Contents WINTER 2016 ISSUE #14
Publisher Annemarie F. Sliby, Executive Director Orange Economic Development Corporation
Editor Mary Bialy Orange Economic Development Corporation
Contributing Writers Julie Baumgart, Andrew Biondi, Alyssa Davanzo, Elizabeth Keyser, Kimberly Kick, Daina Larkin, Shane Maher, Karen Singer
Contributing Photographers Julie Baumgart, Jessica Carlucci, Todd Dandelske, Betty Hadlock, Kristen Jensen, Lisa MacNamera, Paula Severino, Jilliana Sliby, Storytellers Photography
Advertisement & Graphic Artist Paula Severino
Design & Production
Dale J Pavlik
| DJP Design LLC | djpdesignllc.com
Printing RR Donnelly OrangeLife Magazine is distributed semi-annually by the: Orange Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) 605A Orange Center Road Orange, Connecticut 06477
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Phone: 203-891-1045 Fax: 203-891-1044 www.OrangeLife.net | www.facebook.com/OrangeLifeMagazine
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
On The Cover Racebrook Tract Photographed by Paula Severino
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PAMELA HIRTH It’s Never too Late to Fulfill your Dreams BACKER’S Fifth Avenue Style in the Heart of Orange ORANGE COMMUNITY SERVICES Helping Families in Need CONSIGNMENT SHOPS OF ORANGE Second Hand Shopping is Feel Good Shopping THE GARDEN CLUB Holiday Excitement SCULPSURE TM – DR. AGGARWAL Your New Body for the New Year THE EDGE FITNESS CLUB Cutting-Edge Fitness CONSERVATION COMMISSION Keeping the Trails Happy and Alive ALL PARTS All Parts, All Appliance, All Service DON LEWIS Man of the Hour TRACTOR SUPPLY More than just Products for the Rural Lifestyle
EDUCATION Practical Steps for Language Development in Children
AMITY HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS Competition and Recreation on the Ice and Snow
TECHNOLOGY The Modern Marketing Approach: Connecting in Orange
ANDINI’S, PEZ VISITOR CENTER, AND INNER ESSENCE SPA Business Milestones
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Winter and Spring Calendar THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTER Don’t Let the Winter Blues Get You Down
Publisher’s Letter I’m thrilled to be back at Orange Economic Development Corporation and working with OrangeLife Magazine again. I was here in the beginning with Paul Grimmer when we published our first edition in 2010. I remember how excited we were to present this publication to the Orange community. Although I left the OEDC for a short time, I never stopped working on the magazine with Paul. The passion I had back then continues today. I look forward to bringing the same excitement and will continue to feature the special people and business community of Orange. Having lived in Orange since 1996, I hold the town near to my heart and look forward to highlighting its exceptionality. In this issue, you will read about an amazing career journey a resident has fulfilled, from Orange to Manhattan and back to Orange; two new business openings; and milestone anniversaries of three successful businesses. Also featured is how Orange Community Services helps families in need and what holiday projects are being created by the Garden Club. Don’t miss our Winter Blues article which gives information on things to do in and around Orange. Mary Bialy and I are always looking for new ideas for articles featuring the people and business community of Orange and welcome your suggestions. I want to thank the Orange Economic Development Commission and the Orange Economic Development Corporation board members for their support and advice as I transitioned into this new role. Special thanks to First Selectman Jim Zeoli who continues to motivate me in this position. As always, thank you to our advertisers. Please support them and let them know you saw their ad in OrangeLife Magazine. As we get ready to turn the calendar to 2017, the business future of Orange is brighter than ever. Enjoy the magazine and best wishes for a happy holiday and a fruitful new year! ANNEMARIE F. SLIBY
Executive Director, OEDC
It’s Never Too Late To Fulﬁll your Dreams WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO
As a child, Orange resident Pamela Hirth wasn’t interested in the styles of clothing offered at the local shops, but instead she was engrossed in the designs she imagined in her mind. “I was nine years old when my friend’s mother taught me how to sew,” Pamela said. “She knew everything there was to know and she was very particular. If a stitch wasn’t right, you had to rip it out and start again. I really took a liking to sewing, so I took the ball and ran with it.” Quickly picking up the crafts of sewing, crocheting and embroidering, Pamela began creating her own oneof-a-kind pieces. “I would make gowns for my mother for charity events she attended,” Pamela said. “And When the Orange Country Fair called for submissions, I would enter, and one time I won a prize for a crocheted top and skirt.” CHANGE OF COURSE
Following her graduation from Amity High School, Pamela entered college as a pre-med student and quickly determined she didn’t want to spend the next ten years in school. Instead, she transferred to Bauder Fashion College in Miami, Florida, choosing to alter her career path in order to focus on an art that had come naturally to her since childhood. After earning her degree in Fashion Design from Bauder, Pamela began her career in one of the global fashion capitals of the world, New York City. Her ultimate pursuit toward becoming a professional designer had just begun. She started with doing custom work before moving on to working in the Garment District--a Manhattan neighborhood home to WINTER 2016
major-label fashion manufacturing and design. It was here she worked for companies that designed petite and large-sized clothing, including women’s dresses and wedding gowns. SELLING BUTTONS
Initiating her climb up the fashion ladder, Pamela also sold buttons. “When I sold buttons, I would meet with designers and bring them samples,” Pamela said. “It was all about making connections and I hoped eventually I would meet someone that needed an assistant.” That hope came to fruition. On her lunch hour, Pamela draped and made patterns for one of the designers she met and eventually was hired as an assistant. After several assistant jobs later, she finally earned the title of designer and made a name for herself. “Some of my work was in Vogue and my pieces were sold in Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s,” Pamela said. “The most exciting moment for my mother was when she found my creations in a high-end women’s store at the Milford Mall called Esther’s. That was very cool.” RELOCATING TO ORANGE
When Pamela got married and decided to have children, she moved back to Orange, Connecticut. “It was tough working in the Garment District,” Pamela said. “It’s a very unique industry to be a part of and in
the end, it didn’t necessarily have the moral compass that I wanted to be around. The companies themselves are very competitive and cutthroat.” While raising her three sons, Pamela dabbled in alterations and taught a costume design class at the Education Center for the Arts in New Haven (ECA), designing costumes for their plays. “I really had a great time with the students,” Pamela said. “It was nice to be in such a diverse community of creative kids from all different areas. When the kids came through the door, I watched them come alive.”
photography and the ceramic works of her artistic friends, including her friends and neighbors from Orange. DISCOVERING TALENT
“One of my friends took up photography as a hobby and I suggested she feature her photos in my store. She never thought of selling her work before and now her photos are some of the most popular pieces among my customers,” Pamela says. Discovering her friends’ talents is like finding their special gift that was never realized. “In a way, it’s the same as when I’m dressing someone—it’s finding the part they’re most proud.” Because of her distinct designs, Pamela’s family, friends and customers have insisted she apply for Lifetime’s reality television series, Project Runway.
Pamela Hirth designs displayed at her store.
Still making her own creations, Pamela sold her designs from home, as well as at weekend craft shows. Creating a variety of custom apparel with rich embellishments and quality fabrics, she became prominent in craft exhibitions such as Craft Westport, Paradise City and Celebrate West Hartford, gaining a large following.
“The most exciting moment for my mother was when she found my creations in a high-end women’s store at the Milford Mall called Esther’s. That was very cool.” “I was sewing all day, having only a few home shows a year besides the big weekend shows,” Pamela said. “The items I made were sitting in my house day after day and I thought it would be nice for people to be able to see this any day of the week.”
Draping is the process of positioning and pinning fabric on a dress form to develop the structure of a garment design, later used to create the sewing pattern for the garment. VENTURING OUT ON HER OWN
In April, 2016 Pamela opened her own retail store entitled, Pamela Hirth. The store, located at 1652 Litchfield Turnpike, in Woodbridge, offers women the opportunity to find clothes that are meant for their individual shapes and sizes. “A lot of my customers tend to be people struggling with finding the right fit for their body size and have difficulty buying clothes off the rack,” Pamela said. “I like to help people find what styles and colors compliment their bodies. That’s my thing.” The clothes in the store range from classic to eclectic. “My mission is to make people feel their best,” Pamela said.
“I finally found out how to apply for the show but it was a week before the application had to be done,” Pamela said. “The application was over 20 pages and my husband videotaped me at 2 a.m. just so I could get everything in on time. In my application, I said I wanted to show my boys it doesn’t matter how old you are – you could still go after your dreams.” Although she didn’t get chosen to compete on Project Runway, Pamela is more than happy with having a store to call her own—watching women coming into the store and leaving looking and feeling better than before. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS
“Customers come in and uncover something about themselves they may not have recognized in the past; whether it’s the fact they have great legs or have worn black all their life and suddenly wear red, realizing that’s their color,” Pamela said. “Sometimes it takes a while to get comfortable with trying something new; but the first time they wear that red top I custom designed and people approach them and say ‘Oh my, you look absolutely fabulous today,’ it’s all worth it.” 쮿
In addition to her versatile line of jackets, coats, dresses and pants; she also incorporates jewelry, 10
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Fifth Avenue Style in the Heart of Orange WRITTEN BY: ALYSSA DAVANZO
A man’s one-stop-shop for fine clothing that fits just right. Behind two glass doors lies a polished, modern realm of men’s fine clothing featuring world-renowned designers from Jack Victor to Robert Graham. No, you are not in the heart of Fifth Avenue in New York City; you have arrived at Backer’s in Orange, Connecticut. A staple in Orange for many years, with recently relocating to their new address at 163 Boston Post Road, Backer’s exudes class in a way that typical department stores cannot match. Since 1933, the store has functioned as a trusted ‘go-to’ in both classic and high fashion for men. Since its establishment by the Backer family in New Haven, Backer’s has encouraged its customers to ‘be a king every day, every moment.’ To support men in living this lifestyle, the boutique offers a crisp, vast selection of everything needed to dress for business or pleasure. A LOT HAS CHANGED
The clothing industry has changed dramatically with the modification of company dress codes. It’s even very casual now in restaurants, bars and clubs,” said Sonny Manglani, business owner of Backer’s since 2011. “To be honest, I don’t think Backer’s carried jeans 30 years ago. Suits used to represent 80% of the store back then, but now take up 30% of the space — while the remaining 70% contain sports shirts, leather jackets, jeans and accessories such as belts, luggage, wallets and underwear.” Born and raised in Hong Kong, Sonny says that he was ‘born into’ the clothing business, spending his adolescence and young adulthood as a custom tailor.
