Niantic Main Street Releases Video

Niantic, Conn. (July 8, 2014) – Niantic is stepping up to defend its title of Connecticut’s still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town with a new video and original song.

Produced by Niantic Main Street, the video features local singer/songwriter Kelly Eberle traveling to 40 Niantic businesses and attractions while singing “Niantic – It’s the Town for Me,” an original song written by Eberle with her sister Kate Eberle. The song was produced by Collin Pastore.



Mobilizing the village’s passionate residents and visitors, last year Niantic became the first Fan-Favorite still revolutionary Town of the Year, earning more votes than any other town, village, city or borough across the state. A feat that Niantic Main Street – Niantic’s downtown revitalization organization – wants to repeat.

“The people of Niantic have a genuine love for this village and their community,” said Niantic Main Street President Dan Walsh. “We’re aiming for two years in a row!”

The socially-driven Connecticut still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town program calls for people to vote for the town that they think most embodies the spirit of the state’s brand, Connecticut still revolutionary — a haven for original ideas and innovation that offers a dynamic blend of experiences. Participants will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite business, destination or attraction within that town. 

The winning town and destination will receive bragging rights for all of 2014 along with promotional support from Connecticut’s Office of Tourism. For each vote cast, residents and visitors will be entered to win a ZIP to ZEN getaway to Niantic, the 2013 Connecticut still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town of the Year.






Towns and destinations with the most votes will be announced on a weekly basis. Participants are encouraged to vote every day on the Visit Connecticut Facebook page ( through July 25. Each vote counts as a chance to win the ZIP to ZEN getaway to Niantic, which will offer the grand-prize winner the opportunity to find their ZEN with a four-night stay at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, a $100 gift card to Grace boutique, as well as time to ZIP around courtesy Niantic Bay Bicycles.


For more about Niantic Main Street, visit For more about Visit Connecticut’s still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Contest, visit
About Niantic Main Street:
The Niantic Main Street (NMS) organization is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and implementing downtown revitalization efforts in the villages of Niantic and Flanders, Conn. The goal of the all-volunteer group, comprised of a Board of Directors and various volunteers from within the community of East Lyme and the region, is to make Niantic a wonderful place to live, work and play for residents and visitors.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered Concert

“We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” SOLD OUT debut at Suncoast Casino in Las Vegas, June 22-23, 2013.

Brett poster vert

Long ago and oh so far away . . .the world fell in love with the Carpenters and their era-defining repertoire of songs.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered

is a concert show celebrating the music of one of the most successful recording acts of all time.

Karen and Richard sold over 100 million records in just over a decade and still hold the record for the most top-ten consecutive singles. The dynamic combination of Karen’s voice and Richard’s compositions and arrangements created Grammy-winning magic and won them a worldwide legion of loyal fans.

To view the promotional video click HERE.

Harry & Richard C.c5

While working as Music Director for Donna Summer, Harry Sharpe worked with Richard Carpenter in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. (June, 2010)

The Show

Michelle Berting Brett takes center stage accompanied by her 7-piece band of versatile Nashville musicians directed by Harry Sharpe. Sharpe and the band have worked with popular music icons including: Donna Summer, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Sara Evans, Alison Krauss, The Monkees, Bobby Caldwell, Tom Jones, Gloria Estefan, and Michael McDonald.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered re-creates their original sound. In addition Berting Brett shares stories culled from extensive research and interviews with those who knew Karen and Richard personally and professionally. The result is a real wholesome family show and an intimate behind the scenes profile of the pop music phenomenon that defined an era.

(This show does not purport to be endorsed by Richard Carpenter or the estate of Karen Carpenter, nor by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, lyricist and composer of the song “We’ve Only Just Begun”.)

The Music

The concert show is available in a 90 minute or two-act format and is jam-packed with back-to-back soft rock classics that include: For All We Know, Goodbye to Love, Please Mr. Postman, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, There’s a Kind of Hush, (They Long to Be) Close to You, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun and Yesterday Once More and many more!

