESS PROFILE Orange Fence & Supply Celebrates 85 Years BUSINESS PROFILE Veo Vision: The Eyes Have It EDUCATION Amity Senior Service Learning Program ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Orange Featured Prominently In Film BUSINESS PROFILE America’s Mattress: A Great Night’s Sleep BUSINESS PROFILE Monster Mini Golf Now Open NATURE John Mattia: Champion Rose Grower HEALTH & WELLNESS Crunch Gym: Making Fitness Fun RESTAURANT Eli’s Opens On The Post Road HEALTH & WELLNESS Restifo Plastic Surgery COMMUNITY NEWS Max Russell Returns Home To Coach COMMUNITY NEWS 2015 Orange Farmer’s Market COMMUNITY SERVICE Juniorettes Give Back To The Community EDUCATION Instilling Confidence In Your Child COMMUNITY NEWS Deck The Stores With Boughs Of Holly COMMUNITY NEWS Local Business Women Fight Breast Cancer COMMUNITY NEWS One Eye On The Weather HEALTH & LEISURE 2016 People’s United Bank Chilly Chili Run HEALTH & WELLNESS Stay Healthy Orange CALENDAR OF EVENTS Winter and Spring Calendar CONSERVATION Shedding New Light On An Old Subject WINTER 2015

Publisher’s Letter The Magazine was designed by the Orange Economic Development Corporation, with full support of the Town of Orange, to reinforce to the community how fortunate we are to live in, work in or simply enjoy the Town of Orange and all of its many splendors. To that end, I think that goal has been accomplished. Through this effort, we have learned and written about a great number of wonderful individuals and businesses from this wonderful community. In this issue, we covered the Amity High School’s Senior Service Learning Program and how it prepares students for life beyond high school. What is not covered in the story is how much of an impact these young individuals make on those of us who sponsor their internships. I was extremely fortunate to have Olivia Falcigno work with the Orange Economic Development Corporation this past year. Ms. Falcigno joined our office in May of 2015 and before she left, she helped to create a website for the Orange Farmer’s Market, improved our social media outreach program, greeted our guests at the 14th Annual Orange Business and Community Expo and shot hundreds of photographs for such events as the Memorial Day Parade, the Orange Fireman’s Carnival, and the Orange Country Fair. Beyond what Olivia did during and after her internship, she exemplifies the tremendous spirit of youth and holds qualities that every parent, school system and community could be proud. You will find more stories like Olivia’s in this issue of the Magazine. It is my sincere hope that you have enjoyed reading the magazine, and we look forward to continuing this effort for many years to come. PAUL J. GRIMMER

Executive Director, OEDC







Orange Fence & Supply: 85 Successful Years Of Craftsmanship WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

It was the year 1930 when Roy Cuzzocreo’s grandfather, Anthony, was given the nickname ‘Rustic Tony’ and established a business in Orange with his family called Orange Rustic Works. Located on 205 Boston Post Road in Orange, Connecticut, Orange Fence & Supply installs durable, custom fences of the highest quality, providing both beauty and protection to homeowners and corporations across the state. “When my parents first bought the business, they were always among the earliest to introduce new products to the area,” Roy said. “They expanded product lines extensively, including chain link fences, fancier wood fences and the earliest versions of vinyl fences.”

Cuzzocreo Family & Staff.

“There is a list printed in a New Haven County Weekly Gazette article from March 1949, and it reads that my grandfather’s company built gazebos, fences, furniture, bridges, birdhouses and whatever else he could create from leftovers,” Roy said. “He would build all types of things generally using native Eastern Red Cedar.” When Anthony and his wife moved to California in the late 1950s Roy’s parents bought the company and witnessed the swift expansion of the suburbs. Fast forward to 2015 and WINTER 2015

the Cuzzocreo family is celebrating a remarkable milestone with Orange Fence & Supply’s 85th year in business! A FAMILY AFFAIR

“My wife Stephanie and I have run Orange Fence since the mid 1990s, along with our children and my parents Joe and Emma in the early part of that period,” said Roy, owner of Orange Fence & Supply. “Today we still use the same phone number from when the business first started, which only had five digits back then.”

For over eight decades, the experts at the family-owned business have given customers the chance to put the finishing touches on the yard of their dreams. With specialties ranging from sliding gates to arbors and pergolas, Orange Fence & Supply offers courtesy and craftsmanship to every person who walks through the door. “We do an occasional residential project outside of Connecticut,” Roy said. “My son David runs our Access Control Division, and does automated gate work for clients as far afield as Westchester Airport in NY, the Westerly Rhode Island Police Department and a few commercial clients in Massachusetts. We also have worked on outdoor patio fences for Buffalo Wild Wings in Maine,


Massachusetts, Upstate New York and Long Island.” The company’s experts help each customer determine which fence is the perfect fit for their home. Realizing that some may want to enclose their pool while others may want to add decorative pergola flair to their patio, Orange Fence & Supply’s contractors offer free on-site consultations with hopes of designing ideas to match their customers’ needs. While Roy says that the busiest time of year for business traditionally falls during the spring and summer months, the contractors at Orange Fence & Supply work all year long depending on the weather and work available. “The season usually has a real ‘bell curve’ shape to it, but we have done some of our biggest and most interesting work in the slower months,” said Roy. MEMORABLE PROJECTS

Although Roy says that Orange Fence & Supply has taken on an array of memorable projects throughout the years, a recent one that the team was especially proud of was the historically accurate replacement of a very custom Turned Spindle picket fence at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington. The project required contractors to combine a number of different techniques in the single project.

Orange Fence and Supply Showroom.

When Orange Fence & Supply was contacted directly by the Connecticut Department of Energy to provide fencing to protect the nesting area of Piping Plovers and Lesser Terns that were nesting on the Island, Roy says that contractors jumped into the project. “Even though the work itself was somewhat routine, we had to get our people, materials and tools out there. We arranged for the City of Norwalk to load everything necessary onto what was essentially a military ‘duck boat’,” Roy said. “This was an amphibious vehicle that we were able to load up on land, and pilot out to the island. It ended up being a long day, but it was great fun as it was so different from ‘our norm’.” INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURER

Other special jobs that Orange Fence & Supply have been a part of over the years include Cockenoe Island located off shore between Westport and Norwalk, the Air National Guard base in Orange and the Yale Bowl in New Haven.

ActiveYards®, the leading American manufacturer of lifetime warranted, high-quality fencing systems, has become the largest manufacturer of Decorative Vinyl Fence and Ornamental Aluminum Fence in North America.

“For the Yale Bowl project, we were among a very small group of local contractors who were selected based on reputation and years of previous work for the University,” Roy said. “We submitted the successful quote and continued with the entire Bowl renovation project through several phases.”

“ActiveYards® has developed several product innovations which really set their product line apart from all others,” Roy said. “Unlike most fence manufacturers, the brand is sold only through authorized dealers. In 2008, Orange Fence & Supply was the second company in Connecticut to be authorized to carry the ActiveYards® brand and there are only six others statewide.”



Contractors at Orange Fence & Supply want customers’ experience with choosing a new fence to be as stress free as possible, and ensure that each person considers a number of important factors when choosing a fence, such as the style, material and upkeep preferences, code requirements and special details. Fencing services not only cover the free design consultation of each fence installation, but fair prices, fence repair and replacement as well as fence staining and refinishing. For homeowners looking for added protection to their homes, Orange Fence & Supply installs sliding and swinging gates that add artistic privacy to driveways, gardens and walkways. The gates that Orange Fence & Supply offers include security, electric and wrought-iron gates. When talking about the town of Orange, Roy said that his father always used to say ‘It’s a great place, so give back wherever you can.’ Orange Fence & Supply holds the motto, ‘Nobody builds ‘em better,” and Roy says that the company’s biggest asset is its people, some of whom have been involved in the business for 30 years. “The Town of Orange is a very special place because of its residents,” Roy said. “It’s a great town to raise a family and run a business. All of us at Orange Fence & Supply are really looking forward to the next 85 years.” 쮿 WINTER 2015



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Veo Vision:The Eyes Have It WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

The stark white buildings of the Spring Brook Commons plaza encapsulate clean simplicity. The straightforward, business-like, sterile-looking storefronts line up like a white picket fence.

to children right away; glasses aren’t limited by age, and can be given to a child before he or she can even walk. Older kids, and adults for that matter, are feeling the effects of the overuse of mobile devices. Staring at screens in close proximity for extended amounts of time promotes near-sightedness. Dry eye can result from infrequent blinking, and the blue light emitted from screens can be damaging. In addition to conducting eye examinations, Dr. Alicea treats eye conditions of all kinds, sometimes taking emergency treatment referrals from local urgent care centers. She is certified to prescribe a specialized procedure called orthokeratology. Orthokeratology is a treatment that has patients wearing hard contact lenses overnight to reshape their cornea. Over time, the effects can entirely correct certain eye disorders including astigmatism and near sightedness. “More now than ever, people of all ages need to get their yearly eye exams,” Dr. Alicea commented. For Veo Vision, a year of operation is coming up, giving Dr. Alicea and co-owner Ralph Mirto the chance to analyze their success in advertising.

Co-Owners Dr. Rocio Alicea and Ralph Mirto

Veo Vision, marked by a glowing neon pair of eyeglasses in the window, makes one of several medical offices in the plaza, underneath black lettering that reads: Rocio Alicea, OD. Dr. Alicea is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, earned her certification to treat ocular diseases from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico in 2011. Since, she’s been practicing in Connecticut, spending over four years at Robbins Eye Center in Bridgeport. Along with longtime friend Ralph Mirto, she opened Veo Vision almost one year ago.


Veo Vision welcomes patients of all ages and with all conditions, placing a special emphasis on the importance on children’s eye health. Dr. Alicea recognizes that children need their first eye exam before the age of one in order to catch abnormalities as early as possible. “There are so many things that the parents don’t know and the kids don’t know,” she explained. “Then you miss it, and it’s harder to treat later on.” Conditions such as lazy eye can be treated much more easily and successfully if caught when the child is still very young. Eye exams can reveal if a baby has glaucoma, nearsightedness and more. Dr. Alicea stresses the value of getting glasses

“People don’t need an eye exam but once a year,” Mirto said when explaining his biggest challenge: getting the word out to the community. “It’s tough to tell how successful we’ve been in spreading the word because people might know we’re here, but it’s not time for their exam yet.” Mirto and Dr. Alicea rely on newspaper advertisements and social media to spread the word about their practice, and are seeing about equal amounts of patients in the towns of Orange and West Haven. Occasionally, Dr. Alicea and the staff will venture to community organizations such as assisted living centers to perform routine tasks like eyeglass cleaning, nose pad repair and more. “We’re a smaller practice in size,” Dr. Alicea mentioned, having come from a highly-trafficked, large eye center. “It gives us the chance to devote extra time to our patients; to get to know them.” 쮿

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Amity Seniors Get Ready For Life Beyond High School WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

For a college freshman, the thought of choosing a college major right off the bat could seem a bit daunting. What if students had exposure to real-life working experience before even setting foot on their college campus? The Amity Senior Service Learning Program (SSLP) allows seniors at Amity Regional High School in Orange, Connecticut to experience a service learning environment outside of the classroom. “This experimental exposure is helpful in finalizing or exploring possible future career choices,” said Karen Waterman, College and Career counselor at Amity and head of the SSLP.


