February 2020


Stratton Brook Park in Simsbury

President's Corner

President - Toni Robinson tonirobinson22@gmail.com 860-217-1915

Hello Everyone! Happy February!

I want to invite you to our upcoming events. Let's have some fun!

Come celebrate Leap Day on Saturday, February 29th at the Maple Tree Café. Festivities will begin at 7:00 p.m. with drinks, appetizers, trivia and music. All of this for only $10 per person, the Club will be subsidizing this event to keep the cost low for our members. For your $10, you get 1 free drink ticket, free appetizers, a trivia game, music, friends and conversations.

Send your $10 per person check made payable to Simsbury Newcomers & Neighbors to me at:

Toni Robinson

112 Library Lane

Simsbury, CT 06070


Your check will be your RSVP.

Questions: tonirobinson22@gmail.com Parking is available behind the Café, on the street and in the Church’s parking lot.


February 7, 8:30 – 10:00 is our monthly Friday Morning Coffee. This month we will be trying GIV Coffee located at 194 Albany Turnpike, Canton, CT. I hope to see you for coffee and conversations.


In March, Jane Fox will be organizing a Bowling Night for all our members. More information will be sent via email.


Tuesday, May 19 is the date for our Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon. It will be held at The Season’s Restaurant in Avon. This year we will be highlighting our talented members. If you are a crafter or you own your own business, you are invited to request a free space at the luncheon. Notify me at tonirobinson22@gmail.com. Spaces are limited so it will be first come. You will be required to purchase a luncheon ticket. This is a member only opportunity. Tina Trask, Suzanne Harrington, Sue Stapleford and Jackie Johnson responded to my January request and will be participating. I can’t wait to see what our members create.


Our January event was a Paint & Sip Night at Joy & Wit in East Granby. Thanks to Eileen Higham for organizing this fun event.


Eileen Higham ephigham@gmail.com 860-836-4417

Dear Members ,

Please take a moment to read. In January and February I will be working on Nominations for the 2020-2021 Board. I know we just started 2020, true, however at the May Lunch / Annual Meeting we will be voting on the New Slate.

Please consider volunteering. This great club is run by Volunteers like You.

The open positions are as follows: Event Planners (two); Newsletter; Publicity; Nominating; and Assistant to the Web Master.

Any questions please contact me anytime.

Eileen Higham

Civic Concerns

Genie Wilmarth wilmarthg@att.net 860-202-3791

Happy 2020, friends and neighbors.

Thank you to the members who donated gift cards for the ABC boys’ stockings, and for donating womens’ toiletries for Gifts of Love.

Happy 350th anniversary to Simsbury! See the Facebook page at Facebook.com/Simsbury350 for events and volunteer opportunities.

Community requests:

ABC Program Director Christine Bonchik asked for volunteers to provide a meal for the three boys and resident director one weekend day. Call Christine at 860-264-6188, or abcprogsims@gmail.com.

Simsbury Social Services is collecting nonperishable food items. A collection box is in the basement of Eno Hall. A collection box is also at Saint Catherine of Siena Church, downstairs, and to the left.

News from the Board of Selectmen:

The Tariffville Room, on the ground floor at the library, is open and can be reserved for meetings, concerts, and presentations.

The Simsbury Loan Locker is open for residents to borrow durable medical equipment. 860-658-3224, or SimsburyLoanlocker@gmail.com.

Many opportunities are available to serve on boards and committees. Openings are on Assessment, Clean Energy Task Force, Community for Care, Economic Development, Tourism, Hartford Area Cable Television Advisory Council. Email First Selectman, Eric Wellman at ewellman@simsbury-ct.gov. for more information.

Genie Wilmarth, Civic Concerns Chair

Upcoming SNN Events

Join Us for Bowling!

Blue Fox Rock 'N Bowl

Sat., March 28 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Everyone invited

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend!

More details to follow later.

Contact Jane Fox with questions j.p.fox@comcast.net (860)658-0388


Sue Gannon suelarrygannon@windstream.net 315-406-4850

If you know someone who may be interested in joining us, let them know they may join at any time. Contact Sue or visit the website to pay the yearly $25 membership dues.


