Community news: Pool and tennis club in Ridgefield celebrates 50th anniversary and more

iPad

“How to Get the Most out of your iPad” is the topic of a Ridgefield Continuing Education course with tech author and long term instructor Lance Whitney who will show you the ins and outs of Apple's popular tablet. Have your iPad handy during the live and interactive online Zoom class and see how to use email, calendar, maps, and other basic programs. Learn how to take photos and videos, listen to music and podcasts, and organize your apps. The course will also look at Apple's App Store where you can download a wide variety of apps, both free and paid. This workshop meets Wednesday, June 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuition is $40. Ridgefield seniors (age 62 and over) pay $34. Advance registration is required. Other classes starting in July include Facebook, eBay, Excel, LinkedIn one on one, and more. Info at https://ridgefieldschools.org, or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Tai Chi Yang Long Form

New sessions of Beginning Tai Chi (Yang Long Form), the gentle form of exercise described as meditation in motion, start soon in Ridgefield Continuing Education. This ancient art that has been practiced in China for hundreds of years, helps relieve stress, increase strength and flexibility, improve balance, coordination and circulation. Its slow and graceful movements (all standing) make it accessible to anyone, regardless of age or level of physical fitness. Beginning Tai Chi starts Wednesday, June 15 (meets June 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; East Ridge Middle School or Annex; $74) and June 29 (meets June 29; July 6, 13, 20; at 10:30 a.m.; Annex - indoors; may meet outdoors when the weather is nice; $50). Instructor Therese Rayfield has studied Yang Style Taijii Chuan with Gwen Roman since 2015. Roman says her energy is smooth, her flow is continuous, and invites you to come join her on her Taijii Journey. Tai Chi Exercises with weights, cardio, and yoga are also available. Advance registration is required. Senior discount available. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org, or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Yoga Classes, Vinyasa, Yoga, Gentle

Yoga classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education (in person and Zoom available) help participants develop a practice for core strength and flexibility; build bone density and strength; improve posture and sense of balance, and meet fitness goals. You’ll do a variety of postures (poses) each week with some variations and breath work and end with meditation and relaxation. There is an option to join as early as June 13.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Emma Tenley (certified at Three Sisters in NYC) combines a gentle flow Vinyasa with slow and meditative yin yoga. New classes start Monday, June 20 (six sessions, most in person) and Thursday, July 7 (eight sessions on Zoom) - either night class meets from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Yoga with Miriam Zernis, who studied in India to become an internationally certified Sivananda Yoga Master, starts Monday, June 27 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; eight sessions; Zoom) and Gentle Yoga for Body, Mind, and Spirit starts Wednesday, July 13 (8:45 to 9:55 a.m.; eight sessions).

Attendees will need a mat, blocks, blanket or towel, and a water bottle. Barre-Lates, full body workout, and a variety of Tai Chi classes are also available. Most classes meet six or eight sessions and cost $74 to $99. Discounts are available for ridgefield seniors (age 62 and older) or individuals with disabilities. Advance registration is required. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org, or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

Pool and tennis club celebrates 50th anniversary

The Pleasantview Recreational Association Pool and Tennis Club had a ‘70s themed party on Memorial Day to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

PVRA is located at 48 Powdermaker Drive in Ridgefield.

One of the many highlights of the party, and the perfect ‘70s backdrop, was the vintage Airstream mobile bar, baked and sauced. They served up adult beverages as well as mocktails for the younger set. DJ Becca Small set the mood with retro beats including the Village People, Lynyrd Skinner and the Doobie Brothers.

Children had the opportunity to make old-school God’s Eyes out of yarn and Popsicle sticks while camping out in front a Bohemian tent surrounded by animals. There was a leash-trained alpaca that members walked around the club and baby sheep that children took turns bottle-feeding. There was also a cockatoo that perched on members’ shoulders, a friendly bearded dragon that didn’t mind being held, fluffy silkie chickens and a chill tortoise. A friendly 120-pound pig that liked to give “kisses” made its way around the pool greeting club members.

Entertainment included a four-person bungee trampoline, 24-foot high rock wall and human hamster balls. Kids even got to make their own cotton candy and competed in a ‘70’s candy scavenger hunt that included Gold Mine gum nuggets, Big League Chew bubble gum, Pop Rocks and Candy Buttons. From toddlers to middle-schoolers and beyond, there was something for everyone.

Lastly, there was no shortage of great photo opportunities. Members loved posing on a vintage banana bike complete with retro flower basket. They accessorized with club-provided wigs, stick-on mustaches, peace sign necklaces, flower tiaras, a fringe vest and bohemian sunglasses… not to mention a guitar and a vintage hookah.

PVRA is a pool and tennis club located in the Ridgebury area of Ridgefield. It was established in 1972 and has been creating summer memories ever since.

High School productions celebrated at Connecticut Halo Awards

Ridgefield High School’s 2021-2022 theater productions were honored at this year’s 19th annual Halo Awards, presented on May 31 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, according to information from the Ridgefield High School Theatre Boosters Club.

Of the 14 total nominations garnered by RHS’s productions, Ridgefield students received two awards. The fall play “All in the Timing” won Best Performance by a Cast in an Ensemble Production, while cast members Nate Cohen, Motria Holian, Audrey Huff and Henry Regnery earned the honor of Best Specialty Ensemble for their performance of the vignette “Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread.” Earlier in the evening, the cast of RHS’s spring musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” performed the song “Woe is Me,” featuring Best Comic Female Performance nominee Emma Young.

The Halo Awards are given annually by Seven Angels Theater of Waterbury to celebrate the best of high school theater in Connecticut, with more than 80 schools from throughout the state competing each year.

