The alpacas of "Abby-Normal Farm" on Oenoke Ridge Road had their fleeces shorn on May 10, 2016. Photo courtesy of Debbie McQuilkin
The alpacas of Crajah House on Oenoke Ridge Road on Tuesday were shorn of their thick winter coats—see photos above. Their owner, New Canaan’s Debbie McQuilkin, tells us the process for each “blanket” includes picking out sticks, hay and straw, then going for the secondary areas of the neck, backside and legs. The material is sent to a fiber mill where it’s washed, cleaned again and dyed or made into a yarn that McQuilkin herself chooses—fine knitting or heavy weaving for rugs. It also can be sent back for hand spinning or felting, McQuilkin said. The alpaca fleece is hypoallergenic and contains no lanolin, and it’s naturally fire-resistant.
Bill Ruoff. Contributed
This year’s Memorial Day parade will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30, with Christopher Cogswell leading the way as grand marshal and, at the ceremony in Lakeview Cemetery that follows, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Chapin Garner of the Congregational Church of New Canaan presiding and William Ruoff guest-speaking, according to the office of the first selectman. A Kentucky native who grew up in rural Indiana, Ruoff graduated in 1980 from the U.S. Naval Academy in Anapolis, Md., majoring in marine engineering, then began training in the Naval Nuclear Power program for designation in submarines as his warfare specialty, according to a biography supplied by the first selectman’s office. He served one sea tour as a division officer aboard the USS Los Angeles and completed one deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian oceans during the Cold War era.
If there is a member of any branch of the military or family member of someone who is serving or who has previously served that would like to march or ride in this year’s Memorial Day Parade, please contact Peter Langenus, the VFW Commander, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-966-7480.
A Turtleback Road woman is putting up a physical fence after her two Swiss mountain dogs charged and frightened a passerby at about 2 p.m. on May 4 from behind their invisible fence. The big dogs did not breach the fence, but the person they had run toward did feel frightened, Animal Control said. Two years ago, a pit bull attacked two Swiss mountain dogs on the same street.
2012 NCHS graduate Stephanie Benko (center), took the Patriot League Championship title in the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:50 for Lafayette College. Contributed
Congratulations to 2012 New Canaan High School graduate Stephanie Benko, daughter of Sue and Steve Benko, on winning the Patriot League Championship in the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:50 for Lafayette College. Making this feat even more impressive is that Stephanie underwent stem cell treatment in November following a partial tear of the labrum. She got the go-ahead to run again in January, and promptly reclaimed a title she’d won two years ago (Stephanie ran last year with a stress fracture in her foot). Here’s more on this remarkable New Canaanite, and we will note here that she appears in at least some ways to be her father’s daughter, as the article notes she is an aspiring baker (among other noble pursuits). Her dad, New Canaan’s recreation director, is known among locals as quite the amateur baker and cook himself.
Caffeine & Carburetors—Waveny, Oct. 19, 2014. Credit: Michael Dinan
The Park & Recreation Commission said Wednesday night during its regular meeting that tickets are selling fast for the Waveny TownPool Committee’s Kick Off to Summer Party at Waveny House. Presented with the Recreation Department, it will run 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 27. The band Mind The Gap will perform and drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased here. Any New Canaan resident—current or prospective Waveny Pool member—is invited to buy a ticket and go.
Caileigh Sarah Murray. Contributed
The CaptainStephen BettsSociety of Children of the American Revolution announced recently that NCHS junior Caileigh Sarah Murray was elected National Librarian at the 2016 National Convention in Washington, D.C. Children of the American Revolution is the oldest patriotic service and leadership development organization for young people, ages birth to 22 years. All members trace their ancestry back to a proven patriot of the American Revolution.
