Category Archives: Dear Neighbor

Jeff Hartmann, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun

Around the Region: Jeff Hartmann

Jeff Hartmann, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun

Summer is always an exciting season for us here at Mohegan Sun. We have the chance to celebrate the warmth with family and friends at delicious barbeques or in the pool, and especially here at Mohegan Sun with everything we have to offer this summer.

Here at Mohegan Sun, summer is in full swing. Our 15th Annual Hot Summer Fun celebration continues to make summer our favorite season with our themed days including Money Mondays where Mohegan Sun Player’s Club members can enter a Cash Cube to win big money, Two For Tuesdays with two times the deals, Wild Wednesdays featuring our signature fireworks and a rooftop celebration, Thirsty Thursdays with dining and shopping deals and lastly,

Free Shirt Fridays where Player’s Club members can grab a free Hot Summer Fun t-shirt.

The days are hot here at Mohegan Sun, but the nights are even hotter with our brand new GLO at the Pool pool party and nightclub oasis. We also invite you to visit Vista Lounge, our recently renovated nightlife venue at Wombi Rock.

We are also excited about all of the great entertainment coming to Mohegan Sun this summer. Some of the upcoming concerts to look forward to in the Arena include Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez, Linkin Park, Eric Church and American Idol Live! Tour 2012. And in the Wolf Den, big names like David Cassidy, Skid Row, and MC Hammer will be performing. Hilarious comedic acts will also be visiting The Cabaret Theatre, as well.

Lastly, we encourage all to visit The Shops at Mohegan Sun featuring Tiffany & Co., Coach, Puma and Tommy Bahama. From clothing to electronics, The Shops at Mohegan Sun is a perfect place to take a break from the sun and do some shopping.

I hope that we see you for Hot Summer Fun and that you are enjoying everything our region has to offer during this season. Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!



Jeff Hartmann

President & CEO

Mohegan Sun

Natchaug Hospital Honors Board

Hartford HealthCare President Elliot Joseph, U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, and Natchaug Hospital President and CEO Stephen Larcen chat during the organization’s 58th Annual Reception.

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Natchaug Hospital announced the creation of the Natchaug Hospital Agency Endowment Fund and recognized retiring and new members of the Board of Directors at Natchaug Hospital’s 58th Annual Reception on Thursday night.

The Endowment Fund was created in partnership with the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut with $37,553.63 from the Mervyn & Olga Little Fund held by Natchaug Hospital. This endowment will be invested, and the revenue will be used by Natchaug to serve the mental health needs of Eastern Connecticut.

“Natchaug Hospital services will benefit from the stabilizing effect on finances of an endowment, which generates a steady revenue stream for programs and operations,” Dr. Larcen said. “Donors will also have more options for giving, including different types of planned gifts.”

The reception honored the four retiring board members, who collectively represent 88 years of volunteer service to Natchaug Hospital — former UConn Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, Carol Wiggins, Ph.D.; former Windham Hospital Chief of Staff, Edward Sawicki, M.D.; retired nurse practitioner an 34-year board member Toni Ellzey, APRN; and the Very Reverend Laurence LaPointe, pastor of St. Joseph Church and campus minister for ECSU and Connecticut College.

The retiring board members were recognized by Hartford HealthCare President Elliot Joseph, and were presented with Proclamations from the State of Connecticut by Representative Linda Orange (D-Colchester, East Haddam) and Representative Ed Jutila (D-East Lyme, Salem).

The five new members of the Natchaug Board of Directors were also introduced to the public at the Reception — Judi Caracausa, Carol Drescher, Michael Kurland, Michael Nee, M.D., and Bernice Szafarek, D.M.D.

“Natchaug Hospital’s staff and clients are so incredibly thankful for all that Carol, Ed, Toni and Father Larry have done for the organization over the years—they will truly be missed,” Larcen said. “We are very excited about our five new Board members and look forward to seeing the legacy they will leave at Natchaug Hospital.”

For more information on Natchaug Hospital, please visit

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

Just minutes away from the heart of Mystic, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center offers something for everyone. We are a combination wildlife sanctuary, natural history museum, and educational facility set in a 300-acre nature preserve. Visitors can experience the diverse woodland, wetland and meadow habitats and native wildlife of southern New England through a combination of interactive displays, live animal exhibits, or by hiking or walking our more than 10 miles of trails.