“This business has always excited me,” Sonny said. “When I moved to the United States I worked in a few stores and learned the concept of design. I just fell in love with it.” Sonny’s team includes Dom, the store’s sales manager, and Angelo, Backer’s’ in-house tailor. CUSTOM TAILORING
“The custom tailoring distinguishes our store from any place else,” Sonny said. “Angelo is from Italy and is meticulous with tailoring, down to each and every thread. The bottom line for us with our merchandise is the fit, and if something needs to be fixed, we make sure to do so from scratch. Everything is taken apart and put back together. So if jeans are too baggy, we shorten them or tuck them in; and if shirts have too much fabric, we trim those down. You name it — every product is taken care of.” The store not only offers tailoring on a daily basis, but the service is also free for customers. “In stores that have great product but no tailor, customers expect to find clothes that fit them just right, but may leave unhappy when they realize they need to go elsewhere to have their pants hemmed or their collar fixed,” Sonny said. “At Backer’s, the price is the same as any other department store, but our customers get this service for free – that’s the
Angelo Macchiarelli busy tailoring a suit for a customer.
beauty of it. Once someone is smitten with Backer’s, they become loyal customers and don’t go anywhere else. That’s the secret here.” The option of custom-made shirts, suits and jackets distinguish Backer’s further from other stores in the area.
Graham shirt and he’s good to go,” said Sonny. “Sport coats are easy to throw on over a plain shirt and the outfit changes to something more put-together and dressy. There’s a noticeable difference.” Sonny says that there are three things that truly define Backer’s.
Backer’s line of suits beautifully displayed.
“We present a customer with fabric, measure them and we make it from scratch,” Sonny said. “Initialized monograms have become popular, too.”
GOING OUT ON THE TOWN
High-end designers such as Hugo Boss, Coppley and Joe’s Jeans occupy the store from floor to ceiling. “For a customer going out on the town for the weekend, he can pick up a nice pair of jeans, throw on a Robert
“Once someone is smitten with Backer’s, they become loyal customers and don’t go anywhere else. That’s the secret here.” “The brand for recognition, superior quality of our products, and tailoring for the fit make Backer’s a name that resonates with everybody,” Sonny said. “Step in the store and you realize the name simply speaks for itself.” 쮿
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Orange Community Services: Helping Families in Need WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER
For Orange residents in need, the town’s Community Services Department provides extra help with fuel, transportation, and food; and during the winter holiday season, they even help with ‘presents.’ THE HOLIDAY SEASON
The ‘presents’ are holiday gift baskets with items for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as part of the Holiday Gift Basket Program. The program draws a wide range of community contributors, from business and individual donors to church and civic groups. “We have a huge response every year,” says Orange Community Services Administrative Assistant and Transportation Coordinator Kimberly A. Callahan, who oversees the program. “Scout troops help us with food drives and decorate boxes, while other organizations help with creating the baskets. One year, a nursery school created 17 baskets for me.” Thanksgiving dinner baskets may contain products such as stuffing mix, fresh or canned potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy mix, pie ingredients and gift certificates for a turkey. Christmas and Hanukkah dinner baskets may contain gift certificates for chicken, roast beef or ham and include items such as canned vegetables, winter squash and canned fruit. “Some people get a little fancier, adding plates and napkins,” Callahan says. OUTPOURING OF GENEROSITY
For gift giving, the Community Services Department provides WINTER 2016
Community Services Staff from l to r: Denise Stein, Outreach Worker; Joan Cretella, Director; Kimberly Callahan, Administrative Assistant & Transportation Coordinator.
sponsors/donors with a list of children from families in need, including their names and genders. The extent of involvement, however, varies with the gift-giver. “One time, a donor asked to meet the family she was sponsoring,” Callahan recalls. “She presented the children with gifts (at the Community Services office) and told them, Santa left them here.”
“In 2015, a local retailer donated a Christmas tree to a family,” says Denise Stein, the department’s elderly outreach worker. Having the tree brings extra excitement to the holiday. Twenty-five holiday gift baskets were dispensed in 2015. Single parents with children, handicapped individuals, homebound seniors, widows and widowers were among the recipients.
Not only are gifts donated, but other Christmas items are given as well.
transportation to medical appointments and shopping. Other year-round services include a food bank and limited financial aid for groceries, clothing, medication, emergency housing and housing repairs. FUEL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
Emergency fuel delivery is also available in cold weather, according to Community Services Department Director, Joan Cretella. “It’s a time of year when residents often need more assistance,” she says. Denise, Joan and Kim organizing food donations.
COORDINATING WITH SOCIAL SERVICES
In addition, The Community Services Department coordinates social services for the town’s youth, elderly, and disabled individuals, offers educational and social programs for residents over 55, and operates several vans equipped to accommodate handicap individuals, offering seniors and the disabled
Stein says many of the calls she receives are for fuel, food and clothing, especially from residents with children. “Not realizing everyone who needs assistance is a challenge,” Cretella says. “We have no way of knowing the people who are in need unless we hear from a family member, a neighbor, or from other sources of second-hand information, like social workers and nurses.”
Many residents who have received help from the Community Services Department give back when their circumstances improve by becoming donors. The amount of assistance the Community Services Department provides depends entirely on the generosity of others. “We are self-sufficient for everything we do,” Cretella explains. “I don’t think people realize that we are not a line item on the town budget.” MONETARY DONATIONS NEEDED
The Community Services Department is always seeking monetary donations and gift cards, as well as food and non-perishable items. Their food pantry wish list includes paper products, hygiene products, snacks, canned food and peanut butter and jelly. Eligibility for any of these programs is based on household income. For more information, or to become a donor, call Joan Cretella at 203-891-4786. 쮿
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Second Hand Shopping is Feel Good Shopping WRITTEN BY: ELIZABETH KEYSER
Orange has an unexpected secret: it’s a great place for hunting out spectacular deals on “pre-loved treasures” in fashion and home decor. From high-end fashion to thrifting, Orange has inventory. At the higher end, Consignment Originals presents designer clothing and accessories. At Helping Hands, a truck or two delivers a new supply of used furniture, bedding and household goods every day. At Savers, the inventory is huge (10,000 pieces), the quality is high, and the prices are low. Plato’s Closet is for fashionconscious teens and twenties, and Orange’s Goodwill is one of the biggest in the state. Second-hand shopping in Orange is feel-good shopping for many reasons — deals, deals, deals and many of these stores help the needy. NAME DROPPING AT CONSIGNMENT ORIGINALS
Consignment Originals attracts
shoppers as far away as New York City for amazing deals on designer clothing and accessories, such as a pair of Fendi shoes. Recently sold was The Fendista, a platform pump in brown jacquard with five-inch heel and Fendi logo plaque—$300 here, but $800 new in department stores. The store is one of four shops in a small local group with stores in Avon, Cheshire, Orange and Rocky Hill. The Orange location draws fashionconscious shoppers. A bountiful array of designer bags includes Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Designer gowns, jewelry, art work and sometimes unique furniture items, complete the first level of the store. On the lower level, well-organized circular racks are filled with like-new clothing by makers such as Banana Republic, Anne Taylor and the Loft. “People are so excited to save,” says associate Rebecca Greenberg. “Customers feel good when saving on great finds.”
A fashion display at Consignment Originals.
A beautiful glass, wrought iron bistro table with two wrought iron cushioned chairs recently sold for $199. The set was showcased with stunning china place settings complemented with champagne flutes.
Second-hand shopping in Orange is feel-good shopping for many reasons — deals, deals, deals and many of these stores help the needy. If consigning at Consignment Originals, bring your like-new, in season clothing on hangers. The company only takes perfect clothing, in up-to-date styles, no more than two years old. They have details and a list of non-acceptable brands on their website. The company offers tiered proceeds—items sold under $50 the consignor receives 40%; Items sold at or over $50 the consignor receives 50%. Once items sell, commission can be collected Monday through Saturday. Any unsold items may be picked up at the end of the WINTER 2016
consignment period or may be transferred to their Outlet, where a portion of the proceeds are donated to local charities. HELPING HANDS — HELPING THE COMMUNITY IN MANY WAYS
Helping Hands is for the avid thrifter with an HGTV soul. Regulars have a determined walk, eyes assessing the ever-changing inventory that’s priced to move. Dealers haunt the place. You could outfit your entire house at Helping Hands. Yes, a lot of the stuff is worn, but if you can spot a diamond in the rough, you could transform that big brown wood hutch ($45) into a country-white shabby chic treasure that looks like something that costs $350 in a Pottery Barn catalogue. Furniture styles run from Hollywood Baroque, Mid-Century, and Art Deco. Retro 70s couches with wooden legs are quickly snatched up by hipsters. The company will pick up donations of furniture, and for a fee, can deliver furniture. Household items run from low quality to high quality. Glasses are arranged by hue, from clear, ordinary style glasses to tall, heavy, hand-blown pilsner glasses in a pale green, Colonial American-style. The latter priced at $2.99 each as compared to $9 new.
Stock comes in and goes out so fast it’s hard for Bovey Lu, store manager, to remember all the stories of great finds. He does recall a customer buying a painting of a flower for $20, and the customer came back to tell him she’d discovered it was worth a lot of money. Glittering vintage costume jewelry is displayed by color and laid out in glass cases at the center of the store. There’s a lot to see here and the clothing area is expanding. “We get some nice stuff,” says Lu, “The other day we had a nice dress from Prada. It sold pretty quickly.” If there’s something specific you are looking for, the store offers a concierge service. Let them know what you’re seeking and they’ll give you a call when it comes through the door. Helping Hands also has a social mission. Upon receipt of a donation, the items are barcoded to the designated nonprofit of the donor’s choice. A thank you letter from the
nonprofit is sent to the donor to be used for tax deduction purposes. The company donates a percentage of their income to the partnering nonprofits. When the donated items are sold, 12% of the sale price goes to the chosen nonprofit. “We’ve issued checks to members in excess of $800 per month, which has helped fund their programs,” says Lu. The company also runs a furniture bank that provides furniture to people in need, such as the homeless, veterans and people with disabilities who are moving into a home. They also hire and train people with disabilities.
