Community news: Old Timer’s Club holds 27th annual Award’s Banquet, more news

Old Timer’s Club holds 27th annual Award’s Banquet

After two years without a banquet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ridgefield Old Timers Association will soon be recognizing the best from the past with its 27th annual Award’s Banquet on Oct. 15.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a happy hour, meet and greet and silent auction in the Activities Hall at St. Mary’s Church (183 High Ridge Road in Ridgefield). At 7 p.m., a beef dinner by Ridgefield Prime will be served along with recognition for names from the past.

Those being recognized in the field of athletics this year include A.J.Martinich, Mike Bellagamba, Sarah Townsend Pomposello, Pat Cozens and Miles Tullo, and Bill Owens and Jack McDonald posthumously. For special civic awards, recognition will be given to Denise Qualey and Scott and Amy Russell, and Doug Clewell posthumously. Jean Jaykus will receive the award for Educator of the Year and Tina Sturgis an award for the Artist of the Year.

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased by going on the Ridgefield Old Timer’s Association website.

Ridgefield Library hosts ‘Reality in Ukraine’ program

At 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, the Ridgefield Library will host an in-person program “Reality in Ukraine.” Residents are invited to join the library for an insightful discussion with two people who have been there.

Ukrainian-American and Ridgefield resident Ross Voytovych returned in August from a trip to Ukraine. He’ll share pictures and perspectives on the reality of what he saw and heard. Voytovych traveled to Lviv in western Ukraine, and then on to the capital city Kyiv. While in Ukraine, he spoke with family and friends, some of whom were on the frontlines or had just returned.  While in Kyiv, he traveled to Bucha and Irpin, the two towns on the northern outskirts of Kyiv, which were destroyed during the early months of the Russian invasion. 

Voytovych will be joined by Westport native and New York-based FinTech executive Brian Meyer, who recently returned from the Polish-Ukrainian border where he volunteered for three months, providing support for refugees at the border and delivering humanitarian aid to the frontline. Meyer has first-hand perspectives on the humanitarian situation and the urgent needs.

This program is co-sponsored with “Ridgefield Responds: Hope for Ukraine.”

To register, visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.com, or call 203-438-2282

Ridgefield Library welcomes new development director

The Ridgefield Library welcomes Jane Lindenburg as its new development director.

Lindenburg is a long-time Ridgefield resident and a graduate of Colgate University. She began her career as a communications consultant with the human resources firm Hewitt Associates (now AonHewitt).

In the following decade, she became a partner and a mother to two daughters. During a long hiatus from the professional world, Lindenburg made a significant commitment to volunteer service in education, mainly in the Ridgefield Public Schools.

Her recent career path includes work in development for an education start-up, the Ridgefield Playhouse and a nonprofit serving low-income students in Danbury.

Ridgefield Library hosts five-part online poetry series

At 7 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays, the Ridgefield Library will present an online five-part series, “How to Read (and Love!) Poetry.”

Join Ridgefield Poet Laureate Barb Jennes for a joyful romp through poetry as it’s meant to be: evocative, entertaining, and alive.

Over the course of five evenings, participants will revisit basic poetic concepts - imagery, metaphor, meter, and more - as they appear in accessible poems by some of today’s finest contemporary poets. They’ll even be challenged to try their hand at some of the tools and forms.

Participants are invited to attend any or all of the scheduled Zoom sessions. No previous experience in reading or writing poetry is required. Class will meet on Zoom on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 28 and on Oct. 5 and 12. Participants can register individually for the sessions they’d like to attend.

To register, visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.com or call 203-438-2282.

21st season of 26 free concerts concluded in Ballard Park

On Sept. 1, CHIRP concluded a 21st season of 26 free concerts in Ballard Park. This year’s series was made possible with the continuing support of The Ridgefield Press and Ridgefield’s Parks and Recreation Department who co-sponsor it.

CHIRP couldn’t present the number of concerts or the quality of performers it’s grown into over the years without the support of the over 400 families who respond to CHIRP’s annual appeal and the many concert-goers who contribute each time they attend. CHIRP hopes to be back in the park next summer with a roster of concerts that is a mix of old and new, a potpourri of genres and a multitude of opportunities for spectators to sit back and listen or get up and dance.

To underwrite a concert next summer, enail Chirpconcerts@aol.com.