Students who partake in the SSLP have the opportunity to intern in a field that they are intrigued by or are already passionate about. Orange resident and Amity senior Olivia Falcigno picked up her first camera at eight years old and fell in love with the concept of documenting what was happening around her. With plans of entering her freshman year at Boston

University in January 2016, Olivia has a head start on the degree she wants to pursue. “My interest in photography definitely started at an early age just out of curiosity and because of my mother having a love for photography,” Olivia said. “From there, I decided that I wanted to pursue photojournalism. When taking pictures, it’s almost as if you’re

Seniors who are in good academic and behavioral standing are eligible to apply for the four-week, 120-hour program by mid-December each year, similar to a professional job application. “The parents, students and site supervisor need to sign a consent form,” Karen said. “The seniors need to complete all required work, pay all obligations, return books, and complete a sign-off form prior to their departure. In order for seniors to participate, they must first apply, complete a resume and then find a site and site supervisors who will mentor them throughout the process.”

OEDC Executive Director Paul Grimmer and Intern Olivia Falcigno. WINTER 2015

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leaving your imprint on history through art.” Interning for the Orange Economic Development Corporation through the SSLP program, Olivia spent her time taking photographs and promoting local events through social media and confirmed that she wanted to major in journalism.

Olivia says that her experience contributing to OrangeLife Magazine gave her a better idea as to what local news looks like through a journalistic perspective. She now has the goal of becoming a journalist for a magazine, newspaper or online website such as Buzzfeed.

“I signed up for the SSLP because it allowed me to further explore my future college major and gain experience in my field,” Olivia said. “Through the internship, I expected to learn discipline in certain areas like direction and vision, like how to create successful stories and promote events.”


Among a number of essential skills that prepare the SSLP’s participating students for college and the working world, students also gain knowledge about deadlines, networking skills, proper dress attire, positive and appropriate work behavior, professional communication skills, resume writing and time management. Students additionally learn how to balance and manage other obligations, time management and scheduling around their sports and extra curricular activities during the last four weeks of high school. Hoping to one day get a job where she can affect others with her art, 16


The relationship that builds between schools, mentors, businesses, hospitals, and/or non-profit organizations continue throughout the year. “For example, one elementary school in Bridgeport has some of our students that do community service throughout the year and then the seniors will spend their SSLP at the school,” Karen said. In the midst of their credit-earning career exploration, students are expected to maintain an online blog of their experiences as well as submit weekly timesheets.

Paul Grimmer, Executive Director of the Orange Economic Development Corporation, says that the students who have interned at his business over the past several years have surpassed his expectations. “Each year, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality and caliber of the students who are participating in the program,” Paul said. “Olivia raised that bar. When upgrading our website by creating social media opportunities with Facebook and Twitter, Olivia was incredibly adept at it. She jumped in with both feet and in the relatively short amount of time that was provided, she did a lot of really terrific work.”

works in the Amity College and Career Center. “After the program, they realized that engineering was not for them. Therefore, they were able to explore other college majors without wasting the time and money during their first year of college.”

“I read a book by Lynsey Addario called ‘It’s What I Do’. She is a war photojournalist who endured overseas kidnappings and several other problems while simultaneously documenting the war. Reading it was a huge inspiration for me,” Olivia said. “While I dream of one day being a journalist on a global scale, working for the Orange Economic Development Corporation was an excellent learning experience as to what it could be like to be a journalist. I enjoyed documenting events through my photographs, one of which is potentially going to win the cover for the next seasonal issue of OrangeLife!” NUMEROUS SUCCESS STORIES

There have been many success stories in the SSLP program. Participants are able to discover what they are truly passionate about, as well as potential pitfalls in areas that they may have once found interesting. “One of the students in the program was planning on studying engineering in college,” said Paula Vallie, who

“Our students are amazing,” Karen said. “It is fantastic for our community members to meet them and get to know this younger generation. Also, as community mentors, the supervisors have the satisfaction of helping a senior explore their future career choice. Overall, the experience is rewarding for all members.” Karen says that students have written her emails expressing how grateful they are for the opportunity. “One student wrote to me, ‘I learned a lot and grew more as a person in two months than I did in my four years at Amity’,” Karen said. “The student even described it as one of the highlights of their life.” THE END OF SENIORITIS?

Instead of being “stuck in high school” for the last month of senior year, Olivia says that the internship program is one that Amity seniors should take full advantage of. “Students who choose to complete the program will find out what they do and don’t like,” Olivia said. “If they work hard, the experience will come with it. Employers may even take back students depending on how well WINTER 2015

they do. Personally, after my internship ended, I was invited back to do several jobs as a photographer around the town.” Karen says that internships provide an advantage to students entering the competitive job market, potentially leading to future full-time positions. “Even though her internship with us is over, we really appreciated Olivia’s work,” Paul said. “We asked her to freelance for us and we now pay her for the work that she does. There’s no reason why we wouldn’t continue to hire our interns if we thought it was suitable.”

Attention Amity Community: We have a large percentage of the Class of 2016 hoping to venture out from May 16 – June 10, 2016 (pending snow days) to complete 120 unpaid hours at a local business or organizations. If you are willing and able to accommodate a senior, or if you would like additional information about the Amity Senior Service Learning Program, please contact the Amity High School Career Center at 203-397-4836 or email FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Whether a student is interested in law, medicine, animal ethics or journalism, the SSLP opens students’ eyes to the professional opportunities that await them as they take a step toward the next chapter of their lives. 쮿

Karen Waterman, College & Career Counselor UConn ECE Site Representative Amity Regional High School

Phone: 203-397-4836

25 Newton Road

Fax: 203-392-2078

Woodbridge, CT 06525


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“Orange Featured “Prominently In “Gold Star” The Film WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

Transforming sorrow into art can be a grueling but gratifying process, especially when you’re working on a semi-autobiographical movie about your relationship with your father during the final year of his life. First-time filmmaker Victoria Negri wrote, directed and acted in “Gold Star,” whose cast includes Catherine Curtin from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and veteran actor Robert Vaughn, perhaps best known as Napoleon Solo on the classic 1960s TV series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” In “Gold Star,” Vaughn plays Negri’s father, Carmine, a local high school art teacher who died when he was 88 and she was 25. “My film is about redefining yourself as an adult beyond the desire to please your parents,” Negri says. HOMEGROWN TALENT

The movie was shot mainly in Orange, where she grew up playing sports, experimenting with video cameras and studying piano with her father. “He thought I could go to music school and become a pianist, but it wasn’t something I wanted to do,” Negri says. “I was very shy in school. So being on the stage, whether it was music or acting, which I discovered in high school, was an outlet for my emotions.” While attending Amity Regional High School, Negri traveled to Manhattan on weekends for acting classes at the Weist-Barron School. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she moved to Brooklyn. WINTER 2015

Victoria Negri with Robert Vaughn, photo by Ben Jarosch.

“I was mostly focused on acting, auditioning constantly and acting in a lot of independent films,” Negri says. “I was extremely frustrated because there was not much for women that was good or interesting. “On the side, I was trying to write a screenplay, which was the beginning seed to ‘Gold Star.’ It was a road trip movie based on driving my father across the county to a 60th reunion.” The seed sprouted in 2011, when Negri’s father had a stroke, and she helped care for him. “My dad’s stroke shook me to the core,” Negri says.

“I just was realizing that my career wasn’t gaining traction, and if I wanted to do something with my life I’d better do it now. I also felt everything in my life was so out of control, and I needed to control something.” WRITING AND REWRITING

Negri decided to take charge of her own film project. She spent the next year writing and rewriting her screenplay to reflect “the essence” of her relationship with her father, who died on November 10, 2012. The film title stems from the gold

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stars Negri’s father stuck on her sheet music after piano lessons. In “Gold Star,” Negri plays a music school dropout who becomes her father’s primary caretaker after his stroke. “When I first started writing the script, my dad couldn’t speak or eat or move much, other than one arm,” Negri says. (He later was able to communicate by moving letters on a magnet board.) “We don’t have a close relationship in the film, unlike my own life,” she adds. “What I learned and tried to get across in the film, is that despite my dad’s inability to speak, I feel our relationship grew.” As the writing progressed, producers Katie Maguire, Ellyn Vander Wyden and Effie Fradelos signed on to the project. A MAJOR HURDLE

Financing the film was a major hurdle. “I knew it would be difficult to get grants or funding from outside organizations because I had no directing reel,” Negri says. “What I did have, though, was a good script and stubborn determination. These two things are what brought my dream to life.”