The following SNN Members are celebrating their birthday this month:

  • Susan B
  • Leo C
  • Mary Lou C
  • Eileen C
  • Alayna C
  • Rosemary C
  • Charles D
  • Dave D
  • Kathleen G
  • Susan G
  • Phyllis G
  • Gert H
  • Barbara H
  • Rosa I
  • Arlene J
  • Linda M
  • Judy R
  • Mary V
  • Nancy W
  • Joanne V

If you see them, be sure to wish them a happy day!

Editor's Note

Christina Brea tina@thebreafamily.com

Hello everyone!

February... the holiday season is officially over, and hopefully we're all continuing to work on our resolutions!

Valentine's Day is approaching! Whether your sweetheart is a significant other, a loving parent, a sweet child (of all ages because they are forever our babies), or a sweet friend, take a moment to let them know how much you care. I believe that LOVE is one of the most valuable things we can experience in life. Teddy bears, flowers, and chocolate, sure... I think we all love those things. But it only takes a smile, a hug, or a sweet note to honor those that you care for. A walk in the park, a special shared meal, and for those that are far, a phone call or even a text these days, can mean a lot. And they're all FREE! No need to spend a fortune!

So whether it's Valentine's Day that you celebrate this year, or GAL-entine's Day with your girlfriends, enjoy this special time together. Take advantage of the cold weather and snuggle up, or make something yummy to share. Enjoy!



Book Discussion - Daytime

Jane Fox j.p.fox@comcast.net 860-658-0388

Welcome to the Daytime Book Discussion Group! We meet at 9:30 a.m. the third Friday of every month. We enjoy lively but informal discussion about our book selections. Many copies of our titles are available through the Simsbury Public Library. Check at the front desk for books on hold for the Newcomers' Daytime Book Discussion Group. An email is sent out each month as a reminder with the book title, host, and reviewer. Don't forget to e-mail the hostess if you plan to attend so she can plan appropriately. Below is our book list and dates for the year.

Feb. 21

Evicted: Poverty & Profit in American City

by Matthew Desmond

Mar. 20

Crossing the Horizon

by Laurie Notaro

Apr. 24 ***

Ellie and the Harp Maker

by Hazel Prior

May 15

The Women in the Castle

by Jessica Shattuck

Jun. 19

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

Sep 2020


Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

Members in our group generously donated 21 books to the Greater Hartford Holiday Book Drive in December.

In January, we had a very informative book discussion led by Carolyn B. on Teatime for the Firefly. Patti C. took us back in time to India in 1943 with authentic foods including Assam tea, Scottish Dundee Cake, mango & pineapple compote, and scones.

Book Discussion - Evening

Cheryl Cook cooks.home@comcast.net 860-408-1577

February 4th The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

March 3rd We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

April 7th Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

May 5th Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

June 2nd Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

July 7th Joyland by Stephen King

August 4th The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Bridge - Daytime

Jane Fox j.p.fox@comcast.net 860-658-0388

Ladies' Daytime Bridge meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 1:00 p.m. Join us as a regular or substitute player. All bridge levels are welcome. Players take turns hosting. Email announcements are sent to the group prior to each playing week about sign-up and host location/information.


Daytime: Arlene Zappile ronarlz@comcast.net 860-408-9044

Evening: Seeking Coordinator

Welcome back, Newcomers and friends! Bunko is an easy dice game that you can learn to play in just a few minutes. No strategy or planning involved, just a lucky toss of the dice. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at a member's home for coffee and chit chat. Then we get down to business and play three games! It's a great morning full of laughs and surprises! Come join us. See you at sign-ups or leave a message for me at 860-408-9044.

Arlene Zappile

Come for Cocktails

Holly and Shaun Murphy mena27@comcast.net

If you enjoy socializing, then we are the group for you! We are a co-ed group that meets a few times a year (3-4) at our members' homes on Saturday evenings. We are not a "couples only group"! All are welcome!! We will schedule the gatherings around the "SNN events", so as not to conflict. Please bring an appetizer or a dessert to share. Please bring your own beverages. Hosts may choose to have a theme for the evening and will provide paper goods and glasses. Contact Holly and Shaun Murphy to join this group.