Where the Wild Things Run 5K and Kids Fun Run

Woodcock Nature Center, on the border of Wilton and Ridgefield, welcomes runners, hikers and walkers of all ages at its annual Where the Wild Things Run 5K and Kids Fun Run on Oct. 16.

For several decades, this event has highlighted Woodcock’s nearly five miles of publicly accessible trails and raised money for the center’s educational programs.

The 5K - which kicks off at 10 a.m. - is 90 percent trail with a mix of groomed trails, rugged trails and narrow bridges/boardwalks. Walkers are also welcome.

The terrain of the 5K will highlight the diversity and beauty of the Woodcock property. A shorter 1K Kids Fun Run geared towards children ages 6 and up kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and is guided by a Woodcock team member. Parents are also welcome to accompany their children.

After the Kids Fun Run, families are invited to stick around for a special post-race party on the nature center grounds with drinks with Ridgefield’s new Quartertone Coffee Roasters, Smootch beverages and lunch for purchase from West Lane Deli, plus live music with School of Rock, sports treatments with HSS/Stamford Health, playground fun, nature crafts and the not-to-be-missed annual Woodcock live turtle race.

Runners are encouraged to register in advance at www.woodcocknaturecenter.org. Race fees are $40 for the 5K and $25 for the Kids Fun Run. Participants can pre-order a bagged lunch for after the race. Additional food and drink will be available for purchase on the day of the run. Race T-shirts will only be guaranteed to participants registered by Oct. 1. Prizes will be awarded for top finishers.

League of Women Voters holds Candidates’ Forum

On Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., the Ridgefield Library and the League of Women Voters of Ridgefield will co-sponsor a Candidates’ Forum.

All eight candidates will be participating for the four slots for the Connecticut state Legislature. Candidates running for the CT State Legislature representing Ridgefield from State Senate Districts 24 and 26 and State House Districts 111 and 42 will participate the forum at the Ridgefield Library (472 Main St.).

Registration is required on the Ridgefield Library’s website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

Members of the public who attend the Forum may submit questions on League-provided index cards on the day of the Forum between 6:15 and 6:50 p.m. Questions submitted must be brief, of general interest to the audience, directed to all candidates and cannot be about personal matters. Questions will be included at the discretion of the moderator who decides which questions will be asked.

Candidates will include Keith Denning (D) and Kim Healy (R) who are running for the 42nd House District; Aimee Berger-Girvalo (D) and Robert Hebert (R) who are running for the 111th House District; Michelle Coelho (R) and Julie Kushner (D) who are running for the 24th Senate District; and Toni Boucher (R) and Ceci Maher (D) who are running for the 26th Senate District. Candidates will answer questions and share their views on important topics with voters.

All participants are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and treat all those present with respect, empathy and civility.

Ridgefield Poet Laureate Jennes wins prize

Ridgefield resident and Poet Laureate Barbara Fulton Jennes has won the 2022 Lascaux Prize in Poetry.

In Ridgefield, Jennes serves as poet-in-residence at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Tupelo Quarterly, The Night Heron Barks, Limp Wrist, Anti-Heroin Chic, SWIMM, Pareidolia Literary, Extreme Formal Poems: Contemporary Poets, Extreme Sonnets II and many other journals and anthologies. Her chapbook "Blinded Birds" was released this past April.

Reynolds + Rowella announces CPA’s retirement

The partners at Reynolds + Rowella announce the retirement of Steve Risbridger, CPA, effective Sept. 30.

Risbridger’s retirement from Reynolds + Rowella will cap nearly 30 years of dedicated service to his clients and the firm, a release said.

He has been a trusted advisor to business owners, nonprofit organizations and high-net-worth individuals with whom he has developed valued, long-term relationships. His sage advice has guided thousands of clients in managing complex and constantly changing tax laws. Risbridger is widely respected in the community, and everyone at Reynolds + Rowella will deeply miss his daily presence.

Risbridger has been a tax and small business partner with Reynolds + Rowella since 1995. He was instrumental in the growth and success of the firm and led the charge in opening the firm’s New Canaan office in 2005. His friendly approach to client service was unmatched, and his mentoring of staff and future partners was always a priority to ensure that our clients received the best service possible.

