Tag Archives: UConn

UConn Parade, UConn Gala And More This Weekend

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]uconngala2Yes,  we have two national championship teams here in Connecticut so it just follows that it is all about UConn this weekend. And so it should be!

But besides the Championship Parade on Sunday in Hartford, the UConn Foundation  will be doing some celebrating of its own on Saturday night at its Fifth Annual “White Coat Gala.”  The event will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The Carole and Ray Neag Medal of Honor recipients  this year are Richard and Jane Lublin and UConn Auxiliary president Irene Engel . Also being honored with the corporate philanthropist award at the ball is Cigna.

For more information go here.

But let’s back it up a bit. On Thursday, the Ct Historical Society will host an opening  reception for its new display honoring acting icon, Katharine Hepburn.

Titled “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” the exhibit features over 40 costumes the Oscar-winning,  Connecticut resident wore in 21 films and six stage productions, including “Adam’s Rib,”  ”The Philadelphia Story”  and “Coco.” The display also includes vintage posters, playbills and photos and, of course, an ensemble of her signature tailored beige trohepburn-sponsorship-page-header[1]users and linen jackets.

The exhibit was organized by the Kent State University Museum and will be on display in Hartford through Sept. 13.

For more information go here.

Also on Thursday, the Boys & Girls Club of Hartford will host its annual “Opening The Door openingCelebration” at the Connecticut Convention Center. The event features the induction of the 2014  Hall of Fame inductees, Kevin Henry, Joseph Horvath, Darryl Thames and
Clarence (Sonny) Thomas.

The evening includes dinner, a reception, auctions and some surprises. For more information go here.

Also on Thursday at The Pond House Cafe in Elizabeth Park, the Interfaith Education Task Force will hold its 7th annual “Soaring for Success” fundraising party.

Profits from the party support a collaboration between Noah Webster and Rawson Schools and  the task force that provides volunteer tutors for students in need.

Tickets are $35  and available at the door.

Spgoodspeedyankeesring is absolutely here for two reasons. Baseball season has begun and the Goodspeed in East Haddam opens Friday for the season.

And its opening production is the best of two worlds for a baseball-conflicted Connecticut. It’s “Damn Yankees” with a Red Sox twist.

Opening night of “Damn Yankees, The Musical (The Red Sox Version)  includes some Sox treasures including its World Series trophy which will be on display for ticket holders before the show begins. There will also be some other Red Sox surprises including Wally the Mascot and Sox ”ball girls”  at the opening night event .

For more information go here.

And speaking of theater, “Somewhere” opens Friday night at Hartford Stage. For ticket wetstasteinformation go here.

On Saturday, you can also enjoy a dine around by attending the Wethersfield Historical Society’s Taste of Wethersfield from 7 to 9 :30 p.m. The dine-around will be held at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main St. Cost is $50 per person for early admission at 6 p.m. and $35 per person for admission at 7 p.m. A host of area restaurants will be serving featured foods. There will also be live entertainment and auctions. For information go here.

On Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., at The Studio at Billings Forge in Hartford, GLAD will honor John and Becky Glezegladn for their efforts on behalf  the LGBT community.

The couple have not only financially supported organizations like True Colors,   but have also served as activists for gender equality in the state. For more information go here.


Parade Day For UConn Teams Is Sunday!

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uconncAnxious to keep that feel good feeling going, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has announced the parade for the UConn championship-winning men’s and women’s basketball teams  will be on Sunday at 4 p.m. Hartford! Here is the official word!


Parade Kicks-Off at 4PM, Followed by Rally at the State Capitol




(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Hartford Business Improvement District will host a victory parade and rally in Hartford on Sunday, April 13 to congratulate the UConn Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams for winning their 2014 NCAA  Basketball National Championships.


The parade, which will begin and end at the State Capitol, starts at 4:00 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a victory rally on the north steps of the State Capitol building. Parade and rally organizers are relying on private donations to finance both events.


