April 20, 2018

Pianist Tom McDermott Performs Community Concert Today to Raise Awareness of Couple in Sanctuary at Old Lyme Church; Pizza Dinner Follows

Tom McDermott

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) has announced that Tom McDermott, the New Orleans piano virtuoso, and his friend, the award-winning New Orleans author, Tom Piazza, will perform a public concert in the Sheffield Auditorium at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 7, in the FCCOL Meetinghouse, to call attention to the plight of Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf, the New Britain couple who recently sought sanctuary at FCCOL.

The concert – an evening of songs and stories design to raise awareness and community support – is open to everyone.  Admission is free, but donations will be welcomed. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The concert will be followed by a homemade pizza dinner in the Fellowship Hall, prepared by the New Britain couple in sanctuary, who are also the owners of the popular Pizza Corner restaurant on Broad Street in New Britain.  Admission to the dinner is $10.  All proceeds from the evening will go towards assisting the couple’s efforts to achieve a stay of deportation.

McDermott is an internationally recognized pianist and composer, and a fixture in the world of New Orleans music.  His work was featured in the HBO series “Treme” – where he played himself several times throughout the series.  He has released 17 albums, including 90 original songs – in styles ranging from jazz to Brazilian choro, to ragtime, to swing, to classical compositions. 

He has played Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, most states in America and a couple dozen countries abroad.  He’s been reviewed a half-dozen times by the “New York Times,” as well as the “Wall Street Journal,” “Rolling Stone” and other media; and has lectured at Harvard on New Orleans, American music and his unique house.

In announcing McDermott’s return to Old Lyme, FCCOL Senior Minister Steven Jungkeit said, “To say Tom is talented is an absurd understatement:  He can play anything, with verve, with wit, and a deep knowledge of the musical tributaries that he navigates throughout his performances.”

Piazza is a celebrated writer on American music. His 12 books include the novels, “A Free State” and “City of Refuge”; the post-Katrina manifesto, “Why New Orleans Matters”; and “Devil Sent the Rain,” a collection of his essays and journalism. He was a principal writer for the HBO series “Treme” and became a Grammy Award winner for his album notes to “Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey.” In 2015, he received the prestigious Louisiana Writer Award, given by the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Center for the Book. His work has appeared in the “New York Times,” “The Atlantic,” “Bookforum,” “The Oxford American,” “Columbia Journalism Review” and many other periodicals.


Cappella Cantorum to Perform Haydn’s ‘Creation,’ Sunday, with Pittsinger, Cheney, Callinan as Soloists

Franz Joseph Haydn

AREAWIDE — Celebrate Earth Day and the creation of this beautiful planet by attending Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus’ performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Creation” on Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River.

Simon Holt will lead the chorus, professional soloists and orchestra. Soloists will be internationally known bass David Pittsinger, tenor Brian Cheney and soprano Sarah Callinan.

Haydn’s oratorio depicts the creation of the world from darkness and chaos to the creation of light, order and harmony. It is considered one of Haydn’s finest works.

Tickets are $25 purchased in advance, $30 at the door. For more information or tickets, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.


Blood Drive Today in Old Lyme: Supplies at Critical Low, Please Donate if Possible

Give-Blood-Give-LifeThe American Red Cross is hosting a Blood Drive today, Wednesday, April 4, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  There is currently a critical need for blood donations — please help if you are able.

A shortage of blood donations can lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients.

Remember the “The need is constant.  The gratification instant.” Walk-ins are welcome.

To make an appointment to donate your blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit http://www.redcrossblood.org.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2021 Hosts Bulb Fundraiser, Open to the Community

Order this beautiful freesia mix and support thr LOLHS Class of 2021.

The Freshman Class of Lyme-Old Lyme High School is fundraising with Dutch Mill Bulbs this spring. All items are guaranteed to grow and bloom, and the Class earns 50 percent profit on every sale.

Readers can order from one of the members of the freshmen class or make their selections online.

To order online, visit https://groups.dutchmillbulbs.com/shop/?affiliates=lolhs2021springbulbs 

Include your payment billing and shipping information, and enter Class of 2021 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in the Group Name.