“We get some nice stuff,” says Lu, “The other day we had a nice dress from Prada. It sold pretty quickly.” Their goal of helping the community is expressed with tie-in deals with local organizations such as the Orange Lions Club. When a customer donates eye glasses, cell phones, or hearing aids to benefit the Orange Lions Club, Helping Hands will give the donor a $3 off a $10 coupon (check the website for additional deals). SAVING AT SAVERS
Dining set on display at Helping Hands. WINTER 2016
You never know what you’ll find at Savers. The store stocks about 10,000 pieces of merchandise – clothing, housewares, and unexpected items – every day. It’s like an ongoing, enormous tag sale, and regular
customers are likely to stop by three times a day for new finds. Store manager Phil Guerette knows most of the regulars by first name and they know his. “Thrifting isn’t just a need,” he says, “It’s a way of life.” A large variety of clothing addresses a range of fashion needs – from a pair of fancy jeans to a pair of paint-spattered work jeans. “Our customers know you don’t need a $110 pair of new jeans,” says Guerette, “If you can pick up a great brand for $12, why not?”
Clothing racks are long and neatly sectioned for women, men and children. In addition to clothing, Saver’s has a bed and bath, furniture and housewares section, as well as a music and book area. There is a huge book collection—three aisles, a magazine rack, record albums and CDs. You might even find a musical instrument or two.
Store manager Phil Guerette knows most of the regulars by first name and they know his. “Thrifting isn’t just a need,” he says, “It’s a way of life.” Serendipitous moments happen. A professional musician donated his accordion, which is not exactly an everyday item. The day it was put on the shelf to be sold, a man was driving across the state to a local business to have his two accordions serviced and stopped into Savers on the way. He left with a third accordion – a find at about $700. Online the same accordion was going for $1,200.
Store Manager Phil Guerette stocking the racks with clothes at Savers. 22
pounds of used goods from landfills each year. The company helps more than 120 nonprofit organizations by paying them for donated goods, which supports their vital community programs and services. The Orange Saver’s buys merchandise from nonprofit partner Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which has a donation center on site. Some customers are resellers, who buy at Saver’s “aggressive pricing,” and make a profit elsewhere. GOODWILL
Everyone knows Goodwill. They’ve been in Connecticut since 1930 and there are many stores in the state. For years, some of the best-dressed people have bragged about their Goodwill designer finds. The Orange location is one of the largest Goodwill stores in the state (11,600 square feet) and is packed with merchandise, requiring a strong arm with racks tightly packed with clothing arranged by color, as well as size. There is also a housewares and furniture section. The book department is huge, with thousands of titles neatly displayed. In the New Haven area, the official name is Easter Seals Goodwill and the organization hires people with disabilities and challenges. Ninetyfive percent of the proceeds go to funding job training and supporting and growing programs that result in significant social impact for community members in need of work. Some of these programs include career counseling, on-the-job training, and resume preparation.
Orange’s Savers has been around for about seven years, and the company has 330 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The company motto is A Better World through Re-use. Their business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling gives communities a smart way to shop and keeps more than 650 million WINTER 2016
Shelves of books at Goodwill.
Kids can get into the more-clothesfor-less-money action at Plato’s Closet. It’s a consignment shop from teens to twenty-somethings that specialize in trendy, hip and cool gently used clothing that’s 70 percent
off what you’d pay at the mall. They’ve got clothes, footwear and accessories for girls and boys. If you bring in clothes to consign (the website lists their favorite brands, including Free People, Lulumon and Lucky Brand), they pay you on the
spot. Plato’s Closet is a Minneapolisbased company with six franchises in Connecticut, Danbury, Enfield, Hamden, South Windsor and Wethersfield, with others in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. 쮿
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Holiday Excitement with the Garden Club WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER
As the year draws to a close, members of The Garden Club of Orange are intently engaged in three projects that augment the festive sentiment of the season. They fancify wreaths and install them at town buildings, including the Case Memorial Library; decorate the Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, with several other area garden clubs; and organize a holiday house tour, the club’s largest project which highlights five Orange residences every other year. “It is our biggest fundraiser, and all the money we make goes back into the community,” says garden club president, Patricia Dray. HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR
The five Orange homes for this year’s “Home for the Holiday House Tour” were chosen by mid-September, says longtime club member Gail Nixon, who has worked on all biennial tours since the first in 2002. A committee is assigned to each house, and club members interact with owners to “enhance” their decorating interests. “It is important to decide on color schemes to coordinate with the home,” Nixon says. “We’re not there to change the tastes of the homeowner.”
homes won’t be revealed until the day of the event. To reserve a ticket for the tour, call Nancy Becque at 203-795-9425. Tickets are $25 and may be picked up at the Orange Visiting Nurse Association (OVNA), 605A Orange Center Road, on the day of the event. BEAUTIFYING THE OSBORNE MUSEUM
For the last six years, the Garden Club of Orange has helped beautify the Osborne Museum for the holiday season. The museum is the former home of Frances Osborne Kellogg, an industrialist and pioneering Holstein cow breeder whose 350-acre property became a state park after she died in 1956.
The museum’s “Sparkling Holiday 2016” event features decorations representing the 12 birthstone gems. The Garden Club of Orange members will use the blue-green colors of aquamarine, the birthstone for March, to decorate the living room and solarium. Holiday Museum tours are Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from November 25th to December 17th. Holiday Twilight Tours are on December 2nd, December 9th and December 16th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Osborne Museum is located at 500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby. Admission is free.
CLUB MEMBERS AIM FOR DIVERSITY
“We like to recognize how different religions celebrate holidays at the end of the year, and we are always looking for people who will decorate their house with something other than the Christmas theme,” Dray says. In years past, house tour themes have included New Year’s and Hanukkah. The 2016 Home for the Holiday House Tour will be on Sunday, December 11th, from noon to 3:30 p.m. The five WINTER 2016
Larry Huzi and House Tour co-chair Marion Rizzo with the wreath created by the Garden Club for the Holiday House Tour.
“The wreaths turn out to be twice the size than what we begin with” says Marion Rizzo.
A beautiful dining room at the Osbourne Museum decorated by the Garden Club.
For at least two decades, garden club members have been decorating town buildings, according to its Ways and Means co-chair Marion Rizzo. Members embellish fresh wreaths, which Nancy Becque orders from a local Orange farm.
Members will craft their creations at the club’s monthly board meeting on the first Tuesday in November. They come to the meeting with embellishments and greens and glue the items to the wreaths all in one day.
“Some of them use greens and berries, and certain people are expert at making bows,” Dray says. “We also decorate the library rotunda with swag around the floor and railing.” Buildings are decorated and ready for the town Tree Lighting ceremony early in December. The club’s holiday projects, no doubt, bring joy to those who view them. And, they are equally uplifting for those who create them. “We love doing this,” says Dray. 쮿
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Your New Body for the New Year WRITTEN BY: JULIE BAUMGART
The holiday season is upon us and it is very easy to gain a few pounds during this time. All the mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and pumpkin pie, holiday cookies and cakes are all so tempting, and so is overeating. As always, but especially during this time of year, it is a good idea to stick to eating the essential foods the body needs: lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and healthy fats. Try to limit intake of junk food to only once or twice a week. Exercise at least three times a week by doing something you love but is also challenging. However, for those that have a difficult time maintaining an ideal weight when eating healthy and exercising isn’t enough, there is an additional method.
of the body that many find to be the most challenging. “Body Contouring is a 25-minute, non-invasive fat destruction – it destroys the cells. By laser, it melts the fat and kills the fat cells, which are eliminated from the body for over four to six weeks. It’s also a reduction of the stubborn fat in areas such as the abdomen and love handles. This non-surgical procedure works particularly for those people who are resistant to diet and exercise,” said Aggarwal.
Body Contouring is suitable for all skin types. A tingling sensation is felt while going through the process. Many usually see results six weeks after the procedure and notice the best results after 12 weeks. Aggarwal said this method is much better than cool sculpting, which freezes the fat and is more painful. Aggarwal states there are no side effects of body contouring. “It does not harm your body’s structures. That’s basically the procedure.”
There is now an option for a nonsurgical procedure that can destroy the fat cells with body contouring. SculpSure™ is a body contouring laser machine that can destroy fat cells within 6 weeks. Dr. Sanjay K. Aggarwal, Managing Partner, Medical Director at 203 Urgent Care, 109 Boston Post Road, Orange can perform this procedure in his New Haven office where the machine is located. Although the machine is located in his New Haven office on 1427 Chapel Street, appointments for body contouring can be made through the Orange office. Aggarwal has been a practicing physician since 1998, and he specializes in internal medicine and primary care. According to him, this is the first body contouring machine in New Haven County. Aggarwal said body contouring is a painless procedure that results in permanent fat loss. It is an excellent way to remove fat in particular parts WINTER 2016
Dr. Aggarwal using the SculpSureTM machine on a patient.
As effective as this procedure is, it is still imperative to stick to a healthy diet, especially when there is delicious, yet fattening food at most gatherings. “Eat less; watch your calorie intake— because the calorie intake is what increases the weight eventually. Eating less carbs and more protein are crucial while watching your calorie intake.” said Aggarwal. Exercise is also important. Some may find it difficult to stay in shape in the winter as they may spend less time being active outside, fearing the cold. Many may find going to the gym or outside for walks are uncomfortable in the winter weather. However, indoor activities are just as helpful. They are also convenient if you have a really busy schedule, especially when you are planning family gatherings and decorating the house. Keeping your body moving is important. “What I tell everybody and my patients is 15 minutes of sweat; 15 minutes of exercise a day. As long as you break in a sweat, you’re good,” said Aggarwal. Nutrition and exercise is very important to Aggarwal, and according to him, it is like a package.
JESSICA HOLLAND AND TJ DUPUIS HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. AGGARWAL AT THE BODY CONTOURING CENTER Health and nutrition tips from Nutritionist and Dietitian, Jessica Holland • Eat nuts, which are loaded with vitamin E & other nutrients. • Eat fatty fish, like salmon, which are loaded with omega 3. • Eating enough protein is incredibly important. A high protein intake can boost metabolism significantly. Consuming plenty of protein has been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. • Not all carbs are created equally. Cutting carbs, eating more protein and plenty of fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat. Exercising tips from Personal Trainer, TJ DuPuis • Be Consistent! No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently. • Develop a plan! Make your plan fit your life and your goals. If all you have is a floor, then use the floor: Push-ups, body squats, and lunges are all extremely effective. • Be Content! If you hate weights then don't use them. You can still lose weight and build muscle with other types of training or activity. • Know your body-clock! Working out at the time of day when you have the most energy will yield the best results. • Prioritize! Consult with a trainer to determine what types of exercise you need most—start in your trouble spots or weak areas.
