Community announcements May 6: benefit events and food box programs around the area


Friendly Hands Food Bank benefit

Colebrook School Cereal Drive

Farmers to Families Food Box events

Beardsley and Memorial Library Events

Beekley Library Reopening

NEW HARTFORD/PRESS RELEASE —  The Beekley Library will reopen to its pre-Covid hours beginning June 1. Services include browsing, computer usage, printing, faxing, copying, chairs and tables for reading, and reader’s advisory. New acquisitions will be displayed throughout the collection and small art shows will be available for viewing in the front foyer. Adult programs will begin meeting in person, and the children’s summer reading program will be held virtually. All Connecticut mandates and guidelines will be enforced. Please visit our website for more details.   

Our summer hours will be (beginning June 1):
Mondays: 12-6 p.m.
Tuesdays: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wednesdays: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturdays: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sundays: Closed 

Torrington Library launches new Pre-K/K reading program thanks to grant from local school

TORRINGTON — This summer the Torrington Library will offer a new 6-session Summer Book Buddies Program, geared toward children in the pre-k to kindergarten age range. There is room for 30 children in the program and each child will receive their own set of 6 books plus related crafts and activities.
This program has been generously funded by a grant from the St. John Paul the Great Academy, thanks to their “Take-Out Tuesday” initiative.
Soon the children of Torrington will have a new and exciting opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun together, thanks to the generosity of one local school and the creative efforts of our Children’s Department. Beginning June 1st, young patrons can sign up for Summer Book Buddies, a six-week program where pre-k and kindergarten-aged children (ages 3 to 6) will gather together to read a book-of-the-week, and take home a craft or other related activity to extend and enhance their learning.  The books will include some familiar characters such as Pete the Cat and Paddington Bear, and the crafts and activities will coordinate with the stories.
“The last year has been especially difficult on our youngest learners, and we have been seeking innovative ways to engage and encourage them – not just with reading, but with socialization. We are thrilled to offer this program, which will give each child their own mini-library of books to keep as well as provide them with fun, positive social interactions and learning over the summer months,” said Sue Scribner, Head of Children’s Services. “The multi-week format will give our young patrons a chance to become familiar with each other as they see the same people throughout the summer, as well as create an environment where they look forward to coming back – and to reading!  We are especially thankful to the Board of Directors, staff and students at St. John Paul the Great Academy for their generosity and investment in Torrington.  We look forward to future partnerships as we work toward a shared vision: increasing support and opportunities for literacy development for the children of our community.” 
Summer Book Buddies will meet, weather permitting, at 11am on 6 consecutive Thursdays, beginning July 8th.  Families not attending in person will be able to join via Zoom. Further details will be sent to registered participants prior to the first meeting. For more information, visit our website at, or email

Aquarion Seeks Nominations for Environmental Champion Awards

PRESS RELEASE — Thousands of individuals, businesses, and organizations across Connecticut are dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability.  The Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards is an opportunity for these environmental advocates to earn statewide honors for their work. 

Over the past 10 years, top Connecticut companies such as Sikorsky, Bigelow Tea, and Pratt & Whitney and leading non-profit organizations including the Trust for Public Land and the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition have been recognized for their commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Winners in the Adult, Non-Profit Organization, Large Business, Small Business, and Communications categories will earn the chance to select an environmental non-profit to receive a $2,500 grant, and the winner of the Student category (grades 9-12) will receive a $1,000 award. 

“Aquarion is pleased to salute the remarkable efforts of Connecticut’s environmental advocates,” said Donald J. Morrissey, President of Aquarion Water Company.  “Thanks to dedicated environmental volunteers, we all benefit from cleaner water and air, fertile soils, and protected habitats for plants and wildlife.”

The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 16, 2021 and winners will be announced in August.

Details and nomination forms for the 2021 Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards are available at

Donations made to Northwest Y and Litchfield Hills/NW Elderly Nutrition program

TORRINGTON/PRESS RELEASE — The Northwest CT YMCA and Litchfield Hills/ Northwest Elderly Nutrition Program were recipients of large donations today from former owner of Center Subaru, Phil Porter. These funds were part of a matching commitment from the Subaru Share the Love campaign. Porter made this commitment to both organizations before the sale of Center Subaru. 

Phil Porter presented checks to the agencies on May 5th— to the YMCA at 1:30 pm at the Torrington YMCA and at 3:00 pm to Litchfield Hills Northwest Elderly Nutrition Program at Sullivan Senior Center

This was the eighth year Center Subaru chose the Northwest CT YMCA as their hometown charity for the Subaru Share the Love campaign. Center Subaru provided customers with another local choice with the addition of Litchfield Hills Northwest Elderly Nutrition Program for the 2020 campaign. The NWCT Y received a total sum of $22,039.67, $13,632.50 from Porter and $8,407.17 from Subaru of America, presented by Gengras Subaru, the new owners of Center Subaru. This year’s donation brought the total amount donated to the NWCT Y over the eight years to close to $400,000. The Litchfield Hills Northwest Elderly Nutrition Program received a total sum of $29,330.66, $14,665.33 from Porter and $14,655.33 from Subaru of America, presented by Gengras Subaru.

Porter is one of the few retailers that chooses to match donations 100%. “I felt it was important to honor a commitment I made to the Torrington community, despite not owning Center Subaru anymore,” said Porter. “The Y plays such a huge part in so many lives in NWCT they were always a logical choice for us.” Porter, who worked in NW CT for 34 years, thought the local Meals on Wheels program needed more support due to the COVID19 pandemic and was a natural addition to add as a second hometown charity.

“We can’t thank Phil Porter and his staff team, who over the years have done so much through the Share the Love sales event to create opportunities for tens of thousands of individuals to create better versions of themselves. Approximately half of the annual gifts to the Y have been used for financial assistance for children and families that could not afford Y programs and half used to create new enhancements for members in Winsted and Torrington including our homeless shelter, low-income residents, Literacy programs and for youth & adult members,” says YMCA CEO Greg Brisco. “We would’ve not been able to have served so many so well without Phil’s friendship and commitment.”

“We are extremely grateful to have the support of Mr. Porter and Subaru and for their choice of The Litchfield Hills Meals on Wheels Program as one of their hometown charities this year.  Our program relies heavily on donations, and with a tremendous donation such as this, it is possible for us to continue providing nutritious meals and daily social contact to our area’s homebound seniors, allowing them to remain independent in their own homes.  The COVID 19 pandemic has expanded the need for our service, allowing the most at-risk population to avoid unnecessary trips to the stores, “ says Litchfield Hills Meals on Wheels Supervisor, Christine Brown.

During this year’s campaign, Subaru donated $250 for every new vehicle purchased or leased from Center Subaru between November 19, 2020, and January 4, 2021. Customers could choose from four national charities for the $250 donation – including ASPCA, Make a Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels and the National Park Foundation – or one of Center Subaru’s hometown charities. Center Subaru / Porter matched every $250 donation, regardless of the charity chosen by the customer, with all matching funds benefitting the hometown charities.

 “We can’t think of a better way to close our time here in Torrington than with two donations that will help this great town,” Porter said.

Blood drive
BARKHAMSTED/PRESS RELEASE — The neext blood drive at Praise Christian Fellowship is May 26, 9 am – 6 pm.52 New Hartford Road, Barkhamsted. To register to donate blood, call 1-800-REDCROSS or go online at

This is a press release by a local community organization. The Winsted Phoenix is publishing this as a local community service. To send your press release email