Library to offer trans awareness program

The Ridgefield Library will welcome Jillian Celentano at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16 to give an in-person talk on what it means to be trans and to provide some basic education for adults and teens. The program will be held in the main program room on the lower level of the building.

Celentano is a transgender woman who began her transition in 2015. She recently received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and is pursuing her master's degree in social work. She is an author, an advocate for the transgender community, a mentor for trans youth, and has organized support groups for transgender children and young adults. Celentano is involved in two transgender studies at Yale University and has interned at the Yale Gender Program for two years. Celentano’s goal is to educate and bring awareness to the health care profession regarding proper care for the transgender and nonbinary population. Her new book, “Transitioning Later in Life: A Personal Guide,” will be available for purchase and signing.

Topics to be covered in this presentation include: • Understanding what transgender/nonbinary is • Language and terminology • Difference between Sex and Gender • Transition Process (G rated) • Pronouns • Working with parents and families • Working with body dysphoria

There will be a Q&A after Celentano’s presentation. To register, visit the Events Calendar at https://ridgefieldlibrary.org, or call 203-438-2282. The library is located at 472 Main St. in Ridgefield.

Voting rights documentary to be shown at library

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, the Ridgefield Library will show “Let the People Decide,” an award-winning documentary by filmmaker and Weston resident Gavin Guerra. The program will be held in the Main Program Room on the lower level of the building.

Once the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed it was not the end of the struggle over voting, but the opening of a new front in the battle to attain and retain power. “Let the People Decide” connects the dots across generations to illustrate how events from over 50 years ago are still reverberating in today’s heated political climate. The narrative follows a then- and- now timeline that shares first-person accounts from participants in the Civil Rights Movement and present-day activists. The film also explores the political fallout following passage of the 1965 legislation, how the states came to realign politically, and how race continued to be a common theme in manipulating and exploiting the motivations of politicians as well as those of the electorate.

There will be a Q & A with documentarian Gavin Guerra after the film.

This program is co-sponsored by First Principles partner organizations: the Ridgefield Library, the League of Women Voters of Ridgefield, the Ridgefield Historical Society, Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center, and the Ridgefield D.A.R.

To register, please visit the Events Calendar at https://ridgefieldlibrary.org, or call 203-438-2282.

Norwalk River Valley Trail cleaning canceled

The Norwalk River Valley Trail has been canceled a volunteer event in Ridgefield that had been scheduled for Saturday, June 11.

The Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail group hope to reschedule the event for later in the summer of 2022.

Alzheimer's disease support group to meet in-person at the Ridgefield Station Senior Living residences

The Hearts, Hugs and Hope: An Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet at the Ridgefield Station Senior Living residences in Ridgefield on Monday, June 13, at 11 a.m. at 55 Old Quarry Road.

The support group will meet in person in the Ridgefield Station theater room. Dealing with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia isn't easy, so it is helpful to share your concerns and personal experiences with others who completely understand what you're going through. Attendees will also learn about proven strategies to help you better care for your family member. Call 203-403-0990 or email Director of Compass Programming Hugh Salazar at hsalazar@ridgefieldslr.com for more information and to RSVP.

Aquarion honors 2022 environmental champions

Nod Hill Brewery was one of a handful of entities to be honored for its environmental achievements by Aquarion Water Company.

The Ridgefield brewery earned the small business recognition at the 2022 Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards ceremony on June 4. It was one of five winners at the event, held at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.

Established in 2017, Nod Hill Brewery is Connecticut’s first and only brewery powered completely by solar energy. The company’s solar array, completed in 2019, provides power for its entire facility and brewing process, and each year returns over 5,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity back to the power grid. Nod Hill supports a variety of sustainability initiatives, including the Pollinator Pathway, a project which helps create routes for pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds across several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. By planting a variety of native plant species in the meadow alongside its biergarten, Nod Hill has created a habitat for pollinators right on the brewery’s Ridgefield property. Additionally, Nod Hill’s newly completed parking lot features electrical vehicle charging stations and solar-powered lighting.

Other winners were Pratt & Whitney with the large business award and the Houstatonic Valley Association with the nonprofit award. Trumbull resident Mary Ellen Lemay won the adult award, while New Canaan High School senior Izzy Kaufman earned the student award.

Residents march against gun violence

In response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, Ridgefield residents Amanda Cordano, Jessica Mancini, RoseAnne Nagle, Glori Norwitt and Jeremy Stein organized a March on Main Street and a Vigil in Ballard Park on Sunday, May 29.

The group marched from Jesse Lee Church to Ballard Park, leading with an orange banner that stated “End Gun Violence Now” from the Connecticut Against Gun Violence organization.

When the March ended at the Ballard Park Gazebo, a vigil was held with about 150 attendees. Jeremy Stein, Executive Director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence , started with ringing a bell for each of the 21 lives lost at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary. He also spoke about the need to address the daily gun violence that plagues cities like Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven.

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi then read a Proclamation declaring June 2 as Gun Violence Awareness Day in the town. Speakers then included U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., state Rep. Aimee Berger-Girvalo, D-Ridgefield, state Senator Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, and Andy Pelosi who is co-founder and executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. Prior to lighting candles, Daniela Sikora shared the lyrics of the song “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor.

The Ridgefield Chorale then sang “Prayer of the Children” as the crowd of 150 lit candles in remembrance of the Uvalde victims.

Local company named ‘Great Place to Work’

The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc,. a company with its headquarters in Ridgefield, has earned a Great Place To Work® Certification.

The award came from the Great Place To Work® Institute, which is seen as a leading global authority on workplace culture. The designation is based on employee feedback, according to The Chef’s Warehouse.

The company is a family-operated specialty food distributor that has purveyed high-quality artisan ingredients for 35 years, according to its website.