Victoria Negri Forges Ahead To Make “Gold Star”

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Feb 052014

Film maker Victoria Negri at the Orange Ale House on Oct. 3.

Film maker Victoria Negri at the Orange Ale House on Oct. 3.

In September 2013, Orange Live introduced readers to Victoria Negri, the 25 year old daughter of the late Carmine Negri,  90, whom many residents knew as of the senior runners that participated in the Chilly Chili Run 5K race.

Five months ago Victoria  announced that she is making a semi-autobiographical film based on her relationship with her late WWII veteran father, Carmine, a 40-year Orange resident.
Gold Star is about Vicki, a 25 year old woman, who seeks to uncover her 90 year old father’s long hidden secret, while simultaneously accepting his mortality,” she explained. “It’s an unconventional coming of age story.”
We visited with Vicki and her family at a fundraising event at the Orange Ale House on Oct. 3 that helped raise money for Gold Star.
“I’m very excited about the fundraiser and upcoming film,” she said.  ”We will be shooting in New Haven County at various locations and employing many people in the CT film community.”
Well, Vicki updated us on the progress she’s made since we last met.
Here is her message:
We are inching closer and closer to our shooting start date in May (as long as we can finish fundraising) and are excited to share with you, our subscribers, a special sneak peek at our teaser trailer! The password is my dad’s name: carmine

We also had an extremely successful fundraiser last week in New York at Esperanto Restaurant. Some of you receiving this might have gotten this trailer twice as a thank you for being there! (that means double thank you!!)

Thank you so much for your continued support and we look forward to continuing to share news as this film becomes a reality!


BOE Relay For Life Meeting At High Plains Tonight

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Mar 252013

Relay For Life PigAnyone who is interested in joining the Bethany-Orange-Woodbridge (BOW) Relay For Life Fundraising effort this year is invited to attend the second meeting tonight at High Plains Community Center at 7 p.m.

The Kick-Off meeting took place at Orange Hill Country Club on March 10.

There were many new faces, which was refreshing and there was a good amount of adults who received the message that the Relay is not just a student event. (For several years, Amity residents had the impression that the Relay was geared toward teens because many of the volunteers were under the age of 20.)

The Purpose of the March 10 meeting was to offer information about the 2013 Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society Fundraiser to bring in money to help find a cure for cancer. The local theme is “We’ll Stop Walking When Pigs Fly.”

The national theme this year is “Dream Big Hope Big Relay Big — There are No Boundaries.”

Humble Beginnings

In 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon in Tacoma Washington wanted to raise awareness about cancer. So he collected pledge money from friends and family and walked and ran 83 miles in 24 hours, raising $27,000.

Dr. Klatt and a woman named Pat Flynn developed the team idea which is what we now know as the Relay for Life.

Debby Davis started the first BOW Relay For Life at High Plains in 1999.

Last Year’s Relay

As so many will recall, 2012 was a rocky year for the Relay. Storms set the event back several weeks and it was scheduled in April (Very early for an overnight event) It was cold and windy, yet everyone involved sucked it up and rode it out, slept inside High Plains Community Center, and raised a total of $91,000.

In 2012 there were 641 participants; 67 teams; The average person raised $128; the average team raised $1,259.

The top three teams were NuVita & Friends; JAWA’s Boob Crew; and #1 money earning team was We Can(Cer) with a total of $5,667.70

According to Co-Chairman Lynn Plaskowitz, the top student team really pushed themselves to the limit, fundraising outside of Stop & Shop and so much more.

The top 5 individual money earners were Amanda Hudson; George Geane; Mikaila Schmitt; Dinamarie McCarthy and #1 Angela Booth and her Boob Crew, earning $4,061.00.

Cancer survivors at the meeting received pins, and in case anyone didn’t realize it the definition of “caregiver” was clarified.  A Caregiver is anyone who helps a cancer patient – be he or she a spouse or a driver or companion while the person is sick — even if your patient (or loved one) passes away, YOU are still a caregiver.

This Year’s Relay

The 2013 BOW Relay for Life takes place at the Orange Fairgrounds beginning at 2 p.m. (Opening cermonies are at 5 p.m.) on June 1  and ending at 7 a.m. on  June 2.  This year’s goal is $95,000.