Fundraising began in summer 2013, with contributions eventually totaling around $60,000 from investors, special events at Orange Ale House and other locations and a Kickstarter campaign, which brought in nearly $11,000. After the Kickstarter campaign, Negri hired casting director Judy Bowman, whose recent projects include “Hurricane Bianca,” a film starring Alan Cumming and “Schooled,” a play garnering praise during its world premiere at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. Bowman had met Negri several years earlier, during a course she taught on camera auditioning skills. “Victoria took one of my classes, and I knew her enough to respect her abilities as an actress,” Bowman says. “I hadn’t heard from her for about a year, and didn’t know she had become a filmmaker.” NEGRI’S SCRIPT HOOKED BOWMAN

“I’ve never read a story with a young woman who’s got a much older father, and I’ve also never really read a story about a second family and their experience,” Bowman says. Also compelling was the film’s depiction of how a child deals with

the mortality of a parent. Adds Bowman, “These things are always interesting to explore.” The most difficult role to cast was Negri’s mother, Deanne, who Bowman describes as “an Italian American in her 50s with a blend of toughness and sense of humor.” Curtin portrays her in the film. Robert Vaughn was a top choice for the role of Negri’s father. “We needed someone who looked 90 but could play without speaking,” Bowman says, adding the search could have been difficult because “people nearing the end of their life do not necessarily want to play it on the screen.” Vaughn apparently had no qualms, and said ‘Yes’ pretty quickly. When Negri asked him why, he told her he “loved the script and the challenge.” Negri says her biggest challenge was tackling her own doubts and trusting herself. While interviewing candidates to direct “Gold Star,” Negri realized she wanted the job. “I knew the tone, knew the locations and saw the film in my head,” she says. However, Negri was hesitant to express her desire to direct because she didn’t have a track record. “When I say I'm going to do something, I do it,” she says. “So once I made the decision (to direct the film) and announced it, I knew I'd get it done somehow.” Pre-production planning was essential to the success of the project. “Cinematographer Saro Varjabedian was on board for a full year before we started shooting,” she says, “so once we were filming I could solely focus on acting and working with the actors.” PLAYING A PROMINENT ROLE

The Town of Orange plays a prominent role in “Gold Star,” that was shot in 17 days in September and October 2014. 1st row L to R (Catherine Curtin, Victoria Negri, Robert Vaughn, Katie Maguire, Ellyn Vander Wyden, Effie Fradelos); 2nd row L to R (Jacob Heimer, Brien Slate, Saro Varjabedian, Greg White, Alex O'Neill, Zach Griffin, Averi Rasmussen); 3rd row L to R (Aaron Miller, Elvis Diaz, Cory Maffucci, Layla Calo-Baird, Hanish Rubanza, Carlos Oller, Tom Zaccheo, Tiffany Gilmore). Photograph by Ben Jarosh. 20


Much of the action takes place at Negri’s parents’ Ridge Road home, where the film crew stayed. Other locations include the Orange Ale House, Anytime Fitness and Gaylord WINTER 2015

Hospital, where her father spent months as a patient. “We shot exterior footage in Orange on many streets,” Negri says. “My character runs in many scenes throughout the film, and there are shots of Wright’s Pond and the town green, and driving and running scenes on Old Tavern Road, Pine Tree Drive and Peck Lane. On June 25, 2015, Negri spoke about “Gold Star” during an Orange Arts and Culture Council meeting at Case Memorial Library. “She’s a hometown gal, so we asked her to come and share her experience,” says council President Emeritus Pat Miller. “What we would like to do is help her promote the film and work towards having a cosponsor or screening in Orange.” Negri’s memories of saying goodbye to her father are inextricably intertwined with her movie. “I think losing my father, and seeing how he faced death in the most beautiful way, has tried to make me


face things that are seemingly insurmountable,” she says. PRESTIGIOUS FILM FESTIVALS

As of press time, “Gold Star” was nearing completion, and Negri was planning to submit it to film festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca and Slamdance. “Gold Star” is mostly going to be a calling card for Victoria to make her second film and to establish herself as a filmmaker,” Bowman says. “I think she is really smart and thoughtful and diligent, and she’ll do well at whatever she decides to do, whether this is the first and last film she makes or the beginning of a great career.” Negri has a clear notion of what comes next. She’s already writing a second screenplay, about the psychological breakdown of an ultramarathon runner. “I just feel extremely lucky and excited because I’ve discovered what I want to do with my life,” she says. “I just want to create films.” 쮿

Catherine Curtin with Victoria Negri. Photo by Ben Jarosch

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America’s Mattress: A Great Night’s Sleep WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

The sun filters in the windowed storefront, casting its rays on row upon row of soft, inviting display mattresses. It’s early, with the doors just swinging open to welcome a new day of business. A woman sits behind a desk, the infant in her arms finishing off his midmorning bottle. Two children bustle around in the back of the store, their warm Spanish chatter filling the showroom. Peter Estrada, the owner and manager of America’s Mattress of Connecticut, emerges from a back room in a fresh blue uniform. Between Peter and his fiancée, Anny, the majority of the staff is now present. Peter worked for over nine years in the mattress retail industry, climbing his way from salesman to district manager at a large distributor before setting out to become a business owner. When reading a magazine in the late 2000s, an advertisement gained his attention: America’s Mattress sought entrepreneurs to open new locations. By the end of August 2014, Peter wore the title of business owner and Connecticut had gained its first America’s Mattress, an establishment run differently from its competition. PRESSURE FREE

“Customers are tired of that highpressure, ‘buy from us now’ atmosphere that they see in other retailers,” Peter explained. “Here, they notice there’s no pressure at all. It’s very comfortable. We want to make sure you find the right mattress and take your time.” Peter encourages his customers to come in as many times as they need before settling on a product. Some mattress retailers carry an assortment of brand names, selling a small selection for each brand. America’s Mattress deals exclusively WINTER 2015

Anny Garcia, Peter Jr., Julie and Owner - Peter Estrada, Sr.

in Serta mattresses, offering the largest selection of Sertas, the nation’s best-selling mattress brand. Peter lauds the partnership with Serta; it provided structure to his start-up venture, making it easier for him to get involved and open his own store.

himself and Annie, with the imminent addition of a new hire. Other family members often assist when needed, making his store chiefly family run. The young children, when off of school for the summer, spend time in the store as well. However, Peter’s goals call for an expansion of staff.


“We’re looking to open more locations once our foundation here is fully settled,” he said. Peter hopes to open another location by early 2016. Advertising poses the greatest challenge to America’s Mattress, being expensive. Peter’s latest shot at drawing in customers included an inflatable outside the storefront, which helps generate attention.

Since opening, Peter’s business has enjoyed slow but steady growth. In his type of business, Peter has to rely on the traveling of word for his clientele to blossom. A mattress shouldn’t need replacing for years, eliminating the likelihood of repeat buyers or regular customers. “It’s not like a restaurant,” Peter said. “When I set someone up, that mattress will last 8-10 years,” he explained. “I’m not hoping to see that customer again, unless it’s for a referral or buying for their child,” he added. Peter’s store, open 7 days a week, operates primarily by the hands of

The message Peter most wants to communicate to customers is a simple “Come on in.” “It’s a stress-free environment,” he assured. “We’re always trying our best to get you the right product so you can get a good night’s sleep. Come on in and relax.” 쮿

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Exploring The GlowIn-the-Dark World Of Laser Beams and NotSo-Scary Monsters WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

The car comes to a complete stop as my heart skips a beat. Gasping over the larger-than-life, neon car with a hot pink tongue looking back at me through the small entrance door, I realize that I’m in for a night out like no other. flashing arcade game lights, I iron archway that reads, “Enter at I have arrived at Monster Mini Golf at 210 Indian River Road in Orange. Meat Loaf’s 1977 classic “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” fills my ears as I step through the main door, which is left welcomingly open for curious passersby to take a peek into the vibrant, glow-in-the-dark fantasyland. With my eyes darting from the enormous, friendly ogre sitting in the far corner of the golf course to the

practically forget the fact that I am still in Connecticut. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK

While its location is in the same plaza as the Christmas Tree Shop, Monster Mini Golf could not scream the theme of Halloween any louder. Paying only $9.00 for a round, I gather my highlighter yellow golf ball and putter and pause before the course’s cast-

your own risk”. This risk is one that I am more than willing to take. Before playing mini golf, I tend to scope out the age of the crowd to get a good feel for how difficult the course may be. At Monster Mini Golf, players range from a full family of eight, to a teenage couple on a date, to grandparents and their grandchildren. Quickly coming to the conclusion that this entertainment center is not just for the young, but for the young at heart, I drop my golf ball and take my first putt. CONNECTICUT NATIVES

Monster Mini Golf, 210 Boston Post Road. 24


As I successfully move from one interactive obstacle to the next, I begin to realize that I recognize the hand-painted figures brightly accentuated against the jet-black backdrop of the walls. On one wall Danish-American sculptor and previous Stamford, CT resident, Gutzon Borglum, poses with his monumental artistic creation, the presidential heads of Mount Rushmore. Singer Meat Loaf, whose family lived in Redding, CT for many years, occupies another wall with his guitar in hand. In the distance I can WINTER 2015

course and have launched into outer space. I am completely exhausted from running and hiding by the end of the 10-minute game and check the leaderboard on the outside of the laser tag doors. For those looking to proudly hang their scores on the fridge at home, the option to print scores exists for players. PARTY ROOMS

clearly identify singer, songwriter, and Stamford homeowner Cyndi Lauper with her wild, multi-colored mane. Looking more closely at the painted walls, I find that absolutely nothing in the building is stenciled in; every single picture on the golf course has been carefully hand painted by artists from across the country. For Monster Mini Golf in Orange, several paintings were completed in Rhode Island and then brought in, and there are no two Monster Mini Golf courses that are alike. Monster Mini Golf founders Christina and Patrick Vitagliano opened the first course in 2004 in Danielson, CT. Today, there are over 34 Monster Mini Golfs, including a 15,000 square foot, KISS-themed rock n’ roll course in Las Vegas and even one in Canada. I pose for pictures with the course’s wishing well, which is frequently used for monthly fundraisers. Monster Mini Golf partners with local organizations to host charity events where visitors can contribute donations to the wishing well. SPOOKY CHARACTERS

I make my way through the course’s black floors and hand-painted orange borders while meeting a number of spooky characters along the way, like tall robed skeletons and an old tree that tells jokes. Timidly walking toward the hairy green ogre at the far edge of the course, I find out that his major role is to fool around with players in order to mess up their concentration. WINTER 2015

Nearly doubling over laughing as the ogre’s voice booms toward me, I scream as I manically hit the golf ball and make my first hole-in-one! Giving high fives to my brother and younger cousins who are all competing against me for the lowest score, I look toward the ogre and think maybe he could have given me the luck I needed to finish the game as the champion. At the 18th and final hole of the course, I stare at a colossal clown with its tongue sticking out. Though I normally run the other way when I even sense that a clown is near, I will admit that I find myself uniquely comforted and unafraid of the creatures on the course. I putt the golf ball directly into the clown’s mouth and add up the final scores to find out that I won the game by a single point!

There is no way that I’m leaving Monster Mini Golf without exploring the rest of the building so I run downstairs and take a peek into the two large, dimly-lit party rooms complete with a ‘spooky’ fireplace, chandelier and long dining room table for guests to use for their special occasions. In the arcade, my cousin challenges me to a match of glow-in-the-dark air hockey and I later redeem my Skee Ball tickets from the ‘Redemption’ section of the arcade that holds a variety of prizes. Before stepping out of the entertainment center and back into reality, I look once more at the car that had originally greeted me from the very beginning of my experience and know that I need to come back again soon, because there is absolutely nothing boring about Monster Mini Golf. 쮿


Although my family and I were tempted to hop back in line for a rematch, we decided to make our way upstairs to the laser tag arena. Strapping my protective vest in place, I made my way inside the laser tag portal that resembles a fluorescent moon rock. After listening to the rules of the game, I quickly hide behind a painted orange barrier and wait for the game to begin. As players chase each other with their laser beams, a fog machine sends small bursts of mist through the room. Between the light fog and the expansive, handpainted solar system on the walls, it truly feels like I’ve left the loud, rock ‘n roll-filled world of the golf

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Robusta spray was the best oribunda spray photo in the 2014 ARS national photo show.


