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April 20, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

The Sound

In March, Susan Kocaba was named Teacher of the Year Award by the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education for her dedicated service as the English as a Second Language coordinator at East Shore Region Adult & Continuing Education. 

Photo by Susan Talpey/The Sound

Susan Kocaba: Welcoming the World to the Shoreline

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

At 28, Susan Kocaba was standing at a food market in a small Polish town using her limited knowledge of the native language to ask for walnuts, a key ingredient in her mother’s banana bread recipe.

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The Sound

On March 22 during a recognition event at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, North Branford’s Steve Kenning (left) was honored by the Connecticut Federation of Planning and Zoning Agencies (CFPZA) for his 23 years of continuous service on North Branford’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). To date, Steve has served as ZBA chair for the past 17 years of his 23 years of appointed service. Shown congratulating Steve is CFPZA’s Steve Byrne (right). Photo courtesy of Tom Hogarty

Hearing Hardships, Helping Neighbors: ZBA’s Kenning Recognized for 23 Years of NB Service

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to hearing about hardships, perhaps no North Branford town-appointed official has heard more of them than Steve Kenning.

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The Sound

Blackstone Board of Trustees president Andy McKirdy helped prepare, plan, and reach the successful goal of receiving the town’s $5.2 million commitment for the library’s new renovation and expansion project. The community can continue to show its support by contributing to the trustees’ capital Campaign for the Blackstone, which is closing in on its $800,000 goal to help defray town project costs.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Andy McKirdy: Helping Lead Blackstone Library Into the Future

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

In terms of helping lead Branford’s Blackstone Library into the future, it’s been an eventful eight years for Andy McKirdy and the Blackstone Library Board of Trustees.

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The Sound

 When it comes to volunteering and sharing with others, Joanne Fresco has given more than 40 years—and still has much more to give—to her church, school and community. Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s School

Helping Her Church, School, and Community: Joanne Fresco

Published March 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

This is a busy time of year for Joanne Fresco, but that is true all year round for this Branford resident, who is a supporter of both St. Mary Church and St. Mary School.

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The Sound

 Tom Cherry (shown here with Nym) has high praise for the officers and volunteers at Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, where he also pitches in to help as a volunteer. The Madison attorney is also one of the state’s first court-appointed pro-bono animal advocates under Connecticut’s new Desmond’s Law. Photo Courtesy Tom Cherry

Supporting Animal Advocacy at Dan Cosgrove Shelter

Published March 21, 2018 08:30 a.m.

If you visit Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter on Wednesday afternoons, you might come across Tom Cherry quietly going about his volunteer work to assist an organization he feels is full of heroes. What you may not know is this volunteer is a bit of a champion for animals, in his own right.

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The Sound

Sean Jeffery first became involved in Tabor’s art programming outreach thanks to his daughter, Emilia, pictured here, who’s been with Tabor’s youth musicals for seven years, including the upcoming production of Peter Pan, Jr..

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Sean Jeffery: Shining a Spotlight on Tabor Arts

Published March 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Offering shoreline kids and adults options to participate in skillfully-led productions, creative camps, and crowd-pleasing cabarets—those are just a few of the many reasons Sean Jeffery is proud to shine a spotlight on the energized programming of Tabor Arts in Branford.

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The Sound

Branford’s Bridget Judd, 2018 New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen, is escorted by her dad, Tim Judd, at the annual New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Ball on March 3. Photo courtesy of Bridget Judd

Branford’s Judd is Queen of New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Published March 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When she’s not shutting down opponents on Gaelic football fields or soccer fields, Branford’s Bridget Judd leads a busy life, as a para-professional educator at her hometown’s Sliney Elementary School and assistant coach of girls’ soccer for Branford High School (BHS).

