Chamber of Commerce hosts legislative breakfast

The Bethel Chamber of Commerce is hosting a legislative breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Jan. 27 at the Bethel South Street Fire Station, 38 South Street.

State Sens. Will Haskell, D - Westport, Sen. Julie Kushner, D - Danbury, and state Reps. Raghib Allie-Brennan, D-Bethel, and Stephen Harding, R- Brookfield, will share their legislative focus. Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker will share opening remarks.

There will also be a question and answer session.

It costs $15 for Bethel chamber members and their guests, $25 for non-chamber members. Walk-ins are welcome but registering and paying before are preferred. Register by Jan. 20 at discoverbethelct.com/events.

Brookfield

Catholic school to host open house

Saint Joseph Catholic Academy will host an open house from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday at 5 Obtuse Hill Road.

SJCA is a Pre-K through Grade 8 school accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges that serves more than eight towns.

Families are invited to tour the classrooms, meet instructors and learn about the STEM/STREAM programs that extends instruction outside the traditional classroom setting, as well as its enrichment programs.

Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. Personal tours and student shadow days can be scheduled during the school year. Please contact Admission Coordinator, Lisa Sweeting at lsweeting@sjsbrookfield.org or (203)775-2774 for more information.

Danbury

Baseball clinic honors child’s memory

The sixth annual “Live Life to the Max” baseball clinic will take place from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Danbury Sports Dome, 25 Shelter Rock Lane.

The baseball clinic, which will support the Max Michael Rosenfield Foundation, will feature Division 1 Hartford Hawks baseball team and coaches, along with professional players.

There will also be a silent auction and raffle.

Live Life to the Max is dedicated to celebrating Ridgefield resident Max Michael Rosenfield, who died in 2012 at the age of 7. He was a student at Farmingville Elementary School.

The Max Michael Rosenfield Foundation is committed to helping children of all abilities experience childhood joys, to nurture philanthropic activities that positively impact the lives of children and to spread the goodwill and love that Max showed to everyone he met.

Danbury

Mental Health training offered this weekend

A Mental Health First Aid training will be held this weekend at Central Christian Church, 71 West St. Danbury.

It is open to adults and costs $20 to cover the manual provided and should be paid in advance to the Jared Coffin Memorial Fund 30 Mt. Edge Ct. Cheshire, CT 06410. Scholarships are available if needed.

The training lasts eight hours and will be split with the first session from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday and the second from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Everyone who completes the course receives a certificate which is good for three years

Registration is required in advance and limited to 30 seats.

Contact event coordinator Laura Coffin at LBCoffin77@gmail.com with “MHFA” in subject line or call/text: 203-927-6761. Provide your full name, phone number, email and town you reside in.

Mental Health First Aid provides community members with the tools to respond to someone who is in crisis. It helps participants recognize the signs and symptoms of a developing mental health problem and provides an important bridge to care. The training is designed primarily for individuals who do not have advanced training or education in the mental health profession.

New Milford

Awards dinner to highlight economic development

The New Milford Corporation for Economic Development is hosting the “Best of the Best” awards dinner on Thursday at 19 Main.

It will recognize companies and individuals who are leaders in economic development, private investment, and talent attraction and retention in New Milford.

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman will be a special guest speaker. Lehman is also Gov. Ned Lamont’s senior economic advisor and was with Goldman Sachs for 15 years as the global head of real estate finance and investment banking prior to this new role.

Some of the award categories are project of the year, employer of the year and partner of the year.

A printed program will feature sponsors, local businesses and award recipients. Tickets and information on sponsorships and program book advertising rates for the "Best of the Best" Awards Dinner are available at www.NewMilBest.org. Tickets for the dinner are $85 and available individually or in groups, and for tables of eight and ten persons.

New Milford

Winners selected in window display

The New Milford Mayor’s office recently announced the winners in the Holiday Window Decorating Contest.

The winners for Downtown Business are Natural Marketplace in first place, Salon 27 in second and Nutmeg Oil in third. Village Center for the Arts won most artistic.