For John Mattia, growing roses is a constant quest for perfection. “I’ve always liked the form, not the fragrance,” says Mattia, 77, who recently received a lifetime achievement award from the American Rose Society (ARS) at its fall 2015 national convention in Syracuse, New York. He’s also one of the most decent guys you’ve ever met, and he is universally respected in the rose society.” Connecticut Rose Society Vice President David Ciak describes Mattia as “a fine gentlemen, expert rosarian (rose grower) and expert exhibitor who always is willing to help others.” A ROSE NUT

Elizabeth Park Centennial is a rose I hybridized and was introduced to mark the centennial of the Elizabeth Park Centennial in 2003.

A soft-spoken, bespectacled man, Mattia bears a resemblance to the late British actor Bob Hoskins. He has a wry sense of humor. Asked about his relationship with roses, Mattia quips, “My wife calls me a ‘rose nut.’” His penchant for flowers took root in childhood. Mattia planted zinnias in

Mattia became the 13th recipient of the Guy Blake Hedrick, Jr. Award, which honors outstanding rose exhibitors who share their knowledge about growing and showing roses. A founder of the Connecticut Rose Society, Mattia has won hundreds of awards for his roses and digital rose art photography. He also is a nationally known rose judge, writer and lecturer on rose topics. “John is one of the very best exhibitors ever,” says American Rose Society Vice President Robert B. Martin. “He is very detail oriented and very good at explaining things. 28


Champion Rosarian and Orange Resident John Mattia.

cement cracks at his parents’ house in New Haven where he started a Victory garden as a kindergartner and was fascinated by the roses in a neighbor’s garden. “I always came home with a bouquet of roses,” he says. Mattia was a science teacher, newspaper editor, sports writer and sport columnist before becoming Director of Public Affairs and Publications at Southern Connecticut State University from 1964 to1997. After retiring, he spent 13 years working on projects for the school as an academic events planner, photographer, graphic designer and catalog editor. THE FIRST ROSE

Mattia’s first tried growing roses in 1965 when his brother gave him two bushes after he and his wife, Gerry, moved to Orange. “I planted them in the shade of a maple tree,” Mattia says. “One immediately died. The other never bloomed the first year.” The following August, Mattia noticed “a yellow speck,” while looking out his back window. “That single rose was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life,” he says. “Ever since then, roses have been a major part of my life.”

Crystalline — Won US National Queen in Indianapolis in 1995.

Mattia became interested in rose competition in the late 1970s, seeking guidance from Louise Coleman, then a top national rose exhibitor. WINTER 2015

“She sent me a 10-page letter that became my rose bible,” he says. “What makes an exhibitor good is a passion to have the best roses you can and a passion to show off your roses,” Coleman says. “You also need a competitive spirit. It’s not so much the trophies. It’s basically improving what you did before.” A TOP EXHIBITOR

Mattia had all the right stuff to succeed, according to Coleman. “He was doing very well growing roses,” she says. “He just needed a basic course on exhibiting.” Mattia soon became a top exhibitor in rose shows in the US and Canada. “I got really good in the 1990s,” he says. For three years I won ‘Queen of Show’ (the top honor) in 11 straight rose shows, including two national and three regional.” Over the years, Mattia has won more than 80 Queens of Show. Mattia’s accomplishments are extraordinary, ARS Vice President Martin says, because Connecticut is not the best place to cultivate roses. “Our growing season is only six months,” Mattia says. “The rest of the time I spend playing with my photos. I have taken more than 20,000.”

In rose competition, form is crucial to winning. “If you look down from the top, a rose should be roundish with equal separation of petals,” Mattia explains. “From the side, it should look triangular.” Other criteria include color and size. Roses, and other flowers, may have evolved from plants originating at least 250 million years ago, according to Mattia. “Cleopatra welcomed Mark Antony to (ancient) Egypt in a room filled with rose petals,” he says, adding in the early 19th century France’s Empress Josephine Bonaparte assembled a world-famous rose garden filled with several hundred varieties. “Roses were a symbol of debauchery for the Romans, and a Catholic symbol of motherhood and family,” Mattia says. “But most civilizations have connected the rose with love.” EXPERIMENTATION

In recent years, Mattia has experimented with hybridizing roses, a process in which humans become pollinators, deciding which roses to cross in an effort to create new varieties. He gave one of his hybridized roses to Elizabeth Park in Hartford, to celebrate its 2004 centennial. The park has the oldest public rose garden in America.

Best In Show Photo is a rose named ‘Veichenblau’ which was the Best in Show among 246 entries at the ARS National Photo Show at Syracuse this past September.

Mattia’s face beams as he guides a visitor through his backyard rose garden, where 250 bushes bloom several times a year, producing exquisite roses of varying hues. In his basement, he shows off an aluminum suitcase he customized with a Styrofoam box for transporting roses safely to competitions. “Roses will last 30 years if you take care of them,” Mattia says. “They need six hours of sunlight a day, two to three gallons of water a week, compost, a minimal amount of fertilizer and some sort of chemical protection.” Mattia also nurtures his decades-long relationships with fellow rosarians. “What I like most of all are the people,” he says. “These friendships are as important to me as the hobby itself.” Mattia still competes, though not as often since his wife became ill several years ago. He won “Best in Show” in the 2015 American Rose Society Photo Contest and his “Natasha Monet” rose was Queen of Show at the 2015 Connecticut Rose Society show at Elizabeth Park.

John Mattia in Orange Rose Garden. WINTER 2015

“We’re glad to see him being more active,” says American Rose Society Vice President Martin. “There’s not a whole lot left for him to win.” 쮿

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Inside the open-spaced, windowed building, you can make out the shapes of machines and people. The commanding blue sign, clutching its name in its fist, heralds this gathering place for health-conscious individuals, the letters popping from the fingers: Crunch. Kristen Oddi, the owner and woman behind that hand, greets patrons at the door (and often by name). Pleasantries are exchanged. She asks about your wife, your dog, or your son’s math exam before you head off to your favorite machine. Or maybe you prefer a fitness class? WHAT DIFFERENTIATES CRUNCH

The Post Road is riddled with gym after gym, each competing to bring something to the table that its competitors (and neighbors) don’t. Kristen enjoys no lack of members as the sounds of clanking equipment and upbeat music resonate through the spacious gym. “We’re a gym for the value-conscious consumer,” she explains. Crunch offers its members an abundance of options for a rounded experience that appeals to all kinds. “Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. We try to have something for everyone.”

Kristen noted. “If there’s any way we can make it easier to keep that habit, we will.” New members begin their Crunch journey by meeting one of the staff’s personal trainers. The trainer introduces the equipment, identifies the strengths and needs of the member, and sets them on the path to success. Kristen understands that unfamiliar gym equipment is intimidating, and she wants to make sure new members don’t feel uncomfortable trying any machine they like. “If you’re not comfortable somewhere, you’re not going to go,” Kristen said. “And that defeats the purpose.” GREAT EMPLOYEES

Some customers head straight for the cardio equipment. Others lift weights. Some might not touch a machine for the length of their membership, electing for the fitness classes instead. Yoga, Zumba, TRX training, you name it: all included in the member-ship package.

One of Kristen’s greatest assets is her staff. Each staff member knows at least the names of regular visitors but usually more, and conversation precedes many workouts when a member walks in. “When people come in, they can see we’re different from other gyms and a lot of that comes down to the staff,” Kristen said. “Each club has its own culture brought on by the staff.”

Crunch draws in a large amount of first-time gym goers, and Kristen prioritizes a comfortable, welcoming environment to entice people to stay. “Going to the gym is the hardest habit to form and easiest to break,”

To foster relationships among the staff, Crunch holds employee gatherings multiple times yearly, usually bringing together the workers of all three of Kristen’s Crunch locations. She runs her flagship


Owners Eugene Russo and Kristen Oddi.

location in Norwalk as well as a location in Stratford, traveling between the three each week. Her brother, Eugene Russo, runs the gyms alongside her. Additionally, Crunch holds member appreciation events to invite staffmember and member-member interactions, as well as a little extra motivation. Sometimes it’s not fitness oriented, like a smoothie day or other special event. “We want to be a place people want to come to,” Kristen explained. “For a lot of people, coming to the gym is not fun. We want to be someplace that people like to go, even if it’s having a social event that’s not exercise related.” STEADY GROWTH

After opening the Orange location two years ago, Kristen has seen steady growth in memberships. She and her brother aspire to open more Crunch locations in Connecticut. “Honestly, fitness can bring happiness to people that nothing else can,” Kristen, a longtime runner and fitness enthusiast herself, stated. “I like being able to help people find that.” 쮿

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The Eli’s family has opened its hospitable arms to Orange. The familyfriendly restaurant has a contemporary American something-for-everyone menu, and it serves as late as last call. The fifth restaurant in the Eli’s group launched on the Golden Mile in July. Hamden opened in 1994). One of the keys to Eli’s success over the last 21 years is “We make it ourselves.” Calamari is delivered fresh; it doesn’t arrive in the kitchen in a box, frozen, cut and breaded. At Eli’s the cooks clean and chop the calamari, dredge it in flour, and fry. Customers can order it with marinara sauce or cocktail sauce, or for a modest upgrade, with an “Asian-style” sweet chili sauce. It’s one of the most popular dishes.

Eli’s Of Orange, 285 Boston Post Road.

