Shoreline Chamber Of Commerce - CT
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Serving the Towns of Guilford, Branford and North Branford
Posted on July 25th, 2016

​Smiles, laughter and tears of joy were a common sight at the Westbrook High School auditorium on July 15 as 15 students from Vista Life Innovations—a nationally accredited education program for individuals with disabilities—celebrated the start of a new life chapter during a graduation ceremony.
 
Graduation is a significant milestone in the lives of Vista students that acknowledges the independence and success they worked hard to achieve in the Discover Program, Vista’s transitional program. More than 175 people attended this year’s ceremony, including family, friends, community members and elected officials.
 
“I’m extremely confident in what you’re going to accomplish going forward as you move into this new phase of life,” state Rep. Devin Carney (23rd District) told the graduates. “There’s really no end to your possibilities, so go forth into the world and do wonderful things.”
 
Joining Carney at the ceremony were state Rep. Noreen Kokoruda (101st District) and state Rep. Sean Scanlon (98th District), who was there in his capacity as Director of Community Affairs for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
 
This year’s commencement speech was delivered by Keynote Speaker Joseph Comerford, executive director of the Estuary Transit District. Comerford, who began his career with the ETD in 2009, became a friend and supporter of Vista after getting to know the many students and members who utilize the 9 Town Transit buses daily.
 
“I have the pleasure of working with Vista staff and members on a regular basis,” Comerford said. “They add to our community with their strong sense of giving back and are a part of what makes the shoreline a great place to live.”
 
In addition to a Certificate of Graduation, each student received a letter from Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop; certificates from Sen. Murphy and Congressman Joe Courtney; and an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. (12th District), Sen. Art Linares (33rd District), Rep. Jesse MacLachlan (35th District), Rep. Kokoruda and Rep. Carney.
 
With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista has been providing services and resources to individuals with disabilities for over 26 years.

Posted on July 21st, 2016

​2016 Shakespeare and Human Nature is an expanded initiative to complement and support the current summer flagship program of Shakespeare on the Shoreline. Through a multi-tiered educational approach this programming will reach audiences of varying ages, schooling and income, targeting specific demographics including those with disabilities. It is designed to provide opportunities to think, explore and learn more about ourselves, our community and issues facing us today through the study and interpretation of live performances, community forums, and theatrical training opportunities. The targeted projects will focus on personal development of the individual through the unique educational value of a performing arts experience, will foster a life-long love of live theatre and a deeper appreciation of the arts, will build awareness of diversity within the community and will encourage greater participation and attendance at the annual Shakespeare on the Shoreline production. This multi-tiered approach has been made possible with a grant of $24,872 from CT Humanities.
According to Eric Dillner, CEO/Executive Director, “The mission of 2016 Shakespeare and Human Nature coupled with the existing Shakespeare on the Shoreline program ties directly to the mission of CT Humanities and deepens Shoreline Arts Alliance's mission to educate, encourage, enrich and engage through the arts, culture and heritage and as an economic driver for the region by providing summer jobs and revenue to artists, and local businesses. The 2016 project expands our efforts to unite the Shoreline community through theatre by presenting inclusive creative experiences that will foster friendships and open communications for participants of all ages and abilities.”
The 2016 Shakespeare on the Shoreline programming will include: (1) Rising Stars Summer Theatre Camp for ages 7-17 offering two one-week sessions; (2) Daytime performances and talk-backs of Gulliver’s Travels this summer’s production for young children and their families, including a Sensory Friendly performance; (3)Round Table Shakespeare Forums at public locations and Assisted Living centers. These will be facilitated by members of the cast and the artistic director (Emily Mattina). For those clients who are unable to attend a performance on the Green these round tables will provide stimulating discussion on the
program; (4) Expanded number of evenings of pre and post show talk backs to all five nights with the director and cast and provide an American sign interpreter for these discussions on Wednesday and Sunday evening; (5) Provide an American sign interpreter (August 3 and 7), large print and braille programs and assisted listening devices for the hearing and visually impaired; (6) Increase the post show lighting on the Green to make exiting the Green safer for all in attendance.
Admission to the Main Stage production, the forums as well as to the talk backs is free and open to all. They will provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the language, themes, plots and characterization in Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona to enhance the comprehension and enjoyment of the main stage production. The format will be informal ‘round table’ discussion between artistic staff and audience.
Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities which funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. Connecticut Humanities brings together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting www.cthumanities.org.
Founded in 1980, Shoreline Arts Alliance is the “go to” source for the best arts, entertainment, and cultural activities for people of all ages along the central coastal region of Connecticut. As a Local Arts Agency of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Shoreline Arts Alliance is responsible for serving the broad cultural sector within the region and making the arts a part of the daily fabric of community life. Visit www.shorelinearts.org for more information on the Shakespeare on the Shoreline project or other services and programs of Shoreline Arts Alliance.