Thursday, May 12 is a special day for a nonprofit organization long beloved and supported by New Canaan: Horizons National Staff Giving Day. Launched more than a half-century ago at New Canaan Country School to serve low-income families of lower Fairfield County, Horizons is a summer learning and enrichment program that now serves 4,000 students at 45 programs in 15 states. Here’s a data point worth sharing: 99 percent of Horizons high school students graduate, and 91 percent go on to college or other post-secondary education. Here’s a video about the program:
The fabulous Summer Theatre of New Canaan is hosting a gala Friday evening at Woodway that will feature Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Kelli O’Hara. In addition to benefitting STONC, the gala will recognize the late AndrewClarkson as a longtime benefactor and friend. O’Hara (known for her role in “The King and I”) will perform, as will some of her friends and kids from the Performing Arts Conservatory. The evening also will feature a sneak preview from this summers STONC production of “West Side Story” (which I can’t wait to see).
Some of the generous sponsors of the New Canaan Library’s Books & Beats Fundraiser (L-R): April Kaynor of April Kaynor Homes, Steve Bloom of Camp Playland, Library Executive Director Lisa Oldham, Steve Karl of Karl Chevrolet, and Ellen Brezovsky from Silver Hill Hospital. Contributed
New Canaan Library is sending out a big Thank You the sponsors of its annual spring fundraiser party “Books & Beats” to be held 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 20. The event features food by On the Marc Catering, a live DJ and dancing in a Miami-themed lounge environment. Corporate sponsors include Goldman Sachs Gives, RMS Construction, Karl Chevrolet and Hoyt Livery.
Aine of “Aine’s Angels,” raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Contributed
The walk is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 22 at New Canaan High School.
U.S. Postal Service letter carriers on Saturday are collecting food for the New Canaan Food Pantry. Bags on Tuesday were distributed, asking people to put non-perishable foods in them and leave them at their mailbox—a collection that forms the mainstay for the summer months. Items especially in need include coffee (drip and instant, decaf and regular), canned meats (ham, spam, salmon), hash, canned stews, chili, powdered juice and iced tea mixes, diapers and baby food. The pantry already has enough soups and canned beans.
New Canaan police at 12:17 p.m. Friday received a call about a bear in a backyard on Rosebrook Road. Arriving, an Animal Control officer found that the beast of concern was actually a bird, and that a language barrier had confused the species. The crow was in the cathedral ceiling and the officers worked on the scene around fountains chandeliers to usher it safely outside again, according to Officer Allyson Halm.
Alex Chen, Luke Morton, and Zach LaPolice at Roodner Court. Contributed
Great example here of some young New Canaanites doing good for our neighbors.
Alex Chen, Luke Morton, and Zach LaPolice worked with kids from SoNo’s Roodner Court public housing complex today to paint the housing project’s basketball court on behalf of Full Court Peace.
Local husband Stephen Coyle and kids, Charli and Cate, delivered a smoked BBQ dinner to the New Canaan Fire Department while his wife and her joint-venture business partner held the first ever New Canaan Mompreneur Market.
A dozen New Canaan “mompreneurs” displayed their wares and services at Heather Gaudio Fine Art on Elm Street last week during a special market that celebrated local women in business. Co-hosted by Andrea Reid, Rodan + Fields consultant, and Chez Coyle, 21-day fix coach, and co-sponsored by the Young Women’s League of New Canaan, the “Mompreneur Market” featured Amy Gray & Olivia Huvane (Scout & Molly), Anne Emson (Stroller Pump), Beatrice Mellick (Beachmate), Alex Spellman (Bitsy), Christina Schwefel (Go Figure), Katilin Rorick (Heritage Rows), Kristen Plumb (Kristen Plumb Art), Meredith Bagley (M-Belle-Ish) and Sindy von Ziegesar (CocoBeBe).
The New Canaan Community Foundation’s Young Philanthropists, on May 4, 2016. Contributed
Judy Dunn (L) with Wendy Dixon Fog (R). Contributed
Finally, New Canaanites Wendy Dixon Fog and Judy Dunn will feature their artwork at Bankwell’s Elm Street branch following a free, open reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19. Dixon, an advanced EMT with the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, is a painter who traces her inspiration to her grandmother, also a painter, and Dunn—known to many as chair of the Health & Human Services Commission—is a sculptor and member of the New Canaan Sculpture Group.