“A decade after claiming both titles, UConn Women and Men have once again focused the spotlight of college basketball on Connecticut by bringing home another dual national championship and proving to the nation why the road to the Final Four always runs through Connecticut,” Governor Malloy said. “I’m looking forward to joining thousands of Husky fans in Hartford on Sunday to let the both teams and Coaches Auriemma and Ollie know how proud we are of their success this season.”


Governor Malloy added, “I want to thank the Hartford Business Improvement District for again hosting this event, organizing its sponsors, and allowing Connecticut residents to celebrate another dual national championship from our state.”


Organizers continue to rely on private funds to support the parade and the rally. This celebratory event is produced by the Hartford Business Improvement District, in collaboration with the City of Hartford and the State of Connecticut, and a number of civic and business organizations. Companies may choose from several sponsorship levels ranging from $10,000 to $2,500 or less. To discuss parade sponsorship opportunities, quickly contact Michael Zaleski at the Hartford Business Improvement District (HBID) at 860-728-2274 or email: mzaleski@hartfordbid.com.


The parade will begin at the State Capitol, travel north on Trinity Street, take a right on Jewell Street, bear left at Gold Street, turn right onto Main Street and then make a right onto Capitol Avenue before returning to the State Capitol where the rally will be held.


Manheim Catches UConn Fever At Annual YWCA Luncheon

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camryn1That UConn “bleed blue” fever seemed to have hit everyone at the Connecticut Convention Center Tuesday in the wake of Monday’s UConn Men’s Basketball Team NCAA championship win.

Even a well-known actress seemed to have caught the ‘Husky Hot!’

“I had planned to go to bed when I got to Hartford but I had to stay up and watch the game,” said actress Camryn Manheim, who was in town to speak at the Hartford Region YWCA’s annual “In the Company of Women” luncheon. “I got in Monday night and put on tv and watched with bated breath,” she said, referring to the late night game and UConn’s win over Kentucky. “I’m a full blown UConn fan now and told everyone they have to text me tonight on how the women do,” she said referring to Tuesday’s championship game between the UConn Women’s Basketball team and Notre Dame.”I can’t watch it, I’ll be on a plane headed back to California, but I want to know who wins.”

Manheim had more to talk about then just sports. Best known for her role as the strong-willed camryn2and plus-sized Ellenor Frutt in the former award-winning tv show “The Practice,” Manheim said she wished she had a strong female role model when she was growing up.

“I want to make sure I now put out a productive message,” said Manheim, credited with being an outspoken activist and an actress who broke the body size stereotype during her successful career.

“I think we have to impress on young women and young men, that what your body looks like is not what is important,” she said, as she signed issues of Hartford Magazine that included an interview with the 53-year-old. “It’s about do you do good service, are you a good person, do you contricamryn4bute to community.”

About 1,400 people attended the fundraiser that also included some pop-up shopping and the lunch featuring Manheim and chaired by Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson and Julie Trowbridge-Dillman.

And yes, there were lots of bleary –eyed people who agreed a late Monday night watching UConn win was more than worth it the loss of a few zzzs.

“With all the bad things that Connecticut seems to be known for lately, the UConn men and women’s teams have put Connecticut in a positive light and we needed it,” said Shannon McCay, a Bloomfield resident who was attending the luncheon for the first time. “We figure we can catch up on my sleep later in the week,” she said smiling. “Monday night and Tuesday night are all about basketball at my house. We want to make sure Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma and their teams know they are very worth staying up late for.”



Easter Seals Celebrates At 27th Annual Crystal Ball

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easter1Jeff Calhoun was once again the featured guest at the Easter Seals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut 27th annual Crystal Ball. And to the couple, it was an event they could not miss, no matter how well UConn was doing as it prepared for the Elite Eight round on Sunday.

“We are committed to the Easter Seals, they were there for us during our journey with our daughter,” said Calhoun, referring to his now 8-year-old daughter, Reese, who is autistic. “We have been fortunate in our lives,” said Calhoun.” Participating in this event and telling our story is important to us.”

The gala, chaired by Bill and Sandy Selig and senior easter2managing director/CFO of New York Life Investments David Bedard and his wife, Ellen Bedard, attracted about 300 people and raised more than $450,000 at the Marriott Hartford Downtown.

