Community news: Ridgefield students raise $17K for well in Sudan, and more

Introduction to LinkedIn: 1-on-1

Do you need individual help creating or updating your LinkedIn Profile? Introduction to LinkedIn, a one- on one Course through Ridgefield Continuing Education provides individual assistance in this area.

Lance Whitney, technology journalist and the author of the book “Teach Yourself Visually LinkedIn” takes you through the steps to create a LinkedIn profile that will promote your professional achievements. You will learn how to add the right details to look your best. Beyond setting up your profile, you’ll learn how to build your network, connect with other professionals, post updates, ask for recommendations, and join specialized groups.

One- on- one sessions are available on Fridays, June 3 and 24 from 1 to 2 p.m. on Zoom. Each session costs $50. Additional dates can be scheduled. Advance registration required. Visit or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for prerequisites or to register.

Computer classes, Windows 10 and cyber security

Upcoming tech workshops full of essential tips, tricks and insights into Windows 10, cyber security, and more topics are available through Ridgefield Continuing Education. These classes are small to allow for Q and A and take place on Zoom. Tutorials are also available.

Windows 10 Basics and Your Laptop or PC is for people who have at least basic computer skills. This is the course that answers all sorts of questions about your Windows 10 computer. Have your laptop or desktop PC handy and learn how to customize your Start menu and desktop, how to use the Windows 10 Edge browser, how to personalize Windows 10 though its array of settings, how to speak to Windows 10 using the Cortana voice assistant, and how to shop for apps at the Windows Store. The class is on Thursday, June 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Zoom. The cost is $40.

Cyber Security: How to Protect Yourself on the Internet is the topic of a highly informative and interactive workshop where you will learn about specific precautions you can take to protect yourself, including how to better safeguard your identity, your personal information, your computer, and your mobile devices when going online. This class is on Thursday, June 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. on Zoom. The cost is $40.

Advance registration is required. Ridgefield seniors (age 62 and over) discount. Visit or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information or to register. Excel Pivot Tables and Database Features, LinkedIn Custom Profile, eBay, iPad and software tutorials are also available in May and June.

SAT test prep, Lentz

Take an online SAT Prep class this summer and cover your bases before taking the SAT. Even when SAT optional is available, a good SAT score still helps in applying to college or for various scholarships. Virtual and live online SAT Prep options through Ridgefield Public Schools’ Continuing Education program help Ridgefield students prepare for the August and fall SAT’s. Lentz & Lentz SAT Prep, the largest independently owned SAT Prep company in this region, is offering evening and weekend SAT Prep classes. The weeknight class (Group 29) starts on Monday, July 11 (English) and Tuesday, July 12 (Math) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The weekend class (Group 31) starts on Sunday, July 10 with English meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and math meeting from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Cost is $475 (24 hours) and includes all course materials. For more info visit or or call Lentz & Lentz at 1-800-866-SATS.

Parents earn leadership award

John and Lori Berisford, former co-chairs of the Fairfield University’s Parents Leadership Council, were recently honored with the Parent Leadership Award at the 2022 Fairfield Awards Dinner April 20 at the Cipriani 42nd Street restaurant venue in New York City.

Since 1998, the annual Fairfield Awards Dinner has remained a beloved celebration of Fairfield, raising nearly $20 million for the Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund and other endowment scholarships.

The 2022 Awards Dinner honored the Berisfords, whose daughters Liza and Lane graduated from the university in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The parents volunteered at the university, regularly attending alumni and family weekend events, council breakfasts and spring events, serving as co-chairs of the council.

Lori Berisford also hosted one of the First Moms brunches and served as a parent ambassador throughout the years. She is also involved in the town of Ridgefield, being recognized as Ridgefield’s Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Ridgefield in 2021.

John Berisford also engaged a panel discussion about the benefits of liberal arts education in a business world for the Fairfield University Charles F. Dolan School of Business.

