Community news: Ridgefield student wins Scrabble competition, and more

Interior design royal homes, decor

Ridgefield Continuing Education is encouraging community members to embark upon a tour of royal decor with “Tour the Castles, Palaces and Homes of Queen Elizabeth and The Royal Family this Jubilee Year.”

Participants will view the many residences of the British royal family including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House, Balmoral, Sandringham, Highgrove, Dumfries House, Holyrood Palace and more. These palaces and homes are steeped in history, priceless antiques and art. This class will tour each of the royal residences of the queen and royal family, review their history, and discuss their future in this exciting Royal Jubilee year. Some Royal gossip will be served on the side. Have tea and perhaps a scone handy as you participate in this lively, interactive online class celebrating the royal family and their lovely homes. Ridgefield Continuing Education will also feature their interior designers.

Instructor Linda Keefer has degrees in history and education, has taught interior design for over 20 years, and has 44,000 followers on her Pinterest Design boards. This class meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1 and 8 on Zoom. Cost is $39. Ridgefield seniors (age 62 and older) and individuals with disabilities pay $32. Advanced registration required. Visit or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

History, Russian Revolution

The “Russian Revolution” program is an interactive, online history seminar led by Nancy Maxwell via Zoom in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Like the German and Austrian empires, the Russian empire too was a casualty of World War I. Had war not broken out, would the tsars have been able to maintain autocratic control of the country? This course will examine the state of Russia and its government in the early 20th century and then follow the chain of events that toppled Nicholas II, destroyed the Romanov dynasty, and brought Lenin to power after the outbreak of war. Instructor Nancy Maxwell, a Cornell grad and history teacher for over 30 years, delights in sharing many anecdotes that provide humanity and life to the historical figures discussed. This class is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, June from 2 and 9 on Zoom. The cost is $39. Ridgefield senior discount available. Advance registration required. Visit or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Selling on eBay

In “How to Sell Items on eBay,” a two-hour Zoom workshop offered through Ridgefield Continuing Education, a tech author, journalist, instructor, and eBay seller, Lance Whitney, will show you the tricks and techniques for successful selling on eBay. He covers setting up eBay and PayPal accounts, pricing and preparing the right items for sale, as well as how to list your items to increase your chances of a sale, working with buyers, shipping items, and dealing with any problems that arise. This workshop is from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jun. 8 and costs $40. Ridgefield seniors (age 62 and up) pay $33. Info at or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Ridgefield Arts Council to celebrate Make Music Day

For the fourth straight year, Ridgefield is joining over 1,000 cities worldwide in a global celebration of music inspired by France’s Fête de la Musique on Tuesday, June 21.

Make Music Ridgefield is open to all musicians — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion. Performers can register on the website at All Make Music Day day events are free and open to the public.

The Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Lounsbury House, Ballard Park, the West Lane Inn, RPAC Gallery, Ridgefield Library, Tewes-CARES @ 304 Main Street, Planet Pizza, ACT of CT, and Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance are just some of the venues that will host various musical performances.

Make Music Day is part of the “Summer of, Art, Culture, and Music” in Ridgefield. There are many music and art events happening around town — from the CHIRP concerts in Ballard Park to the numerous events at The Ridgefield Playhouse, the Ridgefield Guild of Artist’s Art Walk, The Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center’s “Music at the Museum” in collaboration with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, art gallery showings, restaurants with musical entertainment filling the streets, and so much more.

Founded in 1997, the mission of the Ridgefield Arts Council, a town-appointed committee is to inform, entertain, and inspire those who appreciate and create art in all its genres. The council generates attention for and facilitates collaboration between members of Ridgefield’s vibrant arts community.

Make Music Day is presented by the NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the Make Music Alliance.

For more information on artist and venue registration go to

For Sponsorship inquiries and general questions, contact

Committee to present about protecting the environment

The Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment is presenting an open house event and tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11 to showcase actions homeowners and builders can take to protect the environment and reduce their carbon footprint.

The locations of the homes will be:

- 195 St. Johns Road Ridgefield: Trillium Architects will showcase new house construction. The house includes a super-insulated building envelope, 15kW solar array sufficient to cover all electrical needs, and native and sustainable plantings. The house is designed to achieve LEED Platinum, Passive House certified and NetZero Status. Trillium Architects is a full service, boutique architectural firm specializing in Passive House, Net-Zero and off-the-grid new homes, additions, and renovations.

Two existing homes have been retrofitted with new energy efficiency technologies. The owners will be present to answer questions to assist others in adopting these technologies and practices.