View live snakes, turtles and a variety of frogs in our indoor exhibits. Learn what happens outside after the sun sets in our “Night in the Meadow” theatre. Investigate life under a log, or learn to identify bird flight patterns and migration paths. Touch and feel items from our bog display — our newest exhibit which depicts the changes that take place as a pond transforms to a bog and eventually a forested swamp.

Step outside and visit our resident birds of prey in outdoor flight enclosures before exploring the trails that criss-cross brooks, forests, meadows, ponds and rocky outcrops. Whether you’re interested in birding, plant identification, plant life, hiking, or nature photography, you’ll find a way to enjoy our 300-acre preserve. You can search for bluebirds in the meadow, painted turtles or bullfrogs in the pond, admire our summer wildflower garden or simply enjoy a peaceful walk in the woods all four seasons of the year.

Looking to learn more about the world around you? DPNC offers a variety of year-round environmental education programs for all ages. Our programs offer unique opportunities to learn about ecology with the guidance of our professional education staff. From discovery, after-school classes and summer camps for children, guided hikes and workshops for families, and kayak, wildflower, and hawk watching trips for adults, DPNC provides class participants with an expanded appreciation for the natural world that leads to responsible stewardship.

The Nature Center’s facilities include an outdoor treehouse and picnic area that may be used in warmer weather. We also stock a selection of unique educational nature items and hard-to-find field guides at the Nature Center Store.

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center was founded in 1946 by the Dension Society. We are open year-round, Monday thru Saturday from 9a.m. to 5p.m., and Sunday from 10a.m. to 4p.m.. We are located at 109 Pequotsepos Rd. in Mystic. For more information, please visit or call 860. 536.1216.

Jennifer Johnson
Director of Marketing & Communications
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

Rain or Shine – You’ll Have A Good Time  at The Dinosaur Place!

Okay, the weather this summer has been, well, New England weather, to say the least! Some days have been stormy, but many have turned out to be A-OK, so come on out with your family this summer, and enjoy some quality time together regardless of the forecast!

Outdoor Adventure at the Dinosaur Place is an attraction on its own. The life size dinosaurs are always entertaining, New England’s largest aquatic playground called Monty’s SPLASHPAD® is guaranteed fun in the summer heat and the playscape speaks for itself. But did you know that The Dinosaur Place offers a day full of fun indoors even if the weather outside isn’t great?

Once you walk into Nature’s Art, your eyes will widen with excitement at the unique items located in the gift shop. Shop around within the jewelry and gift section before you check out the toys and of course, dinosaur related merchandise. Browse in the Fossil and Mineral Gallery, surrounded by life-sized prehistoric skeletons and breathtaking crystals from the four corners of the globe. Check out the Cobalt Café and grab lunch or a coffee during your visit.

Downstairs is the indoor Activity Center. There, children and adults of any age will have a blast with a plethora of educational fun! Children and adults love to dig for gems in Jackpot Mine or Pan for Gold in Thunder Creek, keeping all the treasures that they find as a souvenir of a great day! Take an adventure in paleontology and unearth a dinosaur skeleton in our Bone Zone, receiving a collection of genuine fossils to take home! Create something memorable while participating in the Arts and Crafts Station that offers Sand, Candle and Spin Art. How about being the first to see what’s inside an ancient volcanic gas bubble that is more than millions of years old? In the Activity Center these gas bubbles, otherwise known as geodes, are available for sale, cutting included. The amazement is unleashed after you pick the lucky bubble, cut it open and be the first to see what’s inside.

If you can’t make it for the entire day, consider taking advantage of the August special, Monty’s Strike it Rich Deal. Offered after 3pm, the child package includes a ticket to Pan for Gold, admission to Outdoor Adventure including the SPLASHPAD®, and a gift card for $4.50, all for only $20, it’s a value of $30! Parents receive discounted outdoor admission of $14, a value of $18. So, don’t let those long afternoons of summer drag, visit The Dinosaur Place and “Strike it Rich” after 3pm!

For even more fantastic family fun, be sure to check out nearby attractions in the Mystic Country region of CT. Spend the day at New England’s finest beach and boardwalk, Ocean Beach Park in New London, or enjoy a trip through history on the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat ride in Essex, … the possibilities are endless- visit for ideas!

