Dec 172014

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.32.36 PMChrista Parady of Zoey Girl Pet Services is known as one of the kindest, most caring business owners in Orange.
Currently, the shop is collecting food, blankets  and toys for underprivileged pets in its Toys for Pups and Canine Cupboard pantry.
Please bring all donations to their facility at 185 Boston Post Road.
Also, if you know of any of our four legged friends that are in need of a bath or groom whose human companions cannot afford it, call Zoey Girl at 203-606-9220 and they will arrange for a complementary day at the spa.
Christa, Mae and the entire staff surely know about the true meaning of Christmas.
Zoey Girl Pet Services, 185 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477
(203) 606-9220
[email protected]

Dec 162014

20141216_130116_resizedIf you are looking for a special gift for someone, consider a beautiful handcrafted Orange Ornament.

These wood ornaments are made with love locally and perfectly hand painted. They were sold at the Orange Country Fair and during the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot so the availability is getting low. They are being sold for $10 each

The artist will be selling the ornaments at Stop and Shop on Old Gate Lane in Milford on Thursday, Dec. 18, from 9 a.m. until evening while they last.

Ornaments can be purchased by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 203-795-9640. They will be delivered to any Orange address up until the evening of Monday, Dec. 22.

photo (13)

Dec 152014

binky babyEleven years ago, when my daughter was two, my wife and I decided it was time to break her of the pacifier habit.
She called it her “binky”, and was as attached to a pacifier as any child her age would be.
She would frequently lose her binky in the middle of the night and cry until we could get up and find it for her.  (We would sometimes leave a few extra scattered in the crib so she would be sure to find one quickly and save us the trip.)
She had a nice collection of binkies.

We decided the best way to insure success of breaking the habit was to get her to buy into the plan.
So my wife came up with the idea to explain to her that she was a very lucky girl to have binkies because there were poor children around the world that had none.  We explained that a really nice thing for “big girls” to do when they are all done with their binkies is to give them to Santa Claus.  He would bring them to the North Pole and then he would deliver them to the needy boys and girls around the world.
She seemed hesitant but agreed.
On the night the fire truck arrived we were all ready.  We had her place the binkies in a little Ziploc bag and hold them for Santa.  With the lights flashing and music playing, we stood at the door watching the excitement and waiting for Santa and the elves and the firemen to come to the door.
When Santa got to the porch, she held out her bag of binkies and proudly told Santa she was a big girl now and that she wanted him to give them to the poor kids in the world.
Santa  was a champ.  Caught completely off-guard, he improvised beautifully and took the bag from her and thanked her for being such a big girl.  Then he turned and handed them to one of his elves, paused for a minute, and then came inside for the traditional visit.
She never needed a binky ever again.
The next year when I went to the firehouse to drop off the present with my check, Mama Elf recognized the address and was so happy to recount the story to me and her coworkers.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Santa that year was none-other than the Fire Chief himself…. and she told me that my daughter’s generosity was so overwhelming that she had made him CRY!
I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to live here in Orange and participate in such a wonderful tradition.
We love telling this story every year.
Mike and Angel Pickett

Dec 152014


This is a file photo from a similar event.

Best Santa’s Helper story!

As Christmas 2010 approached my two young daughters, Erin age 9 and Kelsey age 11, were looking forward to Christmas.  As we had done every year since we moved to Orange we had dropped off a gift for each with Mama Elf and were looking forward to Santa’s visit on December 19th.

Then came a shock.  My father had been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia since late September and had been doing very well. It was a struggle but he had had some good test results just before Thanksgiving and we thought he was on the way to recovery.  But on Dec. 14th he took a very sudden turn for the worse and he passed away on Dec. 15th.  His wake was scheduled for December 19th and the funeral for December 20th.

My daughters had been very close with their grandfather and took his passing hard.  Our family would still find a way to get through the holidays for them but with the wake on Sunday we would not be around for Santa’s visit.

My husband Bob went down to the firehouse to explain to Mama Elf that he would like to retrieve the presents we had dropped off and tell Santa not to stop at our house.  To his surprise she wouldn’t hear of it.  She asked him to leave the presents and she would see if a few of the firemen would be willing to come another night. Arrangements were made for Tuesday or Wednesday the following week (honestly, I have no idea what day it was since my brain was in a fog).  We didn’t tell the girls because we wanted it to be a surprise.