“It has to compliment each other; you must watch your diet, you must exercise, and for the stubborn areas you can use SculpSure™.” 쮿
Looking for an Orange Business? Search using the OrangeEDC.com website.
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Cutting-Edge Fitness WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN
The fitness industry is as fierce as the people who make up its customers. Brothers Vinny and Jimmy Sansone brought The Edge Fitness Clubs to Connecticut in 1987 with a vision to stand out from the others. Today, 13 of The Edge locations operate across the state, with the latest opening this past summer in Orange. The brothers have worked together in the fitness industry for over 30 years, aiming to bring cutting-edge fitness opportunities to more people. And at first (and second) glance, The Edge is deliciously contemporary, with huge, multi-level spaces, lofty ceilings with expansive ceiling fans, modern machines and even a cinema room: a cool, dark room full of cardio equipment in front of a theater screen. “You walk in here and get hit with energy,” said Jimmy Sansone. “It looks like something Disney would build.” AN ABUNDANCE OF OPTIONS
The Edge serves over 100,000 members, offering various membership options. Members can take advantage of the various resources, including classes, a spinning room, personal training, a sprinting track, and more (don’t forget the cardio cinema). A secure, supervised playroom replete with a rainbow of exercise balls and other toys entertain children while parents work out. Women can enjoy a women’s-only exercise area with various cardio and resistance machines in a private corner connected to the female locker room. The locker rooms exude a sense of class and cleanliness, with gray marble flooring, rows of curtained showers, and spacious lockers. Decorative flower vases bring in a splash of hominess. Members can wind down in a massage chair, hydromassage bed, or a dry spa after their workouts. WINTER 2016
Edge staff (l-r) – Marisa Montalto, Chris Natale, Lizzie Gillespie, Max Dunn and Matt Ritchie.
The fresh, stylish appeal of The Edge is rounded out by communal warmth between members and staff. Names are known, faces recognized and fitness journeys shared. “We have the best fitness community in the world,” Jimmy beamed. Matt Richie, the manager of the Orange location, respects his work and loves his customers. EXCEEDING GOALS
“There’s nothing more rewarding than watching our members work toward their goals and feel a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “Seeing them, seeing why they come in here day after day; there’s nothing like it.”
starting session with a certified personal trainer to help guide them in their fitness journey. Personal training takes place in a central, cordoned section so that trainers and students can train in an unoccupied space. The Sansone brothers have plans to further broaden their fitness community, always looking ahead. “We live and breathe fitness,” Jimmy said. “We’ll be doing it for the rest of our lives.” The culture of The Edge embodies modernity and solidarity; it’s a train with no brakes. “No matter how anyone describes it to you,” Jimmy promises, “you have to see it for yourself.” 쮿
New members can enjoy their first workout for free, and are given a
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The Orange Conservation Commission Maintains over a Thousand Acres of Trails
Keeping the Trails Happy and Alive WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN
Volunteers are always needed! Bubbling streams, diverse wildlife and a carnival of flora remind Orange that nature’s beauty is native here. While our town is favored by Mother Earth, a small group of professionals work behind the scenes to protect and maintain her gifts. ORANGE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
A handful of ordinary, but passionate, town locals comprise the Orange Conservation Commission (OCC), those responsible for managing the open spaces the public can access every day. The commission, comprised of seven members, meets monthly to continue its work; but there’s only so much these familydriven, working citizens can do and they need the public’s help in kind. Projects and tasks pepper the OCC’s agenda, as they receive very sparse municipal help. Beyond core maintenance, the gaps need filling by volunteers, be it organized groups or the average resident out on a stroll. ONGOING MAINTENANCE
Cindy Ruggeri, a Commission member says, "The Orange Conservation Commission currently maintains over a thousand acres of trails and is always looking for people to help. The Racebrook Tract, Wepawaug Conservation Area, Turkey Hill Preserve, Ewen Preserve, Paul Ode Trail, Housatonic Overlook and Fred Wolfe Park areas require hours of maintenance every month and simply walking the trails and contacting the Conservation Commission helps us to maintain them." Mounting trail markers, erecting signs, trail cleanups and special projects make up some of the OCC’s
A scenic view at Racebrook Tract.
to-do list. Recent endeavors include the acquisition of entirely new signage to mark trails, fixed in place by volunteers. The Eagle Scouts have constructed bat boxes for Racebrook Tract and Turkey Hill Preserve, and the OCC put together backpacks for lending at the library, filled with supplies needed for outdoor adventures. Some projects are ongoing, and new ones crop up regularly.
PUBLIC CAN LEND A HAND
In addition to attending trail workdays, the public can lend a hand by picking up trash, removing small branches, and reporting incidents to the OCC via a phone call or Facebook. Public reports of large fallen branches, downed trees, and damage identification help the Commission to quickly address these needs. To report incidents or to be more involved with trail maintenance, please call OCC Maintenance at (203) 891-4768. WINTER 2016
Open space visitors can also help improve the land simply by following rules. Hiking and leashed dogs are welcome on all designated trails (clean up after dogs). In winter, crosscountry skiers can enjoy Racebrook Tract, Paul Ode Nature Trail, Housatonic Overlook, and the Wepawaug Trails. Racebrook Tract offers designated trails for biking, but mountain biking and ATVs have ravaged the natural environment and are strictly prohibited. Mountain bikers might consider visiting Aquatic Pequonnock (Trumbull), Trout Brook Valley (Easton), Upper Paugussett State Forest (Newtown), Roosevelt Forest (Stratford), Monroe Rail Trail, or Trumbull Rail Trail. ěŽż UPDATED MAPS PUBLISHED
Recently, the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) published updated maps for 14 town properties. Hardcopies can be viewed at the library.
Hikers taking advantage of one of the trails at Racebrook Tract.
Trail brochures and map layouts can be found on the SCRCOG website: (http://scrcog.org/regional-planning/regional-trails) and their interactive web viewer: (http://scrcog.org/regional-planning/gis) Visit the OCC online at their website: www.orangectconservationcommission.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/Orange-Conservation-Commission
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All Parts All Appliance All Service WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN
All homeowners have appliances, and like it or not, the need for repairs will inevitably crop up. Phil Cucurello and his team at All Parts meet this need with a welcoming smile and encyclopedia of expertise. The liaison between homeowner and a functioning household, All Parts offers everything from parts to repairs and advice. 90 YEARS OF SHARED EXPERIENCE
Tucked back into a quiet pocket on the Post Road, All Parts features a storefront of tools and parts, a repair shop in back, and the most valuable resource of all: a team sharing over 90 years of experience in the field of appliance parts and repairs. Phil established All Parts in 1981, since then amassing knowledge and serving the communities of New Haven County, The Valley, and the Northern Fairfield area. Range, laundry, refrigeration, vacuums, countertop units, propane fillings - all major appliance needs can be addressed at this modest but hearty store. Customers can bring portable units for consultation or on-site repair, with most repairs addressed within 24-48 hours. The store stocks thousands of parts, with millions more available for special order, with option for delivery by air or next-day drop ship for most items. All Parts pumps propane every day it’s open, including 100-pound tanks and mobile units. Well-known brand names make up the stock, WINTER 2016
from GE to Whirlpool, Maytag, Electrolux, Kitchen Aid, Fridgidaire, Sears/Kenmore, Hoover and dozens of others. More obscure and specialty items/parts can be acquired by special order. In addition to widespread residential support, All Parts serves light commercial markets including schools, universities, apartments, restaurants, condos, assisted living facilities, hotel/motel, and more. ABLE TO MAKE HOME REPAIRS
A fully-stocked truck, driven by an expert technician, can be called upon to make home visits to do repairs. Or, those who prefer a DIY approach can come to the store to pick the team members’ practiced brains.
In all aspects of its service, All Parts prioritizes customer satisfaction. When Phil founded the business, he set out to personalize the parts/repair experience, putting the customer first. According to Phil, a customer’s needs are met on the first visit 90% of the time. But that’s not to say they won’t be back; satisfied with their experiences, many customers return with other impaired appliances. “I’d rather you be a customer and a friend than just a customer,” Phil said. Repeat customers have gained a first-name basis with the staff, with some referring family members down the line. “We have generations of the same families that come to us,” Phil remarked. Although Phil spearheads his crew, no member of the team is more or less valuable than any other. Some employees have specialized skills, but most are able to perform any task. As far as who’s the “boss,” Phil has a philosophy: “My boss is everyone who walks through that door.” CELEBRATING 35 YEARS
All Parts prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary, and through these years it’s been open 6 days a week no matter the weather. Open weekdays from 9-5 and Saturdays from 9-4, the store only closes on Sundays (“like the mailman,” Phil commented). They have served customers from New York to Rhode Island, and have seen the effects of social and technological change through the years. Though time has changed the game of many industries, Phil maintains that the experience of his team remains invaluable in the face of technological advances, such as internet shopping. “There will always be a need for what we do,” Phil said. “And we will always stay community-based. It’s my life.” 쮿
All Parts | 369 Boston Post Road | Orange 203-799-6888 www.allpartsapplianceservice.com
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Man of the Hour WRITTEN BY: ANNEMARIE SLIBY
Don Lewis. The name is recognizable to most Orange residents. His infectious laugh; his wide smile—a few of his most recognizable traits. He’s seen at Rotary events such as the Lobsterfest, or at Orange Chamber of Commerce events such as a Business After Hours, or even on the golf course at Orange Hills. He’s recognizable in this town because of his dedication to the many organizations he supports, donating his time selflessly. Originally from Pennsylvania, Don landed in Connecticut with his wife Jean and children back in 1969, when he was assigned by his employer to open the very first State Farm Insurance office in the state. An Orange resident since then, Don has dedicated most of his time giving back to the town. From the Boy Scouts to the Orange Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Orange, and the Economic Development Commission, the list is endless as is his generosity. Don started his involvement in town in the 1970s by serving as the Scoutmaster of Troop 007 at the Congregational Church when his son was old enough to become a scout. During the same time, Don joined the Orange Chamber of Commerce, beginning as a board member and eventually becoming president in the 1980s. He was responsible for organizing and leading many committees for the Chamber, such as the Independence Day Concert and Fireworks event, the Legislative Action Committee, and the Annual Chamber Picnic, just to name a few. Reminiscing on his early Chamber days, a time when the board members did all the cooking at the picnics, Don says, “Opening the oysters was quite the task, but a lot of fun and good times were had by all.”
