Tag Archives: CT

Stan Cardinal Receives Certificate of Appreciation For Flag Loaner Program

Christian Porter of Honor and Remember presents a “Certificate of Appreciation” for Supporting Patriotism to Stan Cardinal for his Flag Loaner Progam.

GROTON, CT, June 2012 – In  July of 1990 Stan Cardinal  hoisted the flag on the colossal flag pole outside of Cardinal Honda. This would become the first of an ongoing act of patriotism that continues each day with a 25 foot by 40 foot American flag that proudly waves over Cardinal Honda and welcomes those driving by on Route 12.

Since that day in July, Stan Cardinal has continued to share his patriotism with the military, his employees, customers and the public through the “Cardinal Honda Flag Loaner Program.” This unique program allows anyone to borrow a flag from Cardinal Honda for special events, parades and presentations. As a result of the program, Stan has received a “Certificate of Appreciation” for Supporting Patriotism in our community.

For example, the involvement of the program in community events includes the forty foot flag draped on the side of the Intrepid as it sailed into New York harbor to its final resting place. Flags have been loaned for Memorial services for our fallen soldiers, Military and School functions and local parades.

The Flag Loaner Program provides American flags, in various sizes, for loan at no charge. All that is asked is that the flags be respected and cared for with the same level of Patriotism that Stan Cardinal has always had for the national emblem.

Groton Landmark Gets Classic Garden

Through the generosity of Bill Lincoln and the Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Association, and the work of plough-trained draft horses, the Fairview Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut will soon have a 30-foot by 70-foot garden.  The plot will supply vegetables to the majestic retirement and nursing-care facility, located opposite the Coast Guard Academy on the Groton bank of the Thames River.

Pictured at the garden’s groundbreaking are members of Fairview’s staff, local dignitaries, and volunteers: Left to right are Patrick Kelley, Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Assoc.; Andy Maynard, State Senator; Elisa Wright, State Representative; James Rosenman, Fairview Administrator; Joe Lopes, Fairview Maintenance Department; Joe Schoonmaker, Connecticut Corrections Department and Community Gardens Assoc.; Tomi Stanley, Fairview Recreation Department; Dave Fairman, Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Assoc.; Marian Galbraith, Groton City Mayor; John Waller, Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Assoc.; Bill Lincoln, Jim Reid, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue; and Dave Bradham, Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue.

But it’s more than a garden—it’s a gift of love and work.

Bill owns a rescue draft horse and volunteers at the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue in Haddam Neck.  He wanted to do something to give back to Fairview to acknowledge the wonderful care his mother-in-law received while she was a resident.

Bill brought his horse to Fairview June 14 and was accompanied by three other Belgian rescue horses and several volunteers. Together they plowed and harrowed the garden plot directly in front of the home’s recreation department.

The crops will be cared for by volunteers and the foods and herbs produced will be prepared in Fairview’s kitchen for residents. The garden will be wheelchair and walker accessible.

Octagon Celebrates South African Wines at U.S. Reunion Dinner

By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Critics On The Aisle, Out and Travelin’

 

(l-r) Waterford Group CEO Len Wolman chats with Mystic Marriott's Octagon Chef Paul Krawic and South African vintner Ken Forrester at the Mystic Marriot's Octagon Restaurant Wine Dinner Event on June 13

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to enjoy a six-course dinner as we did at the Mystic Marriot on June 13. Created by Executive Chef Paul Krawic the superb fare was accompanied by Chenin Blanc wines introduced by one of South Africa’s best vintners, Ken Forrester.

 

Host and General Manager Farouk Rajab joined Waterford Hotel Group Chairman and CEO Len Wolman in welcoming Ken Forrester of Ken Forrester Wines to the area.  Len and Ken went to school together in South Africa, and this renewal of their friendship was the first visit to Mystic Country by Mr. Forrester and his wife Teresa.

 

A proud supporter of Connecticut farms, top-ranked Chef Paul, who resides in Gales Ferry, featured locally farmed ingredients in his new spring/summer menu.  Selections from the wine dinner included local apples and Cato Farms ‘womanchego’ cheese fondue, Stonington seared scallops with mushroom risotto, grilled swordfish with toasted Israeli cous cous, chicken statler with jicama slaw and potato skins, and a desert sampler plate. The six courses were all beautifully prepared and plated, and served perfectly by the charming and attentive wait staff.

 

Each course was accompanied by one of Ken’s organically certified wines, and the name of the dinner “Chenin Celebration” featured a Petit Chenin Blanc, Reserve Chenin Blanc, and FMC Forrester Meinhert Chenin that each paired with a course.  Red wines included a Pinotage (Pinot Noir/Meritage) and Renegade (Grenache and Sirah), with the luxurious dessert wine “T” Noble Late Harvest concluding the luscious selection. The buzz at this convivial pairing dinner seemed like nothing but raves for each of the wines.