The Berisfords met about 30 years ago while working at PepsiCo.

Costumed seniors see ‘Downton Abbey’

About 20 seniors from Meadow Ridge, a retirement community in Redding, dressed up on Saturday to see the “Downton Abbey” movie at the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield.

Dressed in costumes fitting of the “Downton Abbey” era, the seniors enjoyed a “formal” dinner afterward at Meadow Ridge, complete with “lady” and “lord” place cards.

Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings recognized as best

Out of the more than 275 assisted living communities in Connecticut, Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings has been selected as one of the best in the state by U.S. News & World Report.

Ridgefield Crossings earned “Best” status by achieving the highest possible rating for memory care in U.S. News & World Report’s inaugural Best Senior Living ratings following a comprehensive consumer satisfaction survey. Ridgefield Crossings’ residents and family members gave the community high marks in critical areas, such as overall value, management and staff, resident enrichment, dining and food, safety, transportation, maintenance, housekeeping and location.

Benchmark Senior Living at Ridgefield Crossings offers both traditional senior assisted living and specialized assisted living with memory care for those who would benefit from a safer, engaging environment, chef-prepared meals, supportive living services, transportation and assistance with daily activities, such as getting dressed and medication management. Residents enjoy connecting over programs and amenities offered in many common spaces including a pub, recreation room, wellness center, private dining room, library, dog park, outdoor walking paths and courtyards and more.

Cop receives 2021 Officer of the Year award

Ridgefield Officer Carlos Olivares has been named the Ridgefield Exchange Club’s 2021 Officer of the Year award.

The Ridgefield Exchange Club presented the award at a statewide awards ceremony on May 19 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

Olivares began his career with the Ridgefield Police Department in 2019. He is a member of the United States Air Force Air National Guard and has been deployed numerous times.

Olivares is a proactive, enthusiastic officer, who always volunteering and putting the community before himself, according to Ridgefield police. He has received numerous letters of recognition from the public for his dedication and commitment to the community.

Students raise $17,000 for well in South Sudan

The Scotland Elementary School fifth-grade students organized their fourth and final fundraiser, a Walk to Water, to raise money to build a well in South Sudan.

On Saturday, May 14, a little less than the 186 preregistered participants set off together on a two-mile round-trip walk along Ridgefield sidewalks at 8 a.m.

Halfway through, around the Cass Gilbert fountain, Scotland Student Council members passed out student-designed Walk to Water stickers to all participants.

Many walkers lingered around after returning to St. Mary’s School, as children age 12 and under played a quick game of toss to select a small token of appreciation for walking.

Passerby even asked volunteers how they could donate.

Together with registration fees and additional donations, the walk added about $2,800 to their overall donation to Water for South Sudan, a nonprofit. Across four events, students students raised slightly more than $17,000, not including a pending a Rotary Club of Ridgefield grant.

RCK Preschool enjoys spring activities while supporting non profit organizations, and other small businesses

The Ridgefield Community Kindergarten has been invited to local nonprofits and small businesses in town.

Last week, the children visited One Hump Farm, a private sanctuary in Ridgefield for Sheik, the 7-year-old dromedary camel rescued from a petting zoo when he was eight weeks old. HumpFree, an alpaca, and Harry, a rehomed llama, also live at the farm. RCK families learned about the nonprofit while feeding Sheik and Harry their favorite snacks: bananas, carrots and sliced apples.

Owners Stephanie and Robb Heering have opened the farm to the preschool for the past few years, and RCK Preschool says it’s the highlight of end of the school year.

The preschool also worked with Henny Penny Farm, also located in Ridgefield. The preschool received fertilized eggs from the farm to study the life cycle of a chick. The best part of course is seeing the chicks themselves after their 21 day incubation period.

After a few days out of the eggs, the chicks return to Henny Penny Farm where the students to visit them the following year.

This week the preschool planned to visit Woodcock Nature Center in Wilton to round out its spring time activities. The center will bring some little creatures for children to see and learn about.

