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november | december






by Jan Doyle

After years of service in Iraq, Major, Mark Zydanowicz looks forward to celebrating the holidays once again with his wife & children in West Hartford.



by Erin Zeidenberg

Winner of NBC’s ‘The Voice’, singer, Javier Colon shares what life is like now for him and his family in West Hartford…and Hollywood!



by Christine Noonan

The generosity of the human spirit still shines bright in the West Hartford community, primarily spotlighting education for future generations.

DEPARTMENTS from the publisher 10 Happy Holidays from the staff

of West Hartford Magazine

fashion 51 Spectacular holiday fashion finds

people 13

GIFTS Notable events and spectacular galas 63 Best Picks for her, him...& are always worth celebrating! everyone else!

finance 24


beauty Fighting fraud. Helping your business 73 Looking younger! Discover a ten adapt to meet the evolving threat. minute work-out for your face!

travel 27

Christmas comes to life all around the world offering a chance to build unique & festive holiday memories.

food 30

Standing holiday rib roast from Halls Market and Pumpkin Praline Torte cake from A Little Something Bakery

wine 35

Pop open grower-Champagne… no special occasion required!

weddings 37

inspire 78

Tips for keeping joyful this holiday season

exhale 86

Dadlez & Kleiman, Walsh & Sloat, Kraczkowsky & Readal

courtesy of Gledhill Nursery, West Hartford. Photography by Christine Paluf

‘Tis the Season of Gratitude. Gratitude journaling helps you greet the world with a more joyful spirit.


ON THE COVER Major Zydanowicz and his family at home in West Hartford. See story page 45. Wreath

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Reflecting on the season, local residents offer peaceful tidings for the world.

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a r t i c h o k e

Classic Style with an Edge

A WHMedia, Inc. company

Publisher Thomas P. Hickey, II Chief Operations Officer Joy Brigham Taylor Sales Manager Joel A. Gengras Managing Editor Lisa Lelas Publication Designer Jennifer Inocencio Photo Director Christine Paluf Print Advisor Bob Carr Bookkeeper Debbie Roberts Publishing, Creative and Content Advisors Jonathan Moffly, Lydia Paniccia, Joseph Tirella Contributing Writers Jan Doyle, Christine Noonan, Erin Zeidenberg Contributing Columnists Beth Bolton, Jennifer Booth, Lydia Brown, Tammy Kroll, Lisa Lelas, Mark Milligan, Ertan Sener

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Contributing Photographers Brian Ambrose Photography, Disney Destinations, GNTO, J. Fiereck Photography, Kellie Burke, LaBrazel Home, Linda McClintock, Mick Melvin, Miranda Penn Turin, Parsons Photography, RSP Media, Wayne Miller and Rita Sloat, WHCC, WHSO Sales Associate Peter Risi




998 Farmington Ave., Suite 205, West Hartford, CT 06107 office 860-523-1800 West Hartford Magazine is published six times a year by WHMedia, Inc. SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year for $29. Newsstand $4.95 each. To subscribe, renew or change address write: West Hartford Magazine, 998 Farmington Avenue, Suite 205, West Hartford, CT 06107; EDITORIAL & LETTERS: – please include full name, town and phone number (for verification only, not for publication). ADVERTISING: 860-523-1800. ©2011 WHMedia, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without express permission of the publisher. West Hartford Magazine is a registered trademark owned by WHMedia, Inc. The opinions expressed by writers commissioned for articles published by West Hartford Magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine.

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Happy Holidays!


from all of us at WEST HARTFORD MAGAZINE

photography by Mick Melvin

Joy Taylor with Tom Hickey as he speaks on behalf of West Hartford Magazine at the Premiere celebration in September.

It’s been a wonderful whirlwind of excitement upon launching the premier issue of WEST HARTFORD MAGAZINE! We would like to thank you all...our readers, our loyal sponsors and subscribers, and so many of you in the community for the overwhelming positive response we received! We’ve never seen anything like it! We will continue to enhance your magazine, issue by issue...what will never change is our love of what we do! If you missed our spectacular Premiere celebration, to benefit the Miracle League of Greater Hartford, we hope you’ll make time to join us for future events. It was a beautiful evening, great food (thanks to Effie’s and Reuben’s), great refreshments (thanks to Westside Wines and Avery Soda and Dunkin Donuts), lovely music (thanks to Rosenberg Orthodontists) and a great mix of people! Special thanks also to Taylor Rental Party Plus, The Children’s Museum, Connecticut Whale, Jan Sweeney Day to Remember Events, Gengras BMW, Graphix Signs & Banners, and David Brown Associates. We know you will enjoy the pages ahead. What better way to feel warm during the holiday season than to appreciate first hand the trials and triumphs shared by the Zydanowicz military family here in town. Major Mark Zydanowicz examplilifies the true meaning of service to his country, as he spent years in Iraq making sure we are all safe here at home in West Hartford. A heart felt thank you to Mark and his family, and to all those who serve and protect. See page 45. Although, we already know that the spirit of giving has always been an integral part of the West Hartford community, we take pride in the fact that it isn’t very often that we are stumped when asked a question about our neighbors, business or history in town. When we gathered names to feature as top philanthropists in our community, many of us may not have known the name George Weiss would be the resident to come out on top! As a matter of fact, this West Hartfordite made the top 50 nationwide and is the only philanthropist from Connecticut to make that list! Enjoy getting to know how education is playing a big role in the eyes of philanthropists. See page 75. And, even if you didn’t watch ‘The Voice’ on television, you’ll enjoy meeting Javier Colon, up close and personal. Of all the talented contestants on the top rated show who competed nationally, our West Hartford neighbor came out the winner! See page 70. Enjoy this Holiday Season and visit all of the fine businesses who have displayed an amazing selection of gift giving ideas for you. If you are a subscriber you will be dazzled by a special holiday gift from us in a few weeks. Please guarantee delivery to your home or office by subscribing today (or give a subscription as a special gift this holiday) and be certain you are dazzled by the perks associated with joining the ‘club’! Your feedback is important to us! We welcome you to share your comments for our special ‘letters to the editor’ page to commence in our next issue at the start of the new year. Letters can be emailed to editor@

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Dr. George and Elaine Dalton with Maureen and Dr. Brendan Fox all of West Hartford.

Christopher M. Dadlez with Foundation Board member and Boston Celtic, Ray Allen.

Miracles GALA Nearly 1,400 turned out at the Connecticut Convention Center recently for this year’s annual MIRACLES gala. The black-tie event raised funds to benefit the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI) at Saint Francis Hospital. “Our sold out event, once again underscores the broad and deep relationships that Saint Francis has forged in our community. We are deeply grateful for this outpouring of support,” said Christopher Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and dancing to the music of BOSS. A silent wine auction was also part of the festivities. Past MIRACLES galas have raised more than $12 million for Saint Francis initiatives and this year’s gala should add to that total by about $900,000.

Brendan and Ellen Fox - MIRACLES CoChairs, West Hartford, Brad Davis, Irene O’Connor, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell; Eileen Dadlez; Chris Dadlez; Anita Schepker and Jim Schepker, MIRACLES CoChairs, West Hartford.

Karen & Dr. Steven Schutzer - Co-Director CJRI and West Hartford resident.

photography by J. Fiereck Photography

Helen Gray and Eileen Dadlez, West Hartford.

Shari and Matthew Phillips, benefactors of the Phillips Women’s Heart Program, Owners PerSe Salon and Spa, West Hartford residents; Barbara Calderon, Hospital Board member.

Lori Simons, Sheila Litchfield, Gabrielle Boisvert and Steve Litchfield, all of West Hartford.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



Marc and John Green speaking at the Facets of Hope Award dinner. Robert Green pictured in background.

Nancy Kelly with Jack Winer, Lux Bond & Green Boston Store Manager .

Facets of Hope The Jewelers for Children’s Charity ( recently honored Robert, Marc and John Green, of Lux Bond & Green during their Facets of Hope Awards dinner in Las Vegas. The annual event recognizes individuals, families and organizations in the jewelry industry that have supported children’s causes. Over 1,500 guests gathered at the Mandolay Bay Resort hotel for the event, helping to raise over three million dollars for various children’s charities Since 1999, JFC has raised over $37 million dollars for such charities as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and more. Lux Bond & Green raised over $400,000 towards this immeasurable tribute to all the generations of Greens and staff at Lux Bond & Green.

John Green, President & CEO, Lux Bond & Green, with sister, Candace Krause, of Krause Advertising and brother, Marc Green, Vice Chairman, Lux Bond & Green.

Rhonda DiGiacomo, Lux Bond & Green employee.

photography by RSP Media

Top from L-R: Marc Green, Candace Krause, John Green, Tom Hall, Norma Green, Dan Green, Deb Green, Charlie Green. Bottom from L-R: . Sheryl Green, Zach Green, Denise Hall, Allie Green.


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Premiere West Hartford Magazine West Hartford Magazine celebrated its premiere by hosting a benefit for The Miracle League of Greater Hartford on September 19. Festivities took place at the magazine’s West Hartford Center office, under a curbside tent. Five-foot banners, orange pumpkins and purple asters, displayed by event planner, Jan Sweeney, created a wonderful way to celebrate the magazine’s associates, family, friends, readers and advertisers. Special thanks to Landlord Dave Brown, for helping transform the block into a unique party setting! Publisher, Tom Hickey and COO Joy Taylor were humbled by the outpouring of support for the magazine. Jonathan Moffly, president of Moffly Media in Westport, an advisor to the team was on hand, as was art director Lydia Paniccia of Manhattan.