“I met some incredible people and had the chance to see what programs other clubs were doing and learned of some ideas for Orange,” Don recalls.
Don Lewis and his wife Jean
Once his term as president ended, he continued as a board member and became president a second time in 2004. His tenure as a board member continued until his resignation this year. Don enjoyed his time with the chamber, meeting new people and bringing new businesses on board. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Anna Accetta says, “Don has been so active in our programs for many years. He’s become such a great friend and he will truly be missed by everyone at the Chamber.” The Orange Chamber of Commerce awarded Don Man of the Year in 1987 and this year, awarded him Lifetime Achievement. Also in the 1970s, Don was busy with the Rotary Club of Orange, joining in 1972 and serving as president twice. One of his responsibilities was organizing fundraisers, and he created the Rotary Lobsterfest in 1996, which still continues today as Rotary’s annual fundraiser. Because Rotary is an international organization, Don had the amazing opportunity of visiting different Rotary clubs around the country and abroad.
If being busy with the Chamber and Rotary wasn’t enough, Don’s first municipal involvement was with the Orange Economic Development Commission where he served as chairman from 1982 to 1990. During this time, he had the honor of visiting and spending time at the Governor’s mansion. “This was a great opportunity to encourage businesses to relocate to the Town of Orange,” Don says. In 1996, he was appointed to the Board of Police Commissioners by the First Selectman and has served as chairman since 2006. Don says, “I so much enjoy being involved with the organizations in town. I have met many wonderful people, made so many friends and actually had a lot of fun through the years.” Other than his passion for giving back to the town, he loves to play golf with his buddies, as well as socialize with good friends at the local eateries. His laugh is so identifiable; hearing it from the next room, you know it’s his. Don Lewis, always happy, always laughing, always giving back! 쮿
In November of this year, Don celebrated his 84th birthday and his 62nd anniversary with his lovely wife Jean, and he is still active in many town organizations.
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Tractor Supply: More than just Products for the Rural Lifestyle WRITTEN BY: DAINA LARKIN
Orange is represented by a farmer — the silhouette of a man on a plow lead by oxen. The image chosen as the town’s seal that you’ve seen on signs, documents and buildings. The town’s rich agricultural history is celebrated annually at the County Fair, and the population is alive with outdoorsmen, both professional and hobbyist. It’s a perfect fit for Tractor Supply Company, which opened its new store on 253 Indian River Road in September. The store stocks a wide array of products, from welders and power generators to animal care products and men’s and women’s workwear. You can find dog, cat and pet supplies, lawn and garden supplies, riding lawn mowers, propane and heating supplies, power tools and much more. Among the staff are farmers, horse owners, welders and other professionals who bring years of practice and experience to work each day.
farmers. Today, it’s the largest retailer of rural lifestyle products in the nation, with more than 1,550 stores in 49 states. It aims to be the most dependable supplier of basic
maintenance products to home, land, pet and animal owners. While it’s a haven for farmers, anyone can visit Tractor Supply to meet the needs for gardening, fencing, tools and more.
In addition to products of the rustic lifestyle, the store sells items one might not imagine at a store of this type. Steve Sipos, the store manager, says “Customers are very surprised when they walk in and see products they didn’t expect.” A display of stylish sunglasses, a stocked rack full of candy, or products for the home such as scented candles—all items the store’s name doesn’t represent. The company originated in Minot, North Dakota in 1938, formed as a mail order catalog business offering tractor parts to America’s family
Tractor Supply Company stores engage their local communities and sow the seeds for future generations of farmers. In addition to partnerships with local community organizations, Tractor Supply maintains a strong relationship with FFA (Future Farmer of America) organizations and partners with the National FFA Foundation for the Grants for Growing program. This program funds grants and receives applications used to improve current agricultural education programs and projects as well as build new ones. The FFA and its programs strive to develop young members with necessary life skills and leadership qualities.
Store Manager Steve Sipos.
Each fall and spring, Tractor Supply stores host the Paper Clover Campaign, where customers can buy paper clovers at checkout.
Funds raised go to various 4-H programs and scholarships. Nationally, this campaign raised a record-breaking $935,351 this past spring. Additionally, the store will host on-site events throughout the year, with everything from bake sales to car washes to animal flea dips to support worthwhile causes. Some benefactors include local animal shelters, area 4-H clubs, FFA, veteran and scout groups. Tractor Supplyâ€™s legacy is one of being built up and sustained through partnerships with the community, and it is in communities like Orange that Tractor Supply has repeatedly thrived. ěŽż
Practical Steps for Language Development in Children SUBMITTED BY KIMBERLY KICK, OWNER, THE GODDARD SCHOOL
• If your child is not talkative, pay close attention. Quiet toddlers mean something with their quietness. Is your child engaged in work, needing to remain verbally still to focus her effort? Are they not enthusiastic enough about conversation in general? Are you? Are they temperamentally quiet? Are you doing too much talking, or not enough? Get yourself to think about it. It generally helps quiet kids to gently encourage them to converse. Humor is especially helpful for the shy ones, but never mock or shame their attempts at speech.
respect it deserves. It has taken tremendous effort to get here. Say it back correctly if you figure out what it is, but don’t “correct” too
much. Be patient. She won’t be saying much if her first words are always being corrected.
• Allow quiet play. This may seem paradoxical when language is the goal, but rest and reflection that are restorative and interesting become important when so much effort is being expended in new skill.
• Talk about your own feelings and how they got that way in a simple and straightforward manner. Children who have never heard their parents talking about how or what they are feeling on a day-today basis face an uphill climb to develop useful understandings about language and emotion. Say things like, “I felt happy to get that nice letter from Grandma…” or “It scared me when the truck got so close.” Simple, clear, and to the point. The feeling in your voice will capture your toddler’s interest, so don’t be too surprised to see her staring at you at first. It gives her the words to match the emotion she reads in you and will eventually identify in herself.
• Read, read, and read some more — to them, to yourself, to each other. Then talk about what you read. It is the organic garden where new words grow. 쮿
• Follow your toddler’s lead, and get on his bandwagon when he’s on a roll. Narrate the scene and describe his own behavior back to him; “Sam loves to…,” or “Sam is sad his Mommy has to leave…,” or “Sam is so happy to play with his blocks.” Don’t overdo, but do. It shows your toddler that you understand him and appreciate his inner world, not just his blue eyes. Soon enough it will be dialogue.
• Funny as early speech may sound, don’t exploit the humor of it at your child’s expense. Whenever a new skill emerges, it is at its most raw and tender (remember your first public poetry recital?). Stuttering and stammering are normal when children are learning to speak. Treat early language with the WINTER 2016
Competition and Recreation on the Ice and Snow WRITTEN BY: KAREN SINGER
Winter is arriving and with that, the winter sports season is underway. Whether participating in “Ski Bums,” a recreational skiing and snowboarding program offered through the Town of Orange, or competing with a sports team at Amity High School, children of Orange have winter opportunities. Amity Regional High School Winter Teams Team members of the Amity boy’s hockey team, the Blades girl’s hockey team and the Amity boy’s and girl’s ski racing teams will be training for competitions in the coming weeks, including a trip to Germany for a special competition. AMITY BOY’S HOCKEY TEAM
During nearly two decades as head coach of the Amity boy’s hockey team, Gary Lindgren has set –– and met –– many goals. This season, Lindgren’s final one leading the team, his objectives are equally ambitious. Of course, Lindgren would like to end on a “high note” with another state championship.
Europe for the first time, to play exhibition matches in Munich, Germany with two German teams and an Austrian team. The Amity Boys Hockey team has had its ups and downs over the decades, according to Lindgren. “They had a pretty strong Division I program during the 1960s and 1970s,” he says, adding that between 1993 and 1995 –– his first stint as head coach –– the team’s Division II program was “fairly strong.” But by the time Lindgren returned in 1999, the team, he says, “had really hit the cellar.” Starting from the ground up, he and his assistant coaches created a blueprint for renewed excellence.
“We finally broke through in the playoffs in 2002, getting stronger each season,” Lindgren says. In 2008 the team captured the Division II State Championship, the first state championship in Amity Hockey’s history, and winning another Division II state championship in 2010. “We then went to Division I for two seasons, holding our own at that level. In 2014 we reached the state finals for DII, getting upset losing 4-3,” Lindgren reports. “It’s really about giving it your all and meeting all the expectations we have on and off the ice,” Lindgren says. “We stress academics, so the kids have to do well at school. We treat them as mature
“We have 22 players returning from last year, which includes excellent leadership from 7 seniors; Tyler Johnston, Nick Degennaro, Charlie Csejka, Jeremy Cable, Roger Kergaravat, Mac Deane and Zach White,” he says. “So I think we’re going to be pretty competitive.” Another goal will be achieved in December, when the team goes to WINTER 2016
Gary Lindgren (far left) and the 2015-2016 Amity Hockey Team and coaches.
Started 11 years ago by three North Haven parents, the Blades was originally comprised of North Haven, North Branford and Cheshire high school students. Amity joined after leaving an Amity/St. Joe’s co-op. The team eventually became a three school co-op comprised of Amity, Cheshire and North Haven, originally hosted by North Haven, then subsequently, Amity. Coach Scott Whyte (far right, 3rd row) with the Blades team and coaches.
young adults and we expect the same from them.” Along the way, Lindgren has faced some serious health challenges. He spent the 2013-2014 hockey season battling cancer – and beating it! Reflecting on his tenure as head coach, Lindgren says, “I feel fortunate to have coached so many wonderful student/athletes. It has been a great run. I feel good about everything we’ve done. The most important thing is to see friendships develop and to watch these kids become young men.”
THE BLADES GIRL’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM
The Blades were on a winning streak during the 2015-2016 season, culminating in their 2-1 victory over West Haven High School-Sacred Heart Academy to become Southern Connecticut Conference (SSC) Division II champions. Head Coach Scott Whyte is hoping his co-op (multitown) team will work hard for a repeat division championship and compete in the state championships this season.