Well, we were all surprised!  That evening 5 fire trucks came through our neighborhood  with lights flashing and sirens blaring!!!  There were a bunch of other vehicles parking on our street  too!  Firemen and elves were everywhere!  The firemen formed a double line from the street to our front door and Santa and his elves and helpers all came down the aisle and into our house!

Apparently when Mama Elf asked for a few volunteers to make the special visit to my family ALL the firemen and women, Santa and elves volunteered!  Every individual that came into our house offered their condolences and wished the girls a Merry Christmas.  They brought us candy canes and beautiful snowflake ornaments for our tree that we gladly hang every year.  It was a magical night for my girls.

I am so happy to have a chance to share with everyone the most wonderful and moving moment of our very difficult Christmas and to thank Mama Elf, Santa, the elves and all the fantastic volunteers at the Orange Fire Department.  Their compassion and thoughtfulness are true examples of the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas,

Krista McCormack

Dec 152014

IMG_7408I’ve been going out with the Santa’s Helper Crew for so many years that I’ve lost count.

It all began when I was with the Amity Observer newspaper. My son would accompany me as my photographer and I would “observe” and write a story.

I carried it through to some “hyperlocal” news site and finally now, I’ve covered it for two years on Orange Live.

Santa’s Helper is one of those timeless events that I enjoy being a part of. Seeing the children jumping with excitement at their front door brings me back to when I was young and believing was all you had to do to have a magical Christmas.

Remember, you have until Saturday, Dec. 20 to enter the Orange Live Santa’s Helper contest. Just send your “story” (and a photo if you have one.) to [email protected].




Dec 132014

The look of wonder on their faces speaks volumes.

The look of wonder on their faces speaks volumes.

Santa’s Helper is one of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s most magical traditions.

Now in its 20th year, Orange Live is asking participants to share their most treasured memories of Santa’s Helper and what it’s meant to you and your family.

Send us an e-mail to [email protected] (this is NOT a Link) with “Santa’s Helper” in the subject line by Saturday, Dec. 20. Include a Photo of your special Santa’s Helper visit with your submission if you have one.

Orange Live will publish as many of your stories as possible. Then, Elf Mama, who’s been the backbone of the event for two decades, along with firefighters and elves, will choose their favorite one(s) and the winner(s) will receive a special prize.





Dec 132014

IMG_1478If you’d like to ring in the New Year with a “hot chili brunch” and help out a non-profit organization at the same time, please sign up to walk or run in the People’s United Bank 2015 Chilly Chili Run to benefit the Amity Teen Center.  This year will mark the 18th running of the Race.

The 5K (3.1 miles) Run and Fitness Walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. on New Years Day at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road in Orange.  To register for the Race before December 20 it is $22.00 for runners and $12.00 for runners 12 and under, and anyone doing the Fitness Walk.  After December 20 and on Race Day the registration will be $27.00 for runners and $15.00 for runners 12 and younger, and people doing the Fitness Walk.

You can register online at www.hitekracing.com up until December 26.  Applications also are available at the Orange Park and Recreation office.  Race organizers will have a table set up in the front lobby of the High Plains Community Center on Wednesday, December 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for an Early Packet Pickup and Late Registration. 

In addition to serving a “hot chili brunch” to all of the participants, another highlight is the Chilly Chili T-shirt, voted the Favorite among Connecticut Runners.  Everyone who has pre-registered and the first 100 to register on the day of the race will be guaranteed a shirt.  For the past few years the Chilly Chili Run has been the only official 5K race to have three 90+ year old runners register and complete the race. 

All of the proceeds will go to the Amity Teen Center, a 501 c 3 organization that was formed in 1987. The Teen Center is located at 10 Selden Street in Woodbridge.