- 68 Crescent Dr. Ridgefield: Participants will see newly insulated, air source heat pumps, heat pump hot water heater, solar panels, Level 2 charger, Hyundai Ionic 5 EV Electric Vehicle and composting.

- 28 Fairview Ave. Ridgefield: Participants will see home energy audits, 8 kWp solar array, heat pump heating and cooling, composting, Chevy volt, level 2 EV, Electric Vehicle charger

ACT of Connecticut announces 2022-2023 season

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) of Connecticut has announced its 2022-2023 line up of shows.

This will be the theater’s fifth season and will include the Golden-Age classic comedy “Guys and Dolls,” the smash hit jukebox musical “Rock of Ages,” and the breathtaking Tony Award winning “The Secret Garden.”

The schedule is:

“Guys and Dolls”

Oct. 27 - Nov. 20

Based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser

Book by Abe Burrows & Jo Swerling

In typical ACT of CT fashion, this “Guys and Dolls” will be unlike any other production of the show that you have ever seen before. Directed by Daniel C. Levine, ACT of CT’s artistic director (and director of such ACT of CT hits as Mamma Mia, Evita, Godspell, and Jesus Christ Superstar), this Golden-Age classic musical comedy promises to be a smash hit. Set in Damon Runyon's mythical New York City, “Guys an Dolls” follows the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings: a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a crap game manager who is anything but.

“Rock of Ages”

Feb. 23 - March 19, 2023

Book by Chris D’Arienzo

Arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp

“Rock of Ages” takes you back to the time of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos and sporting even bigger hair. This five-time Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit will transport you back to a simpler time - 1987. Featuring 80’s rock hits like “We Built This City,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Here I Go Again,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Sister Christian,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and “Don’t Stop Believin,” “Rock of Ages” is a non-stop party that ACT of Connecticut says will have you rock and rollin’ all night long. The show takes place on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and follows Stacee Jaxx, aspiring rock star Drew, and small-town girl Sherri, as developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can Drew, Sherri and the gang save the strip (and themselves) before it's toolate? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister (and more) hold the answer.

“The Secret Garden”

May 18 - June 11, 2023

Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman

Music by Lucy Simon

Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This enchanting Tony Award-winning musical (based on the famous 1911 novel) possesses one of the most glorious scores ever to hit Broadway, ACT of CT says. “The Secret Garden” is a family-friendly, yet extremely sophisticated production which tells the story of 11-year-old Mary Lennox, orphaned in India, and her return to Yorkshire to live with her reclusive uncle Archibald and his son Colin. The estate's many wonders include a magic garden which beckons Mary with haunting melodies and the spirits from her past who guide her through her new life. ACT of CT says its production of “The Secret Garden” is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the 2022/2023 season.

Season subscriptions are available for purchase. Visit to purchase and to view all of the exclusive subscriber benefits. Subscriber benefits include: First choice of dates and seats; exclusive savings on tickets, at theater concession and ACT of CT merchandise; complimentary exchanges; concierge box office support and advance notification of special events such as our one-night-only Broadway Unplugged series, and more.

Ridgefield High School business department hosts 5th annual symposium

Students at Ridgefield High School participated in the fifth annual Business Symposium on May 2. Over the course of the semester, over 150 business students participated in two authentic market research projects for local businesses, KydRides and the Ridgefield Thrift Shop. The students conducted research, evaluated the competition, developed surveys, and analyzed the data. The analysis led students to their final recommendations for both businesses. The event ended with a fashion show, planned by students, that showcased student models wearing items from the Ridgefield Thrift Shop. Through the fashion show, students increased awareness about the benefits of thrifting to our local community and the environment.

Business partners participating in the event included:

Win Sakdinan, Snapchat

Jeff Sansone, Piper Sandler and Owner KYD Rides

Patricia Hellman, Ridgefield Thrift Shop

Jordan Keyes, Synchrony Financial

Michael Schell, Barclays

Michelle Montaina, L’Oreal

Judd Zusel, Quorn Foods USA

Brian Berlandi, BNR Law

The RHS Business symposium integrates classroom curriculum with real world application, and brings together talented RHS students and teachers with local Ridgefield business owners to develop solutions to authentic, complex challenges. The business department is continually seeking to offer authentic projects in order to give students the opportunity to learn and create; working to their highest potential.

Contact RHS business teacher Jesse Peterkin at to find out how your business can get involved in our next symposium.

