Dr. Kathleen Savino, clinical supervisor with The Connection's Supportive Housing for Families program, recently returned from the World In-Line Hockey championships in Roccaraso, Italy. Team USA won its third gold medal, snatching a 3-2 victory over arch-competitor Canada during the final second (or, according to the Canadian press, the final hundredth of a second) of the regulation match. France came in third.
Kathleen has been playing ice hockey since she was five years old and has played in seven championship games, during which Team USA came away with three gold medals, three silver, and one bronze. This year, twelve teams representing 12 countries played in the world championships.
"It was an honor for me to be chosen to represent my country in the World Games. There are few words to describe the excitement of winning a gold medal," Kathleen says.
Peter Nucci, The Connection's President and CEO traveled in October with Marcie Dimenstein, Senior Director of Behavioral Health and Gerardo Sorkin, Director of Prevention and Intervention, to the Province of Córdoba, Argentina to present at a conference titled “The Relationship between Civil Society and Government."
The conference was the first opportunity for local providers, academia, not-for-profits and governmental agencies to discuss a new provincial law regarding the deinstitutionalization of people with mental illness. The Connection was invited to share the expertise gained through 40 years of experience in community service development. The conference was sponsored by the Asociación Civil Transformadora (ACT) whose mission is "Helping the community by developing and managing alternative mental health systems." Nucci spoke on the role of non-government organizations in the transformation of the mental health system in Connecticut and the United States, and Dimenstein spoke on recovery tools and concepts in the mental health system.
"This is a unique time in the development of Argentina's service delivery system," says Sorkin, a native of Argentina who is currently President of ACT. "The country is currently exploring and identifying the system they desire, how they will provide services, the development of a safety net and the relationship between not-for-profits and government."
“I was delighted to accept the invitation to present at the ACT Conference,” said Nucci. “Sharing information is clearly in alignment with the mission of The Connection. The Connection and ACT share similar missions and goals. This opportunity has given The Connection an international platform to share the knowledge and resources that we have developed. This also presents an opportunity to learn from these individuals about completely new paradigms of service. I hope that this is just a starting point for an ongoing relationship between the two organizations – and our two states.”
Legend Judy Collins Sings, Speaks at June's Hope Gala
Grammy Award winning music legend Judy Collins sang and spoke to a sell-out crowd at The Connection Fund's Fourth Annual Connecting with Hope Gala. The event was held June 15, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cromwell. Ms. Collins used humor and humility to speak about her illustrious musical career spanning five decades and her struggles in life, including an alcohol addiction, eating disorder and the suicide of her adult son. She ended the evening by leading the audience in Amazing Grace, and she met guests and signed copies of her new biography and album.
The evening included a silent auction, live jazz music, dinner buffet, live auction and agency presentation, including our new "By the Numbers" video and moving comments by program graduate, Sada, and CEO Peter Nucci, who acknowledged our 40th anniversary.
We extend thanks to our sponsors, guests and Judy Collins for a memorable evening. View photos now!
Coat Drive Benefited Needy Children, Adults this Winter
Children and adults in need of warm coats were helped by Best Cleaners' Coats for Connecticut drive. The statewide dry cleaning company accepted donations of gently worn coats and jackets, laundered them for free, and delivered hundreds to The Connection from last November to January. Special thanks to Best Cleaners for their generosity in cleaning and delivering the coats, and to all who donated a jacket or coat to keep our neighbors warm this winter.
Sponsored by BEST CLEANERS
Hong Kong Therapists Visit The Connection
Three Chinese therapists from Hong Kong’s Castle Peak Hospital met in early November with Greg Bivens, Program Manager of The Connection’s CREST Center in New Haven. The visit was part of a program sponsored by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (Yale-PRCH).
The visiting therapists observed the Peer Support Services and the Citizens Group offered by Yale-PRCH, and learned from Fellowship Place, Inc.’s Social Club and Social Rehabilitation Model. Bivens provided information on the multi-disciplinary and inter-agency approach that the CREST Center, a partnership between The Connection Fellowship Place and the Connecticut Mental Health Center, takes in serving the mental health population that is involved with the criminal justice system.