There are four different T-Shirt colors this year. Purple is for survivors; Orange is for Committee members, captains wear green and participants receive white t-shirts.

New this year, the $10 registration fee counts toward your fundraising goal as so luminaria sales.

To promote a quick, healthy competition, money will be entered into the Convio through the ACS website. everyone will be able to see how everyone else is coming along in their fundraising efforts.

For Amity High School Students,, the bulletin board near the weight room will have these numbers posted for everyone’s convenience.

The deadline to submit the $100 minimum team member fundraising amount and receive a T-shirt is Monday, April 29. Also, the Relay is challenging leaders to have at least 13 members on each team.

Helping Cancer Patients

Money raised during the Relays funds 290 research grants and provides support for about 90,000 cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment with the free patient navigator program. Navigator provides free information and assistance around the clock. One million people called for help and support last year, and free transportation was given to one million cancer patients and their caregivers.

The American Cancer Society will announce the names of five teams in New England who will receive incentives such as camp chairs, a sleeping bag or 10 x 10 Tent through a new initiative geared to motivate teams to raise the most money for their respective Relays.

BOW Area Initiatives

Online programs have been introduced to make things easier for the Relay Chairpersons and participants this year. Online registration saves on paperwork and gives both the Team Captain and the organizers an immediate record of how many people are involved in the BOW Relay.

Amity High School students will be needed to assist in the Orange Elementary School “Relay for Recess” on May 7, during which school children will participate in a mini-Relay for a $20 donation to the American Cancer Society.

Relay Corporate and Business sponsors are being sought and recruitment of sponsors will count toward a participants fundraising goal. Tiki torches will be placed by the gazebo with the name of the person whose memory it is dedicated and the company that donates $50. (For graphics to be completed please donate by April 29) Sponsor Names will appear on the back of the T-shirts.

At only $5, the Luminaria Bags are so popular that advance sales are encouraged. White bags, which can be decorated by the purchaser, will be anchored with sand and illuminated by a votive candle during the very moving luminaria memorial service after dark. Any team member who sells these in advance will have that money put toward their fundraising goal.

The three co-chairmen are reaching out to adults to participate in this year’s Relay. It is important to remember that this is not the Orange Relay, but the BOW Relay for Life, which means it also belongs to Bethany and Woodbridge.

You do not have to stay overnight, but everyone is asked to come, participate and especially attend the Luminaria Ceremony on June 1.

Parents be aware that your children will not be running around wild all night. For every five teen team members there will be one chaperone (age 25 and older), Police and CERT will be on scene to ensure safety.

Publicizing Fundraisers

Team Captains, if you are planning a fundraiser, contact Orangectlive.com at orangectlive01@gmail.com, through facebook at Orange Live or by phone at 203-506-1747 and I will post it for you at no charge and frequently until the event.

Help The Crushers Get To Cooperstown

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Feb 232013

Crushers 2We all know Dave Kennedy as the owner of Reno’s Pizzeria and have heard of everything he does for the town. But in the spring and summer he is Coach Kennedy, teaching the 12-under CT Crushers baseball players how to be winners, but more importantly, good sportsmanship and how to have fun.

As most Orange residents know, playing at Cooperstown Dreams Park has been an annual tradition for 12 year old baseball players in Orange for many years.  Every August, elite players from the Town of Orange make the annual pilgrimage in hopes of winning a national title.  This cultural and life enriching experience for team and family members will create memories to last a lifetime.

During the trip, players and coaches will visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame, share hometown stories, trade pins, and compete with players on over 100 teams from around the United States for a weekly national title.  Team records and photographs will be displayed in the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame.  This once in a lifetime experience comes at a cost of $850 per player and coach.  In addition, the team will need to bring enough pins to trade with fellow players.  Other costs involved are for sportswear, a banner, and travel expenses.  Any donations are greatly appreciated and will help offset the cost incurred by families of players.

photo-38The CT Crushers will host their first major fundraiser at the Joker’s Wild, 232 Wooster Street, New Haven, on Sunday, April 7.  Tickets are $20 per person and are available from any team member or at Reno’s Pizzeria, 500 Boston Post Road, Orange.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.  The show starts at 7 p.m.  There will also be raffle prizes.  Have some laughs while helping the team!  Joker’s Wild has generously offered to donate half of all ticket sales to the team.