The Reviews

“Michelle Berting Brett is a richly gifted vocalist whose heartfelt tribute to Karen Carpenter is simply not to be missed.”
Christopher Loudon – Vocal Critic,
JazzTimes Magazine

“Carpenters Remembered was a great addition to our concert series. The group was amazing and I was so impressed with the accuracy of their vocals. A very well done production.”
Michael Joseph – Partner/Musical Director
The Company Theatre, Norwell, Massachusetts

“Michelle Berting Brett performed her heart out on not just one, but two very special shows here. It wasn’t just the tunes, it was the vibe, the stories, and the memories all being shared. It’s a downright special event for anyone who has loved the Carpenters. This show could play, and win, just about anywhere.”
Pat Ryan – Entertainment Director,
Bridge Street Live, Collinsville, Connecticut

“What an AMAZING show!!! Michelle Berting Brett and her top notch band recreate the spirit and essence of the Carpenters and provide an evening that brings back memory after memory . . .”
Deana J. Whistler – Entertainment Director,
WinnaVegas Casino Resort, Sloan, Iowa

“A fabulous, entertaining, informative, and fun show. I loved it! Thanks for an awesome evening!”
John Dimon – CEO,
Diamond Entertainment, Toronto, Canada

MichelleBB-Santa Hat

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas

is a concert show celebrating the biggest hits of one of the most successful recording acts of all time, and a full complement of their classic Christmas repertoire. A natural off-shoot of the show, We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, this concert is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit!

The Carpenters released two classic Christmas albums as well as two Christmas-themed television specials. Their holiday music is played every season and their Christmas records still top “Favorite Holiday Album” lists every year.

(This show does not purport to be endorsed by Richard Carpenter or the estate of Karen Carpenter, nor by Frank Pooler, lyricist of “Merry Christmas Darling”.)

The Music

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas is available in a 90 minute or two-act format and features holiday classics and pop music hits that include:
The Christmas Song, Do You Hear What I Hear, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells, Merry Christmas Darling, Sleigh Ride, Goodbye to Love, Please Mr. Postman, Rainy Days and Mondays, Superstar, (They Long to Be) Close to You, Top of the World, We’ve Only Just Begun, Yesterday Once More, and many more!

The Reviews

Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas is an absolutely amazing holiday show that is sure to be enjoyed by all. Michelle Berting Brett brings to life a spectacular performance with some of the Carpenters’ most cherished favorites and holiday classics. This endearing show truly fills you with the holiday spirit; I could not speak more highly of this wonderful Christmas show or of Michelle’s unforgettable performance.”
Mark Jacobson – Marketing Manager,
Cher-Ae Heights Casino, Trinidad, California

“Michelle Berting Brett sounds as close to Karen Carpenter as you can get. Beautiful voice, music, and show. Our guests were very impressed and enjoyed it immensely.”
Cathy Wright – Entertainment Manager,
Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, Oregon

Spirit Mountain

“Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas” performance at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon, December 21, 2013.


For Bookings and Info:

Mark Brett
Trajectory Productions

Sign up for email updates HERE.

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©2014 We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered | 100 W. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830

Dale Watson Helps Celebrate Sun Recording Studios



Media Advisory




Lance Cowan


(615) 331-1710




“Ameripolitan” artist Dale Watson Performs on NBC Nightly News;

Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Famed Sun Recording Studios


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — As he prepares for the release of his Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy (slated for July 8 on Red River Entertainment), Country traditionalist Dale Watson recently joined NBC’s Lester Holt in Memphis, Tennessee to celebrate the60th Anniversary of Sun Studios.  Watson performed Don’t Let The Screen Door Hit You and Adios with an acclaimed group of musicians, including bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Jerry Reed), drummer JM Van Eaton (Jerry Lee Lewis) and pianist Rick Steff(Lucero).  (Holt handled bass duties on Adios).


The segment is scheduled to air Saturday, July 5 at  6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT on NBC Nightly News.


Watson has recorded five solo albums as Sun Recording Studios. Opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950 Sun Recording Studios was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business. Reputedly the first rock and roll single, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll. Blues and R&B artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s. In the late 50s, such icons as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there.


In 1998, “Ameripolitan” artist Watson issued a 14-song collection of songs in the tradition of Red Simpson, Merle Haggard, Red Sovine and Dave Dudley called The Truckin’ Sessions.  He followed that release a year later with another 14-song outing, The Truckin’ Sessions 2.  Now, the maverick country traditionalist is adding another new 14-song set,The Truckin’ Sessions 3, to the group, and now, Red River Entertainment will release them all in one package, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy.