Sara Ryan, Wine Distributor for South African Wines, poses withLen Wolman, Chariman and CEO of the Waterford Hotel Group

 

Ken explained that “We are located near the ocean, and the cool breezes and sunshine contribute to the brightness of the wine.  Our grapes are farmed and harvested by hand, and the soil is tilled by hand as well.”  The Wine and Spirit Board of South Africa has certified Ken Forrester Wines as a vineyard offering sustainability and integrity. Ken continued by proudly stating: “We use no pesticides or herbicides.” www.kenforresterwines.com.  The land on which Ken Forrester Wines now stands has been a vineyard since 1689.

 

Len Wolman announced that the wines are now included in the wine list at the Octagon Restaurant in the Mystic Marriott. www.octagonsteakhouse.com

 

As the gala evening ended with dessert and coffee, Sara Ryan, representing Ken’s U.S. distributer, told us that the wines served at the Chenin Celebration will be available locally at the Cask N’ Keg in Mystic – two of them for less than $12 per bottle!

Len and Ken really know how to host a dinner party, with the best food, wines, service and clubby ambience at the AAA 4-Diamond Octagon at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa.  We highly recommend it!

Admiral Breckenridge Welcomes Veterans to a New Home

The Resident is proud to present the full transcript of Admiral Richard P. Breckenridge’s speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the American Legion Veterans Housing apartment in Jewett City.

 

Admiral Richard P. Breckenridge speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Late last summer, a remarkable thing was happening in Jewett City.

If you were transported in time to the corner of Main Street and Slater Avenue, on the morning of August 29th, nothing out of the ordinary would have caught your attention. The streets hummed quietly with morning traffic, and people walked in and out of the open doors of local businesses.  Like on any other day, you could get a cup of coffee, a newspaper, a tank of gasoline, or a piece of pie. Or you could just roll into town and look out the windows while you idled at the traffic light, convince yourself there was nothing extraordinary happening here, and move on.

But that was the amazing part.  The day before, hurricane Irene barreled through New England, uprooting trees and homes and lives.  The sixth-most damaging storm in US history did not spare this area from its fury. There was no lucky break for this town, and the same awful storm that blazed a path of destruction and misery up the coast, leaving hundreds dead, thousands homeless, and hundreds of thousands in the dark for weeks ripped through the streets of Jewett City…..

And 24 hours later…, the lights were on, and Jewett City was an oasis in the desert of Irene’s aftermath. For weeks after, the glow in the sky was the lights of Jewett City, where you could fill your gas tank, do your banking, visit a church or stock up at a store. The lights stayed on, and for the storm-battered area refugees, Jewett City was the safe port…the sheltered place that seemed, for a little while, like everybody’s home town.

And It wasn’t by luck, or by accident.  It was by commitment, planning, and hard work for in Jewett city, the local utility company is owned and operated by the town, serving its 2500 customers with a dedicated staff of…  three people.   And being small and nimble had many advantages when it came time to get ready for the hurricane, and to quickly recover afterwards. But more fundamentally, the hard decisions, years of planning, and generosity of spirit and dedicated service is what made the city shine in the darkness like a lighthouse on a dark and unfamiliar shore.

Today, the hard winds of another storm are reaching our coast again, but this is not a storm of nature’s making.

Throughout our recent history, the Nation’s best have answered the call to serve.  From the beaches of Normandy to the frozen banks of Chosin Reservoir, from the steaming Mekong Delta to the dusty streets of Fallujah.  In every generation, when our country sounded the horn to muster the troops, they answered with selfless sacrifice and unwavering purpose. They took to the seas and skies and distant lands, and prevailed as uniformed ambassadors of American resolve. They fought like lions, and were as feared in combat as they were respected in peace. There was no greater friend than an American service member…and no more dreadful enemy.

The reasons why so many fought so hard are as varied as the men and women themselves.  Some for patriotism, and others for honor. Some for love of their country, and others for their families. But I think it is fair to say that universally, everybody fought for their home. That when they fought, it was for the streets they lived on, the fields and forests and valleys and shores and towns that they loved.  And we honor them today with the rare title of Veteran; a proud name that only one in 12 Americans bears.

Many can’t come home. They rest where they fell, in France and Tunisia, Belgium and Italy, in the ocean depths, in the jungles of Vietnam and the forests of Korea.  And we honor them with quiet places and rows of stone, with names carved on black marble and battles etched on gleaming bronze, and flags flapping in the wind at half-mast.

But many did come home.  They stand in your communities; leaders and mentors and citizens. They sit at your tables, coach your children, and lead your churches, schools and businesses. And we honor them with parades and ceremonies, with yellow ribbons and simple thank-yous.

But the sad truth is that some of our brothers and sisters have not found their way fully home.  Some never had one, before they answered the Call. Others lost what they had while fighting far away. Many carry their unending war inside their head, and find that while home may still be there, they can’t hear it or see it through the battle that rages in their minds.

Still others find no job, and no hope, and therefore no home to take them in.  How do we honor them.  how do we honor these very special fellow americans?

Tonight, 67,000 proud Veterans, one in every four homeless people, sleep on America’s streets.  By the end of this year, twice that many Veterans will have been homeless for part of the year. Half are Vietnam Veterans, compounding the shame of the country’s bitter division during that conflict. A growing portion of homeless Veterans are from our most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with women representing 5% of the rapidly rising total.