Food, wine night to be held

Lounsbury House is hosting a Food and Wine Pairing Party with certified sommelier Jillian Fontana on on Sunday, June 5.

Kick off summer with an old-world wine tasting odyssey with classics from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, all expertly served with four perfectly matched food pairings from local favorite, Bailey’s Backyard. Learn the basics before your next party.

All fundraising proceeds benefit Lounsbury House community programming and historic preservation.

There are two sessions to choose from: 1 to 3pm or 4 to 6pm. Tickets are $85 per person and available at

Sponsors are Jillian Fontana, Ancona’s Wines & Liquors, Bailey’s Backyard, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Fairfield County Bank, and Michele Ford Floral Design, with additional sponsor support from Orthopaedic Specialists of Connecticut, Stephanie McCleery Heering of Coldwell Banker Ridgefield, and Bresnan Group, LLC.

Guests must be 21 years of age or older.

Email or call 203 438-6962 with questions.

Longtime volunteer to be honored at gala

Guests will come together on May 20 to support Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center and honor Joel Third at the Cannonball Gala, the museum’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

Attendees will enjoy cocktails and dinner in the museum’s historic walled garden and Garden House, with catering by Michael Bick. The evening will feature musical entertainment as well as live and silent auctions, a paddle raise, and a raffle, all led by auctioneer Allison Stockel.

The event will honor long-time volunteer Joel Third, who has spearheaded key initiatives supporting the museum, such as from major restoration projects to the capital campaign to launching a scholarship in memory of his late wife, Bettie Jane.

Gala tickets are completely sold out. Those who still want to contribute to the fundraiser are encouraged to buy raffle tickets. The raffle prize, a $550 value donated by Third, is a facsimile print of John James Audubon’s “Ruby Throated Hummingbird,” a gift certificate for framing, and two books about Audubon’s life and works. Tickets are only $10 each: purchase them

Third was born and reared in Northeastern Ohio, graduating from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in electrical engineering. He retired after 47 years as an international systems engineer and marketing director with ITT and Harris Corporations. After moving to Ridgefield in 1992, Joel’s late wife, Bettie Jane, became a docent and a board member at the Keeler Tavern Museum. Through his wife’s encouragement, Third became a board member and then board president in 2014. Their love of history strengthened their interest in the museum. The museum has established a memorial scholarship in Bettie Jane’s name for high school students. During Joel Third’s presidency, with strong board support, the Mead property was purchased, expanding the organization’s campus to its current four acres.

He has been a hobbyist antique print collector and birder for about 50 years. He was also past president of Ridgefield Rotary Club and Men’s Club. He is board member of the Ridgefield Sympathy Orchestra and a member of the Cemetery Committee, St Stephens Church, and a facilitator at Founders Hall.

All proceeds from the Cannonball Gala will benefit the museum, allowing organization to continue to deliver on its mission to preserve and share its collections and stories.

Student wins North American School SCRABBLE Championship

Nathanael Campos, who is a sixth-grade student at Scotts Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, has teamed up with seventh-grader Walden Giezentanner from St. Louis to win the 2022 North American School SCRABBLE Championship held May 14-15 at Planet Word in Washington, D.C.

Nathanael and Walden finished the event with a 9-0 +1126 record, winning the final over the D.C. team of Gideon Brosowsky and Milo Anderson. Their final word, toenail, clinched their victory.

Coming in third place was another Ridgefield Library team: Will Knispel, a seventh-grader at East Ridge Middle School, and Jake Nadol, an Ossining eighth-grader who attends Hackley. Fourth place was the Ridgefield Library team of Tobey Lieberman (fourth grade, Farmingville) and Theo Diamond (fifth grade, Newfield).

In the high school division, two-time North American School Scrabble Champion Jeffrey Pogue, a Ridgefield Library player who attends Staples, was fourth. Jeffrey recently won the New England School SCRABBLE Championship held at the Ridgefield Library.

The coach for the Ridgefield Library teams is Cornelia Guest. The Ridgefield Library SCRABBLE Club meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and players of all levels from third grade through high school are welcome.

Business raises fund for Ukrainian refugees

Ridgefield Travel and Cruise Planners held event on Wednesday at Posa Ristorante & Vineria to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.

All tips will go toward Amawaterways Ships, which will be taking a ship out of service to house and feed Ukrainian immigrants that are crossing the borders into Amsterdam. Cruise Planners have devised a plan to adopt the AmaWaterways immigrants who will be living onboard by collecting donations. The collected dollars will be sent directly to Amawaterways Ships so that the refugees may use them to rebuild their lives.