To schedule an interview with Watson, for artwork, a review copy

of Truckin’ Sessions III or more information, contact

Lance Cowan • LCMedia • (615) 331-1710 •

More information is available at



Lance Cowan • LCMedia • •
Phone: 615-331-1710 • P.O. Box 965 • Antioch, TN 37013


Representing:  Joe Ely • Michael Martin Murphey • The Flatlanders • Terry Allen •  Jonathan Edwards

TweelX • The Nashville Jazz Orchestra • Reagan Boggs • Swamp Donky • The Kentucky HeadHunters

Rockology • RW Hampton • Sharon Ely • Dale Watson • Reagan Boggs • Mike & Dorris Merritt

Mystic Seaport to Delay the Charles W. Morgan’s Departure from New Bedford


Mystic, Conn. (July 6, 2014) — Mystic Seaport announced the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan will delay its departure from New Bedford until Tuesday, July 8. The ship had been scheduled to sail Monday from New Bedford to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy at the south end of the Cape Cod Canal on the next leg of its 38th Voyage on July 7.


“The forecast for sustained winds and gusts and sea conditions for Buzzards Bay exceeds our level of comfort for operating the ship,” said Dana Hewson, vice president for watercraft preservation and operations at Mystic Seaport.


The Morgan is now scheduled to sail to the academy on Tuesday morning. The next leg of the voyage, from the academy to Provincetown, Mass. by way of the canal, will be pushed back one day, to Wednesday, July 9. A series of day sails on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue as scheduled from Jun 11-13.


For more information on the Morgan and its 38th Voyage, please visit the Mystic Seaport website.

Downloadable Media:

High resolution photos and broadcast-quality HD video of the ship’s activities are available for download and use by news media. Downloads can be accessed on the Mystic Seaport press page




Social Media:

Twitter: @mysticseaport, #charleswmorgan, #38thvoyage


About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum is located one mile south of exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children 6-17. Museum members and children under 5 are admitted for free. For more information, please visit


Contact:              Dan McFadden
Director of Communications
860-333-7155 (cell)




CONTACT:  George Marley

401-921-2434, Ext. 124


Cranston, RIFor over 60 years, Big Brothers of Rhode Island (BBRI) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, both local affiliates of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, have worked separately by coming to the aid of hundreds of boys and girls statewide by providing them with life-changing mentors. Now, in a historic collaboration, both organizations have come together to serve the growing number of children throughout Rhode Island who could benefit from the positive influence an adult role model can have on the life of a child in need. They will consolidate resources to continue to be the leading mentoring program, under the direction of Executive Director Deb Saunders, serving over 600 children and their families annually as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS).

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a proven and trusted mentoring program that is nationally recognized for connecting young people with a caring mentor who can help to build their confidence, expand their horizons, encourage them to stay in school, and make healthier choices like avoiding drugs and alcohol. Our organizations have a combined 110 years of experience providing services to children throughout Rhode Island! Together, they will provide services to over 600 children every year, with over 100+ boys and girls still waiting for a mentor.

The coming together of these great organizations was announced July 1 via a press conference held at the headquarters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, 1540 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920.

Watch the announcement:


Deb Saunders, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, had this to say: “I am so excited that this historic moment has finally arrived. It has been a long time coming and we have worked very diligently with so many fabulous, caring, individuals who truly have the best interest of the youth of Rhode Island in mind. I look forward to continue building an even stronger network of services for the children and families of Rhode Island. We believe that the work we do and the people we engage on a daily basis have seen a positive change in their lives and will continue to do so for years to come.”

The Honorable Jack Reed spoke of the youth of Rhode Island and America “We have to provide the same [mentoring] efforts and services to the next generation of Rhode Island and America.  

Jo-Ann Schofield, President and CEO of RI Mentoring Partnership commented on the continued success of the prevailing organization.  “[BBBSOS] has achieved the highest designation, “Premier” after completing the rigorous quality assessment process.  They have proven time and again that they are a great organization with a great Executive Director and leadership that continuously seeks opportunity for growth.” 

Joe Manera, Board President of Big Brothers of Rhode Island, said BBRI is closing down its headquarters in East Providence on June 30, but that he will stay on “until the last ‘t’ is crossed and ‘i’ is dotted,” take a break from serving for about six months and then possibly take on a new role within the larger organization. “The shared mission of the two groups may have led to a little confusion but the mission is the children. The mission is not about the people in the agency. Mentoring for children, that’s the underlying reason [the groups have existed].” 

Cranston Mayor and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Alan Fung, who gave closing remarks, said “It is an honor to be here for this historic and critically important day in the mentoring mission.”  He remarked on his former career as a professional prosecutor, seeing young men and women who “need help and guidance and are crying out for the guidance that they need.” 