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The Sound

As Area Cooperative Education Services (ACES) executive director of 32 years, Branford resident Peter C. Young was a groundbreaking leader who fostered the growth and progress of the organization. In retirement, he continues to assist as a board member of the ACES Education Foundation. On Thursday, March 22, Young will be honored at the 15th anniversary ACES Education Foundation Celebration at Woodwinds of Branford. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Peter C. Young: Helping ACES Help Children

Published Feb. 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As the longest-serving executive director of Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) and now, in retirement, a pivotal member of the ACES Education Foundation board, Peter C. Young has dedicated himself to helping ACES help children.

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The Sound

BHcare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) Director Esperina Stubblefield shares word of support programs and services available to victims in 19 towns, including Branford and North Branford. Community members can show their support by joining in the 30th annual Bowl-2-Benefit BHcare’s UCDVS at Bowlero in Milford on Saturday, March 10. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Close to Home: BHCare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services

Published Feb. 21, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Even as domestic violence is making national news, “domestic violence is not new; it’s always happening,” says Esperina Stubblefield, director of BHcare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS).

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The Sound

Mike Martone, Jr., Branford High School (BHS) Class of 2001, is back at BHS to lead the next generation of students as music teacher, choral director, and co-director of the BHS spring musicals, while also helping to bring some new ideas to town.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Molded by BHS Music Programs, Martone Leads the Next Generation

Published Feb. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Mike Martone, Jr., was a student at Branford High School (BHS, Class of 2001), “I was one of those few people who thought, ‘I would love to teach music in a high school, but not just in a high school—my high school.’”

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The Sound

Jennifer Sylvia, shown here in the cramped space of Branford Counseling Center (BCC)’s in-house diaper provision closet, has helped BCC join with Community Dining Room (CDR) and Branford Early Learning Center to create the new Branford Diaper Bank. The bank, located at CDR, launches its first distribution night on Tuesday, Feb. 13 to supplement disposable diaper supplies for Branford families in need. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Sylvia Helps Launch Branford Diaper Bank

Published Feb. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Even though she helped provide supplemental diapers to families through Branford Counseling Center (BCC), it wasn’t until Jennifer Sylvia became a new mom that she truly recognized the importance—and the sheer number—of disposable diapers affecting a child’s health and happiness, and the family budget bottom line.

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The Sound

In addition to overseeing Murphy & Company LLC of Branford, Guilford’s Camille Murphy has given decades of volunteer service, sharing her accounting and finance expertise and talent with state and local organizations. In January, Murphy was named 2018 chairman of the board of Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and also became a new member of the board of Guilford Savings Bank. Photo by Amy Etra

Camille Murphy: Volunteering a Wealth of Valuable Community Commitments

Published Jan. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Running a CPA organization during tax season might seem like enough of a challenge; but with her seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm, Camille Murphy has ramped up her volunteer workload to offer a wealth of valuable commitments to her community.

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The Sound

Through North Branford Public Schools’ School to Work program, Megan Johns is gaining vocational and life skills while happily helping out at several local businesses and organizations, such as Community Dining Room in Branford (shown here).

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Gaining Skills Through Service with a Smile

Published Jan. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Watch Megan Johns at work and you’ll see a young woman who has elevated the phrase “service with a smile” to new heights.

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The Sound

Branford resident Peggy Smith was inspired to teach when she was a 5th-grade Catholic school student, and will complete four decades in her chosen career when she retires from St. Mary’s Catholic School in June, where she has taught the school’s 3rd graders for 17 years. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

St Mary’s Peggy Smith: Dedicated to Teaching

Published Jan. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Margaret “Peggy” Smith was a 5th-grader when she figured out what she wanted to do as an adult: teach.

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The Sound

Bringing 13 years of experience, most recently as vice president of Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Sheri Cote is the new president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce

Cote Excited to Lead Shoreline Chamber of Commerce

Published Jan. 10, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Sheri Cote may have arrived for her first day on the job just last week, but true to her proactive style, she had already hit the ground running.

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The Sound

Dorothy Goldberg is a volunteer with the Disaster Action Team for the Red Cross.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Goldberg

Dorothy Goldberg Delivers Comfort and Relief, Near and Far

Published Jan. 03, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Dorothy Goldberg witnessed a car accident in the Short Beach area last year and, while no one in that accident was severely hurt, she realized she didn’t know what to do if someone had been hurt in that scenario. So she enrolled in a first aid/CPR course with the Red Cross.