Brad Drazen and Yvonne Nava (on left) from NBC Connecticut with Yvonne’s husband Alex, and their son Liam being held by Brad’s wife Lauren. Right Top: Writer Erin Zeidenberg, West Hartford Managing Editor Lisa Lelas, Bill Petit and West Hartford Magazine Photo Director Christine Paluf. Right: Pam Carr watches husband Bob, West Hartford Magazine print advisor, playing the mystery wall game.

West Hartford Magazine Publisher Tom Hickey and his wife Shevon.

Miracle League of Greater Hartford Co-Director Mike Michaud with his wife Mary-Lynn of West Hartford.

photography by Mick Melvin and Linda McClintock

West Hartford’s Dave Brown with Robert, Claudia, Samantha and Danielle Udolf with Miracle League of Greater Hartford CoDirector Ronit Shoham.

Amy Barnard and Kellie Burke from Kellie Burke Interiors flank West Hartford Magazine Sales Manager Joel Gengras.

Local resident, Beth Brigham with Tim Brennan of the Drop Kick Murphys.

Kevin Dowd and West Hartford Magazine Publication Designer Jen Inocencio.

West Hartford Magazine’s COO Joy Taylor with Bookkeeper Debbie Roberts, Monarch Jewelers Owner Angela DeFelippi and Amy Melvin of West Hartford.

Wine columnist Ertan Sener with Andy Taylor.

Mark T. Bertolini, President of Aetna with Joy B. Taylor.

Kathy Sergent and Marie Mansolillo, both of West Hartford.

Brianne Taylor from Daswani Clothiers sings along with pianist Brian Avery.

Jonathan Moffly, President of Moffly Media with Lydia Paniccia, Creative Director of Easel Media Group. Left: West Hartford ‘s Farmington Bank officer, Kevin Kickery, President of Hunter John Designs , Lisa Polce, with Rebecca Daleb. november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



Ken and Gerry Mendoza found room on the dance floor.

West Hartford


WHSO members Caroline and Kathryn Bamburger pose with family.


Kate and Jonathan Dixon.

photos courtesy of WHSO

John Eickel leads his partner across the dance floor.

The West Hartford Symphony Orchestra presented its 2011 fundraising event, “Dancing with the Symphony” to celebrate its 10th anniversary season! Special guests, Rachel Frank (Fox 61 Meteorologist) and David Rosinski (Floral-Illusions) were amongst the many attendees who came out for a special night of food, drinks, desserts and dancing to live orchestra music. Arthur Murray Dance Studios offered ballroom dance instruction and there was a silent auction presented. Hors d’oeuvres were from Fleming’s Steak House, Cocktails by Two Pour Guys and Desserts by Confetti Cupcakes. It was a wonderful way to welcome their tenth season!

WTIC’s Rachel Frank with WHSO President and principal percussionist Ron Reisner.


Director and founder of West Hartford Symphony Richard Chiarappa directs the orchestra while folks dance.

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Attending the WHCC Annual Golf Tournament were Barbara Kreitner, Director of Membership Services and Community Relations and Gary Jones, President of the Board of Directors.

Lululemon Athletica hosted a yoga class in the middle of LaSalle Road in August. Instructor and longtime West Hartford Resident Barbara Ruzansky, Owner of West Hartford Yoga, lead the class.

Around Town

photos courtesy of WHCC; Mick Melvin; LaBrazel and Kellie Burke

Dr. Robert Claflin, former West Hartford Rotary president and member since 1983, was one of the cooks at the 4th Annual “Claws for a Cause Lobster Fest” on September 10.

Bill Whitehead, National Sales Manager of Yves Delorme with Lauren Zeligson, owner of Labrazel Home at their grand opening party.

Lonesome Eddie and the BirdDogs performed at the Lobster Fest. Members include: Marty Cannon, Kevin Connors, Ed Carr, Ed Connors and missing from the photo, Bob Loper, Clayton Kopp, the Brass Puppies Molly Behan, Lizzie Tilden and Maggie Rowe.

Keven Keenan, general manager Westfarms at the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament at Rockledge.

Celebrating the Grand Opening of Kellie Burke’s Windows store on Farmington Avenue are: Diana Lombardo, Kellie Burke, Donna Barnes and Julia Wyman. november | december 2011 west hartford magazine




Fraud Helping your business adapt to meet the evolving threat.


n recent years, companies have utilized advances in technology to become more efficient and connect with customers and other groups in increasingly dynamic ways. But along with the obvious benefits, moving to a more open environment has some drawbacks, including increased exposure to fraud. Today, successful companies are working closely with their banks to thwart more sophisticated attacks that target business systems and online networks. Setting the stage. When it comes to fraud, the nature and level of sophistication of the threat are constantly evolving more quickly than ever before. Your defenses must stay one step ahead to ensure your company and customers don’t fall prey to an attack. A few of today’s realities: • Companies are operating in an increasingly open online environment, which has greatly increased overall risk exposure. • Employees are changing how they communicate and are more open and 24

trustful of new communication channels that come with potential security implications. Fraudsters are capitalizing on security gaps created by these advances in online technologies. • Employees may use company computers to browse websites and interact on social networking sites, which may increase your company’s risk exposure. • Fraud perpetrators are increasingly targeting employees as a means to facilitate corporate and commercial financial intrusions. • The economic downturn has heightened the incidence of fraud and the need for institutionalized vigilance, effective prevention measures and readiness for rapid response. • Fraud prevention requires a new level of collaboration and partnership with your bank. Online channels are not the only places where fraud is growing. Better scanning and printing technologies have made it easier to target traditional payment methods, such as creating counterfeit

checks. An effective fraud prevention program must have a dual focus on online threats and traditional channels. The evolving landscape. With the internet integrated into everyday business operations, companies now operate in an increasingly open environment. The nature of fraud has transformed right along with the nature of the workplace. Today, trusted communication channels have expanded to include instant messaging, social networking and group-messaging applications. Along with the increased customer connection and easier internal collaboration, these new channels provide ever-increasing opportunities for fraud. Even employee interactions have shifted away from in-person communication and toward online collaborative networks. Just as your employees work and conduct business on-line, so do fraudsters. They can breach a system, steal a user’s identification and password and create significant damage to your bottom line. Employees are increasingly the first point of attack for fraudsters, who recognize end

photography by BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

by Mark Milligan

users as the weakest link, and therefore, the easiest penetration point. So, the front line in fighting fraud has shifted to corporate end users…a company’s work force. Perhaps ironically, better technology has led to more sophisticated versions of traditional fraud. Your defense strategy must target all payment fraud in addition to online threats. The importance of collaboration. Most companies place primary responsibility for fraud prevention on their banks. An ideal prevention strategy is an integrated approach that includes a heightened level of collaboration between your company and your bank across the following layers of defense: • Front door security: Think of this as you think of your front door lock. When you lock your door, you need a key to get in. Typically your ‘key’ is your password, but it’s becoming increasingly more important to go beyond this basic level. • Back door security: If front door security gets you in your house, back door security helps keep you safe once you’re there by providing a critical second layer of controls. Online back door security

Your defenses must stay one step ahead to ensure your company and customers don’t fall prey to an attack. features include pre-established email alerts, restrictive access and the ability for you to segregate duties. • Transactional controls: Layers of fraud authentication can help prevent hackers from compromising a user’s identity. Not all online activities require the tightest controls, and companies can examine the varying levels of transactional controls before choosing a set based on individual business needs. For example, the top tier of security would be used when clients are creating payments. Added security options for such a highrisk activity should include dual controls and restrictive access. Early detection of fraud is crucial to

minimizing financial loss. If fraud prevention fails, it must be identified and reported immediately to avoid or limit a potentially catastrophic loss for your company. Find the right bank. Your bank should be motivated by a single goal: providing a user-friendly experience that enhances your ability to do business while minimizing your risk. Look for a bank with a history of developing innovative fraudprevention tools. As the fraud landscape continues to evolve, so should your bank’s ability to offer protection from threats! n

Mark P. Milligan Senior Vice President Business Banking Bank of America Merrill Lynch Bank of America, N.A 860.466.4471 This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the basis for an investment decision. Consult your financial advisor, as well as your tax and/or legal advisors regarding your personal circumstances before making investment decisions. Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Member FCIC . All rights reserved.

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Town hall, market square and merry-goround at a Christmas market in Germany.

No matter where you end up this holiday season, there is no limit to the places that can transform your holiday into magic!

It is time to build some holiday memories this year while experiencing quaint and magical destinations!

photography Courtesy of GNTO © GNTB/Torsten Krüger

by Lydia Brown


elieve some stress this year and begin building memories with your family and friends instead. I run into many young couples and families who are doing just that….. building memories in lieu of those inane toys and clothes that are soon forgotten or outgrown…memories last forever. The destinations are varied and limitless.

a Christmastime Parade’ featuring Santa Claus, a festive nighttime fireworks spectacular, Disney character greetings, live stage shows and tasty treats! They also feature “Castle Dreamlights” where Cinderella’s Castle is transformed every night into a glorious, wintry confection, twinkling in the sky! Celebrate the holiday season with characters, legends and lore from around the globe. Delight in wondrous tales and customs while experiencing other traditions of Walt Disney World: One of the most popular Disney World signature events, including a destinations for families with young children breathtaking candlelight processional and a is a Disney destination! Disney World’s Magic special holiday-themed finale to the dazzling Kingdom, Orlando, Florida is magical during ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth’ show at the holidays with the ‘Mickey’s Once Upon Epcot Center. Holiday Storytellers explain

From traditional European Christmas markets to the hustle and bustle of New York City, discover the vast variety the world has to offer during the holiday season. Visit your local travel agency for ideas and options that might work best for your family!

legends of holiday folklore from around the world by the legends themselves, including France’s Pere Noel, Italy’s LaBefana and America’s Santa Claus.

