Tag Archives: Travelers

Decked Out Ron’s Run Arrives On Derby Day

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kentucky2There is more than just the Kentucky Derby run9happening on Saturday.

So grab your hat.

Coinciding with the famed horse race on Saturday,  is the annual Ron’s Run for the Roses, an area  fundraiser at Folly Farms in Simsbury  benefiting  The Ron Foley Foundation and pancreatic cancer research.

One of the highlights of the mint julep and seersucker affair is the headwear, fabulously decadent  wide-brimmed, shadow box, cloche and picture-style hats. kentucky3

We had a crash course on creating the perfect headpiece thanks to a group of Hartford area women who have been longtime supporters of the cause, and of course, a stylish chapeau !

To find out why and how some committee members get  elegantly hat-ready each year, go here.


Another Busy Weekend Hartford, Rest Up!

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Gala season and then some continues Hartford so if you had plans to start pulling out the turkeycalendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1] roaster or getting a jump on special house cleaning, put it off. You still have a couple of weeks before the official holiday season gets underway.

But if you need a jumpstart  to get that holiday glow on, you could head over to the historic Town And County Club , 22 Woodland Street in Hartford. 

That’s where The Connecticut Valley Garden Club will hold its annual “Set To Celebrate” table dressing display. More than 30 tables, mantles, tabletops, and staircases will be dressed to the nines, not just for the holidays but assorted special occasions, as well. Themes range from theater and music to history and cooking and are all created by well-known designers, artists and decorators. A boutique with accessories will also be featured as well as a “tabletop” tag sale. Proceeds benefit the new Heritage Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park, a garden that will be handicapped accessible.

table3The opening reception is Thursday. Tickets are $100. The display opens to the public from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Lunch can be pre-ordered. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance and $30 at the door.

Information: Set2Celebrate.net

Thursday also features   the Capital Community College “Changing Lives” gala at the downtown Hartford campus beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $100 for the gala benefiting the school’s programs and scholarships. Information: 860-906-5102 or capitalcc.edu

Charter Oak College will also be doing some celebrating on Thursday. The school will hold its 40th anniversary celebration at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford beginning at 6 p.m. The evening includes the Foundation’s Shea Lecture “HealthCare: The Next 40 Years.” Information: coscf.org

Novpancreasember is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and the theme is “The Power of Purple.” Beginning Nov. 14, watch for purple lights on display at dozens of participating businesses in West Hartford Center and homes all around the area supporting efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. The program is sponsored by The Ron Foley Foundation, established in memory of former Hartford insurance executive Ron Foley, who died of pancreatic cancer several years ago.

The Mental Health Association of Connecticut will welcome actor Joe Pantoliano Thursday at The Hartford Club at 6 p.m. The actor, author and advocate for mental health awareness is best known for his work on the tv series “The Sopranos.” He will speak on “The Art of Well-Being.” Information: mhact.org

Meanwhile at Hall High School on Thursday, try some cafeteria food for dinner. But it’s not whatlunch you think. A host of some of the area’s most well-known chefs including Max Downtown’s Hunter Morgan, Grants Billy Grant, Trumbull Kitchen’s Chris Torla, and Hartford Baking Company’s Scott Kluger will be showing off the cafeteria food they have helped create for the district at the “Chefs Do School Lunch” event.

The dining program is part of the Growing Great Schools initiative that has paired the district with the chefs to promote healthy eating, nutrition education, fitness and school gardens. Seatings are at 5, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults and $2 for children. Information: growinggreatschools.org or email at ggstickets@gmail.com

 On Friday, the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters will hold its bbbsagalaannual “Start Something Big” gala at the Hartford Golf Club, 134 Norwood Drive, West Hartford. Honorary chair is Travelers vice president and chief administrative officer Andy Bessette. The party starts at 6:30 pm. and includes cocktails, dinner, and an auction with emcee WFSB personality Scot Haney. Tickets are $225 a person. Information:nutmegbigbrothersbigsisters.com

On Saturday Favarh (The Arc of the Farmington Valley)  will holds its 6th annual fundraiser, “Decades,” at the Riverview in Simsbury. tTe event will features  dinner, dancing and an auction, all beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $130 a person. information: 860-693-6662 or favarh.org














ARTini Showcases Hartford’s Art of the Pour

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Maryellen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The art was in the pour at Hartford’s Union Station Friday as the Greater Hartford Arts Council held its 3rd annual “ARTini” fundraiser there.

And it was a sight to behold for guests anxious to start the weekend what with tables and tables of tasty martini creations featuring ciders, spirits, fruit and whipped cream, all concocted by the masters from restaurants including Black-eyed Sallys, City Steam Brewery and Café, Cuvée, Grants, Hot Tomato’s, Max Burger, Rocking Horse Saloon, The Russian Lady, The Tavern Downtown, Vito’s by the Park and Wood-n-Tap.


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

“I just love the names of some of these,” said Andrea Masterson, a Hartford resident who was sipping a Bourbon Melontini from Hot Tomato’s, and trolling the room trying to decide whether her next tasting would be the Farm to Table Pisco Fig Martini from Vito’s or the Sinister Cinnison from Tavern Downtown.

“We see this as a way to attract young people to the arts in Hartford,” explained council spokesperson Tim Yergeau as the Happy hour crowd drifted in. “And it’s a good way to kick off the weekend.”