And an Honorable Mention went to The Holland Family Foundation because even though it was not a window, they decorated the tree and the intersection of Bennett Street and Railroad Street.

The winners for the Route 7 and 202 Businesses are Modern Plumbing in first place with the Visiting Nurse Association and Candlewood Motors being awarded Honorable Mentions.

New Milford

Annual bell ringing this Sunday

The Prisoner of War/Missing In Action Connecticut Forget-Me-Nots group based in New Milford will host the 35th annual bell-ringing ceremony at noon on Sunday.

The ceremony takes place at St. Francis Xavier parish center on Elm Street near the top of the Green. It will mark the 47th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement, a document to end active involvement in Vietnam and return all prisoners of war within 90 days.

The ceremony takes place to ensure unrecovered POWs and their families know they are not forgotten, to seek an honorable resolution to the POW issue and to prevent this tragedy from happening to future generations.

Many POW/MIA families across the country still wait for answers. Their loved ones may be missing from World War II, Korea and Southeast Asia.

Interested residents are encouraged to bring a handbell and gather at 11:45 a.m.

As bells ring at noon and the names of Connecticut’s POW/MIAs will be read.

Attendees are asked to park along the Village Green due to activities planned at the parish center.

For more information, call Kathy Shemeley at 860-355-2567.

New Milford

Toy drive to benefit children with cancer

The New Milford Lions Club is participating in a toy drive collection to benefit the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Oncology Clinic.

The goal is to collect at least 90 new and unwrapped toys to give to children during their stay in the clinic.

Suggested donations include arts supplies such as crayons, paint, and clay, board games, chapter books, coloring books, gift cards, infant items and plastic toys and stuffed animals.

Donations can be dropped off at Deak Electric, 44 Old State Road, Unit 18, New Milford, or at Sharon’s Hair Studio, 90 Park Lane Road, New Milford.

Newtown

Production training this weekend

Reservations are open for Western CT Community TV’s video production training program.

The next class starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Newtown studio, at 11 Commerce Road. Participants get hands-on experience in all aspects of media production. Access producers make in-studio programs, record community events and air these programs on the public access channel 192.

This free program is open on a first-come, first-serve basis for adult residents in its 20-town service area, including Bridgewater, Brookfield, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury and Washington.

Call the studio at 203-304-4050 or email PEG.CTW@charter.com for more information and to secure a spot. Applications are also available at ctv192.org.

Newtown

Arts group presents pastel artist

The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown, will present Shauna Shane painting a landscape in pastel at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The demonstration will take place at the Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.

The demonstration is free and open to the public.

Redding

Two Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award

Redding Girl Scouts, Anjali and Gracie, recently earned their Gold Award, the highest award that a young woman in scouting can earn.

Nationwide approximately 5,500 Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award each year which represents about 5.4 percent of all eligible Girl Scouts and in Connecticut that percentage is even smaller.

Anjali’s life long interest in art led her to work with Family and Children’s Aid in Danbury. She researched, developed, raised money for and implemented an art program to bring creative expression opportunities to underserved children who attend FCA’s after school program.

Gracie Neville has a strong love for animals, and chose to work with Danbury Animal Welfare Society to create a booklet and curriculum that would teach those who adopt pets how to properly care for animals. She also created a coloring book to teach young children can learn the basics of animal care.

Both girls explored and assessed needs in their surrounding communities to identify an issue that spoke to them. They completed and submitted their proposals to Girl Scouts of Connecticut for approval. Each proposal is scrutinized by more than 40 members of the Gold Award committee who provide feedback to each Girl Scout to ensure their project meets the Standards of Excellence required by the Gold Award nationally. Each Girl Scout then pulls together a team of sponsors, mentors and experts in their field of interest to complete a project with 80 plus hours of time invested.

Redding

Joel Barlow’s debate team earns high honors

Joel Barlow High School Debate recently earned high honors at two tournaments.