New York City: For me, the tradition begins with a trip to New York City to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and to see the Rockettes perform their famous Christmas show, a quick trip to view the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue and a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I am then filled with the holiday spirit!

Europe: At least once in your life you should experience Germany or Austria during the holiday season to see first hand the november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


incredible Christmas markets throughout that region. You can enjoy them walking through the towns or seeing the markets in a relaxed environment, floating aboard one of the many unique river boat rides along the Rhine or Danube. Unlike large cruise ships, these small vessels are able to dock in towns near your destination and you sometimes can walk off the ship into the beautiful little villages.

Leavenworth Washington: If you’re not planning on a European destination, the next best thing for a holiday adventure is Leavenworth, Washington. This city transforms itself into a Bavarian snow globe of Christmas magic. It has been crowned the ‘ultimate Holiday Town USA’ by many travel publications over the years. The town welcomes you with roasting chestnuts, holiday characters, old fashioned caroling and pure simple Christmas magic. This charming mountain village is sure to fill your heart with memories of a lifetime.

San Antonio, Texas: If you can find the time, consider a week-end in San Antonio, Texas over this holiday season. The San Antonio Riverwalk slips on thousands of lights

Castle of Dreams, Disney World.

and the parks dress up with 40 foot Christmas trees. The residents there pull out all the stops and make the holiday something spectacular, from piñatas and mariachis to riverboats and twinkling trees. Instead of a traditional turkey, San Antonions prepare tamales and other traditional Mexican food. The town also presents an annual spiritual and spirited procession called ’La Gran Posada’, a moving re-enactment of the first Christmas eve.

getaways also offer some holiday adventures. For example, take a drive up north to the pretty village of Woodstock, Vermont. Words like ‘romantic’, ‘magical’ and ‘historic’ are used to describe this quaint village that has been sometimes called “the prettiest small town in America”! They present a holiday Wassail weekend complete with three days of holiday shows, festive music, a parade of riders, horses and carriages, a historic house tour, a medieval banquet and a 19th century Christmas celebration at Billings Farm & Museum. It’s one of the premier events of the season. No matter where you end up this holiday season, there is no limit to the places that can transform your holiday into magic. Start building your memories today! Merry Christmas from your friends at Sanditz America Express Travel… n

Lydia Brown Sanditz American Express Travel West Hartford (860) 523-5224


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RUSSELL SPEEDER’S FULL SERVICE HAND WASH associates are hired because they are the best. They are friendly, speedy and passionate about customer ser vice. Your visit starts with a hospitable greeting while you determine which ser vice your vehicle requires. Then you are invited to one of the pristine waiting areas while your car is driven to the conveyor belt (no pull chains used here), then they vacuum the inside, wash the exterior by hand, clean the wheels, and dry the car. Then they clean the inside windows, wipe the dash and console and wipe the door jambs! When you mix CUSTOM CAR WASH equipment with the best cleaners available, the result is a car that is cleaner, shinier and drier than you could ever imagine.


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Chef: Beth Bolton Owner A Little Something Bakery 335 Park Road 860-586-8711

*Pumpkin Pie spice: pumpkin spice: 1 tsp Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp Ginger: 1/4 tsp Cloves: 1/8 tsp Nutmeg: 1/8 tsp

Pumpkin Praline Torte 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice* 1 3/4 cups whipping cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Cake: 1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. 2. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, sirring constantly, or until sugar dissolves. 3. Pour evenly into 2 lightly greased 9-inch round cakepans. 4. Sprinkle 3/4 cup pecans evenly over brown sugar mixture in pans. 5. Beat granulated sugar and oil at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. 6. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. 7. Add pumpkin and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, beating just until blended. 8. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture, beating just until blended. 9. Spoon over pecans in pans. 10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 32

11. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. 12 . Carefully loosen cake from edges of pan (do not tear pecans from cake). 13. Remove cake from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Filling & Topping: 1. Beat 1 3/4 cups whipping cream at medium speed until frothy. 2. Add powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla; beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. 3. Place 1 cake layer, praline side up, on a cake plate. 4. Spread half of whipped cream over cake layer; top with remaining cake layer, praline side up. 5. Spread remaining whipped cream over cake layer. 6. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup toasted pecans. 7. Cover and chill. Store in refrigerator.

photo courtesy of Christine Paluf

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/3 cup butter 3 tablespoons whipping cream 3/4 cup chopped pecans 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs 1 (15 oz) can unsweetened pumpkin 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


Terry Theise selected as Food & Wines 2005 Importer of the Year

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Champagne: [No Occasion Required!]

Discover the refreshing taste of grower-Champagne, perfect for any day of the week! by Ertan Sener

photography by


o you remember the last time you opened a bottle of Champagne without a special occasion? Champagne is a wine and can be, well I’ll stress, should be enjoyed for the great wine it is, with all the pairing possibilities! While you may not want to un-cork a pricey bottle of Champagne on a typical Tuesday night dinner, there are plenty of delicious, good quality Champagnes that are so reasonable, you’ll want to pop them open more often, at any family dinner, any day of the week! These fantastic ‘grower Champagne’gems are wines that need not be judged by the color of their label or what their initials are! First, let me clarify some of the mystery of Champagne. Did you know that Champagne is only Champagne if it comes from the region in Northern France of the same name? What’s so special about this place? The word Champagne is derived from the Latin term campania, which translates to rolling countryside, and is used today to describe the area just north of Rome. In the middle ages the term was applied to this area in northern France. Second, this Champagne Region is the first region to create sparkling wine in any quantity. So, the term Champagne became synonymous with this fine quality wine that dances in the glass. Strict regulations keep the name safe, and no other sparkling wines can bear the name Champagne, even if it is from France. Champagne is France’s northernmost wine making region, about an hour and a half north of Paris. This is pretty far north! If we followed the latitude from the town of Reims in Champagne, across

to North America, we would be at the Island of Newfoundland. Why is this northern location so important? Well, it helps in creating grapes very high in acidity, and that is one of the appealing points, balanced with fruit and backed up with bubbles, that creates good Champagne. There are four main areas of Champagne that grow three grape varieties that are used to make the sparkling treat. These grapes are: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Yes, that’s right; the first two varieties are red! Make wine with no contact from the grape skins, and you get white wine! We’ll save that topic for a whole other article! Now, let’s talk about grower Champagne. I’ll speak not as a wine grower, but as a wine drinker now. Consider this quote by wine grower, Alexander Chartogne: “when I drink a wine, worked by people who spent three times longer in their vineyards, who always followed their grapes, who suffered the same climactic conditions as their *West Side vines, I dream. I dream, and it Wines and Spirits gives me pleasure, because will have our annual I know there is a story, Grower Champagne Tasting work, patience, passion, on December 10, 2011 at Cuvée and the unique beliefs (37 Raymond Road W. Hartford, of the wine grower.” CT 06107) with guest Terry This is true! This is the Theise! Please contact West Side Wines for further information.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


WINE belief system of a lot of growers, and this is my belief. Winemaker, Terry Theise has single handedly brought the grower Champagne, or “Farmer Fizz” as he calls it, to the attention of small producers, to be enjoyed by the mass public, each carrying a story of devotion and dedication of wine making. Each wine has a sense of place, of where it comes from, as well as from a particular family tradition. Why drink grower Champagne? Well to quote Theise, “You should drink grower-Champagne because, like all hand-crafted estate-bottled wines, it is not a mere thing but is indeed a being, expressive of where it grew and who raised it. In drinking it you help protect diversity, and diversity leads to vitality.” Theise believes that if you’d rather eat a local field-ripened summer tomato rapturous with sweetness instead of some January tomato you buy at the supermarket hard as a stone with little taste, then you should be drinking farmer-fizz! Let me see if I can give you some pairing possibilities that further the conversion. Champagne is a wine and should be

Ertan’s wine


• Champagne is only Champagne if it comes from the region in Northern France of the same name. • Wine or champagne made with no contact from red grape skins, creates a white variety • Each variety of growerChampagne has a sense of place, of where it comes from, as well as from a particular family tradition. • Champagne is a wine and should be enjoyed as one, with food…not just as the pre-dinner toast!

mouth prepared for a bite of something savory. Next time you have Sushi, try a bottle of bubbles with a variety of rolls or sashimi. Champagne, the right Champagne, can stand up to soy as well as a little heat from our friend wasabi. You’ll never look at a California Roll the same way! Try Champagne with a favorite dish that would normally call for a glass of white. You might find it’s the perfect pairing. Champagne likes to play with food, it doesn’t always want to be the opening solo act. Let this treat become a part of the symphony of flavors and help support the other players. So, be a little daring and open a bottle of bubbles during the week, for nothing more than the pure pleasure. You deserve it! Cheers! n

enjoyed as one, with food! Pair not only with cheeses or the classic gougère (fun little French cheese puffs), but let it be the accompaniment to any course or meal. The high acidity is great to get your

Ertan S. Sener, wine educator, has been seen in Wine Spectator Magazine, and is the buyer/manager at West Side Wines & Spirits. 860-233-1241.