Posted on July 20th, 2016

​V.F. McNeil Insurance, a leading Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agency, announces that Lauren Rosadini has been hired as the agency’s first Assistant Account Manager.  Due to agency growth, the role was created to increase efficiency and productivity and further demonstrates the agency’s ongoing commitment to continuously improving its customer service experience. 
As V.F. McNeil’s Assistant Account Manager, Rosadini will work closely with the agency’s Personal and Commercial Lines Account Management team, providing support for tasks such as processing insurance renewals, claims, billing, and quoting.        
As a 2012 graduate of UCONN, she joins V.F. McNeil Insurance after working as an Agency Customer Service Representative for The Hartford.  Having worked with independent insurance agents while at The Hartford, she became interested in the agency channel.  Coupled, with a desire to expand her knowledge of insurance products and a preference toward developing more personalized relationships, Rosadini chose to pursue the agency path.   
“Lauren is a great representation of what we had in mind for this newly created role,” says Daniel McNamara, President of the agency.  “She is smart, driven, and enthusiastic.  We’re very excited to welcome her to the V.F. McNeil family.”
“Everyone has been extremely warm and welcoming.  I can see the commitment that each person brings every day.  This is a fantastic team of individuals who consistently work together to provide the best possible experience to the agency’s customers and community,” said Rosadini in a brief onboarding interview. 
For questions, Lauren Rosadini can be reached at (203) 481-2684 or via email atlrosadini@vfmcneil.com

Posted on July 19th, 2016


Posted on July 19th, 2016

​William DeBille Joins Connex Investment and Retirement Services at Connex Credit Union
Members Offered Retirement Planning, Wealth Management Solutions
 
North Haven, Connecticut – Connex Credit Union has been pleased to bring the Connex Investment and Retirement Services (CIRS)* program to its members, a financial services offering in the interest of serving the needs of its members.  Designed exclusively for credit union members, CIRS is a full-service financial services program providing retirement, insurance and investment services to individuals.
 
Products and services provided by the financial program will include; Retirement Planning, Wealth Management, Mutual Funds, Education Funding, 401(k)/Pension Rollovers, as well as various other offerings designed around the needs of the credit union’s members.
 
The program works in cooperation with Connex Credit Union and complements the products and services the credit union makes available to its members. “Our goal has always been to be a life-long, trusted partner for our members,” explains Frank Mancini, president and chief executive officer, Connex Credit Union. “Together, with CIRS, we can provide a full-service package to help our members realize their full financial potential.”
 
CIRS will be staffed by William DeBille, a financial advisor with over 27 years in the financial industry. DeBille is available to meet with individuals to evaluate their financial situation, offer recommendations and coordinate their investment and insurance choices.
 
“Be assured,” continued Mancini, “that William DeBille will serve you with the same personalized attention you’ve come to expect from our credit union.”
 
For more information, contact William DeBille at 203-603-5735 today for a no-cost, no-obligation appointment or visit connexcu.org.
 