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The Sound

A beloved part of the tradition of Branford Messiah is the solo tenor performance of Dr. Edward Hull, who not only helped establish the Branford holiday musical rite, but has been its tenor soloist for every performance. The 30th Branford Messiah takes place Friday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Branford’s First Congregational Church. Photo courtesy of Dr. Edward Hull

Ed Hull’s Amazing Gift to the Community

Published Dec. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

When Branford Messiah celebrates its 30th performance on Friday, Dec. 22 at Branford First Congregational Church, organizers of the shoreline’s musical holiday rite will honor the artistry and dedication of Dr. Edward “Ed” Hull, who not only helped bring this amazing gift to the community, but has been the tenor soloist for every performance.

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The Sound

On Jan. 31, 2018, Carol Cornachini will end 31 years in business as the proprietor of Branford’s Shoetique to fully take on her new venture as owner of IM=X Pilates Studio in North Branford. The Branford resident will also continue her part-time role as school nurse with St. Mary’s School in town. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Stepping Into a New Role: Cornachini Closing Shoetique After 31 Years

Published Dec. 13, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Jan. 31, 2018 will be Carol Cornachini’s final day of business for Shoetique, the shoe shop she established in Branford 31 years ago. It will also mark about the third month Carol will have been in business with her latest venture, IM=X, a North Branford Pilates studio.

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The Sound

Colin Sheehan has a long history of giving back to Branford by sharing his performing arts talents and connections. In many new ways, he’s now putting his enthusiasm, expertise, and experience to work to support worthwhile community causes.

Photo by Kiernan Photography

Colin Sheehan Puts His Talent to Work for Branford

Published Dec. 06, 2017 08:30 a.m.

In 2016, Colin Sheehan brought the community together by organizing #Branford4Orlando.

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The Sound

Frank Carrano helped found Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, which has several upcoming events showcasing some of the town’s hidden gems. Photo courtesy of Frank Carrano

Frank Carrano: Uncovering Branford’s Hidden Treasures through BACA

Published Nov. 29, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events on Dec. 9 include Holiday Market & Open House and Christmas with Tiffanies

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The Sound

Shown here with cast members on the production’s feature poster, Branford’s Laurent Mullen (far right) brings his talent to Starship Dance Theatre’s The Magic Toyshop holiday dance production, coming to East Haven High School on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

Photo by Super 9 Studios

Mullen’s Leading-Man Looks, Loads of Talent Add to ‘The Magic Toyshop’

Published Nov. 22, 2017 08:30 a.m.

With leading-man looks and loads of talent, Laurent Mullen cuts a dashing figure on stage, screen, and the dance floor. On Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3, the Branford resident reprises his role as the American Father (and also as Master of Ceremonies) in Starship Dance Theatre’s production of The Magic Toyshop at East Haven High School (EHHS).

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The Sound

Lauren Davis has been on the job as North Branford’s new library director since Oct. 30, but she’s very familiar with the town’s two-building library system and is excited to help North Branford’s public libraries grow and evolve. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

New Director, Familiar Face at North Branford Libraries

Published Nov. 15, 2017 08:30 a.m.

She’s North Branford’s first new library director in over 40 years, but Lauren Davis may be a familiar face to many. Just a few weeks into the role, the North Branford native is looking forward to pulling in the community to learn, create, and participate in offerings at the town’s two-building library system, Atwater Library (North Branford) and Smith Library (Northford).

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The Sound

Alison Tylisczak is organizing the shoreline’s biggest baby shower and all new and expecting parents are on the invitation list. Photo courtesy of Alison Tyliszczak

Alison Tyliszczak Hosts the Shoreline’s Biggest Baby Shower

Published Nov. 08, 2017 08:30 a.m.

While many people organize a baby shower for their sister or their best friend, Alison Tyliszczak is planning the shoreline’s biggest baby event.

