In Connecticut’s northwest hills, summer blooms alongside the white-and-pink blossoms of its state flower, the mountain laurel. Cyclists in The Village Ride may just catch its faint fragrance as they churn along the country roads that slice through Litchfield County.
The three custom course routes vary by length to accommodate riders of any age and ability. No matter their route, cyclists wind past scenic towns and natural wonders such as lakes, rivers, and state forests. Elevation changes, which lie in wait at most every hill, offer an added heart-friendly challenge. The 25K route nears 700 feet, and the 100K route peaks at about 1,700 feet. After crossing the finish line at Ski Sundown, participants grab a catered lunch (available 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.) or some brews from event sponsor Thomas Hooker Brewing Company while soaking in live entertainment.
Ride proceeds benefit The Village for Families & Children, a child-safety and family-resource organization. In 1809, The Village began its mission “to build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture children.” Now, more than 200 years later and helping some 7,000 children each year, the organization maintains that goal through foster services, academic and socialization care, parental-skills programs, and family-crisis prevention and management services.
North Central Regional Mental Health Board strives to ensure that citizens take part in monitoring the state’s mental-health services. The organization works directly with people who have mental-health or substance-abuse issues through a variety of programs and advocates on their behalf through legislative and fundraising events. One of the many services available, the Day in the Life project, observed the lives of people who receive behavioral-health services through the state to determine how best to help them in the future. In addition, the annual Celebrating Recovery dinner invites individuals in recovery to share their stories as a way of reaffirming that recovery is always possible.
Since 1986, Capitol Chiropractic Center has helped clients to attain and maintain health through chiropractic care while educating them on how to enhance their nutrition and lifestyle. Doctor of Chiropractic Karlos Boghosian holds certifications in the United States and Canada and has years of experience helping others to find relief from back pain, headaches, allergies, asthma, and stomach problems. His fluency in four different languages helps him to reach out to a range of clientele including those whose pain forces them to speak in various forms of "Ow." In private treatment rooms equipped with digital x-rays and digital infrared thermography, the doctor and his trained staff work to properly adjust spines and knead through tightened muscles.
Working to empower individuals with disabilities to live life to the fullest, Futures, Inc. provides social-skills training, tutoring, independent-living training, and other support services to students and adults with disabilities. At the Futures School—Connecticut’s first community-based special-education school to be approved by the Department of Education—students aged 14–21 receive customized, one-on-one special education in their home communities. These education services include real-world work experience, transportation services, sessions with a full-time counselor, and typically lead to a high-school diploma from Futures School.
During a job interview with a recent college graduate in 2010, business professional Scott Sokolowski decided to ask an easy question: “Why aren’t you wearing a suit today?” When the candidate replied honestly, saying simply, “I can’t afford one,” Sokolowski was inspired to help. He established Save-A-Suit, a nonprofit organization dedicated to one simple goal: helping young talent acquire appropriate, professional business attire for job interviews. Though these efforts are typically geared toward recent male and female college graduates who are often in their early 20s, Save-A-Suit also works with veterans of all ages to help them arrive at interviews dressed professionally.
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