To find out more about our mentoring programs and how you can make a difference in the lives of children across the state of Rhode Island, visit or call 401.921.2434.




Country music hit-maker Jason Michael Carroll from Youngsville, North Carolina, is gearing up to release his first new album since 2011, featuring the single “Close Enough.” He’ll be hitting the road in 2014 on a cross-Country tour and overseas to perform for the military.

Carroll rose to fame after being discovered at a local talent competition in 2004 and later signed to the Arista Nashville label in 2006, releasing his debut album Waitin’ In The Country. The album produced three Top 40 hits including “Alyssa Lies,” “Livin’ Our Love Song” and “I Can Sleep When I’m Dead” and soared to #1 on the U.S. Country charts, selling nearly half a million copies. Both of Carroll’s following albums,Growing Up Is Getting Old and Numbers have charted on the Billboard Top 200.

The band appeared july 4th at the mohegan Sun Wolf Den  for one night only.


Mystic Lions Club Celebrates 65 Years of Service


Incoming President Lion Joe Gush and Cabinet Installed

Former Senator Cathy Cook Awarded “Knight of the Blind” 

The new leaders of Mystic Lions Club ( l – r) : Teresa Fields, Eric Garafano, Cathy Cook, Claudette Hull, Past President Tim Fields, Lions District Governor Nanette Burdick, Mystic Lions President Joe Gush, Nancy MacDonald, Lori McCullough, Ed Hutter, John Read, Maryann Read

Lion Joe Gush, retired USN Master Chief, takes the helm of Mystic Lions Club


Ledyard resident Joe Gush has taken the leadership of the Mystic Lions Club as the group prepares to celebrate its 65th year of service to the community. Retired Master Chief of the US Navy Submarine Force and a current manager at Electric Boat, Gush loves to be a Lion.  He is the chief cook and bottle washer for all events involving food especially regional Lions Club Steak Nights.  President Joe lives the motto of all Lions, “We Serve.”  He takes leadership of this civic organization that for the past 65 years, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the community, the nation and the world.  Mystic Lions have built playgrounds, collected food for soup kitchens, cleaned up parks, organized health fairs, performed preschool eye screenings, recycled eyeglasses and hearing aids to the poor, donated large print books, helped the homeless, supported community centers and libraries, planted trees and much more.  

“I learned that Lionism is a participating sport.  And we have fun all year!” says President Joe Gush, pictured in the kitchen (left) with Lions Henry Rohrs (right).

In this 65th year, the Mystic Lions will continue their partnership with the Mystic Aquarium.  Mystic Lions are on call whenever the Aquarium may need “Lion Power” like directing traffic at the Penguin Walk-a-Thon or lighting thousands of luminaria candles for the annual December Festival of Lights. Other local projects include raising $30,000 for charity by serving Pancakes with Penguins, selling hot dogs and kielbasa at the Mystic Irish Parade, walking to Prevent Blindness, selling garlic soup at the Annual Garlic Festival, and hosting the 10th Annual Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting and Auction this November 1st at the Mystic Aquarium.


Cathy Cook named Knight of the Blind

The Mystic Lions recently presented one of their own with one of the highest honors in International Lionism – “The Knight of the Blind Award.”   In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to help prevent blindness around the world.  Lions have been Helen Keller’s “Knights of the Blind” ever since.  To honor outstanding service, the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation established “The Knight of the Blind Award.”  This year, in recognition of her “generosity, compassion and concern for others,” the Mystic Lions named Lion Cathy Cook as a “humanitarian of distinction” with the 2014 Knight of the Blind Award.  “This honor has been bestowed on others who have given themselves to our community.  I am humbled,” says Cathy Cook, former state senator and Mystic Lion for over 25 years since her induction by her Mystic Lion father, the late Russell Welles. “I hope I can continue to live up to the spirit of Helen Keller’s challenge to Lions.”   Cook (left) forged the partnership with the aquarium and chairs the Annual Mystic Lion Club Pancakes with the Penguins Breakfast.  

Mystic Lions Club is one of the 46,000 clubs with 1.35 million members in Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest civic organization. Lions International Foundation is one of the world’s most effective relief programs, providing hope to those with eye disease, offering disaster relief where needed and building clean water facilities to prevent blindness all around the globe.  Members of the Mystic Lions Club have ventured to Korea, Mexico, Germany, Canada and other nations to join Lions from the world in service.   Locally, Mystic Lions volunteer with the Eastern CT Lions Low Vision Center, helping local citizens with vision impairments.  The club supports Connecticut’s CRIS Radio for the Blind as well as training programs for Seeing Eye dogs; and vision screening for young children and needy veterans. 

get-attachmentLions logo (2)

It’s easy to join Mystic Lions Club!