“I think sometimes people forget how many years Easter Seals has stepped up for children with serious health disabilities and the families that need support,” said Rhianna Pinero, a Hartford resident who was part of the gala crowd. “I remember my parents and grandparents supporting the Easter Seals at a time wheaster3en there were not many organizations for children with disabilities.”

Proceeds from Saturday’s ball benefited several East Seals programs including its autism initiative.

And while the night was about a good cause, the chatter was about “bleeding blue” and how UConn men would fare Sunday in the NCAA Elite Eight playoffs. And of course all you had to do was ask a Calhoun and you know you’ll get an answer.

“I went to school with Kevin and I played ball with Kevin,” easter4grinned Jeff Calhoun, referring to Kevin Ollie who succeeded Jim Calhoun as men’s head coach. “And I know you never bet against Kevin,” he said. “”Whenever they said Kevin could not do something, he went in and he did it. “ Calhoun said, alluding to opinions that UConn would be stymied in the NCAA championship climb. “Kevin gets what he wants.”

ESPN ‘Rats’ On NCAA Men’s Results

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ratHow will the UConn men’s team do as it  begins the NCAA tournament bracket climb Thursday?

Ask the rats.

At the time of year when basketball enthusiasts throw into the “pools” weighing Las Vega odds, President Barack Obama’s opinion or a host of other non-scientific forecasts to hedge their bets, ESPN, the Bristol-based mighty master of sports, offers a rodent –fueled showdown when it comes to the sport of tournament prophecies. They call it “The Rat Bracket.”

“We were bouncing some ideas around about the unpredictability and craziness of a bracket, and how it also looks like a maze,” said ESPN marketing manager Won Kim. “Then we landed on a ‘Eureka’ moment of, how about small animals in a bracket maze,” he said. “We went with dwarf rats, and the name “Rat Bracket” was born.”

For those of you who are UCONN fans, spoiler alert. The designated UConn rat, named “Peace Pact,” ran enough successful races to bring UConn to the Sweet Sixteen but lost to “Arcade” representing Iowa State.

Now back to the rest of the story.

ESPN hooked up with an Emmett Street warehouse owned by RGD Tech and contacted Brittany Golas, president of the United Rat Club in King of Prussia, Pa, to arrange for 32 dwarf rats to come to Connecticut for an overnight getaway and the maze race in Bristol.

The large-scale maze was built by Deary Construction in Brooklyn, and then transported to the Connecticut warehouse where it was assembled.

The 32 rats “rehearsed” two-by-two in timed heats Sunday night so organizers could pair the faster rats with the better teams and the slower rats, well you get the idea.

Golas made fleece sweatshirts for the rats and ESPN added college-colored identifying logos to the rodent-sized tops to give the whole event a collegiate look.

GoPro cameras were positioned at 16 locations along the maze offering “rat-level” shots of the racing rodents while an overhead GoPro camera offered an overhead view.

So while we know how UCONN fared in the “Rat Bracket,” ESPN is being tight-lipped as to who won the whole shebang offering this suggestion instead, see for yourself  here beginning Wednesday.

Steele, Calhoun, Mill At 2T, Martin All In Java News

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sageIf you are an avid tv watcher or sports fan  you may have noticed a Hartford vibe going on in places beyond the local stations.

If you happened to be watching ESPN’s Sage Steele on ABCs “NBA Countdown” earlier this week, did the dress look familiar? Steele was wearing the navy and white sheath that won the AIDS Ct “Project Runway” competition here a few months ago. The dress, which also came with a coat, was created by local designer Jeannie Boccaccio. Steele, who, along with “Project Runway” celebrity designer Mondo Guerra and others including Colin McEnroe, Java, Ricky Trendy and Debbie Wright, judged the show held in Hartford, was so impressed with the winning outfit that she asked Boccaccio if she could wear it on air.

“I am designing a few additional pieces for her as well, and feel so honored and grateful that she will be wearing them on tv!,” said Boccaccio.