About Connex Credit Union:
As the Unbank, Connex Credit Union is one of Connecticut’s largest credit unions serving more than 45,000 members at 7 branches throughout greater New Haven. Headquartered in North Haven, Connecticut, Connex is a full-service member-owned credit union that offers members a full-range of financial services and products, including savings and loans, Unbank Checking, Smart Score credit score range, free online and mobile banking and more. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in New Haven, Hartford, Middlesex or Fairfield Counties. Connex Credit Union helps guide and improve members’ financial lives through the Connex Advocacy Promises: We will always work in your best interest; we will work with you to understand your goals, identify your financial needs and provide solutions to improve your life; and we will be responsive to you and make your experience simpler, faster and friendlier. It’s time to Unbank! For more information, please call 1-800-CR-UNION or visit connexcu.org.
 
*Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. 

Posted on July 18th, 2016

​Vista Life Innovations, a community-based program for individuals with disabilities, is partnering with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook to present “My Life on the Spectrum: A Tuneful Rally” on Aug. 10.
 
Starring 24-year-old New York native Dane Brandt-Lubart, this one-man play combines musical performances with personal narratives about Brandt-Lubart’s experience being on the autism spectrum. The show aims to provide others on the spectrum with hope and encouragement while educating the public about the issues facing individuals with disabilities.
 
“I’m hoping that those who see the show, not only do they get a great entertainment experience, but I’m hoping they carry this message forward: People with special needs are totally worthy of respect,” Brandt-Lubart says in a video promoting the show.
 
“My Life on the Spectrum” debuted last October at the famed Don’t Tell Mama cabaret venue in Manhattan. The production has been described as inspiring, honest, funny and poignant.
 
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.vistalifeinnovations.org/MLotS. For questions, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080 ext. 255.
 
With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista has been providing services and resources to individuals with disabilities for over 26 years.

Posted on July 13th, 2016

​July 13, 2016 - GUILFORD, CT, – We are one month away from the 10th Annual Shoreline Wine Festival, August 13 and 14, 2016. This is the 10-year anniversary for the Shoreline Wine Festival, bringing in thousands of visitors over the course of the weekend. The Shoreline Wine Festival will celebrate fine wines from Connecticut Wineries and Vineyards from all over the state.  Pair this with some of the area’s finest foods, with the backdrop setting of a beautiful farm orchard and background sounds of tasteful music to put you in the mood.  The festival is hosted by Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and Winery in Guilford, CT. This year’s festival has brought in over $20,000 in sponsored partnerships with BeFree Solar, Independent Outdoors, Clinton Crossing, Tremonte Auto Group, Star 99.9, Proforma 910, H&H Outdoors, SnapSeats, Mosaic Print, Miranda Creative, Shore Publishing, New Haven Living, and Foxon Soda.
 
The Shoreline Wine Festival will feature Connecticut Vineyards and Wineries from around the state, all offering their fine wines that range from grape wines to fruit wines.  One of the many benefits to the Shoreline Wine Festival for attendees is that all wine that is sampled by the vineyards at the Festival, are available for sale that weekend to take home with you.  This is something that many festivals do not and cannot offer. This two day festival is a ticketed event that affords you the opportunity to taste the wines from all of the wineries, enjoy a tour of the Bishop’s Orchards Winery, numerous wine seminars given by local wine experts, live music and entertainment, and a chance to visit with local vendors and artisans.  Food offered at the event is from our eclectic food truck line, at an additional charge. Food trucks will include tacos, seafood, cupcakes, bbq, mac n’ cheese, popsicles, fresh squeezed lemonade, and pizza.
 
Wineries participating in this years festival include Hopkins Vineyard, Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Jones Winery, DiGrazia Vineyards, Paradise Hills Vineyard, Holmberg Winery, and of course Bishop’s Orchards Winery.  Drink the wines of Connecticut and listen to renowned bands, from around New England, Java Groove and Four Barrel Billy, while taking in the scenery overlooking the apple orchards of Bishop’s Orchards. 
 