Tonight, 365 more Veterans go on the streets.  The storm is here, and it’s real.

But ten years ago, the people here in jewett city began an amazing journey to get ready for it.  An off-hand answer to the question of what to do with the empty rooms at the American Legion literally transformed the facility, energized the community, and drew a grass-roots passion from many organizations and donors to blossom into a first-ever innovative approach to tackling homelessness among Veterans.  The people and organizations honored here today did not “address” the issue. They did not study it in committee. They did not write point papers or editorials, or produce multi-colored presentations.  Instead, they declared War.

 

The citizens of Jewett City drew a line in the sand, and declared that the scourge of homelessness among Veterans may rage elsewhere, unchecked and unanswered, but not here. Not in their streets, not on their watch.

Bill Czmyr and his allies, like any Council of Generals, built a patient strategy for the long battle. It must have seemed, in the early days, as if there would never be a way to sustain the enthusiasm, get the details right, find the money, and overcome the thousands of obstacles that go along with a major campaign.  It must have seemed like there would be dark days of phone calls unreturned, emails unanswered. It must have seemed like the battles would never be won, and the war would never end.

But the Call went out, and the people answered. With grants and funding directly supported by Congressman Courtney, with loans and permits, with shovels and sweat, the tide of battle turned.  After all, this was Total War, where every element of the community was energized.  The American Legion donated space and property. State and Federal government representatives located funding and programs to assist.  A local hotel donated furniture. In a true “Joint Operation”, when one hotel group in Waterford donated oversized curtains, local Women’s Groups from Danielson and Plainfield  hand-tailored them to fit the rooms.

It was not done for glory, or money or fame. It was done for the most powerful motives of compassion, and a sincere desire to render well-deserved honor, and a sense of quiet resolve but utter commitment to address a moral outrage.  I was deeply inspired by simple remarks made by your own Burgess Geer in a newspaper interview talking about restoring the war memorial plaques in Fanning Park. He said, “The bronze is going to shine the way bronze should shine.”  That has a deeper meaning when we talk about Veterans. A metal that is heated white-hot and forged for strength, that was made to last, that served its purpose with enduring commitment does not deserve to be cast aside or forgotten. It should shine the way it was meant to shine.  President John Kennedy told us that a nation reveals itself not only by the men and women it produces but also by the men and women it honors and remembers. If that is so, then the men and women who fought for this day are cut from the same cloth of honor and dedication and sacrifice as those they choose to serve.

 

Ten years later, the glow in the sky of the dark night comes from the newest jewel of Jewett City, the American Legion Veteran’s Housing Initiative. It guides our storm-tossed brothers and sisters to safe shores. It says to them, “Here, we give honor to ALL veterans, of all wars and all times. Here, the words Homeless and Veteran are not spoken in the same sentence. Here, we who live our lives at home Free and Safe because of the sacrifices of others, we reach out our hands and our hearts to those who have lost their way. Here, in Jewett City, the lights are on and the doors are open, and for a little while or forever, we Welcome you Home.”

 

 

June 26, 2008 Officially Proclaimed Billy Joel Day in CT

Mohegan Sun, the State of CT and all of New England honored Billy Joel on June 26th for his ten sold-out shows at Mohegan Sun Arena. This series of ten shows is a record-breaking number for both the State of CT and all of New England, representing the most consecutive number of sold-out indoor shows.

At a press conference held in the Cabaret Theatre at Mohegan Sun, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele read a proclamation issued by Governor M. Jodi Rell, declaring Thursday, June 26th “Billy Joel Day” in the State of CT. Mohegan Sun also presented Billy Joel with a banner honoring his ten sold-out shows in the arena. This banner is displayed in the arena and unveiled for the first time at the tenth and final Billy Joel show on Saturday, July 5th. This banner is the first of its kind to hang in the Mohegan Sun Arena honoring a performer.

During his record-breaking run of ten shows in Mohegan Sun Arena, Billy Joel entertained 100,000 fans and grossed 9.25 million dollars in ticket sales. This historic run of shows began on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 as the first Billy Joel show sold-out in a few short minutes; a second show was quickly added. Demand for Billy Joel continued, and the public received a third concert.

As the overwhelming demand for Billy Joel continued, Mohegan Sun and Billy Joel answered with a total of ten shows.

Billy Joel had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. He received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award, presented for albums that sold more than 10 million copies, for his Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II.

“Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Billy’s music, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and took home two, including “Best Orchestrations” – Billy’s first Tony Award win – and “Best Choreography.”

Billy Joel received six Grammy awards. In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, he was also presented with the Johnny Mercer Award in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His other awards include the ASCAP Founders Award, the BMI Career Achievement Award, the American Music Awards Award of Merit, and the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal.

Billy Joel donates his time and resources to a variety of charitable causes, and he recently launched an ongoing educational initiative to provide seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools.

Most recently, Billy created an endowment fund with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Billy Joel Fund for Music Education. For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, he was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; he also received a humanitarian award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The net proceeds of Billy Joel’s new composition, “Christmas in Fallujah,” inspired by soldiers’ letters from Iraq, are being donated to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds specially-adapted homes for disabled service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.