Community News For The Windsor Edition

Light Up The Town

BLOOMFIELD — The town of Bloomfield welcomes all to attend the Light up the Town ]event and parade on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. Come to the Bloomfield Town Green for the holiday parade, music and refreshments.

The night will conclude with lighting of the trees at Town Hall, the Town Green and Prosser Library. Activities will include Bloomfield High School Choir, refreshments and more.

The grand marshall for this year's parade will be Tim Restall, president of the Hartford Yard Goats. For more information, contact Matt Mace, Assistant Director of Leisure Services, at mmace@bloomfieldct.org or 860-243-2923.

Windsor Senior Center Activities

WINDSOR — The Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Ave., released the following information. For more information, call 860-285-1992.

The Windsor Senior Center presents a Bermuda Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn on April 20-27, 2018. Costs are as follows: Inside state room: $1299 pp; Ocean view: $1459 pp; Balcony: $1799 pp. First deposit due at time of reservation of $450, plus optional travel insurance. Final payment due on February 1, 2018. Call 860-285-1992 for more information.

The Windsor Senior Center is located at 599 Matianuck Ave. and can be reached at 860-285-1992. Visit www.townofwindsorct.com/seniorservices for more information.

Take a trip to the Wood Memorial Library and Museum in South Windsor on Saturday, Dec. 2, to attend the annual Gingerbread House Festival. The bus leaves the Windsor Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. Call 860-285-1992 to sign up. Free. Transportation available from your home for Dial-A-Ride patrons.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, join the Senior Center to see the holiday light displays at Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield, Mass. The bus leaves the Windsor Senior Center at 6 p.m. and returns after the light show. Call 860-285-1992 to sign up. Cost is $10.

The Windsor Senior Center will display its beautifully decorated Christmas tree by senior volunteers at this year's Festival of Trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Join them on Saturday, Dec. 9, to view all of the trees and holiday ornaments. The bus leaves the Windsor Senior Center at 10 a.m. Lunch will take place at the Chowder Pot Restaurant at 1 p.m. and will return to the center after lunch. Transportation is available from your home for Dial-A-Ride patrons; cost of meals and/or fees are your responsibility.

Holiday Party in the Windsor Senior Center café: Wednesday, Dec. 6, from noon to 2 p.m. The menu features glazed black forest ham, pineapple cranberry sauce, herb roasted potato wedges, baked cauliflower, tossed salad, French rolls, soft drinks/coffee/tea and pumpkin bread pudding for dessert.

José Paulo will be singing classic holiday songs as well as other all-time favorites. The event is hosted by Stonebrook Village At Windsor Locks. Sign up in the office, online, or call 860-285-1992 by Dec. 1 as reservations go quickly. Cost: $10.

Do you need computer assistance? If so, sign up for one-on-one computer or device assistance in the Windsor Senior Center Computer Lab. Use our computers or bring your own laptop or iPad. Students from the Loomis Chaffee school will assist you with their technical knowledge. Sign up for either of the following dates: Tuesday, Dec. 5 or Dec. 12, between 10 to 10:30 a.m. Call 860-285-1992 to register. Free.

Holidays can be stressful, even in the best of times. If you are grieving the death of a loved one, you may be feeling added stress to plan or participate in holiday events. On Monday, Dec. 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., visit the senior center's All Purpose Room 1 and come and talk together about how you can hold onto your memories and create new meaning, while coping with your loss. Facilitated by Bereavement Coordinator, Linda Huff, of East Hartford Masonicare. Free. Call 860-285-1992 to sign up.

Learn about emergency response systems, medication management and home safety technologies on Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 2 p.m., presented by Assisted Living Technologies. Sponsored by Riverside Health & Rehabilitation. Free. Refreshments will be served. Call 860-285-1992 to sign up for this informative presentation.

Mohegan Sun: The Coach bus leaves the Windsor Senior Center on Friday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m., returning at midnight. Cost is $25 which includes transportation, $15 meal coupon, $15 slot play, and a free raffle on the bus. Call 860-285-1992 or sign up in the office or online.

Movie of the Month: Celebrate the holiday season as we show "Christmas in Connecticut" on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 12:45 p.m. in the Senior Lounge. Free, including popcorn and soda. Transportation available for Dial-A-Ride patrons. Call 860-285-1992 to sign up.