SKI BUMS: THE TOWN’S RECREATIONAL SKI & SNOWBOARD PROGRAM Children who enjoy skiing or snowboarding may want to sign up for Ski Bums, a five-week program at the Mount Southington Ski Area offered by the Town of Orange Parks and Recreation department. Held on consecutive Friday nights from January 9, 2017 through February 6, 2017, the program is open to boys and girls of all skill levels in grades 5 through 8. Participants may bring their own equipment but rentals and lesson packages are available. “We usually take about 99 kids (or sometimes 33) on 3 school buses,” says Assistant Park and Recreation Director Scott Bendell, one of several chaperones on the trips. “There are some kids who start in 5th grade, but we definitely get more 7th and 8th graders,” Bendell adds. “All of them must wear a helmet and ski with a buddy.” Kids can bring their own food or eat at the ski area’s restaurant or snack bar. “They also have a great baked potato food truck,” Bendell says, adding the toppings include bacon and eggs and buffalo wings. Buses leave High Plains Community Center at 4 p.m. and return at around 10 p.m. “Ski Bums is a fun activity for kids on Friday nights,” Bendell says. “They get to do something active with their friends, and parents get a night off.” Registration begins on November 14 for residents and on November 21 for non-residents. For more information, call 203-891-4790.
Whyte joined as assistant coach seven years ago and was appointed head coach five years ago, when membership changed to high school students from Amity, North Haven and Cheshire. Tryouts begin the week after Thanksgiving and early training emphasizes speed, stability and other skating skills. “As we go along, we transition our focus from strengthening and skills to systems, as the newer team members integrate in with our returning upper classmen,” Whyte says. This season’s captains are three seniors: Bailey McNamara (Amity), Jena Casman (Amity) and Kiley Degrand (North Haven). “The main thing for me is how the kids have really melded together as one team,” Whyte says. “When they are out on the ice, I don’t think of them as coming from separate schools.” Any girls interested in joining the Blades, email Whyte at firstname.lastname@example.org. AMITY SKI RACING TEAMS
With the return of many of the team’s best skiers, head coach Vin Lazzaro expects this season to be “the best in recent history.” Kids can sign up for the team in late November and begin conditioning for races at Mount Southington in January and February 2017. “Last year was the first time our girls have made the state race in nearly a decade,” says Lazzaro, an Amity physics teacher in his third year as the girl’s ski racing team’s head WINTER 2016
coach. Although the boy’s team did not make states last year, they are looking to rebound this season. Ability levels range from “a little casual to really, really serious,” Lazzaro says. “Some who join don’t know how to ski and some have shots to ski at a higher level.”
Because team members only get six or seven practices on snow during the season, Lazzaro encourages them to “work hard” at cardio and strength training. In competition, the boys and girls race downhill on a giant slalom course, skiing in and out of gates that are spaced “a little farther” apart than
those in the Olympics, Lazzaro explains. Last year was marked by cancellations due to warm weather. Despite the less than ideal conditions, Lazzaro says, “One girl was a top finisher in all the races and we even had one first place winner.” 쮿
Breaking Tradition WRITTEN BY: ANDREW BIONDI
As parents, one of the first activities we get our children involved in is sports related. Gymnastics, soccer, basketball, etc. are introduced to our children from as early as four years old. This trend may continue until high school, but as competition gets tougher and children discover sports is not the path desired, an alternative is preferred. This is just what Andrew Biondi realized and here is his story. Children from a very early age participate in sports either through school or town recreation programs before they even develop the desire. Having competed in sports from a young age, my path seemed to be already laid out in front of me, which may be true for many other children. I would continue as an athlete the way I always had been, following in the footsteps of my father and brother before me. I had been raised to understand that participating in sports was not a choice. When I tired of one sport, I simply had to find a new one. By mid-point of my freshman year, it seemed I would be following the athletic path without deviation. But seasons of lacrosse and indoor track simply made me unhappy. I never had any illusions about making a collegiate career as an athlete. Until high school, I enjoyed playing sports as much as others. I stopped having fun when everything became about winning. I struggled with the most daunting of tasks, an impossible mountain that stood between me and what
would become the greatest decision of my high school career: telling my family that I no longer wanted to participate in sports. This led me to choose between what I thought my family expected of me and what I thought would be best for myself. Having to make the decision to change my own path, which led to Drama Club (a new place where I could truly fit in), has opened so many opportunities. There are opportunities behind the scenes with stage crew to on stage with acting. This was the first major life choice I made on my own, and in my opinion, confirms there are choices for students that do not have the desire to play sports. High School is where you find yourself! Despite my disregard for that particular phrase as a freshman, it turned out to be an accurate prediction of my high school career. For the many children that prefer to not participate in sports, seek alternate opportunities—know
there are other options. Choose an activity that makes you happy and you may find yourself before you even get to high school!
Andrew Biondi is an Orange resident and a senior at Notre Dame High School in West Haven. Andrew has begun applying to college and wants to study creative writing and hopes to continue with the arts. 쮿
The Modern Marketing Approach: Connecting in Orange WRITTEN BY: SHANE MAHER
Some would say the world nowadays is far too connected. Whatever one may say about the detriment of all the new gadgets and gizmos, the technologically enhanced present has helped local businesses reach broader audiences. Although most every business maintains a website, it’s just as important to have a presence on social media as well. Through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, businesses are able to post, share, and retweet at no cost to them about their products and features that set them apart from their competition. For a small cost, ads can be ‘boosted’ on Facebook to get further reach. For those who want to take technology to the next level, a business can create a mobile app to better suit a potential patron’s needs. This change in the field of advertising has given an enhancement to smaller companies looking to expand their clientele. Many local businesses are taking advantage of these modern opportunities. SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET
Material Girls Boutique delves into social media with expert care. Their Facebook page is ornately decorated with pictures of various products, each varying from the last, showcasing their wide selection. This clearly shows careful planning and 50
management that is required to maintain an active online presence. The company posts when they are having sales and even provides a link to online coupons, not only encouraging business, but gaining the trust of visitors. The events they host (fundraisers, book signings, and “girl’s nights”) are clearly advertised, and a quick look on Twitter will unveil many people posting about the good times had within the walls of the boutique. Material Girls’ Instagram account contains frequent posts showcasing jewelry and accessories that are mixed and matched perfectly to fit various styles and senses of fashion, which sets them apart from the rest. A business like Clockwork Comics has a very specific clientele. The store doubles as a comic and memorabilia shop, as well as a table top gaming supply store. Inventory includes pieces, sets, and paints for games like Warhammer 40,000. Also in stock are figurines and statues of classic comic characters, along with a
selection of graphic novels past and present, making Clockwork Comics a store that attracts a unique customer. The store maintains a Facebook page and posts about local table top competitions, as well as new product arrivals. Although they do not have an Instagram or Twitter account, the shop has a page on the internet site called Yelp that contains photos and rave reviews. Yelp is a site that allows anyone to review any business, granting viewers a fair and unbiased look at local shops and service providers. Reviews range from addressing pricing, to praising the owner’s demeanor. One review stuck out in particular that used the line, “This is a top notch establishment,” in description of the Orange-based comic supplier. Reviewers list their hometowns next to their names, coming from as far as Waterbury, Clinton, and even as far as Bayside, New York. One reviewer claimed their thirty-minute commute to the store was well worth it. This is wordof-mouth advertising at its finest. WINTER 2016
The Orange Ale House Grill and Bar has a page on Yelp as well that is full of gleaming reviews. Many are addressed to the owner himself, instilling those who scan the page with a sense of a personal connection between the man in charge and his patrons. The establishment also has a website and takes full advantage of linking their Facebook page. Menu information, a description of what the facility offers (25 TVs, several dart boards and pool tables), and live entertainment three days a week are listed in detail on the website. Even a page including their donations to the community is easily found, revealing collaborations with local Rotary clubs and festivals. A link to their Facebook page leads to posts and pictures of food and the events they host, where any Facebook user can RSVP to their live entertainment happenings. If the casual observer is not yet convinced to stop by, they will surely be enticed to make a visit after seeing the pictures of patrons enjoying their company and drinks, smiles emblazoned on their faces, and videos of several live acts. This site is not just a page in cyberspace, it’s a spider web in which future customers are ensnared and dragged in for a memorable time. Another Orange-operating business with a professionally made website is the Reno’s Pizza Truck. It’s easy to navigate, tells the tale of the founders, and has a detailed description of the features and functions of the truck, from the pizza making power of the oven, to the full entertainment system. Contact information, menu, rates, and a booking form are just a click away from any point. In addition, they are well equipped with social media, having both Twitter and Facebook accounts. Their Twitter account is new and contains pictures of workers crafting pies for hungry partygoers. Reno’s also has a Facebook page that was repurposed from their days as a sit-down pizzeria. Their profile is adorned with pictures of various WINTER 2016
events they’ve hosted, both of crews working hard to make their famous pizza, or patrons enjoying a slice. Reno’s goes above and beyond by interacting with other members of the web, not only by replying to comments, but also, at one point, having a vote for the logo of their truck. This is truly how a small business learns to grow, by becoming part of the community and cementing a place in the hearts and minds of those who enlist their services. MOBILE APPS
It’s an undeniable fact smartphones have become an inseparable part of the average American’s life. Many larger companies have decided to bring services straight to their customer’s pockets, keeping themselves separated by a swipe and a tap. This may give them an edge over their competition, that is, if their app is up to par. Lowe’s has crafted a mobile app that can help a customer through expansive aisles, showing every product in stock. Departments are split into categories, which are then divided a second time into smaller categories, displaying specific products. The user can see where to find the product, order it for store pick up or to be delivered. There is a “quick list” category, in which a user can add products they want to find quickly when arriving at the store, making shopping even simpler. Product descriptions and customer reviews are available as well. All this is at a user’s fingertips, making shopping quick and easy.