RCK Preschool, which is located in Ridgefield, educates 2, 3, and 4 year olds using a play-based philosophy designed to build important foundations for your child’s future growth.

Ridgefield Historical Society to re-open Peter Parley Schoolhouse

The Ridgefield Historical Society will re-open the Peter Parley Schoolhouse for a season of Last Sundays at the Schoolhouse from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The historic one-room school, which served the West Lane School District from 1756 to 1915, is maintained by the Historical Society as a mini-museum of early Ridgefield education.

The school’s namesake, Peter Parley, was the pseudonym for the children’s textbook author Samuel G. Goodrich who attended the school in his youth. Goodrich completed his formal education at the West Lane School, then spent a lifetime acquiring and sharing knowledge, first as a publisher and then as an internationally known author. His alter-ego, Parley, was a kindly old gentleman whose stories were designed to impart knowledge to young readers. Several of his texts are in the schoolhouse display case, and the Ridgefield Historical Society has recently received a collection of 20 Peter Parley Cabinet Library books for children from Parley Schoolhouse neighbor Abe Puchall.

The school will be open the last Sunday of the month through October, hosted by Jack and Sally Sanders, Ridgefield Historical Society volunteers.

The building is furnished as it would have been when the last students attended class there; descendants of those students still live nearby. The school features displays that describe school life and detail the school districts that once existed throughout Ridgefield, with information on what has become of many of those other one-room schools.

Later in the season, the schoolhouse will mark the birthdays of two of its distinguished graduates: Samuel G. Goodrich in August and Cyrus Northrop in September. Last Sundays at the Schoolhouse are supported by Fairfield County Bank.

For more information about the Peter Parley Schoolhouse, visit

BioBlitz, vernal pools program to be held

Three organizations are hosting the Ridgefield BioBlitz 2022, where community members are encouraged to celebrate the town’s biodiversity and identifiy species.

The program, held Saturday, June 11, is in partnership with the Ridgefield Conservation Commission , Weir Farm National Historical Park , and the Woodcock Nature Center. All ages welcome.

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time.

Attendees will visit different habitats and attempt to identify as many plant, animal and fungi species they can find. Participants will take a trail walk to Weir Pond, stopping to investigate field, forest and aquatic habitats. Each habitat station will have activities guided by expert naturalists and scientists.

Early Birding Survey

7 to 8:30 a.m.

Join WNC educator and bird expert Tommy McCarthy on a short walk through field and forest to identify bird species by sight and listening to calls. Bring binoculars.

Family Sessions

9 to 11 a.m.,

Noon until 2 p.m., and

3 to 5 p.m.

Sign up for one Family Session. Participants will walk trails along field, forest and pond habitats, stopping at stations along the way. Each station will have activities including insect displays, pond scooping for invertebrates, looking under logs, learning about bears, and even an art station to make your own nature journal!

This event is free but pre-registration is required.

Register here.

The free mobile app iNaturalist to identify species and collect data will be used. All species observed will be added to the Ridgefield Natural Resource Inventory. The NRI catalogs the mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, trees and flowers that inhabit Ridgefield, providing a blueprint to chart a more sustainable future.

Attendees are asked to download the free iNaturalist app prior to the event. Download for iPhone or Google Play

More information is available online at

Chamber of Commerce holds 2022 Golf Tourney

More than 100 golfers and local businesses came together at Ridgefield Golf Course May 18 for an afternoon of networking, collaboration and fun.

The Chamber of Commerce thanks all of its member businesses and community partners who consistently show up and make Ridgefield one of Connecticut’s top-rated places to live, work, and play. Together in 2022 the Chamber will continue to work hard to promote, support, and advocate for Ridgefield’s businesses and others who share in our commitment to community.