You might want to tune in to ABC’s “Good Morning America” this weekend. You will see a familiar face. WTNH’s Erika Martin will be stepping up and doing the weekend weather on the Emmy award-winning morning show.

It’s goodbye and good luck to WVIT NBC Connecticut’s Emma Asante who was the Director of Community Projects there. But don’t be sad. Her departure is an opportunity. She has been named Vice President of Special Projects & Community Relations for the NBC affiliate in Chicago. There is life after basketball.

A shout out to former UConn’s men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun who stepped in for WFSB’s calhouncremevacationing Scot Haney on the “Better Connecticut” show. Calhoun, who co-hosted for a day with regular co-host Kara Sundlun, was all game on for segments that including getting slathered in facial moisturizer and donning an apron to cook ceviche.

At Fox CT, it was good-bye to Jan Carabeo who has moved on to Philadelphia and taken a reporting job with CBS-owned KYW.

In the “did you know” category, did you know that George Sloan, a Quinnipiac University alumnus is a staff writer for the CBS comedy, “How I Met Your Mother?” The award-winning show starring Neil Patrick Harris is ending its run with its series finale scheduled for March 31. Slsage (2)oan is a 2004 graduate of Quinnipiac’s School of Communications.

And in “don’t get in a panic” news, Mill at 2T is not closing. It’s just renovating. The very popular restaurant in Tariffville will close March 16 and when it reopens on April 1 there will be lots of “new” beyond the updated look. Happy Hour, special Monday family dinners, more coveted “counter” area seats, an expanded menu for casual dining and a new vibe will all be part of the transformation. “We love the space and it was just time after five years to give it a facelift,” said Kelleanne Jones who with husband Ryan Jones, have made the place a “must go” dining destination in the Farmington Valley.

“We want to be more than just a special occasion place,” explained Jones. The dark wood tables and chairs, as well as the famous oversized hutch, are being replaced with lighter, more traditional pieces, a new floor is being installed and the more casual “kitchen “ area, where diners can watch Ryan Jones and company create their award-winning food is being expanded to include high top tables and chairs for casual dining. “We will be adding lighter items to the menu as well for people who just want to stop by for a quick bite or share a dish or bring their families,” said Kelleanne Jones. “We will also be having Happy Hours with wine and beer and appetizer specials. It is all going to be great.”

Skip a Meal Today Hartford , It’s A Food-Filled Weekend Of Fun!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Food (and hopefully some sun, eventually) take center stage this summer weekend.

It begins Thursday when Food Network’s celebrity chef Robert Irvine shows off his best business side in Windsor at one of his “Restaurant Impossible” makeovers.

The big reality show unveil at Windsor 75 is taped Thursday evening. It includes a restaurant full of fans lucky enough to nab a reservation for the big night that will feature the done-over restaurant’s new look, new menu and new attitude.


Courtesy of Food Network

For those who are not familiar, Irvine’s show involves choosing a restaurant in need and with $10,000 and lot of staff and volunteers, does a makeover aimed at putting the place back on the right business track. No date yet on when the episode will air.

On Friday, Gifts of Love will hold its annual “Ready, Set, Cook” fundraiser featuring celebrity chefs who take mystery ingredients and do their best to turn them into contest-winning entrees.

Celebrity chefs include Matt Cormier from The Meat House in Avon, Michael Lee from Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford, Jordan Stein from the Pond House and Luis Vasquez from Cugino’s of Farmington.


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

The event will be held at the Community Farm of Simsbury.

Information: giftsoflovect.org

There will also be some good food and some really good jazz at the Goshen Fairgrounds beginning Friday as part of the annual Litchfield Jazz Festival. The event opens with a reception and gala on Friday night, followed by the first night of performances including headliner, two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole. Tickets for the festival start at $30 .


MaryEllen Fillo/Hartford Courant

Information: litchfieldjazzfest.com

On Saturday, it’s parade time in downtown Hartford beginning at 11 a.m. as the city celebrates West Indian Independence Day. Following the parade, head to Bushnell Park for live entertainment and West Indian food.