You don’t have to live in Mystic to join Mystic Lions.  If you are interested in becoming a Mystic Lion, visit their website  or email to   Mystic Lions Club meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 6:30 pm.   New members are always welcome.                  

Photo credit:  Cathy Cook

Goodwin College conferred 578 bachelor’s degrees and more!


News from Goodwin College

For more information contact: Robert Muirhead,

534 Navigators Comprise Goodwin College Class of 2012


EAST HARTFORD, CT (07/02/2014)(readMedia)– On June 7, 2014, Goodwin College conferred 578 bachelor’s degrees, associates degrees, and certificates to the Class of 2014. The degrees were conferred at the College’s Commencement Ceremony, held on the River Campus at 1 Riverside Drive, East Hartford, CT. The following local students received degrees:

Sally Bartlett of Baltic (06330)

Susan Cope of Old Lyme (06371)

Eric DeMerchant of Norwich (06360)

Holly Dettore of Colchester (06415)

Danielle Dudla of Colchester (06415)

Pierre Fleurose of Norwich (06360)

Bernadette Francis of Groton (06340)

Judith Frascarelli of Colchester (06415)

Regina Giudice of Colchester (06415)

Stephanie Hepton of Stafford Springs (06370)

Kimberly Hersey of Colchester (06415)

Mandy Murray of Colchester (06415)

Kimberly Pedersen of Groton (06340)

Johan Perez of Lebanon (06249)

Courtney Perkins of Lebanon (06249)

Brittany Piwowarski of Groton (06340)

Sally Riggio of Essex (06426)

Kimberly Scully of Norwich (06360)

Shannon Whalen of Old Lyme (06371)

Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher learning located on the Connecticut River in East Hartford, Connecticut. The college specializes in extending educational access to underserved groups, including minority and first-generation college students, and offers career-focused degree programs designed to promote workforce readiness. For more information, please visit

Stonington community observe the Bicentennial of the Battle


For Release July 1 

From: The Stonington Historical Society 860-535-8445 ext. 10

The following is a summary of summer events relating to the Bicentennial of the Battle of Stonington.

Illustrations: Courtesy of the Stonington Historical Society. Suggested cutlines:

Dr. Joseph O’Dell gives oration in 1914 at Cannon Square.

In 1914, the Stonington Battle Flag was part of the “pageant parade” that included 1,400 participants.

A commemorative jug was produced shortly after the 1814 Battle of Stonington, produced in Liverpool, England.

 STONINGTON — Two hundred years ago next month,  four ships of the British Royal Navy plus a new “bomb ship” called the Terror, as well as small boats for amphibious landings arrayed themselves before the village of Stonington and declared their intention to destroy the town. Stonington had one small cannon and two 18-pounders, the two that now preside over Cannon Square in Stonington Borough. But the Stonington guns held the squadron at bay, a squadron commanded by Admiral Nelson’s comrade, Commodore Thomas Masterman Hardy. In the end, one of the ships, the Dispatch, was so severely damaged by the locals that it had to leave the fray, and after four days of fighting, Hardy withdrew, leaving the village shaken but proudly standing. Thus was born the legend of the Battle of Stonington, celebrated ever after as a famous victory.

The Stonington community and its neighbors are joining forces to observe the Bicentennial of the Battle with a full schedule of events planned for July and August. The Bicentennial Committee, chaired by Meredith M. Brown of the Stonington Historical Society, has organized a menu of programs, as a prelude to the big weekend of August 9 and 10. 

Most of the events will be free and open to all. The Battle Bicentennial is being underwritten by Dime Bank, the Stonington Village Improvement Association, the Stonington Historical Society, and a group of generous patrons.

Many other community organizations are also participating. Among them are the New England Science and Sailing Foundation, the Portuguese Holy Ghost Society, the Stonington Community Center and Mystic Seaport. Other partners include the Warden and Burgesses of the Borough of Stonington, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Stonington Police Department, the Stonington Ambulance Corps, the Borough Merchants Association, and others. Organizations that would like to join in the parade scheduled for the afternoon of August 10 are asked to contact the Stonington Historical Society.  

battle jug

Stonington started commemorating the event in August 1815, a year after the battle, and the celebration grew throughout the 19th century until it often outshone the Fourth of July in fervor and fanfare. In the national centennial year, 1876, the celebration featured a hundred-gun salute, marching bands, militia units, a carriage graced by the Goddess of Liberty accompanied by 13 young maidens representing the original 13 states, and a lavish communal feast. The battle’s centennial in 1914 was even more ambitious: Five U.S. Navy destroyers converged near Stonington Point, and there was a “pageant parade” with 1,400 participants, as well as motorboat races.