Items you select will be sent directly to the shipping address you provide. All orders are shipped after April 1, and can only be shipped to the contiguous United States.

Share this link with friends and family, and on social media.

Place your order by April 13 for check or in person orders, and April 30 for online orders.


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools BOE Hosts Public Hearing on 2018-19 Budget

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education hosts a public hearing on the 2018-19 proposed schools budget at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School oat 49, Lyme St.

The proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year, which the board of education approved in February, is $34,298,528 representing a 1.97 percent increase over the current year.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and LOL Schools Board of Education Chair Mimi Roche stated in the March Focus on Education newsletter to the community that, “The majority of this budget increase is being driven by the cost of employee health insurance,” adding, ” Unfortunately, our renewal rates for this year are expected to be between 15-18 percent,” but noting, “Accordingly, we have developed a budget that will allow for this increase yet continues to maintain all of our award-winning academic and extracurricular offerings, which are commensurate, and oftentimes superior, to both public and private schools throughout Connecticut.”

Neviaser and Roche explained, “This budget supports our commitment to:

  • Continued adherence to class size guidelines. •
  • Reduction of staff to account for an enrollment decline at the elementary and middle school levels. •
  • Continuance of existing academic and extracurricular activities. •
  • Adjustments for anticipated changes in the special education population. •
  • Adequate funding for maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds. •
  • Scheduled replacement of technology and equipment. •
  • Program improvements that are consistent with high academic and operational standards.

Three facilities projects are detailed in the newsletter, namely, gaining commission approvals for an artificial turf field, replacing the Center School gymnasium floor and Mile Creek fuel oil tank.  Similarly, two program improvements are noted as follows: Next Generation Science Standards curricular support/training and technology infrastructure advancements.

All members of the public are invited to attend this forum; there will be a Q & A session after the presentation.

For further information on the proposed budget, visit this link for a copy of the 2018-19 budget.

The expected date for the budget referendum is Tuesday, May 8, with voting taking place in Lyme and Old Lyme from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall and Cross Lane Firehouse respectively.


Local Churches Host Variety of Services Today to Celebrate Easter

Photo by Aaron Burden courtesy of Unsplash.com.

Happy Easter to all our readers who celebrate the event!

Today Christ The King hosts a Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with choir and orchestra.

For more information, visit this link

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme hosts an Ecumenical Sunrise Service at 6 a.m. at Griswold Point, then worship services at 9 and 11 a.m.

For more information, visit this link .

Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church hosts worship services at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. with full choir.

For more information, visit this link.


Local Churches Hold Variety of Easter Services

Photo by Aaron Burden courtesy of Unsplash.com.

On Good Friday:

An inter-denominational walk will be held this morning for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. Meet at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church at 9:45 a.m. and walk past Christ the King Church to the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and back again — about three miles.

All ages are welcome.

The FCCOL Meetinghouse is open for prayer and meditation.

Christ The King Church hosts The Passion of our Lord and Veneration of the Cross at 3 p.m. and the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. followed by Confessions.

Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church hosts a Good Friday Liturgy Service at 12 noon. The church will be open for prayer until 3 p.m.

On Easter Saturday:

Christ The King hosts Blessing of the food at 12 noon and an Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. with choir, organ, timpani, and bells.

On Easter Sunday:
Christ The King hosts:

  • a Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with choir and orchestra.

For more information, visit this link

The FCCOL hosts:

  • Ecumenical Sunrise Service at 6 a.m. at Griswold Point — if you need directions, call the church at 860.434.8686
  • Worship services at 9 and 11 a.m.

For more information, visit this link .

Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church hosts:

  • Worship services at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. with full choir.

For more information, visit this link.


Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Lecture Tonight by US X-Country Skiers

US Olympians Caitlin and Scott Patterson.

The Old Lyme Historical Society will host a free lecture in their building at 55 Lyme St. by US Cross-Country skiers Caitlin and Scott Patterson — who are also siblings from the Griswold clan — on Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

The Pattersons will discuss their recent experience as members of Team USA at the Winter Olympics held in South Korea.  Share their excitement in the long-awaited gold medal in cross-country ski-ing for the US.

