Jewish Community Center Renames Theater in Honor of Holocaust Survivor and Other Danbury Area Highlights

Bethel High School alumnus Andrew Simmons received fourth degree exemplification with the Knights of Columbus at a recent exemplification ceremony in Suffern, NY

He graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

He is also a graduate of Baruch College Zicklin School of Business with an Executive Master of Science Degree in Finance. Baruch is in New York.

Simmons is a seasoned professional with 15 years of banking experience.

He was recently appointed as a member of the advisory board of Seton Hall University Stillman School of Business and treasurer of the Knights of Columbus, St. Lawrence O’Toole Council 1495.

Members of the Fourth Degree have the special honor of holding the title of “Sir Knight” and participating in color and honor guards by organizing programs that promote Catholic citizenship.

They may also be part of a Fourth Degree Assembly in their area.

There are more than 3,500 Fourth Degree assemblies worldwide.


Friends of Danbury Library are holding a brown bag clearance sale in July

The Friends of Danbury Library runs a July Brown Bag Clearance Sale at the Friends Red House Bookstore every week during the month of July.

The sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Proceeds will go to library programs and services.

Attendees can fill a brown grocery bag with used adult kids, CDs and DVDs for $10.

For $10, customers will receive a brown grocery bag to fill when purchasing the item.

The bookstore is located at 15 Main St. in Danbury with the entrance to the South Street school driveway.


Danbury Youth Services honor supporters at annual breakfast

The nonprofit Danbury Youth Services hosted its annual Butterfly Breakfast on Tuesday, June 28 in the Amber Room Colonnade.

The event was a way to thank donors and share the impact their generosity had on the youth and families of the community in 2022.

Supporters are seen as essential in helping the agency fulfill its mission of empowering young people to build positive and fulfilling lives.

The executive director of the agency is Julie Schmitter.

The agency’s clinical director is Elizabeth Cotter.


United Way of Western Connecticut awards $10,000

United Way of Western Connecticut awarded $10,000 to Catholic charities in Fairfield County Family Loan and Financial Stability Program of Danbury.

The program provides families and individuals with the skills to achieve financial health while teaching them skills to track expenses and follow a budget.

Families can also benefit from a low-interest loan to buy safe and reliable transportation to work.

This allows them to continue to provide income to support their families and to remain self-sufficient.

Loans can also be used for security deposit funds, auto repairs, and child care expenses.

Loan repayment builds credit while promoting self-reliance and advocacy skills.

The program manager is Carolyn Silliman, while the executive director of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County is Mike Donoghue.

The grant will ensure that families and local individuals in Greater Danbury receive financial education, life skills support and available access to low-interest loans for safe and affordable housing and transport to and from work, according to Silliman.

The program offers the stability program to eligible applicants and anyone in need.

Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000 with an interest rate of 5.5%, regardless of a person’s credit score.

More information is available by contacting Silliman at 203-743-4412 ext. 242 or [email protected]


Company Announces Winner of Facebook Aero Etch Contest

Kaeli Weston is the Facebook contest winner from Danbury-based Engraved Products Aero-Etch.

Weston, a stay-at-home mom and aspiring entrepreneur, has beaten thousands of contestants and now owns an Aero Etch portable sandblasting kit.

The contest is the brainchild of Graves Kiely, the company’s president, and David Leach, the company’s webmaster and social media professional.

Weston plans to use the sandblasting kit to develop its unique products online.

Weston has a small business in Yates Center, a small town in Kansas with a population of 1,200. Her husband is the mayor of the city.

Kiely invited Weston to submit his artwork to Engraved Products to be turned into stencils that could be used to engrave his special images onto glass, metal, wood, and other materials.

Aero-Etch is a new all-in-one sandblasting device that is not only for etching, but also for cleaning, finishing and restoration. Invented by Stephen Schaffer, of Bethel, to revolutionize the etching community by providing a device powerful enough to be used with industrial-grade etching stencils, Aero-Etch has evolved into a versatile sandblasting machine with a multiplicity of uses.


Class of 1957 celebrates 65th reunion

The Ridgefield High School Class of 1957 recently celebrated their 65th reunion at Chuck’s Steakhouse in Danbury on July 9.

Classmates who attended the occasion were: Jim Mullen, Fred Bonsignore, Bill Greene, Booker Jackson, Fred Izzo, Bob Dingee, Marilyn Besse, Joan Carboni, Johanna Walker, Frances Pierpaoli and Ernest Conti.

Anecdotes from 1955 have been shared.

There was a minute of silence for the deceased members.

Another meeting was planned for 2027.


New name for the JCC theater

The Sherman Jewish Community Center renamed its theater the David Marks Theater in memory of the volunteer who helped build the JCC.