Even sponsors were: Fairfield County Bank, J. Mulvaney Plumbing & Heating, Pamby Motors, Addessi Jewelers, HamletHub, Oak Ridge Waste & Recycling, Ridgefield Station, Barts Tree Service, Crystal Restoration Services, Golf Lounge 18, Dan O’Brien, Ridgefield Overhead Door, Springtide Child Development, C2 Education, RVNAhealth, and Union Savings Bank.

Tee sign sponsors support: 068 Magazine, Golf Performance Center, Carol Hanlon & Coldwell Banker, Lounsbury House, Stephanie McCleery Heering & Coldwell Banker, Michael McGuirk & William Pitt Sotheby’s, Sunburst Plumbing & Heating, The Tweaked Home, Ridgefield Hardware Co., and Wooster Hollow Café.

Generous prize sponsors: John Capilli, Ray Ford & Rolling Hills Country Club, ACT Theater, Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, Angel Cooperative, Craig’s Fine Jewelry, Elements Massage, Elizabella’s Bake Shop, Sommelier Jillian Fontana, Michele Ford Floral Design, Golf Lounge 18, Hoo Doo Brown, J. McLaughlin Clothing, Luc’s Café, nancy O, O’Deen’s Catering, Prospector Theater, Ridgebury Farm & Stables, The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield Running Company, Mary Pat Sexton & Keller Williams, and The West Lane Inn.

Gift bag donors & support: Karla Murtaugh & Compass Real Estate, C2 Education, Fairfield County Bank, OrthoConnecticut, Pamby Motors, Purple Frog Graphics, Sunburst Plumbing, Two Roads Brewery.

The Chamber Golf Committee: included Suzanne Brennan, Lounsbury House; Tom Gartrell, Sunburst Plumbing; Michael McGuirk, William Pitt Sotheby’s; Nate Mockry, Meta; Dan O’Brien, and Diana Spence; plus Chamber Board Volunteers: Ron Herman, Wooster Hollow Café; Jill Maguire, Union Savings Bank; Christine Mullen, Aspire Digital Solutions; Christine Santori, Personal Touch Welcome; Theresa Santoro, RVNAhealth; and Mary Pat Sexton, Keller Williams.

Additional thanks to Frank Sergiovanni of Ridgefield Golf Course and catering by O’Deens BBQ.

For more information on Chamber events and opportunities please contact or; office 203-438-5992; .

Two RHS theater productions earn award nominations

The Ridgefield High School 2021-22 theatrical productions of “All in the Timing” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” have received a combined 14 nominations for the 19th annual HALO Awards.

The Halo Awards are presented annually by Seven Angels Theater of Waterbury and celebrate the best of high school theater in Connecticut. More than 70 high schools throughout the state participate, and in a return to pre-pandemic form, the awards will be presented live at the Palace Theater in Waterbury over three nights.

The fall production of “All in the Timing” was nominated for Best Contemporary Play and Best Performance by a Cast in an Ensemble Production, with individual nominations for Henry Regnery (Don) for Best Male Standout Performance, and Nate Cohen, Henry Regnery, Motria Holian and Audrey Huff collectively nominated for Best Specialty Ensemble. Behind the scenes, Henry Regnery, Motria Holian, Audrey Huff and Asterix Lombardo were nominated for Best Props Design and/or Management.

RHS’s spring musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” received nominations for Best Contemporary Musical, Best Performance by a Cast in an Ensemble Production, and Best Orchestra, as well as individual nominations for Emma Young (Logainne) for Best Comic Female Performance, Henry Regnery (Leaf) for Best Comic Male Performance, and Millie Altopp (Olive’s Mom) for Best Female Standout Performance. Nominations for technical achievement were given to Asterix Lombardo for Best Stage Management, Emmett Joyce for Best Original Cover Design or Artwork and the entire cast for Best Hair and/or Makeup Design and/or Execution.

Ridgefield High School’s achievements will be recognized in a ceremony at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Tuesday, May 31. Tickets may be reserved by visiting