Children from the Windsor Family Resource Center Playgroup will visit for a fun-filled morning on Tuesday, Dec. 19, from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The children will sing Christmas carols to seniors, as well as create crafts with those who would like to participate. View monthly newsletters at www.townofwindsorct.com/seniorservices/ for information on the Senior Fitness Center, many exercise classes, dance classes, Pickleball games, and health clinics such as foot clinics, blood pressure, hearing and memory screenings, or call 860-285-1992.

Wreath-Making Workshop

WINDSOR — Join the staff of Northwest Park, 145 Lang Road, on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. for a natural holiday wreath making workshop. Make wreaths from provided natural materials during this hands-on workshop recommended for ages 12 and above. Participants will make and decorate a 22-inch frame.

The cost is $25 for Windsor residents and $30 for non-residents. Registration is required. Visit townofwindsorct.com/recreation to register or call 860-285-1886.

Library Events

WINDSOR — Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad St., is hosting the following events.

Toe Jam Puppet Band Winter Variety Show: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. All ages. Registration is required at 860-285-1914.

Blizzards: Outwit the Elements. Friday, Dec. 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. The Windsor Public Library is hosting the Boston Museum of Science for Blizzards: Outwit the Elements. This hands-on workshop gives participants a chance to plan, build and test tree house designs against the forces of nature. Open to grades K and up. Space is limited so registration is required.

Christmas House Tours

WINDSOR — A private home in Windsor is open for Christmas house tours, beginning Dec. 2, as a benefit for Foodshare.

Tours at 234 Kenswick Lane are available Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors are asked to make a monetary or non-perishable food donations for Foodshare. Eleven rooms will be decorated in spectacular fashion, with 26 trees, Annalee dolls, Byers Choice carolers, Lynn Haney Santas and Marc Roberts' figures.

Audible Art For People With Disabilities

NEW BRITAIN — CRIS Radio, a 39-year-old nonprofit based in Windsor, and New Britain Museum of American Art, are working together to offer visitors with low-vision or other print disabilities a new way to access selected masterpieces at the museum.

The program, called CRISAccess, offers on-demand audio versions of print information and audio descriptions of selected masterpieces displayed at the NBMAA through a personal smart phone that scans QR (Quick Response) Codes. The QR Codes link the phone to an audio version of an exhibit sign and audio description of the masterpiece, typically lasting less than three-minutes.

National studies report that only 11-percent of people with disabilities visit museums. The collaboration between the two nonprofits provide a low-cost and simple approach to enhance the visitor experience for people with visual or other print disabilities. CRIS Radio based its CRISAccess program on the recommendations of a focus group comprised of people with visual disabilities convened by the Smithsonian.

All CRISAccess recordings feature human narration provided by CRIS Radio volunteers. Funding for this pilot program comes from the American Savings Foundation.

Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications

AREA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90-percent of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut's Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.

In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.

CAAs will certify oil deliveries starting Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.

Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.

A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.

Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.

For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.

STAR Assessment Workshop

WINDSOR — A STAR Early Literacy Family Workshop for Windsor families to better understanding their child's Grade K assessment will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Oliver Ellsworth School, 730 Kennedy Road. Food and childcare will be provided. Visit https://goo.gl/forms/j4IjWJU2CAuAu8gU2 to register.

Christmas At The Ellsworth's

WINDSOR — All are invited to experience the history and charm of an old New England Christmas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2, at the historic Oliver Ellsworth Homestead, 778 Palisado Ave.

Built in 1781, the Homestead will be decked out the for the holiday with period décor, food and clothing typical of the mid-19th century. Sponsored by the Ellsworth Memorial Association and the Connecticut DAR, cost to attend is $10 per adult and $5 per child. On Friday, seniors may attend for $2.

Cookies With Santa

WINDSOR — Cookies with Santa with the Windsor Junior Woman's Club will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Windsor Fire Station, 340 Bloomfield Ave.

The event will feature cookies, hot cocoa, a visit from Santa Claus, trying on firefighter gear, the opportunity to write a letter to Santa Claus and make a holiday craft. Donations will be accepted at the door and will help support local charities and programs.

Windsor Art Events

WINDSOR — The Windsor Art Center will be hosting a sculpture show entitled Imagers in Conversation. The two sculptors featured in this exhibition are Delois Barnes and James Buxton. Both individually and together, their works spark and engage dialogue around societal issues. For more information, visit www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-688-2526.