Marks physically helped build the theater stage and other parts of the building with other friends and volunteers.

His life was filled with love for city, family, the United States, Israel and his beloved Kathy Marks after surviving the horrors of Auschwitz concentration camp.

State Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury and Sherman First Selectman Don Lowe were at the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place July 10 during the annual membership meeting, which included the original founders and past presidents like Barbara Ackerman and Russ Whitman. Lowe presented honors and proclamations to Kathy Marks and center.

The center continues to be an inclusive organization and a place where everyone is welcome. It is located at 9 Route 39 South in Sherman.


Willie and the Jan Band’s summer shows are underway

Willie and the Jan Band have summer shows going.

The first show was on July 13, with the next show scheduled for 6:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at River Glen.

Willie and the Jan Band will perform July 13 from 6-8 p.m. with a rain date of July 14.

The Willie and Jan Trio at the Farmington Concert Series is from 7-8:30 p.m. on August 4, with a rain date on August 28.

The Willie and Jan duo of the Bethlehem Land Trust Concert Series are at the Bellamy-Ferriday Preserve from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on August 6. The duo Willie and Jan will perform at a benefit evening for the Southbury Food Bank on August 11.


Eight at the Bar band to give a concert

The Gate House venue is hosting its next concert which will feature the band Eight to the Bar from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Tuesday.

The venue is located at 1461 South Britain Road in Southbury.

The group is known for its instrumentalists and its musical and vocal arrangements highlighted by female voices.

The group draws its musical influences from American roots music, swing, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, R&B, soul and Motown.

The band cultivated a large following that put them in clubs from Disneyland to Disney World, Europe and the Caribbean.

The group gives 200 concerts a year.

The performance schedule included opening spots for bands and singers like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Manhattan Transfer, Robert Cray, Neil Young, Roy Orbison and Ray Charles respectively.

The free outdoor concerts on site are considered a pleasant way to spend a relaxing evening after work. The July concert series is back after taking a few years off.

Interested participants should be sure to bring a blanket or chairs, and perhaps a picnic.

Signs to the site pavilion should be followed in the event of rain.

More information is available by contacting Meg Capen at 203-206-0721.


Wigwam building program

Griffin Kalin, educator and expert in traditional skills at the Institute for American Indian Studies, will lead an interactive discussion on the construction of wigwams and the science and technology used to construct the dwellings

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 23 at 38 Curtis Road in Washington.

A Wigwam is a type of created from tree bark. These structures are found throughout pre-contact New England. One of the few places where you can see a replica of 16th century wigwams as part of a traditional Native American village is at Institute of Native American Studies.

This program will take place in the Institute’s replica of the 16th century Algonquian village which consists of several wigwams, a longhouse, a ring of fire, drying racks and the garden of the three sisters. Participants will learn what types of wood should be harvested and the types of tools that would be used to build a wigwam. A highlight of this program is to observe actual repairs to village structures to learn about this ancient process. Griffin will be there to answer questions and give hardware demonstrations.


The Jazz After Work series is three nights a week

The Litchfield Jazz Fest Jazz After Work series takes place three nights a week with the curtain opening at 7:15 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Tisch Family Auditorium at the Frederick Gunn School in Washington.

Free and professional jazz concerts feature the faculty of Litchfield Jazz Camp.

There is a different staff for each show throughout this month of July.

The concerts began on July 4 and will continue until July 28. A concert program can be found at

The live bass players are: Joris Teepe, Avery Sharpe, Zwe Bell la Pere, Luques Curtis, Ryan Berg, Sam Dingle and Alex Ayala.

Drummers for the concerts include: Matt Wilson, Steve Johns, Ian Carroll and Richie Barshay.

Guitarists for the concerts include: Paul Bollenback Doug Munro and Mike Godette.

Concert pianists include: Zaccai Curtis, Caili O’Dorherty, Orrin Evans, Jen Allen, Alejandra Williams and William Evans.

Saxophonists for the concerts include: Don Braden, Albert Rivera, Kris Allen, Mike DiRubbo, Claire Daly, Jeff Lederer, Caroline Davis, Dakota Austin, Pedro Milan and David DeJesus.

Trombonists for concerts include: Peter McEachern and Joe Beaty.

Concert trumpeters include: Dave Ballou, Jean Caze, Russ Johnson and Elliot Bild.

Singers for the concerts include: Nicole Zuraitis and Sofia Imbimbo.

Compositions are available at

Free entry.

Gifts of agency are appreciated.

People are asked to wear masks to protect jazz campers and other members of the public.

The auditorium is located in the Thomas S. Perakos and the school’s community center.

Jill E. Washington