It’s summer so let’s extend the weekend out a bit. and for a good reason.

Remember the movie “Memphis Belle?” Well, that famed restored WWII B-17 “flying fortress” bomber will take to the skies over Hartford on Aug. 12.

The visit, sponsored by The Liberty Foundation as part of its 2013 “Salute to Veterans” tour, will be over Brainard Airport Monday but the public can get an up close and personal ground tour of the aircraft or take a flight on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.


Courtesy of The Liberty Foundation

The public exhibit will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Memphis Belle’s historic last mission and its first visit to Hartford.

Information: libertyfoundation.org



Boys, Girls, Fine Art, Flowers,White Coats Among Weekend Choices

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It’s a busy weekend Hartford with lots of choices ranging from lawyers raising money for cancer to doctors honoring those who raise money for others.

On Thursday Hartford area lawyers will host its annual “Counsel Conquering Cancer”  at On20, 400 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford .

Some of Hartford’s most well-known chefs will be preparing food for the feast with proceeds benefiting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Among the participating chefs are Tyler Anderson, Billy Grant, Sean Farrell, Stephen Cavagnaro, James Wayman and Jeffrey Lizotte.

For ticket information go to here.

Also on Thursday, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford will hold its “2013 Opening the Door Gala “ at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.  The evening includes honoring its four Hall of Fame inductees. Trudi White, Gregory Davis, Thomas Burns and Dr. Morris Jackson.   Martaluz Olang will be honored as its Youth of the Year. Information: bgchartford.org

On Friday, The Women’s Committee of the Wadsworth Atheneum will host its Farm-to-Table Dinner , one of several events that are part of its 32nd annual Fine Art & Flowers event. WNPR’s Faith Middleton is honorary chair, with featured guest,  floral designer Sarah Ryhanen. The evening includes local beers and wines, a onsite floral demonstration and a five-course dinner. Other events that are part of the weekend include a Farmers Markets on Friday and Saturday. a Saturday luncheon with tv personality Mar Jennings,  and  highlights tours throughout  the weekend. Information: 860-838-4100 or thewadsworth.org

wc3On Saturday, the University of Connecticut Foundation will hold its fourth annual “White Coat Gala” at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Receiving the Carole and Ray Neag Medal of honor will be the Chase Family, Dr. Thomas Taylor with a posthumous award to Dr Richard A. Garibaldi. Information:  foundaton.uconn.edu

hillstread2On Sunday, Gov. and Mrs. Dannel P. Malloy will celebrate 20 years of Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival at a reception at the governor’s residence at 990 Prospect Ave. from 3 to 6 p.m.

The annual summer series on the museum grounds opens June 1.

Special guests will be former Connecticut poet laureate Marilyn Nelson and international best-selling author Frank Delaney.

Information: 860-677-4787, ext 134.


Ritter Baby Cooperates, Arrives Ahead Of Grandpa’s Annual Bash

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ritterWhen former Democratic Speaker of the House and Brown Rudnick partner, Atty. Tom Ritter and his law firm host its grand “Red Wine Night” this week, Grandpa will be able to pay attention to his guests.

New grandson Jack has already arrived.

Jack Anson Ritter, son of Ritter’s son, Hartford State. Rep Matt Ritter and his wife Dr. Marilyn Katz, was born April 5, six days before the annual company bash.

Two years ago, it was a different story.

That’s when Tom Ritter was very pre-occupied at the annual post-Lenten party, choosing his cell phone over wine as he anxiously awaited word on the imminent arrival of his first grandchild, grandson Jake. Ritter’s daughter Jessica was in labor and Ritter left the hospital and ran over to the party while waiting for word from son-in-law Joe Schwartz on the baby.

But back to the new baby! Jack and family are home safe and sound, and according to the new grandfather, were settling in to watch the NCAA women’s basketball championship between Ritter’s  beloved UConn (he is a trustee)  and that other team.

“There’s something about these April babies,” said Ritter Tuesday as he and wife Judge Christine
Keller, relished being grandparents again.  “At least this year I won’t be going from the party to the hospital.”