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Liisa Walsh & Jeff Sloat

photography by Wayne Miller and Rita Sloat

Above: Jim and Suzanne Walsh, Liisa and Jeff, Cindy and Brad Sloat. Above (center): Bridal Party/wedding bands. Below: Groomsmen.

Liisa Walsh, of West Hartford and Jeff Sloat, of Maine, met during their senior year at college and have been inseparable ever since. During a trip with friends, on a cruise ship to the Bahamas, Jeff proposed to Liisa, outside on the windy upper deck, under the stars. The winds of love came calling again, as their wedding day was during the post Hurricane Irene days! With no power, they rehearsed at the church by candlelight and miraculously, power was restored the next day and their beautiful ceremony went forward without a hitch! The bride is the daughter of Jim and Suzanne Walsh, of West Hartford. Liisa went to school at Assumption College and specializes in working with young adults with disabilities, a field where she is seeking employment in her new home in Maine. The groom is the son of Brad and Cindy Sloat, of Maine. Jim also graduated from Assumption College. He is currently employed as an Operator on Duty at Portland Radio Group. The wedding reception was held at Salt Water Farm in Stonington, CT, where Liisa’s family often visited near their beach house. After a honeymoon in San Francisco, CA, the couple now resides in Auburn, Maine. n november | december 2011 west hartford magazine




Nina Dadlez & David Kleiman

Above: Bride and groom. Center: Bride with parents. In Circle: The Riverview Inn. Below: Wedding party.

photography by Brian Ambrose PHOTOGRAPHY

Nina Dadlez and David Kleiman met unexpectedly while vacationing on a Caribbean cruise with friends after college. Shortly after that trip, David drove up from New Jersey to West Hartford to see Nina. Their first date was at Elizabeth Park and they knew immediately they had something special which would be well worth a long distance relationship. Five years later, Dave brought Nina back to Elizabeth Park where he proposed in the beautiful gardens with dinner at the Pond House. The bride is the daughter of Christopher (CEO of St. Francis Hospital) and Eileen Dadlez, of Simsbury. Nina is a pediatric resident at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center. The groom is the son of Michael and Frayda Kleiman, of Edison, New Jersey. David is a general surgery resident at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, in New York. The wedding ceremony and formal black tie reception took place at The Riverview in Simsbury, overlooking the Connecticut River, where more than 300 guests danced the night away. The bride and groom registered at Lux, Bond & Green in West Hartford, where Nina’s family had been living. Honeymooning in Anguilla, BWI, the couple now resides in New York City. n



Unique, and Only at Monarch Jewelers These Convertible diamond earring jackets offer two incredible ways to wear one beautiful design. They are uniquely styled to accommodate various size stud earrings**. Convertibles are available in white gold, yellow gold and platinum. They are a perfect gift or a great way to treat yourself. We invite you to see them today!

Monarch Jewelers 838 Farmington Avenue • Epicure Plaza • Farmington (860) 679-7700 or toll free (888) 776-2681 110 Albany Turnpike, Route 44 The Shoppes at Farmington Valley • Canton (860) 693-3240 • Open 7 days Jewelry Enlarged to Show Detail. **Diamond Stud Earrings Sold Separately. Designs © Gottlieb & Sons Inc 2008


Left: Bride and groom. Above: Groom’s party . Below (center): The bride / Baltimore blue crab themed tie. Below: Bridal party.


Kristen Kraczkowsky spent most of her school years at the Renbrook School in West Hartford. She met her future husband, Nathaniel Readal while at college at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Now residing in Baltimore, Kristen knew that coming home for her wedding, just seemed right, however she sprinkled the occasion with a ‘Baltimore’ theme. The wedding took place this summer in West Hartford at the beautiful Hartford Golf Club. Since Baltimore and crab seem to go together, the guests were served Baltimore crab cake, the table seating cards were in the shape of a crab, and the groom and groomsmen wore a special ‘blue crab’ print tie from Vineyard Vines. The bride is the daughter of Gregory and Kathleen Kraczkowsky, who is the director of the Elizabeth Park Foundation. Her parents currently reside in Hartford. Kristen is employed as project manager for the Center for Medical Technology Policy in Baltimore. The groom is the son of John and Patricia Readal of Allison Park, PA. He is currently in residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore. The couple now reside in Baltimore and plan on taking their honeymoon on their one year anniversary next summer! n 40

photography by PARSOnS PHOTOGRAPHY

Kristen Kraczkowsky & Dr. Nathaniel Readal

Students flourish at Assumption College. Strong


academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, business

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:: 2,000 undergraduates from 30 states (15 percent from Connecticut) and 12 countries

:: 90 percent of the students live on campus in guaranteed housing all four years

The dynamic campus community offers opportunities to discover new interests and talents. The spirit of service

:: Founded in 1904, Assumption is the fourth-oldest Catholic college in New England

helps shape your view of the world. The professors and

:: More than 60 student clubs and organizations

staff, and the friends you will meet here, will challenge and

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At Assumption, it’s all about opportunities and possibilities – yours. 500 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA 01609 866.477.7776

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:: Assumption is now test-score optional

See it for yourself!


Trust Your Home to D.H. Radomski, Inc. Home Improvement

W “The new roof looks great and I am giving your name to all of my neighbors. Thanks!” – Paul, West Hartford, CT

Siding – Before

ith over 30 years of experience, D.H. Radomski, Inc. is one of the leading home improvement contractors in the greater Hartford area. The business was started in 1976 by David Radomski, with the intention of offering quality home improvements at fair and reasonable prices, and the company has grown into one of the most reputable and recognizable names in home improvement. Whether you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, or to simply improve its appearance, D.H. Radomski, Inc. can help you with all of your needs.


Most roof shingles have a life expectancy of 20-30 years, so you should be thinking about a new roof if yours is in that age range. Sometimes a repair – sealing, pipe flashing, shingle replacement – can take care of your roofing problems, and D.H. Radomski, Inc. can advise you if that is the case. However, you should be aware of signs that your roof needs replacement such as leakage after ice build-up, blistering or peeling of paint, decay, dark spots on the roof, missing shingles or excessive energy costs.


Over time, vinyl siding has become much more popular – especially since the architectural detail of some older homes can now be matched with customized siding materials. With this evolution, the quality of available siding material has also improved, and materials now combine beauty with durability and low maintenance. D.H. Radomski, Inc. specializes in the installation of all types of vinyl siding, ranging from the typical horizontal style to all types of cedar impression shingles which imitate the appearance of wood.

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D.H. Radomski, Inc. is a leader for all types of Harvey Building Products vinyl replacement windows. These products are known for their beauty, energy efficiency, reliability, and unsurpassed performance. They are engineered to last, with multi-chamber construction, 100% virgin vinyl for a true white color, top-of-the-line block and tackle balances which never need adjustment, and the convenience of tilt-in sashes... and the installation process is extremely simple.


D.H. Radomski, Inc. has expertise in the construction of decks as well as the installation of awnings and doors. These services can be provided on their own or as part of another construction or repair project.The combination of expertise, quality products, and a reputation for the finest workmanship in the area makes D.H. Radomski, Inc. a name you can trust. No job is too small or too large.

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Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Hartford is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011*

2011 Help & Hope Award Recipients:*

MICHAEL C. CULHANE, former Board of Trustees Member and Chair


Help &Hope Awards The awards are given annually to individuals and/or businesses who have demonstrated extraordinary

former Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities and Director of Charities AOH

leadership in providing help and hope


to those in need in our communities.

Institute for the Hispanic Family Advisory Board Member and former Hartford Advisory Board Member

LLOYD SMITH, Former Hartford Advisory Board Member and Black Family Enrichment Program Board Member

*Awarded October 27, 2011.

Please join us for the Sixth Annual

Help & Hope Breakfast Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:30 AM at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Hartford. Please register online at www The proceeds of the breakfast will benefit the programs of special needs children within Catholic Charities

839-841 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105-2801 •

Home for the holidays

American flags waving in the wind lined the streets of West Hartford, as the town welcomed him home from Iraq. One soldier’s story.

by Jan Doyle photography by Christine Paluf

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



ook Daddy,” exclaimed four year old Jenna as she opened a Christmas gift in front of a computer screen back in 2006, “Look what I got!” Jenna Zydanowicz and her two younger siblings were happily showing off their new toys under the tree, at home in West Hartford. Their Dad, Major Mark Zydanowicz was stationed in Bagdad, Iraq that Christmas, serving in the Army National Guard. Mark’s wife, Nella, and their three small children were clustered around the family’s computer sharing the holiday via Skype. Jenna was four, Ryan was two, and little Julia was just eight months old. “It was tough seeing the kids opening the gifts.” Mark recalls, “They were happily doing what they were doing, and I wasn’t there.” Prompted by their mother that morning, the kids would turn around and show dad the presents. “ I missed just being with my family.” Nella also thinks back to when her husband was called to duty. “The hardest thing I have ever lived through was watching Mark say goodbye to our children the day he left. To think this may be the last time he would see our family was heart wrenching. My children were little.” The holidays are typically difficult for military families. “Many of the other wives that year chose not to even celebrate the holidays. It was too hard for them to be happy with their loved ones so far away. We missed Mark but I could not, not have Christmas for my children. So, we celebrated with Mark on Skype. Of course it wasn’t the same, but I knew so many other families didn’t even have that opportunity. I was just thankful we could see him and he could see us,” Nella explains. The Army National Guard does not forget the families at home. Operation E.L.F sponsors a ‘holiday reception for the families of deployed and recently returned soldiers and airmen of the Connecticut National Guard.’ That first year apart, in 2006, Nella, with three very young children, found it too difficult to attend the event. Unknown to her, however, was that Operation E.L.F. makes home deliveries. A soldier came to their front door bearing gifts for her children. “In Iraq, Christmas is a regular work day, which is good. You don’t