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The idea must be working.

“We are part of the Young Professional of Travelers group,” explained Allison McKenna, an Ellington resident who works at the downtown insurance company and came with fellow employees. “We have a campaign going on now to get involved in United Way and the arts and that’s what brought us here.”

Westport Little League Dines With The Governor

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MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill dinner party over at the governor’s residence in Hartford Monday night. Oh there were celebrities alright, but young rambunctious ones who may not have know who Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was several weeks ago, but are now fans thanks to the stellar dining experience at his house.

Members of the Westport Little League, the team that made the state proud by going to the U.S. Finals last month, were the special guests of the governor and wife Cathy Malloy for a celebration that included choices middle-schoolers like best when it comes to fine dining… pizza, sliders and ice cream.

“I’m glad there’s good food like pizza,” said ace pitcher Harry Azadian as he and teammates, decked out in khakis and blue dress shirts, prepared to work the buffet and settle in for the poolside al fresco dining experience complete with an ice sculpture shaped like a baseball mitt and table centerpieces of junk food.


Teasing each other that some of them had to do a quick Google search to determine exactly who the governor was, the seventh and eighth grade players quickly made themselves at home with the fish pond being of special interest.

For Malloy, it was an apparent respite from the rigors of the job. He was at ease, laughing and engaged as he sat down to dinner with the team. As he watched them he reflected how his learning and physical disabilities as a child prevented him from playing organized baseball.

“But if I could I would have played any position,” said Malloy, a Yankees fan who received a New England Region shirt and baseball cap from the team. “I have the greatest admiration for these guys.”

 Also clearly enjoying the special dinner was team coach Tim Rogers, who is also the chief ll2financial officer of Travelers personal insurance division. As Rogers watched his team enjoy the fete that was underwritten by Travelers, he admitted his days of Little League coaching are done.

“I may move up and do some coaching with the older kids,” he said, noting that this was son, Drew’s final year to play Little League so he too will move on. “You know how it is, you follow your kids.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Hit The Links

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bbbsYou would be hard-pressed not to find a charitable golf tournament going on this time of year and that includes the recent 21st Annual Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters Invitational Golf Classic. Held at the Hartford Golf Club, more than 200 area golfers played in the fundraiser that raised more than $150,000. NBC Connecticut personality, Brad Drazen, served as emcee. Among those who played were Andy Bessette, Travelers vice president/CEO Andy Bessette, left, Nutmeg BBBS resident/CEO Andy Fleischmann, Aramark vice president Ed Howard and Travelers Championship Tournament Director, Nathan Grube.

Ron’s Run A Derby Success

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kentucky3If you happened to drive to Folly Farm in Simsbury Saturday for the annual “Ron’s Run for the Roses,” it was not your imagination — the tent was bigger.

Bigger because what started as a backyard picnic eight years ago, turned into a record-breaking crowd of more than 400 this year for an event that uses Kentucky Derby Day to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer.

 “We are thrilled,” said Barbara Foley, who, with friends began the annual event in her backyard shortly after her husband, the late Travelers exec Ron Foley, died from the disease in 2005. Proceeds from the event go to the Ron Foley Foundation and are used for research and financial assistance to help for victims and their families.

kentucky2Ron would say ‘you are embarrassing me’ if he saw all this,” said Foley, now remarried, as she looked around the crowded tent full of women in exotic Derby day hats and men in seersucker suits. “But he’d be glad it’s a party,” she said, “and all the good the proceeds will do.”

In between mint juleps and appetizers, guests were all about those hats. And once again, Dee Romejko showed the rest of the crowd what a winner looks like.  

“Made it myself,” she said about the lime green and turquoise flowered picture hat she wore. Romejko has won “best hat” awards year after year and this was no exception. Again she took home the “best hat” prize.

010Also an award winner was Diane Abate, whose canary yellow cloche, made from a glossy yellow paper bag and purchased in Mystic, was deemed another crowd favorite.

Hartford Hospital president and CEO Jeffrey Flaks was honorary chair and sported his own hat for the event. Emcee duties were handled by Fox CT/WTIC meteorologist Joe Furey. 

For more pictures go here.


It’s Derby Time In CT! Ron’s Run Time!

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run10Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day and that means the annual “Ron’s Run for the Roses,” a derby-themed party benefiting the Ron Foley Foundation, established in memory of the late Traveler’s executive, and its efforts to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Guests are invited to wear their seersucker suits and their most outrageous hats to the event that is held at Folly Farm in Simsbury and includes auctions, viewing of the Kentucky Derby, mint juleps, food, equestrian events and entertainment. the event begins at 3 p.m. .


Speaking of derby parties, Child & Family Agency will hold its “Run for the Roses” fundraiser Saturday at the home of Paul and Adrienne Forest in Essex.

The event includes, food, fashion, dancing and auctions with special guests including real jockeys.

Information: 860-227-7551.

Wadsworth Festival Winners Announced

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The Wadsworth Festival of Trees and Traditions is over for another year, but not without announcing the winners in a variety of categories.

First place went to :

Fallen Heroes, Travelers Employee Club

Second place to:

Giving Tree, Atria Greenridge Place

Third place:

Christmas Camouflage, Alicia Sceery and Lucy Sander Sceery

Designer Tree Winner:

Here Comes the Sun, Macy’s Westfarms