CVS is known for being a mixture of general store and pharmacy. The store offers a mobile app that handles an array of functions; from shopping and managing prescriptions to ordering photos. In terms of shopping, the app allows users to shop online and gain rewards through the CVS “ExtraCare” card program (the reward card exclusive to CVS), and users can monitor and manage rewards gained. Regarding prescriptions, users can renew and schedule a pick up all with a few swipes. Paying for medications is also possible with the mobile payment feature. Sending photos to print at CVS is easy with the app as well, allowing users to print photos directly from cell phones. The marvels of technology are ceaseless. With each new innovation, a wider range of possibilities are reached. Small and large businesses can benefit from these advancements, as well as interact with customers in an entirely new way. Whether it be through the incredible reach of social media, the globally sharing accessibilities of the internet, or the endless possibilities provided by pocket-fitting devices. The world is definitely changing, and it seems the corporate world is adapting to these changes, joining a new race to reach new, unimaginable heights. The key to their success lies with the satisfaction of the customer, which can be achieved in so many new and extraordinary ways. 쮿
Business Milestones PEZ WRITTEN BY: JULIE BAUMGART & INNER ESSENCE WRITTEN ALYSSA DAVANZO
Owning your own business can be a challenge and maintaining a successful business can be an even bigger challenge. The following articles highlight the accomplishments and new developments of three successful businesses who have reached a milestone anniversary. Andini’s: Five Years Later Over the past five years, Andini’s Restaurant has evolved into what is said to be “The Hidden Gem of the Town of Orange. Owner/Head Chef, Redi Kostandini has stated the restaurant, as well as the staff, has made quite an impression on the locals and out of towners. Redi’s vision began with him wanting his customers to not feel like customers, but to feel like they are part of the Andini’s family. For instance, on a typical evening, a customer would walk into the restaurant and see Lynette Martinez or Kyle McCarthy, who are always warm and eager to chat. Next, Carlos, the Pizza Chef greets everyone with a big smile and hugs the regulars! Entering the dining room, the customer will then
be seated by the highly requested head waiter, Arturo De Santis, who is very popular with the restaurant’s weekly visitors. A frequent customer states that Andini’s is like the bar Cheers, it’s a place where everyone knows your name. “We’ve gained a lot of new friends and have quite the following.” Redi stated. “Our customers are like our family.” WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING
Andini’s newest addition is their mobile, wood fired pizza oven, serving New-Haven style thin crust pizza. Since its arrival, customers have taken quite an interest and business has picked up immediately. It draws a lot of attention, whether parked in the lot or on the road. Once Redi arrives with the mobile pizza oven, the team sets up tables and tents and serves a
Head Waiter, Arturo De Santis.
variety of gourmet pizzas, as well as the originals, such as pepperoni or plain mozzarella. Also on the menu, is a mixed green salad and Italian ice. Another area of growth at Andini’s has much to do with signature entrees. “We’ve been told we have the best broccoli rabe around,” Redi states. Specials include rack of lamb, sea bass and fresh home-made pastas, such as pappardelle or gnocchi “I like to keep up with the seasonal trends and give it my own twist,” Redi says. As for the catering side of the business, “It’s taking off,” he adds. The catering menu consists of half trays and full trays. “We make it work for you,” Redi says. In addition to catering, the restaurant offers weekly take out specials, such as ‘Take Out Tuesday’ or ‘Wow Wednesday.’
Redi Kostandini (c) with Chefs Carlos (l) and Aaron (r). 52
Redi is also excited to announce the bar now offers more craft beer selections on tap. The cocktail menu WINTER 2016
has been revamped too. One of their most popular cocktails is the Basil Martini, which is made with fresh cut basil, freshly squeezed lime juice, vodka of your choice and is lightly sweetened with simple syrup. The ingredients are then muddled, firmly shaken in ice, and poured into a chilled martini glass that creates a cool crisp delight! Redi credits his fiancé, Jessica Carlucci, as being an important part of his business. Although she may not be out
on the floor, Jessica manages the accounts and takes care of the office aspect of things. “When we took over the old business, Jess had a vision all her own and redesigned the entire space,” Redi states. “We both went into this together, she’s my rock – we make a great team.”
customers, who have since become family, and I anticipate the welcoming of new customers and friends. Things can only continue to get better from here. Life is constantly changing and I hold high hopes for our future; as I would like to eventually grow into something bigger. Until then, stay tuned. The best is yet to come.”
Reflecting over the past five years, Redi says, “I can’t believe time has gone by this fast. I’m thankful for the continuous support from our
Andini’s is located at 555 Boston Post Road and open from Tuesday to Sunday and reservations are recommended. 쮿
PEZ Visitor Center: Five Years of Sweetness December 1st marks the fifth anniversary of a very unique and entertaining feature not only to Orange, but also to Connecticut. The PEZ Visitor Center, an addition to the PEZ Candy factory, is such a fascinating place and has gained increased popularity over the past five years. “People literally come from all over the world to see the Visitor Center,” states Shawn Peterson, Direct to Consumer Business Manager at PEZ Candy, Inc. Although Shawn was not a PEZ employee at the time, he pitched the idea of a Visitor Center to the company in 2006. Finally in 2009 the project was approved and his idea turned into reality; and he is grateful to have the opportunity of being involved in something he has such great passion. Shawn says, “PEZ has that nostalgic appeal that parents remember, the kids like it because its candy and the characters they recognize. Putting that altogether makes for a fun family environment.” The Visitor Center is dedicated to all things PEZ and there is much to do and see. Just to name a few, visitors will see the largest collection of PEZ memorabilia, the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, an interactive historical time line, a viewing window into the factory (allowing viewers to see into the production area), and a chance to play the PEZ trivia game. WINTER 2016
The activity called ‘You’re not famous until they put your head on a PEZ dispenser’
In addition to the Visitor Center, a gift shop is also on site, where unique PEZ products are for sale. Not only can you find candy and dispensers, but the gift shop stocks shirts, hats, magnets, luggage tags and so much more – Items not found anywhere else. WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING
An array of new and exciting activities and events has been established. Seasonal events, games of the month, scavenger hunts, birthday parties and even a phone app are all new since the Visitor Center opened. The recently launched PEZ Phone App explains in great detail what guests will be viewing as they walk around the center. Children can also unlock codes to fun games that open up the PEZ Play World on this app. It is designed so visits can be more interactive.
Seasonal events target holidays, providing even more fun for children so they can always remember their special day at PEZ. A visit from Santa is scheduled Saturday November 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children can have their picture taken with Santa and receive a special 5 x 7 color photo for just $5.00. Check the website for seasonal events scheduled throughout the year. The second level has been updated to include a section designated for birthday parties and special functions. Birthday party packages include entrance to the Visitor Center, pizza, soft drinks, cake, goodie bags and a staff member to host the party. An elevator has also been installed for easy access. Also on the second level are more displays with new items including the PEZ motorcycle, built by the Orange County Choppers, PEZ skis,
developed by Head, and additional vintage memorabilia including original PEZ lady outfits.
a PEZ Dispenser,’ where visitors can have their picture taken on a giant PEZ dispenser.
A fun new activity is ‘You’re not Famous until they put your Head on
Shawn reminisces, “Five years have gone by very quickly. It still feels like
we just opened, we’re still new. I don’t know at what point I’ll stop saying that, but it still feels new to me.” The center is open 7 days a week and is located at 35 Prindle Hill Road. 쮿
Inner Essence: Ten Years of Beauty Tucked away from the Post Road traffic on Racebrook Road, Inner Essence Spa and Wellness Center offers a serene paradise seven days a week to those looking to escape from the stresses that sneak into everyday life. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Inner Essence offers an impressive array of Holistic modalities that go beyond typical spa services, ranging from pain relieving Raindrop Therapy to organic body wraps and plant medicine consults. WHAT’S NEW SINCE OPENING
Essential Oils: As a B.S. Licensed Massage Therapist and Energy Medicine practitioner, Shana brings her passion for the healing powers of essential oils into the spa, incorporating therapeutic-grade personalized aromatherapy into each massage, facial and nail service. “Your body has a frequency that can be measured, and that’s your energy,” Shana said. “When you get stressed or sick, your frequency goes down and you may be susceptible to catch a cold. If it goes down even more, you’re susceptible to catch the flu. If it decreases more, cancer cells could potentially start to grow. Essential oils naturally have high frequencies so they can increase a person’s frequency and improve their immune system.”
The line of Essential Oils Shana uses on her clients.
on the planet,’ the Inner Essence Shiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy does just the trick. Promoting detoxification of the body, this treatment is an adaptation of an ancient form of barefoot massage. “As a Massage Therapist, it’s nearly impossible to have your full body weight on someone unless you are standing on them.” Shana said. “Feet are broader and wider than hands, so this massage creates circulation and is very effective.” Staff: When hiring Massage Therapists, Shana says she looks for individuals who are passionate, knowledgeable and have a lot of experience in this field.
Hydrotherapy: The staff at Inner Essence always includes moist heat hydroculator packs or hot towels to compliment your services. Moist heat is the most effective form of heat in penetrating deep into the muscles to increase circulation and encourage relaxation of a more advanced kind.
“It has taken me a while to build my staff into what it is today, I am very particular about hiring therapists. I make sure they are very educated about the service they are providing, and are unique, personable and love what they do. Our clients know massage is our specialty which is why I have handpicked every therapist we have.”
Detoxification: For those looking for ‘the deepest, most luxurious massage
Products: In addition to our spa services, Inner essence has a wide
variety of products that are free from toxins and pesticides--from Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup, to John Masters Organic hair care, with Eminence Organics, Dermalogica and more goodies in between. We hold quarterly trainings so all our staff is up to date on the newest products on the market. “It is so easy for the skin to absorb toxins, air pollutants and dirt. The cleansers, exfoliants, serums and mineral makeup that we carry help to clean out the every-day environmental factors that could be difficult to control.” Reflecting over the past 10 years Shana states, “I am blessed and grateful to have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion of the healing arts with clients that are seeking the positivity and authenticity that Inner Essence is made of.” Whether someone is looking for Energy Healing, a full body wax, or a manicure, Inner Essence Spa and Wellness Center can turn any typical day into one that a customer will never want to end. The spa is located at 311 Racebrook Road and is open 7 days a week. 쮿
Winter and Spring Calendar WRITTEN BY: MARY BIALY
Fun events to look forward to in the months ahead. • The Academy Building and the ROTARY CLUB TURKEY TROT 5K
The Fourth Annual Rotary Club Turkey Trot steps off at the High Plains Community Center on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th at 8:00 a.m. Cost for the Trot is $25 for the 5K race and $12 for the 2-mile fitness walk. For questions and/or more information visit Rotarycluboforange.org. You may register for the race at www.fasttrackcoaching.com WAGON RIDE WITH SANTA
The Party Barn at Mapleview Farm, 603 Orange Center Road (Rt.121), Orange will offer wagon rides with Santa. The fee is $5 per person on November 27th and December 18th, 10:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The event is by appointment only. For reservations call 203-799-6495 or e-mail email@example.com. The event includes a horse drawn wagon ride with Santa Claus, cookies, hot chocolate, goodies for the kids and handcraft vendors. CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
The Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting takes place on and around the Orange Town Green on Sunday, December 4, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. All activities are free of charge: • Tour the Stone-Otis House to experience what a Victorian Christmas was like.