The Dinosaur Place is located at 1650 Hartford-New London Tpke., Oakdale. Call 860.443.4367 or visit our website for hours, admission prices and special events: . See you soon!

Corrina Ferguson

Director of Marketing

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

Join us at the Senior Center and you will find everything under the sun for those 55 and older.  There is a wide selection of classes and programs to choose from.   Our monthly LIFELINES newsletter lists the many programs and services available. We offer programs from Fitness and Cards to Computers and Wii bowling. Here is a quick summary of what you can expect in the next few months:

August:  The Dick Campo Big Band will entertain on Friday, August 8 at the Groton Municipal Building.  Open to all ages. Registration for fall classes will begin in the mid-month.  The Senior Club Luau will be on August 12.  Baby Boomers A to Z will present “H is for Housing”. Or join us for Waterfires in Providence, RI.

September: Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will be speaking on Identity Theft at the Groton Inn & Suites as our “I” in the Baby Boomer A to Z program. All are welcome. Try a trip to the Putney Inn and see the Friesians of Majesty (Vermont’s answer to the Lipizzaner Stallions)

October: Start your month out with a free day in New York City on Oct. 4 or join us for a trip to see the races at Suffolk Downs on Oct.8.  Baby Boomer A to Z will be “Jobs: Redefining Retirement”.

November:  Look for our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Nov. 18.  Don’t want to go all the way to NYC to see the Macy’s parade? Take a trip to see the giant balloons before they head to the parade on Nov. 23.  Baby Boomer A to Z will be “Keys to Safe Driving”.

December:  Bring your family to the Santa Breakfast sponsored by the Senior Club.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be making an appearance for pictures with the kids.  Join us for the US Coast Guard Band’s annual concert in New London.  Senior Club holiday luncheon at the Groton Inn & Suites.  Baby Boomer A to Z will be “Leisure”.

There are so many more exciting things happening under the sun.  They include Computer classes (just drop in), trips to the Rose Parade, Alaska, Savana/Charleston, and the Imperial Cities of Prague, Vienna and Budapest. We also provide transportation to medical appointments, shopping, the bank and the center if you don’t drive.  We’re here to serve you.  Come check us out!  For more information, call 860.441.6785.

There’s a World of Possibilities at the Groton Senior Center!

Mary Jo Riley
Groton Senior Center

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

In today’s economy, more and more people are opting for staycations – visiting local attractions and rediscovering the wonders of their own backyard, in an effort to save money. This is a great time to experience some of our favorite, affordable, summer spots and annual events.

Many of the top summer attractions are under $10 a person, including Fort Trumbull State Park and Ocean Beach Park in New London, the Children’s Museum of SECT in Niantic, Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich and the Old Lighthouse Museum and Capt. Nathaniel Palmer House in Stonington. For an action packed family outing, catch a game with the CT Defenders or CT Sun, both offer ticket prices starting under 10 bucks!

And, what can be better than fun for free? In Mystic Country you can visit the Historic Ship Nautilus, Fort Griswold State Park and Bluff Point State Park & Coastal Reserve in Groton and the Custom House Maritime Museum in New London, for free. Listen to great live music all summer long at free concert series in Norwich, Colchester, Olde Mistick Village and Esker Point Beach. Or, take a step back in time with Ocean Beach Park’s weekly Cruise Nights, classic car show, which is always free to the public.

Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium and Olde Mistick Village recently launched the Mystic Pass Card, which gives discounted admission to both attractions, significant discounts on hotels, restaurants and shopping, a free T-shirt and a free fountain drink at each attraction. The pass card is $49 per adult and is over $250 in value.

The summer season is jam packed with great events. Here are some of the annual favorites:

• July 10-13: North Stonington’s Agricultural Fair,

• July 11-13: SailFest & Fireworks Extravaganza, New London Waterfront,

• July 25 & 26: Midsummer Festival, Old Lyme,

• July 26 & 27: Stonington’s 54th Annual Blessing of the Fleet,

• August 9 & 10: Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, Historic Downtown Mystic,

• August 16 & 17: Mystic Seaport’s Antique Marine Exposition,

• August 21-24: Schemitzun, Feast of Green Corn & Dance, North Stonington,

Log onto to find out more about these offerings and to start planning your Staycation.