The exhibition runs through Dec. 23 at The Windsor Art Center, 40 Mechanic St. An Artist Talk presented by both artists, discussing their creative journey as sculptors in the 21st century, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Gallery hours are Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Art, Jazz, and Food at the Windsor Train Station with resident and visiting artists LeaAnn Cogswell, Cathy Doocy, Andres Chaparro, Joe Sam, Charlene Li, Kassie Huhtanen, and Robert Noreika will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.

Film Night: An old-fashioned movie night with popcorn and pizza. Free. A film about a renowned master artist who sculpts out of blown glass. Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 2 p.m.

Workshop: Cards that Pop, 3-D card-making workshop. Participants take home three handcrafted cards. Class held at the Windsor Art Center Studios. Class size limited to 10. $35 includes materials. Instructor: Meckla Pinnix-Clark.

Special Needs Hockey Team Recruiting New Players

AREA — The Connecticut Chasers, an ice hockey team for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, is recruiting new players for the 2017-18 season, running from Nov. 4, through March 10, 2018.

Weekly practices are at Simsbury Farms Skating Rink in Simsbury from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The team is looking for players of all abilities and skill levels ages 8 and up. "Learn to Skate" sessions are offered for those new to the ice.

Prospective players and their families are invited to attend a practice to see the fun for themselves. Some equipment is available to borrow for anyone who wants to try a practice session before joining.

Athletes from throughout the Greater Hartford Area and beyond are welcome. Current players are from Avon, Canton, Ellington, Farmington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, South Windsor, and Windsor.

The Chasers were founded in 1997 by former Hartford Whaler Kelly Chase and the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress to provide a team experience for the players while helping them improve their self-esteem, social skills, gross motor skills and coordination. The team is a proud member of the American Special Hockey Association and Special Hockey International.

Last season, the Chasers had the honor of serving as "Blue Line Buddies" for the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing on the ice with the team during the National Anthem before a game at the XL Center. The Chasers are looking for similar opportunities this season.

The team also has scrimmages with the Southern Connecticut Storm of Bridgeport and the East Coast Jumbos of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Email Ctchasershockey@gmail.com for more information.

Phipps And Schoelzel Scholarships

AREA — The GFWC Windsor Woman's Club, on behalf of the General Federal of Women's Clubs in Connecticut, is now accepting applications for both the Phipps Memorial Scholarship and the Dorothy E. Schoelzel Scholarship. These funds are available to enable Connecticut women to pursue advanced courses of study in accredited institutions of learning.

Phipps Scholarship candidates must have completed two or more years of undergraduate work, matriculating for a Bachelor's degree or a postgraduate degree with a 3.0 grade point average or better.

Candidates for the Schoelzel Scholarship must have completed three or more year's undergraduate work in an accredited institution of higher learning with a 3.0 grade point average or better. This scholarship is intended for those matriculating for a Bachelor's degree or a postgraduate degree in the field of Education.

For an application for either scholarship, please call Mary at 860-683-0347 before Feb. 1, 2018.

C.A.R.E.S Socktober

WINDSOR — C.A.R.E.S. is collecting new winter socks to be distributed this holiday season to those in need. New socks can be dropped off at Social Services at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Anyone with questions may call Deb at 860-285-1839.

Police Cadets Seeking Role Players

WINDSOR — The Windsor Police Cadets are seeking paid role players to assist at law enforcement training classes from September through May, as needed on evenings and weekends. Role players shall be compensated as follows: $25 for three to four hours and $50 for six hours.

To be considered, candidates must be a minimum 18 years of age. Advisors, members, and parents/guardians of members are ineligible. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Senior Cadet Patrick Dowd at 860-593-7808. A criminal history check and waiver are required.

Preschool Opportunities Provide Subsidies

WINDSOR — The Windsor School Readiness Council is seeking children, three or four years of age, to attend First Church Early Learning Center, which is a National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited preschool program.

School Readiness is a state initiative designed to provide children with a high quality preschool experience and support their social, emotional and academic development. Windsor families who meet income eligibility guidelines may apply for subsidized full time preschool placements that are available for the fall of 2017.

Applications for Windsor's School Readiness program are accepted on an ongoing basis. They encourage families to apply as soon as possible, as opportunities are limited. For more information or to make an appointment, email JCogswell@windsorct.org.

