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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Connecticut Chapter supports the families of those living with the challenging autoimmune disease and spreads state-wide awareness via grassroots and national initiatives. Among its main goals, the Connecticut chapter is instrumental in bringing essential services directly to the state's more than 6,000 MS sufferers. A national nonprofit organization, members are also involved in public policy advocacy for the funding of promising scientific research into the causes and potential treatments of the disease, and for legislation beneficial to those affected by MS. The untiring Connecticut chapter members keep busy year-round by organizing annual fundraising events such as sponsored luncheons, banquets, and the annual MS Golf Classic. Once a year, the chapter holds a gala that honors a Citizen of the Year for humanitarian efforts and draws sponsorship revenue with high-profile entertainment such as Neil Diamond, who will perform at the 2012 Gala on June 16.
31 Pratt St.
Banner Country Club's 18-hole public course rolls across 6,015 yards of Connecticut countryside, challenging golfers of all stripes with diverse, player-friendly terrain. The course's emerald corridors roam through a combination of open pastures and tree-lined areas, letting golfers unsheathe muscular drivers on forgiving holes before forcing them to whisper words of confidence to timid long irons when aiming through arboreal alleys. The picturesque par 72 invites aces to hunt birdies across its relatively short layout, while offering a training ground for club-toting cadets still trying to perfect their swing or wield modified canes as golf clubs.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,015 yards
Course rating of 68.9
Slope rating of 118
10 Banner Rd.
Founded by American Mountain Guides Association–certified instructor Matt Shove, Ragged Mountain Guides teaches its climbing pupils the techniques and tools needed to scale the natural terrain of the Traprock region. Rock-climbing adventures illuminate how to handle rope and repel down mountain cliffs even when their escalators are broken. As seasonal temperatures drop, guides turn their attention to ice and alpine climbing, which challenges mountaineers to swing their axe and scale vertical ice. Students master increasingly advanced techniques until they can tackle cliffs on their own, and the most dedicated climbers can enroll in guide-certification programs. Matt Shove's expertise has also been tapped by organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and he regularly repels into the offices of Climberism magazine to contribute articles.
275 New Britain Ave.
A full quarter mile of outdoor track snakes across the grass, sending racers on an adrenaline-fueled grudge match of hairpin turns, pedal-pushing straightaways, and close finishes. A speedy fleet of go-karts sends drivers flying down the track in vehicles such as the swift 9-horsepower Interceptor, or the two-seater Tornado, which allows children to ride alongside their parents to learn proper three-point turn technique. An on-track scoreboard displays racers’ lap times with accuracy up to a 1,000th of a second, and printed results enshrine automotive achievements and bragging rights for display. Inside, a beeping, blinking arcade pits gamers head-to-head in pro-racing simulators, bouts of Guitar Hero, or rousing tournaments of air hockey.
1762 Berlin Tpke.
When traversing Oak Meadow Farm’s 52 verdant acres, one is struck by sweeping views of nearby produce farms. Students contribute to this idyllic pastoral scene as they learn the basics of riding in either indoor or outdoor rings. Head trainer Mark Rarick and assistant trainer Amy Kriwitsky bring their individual experiences, such as Mark’s stint in show jumping in England and Amy’s bachelor’s degree in animal science, to teaching beginners how to tack and nay effectively. Their efforts have earned them praise in publications such as Today’s Equestrian and Chronicle of the Horse.
309 Scantic Rd.
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