Tickets for the festival are $30.00 for Adults, $60 for VIP, and $10.00 for Designated Driver Tickets. On August 6th, ticket prices for Adult tickets will go up to $35 and VIP to $70. Tickets are at a per person, per day rate, and they can be purchased online or at Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market. They will also be available at the door of the festival. The hours of the event are Saturday, Aug. 13, 12 pm – 7 pm and Sunday, Aug. 14, 12 pm – 6 pm. For more information and tickets, visit our website at www.shorelinewinefestival.com or contact Sarah DellaVentura at 203.453.2338 x. 218.
 
Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market and Winery | 1355 Boston Post Road | Guilford, CT 06437
www.BishopsOrchards.com | www.ShorelineWineFestival.com

Posted on July 13th, 2016

​Calling all dog owners: The 7th Annual Parading Paws Dog Show will be held Saturday, July 30 at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme as part of the Midsummer Festival.
 
Sponsored by Vista Life Innovations, Parading Paws is anything but a stuffy dog show. Instead, every four-legged contestant walks away a winner. Prizes are awarded based on each dog’s most distinguished characteristics, such as Best Smile, Biggest Paws, and Longest Tail. Special prizes are awarded for Best Trick and Best Costume.
 
This year’s event will also feature agility and scent demonstrations led by Kara Staroski, owner of Groomingtails Pet Spa in the Guilford, and her four Beauceron dogs.
 
This fun, family-oriented event is free and open to all. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and judging begins at 10:30 a.m. The panel of judges will include Vista students, members, and staff.
 
The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.
 
With campuses in Madison, Westbrook and Guilford, Vista is a nationally accredited community-based education program for individuals with disabilities.

Posted on July 8th, 2016

​These high-quality art works help rank this event as one of the top crafts show in New England.  
 
Guilford, Connecticut, July 7, 2016 - In celebration of its 59th year, Guilford Art Center's annual Craft Expo will bring more than 180 nationally-recognized artists to the scenic and historic Guilford Green July 15-17, 2016.  The latest in handmade crafts will be represented, in a variety of media, including Clay, Glass, Leather, Metal and Non-Metal Jewelry Wearable and Non-Wearable Fiber, Metal, Mixed Media, Paper, Printing, Photography, Printmaking, Soap and Wood.  These high-quality works help rank this event as one of the top crafts show in New England.  
 
Special features include a Silent Auction of exhibitor-donated crafts; craft demonstrations by Guilford Art Center faculty and students; food trucks and beer and wine; live musical entertainment; and a family art tent with special art activities for children.  
 
Craft Expo is sponsored, in part, by Shore Publishing Newspapers, with additional support from WSHU Public Radio and Prospector Partners.  All gate proceeds provide support for the Guilford Art Center's school, gallery, and community programs.
 
Craft Expo 2016 hours:  Friday, July 15, 12-9pm, Saturday, July 16, 10am-7pm, Sunday, July 17, 12-5 pm.  Admission:  Adults $9, Seniors $7, Members, children under 12 and active military are free. Multi-day pass $15.
 
For more information contact the Guilford Art Center at 203.453.5947 or email expo@guilfordartcenter.org, or visit www.guilfordartcenter.org.


Posted on July 7th, 2016

​The North Branford Senior Center is excited to announce the annual Senior Picnic, sponsored by the North Branford Rotary.  On Thursday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m. all seniors are invited to the Potato and Corn Festival site (290 Forest Road, Route 22) for a traditional cookout that includes hotdogs, hamburgers, salads, watermelon, beverages and a delicious cake from JCakes.

The picnic is FREE for senior residents and only $5.00 for seniors in our neighboring towns and will include a raffle. At 6:30 p.m. the event will open to the entire community for a FREE summer concert.  So bring your family, friends and a blanket and enjoy the music of The Muddy Rudders, a Connecticut shoreline based band covering music from the 60’s, 70’s and beyond!
 
In the event of rain, the evening will be moved indoors to the Stanley T. Williams Community Center, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford.

To register for the picnic or for more information, call (203) 484-6017.