Community News: T-shirt pickup at Victorinox, Fairy houses, miracles

Volunteers pose for a photo under the Victorinox Swiss Army tent during last year's Sprint for Monroe.

MONROE, CT — The first 400 people registered to participate in this year’s Virtual Sprint for Monroe can pick up their T-shirts for the big race, and new registrations will also be taken, during an event at Victorinox Swiss Army’s Factory Store, 7 Victoria Drive, this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For those registering at Saturday’s event, Sprint for Monroe will accept cash or check only for the $15 registration fee. Or register online by clicking here. The annual race/walk, which benefits charitable organizations like the Monroe Food Pantry.

In addition to a T-shirt, visitors will receive a free paring knife from Victorinox Swiss Army, a coupon worth 15 percent off in their factory store, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as giveaways The Sprint’s other sponsors.

The T-shirt pickup event will be held outside the store. Masks are required and markings will assist in social distancing. All volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available.

Fairy house builders wanted

A sample of a fairy house.

Creative children and adults are encouraged to make fairy houses for a display on Stepney Green. The Save Our Stepney Task Force is collecting submissions until Sept. 14. Prizes will be awarded.

Participants are asked to use all-natural materials on the exterior of their exhibit, though it it not required. Some examples are nut shells, grasses, leaves, twigs, pebbles, shells, bark from a fallen tree, seed pods, acorns, berries, gourds, pinecones, and flowers.

All fairy houses should appear to be made of natural components. Hot glue, acrylic spray, twine and other man-made items can be used but should be concealed by natural elements. No paper or cardboard products, which melt in the rain.

Houses can be in the theme of your choice and should be portable with maximum dimensions of 16” by 16” and 24” high. Use a sturdy base that can hold up on wet grass and to wind.

Do not use any items of value in the houses as neither SOS nor the town is responsible for any loss or damage.

For information or to register, send an an email to [email protected] or call Kathie Loehr at 203-261-7892, Mary Orsillo at 203-268-4246 or Evelyn Pravecek at 203-445-9879.

Kelly alarmed by report on nursing homes and COVID

State Sen. Kevin Kelly, (R-21st), ranking member of the Aging Committee, released the following statement in response to an interim report released Tuesday on Connecticut’s response to COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Findings include issues related to a lack of PPE and testing, a delay in issuing required mask order in facilities, insufficient monitoring and reporting, too much focus on hospitals not nursing homes, and a delay in getting covid-only facilities up and running: 

“The overall findings of Mathematica’s initial review are alarming and only begin to touch on the many concerns I have heard from nursing homes, residents and their families. I fear that these issues reported today only begin to scratch the surface of what happened in our state that led to nearly three quarters of all COVID-19 deaths occurring amongst nursing home and assisted living facility residents.

“I have heard from nursing homes and residents’ families about continued issues with quality of PPE, delays in mandating and making testing available that I hope Mathematica will investigate these issues in the coming days.

“This initial report emphasizes the need to have more eyes and ears involved in making decisions that impact our most vulnerable populations. Many of these decisions were made unilaterally without involving the legislature or stakeholders closest to the situation.

“It’s clear the greatest generation paid the greatest price during this pandemic. We need urgency in correcting these issues and many others so that what happened this spring never happens to our most vulnerable again.

“It’s unfortunate that the generation that does not have time on their side is the generation most impacted by this pandemic, and they have already waited too long for answers from this administration.”

Kelly serves as deputy senate Republican leader and represents the 21st Senate District including Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford.

Creating Miracles with Connex

Connex Credit Union is partnering with Credit Unions for Kids to support the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. The credit union will accept donations from its members through Sept. 9 and match total contributions up to $1,000.

The Monroe branch will join Connex’s other seven locations in collecting donations. Donations can also be made online through the secure fundraising portal available at All donations are tax-deductible and every penny goes to supporting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Aside from member donations, as part of the national Miracle Jeans Day promotion, any Connex employee who contributes at least $15 will be allowed to wear jeans to work on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“After surpassing our donation goal last year, our entire team is thrilled to once again participate in Miracle Jeans Day,” said Carl Casper, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Connex Credit Union. “It’s truly rewarding watching our employees and community band together each year, and we want to remind everyone that any donation, no matter how big or small, plays a huge role in bolstering the treatment of young patients at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.”

Credit Unions for Kids is a non-profit collaboration of credit unions, chapters and business partners from across the country that engages in fundraising activities for cutting-edge research and innovative technology at the 170 hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network.

Over the last 24 years, the organization has raised $200 million for the nearly 10 million patients these local hospitals treat each year. A donation as little as $5 is enough to buy a blanket for a baby or a special blood pressure cuff designed to fit tiny arms. This is the 6th year in a row that Connex has participated in Miracle Jeans Day. To date, the credit union has donated more than $7,000 to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

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