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.
Covenant to Care for Children aims to create a future where all Connecticut children have a caring support system and a safe place to live. Operating with this vision, the organization helps to mobilize community members to serve as advocates, mentors, and supporters for children who are neglected, abused, or impoverished. Additionally, its Children's Enrichment Fund collects critical items for children, including clothing and bed linens, and channels donations toward meeting the special needs and less ordinary requests of underserved youth, such as helping a child get a haircut, go to summer camp, or attend prom.
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.
When Maggie Carchrie voyaged to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, she hardly expected to discover a passion that would win her the U.S. Mòd Women's Championship in Gaelic Singing two years later. She was immediately enchanted by the traditional music of the region, planning her future travels around the areas of Cape Breton and Scotland and diving headfirst into the Celtic culture. With a college degree in music therapy and a resume that boasts subsequent studies at the Ceòlas Music School, she built a foundation for a life filled with award-winning Celtic performance and education. She lays claim to two albums, books several East Coast showcases throughout the year, and furthers the reach of Celtic stylings through the concerts and CDs of Mermaid Productions. Maggie draws from all of these experiences to act as director of the Callanish School of Celtic Arts. There, she instructs students of all ages in music, dance, and lyrical language, managing a non-competitive venue for guests to experiment with age-old harmonies and master a brogue without having to install a second tongue. From the high-stepping choreography of Scottish Highland Dance to the signature keening of the bagpipe, she outlines several levels of melodic techniques, all of which are steeped in rich history.