Planning for 2014 began in 2011 when then Borough Warden Donald Maranell convened local organizations. For the last two years, the Bicentennial Committee has met regularly and has organized an array of events and exhibits:

A special bicentennial exhibit, “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814,” sponsored by the Stonington Historical Society, will open on Friday, July 11, from 5  to 7 pm at the La Grua Center, 7 Stonington Commons, 32 Water Street, in the Borough. The exhibit will remain open, free of charge, on weekdays from noon to 4 pm; on Saturdays, from noon to 3 pm; and on the anniversary weekend of August 9 and 10, from noon to 4 pm. 

On Sunday, July 13, at 5 pm, at the La Grua Center, the Stonington Free Library will sponsor a lecture by James Tertius de Kay, author of the authoritative account, The Battle of Stonington: Torpedoes, Submarines and Rockets in the War of 1812.  Admission is free.

On Thursday, July 24 at 6 pm, at the La Grua Center, the Stonington Historical Society will sponsor a discussion, “The Rockets’ Red Glare over Stonington: The War of 1812 and the Battle of Stonington.” The panel will discuss the Battle of Stonington in the context of the War of 1812. Participants will be Glenn Gordinier, Meredith M. Brown, James Boylan, and Nancy Steenburg, contributors to the award-winning book, The Rockets’ Red Glare and the War of 1812 in Connecticut. Admission is free.

On Sunday, July 27, Noon to 4 pm at the Stonington Town Dock: The Blessing of the Fleet. 

At 6 pm, Salt Marsh Opera and the Stonington Historical Society will present a vocal program, “Music for 1814,” on the grounds of the Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street in Stonington Borough. The program will include excerpts from Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, written in 1814. Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at gate; children under 14, free. 

The Stonington Community Center’s Village Fair will take place on Saturday, August 2, from 11 am to 4 pm at Wadawanuck Square, Stonington Borough. This year the fair will honor the Battle of Stonington. Look for the Historical Society’s booth featuring bicentennial items and books about the Battle of Stonington. Free Admission.

Friday, August 8, 5-7 pm, at the Woolworth Library and Research Center, 40 Palmer Street. There will be a special preview of Stonington’s rarely exhibited battle flag, with reception next door at the Capt. Palmer House. Special “pop-up” exhibit from Mystic Seaport of artifacts of the 1812 era. Jim Geary, the author of the Stonington Historical Society’s latest book, Our Flag is Still Here: The Story of Stonington’s Star Spangled Banner – A Scrapbook History, will be on hand to sign copies and share stories about the flag’s amazing history. Donation suggested.

Saturday, August 9

9 am to noon at Dime Bank (Ocean Bank building), 4 Cannon Square, Stonington Borough: U.S. Post Office cancellation session with commemorative cachets designed by philatelist Alan Bentz. Books published by the Historical Society will be available for sale.

10 to 4 pm: The Stonington battle flag, older than the Star Spangled Banner, will be exhibited at the Woolworth Library & Research Center, 40 Palmer Street. The flag was hand-woven of hand-dyed, hand-spun wool by the women of the local Congregational Church around 1800. The flag flew throughout the 1814 bombardment and survived, though torn and shot-through. It was displayed and paraded in Stonington Borough as a precious relic for generations, but is rarely displayed today because of its fragility. Also at the Woolworth Library, Mystic Seaport will display artifacts relating to the War of 1812. Seaport curator Fred Calabretta will be on hand to discuss these treasures. Admission is free.

Starting at 10 am, the Mystic Whaler, an 83-foot reproduction of a 19th-century coastal schooner, will offer one-hour narrated cruises throughout the day, departing from the dock at New England Science & Sailing, 70 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Adults: $30; children 12 and under: $15. 

10 – 5 pm: Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Lighthouse built in 1840 and converted to a local history museum in 1925. Tower overlooks the sites of the Battle of Stonington. Admission charged. 

11 am and 1 pm: Battle-themed walking tours depart from the Old Lighthouse Museum. $10 for adults; $5 for students under 21. 

Noon – 4 pm: La Grua Center. Exhibit, “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814.” Free.

1 – 4 pm: Captain Nathaniel Brown Palmer House, 40 Palmer Street, a National Historic Landmark. Free tours on the hour and half hour. Home of Captain Palmer, a blockade runner at age 14 during the War of 1812 and the American discoverer of Antarctica in 1820. 

2 — 3 pm: Stonington (Evergreen) Cemetery, 345 North Main Street: Commemoration of British midshipman Thomas Barratt Powers (1794-1814) killed in action days before the Battle of Stonington.

6 pm: Dinner cruise aboard the Mystic Whaler with special guide, James Tertius de Kay, author of The Battle of Stonington: Torpedoes, Submarines and Rockets in the War of 1812. Boarding at 5:40 pm, New England Science & Sailing dock. Tickets required. $150 per person.

TBA – Old Lighthouse Museum. The Newport Artillery Company (one of the oldest militia units in the U.S., established in 1741) will be on hand to fire their historic brass cannons, made by Paul Revere in 1798. This Rhode Island group is an authentic historic military unit. Free.

Sunday, August 10 

10 am – 5 pm. Old Lighthouse Museum, 7 Water Street, Stonington Borough. Lighthouse built in 1840 and converted to a local history museum in 1925. Tower overlooks the sites of the Battle of Stonington. Admission charged. 

11 am & 1 pm: Battle-themed walking tours depart from the Old Lighthouse Museum. $10 for adults; $5 for students under 21.

10 am: 1812 Military Encampment opens on the grounds of the Old Lighthouse. Free Men of the Sea, a living history group of Pirates and Privateers will be joined by a contingent from the 1812 Marine Guards, who are part of the U.S. Constitution Marine Guard.

10 am-4 pm: Tea tent at the Old Lighthouse Museum: Early American refreshments and bake sale.

Noon – 4 pm, La Grua Center. Exhibit: “Sixteen Stars, Sixteen Stripes: A Celebration of the Battle of 1814.” Free.

1:30 pm: Parade through Stonington Borough. 

3 pm, Wadawanuck Square: Commemorative observance, with remarks by Governor Malloy and other senior officials.

4:30 pm: La Grua Center. Geoff Kaufman, balladeer and historical interpreter, presents “huzza for Home,” a dramatic telling of the ordeal of Benjamin Palmer, an imprisoned Stonington privateersman. Tickets: $5 adults; $2 for children under 12. 

Thursday, Aug. 21, 5 pm at the Capt. Palmer House. Alan Burghardt will give a program on ships of the 1812 era, illustrated by a number of his own models, including the Hero, which was part of the 1812-14 blockade-running fleet out of Mystic and later became Nathaniel Palmer’s “ship of discovery,” when the 21-year-old Stonington sea captain caught sight of Antarctica in 1820. 

The Stonington Historical Society, Inc., founded in 1895, seeks to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the history of Stonington. In addition to presenting programs and exhibits, the Society maintains three sites open to the public: the Old Lighthouse Museum; the Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer House, a National Historic Landmark and the home of the discoverer of Antarctica; and the Richard W. Woolworth Library, a research archive of local history. From more information on these sites and the Society’s programs, exhibits, and collections, visit the Society’s web site, http:/www/, or call the Society at 860-535-8445. 

NESS Announces AmeriCorps Grant Award and Expanded Programs in New London

New England Science Sailing Logo

July 2, 2014
For Immediate Release
Cindy Nickerson, Executive Director
New England Science & Sailing Foundation

NESS Announces AmeriCorps Grant Award and Expanded Programs in New London

New London, CT – New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS), US Sailing’s Outstanding Community Sailing Center in America for 2013, today announced expanded programs in New London to advance adventure STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and experiential learning opportunities for the city’s students. This multi-faceted initiative, which exemplifies NESS’s continuing commitment to serve New London, includes the following:

  • A strengthened partnership with the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, including establishment of a NESS classroom in the school.
  • A new $133,000 federal AmeriCorps grant from the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, to positively impact students’ lives by integrating NESS’s science and sailing-based adventure education curriculum with Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School’s STEM Academy. Numerous private donations from individuals and foundations will also support this program.
  • A new partnership with Ocean Beach Park, including establishment of a NESS classroom at Ocean Beach and kayak launching amenities for NESS’s marine science classes.
  • A new partnership with the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and New London High School to offer a high school sailing team.
  • A Pfizer donation of 10 Flying Junior double-handed dinghies, a 17′ powerboat, and a floating dock to NESS for use by the high school sailing team.
  • A new partnership with Mitchell College, which has donated the use of their fixed dock on the Thames River for use by the high school sailing team.