Eliza Cole
Marketing Manager
Mystic Country, CT

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

What do a boa constrictor, a bubble tube, and a pyramid of Egypt all have in common? They are just some of the entertaining and educational exhibits to be found this summer at the Children’s Museum of SECT in Niantic.

The newest of many additions to the museum is an exhibit titled Kelsey’s Vision, and is designed to stimulate all of the senses. It contains a complete tactile wall, along with numerous auditory aspects and a five foot bubble tube that can be altered by controls at the base. Museum staples Rictor the Boa Constrictor and the benthic submarine are still here, along with newer items such as a pyramid of Egypt and a miniature Flanders Fish Market.

A new program at the museum this summer is Preschool Science, best for children ages 3-5. It is offered on Monday afternoons at 1:30. Topics range from Ocean Life (watching crabs and lobsters move and handling seaweed) to different kinds of binoculars to solar energy and power. For more information about this program, or any of our other programs, please visit our website at or call 860.691.1111.

Friday nights are half price family nights and the museum is open until 8:00 p.m. The rest of the week the museum is open from 9:30 to 5:00 and Sundays from Noon to 5:00. Museum admission is $6 per person, and free for children under the age of 1 and members as well. If you would prefer a less crowded time to visit, then please come in the late afternoon or shortly after we open at 9:30. Located near parks, beaches, shopping, and affordable dining, the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut is an ideal addition to your family’s summer to-do list.

To give you an idea of the lasting impact this museum can have on a child, let me tell you how I am connected to the museum. I visited frequently as a child with my mother, and when I was looking for a volunteer opportunity in middle school, the museum seemed like an ideal choice. I relived the glory days of my childhood while helping the museum. I volunteered here from 7th grade through my senior year, and I am now a marketing intern after completing my freshman year of college.

Thank you for your support and we hope to make the Children’s Museum of SECT part of your summer schedule.

Douglas Cheeseman
Marketing Associate

Dear Neighbor of Southeastern CT & Southern RI,

Not all tourists come to Southeastern CT with three children, bicycles and sunscreen. Sometimes, a man and a woman come here alone… to elope!

Our wedding and special events manager, Jill Fahey, created several elopement packages in 2007 because of the number of inquiries we received about elopements at our historic country inn and spa.
Lori Nittoli and Bill McCambley of Elmwood Park, NJ, were the first to take advantage of an elopement package in November 2007.

“We got engaged in June and began planning, but we found we didn’t want to deal with the stress, the pressure, the trying to satisfy everybody else’s needs but our own. It was as if we were planning a party for everyone else, and not planning a wedding for us,” said Lori, 37, a sixth-grade teacher. So we decided that we were going to change direction and plan a wedding just for us.”

She saw our brochure and loved the look of the inn and its grounds, made contact and found her needs were well understood and easily met.

“We [she and fiancé, Bill, 32, who owns a personal training studio] visited the property, selected Justice of the Peace Marie Gravell from a list provided by the inn, and a Boston photographer,” said Lori. “I had a photo of a bouquet I cut out of a magazine and had the inn give it to their house florist. I ordered the dress – it was actually a bridesmaid’s dress in champagne – and the veil, and they put a rush on it. Everything was done in five months.” Jill became “our family,” Lori said. “She was great!”

The elopement package included a 90-minute private Swedish massage for bride and groom, a private suite for one night, a wedding ceremony site – Lori and Bill chose the private dining room, in front of a roaring fire – a gourmet four-course dinner for two in Kensington’s restaurant and a petite, two-layer wedding cake.
“When we went back to our suite, the floor was covered in rose petals from the door to the bed, leading to a tray of chocolate-dipped strawberries and a chilled bottle of Iron Horse Sparkling Wine. They had robes for us embroidered with “Bride” and “Groom” and a gift from the Boutique. Plus breakfast the next day.”
How does she feel looking back on their experience?

“There are not enough adjectives to describe how wonderful it was,” she said. And that’s the kind of answer we in the tourism industry like to hear.

If you are intetested in learning more about our elopement packages, please call us at 860.886.2401 or visit

John G. O’Shaughnessy
General Manager
The Spa at Norwich Inn