All are welcome. Coffee and snacks will be served.


Tickets on Sale Now for Community Music School’s 35th Anniversary Gala, April 27

Making plans for this year’s 35th anniversary CMS gala are, from left to right, CMS Music Director Tom Briggs, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Bruce Lawrence of Bogaert Construction, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Jennifer Bauman of The Bauman Family Foundation, and CMS Executive Director Abigail Nickell.

Community Music School’s (CMS) largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year the organization is  celebrating its 35th anniversary with For the Love of Music! The event takes place on Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more.

Featured faculty and student performers include Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt.

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs.

For The Love of Music sponsors include The Bauman Family Foundation, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bogaert Construction, Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet Nissan, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Kitchings & Potter, Maple Lane Farms, Reynold’s Subaru, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Thomas Alexa Wealth Management, Tidal Counseling LLC, and Tower Labs LTD.

Early bird tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible) by April 13 and $135 thereafter. Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  To learn more, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)-767-0026.


LYSB Hosts Summer Camp Fair Today

Kids_from_Camp_FlyerLymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents a Summer Camp and Activities Fair in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Commons, Wednesday, March 28, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

More than 30 local camps will be at the Fair.  There will be opportunities to pick up brochures, meet camp representatives and also, to register for a variety of camps.

Pizza will be available for sale.

Click here to view a full listing of the participating organizations.

For more information, call 860.434.7208 or visit www.lysb.org


Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme Places at Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games

Evan Visgilio stands proudly for a photo after winning a fistful of awards at the Vermont Special Olympics and being named Vermont Special Olympics Rookie of the Year.

Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme returned from the Vermont Special Olympic Winter Games in Mendon, Vt., with a Participation  Ribbon, a Seventh Place Finish and a Sixth Place Finish.  He was also named Vermont Special Olympics Rookie of the Year.

Pico Mountain located in Mendon, Vt., hosted the Vermont Special Olympics Winter Games the weekend of March 19-20.  Evan, who skies for The Hermitage at Haystack Team, participated in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G events, winning a Participation Ribbon in Slalom, a Seventh Place Ribbon in Giant Slalom and a Sixth Place Ribbon in the Super G.  Evan advanced to Intermediate Division 3 this year. He was born with Down Syndrome and has been skiing for eight years.

Evan, who is 14-years-old, lives in Old Lyme with his parents John and Wendy Visgilio, as well as his siblings Brenna, Will and John.  Evan attends Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School where he is in 8th Grade.

He trains at The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain in Wilmington, Vt., with his coaches Scott Serota, Corey Robinson and Kate Riley.


A la Carte Goes Colorful with Crispy Cod with Chorizo, White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

Crispy cod with chorizo, white beans and cherry tomatoes.

Back in January, I was invited to a dinner party. The food was incredible, beginning with an appetizer of a seared sea scallop, topped with shredded duck and enveloped with a sunny yellow hollandaise and an arugula in subtle vinaigrette. As an “intermission,” there was glorious white lasagna which melted in our mouths. The entrée was beef and carrots in Borolo, silken mashed potatoes and fresh green beans with pine nuts.

The chef had also sent to our tables of 12 a freshly made bread that had been low risen for two days before it was put in the oven. There were two desserts—one a cassata (a traditional Sicilian cake) and soufflé. All the savory dishes were created by Tom Cherry, who spent a lot of time and love on that dinner, although his real job is plastic surgery. The desserts were created by Bette Hu, who calls herself “just a home cook.” Actually, these two may be just “home cooks,” but, truth be told, I am a home cook. These two people are true artists.

I have said before that real chefs can make magic with a few pans, a few sharp knives and a working stove. While Tom and his wife Lynn have a Viking stove in emerald green with eight to 10 burners on his cooktop and a few ovens at his disposal, he could do that in my galley kitchen and electric stove. I, on the other hand, would need his Viking to be that proficient. As I left that evening, I tried to figure out how I could sneak that Viking into my car. I couldn’t/t!