To celebrate this initiative, NESS will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and press conference July 8 at 9:00 am at its new classroom at Ocean Beach Park. The community is welcome to attend to meet representatives from NESS, its partner organizations, and invited guests and dignitaries.

Anchoring the initiative is the award of a $133,000 AmeriCorps grant from the Connecticut Commission on Community Service to hire ten AmeriCorps Members to teach students in the STEM Academy. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with NESS. This innovative AmeriCorps program has the potential to transform our students’ lives through the combination of NESS’s adventure STEM education and mentoring and assistance from AmeriCorps volunteers,” remarked Alison Ryan, Principal of the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. The AmeriCorps program includes an extended learning program during the academic year for 200 students attending the STEM Academy at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School as well as a summer learning program for 125 participants in Camp Rotary and New London Recreation Department programs.

In addition to a dedicated NESS STEM Academy classroom within the school beginning this fall, NESS opened a 1,100 sq. ft. classroom at the city’s Ocean Beach Park to serve as its base for marine science education and kayaking expeditions. Dave Sugrue, Manager of Ocean Beach Park, noted, “We’re so excited to bring this wonderful program to the park to get more kids involved in education and enjoying its nature beauty. This could be transformative — not only for the kids but for the Park itself.” NESS Program Director Mary Horrigan added, “Ocean Beach is an amazing resource. We’re delighted to be offering programs right in New London — programs that will foster connections between students and their community as well as the environment.”

In a new partnership with the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut and New London High School, NESS will offer and manage a high school sailing team for students wishing to participate. “We’re looking forward to bringing the world of competitive high school sailing to the students of New London. It’s one of the few sports in high school and college where girls and boys compete on the same level,” commented Mark Zagol, NESS’s Sailing Program Director. “We would not be able to offer this if not for the generosity of Pfizer, which has donated sailboats and a powerboat for this program, and Mitchell College, which has donated the use of their dock,” he continued.

“NESS is incredibly grateful to earn the trust of our donors and partners as we grow our commitment to New London through strengthened partnerships and dedicated donors,” remarked Spike Lobdell, NESS’s President. “There are so many organizations working together to provide opportunities for New London children,” he said. “Among them we would like to especially thank New London Public Schools, the City of New London and Ocean Beach Park, Pfizer, Mitchell College, New London Recreation Department, Camp Rotary, Jennings Family Resource Center, Drop-In Learning Center, and New London Community Boating in helping to improve opportunities for the city’s children,” he added.

NESS acknowledges gifts from lead sponsors including The National Recreation Foundation; The Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation; Montauk Foundation; Chester Kitchings Family Foundation; The Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; The TK Foundation; 11th Hour Racing; The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Dominion Foundation; Gowrie Group; Liberty Bank Foundation; Robert G. Youngs Family Foundation; The Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; Dime Bank Foundation, Inc.; Charter Oak Federal Credit Union; and Chelsea Groton Foundation.

NESS has been working with the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School for two years to bring science and learning to life for students by getting them out of the classroom, onto — and sometimes into — the water. “This strengthened partnership and AmeriCorps award represent the next step in the evolution of NESS as a leading provider of STEM-based adventure education programming,” said Cindy Nickerson, NESS’s Executive Director. NESS’s STEM education curriculum includes the US Sailing REACH program, which uses sailing as the platform for teaching STEM concepts. NESS’s program promotes interest in STEM through experiential learning using sailing, kayaking, marine science, and adventure water sports.

NESS was named by US Sailing the 2013 Outstanding Community Sailing Center in America for its notable contributions to promote public access by demonstrating growth in program offerings, including partnerships, and community involvement and awareness. In 2013, NESS served 2,700 participants through its experiential hands-on science and sailing programs. Of these, more than 900 were sponsored by scholarship gifts and grants for underserved regional school children.


About New England Science & Sailing: Named by US Sailing as the Outstanding Community Sailing Center in the nation for 2013 and celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2014, NESS is a year round nonprofit 501(c)(3) adventure education organization dedicated to inspiring individuals to discover themselves through the enjoyment of the sea.  Through inclusive, small group adventure education programs, NESS offers opportunities for transformational personal growth and discovery as well as connections leading to community and environmental stewardship.  Transdisciplinary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education provides relevancy and sparks learning. Need based financial aid makes programs accessible to all.