Golden Fellowship Club Trips

WINDSOR — The Golden Fellowship Club is offering the following trip. All trips depart from the Windsor Senior Center north parking lot, 599 Matianuck Ave. For more information, call Pauline at 860-758-7378 or Donna at 860-335-7069.

April 21 - 29: 2018 Celebrity Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Summit. Fly to San Juan and spend eight nights on board. Visit St Maarten, St Thomas and Bermuda onboard activities. Cost to attend is $1,299 per person.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

WINDSOR — Are you a grandparent raising or caring for your grandchildren? Windsor Social Services is interested in hearing from you concerning your experiences and challenges. Staff are aware of many blended families in town and would like to offer support and assistance if needed. Do you have specific needs that are not being met? Social Services can help. Call Deb Sheldon at 860-285-1839.

Lost Keys

WINDSOR — Two black Honda car keys were reported lost in the Windsor area. Store tags are attached. Call 860-690-3003.

Nutmeg Senior Rides

AREA — Nutmeg Senior Rides provides door through door transportation for seniors and the visually impaired in North Central Connecticut, and now has the online capability for volunteers to pick the rides that fit their schedule.

Volunteer drivers help riders shop and pick out their items, go to doctor appointments, bingo, lunch with friends and more. Mileage for drivers is reimbursed at 40-cents per mile.

Volunteer drivers are needed for expanded service in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.

Applications to become a driver are available at www.NutmegSeniorRides.org or by sending an email to ctseniorrides@gmail.com. For additional information, call Executive Director Margaret Smith Hale at 860-758-7833.

Professional Development Experts Sought

WINDSOR — Windsor School Readiness is looking for highly trained, degreed individuals with an expertise in hands-on math and science lesson planning for the preschool-aged child.

This individual would make on-site center visits to assist with implementing standard based math and science activities in centers within classrooms, provide tailored professional feedback and ideas to use in the classroom and arrange for a follow-up professional development training for staff. Must have own transportation and a flexible schedule.

Interested parties can send a resume to ARacht@windsorct.org.

Groceries To Go

WINDSOR — Groceries To Go is a supplemental grocery program for seniors. Participants can choose from a variety of easy to prepare and nutritious food items and educational materials every other Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Ave.

Applicants must be 60 or older, reside in a household that meets income guidelines, and be a resident of the town of Windsor. For more information or to fill out an application, contact Windsor Social Services at 860-285-1839. Those who are homebound may contact Deb Sheldon, at Windsor Social Services, at the above number.

Youth Services Bureau

WINDSOR — The Windsor Youth Services Bureau is offering babysitter's training, first aid, and CPR training for youth and a home alone safety class. Contact the Youth Services Coordinator at 860-285-1990 with any questions.

Fine Art Classes

WINDSOR — The Windsor Art Center Studios, 35 Central St., will offer eight different art classes and a Saturday workshop. Classes include cartooning for teenagers, clay sculpture, pastel painting, pen and ink drawing, watercolors, hand-painted collages, oil painting, and creating art with gourds. For additional info, visit http://www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-508-3186.

Windsor School Readiness Search

WINDSOR — Windsor School Readiness is looking for NAEYC accredited and/or Head Start programs that are interested in becoming program providers for School Readiness children and families.

If you are interested in becoming a School Readiness program provider, call Amanda Racht at 860-687-2070, ext. 229.

Bereavement Support Group

WINDSOR — Mary's Place, A Center for Grieving Children & Families, 6 Poquonock Ave., has free support groups that meet twice a month. Visit marysplacect.org or call Brittany, at 860-688-9621, for details.

Kiwanis Club Meetings

WINDSOR — The Kiwanis Club of Windsor, a service organization which brings aid to children in need, meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Jim's Pizza, 124 Poquonock Ave. in Windsor. Visit windsorkiwanis.org.

Dementia Caregivers Support Group

BLOOMFIELD — The Dementia Caregivers Support Group, held at Duncaster on the last Monday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon, meets in the Hospitality Room at Duncaster, 30 Loeffler Road. Facilitators are Michelle Wyman, LSW, CDP, and Sara Therion, MSW. For more information or to register, call Michelle at 860-276-5399, ext. 4404 or Sara at 860-380-5012.

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