Castle Peak Hospital (CPH), with 1,144 beds, is the oldest psychiatric hospital in Hong Kong that provides psychiatric services, including forensic psychiatry, psychogeriatric services, child and adolescent psychiatry, rehabilitation, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and substance abuse treatment to both voluntary and involuntarily admitted patients. CPH also manages a network of psychiatric clinics and a day hospital that provides both outpatient and day patient services. The recent trend in psychiatry, which places significant importance on creating comprehensive treatment plans including hospital treatment and community psychiatric care, inspired CPH to send a delegation to the United States to explore how communities here are integrating services for the mental health population.
Thousands Attend 17th Annual PizzaFest in New Haven
Thousands joined us over four hot summer days for The Connection Fund's Seventeenth Annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest. This popular event was held on June 21-22 and 28-29, during the International Festival of Arts & Idea's Free Lunchtime Concerts on the New Haven Green. Guests enjoyed Greater New Haven's finest pizza by the slice, soda, water and Italian ice from 12-1:30 p.m. daily, along with great entertainment on the festival stage. We raised $12,000 to help deserving kids and adults in Connecticut served by the caring staff of The Connection.
Special thanks to our generous sponsors, an army of volunteers, a significant number of area pizzerias that donated pizza, and our valued customers who braved the heat. See you on the Green in June 2013! Click to see photos from the event >>
Shown above at The Connection Fund's Fourth Annual Connecting with Hope Gala are, from left to right, John LaRosa, Chairman of The Connection; Judy Collins; emcee Olessa Stepanova of WFSB-TV; and Peter Nucci, CEO of The Connection.
OUR GIFT TO YOU! Click below to hear Judy Collins' moving speech at our Hope Gala. It's 32 minutes long and filled with humor, humility and memorable singing.
Guests enjoy BBQ, Chili at August's Cookoff for a Cause
How can chili save a life? When it's enjoyed like it was at our Third Annual Cookoff for a Cause on August 23, at The Grove at Grand Oaks, Middletown.
A large crowd on a beautiful evening enjoyed chili samples from nine area restaurants, grilled favorites from talented chefs at Lincoln Culinary Institute, vibrant music by the Jon Peckman Band, an inspiring talk by Connection graduate Charles, and giveaways all evening. Middletown's Southside Market and Catering took first place honors in the chili contest, which was judged by the celebrity panel of City of Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, State Rep. Matt Lesser and local chef Brian O'Rourke. New England Emporium of Middletown won the coveted People's Choice trophy. CLICK to see photos.
We extend appreciation to our guests for their generosity in helping us to build communities and rebuild lives throughout Connecticut for 40 years.
The Connection Staff Presents at Argentina Conference
In spite of the approaching threat of Hurricane Sandy, nearly 800 people, including 571 runners, attended The Connection's third annual Wicked Good 5K Road Race and Family Festival on Sunday, October 28 at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. The morning's activities included the 5K, a Kid's Fun Run, a costume contest, a myriad of family activities, clam chowder, hot dogs, and more. The winning time of precisely 16 minutes (just over a five-minute mile!) was posted by David Demres of New Haven, who was dressed as Tigger. Trophies were awarded to the top three male and female finishers in nine age categories, ranging from 12 and under to 80+ years. Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Aetna, and our Supporting Sponsors, eBenefits Group, Wiggin and Dana, LLP, Stop & Shop, Suburban Stationers, Lyman Orchards, Citizens Bank, OR&L, Natural Awakenings, WPLR and Verizon Wireless, American Medical Response, Chabaso Bakery and M&M Produce. We also appreciate the many volunteers and entrants who ensured the success of our special fun- and fund-raising event! Proceeds benefit The Connection, a non-profit human services agency that serves 2,000 children and adults monthly in Greater New Haven through its supportive housing, behavioral health, community justice, and women and children’s programs.
Save the date now for the 2013 race scheduled for Sunday, October 27!
A Wicked Good Event
The Connection Celebrates 40 Years!
On September 18, 2012, The Connection celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell. Guests enjoyed tasty appetizers and delicious desserts. Middletown Mayor, Dan Drew welcomed guests. Distinguished honorees, individuals who have made significant contributions to the agency, were honored. They included Katchen Coley, Ed Friedman, John LaRosa, and Michael Rowe.
The agency also honored a group of staff members who have carried out The Connection’s mission for 20 or more years. They included Kenneth Ahnell, Patricia Clark, Christopher Combies, Lisa Dematteis-Lepore, William F. Farrell, Jr., William Hobson, Andrea Hunter, Edythe Murray, Peter Nucci,