Ridgefield Historical Society receives grant to update town’s historic resources inventory

Thanks to two grants from the CT State Historic Preservation Office, the Ridgefield Historical Society will soon embark on an updated architectural survey of Ridgefield.

The Ridgefield Historical Society and the Town of Ridgefield were recently awarded two survey and planning grants by the Connecticut State Preservation Office (CT SHPO).

The grants will jointly support an updated Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) of the Town of Ridgefield - an architectural survey that will include detailed records and images of buildings, sites, structures and/or objects over 50 years old, as well as “younger” structures with notable architectural significance.

The last Historic Resources Inventory of Ridgefield was created in 1979 and updated in 1983, so this new survey will be an important resource, chronicling not only historic homes that were not included in the prior HRI but also capturing the significant growth and development of the 1960s and 1970s.

“This HRI will play a significant role in preserving the historic character of Ridgefield and protecting our architectural heritage,” explains Phil Esser, Ridgefield Historical Society Board Member and Chair of its Historic Preservation Committee. “As Macklin Reid, longtime reporter and editor at the Ridgefield Press, wrote over 20 years ago, ‘Ridgefield’s character is something precious and elusive. Half visible, half fictional, it springs from the world of the physical — the great evenly spaced houses along Main Street, the winding roads, the hills thick with trees — but exists largely in the minds of the town’s inhabitants, and in the minds of those who left it long ago.’ This survey is a critical tool in capturing that character and engaging residents and community members in the collective preservation of our town.”

The survey will also act as a valuable resource in supporting Ridgefield’s Demolition Delay Ordinance by providing easy access to detailed information on Ridgefield’s historic and architecturally-significant properties.

“This is an excellent and well-needed initiative,” says Ridgefield First Selectman, Rudy Marconi. “As Ridgefield continues to evolve over time, it remains critical for us to protect and preserve that which defines us. This survey is an important part of this process.”

Work on the HRI is anticipated to begin this fall and will be conducted over a two-year period, resulting in a comprehensive 2024 Historic Resource Inventory of Ridgefield, CT, available as a fully digitized document. As the project begins, further details on the scope of the survey will be released.

Owners of properties included in the inventory will be encouraged, but not required, to participate in the process by sharing any historical data and images they have of their homes and structures. “Owners of properties included in the Architectural Survey can be as active or passive as they like, and are not required to do anything,” explains Esser. “But it’s a fascinating and fun project, and our hope is that community members will appreciate the chance to be involved and learn more about the architecture, homes, and buildings of our beautiful town.”

Yoga classes offered through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Yoga classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education help participants develop core strength and flexibility, build bone density and strength and improve posture and balance. Each class involves a variety of postures each week with some variations and breath work and ends with relaxation. Classes meet in person except where Zoom is noted. Classes include:

• Powerfully Gentle Yoga with Rona Levine - Starting Sept. 20, this class meets from 5:45 to 7 p.m. through Nov. 15. There will be no class on Oct. 4. Levine is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher. Her meditation class will start Oct. 11 from 7:10 to 8:10 p.m.

• Gentle Yoga with Mary Sireci - Starting Sept. 21, this class will meet on Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Sireci’s Stretch class meets from 5:45 to 6:35 p.m.

• Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Emma Tenley - Starting Sept. 22, this Thursday Zoom class combines Vinyasa flow with slow and meditative Yin yoga. The Thursday Zoom class starts Sept. 22. The Monday in-person class starts Oct. 17. Class meets 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. on both nights.

• Gentle Morning Yoga for Body, Mind and Spirit with Miriam Zernis - This class will meet Sept. 28 thrugh Nov. 30 from 8:45 to 9:55 a.m. over Zoom. The class will not meet on Oct. 5 or Nov. 9. Zernis is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher, and her Morning Yoga Kickstart class will meet Oct. 3 through Nov. 28 (excluding Oct. 10 or Nov. 7) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Annex. This is a hybrid class, so a Zoom option will be available.

All yoga class instructors are Registered Yoga Teachers. The cost is $63 for a five-session class to $100 for a eight-session class; there is a discount for Ridgefield seniors. New sessions start in November and December, and Cardio, Dance, and Tai Chi classes are also available. Advanced registration is required. 

Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

‘Create a Comic’ course

Take the “Create a Comic” course in person through Ridgefield Continuing Education and explore different types of cartoons.