A big, bold sign hangs high on the facade of the stone and stucco building in Orange’s shopping area. Inside, the handsome, spacious restaurant is done in tones of chic gray and taupe. The horseshoe bar, an Eli’s signature, seats 33. This is an eat-in bar, with grey leather banquettes whose semi-circular shapes bring everyone at the table together. Some of the curved banquettes are big enough to seat a dozen. “People love the big booths,” says general manager Ellis Reilly, “It’s like having your own private area.” Wood ceilings make the room feel cozy, and hanging drum shades are stylish. High topped tables give way to standard-height tables in the dining room. There’s a comfortable feeling at Eli’s. 32


Who can resist the Philly egg roll? Not Eli’s customers. Shaved Philly steak, caramelized onions and American cheese, in a egg roll wrapper, deep fried, and served with mild, smoky chipotle mayo, and sprinkled with fresh scallions, is such a huge seller that “we’re looking at finding an automated roller,” says Executive Chef Leo Gallagher. EVERYTHING IS FRESH

At Eli’s the food is cooked from scratch. “Everything comes in fresh,” says Gallagher, “We don’t use frozen and boxed food.” Gallagher, a classically trained chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute back in the 80s, started with Eli’s in the beginning (actually about 3 or 4 days after Eli’s on Whitney in

Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza in Hamden provides the home-made dough for the base of the sweet and tangy fig pizza. At Eli’s Orange, the crust is grilled, then topped with fig jam, arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and goat cheese. Hamburgers are made with a house blend of chuck, short rib and brisket. Eli’s signature burger is topped with melted mozzarella, roasted red peppers, fried onions, lettuce and tomatoes. OPTIONS FOR VEGETARIANS

Don’t eat meat? The avocado salad is a winner. Chunks of smooth avocado and avocado puree become the sauce for a molded chopped romaine salad with red onions and minced tomatoes. It’s delightfully lemony, slicked with olive oil and dashed with the salty richness of parmesan shavings. Mac and Jack combines smoked gouda, pepper jack, white cheddar and asiago into a creamy sauce with orecchiette pasta (the “little ears”), caramelized onions, pulled pork and jalapeños. It’s topped with Panko bread crumbs and baked. The black WINTER 2015

we go to Eli’s in Hamden or Branford. They’re happy they won’t have to travel. The town has been so welcoming,” says Charlene Chiaro, Eli’s Marketing Manager, who has worked with the company for 10 years. Eli’s Orange follows the same model as the Eli’s in Hamden and Branford. Eli’s Tavern is a gastropub in Milford. The people of Orange also seem to have a fondness for pickles. Pickles? Yes, Eli’s Orange customers have asked for pickles on their burgers, and Eli’s has responded. If customers want pickles, they shall have pickles. “We don’t say no to what customers want,” says Gallager. LET US CATER YOUR EVENT

bean burger satisfies vegetarians, and Eli’s also offers gluten-free pasta, pizza and buns. There’s just three words for those looking for total comfort food: Chicken Pot Pie. Chunks of chicken breast, carrots and peas in creamy gravy are topped with golden puff pastry. Dessert is comfort food too. Chef Leo’s imagination is always at work. Where does he come up with ideas like Nutella Lasagna, a creamy update on tired tiramisu -mascarpone Nutella and chocolate over ladies fingers. S’mores in a jar is the chef’s decadent take on the camp classic. Long handled spoons dipped into the glass bring forth gooey melted marshmallow, dark chocolate and crunchy graham cracker.

half-priced appetizers and discounted drafts, house wines and specialty cocktails. From the martini list, a fall and winter favorite is the espresso martini, which gets a kick of caffeine from espresso and hazelnut-flavored vodka and vanilla. Eli’s Mule mixes bourbon (rather than vodka), spicy ginger beer, and apricot puree. In summer, a popular drink is the cucumber cooler - cucumber juice, coconut water, and cucumber vodka with a swirl of fresh cucumber. The Eli’s family is getting to know the Orange community and what’s important to them. Community, for one thing. “Everyone knows everyone in Orange,” Reilly says. “People come here and run into people they know.” And the staff runs into people who know Eli’s. “So many people say,

Eli’s also does off-premises catering. They can do huge events for 2,000, as they did for the Yale Forestry School’s graduation. While Eli’s Hamden and Branford locations have private rooms for parties and corporate events, Eli’s Orange can accommodate groups of 20 by joining tables together. Eli’s also offers ample parking. The kitchen serves a late night menu of appetizers and burgers until last call. Eli’s closes at 1 a.m. Sunday through Monday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. “It’s a place you can come every day,” says Ellis, “People come here every day.” Eli’s Orange is at 285 Boston Post Rd., Orange, 06477, (203) 5539933. 쮿


Sports is part of the scene in the bar room, where the 15 televisions draw fans, especially around 9 to 10 at night when customers come in to watch the game while having a beer in a friendly atmosphere. The custommade copper beer tower offers a range of beers from Goose Island to local Stratford-based Two Roads Brewery. The craft list changes with the seasons and is updated on Eli’s website. Wines, mostly domestic, are offered by the glass and bottles. Happy Hour, from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays in the bar room, offers WINTER 2015

Philly Egg Roll.

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When physical issues inhibit people from fully engaging in life the way they want to, cosmetic surgery may be a good option. Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Richard J. Restifo discusses his “whole person” approach to surgery. While it’s certainly true that beauty is only skin deep, many people struggle to see past their perceived flaws. In turn, a person’s sense of inner beauty and wholeness may be compromised, making it difficult to fully engage with the world around them,” says Dr. Richard Restifo. Far from being a superficial “fix”, cosmetic surgery can change the way people feel about themselves, and how they relate to others, both personally and professionally. SAFETY & CONFIDENTIALITY

Dr. Restifo and his partner Dr. Johnny Mao provide a safe and confidential environment in which people can talk openly about the changes they want to make. “We understand the vulnerability involved in showing a stranger your perceived flaws. It takes courage to talk openly. Our desire is to reciprocate with honesty and understanding.”

Dr. Richard Restifo and Nurse Jackie Naser.

change without making assumptions. Then we assess how we can restore, refine and enhance what is already beautiful and authentic about each patient.” Dr. Restifo and Dr. Mao enable patients to safely explore the possibilities available to them with confidence that they will receive honest and compassionate advice.


“Our goal is to help patients claim whole beauty. Balance is the key, regardless of whether subtle or dramatic results are desired. We listen carefully to what each person wants to


The warm, inviting environment of the newly constructed office in Orange is matched by the attentive and welcoming staff, most of whom have worked for Restifo Plastic Surgery for over a decade. “The majority of our patients come to us via word-of-mouth from our prior patients. We develop deep bonds and a high level of trust with the people we serve; they in turn frequently recommend us to their family and friends.”

specialization. Both Dr. Restifo and Dr. Mao have mastered their respective craft by concentrating on specific areas: Dr. Restifo, the breast and body, including breast enhancements, tummy-tucks and “mommy makeovers”; and Dr. Mao, cosmetic surgery of the face and nose as well as minimally invasive lasers, injectables and fillers. Both Dr. Restifo and Dr. Mao are highly respected, highly experienced, and boardcertified in their respective fields. Both surgeons strive for perfection and complete patient satisfaction. 쮿


Dr. Restifo and Dr. Johnny Mao. WINTER 2015

Perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of Restifo Plastic Surgery is each surgeon’s degree of focus and

Restifo Plastic Surgery, 200 S. Orange Center Road, Orange.

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Max Russell Returns Home To Coach Youth Pitching WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO

At just six years old, Orange resident Max Russell fell in love with the game of baseball. “I would throw a baseball over my house to the backyard all day and when my dad would get home from work I’d make him hit me ground and fly balls,” Max said. influence he had on my life made me the animal I was on the mound. I would write his initials in the dirt before the start of every game.” COLLEGIATE SUCCESS

Max Russell (Center) with grandparents Josi and Joey Russell.

With the support and mentorship of his grandfather, Joe Russell, Max developed a passion and appreciation for the sport. “From as far back as I can remember, Papa Joe would sit me down in his kitchen, turn on the Red Sox and teach me the game of baseball,” Max said. “He would talk to me about how to respect the game and stay humble. He was not only my mentor but also my best friend.” STELLAR HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

With his grandfather’s support from Little League to his games at Amity High School, Max grew up to have one of the most impressive high school 36


pitching careers of any player to come out of the Southern Connecticut Conference. As a senior at Amity High School, he pitched his team to Class LL state championships and was a twotime Register All-State pick. Though Max says that there is not one particular professional athlete who serves as his role model, he has found inspiration in the loss of his good friend Timothy Garfalo, who he met when playing hockey at eight years old. “He is the one who inspired me to work my hardest,” Max said. “Whenever I would start to get tired when lifting or pitching, I'd think of him and push myself to the next level. I wanted to make him proud, and the

Finishing 28-1 at Amity, Russell decided to move to Florida in order to continue playing baseball at Division II Florida Southern, where he posted a 24-4 career record with 244 strikeouts. Combining his high school and college pitching records, Russell was 54-4 and he realized that his hard work was paying off. He says that he noticed major differences between playing at Amity and playing in college. “When pitching at Amity, I would get away with pitches that were up in the strike zone,” said Max, a two-time All American at Florida Southern. “When I got to college those balls were crushed into the gap or blasted over the fence. Once I learned how to command the bottom half of the strike zone, I was dominant.” DRAFTED BY THE ANGELS

Russell was drafted in the 4th round by the Los Angeles Angels in 2010. The Angels first sent him to play with the Orem Owlz, the Cedar Rapids Kernels and then the Inland Empire 66ers.


Now taking on the role as a pitching coach himself, Max says that he makes sure to show his players that he cares about each and every one of them. “If you’re a coach that is screaming at your players, they are more likely to make a mistake and have a negative attitude toward baseball,” Max said. “If the players respect you as a person, then the coaching comes easier.” Max works with his mentees to help them improve their technique and gain a deeper understanding of the mental aspect of pitching. Max Russell (Center) with parents Marla and Carl Russell.

“Playing for all of those minor league teams was a dream come true,” Max said. “When playing for the Owlz, we had 19-hour long bus rides and played in places you'd never want to go but it made me mentally stronger. I was there for about one month and I was throwing really well so I was called up to low A.” When he arrived in Cedar Rapids to play for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Russell quickly found out that the competition was significantly more advanced than the previous league. Max returned to Cedar Rapids for his next season in 2011 and made the All Star team. Following his All Star break he was called up to high A, lived in a hotel for two weeks and then moved into an apartment with three of his teammates. For home games, Max said that he would take the city bus to the stadium. “Cedar Rapids was my favorite team that I played for,” Max said. “Minor league baseball is a grind. I ended 2011 in the California League and threw really well.” While Max says that he had much success when he reported back to the California League in 2012, he says that one day his arm ran out of bullets, and his pitching velocity dropped from the low 90s down to 82-85 miles per hour. “The second half of the 2012 season was a long one,” Max said. “Showing up to spring training in 2013, I could WINTER 2015

not throw a baseball 90 feet and chose to take off for the entire season to start coaching and giving pitching lessons. I ended up getting into really great shape when I took that season off and I got resigned by the Angels for the 2014 season.” GIVING BACK

After being released at spring training, Max moved back home to Orange and now shares his talents with youth between the ages of nine and eighteen, coaching pitching lessons both privately and for players at Hamden High School. “My papa always stressed to me to give back to your community and the youth, and I am having an absolute blast teaching these kids how to pitch,” Max said.