Julia, Ryan and Jenna Zydanowicz are excited for the upcoming holiday season!

get a lot of time to think. It’s during any down time that you really start thinking about your family.” The major worked in the Joint Reconstruction Operation Center (JROC). His job was to develop, help fund, and prioritize essential services like electricity, water and sewers to the nine districts in Bagdad. On the Christmas he was away, Mark shared that the military put on a huge spread for the military men. “We had turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pecan pie… the works.” A traditional American meal on the battle front. He admits, “the military tries hard to make it a special meal, but it can’t possibly compare to being home.” Friends, family, and strangers helped to bridge the separation and loneliness Major Zydanowicz felt during the holiday seasons he spent in Iraq. His mother-in-law once sent him a little Christmas tree. There were many gifts from back home to be opened. A classroom at Smith Elementary School in West Hartford sent letters. The Boy Scouts at Bugbee Elementary School in West Hartford ‘adopted’ Major Mark Zydanowicz and his unit. Every grade at the school collected specific items to send to the soldiers. Angelo and Maureen DiMatteo, also from West Hartford, organized and packed the contributions, along with letters from the children. Five huge care packages arrived in Iraq: candy, gum, sunflower seeds, lemonade mixes, protein bars and beef jerky were just some treats sent to the unit. Every letter sent was read and appreciated by the men. Extending the generosity he received from the people of West Hartford, Mark was able to bring a little sunshine to others, as well. Using the items from care packages sent from his hometown, he made up treat bags for many of the other soldiers. When drivers

To think this may be the last time he would see our family was heart wrenching. My children were little.


photography by

would arrive, delivering wounded soldiers to the hospital, he handed off a bag to each driver knowing that the men had just left a hazardous area, risking their lives, only to turn around and drive back into unsafe zones. “Military men especially appreciate beef jerky,” he smiles, “It’s portable protein on the run.” Each week, Zydanowicz would visit the soldiers in the hospital and offer other treats sent to him from the many school children and Boy Scouts from West Hartford. This year, Zydanowicz family traditions will be celebrated together! On Christmas Eve, extended family on both sides will come to share wigilja (pronounced vee—GHEEL—yah), the Polish name for Christmas Eve dinner. At this meal, no food is eaten until everyone has participated in the sharing of the Oplatek, the Polish Christmas wafer. The breaking of the Oplatek is a Polish tradition whereby a piece of the wafer is continually broken off as it is circulated around the dinner table. When the Oplatek is passed from one member to another, the recipient offers good wishes to the other members of the family. Christmas Day is now saved just for the immediate family at the Zydanowicz home. The children, Jenna, Ryan, and Julia, are a little older, and the Major will enjoy this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many more holidays with the family. But what he won’t get back is seeing Jenna going to school on her first day of Kindergarten, the first steps of his younger children, or their first words. His wife, Nella, would always try to recreate moments with “show Daddy how you can walk,” through Skype, but, it’s not the same. He realizes some family moments he just won’t get back. What else did he miss during his deployment? His mother-in-

He set up Skype in his room and left. He let his friend witness the birth of his baby back home.

In Polish tradition, the Oplatek is passed around the holiday table for good wishes.

Nella Zydanowicz and her children used Skype to share Christmas morning with Mark, while he was stationed in Iraq.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


law’s infamous crab sauce and his family’s barbeque chicken and corn on the cob…it was the simple foods that spelled home for the Major. When asked about the recipe for the crab sauce he just laughed…“there is no recipe, it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” But those little bits seemingly added up to a lot he missed. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) once said, “ We cannot look into the hearts of men, but their actions are open to observation.” When Mark Zydanowicz was in Iraq, he set up Skype in his room and left. He let his friend witness the birth of his baby back home. When Mark was deployed, his wife, Nella says “I was the recipient of so many small acts of kindness that I was humbled. I found so much good in so many people. I tried to think that this was going to be just a small portion of my life. After all, so many people live like this every day without the chance of their loved one ever coming home. It was many years ago that I fell in love with a soldier. I never knew where our lives would take us. My husband is loyal, brave, and puts others and his country first. My children, our family and I are better because of it.”

Ryan is in full smile mode having Daddy home again this year!

It was an emotional moment ... So many flags were lining the streets ... as if the whole West Hartford community was welcoming him home. In July, 2007, the major came home to West Hartford for a two week leave. Before he arrived, his neighbors, Jay Poliner, Jenny Riggs and Roz & Joe Rachlin, arranged for every house on the street to fly the American Flag. It was an emotional moment when he drove down the street. This honor was repeated when he completed his deployment in Iraq. So many flags were attached to telephone poles lining the streets and visible as he rounded the corner, waving in the wind, as if the whole West Hartford community was welcoming him home. The Major is quick to say that his wife is the anchor of the family. Nella is a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, currently working in the Oncology Unit. Supportive of her husband, she encouraged him to run for Congress in 2010. While he lost in the primary, it was a close race. The major has not ruled out future elections to try again. When not involved in the Army National Guard, Mark goes to work each day as a third generation child of the Guida Milk familyowned business. He is proud to point out that Guida milk is one of the largest independent dairies in New England today. Its products include, milk, cream, ice cream, fruit juices, drinks, water and more. When asked if it’s hard for him to stay optimistic in the post 9/11 world, he replies without skipping a beat,“No. We know what we are doing and why we are doing it. America is the greatest country on the face of the earth, how can you not stay optimistic?” n


American flags lined the streets to welcome Mark home.

Mark purchased this painting in Iraq because ‘it spoke to him’.

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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


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All is ‘Bright & Bold’ this holiday season! A spectacular array of the hottest must-haves are ready and waiting! Hot chili pepper reds, charcoal and taupes, with dashes of classic plaids, this season is simply sizzling with fun and festive glamour! For him, for her, for the home, and for the special little one in your life, there is sure to be something extra special for everyone on this year’s holiday gift list!

gift guide

photography by Christine Paluf

for the home pg. 52

for kids pg. 60


Antique Mercury Glass Pillar Candle Holders, $19-$49. Pottery Barn, Westfarms.

Julia Knight Serveware. Peony platinum 14” tray, $75; Petite Classic pomegranate 4” bowl, $25. Lux Bond & Green, 46 LaSalle Road.

home style

Brightening up your home for holiday entertaining is easy with this year’s elegant winter wonderland accessories! Antique glass candleholders, distinctive Julia Knight Design serveware, framed limited edition giclee artwork and cozy wool throws are sure to cool your senses and warm your home!

Classic Yin Yang pomegranate 13” bowl, $175. Lux Bond & Green, 46 LaSalle Road.

Annie Glass handmade glass dish, 5”, $25. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farminton Avenue Farmington.


Julia Knight will be at Lux Bond and Green, 46 LaSalle Road, for a signing event on Saturday, November 12th from 11:30a.m. –2:30p.m..

Natural Pepple Pump Dispenser of Italian marble, $215; Anail Guest Towel, Pussywillow on oat, $36 each. LaBrazel Home, 1003F Farmington Ave.

Framed Limited Edition Giclee with oil on canvas entitled “Swept Away,” 24” x 30”, $550. Center Framing and Art with Artist Tina McDowell, 56 LaSalle Road.

Handmade beeswax “Stick Candles”, $32. Comina, 982 Farmington Ave.

Nambe ‘Butterfly’ Cheese tray with granite cutting surface, and knife, $125. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington. Red Herringbone Throw of soft wool, $79. LaBrazel Home, 1003F Farmington Ave.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



ALICE by Temperley, Black Roussillon dress with jeweled neckline, $482. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Ave

Adirondack wool coat in red, black, grey, $2,200. Kellie Burke, 993A Farmington Ave.

Ugg Boots in black sequins, $170. Lord & Taylor, Westfarms.


women style Silky red holiday dresses, exquisite gold clutch bags, monogrammed scarves, fun plaid skirts and more are sure to please her fashion tastebuds this season. Spinning flair and uniqueness, add hot new Kate Spade handbags, shiny black Ugg boots and toxin free nailpolish colors from London to complete your fashion wardrobe this winter!

Plaid scarf in mink, $595. Max Zeller Furs, 976 Farmington Ave.

Kate Spade purse, red, $295. Lord & Taylor, Westfarms.

Papillon Blanc grey patterned dress, $200. BK&Co., 64 LaSalle Road.

Butter toxin-free nail polish from London, $14. Kimberly Boutique, 968 Farmington Avenue.

ALICE by Temperley, black and taupe cape with two buckles, $406. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Ave.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



style tips Code Red is on fashion alert this season! This color of passion is ablaze everywhere. Top designers are filling their runways with explosive reds, and even greys and pops of plaid...sure to turn every woman into a sexy siren! It’s new, it’s hot and it’s just for you!

Lilly Pulitzer gold clutch, $128. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Avenue.

Cole Haan, Soft Wool Twill Coat, Black $795. Cole Haan, Westfarms.

Stretta One Shoulder Side Zip Dress in red, $364. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Ave.

Monogrammed scarf, $29. SPIN Monograms & Gifts, 8 Crossroads Plaza.


Fashion headbands, $18. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Ave.

Debbie Brooks New York, wallet in red, $95. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farminton Ave., Farmington.

Outdoor Edition by ParkHurst, Juliette Faux fur vest with belt, color mink, $258. BK&Co., 64 LaSalle Road.