Quinn Speck and Judah Friedman won the second-place novice team award while debating Fairfield-Warde on whether or not the U.S. should assassinate foreign government officials. They were one of only two undefeated teams in novice and Speck won the third-place speaker trophy. In varsity, Ben Fligelman and Graham Litz went undefeated, finishing in fourth place.

Barlow’s advanced speakers took the second place four-person team award during the Loomis-Chaffee regional for the Debate Association of New England Independent Schools as they tackled the question of paying reparations for slavery.

Greg Coleman, Claudia Meyer, Zac Shortt, and Kyle Murray had a combined 5-1 record. Fligelman also earned the third-place novice speaker award.

Redding

Encore concert to benefit Redding Shares the Warmth

Doug Hartline will host an encore benefit concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Christ Church in Redding.

All donations will go to Redding Shares the Warmth.

The program will include church hymns, original and popular music.

He will be joined by Nick Bariluk on keyboards, Gary Blu on saxophone/flute/mandolin, George Skidd on bass, Alan Pugielli on drums and vocalists Ginny Hartline, Joan Wallace and Amy Jonsson, also on violin.

Region

Coins for a Cause helps charities

Fairfield County Bank introduces Coins for a Cause, a new program designed to support local Fairfield County charities.

The Coins for a Cause program enables community members to use Fairfield County Bank coin machines to donate their loose change to local nonprofits enrolled in the program. Charities can enroll in the program by speaking with a local bank representative. After enrolling, charities circulate their branded deposit records to their constituents to encourage donations.

Community members are encouraged to ask their favorite charities if they are enrolled in the program so they may obtain a Coins for a Cause deposit slip from the charity.

Coins can be counted and deposited in each of the bank’s 16 locations using the charity’s deposit slip. Anyone donating will bring the coin machine clip and deposit record to a teller to put the money in the charity’s account.

Visit FairfieldCountyBank.com for a list of locations.

Ridgefield

Registration open for fundraiser to benefit local girl

Registration is now open for Babysitting for Brooke, a fundraiser at Scotts Ridge Middle School from 5 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7.

It costs $30 and benefits Brooke Blake, a current sixth grader at the school who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.

Residents must complete a form for each child attending by Friday with a check made payable to Believe in Brooke Corporation.

The middle school staff invites all Ridgefield Public School students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade for an evening out staffed by RPS employees. It will offer fun activities for students while parents can enjoy a night out on their own. Activities for the kids will include a DJ, arts and crafts, games and pizza.

Checks and forms can be mailed to: Scotts Ridge Middle School, Attn: Believe in Brooke, 750 North Salem Road, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

Email Leah Hayner at lhayner@ridgefieldps.net with any questions.

Ridgefield

Bike club to host kickoff party

The Ridgefield Bicycle Sport Club was born out of an idea at the original home of Ridgefield Bicycle Company on Catoonah Street. The new shop owners, Sean and Jacqui Dowd, pondered taking the shop rides to a new level. The shop would organize a club where local athletes join together as a team. Members could ride, race, train and socialize. Nine years and a yearly membership of 435 athletes later, RBSC has become that and a solid community for all levels of athletes. RBSC is one of the largest cycling clubs in the country. It is home to eight weekly road and mountain bike rides, bi-weekly track run workouts, educational clinics, winter spins, destination rides and the ever popular Thirsty Thursday Ride. The newest addition has been rides on the quiet dirt roads where traffic is light and the riding is not too technical. The club caters to beginner through pro levels.

“The true essence of this club is the people who make it a welcoming and seriously fun culture to be a part of while honoring our mission of safety, respect and responsibility,” said RBSC founding member Jacqui Dowd.

RBSC is hosting its annual kickoff party on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 7 p.m. at its host and platinum sponsor, The Ridgefield Playhouse. Current members, and anyone interested, are invited to hear about offerings and updates for the 2020 season. Food and beverages by club sponsors, Southwest Cafe, The Cake Box and Ancona’s Wine and Liquors will be on hand.

More information can be found at www.rbsclub.org.