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 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 5:30 p.m. Immediately following, Santa Claus will arrive at the Town Green for a visit with the children. The Festival ends at 6:00 p.m. BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
Hosted by The Orange Chamber of Commerce is Saturday, December 10, 2016. Breakfast sponsored by Chip’s Restaurant is at 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Santa arrives at 9:00 a.m. The event is being held at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange. Fee: Adults $7.00 Pre-Registration/$10.00 day of event; Children 1-12 Years Old $7.00; Children under 1 year old are free. Reservation required. Call 203-795-3328. AMITY TEEN CENTER CHILLY CHILI RUN
The 20th Annual Chilly Chili Run steps off at the High Plains Community Center at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1, 2017. The event is a showcase for 90 year old
and older runners. All pre-registration fees through December 17th are $22.00 5K Road Race, $12.00 12 & under, $12.00 2 Mile Fitness Walk. After Dec. 17th and Race Day (closes after 10:15 a.m.) 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 20th. Early Packet Pickup and Late Registration Friday, December 30th at High Plains Community Center 525 Orange Center Road., Orange from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visit www.hitekracing.com/chilly 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 7, 2017. There will be a 5K race and 2 mile walk. Race start is 10:00 a.m. at the High Plains Community Center. Cost is $20.00 in advance, $25.00 day of event. Call 203-7953328. You can register for the race at RunSignup.com with Keywords “Cohen and Wolf Cinco” AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RELAY FOR LIFE
The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Bethany Orange Woodbridge will take place on Saturday, May 20th to Sunday, May 21st from noon to 8:00 am at the High Plains Community Center in Orange, CT. Relay For Life is an overnight walk and is the largest fundraising event aimed at eliminating cancer in the world. Participants forms teams, camp out on the field, and take turns walking around the track at the Orange fairgrounds. We honor our Cancer Survivors by having them kickoff the event by taking the first lap. Money raised by the event funds the American Cancer Society’s mission to create a world free from the pain and suffering caused by cancer through research, education, patient services, and advocacy. Last year, 496 people participated in the event in Orange, which raised over $87,000. Teams and individuals can sign up for the Relay For Life event by visiting www.relayforlife.org/bowct (website scheduled to launch mid-October). 쮿
Don’t Let the Winter Blues Get You Down The days are getting shorter; the temperature is getting colder. Don’t let the faces of winter get you down. There is much to do in Orange and the surrounding areas for children and adults. Learn to dance, see how candy is made, visit a museum, take an art class, have breakfast at the zoo or have some trampoline fun. Below are highlights from just a few local businesses offering fun and exciting activities. FRED ASTAIRE DANCE STUDIO – ORANGE
Did you ever want to learn how to Salsa, Mamba or Jive? The team at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Orange can teach you and also teach you many other dances. The studio offers instruction on Private and Group levels as well as Practice Sessions, so learning how to dance is made to feel easy and fun! The studio teaches three types of lessons: Private, which is oneon-one instruction; Group, where 8 to 12 students work with one instructor learning the mechanics of a dance; and Parties, where 30 to 40 people come to socialize and dance every Friday night. Lessons are for adults and also children as young as eight years old. Learning to dance enhances your life in so many ways: health, confidence, self-expression, social, relaxation, and fun. 쮿
DISCOVERY MUSEUM & PLANETARIUM – BRIDGEPORT
Discover three floors of exhibits and hands-on learning fun for kids and families at Discovery Museum and Planetarium. Take the challenge to complete engineering dares and double-dares in the new Dare to Discover exhibit; shoot hoops and test the aerodynamics of a paper helicopter in Get Physical; and test your climbing prowess in Adventure Science! A dynamic new Energy Network exhibit experience will be completed January, 2017. Guests can view multiple shows for different age groups in the Museum’s full-dome Henry B. DuPont III Planetarium (included with admission), and embark on an immersive exploration of the Earth, our solar system and beyond on a giant digital globe with Discovery’s newest interactive exhibit, Science on a Sphere. MoonBase Discovery treats younger guests to a lunar exploration, and toddlers can enjoy a safe play area in Preschool Power! School holiday and vacation specials provide additional science-themed programs and take-home projects designed to keep kids engaged. Group activities can be booked in advanced, including Scout Badge Requirement Sessions, Overnights at The Museum, and “Mission to Mars” parties or homeschool events in the state-of-the-art Challenger Center, a space station/mission control simulation. For hours, specials and upcoming events check: www.discoverymuseum.org or call 203-372-3521 쮿 56
BEARDSLEY ZOO - BRIDGEPORT
The Beardsley Zoo will have their annual “Breakfast with Frosty and Friends” in December. While parents enjoy breakfast, the kids will be entertained by “Frosty” the snowman. There will be pictures with “Frosty” a Snowman and “Stripes” a Tiger, with a guest appearance from “Thirsty,” Aquarion’s Penguin. Families can also take pictures with a few winter themed pop-through picture backgrounds. The Frosty and Friends event will take place on December 10th, December 11th, December 17th, December 18th and December 24th from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase online, or day of, if seating is available. Cost is $15.00 per person for members and $20.00 per person for non-members. Children 2 and under are free. The Carousel will also be running during the event at $2.00 per ticket and reservations are highly recommended. 쮿
BEARDSLEY ZOO 1875 Noble Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06610 (203) 394-6565 Winter Hours: 9 am – 4 pm www.beardsleyzoo.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
See their ad and coupon on Page 38.
BRENNAN LUCEY IRISH DANCE ACADEMY – FAIRFIELD, MILFORD, & HAMDEN
Learn to Irish dance at the Brennan Lucey Irish Dance Academy. The Brennan-Lucey Irish Dance Academy caters to all types of dancers, adults and children (ages 4 and up) for fun, exercise, and competition. For toddlers under 4 years old, a ‘Parent and me’ class is offered. The owners, Stephen Brennan and Meghan Lucey are registered TCRG's (teachers) with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, the worldwide Irish dancing governing body based in Dublin, Ireland. They have been on tour with Riverdance and have had many television appearances. In addition, the pair have instructed numerous Riverdance and Heartbeat of Home workshops throughout North America and Ireland and have extensive teaching experience with Camp Rince Ceol; an Irish dance summer camp. Both of their passions have merged into the Brennan-Lucey Academy where they share their love of dance and Irish culture with the youth and adults of today. Irish dance is an amazing form of dance; its energetic, technical, exciting and great exercise. 쮿
PEZ CANDY VISITOR CENTER – ORANGE
For a sweet afternoon, stop by the PEZ Visitor Center and see how their famous candy is made, check out the many famous dispensers on display, play games, and much more. Learn about the brand that has been inspiring and innovating since 1927! Visits are self-guided. With each paid admission ($5), guests receive a souvenir PEZ lanyard, an opportunity to win a free PEZ dispenser, and a $2 credit good toward any merchandise purchase valid on the same day visit. 쮿
PEZ VISITOR CENTER 35 Prindle Hill Road Orange, CT 06477 (203) 298-0201 Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm Sunday: Noon – 5 pm www.pez.com/visit_us
See their ads on Pages 6 and 37.
THE GIGGLING PIG – SHELTON
Create beautiful works of art at The Giggling Pig Art Studio that offers art lessons from beginner to advance for adults and children starting at four years old. Club Canvas, where no experience is needed, will take your child step by step through a painting, breaking it down for all to follow. With a very loose and organic stroke, anyone who can pick up a paint brush will be able to recreate their very own work of art with staff guidance. Adults can enjoy a special night with Paint and Sip, a program where adults can bring their own cocktails and snacks, while creating a beautiful masterpiece. The Piglet's program is an art based enrichment program for ages 2 to 5. The classes are structured and carefully planned to help your child develop confidence and age appropriate skills. Staff will encourage all children who walk through the doors to have fun and be creative. Children will have ample opportunities to express themselves verbally and non-verbally in a safe and loving environment. Mommy & Me classes are offered weekly for parents and caregivers to explore and experience art with their little one. During the holidays and seasonal months; inspiring art projects and crafts relating to each holiday or season will be offered. In addition to the above, the Giggling Pig also offers numerous birthday party packages, has Open Studio and they are a licensed camp. 쮿
INTERESTED IN FREE OR DISCOUNTED ADMISSION? The Case Memorial Library offers a museum pass program. The program offers free or discounted admission to many of the most popular cultural destinations in Connecticut. The Beardsley Zoo, the Discovery Museum and 18 other destinations are part of this program. Please call (203-891-8170) or visit the Library’s website at www.orange.lioninc.org/using-the-library/services/museum-passes/ for the procedure and details. You must have a valid library card to use the program. Many of the Library’s museum passes are generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
LAUNCH TRAMPOLINE – MILFORD
Get your exercise while having fun at Launch. Launch Trampoline Park is an indoor sports and family entertainment facility. The park is suitable for all ages and fitness levels which offer guests a wide variety of physical activities including open jump time, group exercise classes, trampoline dodgeball, basketball and stunt bag fun! There is also a full cafe, arcade and prize redemption center. Special days and times are available for toddlers, teens, and adults, making it a perfect venue for everyone. Toddler Time is every Friday and Sunday for children ages 5 and under. Home School Time is offered to students that are home schooled and need to fulfill their physical education requirements. Children that need a little more quiet time, Launch offers a private time every Saturday morning where they are open exclusively to jumpers with special needs along with their families. One parent or guardian gets to jump along for free! Siblings are also welcome to attend. Teens can enjoy a special night just for them on Saturday nights (open to ages 13-19). Special packages for birthdays, fundraisers, youth and college groups, sports teams, field trips, after proms and even corporate groups are offered. 쮿 58
605A Orange Center Road Orange, CT 06477
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 44 MILFORD, CT 06460