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The Sound

A volunteer since the age of 15 who is now in his 16th year of volunteering, Tim Dinneen (right) says the Camp Totokett experience brings volunteers back year after year to work with campers during a magical week at the site, located at First Congregational Church’s Killam’s Point property. Photo courtesy of Tim Dinneen

A Life-Changing Experience at Camp Totokett

Published Nov. 01, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Tim Dinneen was 15 years old when he first volunteered as a mentor for Camp Totokett in Branford at Killam’s Point. To date, he’s given 16 years, one week each year, including 13 seasons (and counting) as co-camp director, leading other local teens on their mentoring journey with campers.

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The Sound

At the Stony Creek Museum, Jennifer Walker shares a peek at the giant game board that will be the center piece of Stony Creek Museum Game Night, a fun fundraiser coming to the museum on Friday, Nov. 3. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Walker Unveils Big Plans for Stony Creek Museum Game Night

Published Oct. 25, 2017 08:30 a.m.

As Jennifer Walker unveils the oversized, newly-minted Stony Creek game version of the classic board game Monopoly, a familiar face—let’s call him Captain Creeker—holds court on cards and spaces.

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The Sound

Growing up, brothers Steven (left) and Rob Fernicola did everything together; now, with Steven battling brain cancer, Rob is again at his side, helping however he can. 

Photo courtesy of Rob Fernicola

Rob Fernicola Helps his Brother Battle Cancer

Published Oct. 18, 2017 08:30 a.m.

When Steven Fernicola was diagnosed with cancer, his brother Robert (Rob) helped take action by not only helping organize a motorcycle ride fundraiser, but also doing anything he can for his brother while he fights against the disease.

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The Sound

Now in her fourth year as a member and second year serving on Branford Rotary’s Board of Directors, Kerry Haynes highly recommends joining this dynamic group of volunteers who support important charitable causes in Branford and beyond. Interested in joining? Potential new members are welcome to meet up with Rotarians to learn more during an evening of camaraderie at Thimble Islands Brewery on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of the Branford Rotary Club

A Great Recommendation for Rotary Membership

Published Oct. 11, 2017 08:30 a.m.

In 2013, Kerry Haynes joined Branford Rotary and a great group of people fulfilling Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.”

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The Sound

Branford author and artist Jennifer Payne’s newest book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, inspired a book launch celebration, free and open to the public, on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Martha Link Walsh Gallery in Branford.

Photo by Christine Chiocchio

A Way with Words: Payne Pens Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind

Published Oct. 04, 2017 08:30 a.m.

No doubt about it, Jen Payne has a way with words. From her volunteer “pet project” as web designer for the Branford Land Trust (BLT) website for nearly 20 years to her newest book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the Branford author and artist brings together words and images to champion the natural world and remind us of what she terms “our divine and innate connection with nature.”

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The Sound

Branford Garden Club (BGC) president Paula Inglese will bring her musical group, and her talent for creative staging, together help BGC put on a fundraising fall festival like no other: Gourds, Grapes & Gardens coming Sunday, Oct. 8. Photo by Glenn Seseke

Inglese Shares Talents to Give Back to Branford

Published Sep. 27, 2017 08:30 a.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Paula Inglese will help set the stage -- and play the violin— for Gourds, Grapes & Gardens, the Branford Garden Club (BGC) festive fall fundraiser at the Blackstone Library.

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The Sound

As treasurer of Friends of the Blackstone, Callista Stoddard (center, front) is gearing up with the Friends’ Executive Board and a small army of Friends volunteers for Books and Beyond during the Friends Annual Book Sale on the Branford Green from Thursday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 1. Stoddard and the Executive Board are (from left) Secretary Don Mitchell, President Hatsie Mahoney, Vice-President Alpha Coiro, Stoddard, and Paula Harrington. Photo courtesy of the Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library

Stoddard is a ‘Friend’ to the Book Sale, Blackstone Library and Branford

Published Sep. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

For Branford native Callista Stoddard, helping the community runs in the family—and helping the James Blackstone Memorial Library is a passion.

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