Margaret M plaid jacket, $210 and grey skirt, $110. BK&Co., 64 LaSalle Road.

Plenty by Tracy Reese, Mini Skirt, charcoal grey plaid, $180. Kimberly Boutique, 968 Farmington Avenue. november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


STYLE Grey suit jacket and pants. (Pants pictured below), $795. Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Red plaid tie, $69.50. Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Red cashmere scarf, $120. Jos. A Bank, 20 LaSalle Road.

menstyle It’s time to spruce up your closet with timeless and classic European style fashion flair! Red plaid ties, Italian leather belts and gloves, regal grey suits and Scottish cashmere sweaters simply re-define power dressing for men this winter.

Grey suit pants. (Price listed above with matching jacket). Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Grey 3-ply Scottish Cashmere V-neck sweater with shirt, $368. Brooks Brothers, Westfarms.

100% Pima Cotton sweater, V-Neck, $79.50. Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Marcello Sport, 100% cotton sport shirt in red plaid. Raffi, button-front cardigan with zipper. Daswani Clothiers, 959 Farmington Ave.

Thinsulate, lambskinlined leather gloves, black, $69.50. Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Italian leather belt, black, $65. Jos. A. Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

Sahara Twills by Ballin, French grey jeans, $195. Daswani Clothiers, 959 Farmington, Avenue.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



Pullover sweater, patched sleeves with zipper pockets, $45 and black cargo pants, $65. Kaboo’s - A Childrens Boutique, 970 Farmington Ave.

Red long-sleeved dress, $110. Kaboo’s - A Childrens Boutique, 970 Farmington Avenue.

kidstyle Faux fur is all the rage for even the youngest fashionista! Soft furry vests, playful red holiday dresses and fun and casual cargo pants with retro patched sleeved pullover sweaters will have your little guy or gal ready to strut their stuff at any holiday or after school party!

Red appliqué dress, $248. Kaboo’s A Childrens Boutique, 970 Farmington Ave.


Faux fur vest, $75. Kaboo’s - A Childrens Boutique, 970 Farmington Ave.


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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine




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Located in the heart of Hartford’s South End, Jubilee House was founded 13 years ago in the former St. Augustine Convent by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Today, with education still a high priority in the civic community, Jubilee House responds to the evolving needs of a changing urban population by offering education-related and social service programs providing life skills and nurturing families in the community. Jubilee House’s mission is to be a place where people of varied backgrounds and experiences gather to teach, learn and share in surroundings conducive to personal growth. MISSION: To strive to bring about unity in relationships so as to create change in our world that ensures the dignity of every person, with particular regard for the poorest among us.

a holiday guide

Watch your mail for the complete DAZZLE Holiday Gift Guide coming Thanksgiving. photography by Christine Paluf

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


GIFTS Frasier fur pine cone reed diffuser set & aromatic candles. Prices vary by size: $11-$36. LaBrazel Home, 74 LaSalle Road.

best picks for her

Sassy & Sophisticated is this year’s woman! Great gift finds for her are right here in town...from skirts, lingerie and mink to fun & dazzling jewelry, accessories, home decor and more!

Trina Turk “Tripod” pleated silk skirt with grosgrain waist, $269. Kimberly Boutique, 968 Farmington Ave.

Black leather tall boots, $498. Cole Haan, Westfarms.


Casabella poinsetta red lace slip. $85. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Avenue.

Mink fur “poncho”. Exclusive Furs, 58 LaSalle Road.

Kate Spade mittens, $65. Lord & Taylor, Westfarms.

For the “hard to shop for”... Chunky bracelets, variety of colors, $40. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Avenue.



Mywalit - “The wallet you never forget”. Variety of wallets, iPad cases, bags ranging from $18 to $349. Plimptons, 991 Farmington Ave.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


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best picks

for him

Visconti, Italian-made pens, red pen: $270; black pen: $1045. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington.



Show the man in your life he is exquisite and classy with our best picks for 2011 with an Italian made pen of distinction, a powerhouse watch to reflect his personal style, artistic cuff links or personalized grilling tools!

“Button� cuff links, $55. Jos A Bank, 30 LaSalle Road.

TAG Heuer mens stainless steel with brown dial and bezel watch, $2,600. Lux Bond & Green, 46 LaSalle Road.

BBQ Gift Set in wooden box (not shown-plaque ready for engraving, for outside of the box). $75. Things Remembered, Westfarms.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



Creamy Caramel Tin, $17.50. Boxed assortments come in various sizes and prices. Bridgewater Chocolates, 12 LaSalle Road.

best picks for Up Country dog lead in lime green and blue plaid, $18.99. Pet Supplies Plus, 2480 Albany Ave.

everyone else! Your holiday gift checklist: Country plaid dog leash for the pet lover in your life, fine chocolates for the hard to please, intricate trinket box for the discriminating taste, and all things ‘Beatles’ for your favorite music lover!

Unique hand painted wooden box of reforested pine from Columbia, $118. Comina, 982 Farmington Avenue.



Andrew Martin’s “Fab 4” fabric is available in three colors for pillows, chairs, ottomans, sofas, etc. Contact us for pricing. Only at Imperial Upholstery, 41 Prescott Street.


Acme Beatles Multicolored pen, $90; Black pen with business card holder (not pictured), $130. Plimptons, 991 Farmington Ave.

1. Kate Spade smart phone

a holiday guide

Index of Merchants: from p. 63

Metcalfe’s Custom Framing Quality Picture Frames since 1962 2529A Albany Ave., Bishop’s Cor ner, West Hartfor d 860-523-5289 Tu-F 9:30-5:30 Sat 9:30-5

Preserve & Protect Your Artwork at Metcalfe’s Metcalfe’s has been specializing in framing for 49 years. Services include: •Conservation framing

case, $40. Lord & Taylor, Westfarms. 2. “Button” cuff links, $55. Jos A Bank, 30 LaSalle Road. 3. Red plaid doggie jacket, $17.98. Pet Supplies Plus, 2480 Albany Ave. 4. Chilly Dog 18” Hooked Pillow, $79. Comina, 982 Farmington Avenue. 5. Brooks Brothers Tie, $89.50 Westfarms. 6. Visconti, Italian-made pen, red, $270. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington. 7. Acme Beatles pen, Multi-colored, $90. Plimptons, 991 Farmington Ave. 8. Casabella poinsetta red slip, $85. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Avenue. 9. BBQ Gift Set in wooden box, $75. Things Remembered, Westfarms. 10. Satin Gunmetal Pocket Watch with personalized engraving, $55. Things Remembered, Westfarms. 11.Creamy Caramel Tin, $17.50. Assortments come in various size boxes and prices. Bridgewater Chocolates, 12 LaSalle Road.

12. Fur-lined hat $295,

gloves in black fox, $125. Max Zeller Furriers, 976 Farmington Ave. 13. Assortment of table clothes and spreads. Comina, 982 Farmington Ave. 14. Joseph Ribkoff red & black dress with gold zippers, $230. BK&Co., 64 LaSalle Road. 15. Hanky Panky red, nude and charcoal lace panties, $18. Kimberly Boutique, 968 Farmington Avenue. 16. Chunky bracelets, variety of colors, $40. Silkworm, 982 Farmington Avenue. 17. Mywalit - Variety of wallets, iPad cases, bags from $18 to $349. Plimptons, 991 Farmington Avenue. 18. Visconti, Italian-made pen in black: $1045. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington. 19. Julia Knight Hibiscus bowl, 12”, $130. Monarch Jewelers, 838 Farmington Ave., Farmington. 20. Unique box from Columbia, $118. Comina, 982 Farmington Ave. 21. Kate Spade earmuffs, $65. Lord & Taylor, Westfarms.


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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


Winner of NBC’s ‘The Voice’ learns to balance family life in CT, with Hollywood stardom! 70

Javier Colon West Hartford’s Rising Star by Erin Zeidenberg photography by Miranda Penn Turin


was the night before my interview with West Hartford singer, Javier Colon, and I was driving in my car, humming along to a catchy tune playing on the radio. For some reason the words sounded familiar. “I get a little bit crazy baby every time you call my name. My heart beats a little bit faster after you are in my arms again.” And then the light bulb lit up inside me as I realized it was Javier Colon singing “Crazy” from his first album that was released back in 2003. I wondered what it must have felt like for Javier the first time he heard his song on radio. I imagined him driving down the road with his wife and two kids grinning from ear to ear, beaming with pride and joy. The truth is, though, Javier hasn’t had a chance to sit down and listen to the radio with his family. Not since he was named the winner of NBC-TV’s singing competition “The Voice.” Born in Bridgeport and raised in Stratford, Javier began playing the guitar and piano at seven-years-old. His dad owned a small Spanish radio station while his mom ran a daycare business from home. As far as Javier can remember, the radio was always on in his house and that is where his love of music came from. By age thirteen he was writing his own songs. After graduating from high school, Javier went on to pursue a degree in music education from The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford. Javier loved the time he spent at Hartt especially since that is where he met his wife, Maureen who was in the nursing program at the University of Hartford studying physical therapy. Javier’s affection and appreciation for his wife can be heard on his acoustic EP album The Truth. He wrote a love song for her titled “Come Through” where he professes his love and dedication by

stating, “I know you’ve waited so long but try to believe in this something because it wouldn’t mean much without you. And I promise someday I’ll come through.” I’d say he’s a man of his words. As the winner of the inaugural season of “The Voice,” Javier received $100,000 and a recording contract. As a young talented musician, he’s had many gigs and even signed a contract with Capitol Records. But, at the time, the industry was trying to turn him into something he wasn’t. They made him drop his last name and promoted him as the artist known as Javier. In 2006, the contract with Capitol Records was terminated and Javier Colon became an independent artist. When I asked Javier for the most exciting thing that has ever happened in his life, he said, “My children are the most exciting thing that has happened to me for sure. Winning the show, however, has given me a second chance. I’m honored to have won and my goal is to do anything I can to get my music out to all the people who voted for me.” On the day of our interview, Javier’s day began by dropping off his four-yearold daughter at her West Hartford preschool and then running to the grocery store to pick up a few items for his wife, Maureen, who was home with their twoyear-old. He was planning on going for a run but never found the time to fit one in. I asked if this was a typical day for him. He replied with a subtle laugh, “My days aren’t so typical anymore. If I am in Los Angeles, I can be recording from 10 am to 2 pm, and then from 3pm to 10pm. From 11pm to 1 am I could be listening or doing some production. You try to get in as much as you can. Some days twelve hours can go by before I realize I’ve completely forgotten to eat.” When he’s home in West Hartford with