Ridgefield

High School continues theater year

The Ridgefield High School Visual and Performing Arts Department will stage the play “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday, as well as Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in the high school’s Black Box Theatre.

Snow dates are 2 p.m. on Sunday and Feb. 2.

The true story of early 20th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, Silent Sky explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discovery, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them.

The play is directed by RHS Performing Arts teacher Sherry Cox and features a cast of five students. They are Lucy Basile, Jessica Hay, Audrey Huff, Liam Huff, and Charlotte Ward. Shane Jaeger is the stage manager.

All tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Ridgefield seniors who have a Gold Card may enjoy one show for free but must have the Gold Card with them for admission.

More info at www.rhsperformingarts.info/ RHS telephone: 203-894-5750.

Ridgefield

Pianist wins first prize in competition

Ridgefield pianist Ava Turner, a homeschooled 12th grader, was recently awarded the first prize in the 44th Musical Club of Hartford High School Piano Competition. She performed an adjudicated program of Bach, Chopin and Ravel.

The prize includes a $600 cash award, a certificate of achievement and a performance in the Winners Recital.

Currently an intern for the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Ava has performed at Lounsbury House, Founders Hall, and Laurel Ridge in Ridgefield as well as in recital at Richter House in Danbury. A winner of many competitive auditions in both Connecticut and New York, Ava has performed at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, at the Tenri Cultural Institute, and at Steinway Hall in New York City. She is a pupil of Edith Sullivan of Danbury.

Ridgefield

Church to host service trip info session

High-school teens and adults can attend an information session at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday to learn about a week of volunteer home-repair this summer through Jesse Lee Appalachia Service Project.

This no-obligation meeting wills tart at 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street; in the church’s Carriage House, the Tudor-style building at the west end of the parking lot.

It will introduce students and their parents - and any other interested adults - to the Appalachia Service Project overall, and especially to the developing plan for Jesse Lee ASP’s mission trip, set for June 27 to July 5. It’s open to anyone who has completed their freshman year of high school.

ASP is a national Christian volunteer organization founded by Rev. Glenn “Tex” Evans, that makes homes in Appalachia warmer, safer and drier. This is Jesse Lee’s 37th year participating, making it the second-largest local ASP organization in the U.S. Last summer, 281 local students and adults worked to restore homes in four counties in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Previous ASP volunteers do not need to attend the Jan. 23 meeting. However, they should plan to attend the required monthly orientations, which will begin in early February.

For all 2020 meeting dates, forms and more details, go online to jesseleeasp.org or call Deb Ahle 203-438-6782 or Dave Sigworth 203-438-7501.

Ridgefield

Special event benefits youth orchestra

The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra is hosting a special performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Keeler Tavern Museum Garden Room, 132 Main Street, Ridgefield.

It costs $50 a ticket and the proceeds benefit the WCYO.

The program, “An Evening in Celebration of the Charles Ives Music Festival at the WCYO” will feature a performance by violinist Charles Yang and pianist Peter Dugan.

Tickets can be bought online at charlesmusicfestival.org.

Ridgefield

Talk looks at “Little Women”

A talk at 4 p.m. on Sunday will dive into “Little Women,” looking at Louisa May Alcott’s book and Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation.

It will be held at the Ridgebury Congregational Church’s meeting house, at 605 Ridgebury Road.

It will be led by Joanne Dobson, a professor and author who has spoken and taught locally at Ridgefield Library on a number of topics.

Washington

Tack sale to benefit horse non-profit

HORSE of Connecticut in Washington will hold a two-day tack sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The sale at the 43 Wilbur Road farm will include new and lightly used saddles, bridles, various weight blankets, saddle pads, chaps, boots, helmets and more.

Discounts will be available.

HORSE is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization established in 1981 that moved to its permanent home on Wilbur Road in 1995.

Staffed by a team of volunteers, HORSE has saved over 700 horses and maintains an ongoing commitment to educating the public regarding horse care.

The organization receives no town, state or federal funding. Funds are raised through memberships, sponsorships, charitable contributions, and fundraising activities such as tack sales.