People often ask me what I consider most important to have in a kitchen. In my last house in Old Lyme, I could hold 20 people in the kitchen as I cooked, had a 42-inch cooktop with six gas burners, two ovens and a warming drawer. The granite counter held 10 and part of the counter was four inches below the regular one, so I could make pastry without making my shoulders ache. My pantry took up another room.

Today I have a fair amount of counter space and a nice deep kitchen sink, but the cooktop has four electric burners, there are two ovens but one is very shallow and most of my pantry is in the hallway closet, along with coats. I have a lot of counter-top appliances, but I have learned how to use those electric burners so that they do not ruin the good pans I have collected over the years.

What I need most in my kitchen these days are my knives (on a magnetic bar so the knife block doesn’t take up counter top), those good pans and Silpat liners for my many, many nested sheet pans, the last of which I use often.

In a recent edition of Rachael Ray Everyday, I saw a recipe for a cod that can be made in a sheet pan that fits in my shallow oven. 

Crispy Cod with Chorizo, White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

From Rachael Ray Everyday, February, 2018

Yield: serves 4

2 cans (15 to 15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed
8 ounces cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved
5 ounces cured chorizo, casing removed and meat chopped into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
One-half teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil
One-half cup panko
1 tabelspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus one-quarter cup coarsely chopped
4 boneless, skinless cod fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
3 tablespoons tartar sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss beans, tomatoes, chorizo, garlic and crushed red pepper with 2 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon salt and one-quarter teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

In a shallow bowl, toss panko and 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Brush the tops and sides of the cod fillets with tartar sauce. Press the tops and sides of the fillets into the panko mixture until coated. Arrange the fish to the center of the baking sheet. Arrange the bean mixture in an even layer around the fish.

Bake until panko is golden and the fish flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the coarsely chopped parsley and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.


Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Club Welcomes New Members of Any Skill Level From All Along Shoreline

Dan Janiak and Will Tuthill confirm it was a pleasure to play.   All photos by Peter Pearce.

“Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it.”   Andy Murray, professional tennis champion

For the men of the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Organization, the tennis is far from perfect – but that’s not the point. Oh, they may step onto the court feeling sure that today, for just once, it’s all going to come together. But the reality of slower reflexes and an aging body’s aches and pains quickly snaps them back to reality.  The players all accept their shortcomings and can even joke about them; it’s the camaraderie that matters.

For men 60 years or older, the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis group is a great retirement activity and a perfect way to spend two to three mornings a week.  You’ll get exercise, competition, laughter, friendship, caring, and more.

Dave Cassano puts away a volley.

But you don’t have to be retired …

Some players adjust their work schedules to fit in tennis. Along the way, you just may be stimulated by seeing guys in their 80s who can still get around the court and hit winners. As player Greg Fahey said, “I happen to be one of the younger members of the group … all of the members are an inspiration in both physical and mental condition … in the spirit they demonstrate and the example they provide.”

The league is now recruiting new players for both the upcoming summer season as well as next winter’s. There’s no need to worry about your skill level. As octogenarian Tom Dolan told one player who was feeling dejected by his poor play, “Don’t worry about it. Think about the alternative; you could be horizontal.”

Art Paquette hits a forehand while his partner John Kraska watches the play closely.

Players range from beginners to seasoned veterans and span in age from 60 to 88. The league’s steering committee divides them into three groups based on ability, the goal being to slot players into the level in which they are likely to find comfortable, enjoyable play. A wide geographic area is represented, stretching from Hamden and New Haven up to Cromwell and down to Old Lyme.

Matches are all doubles, with partners being agreed upon by the foursome at the start of the match. You will be in a different foursome every match. With the emphasis on recreation and friendship, no standings are kept.

Matches are scheduled year-round, with the summer season running from May through early October and the winter season from October through April. Summer season is outdoors at public and private courts in the Madison/Guilford area; winter season is played indoors at the Madison Racquet and Swim Club. You may choose to play one, two or three days a week.

Article author Tom Soboleski runs down a forehand.

Madison Seniors Tennis is now in its 21st year. It began when a small group of friends, led by John Sadek and Joe Pegnataro of Madison, began playing at Pegnataro’s home court. It now includes more than 70 men and all scheduling is administered through a web-based program.