“I had a pitcher that was so nervous and scared to make a bad pitch. I had to help build his confidence,” Max said. “We would talk after practice and I would explain to him how he needs to take it one pitch at a time and if he lets up a hit, it’s best to just move on and focus on the next pitch.” Max says that he wants each person he coaches to take away skills that they could apply for future years of their pitching careers. “I want to see my players constantly laughing and enjoying the game,” Max said. “In every lesson that I give, I want each of my players to learn their proper mechanics and start to understand what kind of pitcher they really are. 쮿

One of the coaches that Max says he models his own coaching after is Trevor Wilson, who played for eight years in the MLB and worked as his pitching coach in 2011 for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. “I admire coaches that are approachable and motivational,” Max said. “The year that Trevor was my coach I made the Midwest League All Star team and it was my best professional ball year. He cared about not only improving my skills as a pitcher but also making sure everything was all right with me mentally. He taught me the mental make up a pitcher needs for a 140 game season and would constantly put motivational quotes and stories in my locker.”

Max Russell on the mound.

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2015 Orange Farmer’s Market

Orange Farmers Market WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

Leaf pottery, maple syrup and wool scarves were among the items for sale on September 24, 2015 at the Orange Community Farmers’ Market that returned to town this year for the first time since 2009. “I thought it would be a good idea to reinvigorate the market,” said Orange Economic Development Director Paul Grimmer, who became market master in early spring after discussions with First Selectman James Zeoli and positive feedback from local farmers and crafters.

Held under the High Plains Community Center pavilion, the market was open nearly every Thursday from June 25 to October 29, with as many as a dozen vendors. “This time we were a little more critical in setting up our guidelines,” Zeoli said. “We didn’t want a circus, and we wanted a good blend.” CONNECTICUT GROWN

The market was a Connecticut “Certified Farmers Market,” allowing only the sale of state grown farm products. Nine vendors participated on September 24, including the Zuppardi’s Pizza Truck, Verab Greenhouses, selling mums and succulents, and Shamrock Farm Stand, which had black plastic containers brimming with broccoli, eggplants, heirloom tomatoes and other produce.

parents founded the company three decades ago. Sterling Adams started Fox Hollow Farm, a Woodbridge-based maple syrup business, as “kind of as a hobby” two years ago. “Last year, we tapped around 150 trees and produced 27 gallons,” said Adams’ wife, Ashley. “This year, we had permission from Orange to tap trees on town-owned property and did about 400 taps, producing 120 gallons.”

Zeoli, who owns the farm stand, urged a customer to buy more green beans, saying, “C’mon, you’ve got to take at least a pound.” MORE THAN JUST FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Vodka cream sauce, frozen ravioli and handmade egg noodles were best sellers for Durante’s Pasta, Inc. of West Haven. “The pasta goes hand in hand with the vegetables available here,” said Angelo Durante, whose 40



By September 24, Fox Hollow had no more medium amber maple syrup, but there were plenty of jugs of dark amber syrup available.

2015 Vendors:

“It’s so much better to buy from local farmers,” said Dawn Szmaszek, a customer carrying a bag containing several long purple eggplants from Grassy Hills Farms, which was selling four varieties of eggplant, tomatoes, Swiss chard and kale, among other vegetables. Sophia Rogers eyed an intricate blue wool scarf made by Patti Clark of Maple View Farm. “I’ve been here just about every week, buying vegetables and scarves, hats and other presents for my family,” she said. Clark started spinning her own wool from Maple View’s sheep around a decade ago. Her husband, Bryan, is a descendant of the folks who built the farm in the 1790s. These days, the family business offers horse drawn wagon rides, pony rides, daycare for children and a Party Barn, which will be the starting point for a “Wagon Ride with Santa” on November 29, 2015. Matthew Browning of B4 & After Farms in Woodbridge kept reaching into an Igloo cooler to extract frozen packages of locally produced bacon, sausage and other pork products for customers. He also sells heritage turkeys and trains people to cut, cure and smoke ham and bacon at his “Porkademy.”

wondered if you were coming next week,” he said, adding a slow but steady stream of customers made September 24 one of the best days for vendors. SEE YOU IN 2016

Zeoli confirmed the market will be back –– and bigger –– in 2016. New items may include seafood, dairy products and different specialty greens. “The feedback from the public has been really good,” Grimmer said. “They’re champions for fresh food.” 쮿


Ashly Ann Hands: Hand Crafted Pottery


B4 and After Farms: Pork Products


Buttermilk Lane Farm: Fresh Cut Flower


Cedar Hill Farm: Meats (Beef, Pork and Poultry)


Dream Come True Farm: Infused Herb and Flower Lotions & Sprays


Durante's Pasta, Inc.: Premium Homemade Pasta


Feisty Goat Farm: Goat Milk Soaps


Fox Hollow Farm: Maple Syrup


Grassy Hill Farm: Fresh Vegetables

10 Julia's Bakery:

Breads, Cookies, Pastry and Pies 11 Mapleview Farm:

Wool & Wool Products 12 Shamrock Farm:

Vegetables 13 Zuppardi's Apizza Truck:

Freshly Made Pizza 14 Verab Greenhouses:

Potted Plants

The camaraderie among the vendors was palpable. Browning was making plans with Fox Hollow Farm to produce maple syrup-infused pork products. Ashly Ann Bartholomew of Ashly Ann’s Hands spoke with Angelo Durante about selling pasta bowls. “Every week I’ve tried to bring what I thought would accentuate the market,” said Bartholomew, whose artwork on display September 24 included eye-catching porcelain soap dishes, spoon holders and earrings made with real leaves. This year’s Orange Community Farmers’ Market had its ups and downs, according to Zeoli. “Some weeks were extremely great and some weeks were so flat that you WINTER 2015

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Juniorettes Give Back To The Community WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

Orange is a comfortable, picturesque slice of suburban New England charm. From well-groomed gardens to frequent community events, a sense of fellowship is deeply responsible for what gives the town its character, and the residents themselves have shaped it. Of the various volunteer groups that maintain and enliven the town, the Juniorettes is a newer organization that shows no signs of slowing down. Comprised of young girls between the ages of 9 and 16 (and welcoming those up to 18), the Juniorettes is a subgroup of its well-established, adult-aged counterpart, the Orange Community Women (OCW). The OCW, presently made up of about 20 women, heads fundraising and community service projects year round. Many of the women have children in the community, and one such mother, Karen Iassogna, noticed a gap. Her daughter, fresh out of the girl scouts at the age of 13, desired to keep serving the community. Karen approached her fellow OCW members to ask if an organized group existed in town for young teenage girls. “It didn’t,” Karen found. “So they asked if I’d like to start one.” With the support of the OCW, Karen garnered 10 elementary school-aged girls during the summer of 2013 and named the group the Juniorettes.

Society’s Relay For Life, and hosted a pet needs drive for the Milford Animal Shelter, to name a few. Additionally, the girls maintain the gardens at the Orange police and fire stations on the Post Road. A favorite service among the girls is sharing lunch and playing games with seniors from the local senior centers.

The Juniorettes, now 20 members strong, is currently heading a project to raise money to armor Orange’s resident police dog, a German shepherd named Loki. Amongst other fundraising efforts, the Juniorettes have placed donation bins at community hot spots to help outfit the K-9 officer in protective gear.



Karen and six other women (four of whom belong to the OCW, including Karen) make up a board of advisors to the Juniorettes, heading the planning of projects for the girls to take on. In the organization’s young life, it has conducted two toy drives for Yale Children’s Hospital, raised funds for the American Cancer

Erika Fontana, a current member of the Juniorettes, finds the visits to Silverbrook (and other centers) particularly rewarding. “Seeing the smiles on the residents’ faces is so much fun,” she commented. The group recently donated handcrafted lap blankets to the center.

Many of the girls joined the group out of a desire to give back to the community they love. “I love helping my community because the community is always giving back to me; I am always expecting things to happen,” said member Julia Papelo. “But I realize things don’t just come so easily.”


Orange Juniorettes enjoying community service.

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Juniorettes create an attractive flower garden.

Angie Parente agrees with her fellow Juniorettes. “I like the feeling of knowing that all of the Juniorettes make a difference in Orange.” RECRUITING CHALLENGES

One challenge Karen feels the Juniorettes face is with recruiting new members, especially from fresh circles. Primarily, the group has grown due to the addition of friends of existing members. The Juniorettes have seen members from Peck Place,



Turkey Hill and Racebrook Elementary Schools as well as girls from the Orange Amity Regional Middle School. The Juniorettes operate a Facebook profile, appear in local publications and generally spread their contact information in the hopes of gaining new members. Technically, youths from the surrounding communities are welcome as well.

people who maybe aren’t a friend of one of the girls. We want to broaden our group.”

“We’ve primarily grown through word of mouth,” Karen stated. “But this year we’re really looking to get new

Karen notes that the Juniorettes could better assist the community if more organizations and businesses reached out for their help. Most of the projects the girls partake in were sought out by the advisors. Sometimes the Juniorettes work hand In hand with the OCW, but more often they carry out independent projects.

Karen knows that Lindsay will someday have to leave the Juniorettes, by surpassing the age threshold if nothing else, but that doesn’t stop Karen from her commitment. “Even when she stops, it’s still very important that the community has this group,” she said. Some of the other advisors, only two of whom don’t have relatives in the group, agree. ASKING FOR HELP

“Orange is a really nice town,” said Juniorettes member Jade Krukar. “But without volunteers, it wouldn’t be.” 쮿




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Instilling confidence in young children helps them develop their social skills and a sense of self-worth. When we feel good about ourselves it shows; situations seem easier to handle and we communicate in a more upbeat and positive manner. That positivity can spread to others. Smiles are contagious! Children need to feel validated and loved. Their parents’ positive reinforcement and encouragement helps them gain confidence, and once they are in school, educators and peers also influence their self-worth. How children feel affects how children act. MODEL CONFIDENCE

Our children are in tune with our actions, so what we feel and perceive can influence our children. A positive self-image provides a strong example to children and helps them feel good about the world. Since children can mirror our behavior, we need to lead by example and model confidence.


Bad days happen, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed or down for no reason. When we feel unhappy, it is a good idea to remind children that challenges are a part of life, and we feel happy and fulfilled on most days. If we aren’t happy, we owe it to ourselves and our children to seek out ways to feel fulfilled and joyful, which may include reading, meditating, exercising or listening to music. INSTILL A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE

Parents influence their children’s sense of self-worth. Our children should like who they are and feel comfortable in their own skins. Children should feel as though their voices will be heard and as though they can make a difference in the world. We help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth by acknowledging their strengths and the qualities that make them unique. Everyone seeks praise and responds positively to compliments. Children develop a positive self-image when their parents acknowledge their strengths, trust in their abilities and see mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.


