‘She Is a Very Compassionate Person’: New Canaanites Rally Around Local Business Owner Recovering from Aneurysm, Stroke

New Canaanites are rallying around a longtime local business owner who last month suffered a near-fatal aneurysm and stroke. Beth McCarthy, who founded Aetheria Spa on Cherry Street 11 years ago, on July 17 complained of a headache and then collapsed on her floor at home in Bridgeport, according to her brother Robert Skoglund, who recently launched GoFundMe page for his sister and family. McCarthy narrowly survived the stroke— her husband, John, likely saved her life by performing CPR until EMTs arrived—then fell into a coma at Yale University Medical Center and was breathing with help from a ventilator before she began to recover slowly in recent days, Skoglund said. A visible young woman in town who participates and supports multiple community causes and has served on the Board of Directors for the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, McCarthy, 46, is medically insured though her bills are “starting to pile up,” her brother Robert Skoglund said. Costs associated with her recovery could go into the millions, he said, and though McCarthy is insured, the coverage is “far from 100 percent,” while her out-of-pocket expenses continue to mount.

New Canaan Small Business Owners: Mastermind Group Info Session To Be Held Tuesday

About one-quarter of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s member businesses are independent—small retailers, entrepreneurs and other sole proprietors—and the organization’s leadership continuously looks out for programs to ensure that those members succeed. Next week, that chamber is offering local independents a tool that’s already proven successful for longstanding New Canaan business owners. The 2-hour Mastermind Group session led by business coach Rich Gee will be held at 6 p.m. on March 31 at Halo Studios, 45 Grove St. Register here. “We understand that being an independent or sole proprietor can be a daunting experience and this session really gives people a forum in which to grow their business,” said the chamber’s Laura Budd.

Peeking behind New Canaan Dog Days

On Sunday, New Canaan will see hundreds of town residents and their dogs descend on a cordoned-off portion Cherry Street for an annual, grassroots community event that organizers say is designed to celebrate our unconditional love for four-legged family members. New Canaan Dog Days—presented by our town’s owner-on-site pet store, Village Critter Outfitter, and local business Aetheria Relaxation Spa, both on Cherry Street—runs 12 to 3 p.m. on June 8. It benefits a pair of animal-focused nonprofits: STARelief, which provides life-saving pet food, veterinary care and medications to families in need with the goal of keeping pets out of shelters and in their homes; and PAWS, which rescues dogs and cats, offers shelter, takes care of medical issues and provides adoption services. Locally based event sponsors include New Canaan Veterinary Hospital, Bankwell, Fern’s Pet & House Sitting and NewCanaanite.com. To preview the event, we connected with Fern Pessin, who produces it, as well as Shirleen Dubuque, owner (and owner-on-site) of Village Critter Outfitter and Beth McCarthy of Aetheria Relaxation Spa.