Whether you’re a high-skilled player or just a beginner, Madison Senior Mens Tennis will happily and comfortably welcome you. “Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Peter Lemley. “I find more often than not, when a player scores a great point, not only his partner, but his opponents will cheer.”  Besides the aforementioned benefits, your ego may get a boost as well. As tennis great John McEnroe has said, “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

If interested in joining, or if you have any questions, the organization can be contacted:

  • By text message or call to: Chris Hill at 203.641.7100, or John Sadek at 203.245.1261

More information is also available on the league’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/mseniortennis/home


Contest Announced for Sound View Beach Display Banner Design(s), Entries Due by April 30

The Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission have announced a friendly competition for display banner designs for Sound View Beach. The Sound View improvements project includes four banner poles placed on Hartford Avenue, which can accommodate banners measuring approx. 2ft. wide by 3ft. tall. The banners can be viewed from both sides, therefore up to eight panels can be approved. Panels can be duplicated or there can be eight different designs. The banners will be displayed from Memorial Day to mid-September.

The Town and the Commissione are soliciting designs for the banners. Although the concept for design is fairly open, it should be welcoming, colorful and unique to Sound View. Sound View is Americas First Public Beach, established in 1892, and is a Registered Connecticut Historic Place.

All design entries must be received by April 30, 2018, allowing time for selection and custom ordering of the banners.

Design entries can be sent by mail to Selectmans Office, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT 06371 or via email to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov. If chosen, an electronic version suitable for printing will be required.

For further information and any questions, email selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov with the Subject Line: Sound View Banner Design.

All entries will be displayed at Old Lyme Town Hall during the month of May.


Duck River Garden Club Presents ‘Hello Spring,’ Tonight

On Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. the Duck River Garden Club will present ” Hello, Spring,” featuring guest speaker Sylvia Nichols.  The meeting will be held at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall on Lyme Street.

Nichols will provide an  interactive presentation demonstrating simple, easy to create floral designs suitable for spring entertaining or just plain fun.  She will also teach some flower arranging tricks, and give tips on using your own garden material or fresh flowers from a floral store.
Nichols brings a practical approach to playing with flowers.  Her presentation is expected to be funny, enlightening, and entertaining.

Sen. Blumenthal Visits Pakistani Couple Seeking Sanctuary at Old Lyme Church

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (left) speaks in the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Sunday after meeting with the Pakistani couple Malik Naveed Bin Rehman (center) and Zahida Altaf (right), who have been served with a deportation order.

UPDATED  03/26: Senator Richard Blumenthal visited Malik Naveed Bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf in sanctuary yesterday afternoon at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme to show support and to discuss ways to support their case.

Malik Naveed Bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf, who were ordered by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to leave the United States by Monday, March 19, 2018, have taken sanctuary at the church. This act of compassion offered to a family in need – with the support of many community leaders,  is meant to give the justice process more time to work while all avenues of appeal are exercised in the pursuit of relief in their case.

Malik and Zahida’s request for a stay has gathered the support of Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, Congresswoman Esty, Representative William Tong, South Windsor Mayor Dr. M Saud Anwar, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart,  the New Britain City Council, and Meriden City Councilman Miguel Castro.

On March 14, in a show of support and protection, the New Britain City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging Officer Brophy; the Acting Field Office Director of ICE, to reconsider the couple’s removal date.

Other supporters include the advocacy team composed of CCSU students, families that have faced similar deportation battles before; such as members of the Cardoso family of New Britain and the Ramos family of Meriden.

Humanitarian groups such as CIRA, Action Together CT, CT Shoreline Indivisible, ACLU People Power, and more have rallied in support also.

Update: Visit this link to read a full report of yesterday’s event titled Sen. Richard Blumenthal Visits New Britain Couple Taking Refuge In Old Lyme Church written by Matthew Ormseth and published yesterday, March 25, on www.courant.com.


Local AAUW Hosts Luncheon with Nationally-Acclaimed Authors at Saybrook Point Inn, April 14

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions. Reservation forms may be downloaded at http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net. The deadline is April 5.