“My children are the most exciting thing that has happened to me for sure. Winning the show, however, has given me a second chance.” his family, however, he loves to be out and about. “We live close to the center and love it there. We go for dinner, coffee or take-out. We even go there to buy new sneakers. It’s a great community. We cherish where we live. A lot of people have seen me around the center. I enjoy meeting folks from my new hometown.” Some nights you may see the Colon family at the Blue Elephant or Chipotle’s. On warmer days you may see them walking their boxer, Andre, or reveling in the great outdoors at Fernridge Park. Being a father is something Javier holds very close to his heart. He places great value on the simple things and makes sure to spend any free time he has experiencing the normalcy of day to day living with his wife and kids. “When I’m home I take the kids outside in the yard to play. We like to hang out around town or go to the Children’s Museum. I savor all the regular family stuff and miss those things when I’m traveling.” Javier gets most of his inspiration from day to day living. He writes a lot of his own lyrics. All of the songs on his acoustic album were written by him except for one. “I’m inspired by my personal experiences, my family, things that I see others going through, all of the relatable stuff that goes on in life.” His new album is scheduled to be released on november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


November 22. He told me a title hasn’t been selected yet. I’m thinking they should call it Heaven on Earth because when Javier sings he exposes his soul to us. When he opens his mouth heavenly sounds are revealed. And, ever so graciously, he shares his powerful gift with us here on earth.

“We like to hang out around town or go to the Children’s Museum. I savor all the regular family stuff and miss those things...”

During this holiday season, Javier will be doing several television appearances and Christmas specials. Then he will come home and soak up the celebration with his loved ones. “We always spend Christmas Eve with my parents in Stratford and Christmas day with my wife’s family. We make sure we get the tree up as early as we can after Thanksgiving so the kids can have time to take pleasure in it. I string up the lights and then all four of us hang the ornaments on the tree. And we always make sure to leave cookies out for Santa.” You may be surprised to know that all of the Colons are vegetarians so you won’t find a turkey with stuffing on their dining room table. Instead they feast upon tofurkey, which in Javier’s words is “all the great taste without the guilt.” So keep your eyes and ears open West Hartford. There’s a rising star in town. And who knows… maybe this year, if you stay off the naughty list, you just might hear Javier Colon caroling “Oh Holy Night” at your front door. Wouldn’t that be nice! n

OPENING CONCERT October 30, 2011 | 3 p.m. Kingswood Oxford’s Roberts Theater

HOLIDAY CONCERT December 11, 2011 | 3 p.m. West Hartford Town Hall

The Voice

THE VOICE gets the green light to return to NBC for Season 2 in the spring! The top rated show features top recording artist coach/mentors, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine. Visit

open house November 6, 2011 entrance exam December 3, 2011

CLASSICAL CONCERT April 1, 2012 | 3 p.m. Kingswood Oxford’s Roberts Theater

POPS CONCERT May 19, 2012 | 8 p.m.

f o r t i c k et s 860-521-4362

West Hartford Town Hall

Celebrating 50 years of Excellent Catholic Education, 1961-2011

Northwest Catholic High School richard chiarappa, music director P.O. Box 370036 | West Hartford, CT 06137


West Hartford, CT | 860.236.4221


10 Workout minute

for your face

Discover a simple daily routine that can make you look younger without plastic surgery by Tammy Kroll

photography by


any people understand the importance of exercise for optimum health and a more youthful appearance, but did you know there are specific exercises for the face to increase tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? I’ll bet that co-worker, who swears they never had anything ‘done’, has discovered them. And simply holding up a heavy latte mug to pursed lips every morning won’t cut it. These are serious routines worth trying! As we enter the holiday season full of fundraising galas and office/holiday parties, now is the time for you to discover them! These are five of my favorite facial exercises that cover the entire face with surprisingly quick results! Start slow with fewer reps and practice in front of a mirror to perfect the technique, adding reps as you feel comfortable. Soon you can multi-task and do them while watching TV, cleaning the house or even driving home from work. (Back roads, after dark, of course, since the process itself is not at all pretty!)

Brow Lift – Good for regaining/improving the arc of your brow and lifting eyelids.

Start by resting your index fingers just above your eyebrows at right angles with the your hands along the side of your cheek-

bones, tips of thumbs touching your ears - almost like you’re blocking the sun from your eyes or peering in a window. Then lift your eyebrows, giving just enough resistance from your index fingers to prevent wrinkling up your forehead, hold for a second and lower. Repeat 20 times.

Cheek Lift – Builds cheek muscles for a higher ‘cheek bone’ look & improves jaw line. Give a big toothy grin and close your lips keeping ‘cheek bones’ lifted. This takes practice. Pretend you’re trying to suppress a laugh while sitting in church or lecture hall. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 20 times.

Eye Lift – Reduces fine lines and puffiness around eyes.

Remember when mom or dad was able to discipline you with a single glare, the one my family refers to as the ‘harry eyeball’? Little did they know they were actually helping keep their youthful appearance. (My in-laws happen to look especially young – 5 kids!). Without wrinkling the skin around your eyes, lift your bottom lid up to meet the top lid while still keeping your eyes open enough to see. Definitely use a mirror for this one, as you don’t want to cause more wrinkles. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and release. continued on p. 81 Repeat 20 times. november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


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West Hartford’s

Giving Spirit is Alive and Well

Three West Hartford Philanthropists listed on the esteemed ‘Chronicle of Philanthropy’ national 400 Top donors list.

by Christine Noonan

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



he act of philanthropy is a spiritual act, an expression of caring for one’s fellow human beings. It is a belief in the future that the future can be good. It is investing in that future. It is helping to make the dream come true.” — Arthur C. Frantzreb In a world racked with worries about the unsteady economy, one constant has remained, and that is the innate generosity of the human spirit. From George Soros to Mark Zuckerberg to Bill and Melinda Gates, philanthropists continue to be vital supporters of medical research, the arts, education, social services, health, the environment, and overall improving the quality of life. Funds and foundations have become the lifeblood for many organizations who count on “the kindness of strangers” in their pursuit to help those in need. In this time of holiday cheer, philanthropy is an invaluable gift that, literally, keeps on giving. And this giving spirit is certainly alive and well in West Hartford.

George A. Weiss The only Connecticut resident to make the national philanthropy 50 list. One West Hartford philanthropist who embodies the giving spirit, and who has clearly made a mark nationwide, is George A. Weiss. The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s esteemed list, “The Philanthropy 50: Americans Who Gave the Most in 2010” ranks Mr. Weiss, a long-time West Hartford resident, in a six-way tie at number 49 with $20 million donated to his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Weiss earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the university in 1965, and he has been a trustee since 1988. Currently, Mr. Weiss chairs the university’s $3.5 billion fundraising campaign. In a written statement provided to The Chronicle of Philanthropy with regard to his pledge, Weiss says, “By providing faculty support for the best teachers and scholars with an interdisciplinary focus, we can tackle the complex problems of our times and prepare Penn students to become leaders.” Mr. Weiss is the only Connecticut resident in the Philanthropy 50, which includes charitable powerhouses Mayor Michael Bloomberg and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. In 1987, Mr. Weiss founded ‘Say Yes to Education’ defined on its website as “a national, non-profit education foundation committed to dramatically increasing high school and college graduation rates for our nation’s urban youth.” His commitment to furthering the education of so many young people will most certainly pay itself forward, perhaps by fostering future philanthropists such as himself.