For more information, please contact Race Director Joe Riccio at (203) 481-7453, Linda Cohen at (203) 980-3409 or Jane Opper at (203) 795-9351.  Questions also may be sent to [email protected] or [email protected]

Dec 112014

Serving the Town of Orange since 1976

Serving the Town of Orange since 1976

The Orange Foundation, is a local funding source for college scholarships and community organizations that serve Orange residents. The Orange Foundation was founded in 1976 by Charles l. Flynn, Esq. Since then, the Foundation has grown to #1.3 million and has distributed $397,125 in scholarships and $148,822 in grants. The grants support special services, programs and equipment purchases that are not supported or are insufficiently supported by other funding sources. Support has been given to many programs in our town – especially those benefitting senior citizens, Past recipients include Silverbrook Estates, Orange Senior Center, Camp Cedarcrest, American Legion Post 127, Orange Little League, Special Olympics of Southern Connecticut and the Orange Arts and Culture Council,

Grants awarded in 2014 included support for two Eagle Scout project, the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the Orange Historical Society, the Orange Community Juniorettes, Orange Community Services, the Orange Senior Center, the Orange Independence Day Concert and Fireworks Display, and the Shepherd’s Table meal program. There also were eight college scholarships awarded in 2014.

The Foundation supports a wide variety of community groups, programs and students, and is dependent upon donations from the community to continue the financial growth of the Foundation to ensure the continuation of these valuable contributions to our community and its residents.

The Foundation is asking those who are able, to make a donation. For those who may be reluctant to donate due to concern about future financial needs, an idea that addresses those concerns is to consider updating your will, allocating 10% of your estate to charitable organizations such as the Orange Foundation. In this way, financial concerns are allayed and a 10% reduction in the inheritance of your heirs should not have a significant impact.

A Distribution Committee in accordance with established By-Laws allocates funds. Current Distribution Committee Members include Robert Archambault, President; Paul Hoffman, Vice- President, Jacqueline Koral, Janice Lettick, Katalin Baltimore, John Wesolowski and Pat Miller.

This vital organization needs your help. Please give generously!

Tax deductible donations may be sent to

Orange Foundation, PO BOX 729, Orange, CT 06477-0729


Bob Archambault, President
The Orange Foundation
49 Red Cedar Drive
Orange, CT.06477

— Press release from the Orange Foundation

Originally Published on: Dec 8, 2014 @ 12:21


Dec 092014

Congregation Or Shalom

Congregation Or Shalom

Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Road, has many things planned for the holiday season.

— If you ordered latkes, they may be picked up beginning Wednesday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and during office hours Monday – Thursday, 10-4, Friday 10-2. Pick up must be by Wednesday, Dec. 17.

— This month they are collecting blankets and tarps for the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen in New Haven.

— Or Shalom receives a commission when you shop AmazonSmile using this link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/06-0874061 . You don’t have to enter a code or sign up for anything, just click the link before you shop.

Coffee & Learn

This week’s Coffee & Learn, on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m.  will feature Guest Speaker Rabbi Hesch Sommer, D.Min., Director of the Jewish Wellness and Healing Center, Jewish Family Service, Greater New Haven on the topic: “Genesis: Just a soap opera about a dysfunctional family?”

Hanukkah Haven Gift Drive

Last year the Shevis Family, with the help of Jewish Family Services started a Hanukkah gift drive, and successfully provided presents fro a number of Jewish children in the Greater New Haven area.

This year there are three times as many children to provide for.

If you are interested in helping to give these children a happier Hanukkah, contact the Shevis Family for the age and gender of a child.

For information about making a donation, contact [email protected]

Latkes & Magic

On Friday, Dec. 19, the menorah will be lit in the lobby at 7 p.m., followed by a brief Friday night service, and then the Oneg Shabbat, featuring a magic show, latkes and gelt.

Food Stamp Challenge

Or Shalom Social Action Committee members encourage all synagogue members to consider taking the Annual National Food Stamp Challenge.

The challenge originally was issued to lawmakers, urging them to consider whether they could survive on the policies and budgets they set for others. Each year the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) encourages individuals to participate in this program. Rabbis from all four denominations and community members across the country are taking the Food Stamp Challenge to help them better understand the impact of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.)


Each person should spend only $29.40 on food and beverages during the week. This is the average food stamp benefit. Although this amount is meant to supplement budgets, many times individuals living in poverty have little more available funds to spend on food.

During the Challenge, eat only food that you purchase for the project.

Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including at meetings or social events.

You can register at www.foodstampchallenge.com

People approved to receive SNAP benefits can only use their (credit) card for food which has exclusions, such as prepared foods, i.e. rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, and brewed coffee. The cards can be used in supermarkets and many other stores, including Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi.