Community News: Tree lightings, a Monroe Victorian Christmas, the Whiffenpoofs

Greg Loehr from the Stepney Fire Co. leads Frosty the Snowman through the crowd to light the Holiday Tree.

The Save Our Stepney (SOS) Task Force and Frosty the Snowman will light up the Stepney Green, at the intersection of routes 59 and 25, on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., with more than 300 luminaries and the holiday tree will be decorated with over 500 LED bulbs.

The event will begin with a community welcome from First Selectman Ken Kellogg and holiday music performed by the “Just Voices Singers” under the direction of John Pelligrino. There will be a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and Monroe Boy Scout Troop 162 will provide fresh made doughnuts.

The Rev. Kevin Merritt, of Stepney Baptist Church, invites all attendees to sing carols in the church immediately following the tree lighting. Hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies will be served.

Frosty the Snowman will make a special appearance aboard a Stepney Volunteer Fire Company truck at the invitation of SOS to flip the tree light switch ushering in the holiday season. Candy canes and glow sticks will be given to all to welcome Frosty. Monetary donations will be accepted for the purchase of food items for the Stepney Baptist Church food pantry.

A custom Stepney Green pewter ornament has been minted by the Woodbury Pewter Company in recognition of the bicentennial of the Stepney Green. The Stepney Green, the heart of historic Stepney, was used for militia drills beginning in the 1700s. In 1817 it was purchased for $140 to serve as a place of parade for the Birdsey’s Plain Rifle Company. Ornaments will be on sale for $10 each at the tree lighting.

Save Our Stepney welcomes donations from all members of the Monroe community for the lighting program. Contact Lee Hossler at [email protected] for tree lighting details. For information, follow the Save Our Stepney Task Force on Facebook or visit

Women’s Club Tree lighting

The public is invited to the Monroe Women’s Club Tree Lighting, which will held at the Town Gazebo on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.

The event will feature music performed by the Masuk High School Band and free hot chocolate and cookies.

Santa and his elf will arrive between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m.

The rain date will be Sunday, Dec. 8.

Giving Trees for Holiday Joy

Residents can brighten the holidays for Monroe families in need by buying Christmas gifts for anonymous family members, whose cards are on Giving Trees for the Holiday Joy Program. Trees will be on display through Dec. 10.

Giving Trees are located at: Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, Monroe Senior Center, Town Hall, Newtown Savings Bank branches at Big Y Plaza and Clock Tower Square,   Fawn Hollow Elementary School, Monroe Elementary School, Stepney Elementary School, Waves and Shaves, Lorraine K. Boutique and Turning the Page Books.

For information, call Social Services Coordinator Mary Ann Kalm at 203-452-2813. Monetary donations can be made through the Friendship Fund and mailed to: Monroe Social Services, 7 Fan Hill Rd. Monroe, CT 06468.

Firefighters promote safety for the holidays

Oven roasted turkeys and baked sides will be prepared for Thanksgiving dinner and some families will sit by the warmth of their fireplaces. But any missteps could lead to fire hazards.

Fire Marshal William Davin reminds residents not to let their guards down when it comes to safety in their homes.

Davin said to have working smoke and CO detectors on every level of your home and encourages anyone with questions call the Monroe Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-452-2807.

Have your chimney cleaned and inspected.

Don’t ever burn garbage in your fireplace or wood stove.

Have a fireplace screen in place to prevent sparks from coming out.

Check all holiday light cords for potential wear/abrasions from being in storage all summer.

Don’t overload electrical circuits with extension cords and holiday decorations.

A Monroe Victorian Christmas

A Monroe Victorian Christmas will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, around the Monroe Centre Green on Route 111, Sunday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The schedule of events includes:

Victorian style worship at St. Peter’s at 10:15 a.m. with church tours from 1 to 4:45 p.m.

An open house at The Lodge and Barn Hill East Village Schoolhouse, 1 to 4:45 p.m.

Victorian style worship at Monroe Congregational Church at 10 a.m. with tours of the church Meetinghouse from 1 to 4:45 p.m. and a candle sale and refreshments in Rexford House.

A tree lighting on the green at 5 p.m., as well as tractor-drawn carriage rides by Benedict’s Home and Garden and roaming carolers in period dress. The acapella group Just Voices will perform.

Sponsors of these events are St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Monroe Historical Society, Washington Masonic Lodge No. 19, The Monroe Congregational Church and Benedict’s Home and Garden.

The Yale Whiffenpoofs

The Monroe Historical Society will host the Yale Whiffenpoofs’ Holiday Concert at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 175 Old Tannery Road, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Tickets cost $25 and any checks should be payable to the Monroe Historical Society. Tickets are available at the Town Clerk’s Office at Monroe Town Hall, Edith Wheeler Memorial Library and online at (a fee applies).

For information, call the Monroe Historical Society at 203-261-1383 and leave a message.

Diorio International Realty joins eXp Realty

Jerry Diorio, broker-owner of Diorio International Realty, announced its move to
join eXp Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage by geography in North America.

Diorio had considered the move for over a year. “I wanted to make sure it was the right fit for us and joining them could help us grow,” he said. “eXp Realty will provide outstanding technology, tools and tremendous agent collaboration and support. Every agent in our organization will have the same opportunity to build their net worth for themselves by doing what they love to do anyway, real estate.”

Diorio, who has more than 10 years experience in the industry, continue to operate as broker associate with eXp Realty. Diorio International Realty had previously been an independent brokerage for more than eight years.

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