A ‘snapshot’ of some top Philanthropists across the nation

1 George Sorose

finance, $332,000,000

2 Michael R. Bloomberg

media & entertainment, $279,180,000

3 T. Denny Sanford finance, $162,500,000

10 Mark Zuckerberg

technology, $100,000,000

18 Charles E. Kaufman investments, $53,340,000

24 Lawrence J. Ellison technology, $45,100,000

32 Norton Herrick

media/entertainment/real estate, $32,000,000

39 Stephen & Nancy Grand real estate, $28,100,000

45 David H. Koch oil, $23,000,000

49 George Weiss finance, $20,000,000 (West Hartford, CT)

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Kathleen & Gene Bruyette Donation helped fund St. Joseph College’s new School of Pharmacy. The Chronicle of Philanthropy also keeps track of “America’s Top Donors” throughout the year. For the year 2011 thus far, four West Hartford residents are included in this list of 432 top American donors. Kathleen and Gene Bruyette recently donated $1 million to Saint Joseph College for the creation of the School of Pharmacy’s Kathleen B. and Gene F. Bruyette Classroom in the Round, a technology-based, interdisciplinary education center. Mr. Bruyette is a co-founder of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a New York-based investment bank, while Mrs. Bruyette graduated from Saint Joseph College in 1949. In a statement to Saint Joseph College regarding their recent gift, the couple said: “We greatly admire the students, faculty and staff of Saint Joseph College, and are pleased to have the opportunity to assist them in their first-ever doctoral degree program…The new School of Pharmacy will have a profound impact on students and the greater Hartford community. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting endeavor.” Long-time supporters of Saint Joseph College, Mrs. Bruyette served on its Board of Trustees, and Mr. Bruyette served on the college’s Investment Advisory Committee. In addition, their donations have created the Saint Joseph College Kathleen Bruyette Natatorium and the Bruyette Athenaeum at the Carol Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities ­located on the West Hartford campus. They’ve also helped establish the college’s Financial Literacy program, the President’s Fund, and the annual Keefe-Bruyette Early Childhood Seminar at Saint Joseph College. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bruyette were honored in 2004 with honorary doctorate degrees from the college.

Education for Adults in the School of New Learning, where they also sponsor the Bertram L. Scott & Elizabeth A. Fender Distinguished Lecture Series. Mr. Weiss, the Bruyettes, Mr. Scott and Ms. Fender all have made generous donations to their alma maters, which is indeed a testament to their loyalty and commitment to these institutions and their students – students who just might become the philanthropists of tomorrow. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead In addition to private philanthropists, West Hartford boasts numerous charitable foundations. Two of the top 25 grantmakers in the state of Connecticut in 2008, ranked 24 and 25 respectively by their assets, are based in West Hartford—the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, and The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation.* The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford “brings donors and grantees together to support and enhance Jewish life in Greater Hartford and throughout the world.” In 2008, the organization has held more than $63 million in assets. As of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, with more than $5 million received in donations, the amount of assets increased to more than $85 million. The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation is widely known for its generous support in the areas of medicine, the arts, education, and numerous other charitable organizations here in Connecticut and nationwide. Of the more than 72,200 active grant-making foundations in the United States in 2008, 2,378 were based in Connecticut. Grant-makers in Connecticut held more than $8.8 billion in assets, and distributed more than $902.7 million in funding. Of the top 25 grant-makers by assets, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving ranked number one, with more than $530 billion dollars in assets. Hartford Foundation for Public Giving services 29 communities in the greater Hartford area, including West Hartford. West Hartford is rich with commu­nity members who believe in the life-changing gifts of philanthropy. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Imagine how many lives have been touched by the overwhelming generosity of our community. n

The Philanthropy 50 ranks Mr. Weiss, a longtime West Hartford resident at number 49 for his generous $20 million donation to the University of Pennsylvania.

Bertram L. Scott & Elizabeth Fender Donated to their alma mater, DePaul University.

Also included on the “America’s Top Donors” list are Bertram L. Scott and Elizabeth Fender. They recently donated $1 million to DePaul University in Chicago to endow scholarships in its School for New Learning. Mr. Scott, who graduated from DePaul in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, is president of the U.S. Commercial section at CIGNA Corporation, headquartered in Bloomfield. Mr. Scott and Ms. Fender have been continuous supporters of DePaul’s Center to Advance

*From: Connecticut Grantmakers Online currently lists 87 foundations with addresses located in West Hartford. According to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy’s bi-annual analysis of organized private Connecticut philanthropy from the Connecticut Grantmakers Online dat­­abase.

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



’Tis the

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Season of Gratitude

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The simple act of being grateful hones compassion By Lisa Lelas


long with self respect, one of the strongest lessons parents can teach their children is to be kind and giving people. Kindness cannot exist without gratitude. The simple act of being grateful is the basis for becoming a more fulfilled and compassionate human being. It’s been ten years since the 9/11 tragedy struck our country. Most would agree it’s not the same world any more. We are simply not the same people we were then. It is said that crisis does not make character, but rather shows character. What have you showed the world of yourself? Being truly grateful for your gift of life is a nice place to start. There are so many things we can do on a daily basis to show gratitude no matter how busy our lifestyle already is. A surprise thank you note for our dry cleaner, a cup of coffee for a helpful co-worker or cookies baked for our children’s piano teacher. In fact, the busier we are is probably when we should stop and take time to reflect and extend gratitude the most. How do we embrace the world around us with gratitude? One of the simplest and most effective ways is to begin keeping a gratitude journal. Place a small notebook/ journal on your nightstand. Every evening,

before going to sleep, write down three things you are grateful for that day. This daily ritual of finding the good in every day simply forces us to become positive thinkers. I believe that you will not be the same person after just two months of writing daily gratitude journal entries. You will find you are greeting the day in a friendlier light, with a more joyful and compassionate spirit.

comforting and stress relieving about putting pen to paper with joyful thoughts. I call this gratification for your soul. And why not make gratitude a family tradition? This year, at the Thanksgiving dinner table, pass around a gratitude journal for all guests to fill out what they are most grateful for and share them aloud. Thanksgiving is a day to reflect, be grateful and embrace the spirit of giving. Invite a lonely neighbor over for dinner or bring a hot plate of food to someone you know who is not feeling well. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate a frozen turkey to a local food drive in town. Gratitude is contagious. As we pass smiles and warm gestures on to others, those people pass them on, and so on. We all benefit! So, as the holiday season approaches, let us begin a solid new path into this ever changing world by slowing down, smiling more and being grateful. By intentionally adding even just a sprinkle of gratitude into our daily life, we will feel better and begin attracting all that is good and positive…making us better people. n


When we take moments to reflect upon our day, it’s astounding to see that an otherwise insignificant day can be quite charming through grateful eyes. Seeing the beauty of a flock of wild turkeys in our backyard, appreciating the first snowflakes of the season, kissing a sleepy child good-night, or seeing the friendly smile of a neighbor waving hello, being grateful is noticing the abundance already in our life… all those beautiful little golden moments around us each and every day. We must open our heart to see or hear them, or we’ll miss them by not being present. Even amidst our darkest hours, there are rays of sunshine if we look closely and allow them to appear. Keeping a gratitude journal helps us stay connected to all that is good in the world around us. There is something wonderfully

Lisa Lelas is managing editor at WHMedia magazines, a bestselling author, life coach and motivational speaker.

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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


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That’s it, just 10 minutes a day! Add these exercises to your healthy skincare routine to see a remarkable difference in your appearance. Do it in the privacy of your own home or make a night of it with friends and a glass of wine for some real laughs. n Tammy Kroll is an independent consultant for Arbonne International & licensed Zumba instructor. Contact her TammyKroll2@ .


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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


Capturing the


Spirit Treat yourself to a dose of holiday cheer this season! by Lisa Lelas

The holidays are now upon us. Even if you haven’t

finished all those tasks on your holiday to-do list, it’s time to just break away and treat yourself to a dose of holiday cheer! Here are a few of my favorite tips to warm even the scroogiest of souls this holiday season!

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Make a new holiday ornament by spray painting a pine cone or even just painting a plain glass bulb for this year, date it and hang it front and center on your tree when it’s up and ready.

photography by BIGSTOCKPHOTO.COM

Plop a big colorful candle down on your kitchen table and keep it lit whenever you are home throughout the day from Thanksgiving right on through New Years Eve! That’s right, even sipping your orange juice at the breakfast table is sure to be more festive in candlelight!

yer with classic Load up your car’s CD pla lift and bring you back holiday tunes that will up ger car rides, this to your childhood. For lon ay karaoke disc and weekend, throw in a holid ssengers) copies of the give the kids (or adult pa -long! song lyrics for a fun sing-a

The simple act of putting on a smile will uplift your spirits!

When traveling in the car with your kids, play ‘I-Spy holiday decorations’ game. Whoever spots the most front yard holiday displays while driving past neighborhoods wins. Losers have to serenade the winner with a Christmas carol!

Burn b scent ayberry or e the fa d candles pine m eveni ily room t in ng. his

Smile! Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face will uplift your spirits instantly. And smiling is contagious! Pass on the good cheer and enjoy the entire holiday season!

Giving cheer to others will help you feel good. Bag up some of your holiday baked goods and drop them off for others in your community who may be working on Thanksgiving or Christmas day, such as nursing home caregivers or your local police department.

Be a kid again. If you’re at the mall this season, get in line and have your picture taken with Santa! Watch your favo rite holiday mov ie on Christmas Eve, even if you’ ve seen it a gazilli on times before Invite your friend ! s over for an impr omptu movie themed party-ni ght. Serving hot cocoa and cook ies (and popcor n, of course) is ea sy, and just as festive as last ye ar’s big cocktail party!

Read a favorite holiday Read a favorite holiday storybook tonight storybook tonight with with your kids…or share holiday stories of your kids...or share when you were their age! holiday stories of when you were their age!

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


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november | december 2011 west hartford magazine



“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.� -Mother Teresa

West Hartford


On September 11th, 2011, an Interfaith Taize Service focusing on prayers for peace was held in the Chapel of First Church of Christ Congregational, in West Hartford Center. Rev. Susan Izard led the service along with Cathy Murtha, DW, Rabbi Debra Cantor and Aida Mansoor. At the end of the service each person was given a candle as they walked out to the labyrinth to form a human peace sign.

photography by Mick Melvin

november | december 2011 west hartford magazine


West Hartford Magazine Nov/Dec 2011  

West Hartford Magazine November/December 2011 issue.

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