Together We Rise CT Holds a ‘March For Our Lives’ in East Haddam

In support of students across the country, a March For Our Lives event will be held at Two Wrasslin’ Cats, 374 Town Street, East Haddam, on Saturday, March 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Hosted by Together We Rise CT – Building Bridges for Justice, the event will be one of more than nearly 700 world-wide.

March For Our Lives was created, inspired, and led by students who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of school shootings. March For Our Lives believes the time to take action is now.

Students across the country are leading the way, and Together We Rise CT is proud to follow their lead. All are welcome to join them for a peaceful vigil of commemoration, featuring youth speakers and music, as everyone stands together in non-violent witness. Participants are requested to bring peaceful signs or banners only — and no pets.

RSVP at http://act.everytown.org/event/march-our-lives-events_attend/8903. If you wish to volunteer or have questions, e-mail togetherwerisect@gmail.com.


Informational Meeting for New NCL Mom-Daughter Local Chapter Held in Old Lyme

The National Charity League (NCL) is a an organization of mothers and daughters in 7th through 12th grade.  The mission of NCL is to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.
The NCL is more than a service club or a social club — it is a well-rounded, three-pillared organization that provides opportunities to be intentional in your relationship with your daughter and to role-model actively things you would like her to learn.  There is no religious or political affiliation, and the members will decide which non-profit organizations are served.
The NCL currently has 250 chapters, totaling 65,000 members across 26 states.  A Shoreline Chapter of NCL is being started and is recruiting girls currently in 6th to 11th grade AND their Mothers.

If you like the idea of volunteering with your mom or daughter and building a bond while servicing others, join the Chapter’s founders for an informational meeting on Saturday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau community room at 59 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

For more information, visit this link.

Last Chance to See ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ at Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Reharsing a number from the show are, from left to right, Hannah Morrison, Lauren Mitchell, Katie Reid, Haley Stevens, Emma Bass, Heather McGrath, and Grace Edwards.

Hear ye, hear ye! The dates for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) spring musical are rapidly approaching and the whole community is invited!

This year, the Old Lyme Players are tackling the classic comedy Once Upon a Mattress. The musical reveals the untold stories of The Princess and the Pea as the audience discovers that the “lost princess” was actually royalty in the swamp lands, not a girl wandering through a storm, who stumbled upon the castle.

Princess Winnifred, nicknamed “Fred,” falls in love with the dapper Prince Dauntless and must pass the Queen’s virtually impossible royalty test before she and Dauntless can get married, but Queen Aggravain plots to sabotage Fred so that she and Dauntless cannot be together. Meanwhile, Lady Larken and Sir Harry, an unmarried couple living in the kingdom, are expecting a child, and they wait anxiously for the royal wedding since no one in the kingdom is allowed to get married before Prince Dauntless.

The musical is directed by Jim Motes with musical direction by Kristine Pekar, choreographed by Bethany Haslam, and conducted by Jacob Wilson. The show also features sets by William Allik along with costumes created and organized by Denise Golden.

Once Upon a Mattress stars Natalie Golden as Princess Winnifred, Caroline LeCour as Queen Aggravain, Jacob Olsen as Prince Dauntless, and Lauren Mitchell as the Minstrel. Additionally, the show features Sean Spina as the king, Elyza Learned and Liam Clark as Lady Larken and Sir Harry, Haley Stevens as the Jester and Sophia Griswold as the Wizard

The cast auditioned for the show in December and has been rehearsing weekdays from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. with additional Sunday choreography rehearsals from 4 to 6 p.m. The company has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the production and is eagerly anticipating sharing the production with the audience.

Old Lyme Players encourage audience members to arrive ready to sit back, relax and enjoy this lighthearted musical comedy set in a fairy-tale world, which the cast and crew magically create onstage.

Once Upon a Mattress opens at LOLHS on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m.  There are also 7 p.m. performances on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24.  In addition, there is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on the Saturday.

Tickets, sold online at this link  and at the door, are $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults. For more information, call the high school at 860-434-1651.