The team also is selling ads for its program book, which will be distributed to attendees of the Joker’s Wild fundraiser.  Raffle Prixe donations would be greatly appreciated.

A major corporate sponsor is sought, whose name will be displayed on the banner that will be carried by the team during opening ceremonies.

Team members are:  Jack Ballocca, Michael Bier, Clayton Coassin, Marc Chodos, Drew DeDomenico, Anthony Esposito, Michael Ficaro, Robert Jaques, Ryan Kennedy, Michael McGurrin, Peter Minore, Sean Nusdeo, Quentin Pitter, Gunnar Poulimas, Joey Schittina, and Griffin Tirollo.  Please see any team member to purchase tickets, take out an ad, or donate a raffle item.

For  more information, please contact Stephanie or Dave Kennedy, (203) 795-3216 or e-mail SKennedy0421@yahoo.com

The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation Promises A Great Show Tonight. Will You Be There To Support It?

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Sep 082012

The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation is one of your child’s best friends from elementary school through his or her high school years at Amity. The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created in the memory of Orange resident Jamie Alaine Hulley and dedicated to the educational enrichment and professional development of young artists and early career professionals.

At Amity High School, the foundation sponsors Amity’s Creative Theatre, the visiting artist program, and the annual film festival. Four-year partial scholarships are awarded to Amity students in theater and studio art each year. Artist The foundation also awards Community Grants to local non-profits such as the Milford Boys & Girls Club for an after-school art program, the Amity Teen Center for a mural project, the New England Ballet Company for a 20-week school-readiness-through-dance program for Bridgeport preschoolers, and the Square Foot Theatre in North Haven to develop successful youth and adult theater companies. The foundation provides scholarships to children for music lessons and summer theater camp.

All of these great programs do not pay for themselves. The Foundation depends on the proceeds from its major fundraiser to keep things going. On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation will celebrate its Tenth Annual Evening for the Arts Gala Benefit at the Regina A. Quick Center at Fairfield University. This year’s event transports you to the magical world of New York City’s Theater District as the perfect harmonies of THE BROADWAY BOYS bring to life a combination of old time favorites and contemporary show stoppers. If you think that you have heard it all before, you are wrong.

The Boys add elements of Pop, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, and Folk to your favorite show tunes creating an unforgettable Broadway experience. The evening also features special performance by artistic young people who have participated in the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation’s scholarship and grant programs. Master of Ceremonies is David Raffauf, the Foundation’s co-founder & Vice President, who has served as emcee since the first benefit, in 2003.

The Evening for the Arts reception begins at 6 pm and includes complimentary wine, light hors d’oeuvres and a Silent Auction with over 150 items including a vacation getaway, vintage, handcrafted & designer items, baskets of treats to fulfill every desire, theater and sports tickets including box seats to a Yankee-Red Sox game, Hollywood and sport memorabilia, and a limited edition Imagine Peace jacket donated by Yoko Ono. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there will be dessert by Carlos Bakery as seen on TLC’s Cake Boss and Jamie ARTinis on our bar menu. The performance begins at 7:30 pm.

All proceeds from the gala go to support annual scholarships, grants, and educational programs in the arts which impact the lives of hundreds of children, teens and early career adults throughout the greater New Haven and Fairfield counties.

The foundation awards grants to teachers in local public and parochial schools to bring professional artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and authors into the classroom to enhance the traditional curriculum through the arts. [Thus far, schools in Ansonia, Bethany, Bridgeport, Derby, East Haven, Fairfield, Orange, Manchester, New Haven, North Haven, Stratford, West Haven, Willimantic, and Woodbridge have received grants.]

If your second grader ever came home talking about the visits from the Orange Historical Society (Candle making, churning butter, learning about antique kitchen tools). If you’ve seen an Amity High School Play: Les Miserables, Chicago, Legally Blonde or enjoyed  a student art show, then you already are familiar with the Jamie A Hulley Arts Foundation. Come on out and support them so they can continue to serve the community.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door and may be purchased through the Quick Center Box office 203-254-4010.  For information contact the foundation at 203-891-8869 or jamieart@snet.net