The people around us can affect how we act. Our values may differ from other parents’ and children’s values. Part of our job as parents is to get to know our children’s friends and their parents, and observe any behavioral changes in our children, positive or negative. We can’t always choose who our children befriend, but we can encourage them to play with children who will make them happy. Make time to talk to other parents at your school’s drop-off or pick-up times. Talk to your children about their play dates, and pay attention to their attitudes afterward. Are they smiling and excited about the fun they had, or are they withdrawn? EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS

Children need to be able to express how they feel, but also able to control their tempers. Suppressing feelings does not help children deal with the issue and keeps them from learning how to communicate effectively with others. Finding the right balance is difficult, but if we model healthy ways to talk about our feelings, children will learn how to express how they feel in a mature, controlled and age-appropriate manner. 쮿

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Deck The Stores With Boughs Of Holly WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

Storefronts on the Boston Post Road may look a lot more interesting this holiday season. season." The Internet should provide some inspiration. “If you Google ‘holiday window displays, you will see thousands and thousands of images,” Mastrangelo says, adding she will help “anybody who wants my input or direction.”

The town’s Economic Development Corporation has teamed up with local merchants for a “Deck the Windows Display Competition” to “create excitement, delight families and encourage resident support.”

Lights should be a central part of the display, according to Mastrangelo. “More than anything else, stuff with lights and flashing lights are what is going to attract the kids and the families,” she says. “If it’s not exciting, kids aren’t going to care.

The contest is open to all businesses in Orange. They must register with the Orange Economic Development Corporation by November 12, 2015, decorate their store windows by November 30, 2015 and “welcome visitors” throughout December.

“One of the other things merchants should be thinking about is incorporating what they do into the window display.”

Judging, based on criteria including “creativity, originality, product representation and visual merchandising techniques” will take place between December 14 and December 16. Winners will be honored on December 22, and publicized in OrangeLife Magazine and other media outlets. THE IDEA IS BORN

The window display competition stemmed from an informal conversation over a year ago between Orange First Selectman James M. Zeoli and Annamarie Mastrangelo, president and CEO of A.A.I. Flooring Specialists. “We were talking about how business was slow, and how we really need to do something to get people to come to the Post Road,” Mastrangelo says. “Other communities do these kinds of things during the holiday season.” The idea gained traction during Orange Economic Development Corporation meetings.




“I came up with the idea of Orange school principals being the judges,” Mastrangelo says, adding she also suggested involving Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) moms and organizing an event in conjunction with the competition to draw attention to the window displays. The event, on December 19, will feature caroling, along with Santa riding down the Boston Post Road, along with free hot chocolate, candy canes and other refreshments. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. at the Trader Joe’s Plaza at 550 Boston Post Road. “Vendors might want to offer a special sale on that day or do demonstrations,” says Mastrangelo, who will be one of the judges. She also advises contestants to create window displays “that are tastefully designed and in keeping with the

As of press time, businesses signing up for the contest included AAI Flooring Specialists, America’s Mattress, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Cellini Design Jewelers, Center Podiatry, Chef’s Equipment Emporium, Diamond Designs, F&W Equipment, Framer’s Edge Gallery & Frame, Goodwill Store, Kaoud Oriental Rugs, Material Girls, Orange Fence & Supply, Retro Games Plus, Salon Aleez & Spa, Springbrook Deli, and Veo Vision. Annamarie concluded, “We look forward to a very festive season, full of merriment and joy.” For more information, contact Annamarie Mastrangelo at 203-553-9595 or Paul Grimmer, Executive Director, Orange Economic Development Corporation, at 203-891-1045. 쮿 WINTER 2015

Branding Brochures Logos Marketing Materials Sales Collateral




Graphic Design

Dale J Pavlik Creative Director/Owner DJP Design LLC Orange CT 203 675 0430 C



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Local Business Women Fight Breast Cancer With Fashion WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN

A storefront, distinguished by its pink accents, houses the Get In Touch Foundation headquarters, a local nonprofit with international presence. Founder Mary Ann Wasil’s mission to educate youths about breast cancer and self-examination stems from an inner-urgency found after her own contentions with the disease. At 39 years old, doctors identified a growth in Wasil’s breast as stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer. She endured chemotherapy, a stroke and a bi-lateral mastectomy before undergoing reconstructive surgery. Two years later, the illness returned as a stage 4 metastatic recurrence, condemning Wasil to lifelong treatment.

upscale consignment boutique based in Milford. “Mary Ann’s story is relevant to women and men alike,” Panzer commented. “Children need to grow up knowing about breast cancer and how to look out for it.” Panzer decided to kick off the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with “Couture For

a Cause,” a fashion show fundraiser to benefit Get In Touch. SUPPORTIVE BUSINESSES

Lee Garvey of Aleez Salon & Spa opened her doors to Panzer’s Village Vogue models, who showcased vintage and name-brand glam for a bustling gathering of supporters. Guests enjoyed hors d‘oeuvres and wine while browsing raffle items.


Wasil took her battle against breast cancer to a new front when she founded the Get in Touch Foundation. The organization’s goal to educate children (boys and girls alike) on selfbreast examinations is a culmination of Wasil’s concern for her two daughters and their risk of hereditarily developing the disease. The organization’s outreach includes all 50 states as well as 33 countries worldwide, promoted by the recently developed free “Daisy Wheel” app, named after the foundation’s method of self-examination. Wasil’s story imprinted on local businesswoman Karen Quinn-Panzer when they met, two years before Panzer started up Village Vogue, an WINTER 2015

Orange business woman, Maria Small walks the runway.

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Local business owners banded together for Wasil’s cause by donating the raffle prizes, which awaited on white tablecloths with signs denoting item value. Guests dropped tickets in glass bowls in front of gift cards to various eateries including South Sea Grille and Smoothie King, beauty products and services by Aveda, a 6-month Crunch Fitness membership, fashion items by Trendsetter and Village Vogue, a hotel stay by Marriott, wine baskets donated by Wines & More and Cruz Wines, gift cards to Orange Ale House, Hawley Lane Shoes and more. RAFFLE PRIZES

Orange business woman, Joan Zorena supporting the cause.



Centered among the prizes gleamed a $480 bracelet, donated by Jean Desimone, owner of Cellini Design Jewelry. Panzer herself donated the grand prize: a week-long cruise to Bermuda, courtesy of her other business, travel agency Cruise One. DeSimone finds supporting this cause to be a no-brainer. “Breast cancer

touches lives everywhere. Everything we can do to increase awareness saves lives.” The five models, all women from CT, showed off four outfits each, with each article of clothing being available for purchase on-site; that is, if the model didn’t fall in love with it and buy it ahead of time. Brand names dignified each sophisticated piece: Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Dooney & Bourke. A sixth and final model emerged with a stunning, vintage 1940s wedding gown, the one she would wear to her own upcoming wedding. Guests could peruse more Village Vogue items at the mini pop-up while waiting for the raffle prizes to be drawn, taking away unique fashion while helping to educate young minds on a vital health issue. “Mary Ann’s story is the kind that changes your outlook,” Panzer said. “I’m happy to help in any way I can.” 쮿




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A family vacation brought the Orange-native Arnone family to Orlando, FL., but their sunny-sky paradise grayed under shadows of storm clouds. With thunder exploding above and wind tearing through the palms, a tornado roiled to life. Though the storm left the Arnone family unharmed, it sparked a permanent fire inside nine-year-old Kevin’s heart.

screen, following the footsteps of his original role model.

While he wasn’t in class at Peck Place Elementary, Kevin pored over books and personal research about weather. He soon met the well-loved WTNH meteorologist, Dr. Mel Goldstein, who advised the young weather enthusiast look into the meteorology program at Western Connecticut State University, which Dr. Mel himself pioneered.



Kevin followed through on that invitation, graduating WCSU in 2012 with a B.S. in meteorology. His coursework involved mathematics and sciences of all kinds, from calculus to physics. Dr. Mel continued to appear time after time in Kevin’s life at seminars or lunch lectures, but had left the channel when Kevin began his internship with WTNH. Dr. Mel passed away half a year later after a long battle with cancer. Kevin handled behind-the-scenes duties like model analysis and website maintenance, but he craved the camera’s eye. Hurricane Sandy swept through and Kevin submitted an amateur forecast videotape to the station’s website. It gained enough attention to earn Kevin a job offer, and he quickly found himself on WINTER 2015

“I wanted to be just like Dr. Mel,” Kevin said. “I chased my dream, and I’m living it.”

Though Kevin shines in front of the green screen, his other favorite part of the job is one he did not expect. 34 times a month Kevin will bring a mobile weather lab to CT schools. He demonstrates the equipment, shows weather models and shares his story. Often, the children react with enthusiasm, star struck by the flashy devices. Among them, though, Kevin can pick out the ones with an inherent passion, those who remind him of his younger self.

from the delivery of forecasting to the minutiae of the science behind it. But, he believes that a little love for weather lives inside everyone. “It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to someone you’ve just met or have known for ten years,” he remarked. “You’re going to talk about the weather at some point in that conversation.” CT manages to avoid some of the more severe weather patterns seen in other regions of the country, but Kevin appreciates the area’s four distinct seasons. While avoiding many extreme natural disasters, CT gets hit with snowstorms, hurricanes and droughts that keep meteorologists on their toes. Even within the state, the weather patterns vary regionally, with both inland and shoreline zones. A NUTMEGGER FOR LIFE

More importantly, Kevin feels connected to CT, having lived here all his life. Currently in Milford, he moved from Orange only two years ago, but a return to his hometown is the plan. “This is where I want to be,” Kevin said. WTNH, based in New Haven, reports for many parts of the state. “I like forecasting for the area that I know to the people that grew up in the same area I did.” 쮿

“I love seeing the kids’ reactions to the technology and the job,” he commented. “But mostly I love reminding them they can do or be anything.” Kevin admitted that he would enjoy making school visits every day, but a multitude of offscreen duties hovers over him. “Sometimes I’ll be studying 20 models before going on-air,” he remarked. “Even when I’m off the clock I’ll be keeping an eye on the weather.” SO, HOW’S THE WEATHER?

A self-described “weather geek,” Kevin’s always thinking about it,

WTNH Weatherman Kevin Arnone speaking to local school students.

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2016 People’s United Bank Chilly Chili Run WRITTEN BY: JANE OPPER

The People’s United Bank 2016 Chilly Chili Run, to benefit the Amity Teen Center, will take place in Orange on New Year’s Day at the High Plains Community Center. This will be the 19th running of the race and it is the Amity Teen Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The 5K race and 2-mile fitness walk will be followed by a “hot chili brunch” for all of the participants. The food is donated by local restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores, and is served in the High Plains cafeteria. The Chilly Chili Run is often referred to as The Showcase for 90 Year-Old Legends who run, compete and inspire! In 2011 we were the first official 5K race in the United States to have three 90+ year olds run and finish the race. Once again, the Honorary Chairman will be Jim Zeoli. Last year’s race had over 500 participants and our t-shirt was voted the favorite among Connecticut Runners.

beginning at 8:00 in the gym and the race will begin at 10:30 a.m. We will also have live entertainment provided by a DJ. For any questions about the race, please call Race Director, Joe Riccio, at (203) 481-7453 or Race Coordinator, Jane Opper, at (203) 795-9351. AMITY TEEN CENTER

The Amity Teen Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed in 1987. We hold after-school, evening and weekend activities for area teens in grades 7 – 12 in our own 7,000 square foot building at 10 Selden Street in Woodbridge. We have a stage area for performing, an art gallery, snack bar, computer room, outdoor basketball court, pool table

and many video games. We recently received a grant to start building a recording studio at the Teen Center. Our teens are involved in many charitable activities such as creating food baskets for those in need at the holidays, decorating a Christmas tree to be auctioned off at the Ronald McDonald house, holding a coat drive and a prom dress drive, playing bingo with the blind veterans at the Veterans Hospital, entertaining and visiting residents of local nursing homes, etc. For more information about the Amity Teen Center, please go to our website at Or you can email us at 쮿


You can register for the Chilly Chili Run online before Friday, December 26, at Registration for the race, through December 19, is $22 for adults, $12 for runners 12 and under and $12 for the fitness walk. After December 19, it will be $27 for adults, $15 for 12 and under, and $15 for the fitness walk. Applications are available at the Park and Recreation office at the High Plains Community Center in Orange. We will also have early packet pick up and late registration on Thursday, December 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the High Plains Community Center lobby. Race Day registration WINTER 2015

And they’re off – Chilly Chili New Year’s Run.

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Stay Healthy, Orange! WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER

As temperatures plummet and snow begins to pile up in our area, urgent care centers are getting busier with accidents and illnesses. “During this time of year we see many injuries and falls related to poor weather,” says pulmonologist Jasdeep Sidana, a co-owner of 203 Urgent Care, that operates eight centers in New Haven and Fairfield Counties, including one in Orange at 109 Boston Post Road. The centers handle nonlife threatening medical conditions and provide vaccinations, blood tests and other services. “A limited number of daylight hours leads to a high incidence of falls because snow is not adequately cleaned,” Dr. Sidana says. “Or, it has

melted and moved and become ice, especially around commercial establishments.”

duration of flu, but they must be administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Other cold weather hazards also take their toll. Frostbite can result from spending too much time outdoors in frigid weather without sufficient warm clothing. Most common on the face, fingers and toes, frostbite occurs when skin and underlying tissue freeze, potentially causing permanent injury.

“We recommend that someone with flu-like symptoms get tested for flu,” Dr. Sidana says. “We have a special room in each of our locations for possible flu patients. There they will get tested faster and we can treat them with Tamiflu.”

“The one thing to watch is not to actively warm the extremity,” Dr. Sidana says. “Don’t put it in hot water, which can damage the blood vessels, but do passive rewarming and slowly let the body rewarm itself.“ Another danger is hypothermia, which happens when your body temperature drops to 95 degrees (F) or below. The elderly are at greatest risk. Signs of hypothermia include confusion, slow or slurred speech and shivering. “During winter, a lot of people walk into our centers with cold-like symptoms,” Dr. Sidana says. “The biggest question that comes year after year is whether we are dealing with a cold or perhaps a flu that could be life threatening.” Body aches, a fever of more than 101 Fahrenheit, headaches, fatigue and weakness are more common with flu. Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu can be used to limit the severity and



The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend a yearly flu vaccination for people six months or older, ideally by October, the official arrival of flu season. “It’s never too late to get a flu shot,” Dr. Sidana says. “This year we saw flu until May.” Shorter, darker days during winter may trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). “It can cause depression, especially in people with a history of the blues,” Dr. Sidana says. “Exposure to sunlight helps, ideally 20 to 30 minutes daily, outside or at a window.” Light therapy boxes may also be beneficial. Winter holidays mean more people are traveling and congregating in close quarters. “To mitigate the health risks, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when sneezing,” Dr. Sidana says, adding people with compromised immune systems need to be even more careful by limiting exposure to germs. 쮿


Winter And Spring Calendar WRITTEN BY: MARY BIALY

Fun events to look forward to in the months ahead. ROTARY CLUB TURKEY TROT 5K

The Third Annual Rotary Club Turkey Trot steps off at the High Plains Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th at 8:00am. Cost for the Trot is $20.00 for the 5K race and $10.00 for the 2 mile fitness walk. For questions and/or more information visit You may register for the race at WAGON RIDE WITH SANTA

The Party Barn at Mapleview Farm, 603 Orange Center Rd (Rt.121), Orange. The fee is $5.00 per person. November 29th, 10:00pm – 4:00pm. The event is by appointment only. For reservations call 203-799-6495 or e-mail The event includes a horse drawn wagon ride with Santa Claus, cookies, hot chocolate and goodies for the kids and handcraft vendors. HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING

The Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting takes place on and around the Orange Town Green on Sunday, December 6, from 3:00–6:00pm. All activities are free of charge:

• Tour the Stone-Otis House to experience what a Victorian Christmas was like.

• The Academy Building and the antique shop will be open as well as the Orange to Derby line model railroad in the lower level.

• The Orange Congregational Church Bell Choir will perform a hand bell concert and carol sing.

• The Annual Gingerbread Contest WINTER 2015

will be featured in the Clark Building and an ice carving demonstration will take place on the front lawn. The Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30pm. Immediately following, Santa Claus will arrive at the Town Green for a visit with the children. The Festival ends at 6:00pm. BREAKFAST WITH SANTA & HOLIDAY SHOPPING

The Orange Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Market with Santa is Saturday, December 12, 2015. Breakfast is at 8:30am – 10:30am and Holiday Market at 9:00am – 2:00pm. The event is being held at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange. Fee $5.00 – $7.00. Children under 1 year old free. Reservation required. Call 203-795-3328. AMITY TEEN CENTER CHILLY CHILI RUN

The 19th Annual Chilly Chili Run steps off at the High Plains Community Center at 10:30am on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, 2016. The event is a showcase for 90 year old and older runners. All pre-registration fees through December 19th are $22.00 5K Road Race, $12.00 12 & under, $12.00 2 Mile Fitness Walk. After Dec. 19th and Race Day Entry Fees $27.00 5K Road Race, $15.00 12 & Under, $15.00 2 Mile Fitness Walk. Onlineregistration is available until midnight on Friday, December 26th. Early Packet Pickup and Late Registration Thursday, December 31st at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road., Orange from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

Visit for information and to register. CINCO K DE MAYO ROAD RACE

The Orange Chamber of Commerce Cohen and Wolf Cinco K de Mayo Road Race will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016. There will be a 5K race and 2 mile walk. Race start is 8:30am at the High Plains Community Center. Cost is $25.00 in advance, $30.00 day of event. You can register for the race at AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RELAY FOR LIFE OF BETHANY ORANGE WOODBRIDGE

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Bethany Orange Woodbridge will take place on Saturday, May 21 to Sunday, May 22, 2016 at the High Plains Community Center in Orange. The public is invited to join hundreds of volunteers and participants to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost to the disease, and take action to finish the fight against cancer. The Relay for Life program is a community-based event where teams and individuals set up campsites at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking around a track or path. Each team has at least one participant on the track at all times. Cancer survivors and caregivers take a celebratory first lap to start each event. Each year, four million people participate in more than 6,000 Relay for Life events worldwide. Last year 544 people from Orange participated raising over $88,000, all to support the Society’s mission to finish the fight against cancer once and for all. Teams and individuals can sign up by visiting 쮿

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Shedding New Light On An Old Subject WRITTEN BY: ED COWERN P.E.

One hundred thirty five years ago, Thomas Edison invented a marvelous life changing device called the incandescent light bulb. It was revolutionary and lasted, almost without change, for well over 100 years. Along the way, Edison’s bulb was supplemented by newer, more efficient light sources, such as fluorescent, sodium, and a few more, but Edison’s incandescent lived on as the most used bulb in residential situations. After the energy crisis of the midseventies and escalating energy costs, compact fluorescents (CFLs) became popular because they only used about ¼ of the energy for the same amount of light. Another advantage of the CFLs was that the lasted five times longer than the old bulbs. Even though they saved energy and lasted longer, there was resistance to change because of the curly, spiral design, slow warm up time and they contained a small amount of environmentally dangerous mercury. The next step in the evolution was the Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. These new designs use less energy than the CFLs, last 50,000 hours (ten times longer than CFLs), come on instantly and do not contain hazardous materials. All in all a winning combination. The only limitation is that in 135 years of incandescent bulbs, thousands of different shapes, sizes and varieties have been developed. Now we are trying to duplicate all these different units in the new LED designs. The most popular sizes and shapes are available but the less popular will take some time. As an example, 60


the old three-way bulbs are available in regular incandescent and curly CFLs but not as yet in the LED versions. One big thing that makes the change out easier is the Energize CT Program. You pay a fee on every electric bill, and the money collected is used to offer rebates to retailers that sell LED bulbs. With rebates, the cost of these new bulbs is reduced to be not much higher than conventional bulbs. Rebates, long life and low cost of operation make LED bulbs real winners. If you are convinced that LEDs are right for you, and you should be, where do you start? The most

important places are where the lights operate for several hours a day, for example, table lamps, night lights, and outdoor security lighting. Next might be lights in locations that are hard to reach such as cathedral ceilings or outdoor lights where a ladder might be needed to change a bulb. With life expectancy of 50,000 hours, the chances are you won’t ever have to replace them again. After these two places, you might change other bulbs to LEDs as they fail. LED bulbs are the lights of the future. Within the next ten years virtually all bulbs will be LEDs. Even Thomas Edison would endorse the change. 쮿 WINTER 2015

Orange Marketplace



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605A Orange Center Road Orange, CT 06477


Profile for OrangeLife Magazine

OrangeLife Magazine - Winter 2015  

Launched in June of 2010, OrangeLife Magazine is a full-color, glossy semi-annual publication that celebrates the Town of Orange by featurin...

OrangeLife Magazine - Winter 2015  

Launched in June of 2010, OrangeLife Magazine is a full-color, glossy semi-annual publication that celebrates the Town of Orange by featurin...