Participants will be involved in the creation of their own character from designing to writing a story, and will then take their character and create a one-to-two page story or gag involving their creation.

Subjects will involve basic shapes, action poses, creating a scene, writing a story and creating the final illustrated cartoon. Instructor Richard Maurizio is a comic artist who has produced work for Warner Bros, Turner Entertainment, Archie Comics and many more. His credits include developing educational and children’s books as well as producing a “Tom and Jerry” comic strip for five years. He also teaches cartooning in New York State.

This six-session class starts Sept. 29 and will run through Nov. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $159 per person. A discount will be available to Ridgefield seniors. A fee of $20 to 25 for two books and supplies is payable to the instructor at the first class.

Advance registration is required. Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

Mah Jongg for beginners

Take a “Mah Jongg for Beginners: class in Ridgefield Continuing Education and learn the rules of the game as sanctioned by the National Mah Jongg League from square one.

The Thursday evening class will meet on Sept. 26; Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27; and Nov. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants should call for the Thursday class’s location. The Monday afternoon class will meet on Oct. 3, 17, 24 and 31, and on Nov. 7 and 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Annex.

Instructor Sybl Falik started playing Mah Jongg as a young mother to socialize. Mah Jongg quickly became a passion, and she used this game to meet friends by teaching the game to women.

Participants have been asked to bring the 2022 National Mah Jongg League Card to class.  This six-session class costs $148 per person; Ridgefield Seniors age 62 and over will pay $126.

Bridge classes start Sept. 19: the Intermediate class will meet from 10 a.m. to noon and the Beginner Par 2 class will meet from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required. Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

In-person photography course

Participants are invited to take “Photography: Camera Settings and Features - Beyond Auto Mode” an in-person course in Ridgefield Continuing Education geared toward beginner and intermediate participants with Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras.

Participants will explore the key DSLR camera features and settings to learn how and when to use them and take the camera off Auto.

Learn about the shooting, focusing and metering modes, as well as depth of field, motion blur/freeze/pan, exposure compensation, histograms and bracketing. Skill-building exercises will get participants off their chair to develop their skills with aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Sharing images and discussions are part of every session. 

Class will meet on Sept. 28 and on Oct. 12 and 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Veterans Park School. Advance registration is required and the cost is $77 per person.

The Intro to Photoshop Elements - which will meet Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 and 9 in the Annex from noon to 2 p.m. at $120 per person - is a great follow-up. One-session workshops on “Photo Restoration: Rescue Old Photos” will be held on Oct. 6 from 7 to 8 p.m. over Zoom for $21 over Zoom. There will also be a one-session workshop on “Using Your iPhone Camera” on Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Veterans Park at $40 per person; there will also be a workshop on “iPhone Photo Editing and Enhancements” on Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Veterans Park School at $40 per person). There will be a discount for Ridgefield seniors ages 62 and over.

Advance registration is required. Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

Ridgefield folk series starting at library

On Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., the Ridgefield Library’s Ridgefield Folk Concert Series kicks off with Anand Wilder, a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter who emerged in the Brooklyn indie rock scene of the late 2000s, where he was part of an experimental band named Yeasayer known for its psychedelic worldbeat and swerving electro-pop.

Wedding announcement

Abigail Grace Hahn and James Arthur Speight IV got married at the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien. Mr Petr Speight, uncle of the groom, officiated.

Hahn, 28, is a project manager with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. She is a daughter of Sara and William Hahn of Delray Beach, FL and Dorset, VT.

The bride’s father retired as EVP of Omnicom Group and is principal and owner of Centerboard Consulting, a Marketing consultancy. The bride’s mother is a referral Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty.

Speight, 30, is associate director of Harris Philanthropies and was previously with The Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. He is the son of Rhonda Anderson-Speight and James Speight III and of Silver Spring, Maryland.

The groom’s father is assistant director of Buildings and Structures for the Maryland National Park and Planning Commission. The groom’s mother is an educator in the Montgomery County Maryland school system.

Both the bride and groom met at, and graduated from, Colgate University. Additionally, Speight earned his MBA from the Wake Forest School of Business and is a member of Colgate’s Alumni Council. The couple enjoy annual strolls on Colgate’s Willow Path with their black pug, Willow.

The couple reside in Stamford. Speight gradyated from The Landon School, Bethesda Md., and Hahn graduated from Ridgefield High School.