Dining Out

Theresa Awad Roe t.awad-roe@att.net 860-882-3044

Katherine Estell Kate623@comcast.net 860-990-8601

Theresa's photo is forthcoming

Welcome Dining Out group to what we hope will be a year of interesting dining discoveries. We reserve at restaurants that accommodate separate billing. Seating is often limited, emails will be sent out with an RSVP deadline.



We are looking forward to seeing you!

Please respond to Theresa at t.awad-roe@att.net or Katherine at kate623@comcast.net

Discover New England

Patty Howland pahowl@gmail.com 860-470-7771

Diana Pratt dpratt620@gmail.com 860-480-6647

New England is filled with many scenic, historical and cultural attractions. Join fellow Newcomers as we explore our surrounding area. Events and places to visit will be suggested by those who sign up for the group. Some ideas include: tours of local landmarks, ethnic food shopping trips, home and garden tours, art exhibits, daytrips to the CT Shore or the Berkshires.

February Event:

Wednesday, February 26th: Jane Eyre at The Hartford Stage,

Lunch 12pm at V's Trattoria,

Show 2pm

Cost: $36 (or higher if sold out) plus lunch

We can carpool from the Simsbury/Avon area.

RSVP to Patty at pahowl@gmail.com

Indicate if you would like to join us for lunch, whether you would like to drive alone, drive others or get a ride.


March Event:

Tuesday, March 17 – Silver Street Glass Gallery & Studio

Lunch 12pm, Demo/Workshop 2pm

Come see a European artist at work! Annukka Ritalahti, born and raised in Finland, and her husband, Mark Gottlieb, participate in many art shows and display their works all over the world, but their studio and gallery are right here in North Granby, CT. They make a large variety of glass items – beads, vases, stained glass, lamps, ornaments, paperweights, mosaics and more! They will even custom design pieces for clients.

Come see them at work (free) or make your own ornament ($30).

Visit the Gallery as well.

12:00 Lunch in Granby Center @TheBarn, 17R East Granby Road, Granby,

Part of the Zen Restaurant Group, featuring seasonally-inspired contemporary American cuisine.

We can carpool from the restaurant if anyone wants to do so.

2:00 Silver Street Glass Gallery & Studio, 105 Silver Street, North Granby.

Glass demo with optional workshop to make an ornament.

RSVP to Diana at dpratt620@gmail.com by March 10th.

Indicate if you would like to join us for lunch, whether you would like to drive alone, drive others or get a ride, and whether you would like to make an ornament ($30).

Food Chat/Recipe Swap

Shari Cassutt scassutt@yahoo.com 505-670-4982

Due to a bum knee (mine), and a house that simply refused to clean itself (mine again), and the stress of it all, we did not have our first Try Something New Potluck as planned. Let's try it again on Monday, February 10, 12:30 at Shari's house 44 Wheeler Rd.

Here's how it works. Find a recipe that you've never tried before. That's what you'll prepare for our potluck. If it tastes awful we will all blame it on the recipe and not on the cook! The idea is that this is a no pressure way to try new things.

RSVP - scassutt@yahoo.com

Happy Hour Social Club

Shaun Murphy shaunpm777@gmail.com

We have tweaked the mission of the Men’s Night Out. It has morphed into Happy Hour Social Club (not just for men!). We are now in pursuit of the perfect IPA, or some other craft brew delight, bourbon, vino, good conversation and food. We meet the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. (or earlier for those that can). This group is open to all!

Humans for Humanity

Brynn Brown brynnerbrown@hotmail.com 860-301-9977

This is your opportunity to be the change you wish to see in the world. Humans for Humanity will work on a variety of projects to help our fellow human beings. This may range from filling backpacks with food for those in need in our community or raising money to build a school halfway around the world.

Ladies Lunch Bunch

Alayna Clark clarkalayna40@comcast.net 860-217-0054

Toni Robinson tonirobinson22@gmail.com 860-217-1915

The Ladies Lunch Bunch will be going to:

The Meadow Restaurant on February 6th at 11:30.

Mah Jongg

Daytime: Alayna Clark clarkalayna40@comcast.net 860-217-0054

Evening: Cheryl Sojkowski csojkowski@comcast.net 860-658-2199

The Mah Jongg Daytime group meets every Wednesday at Hunter's Run Clubhouse at 1:00pm. Snacks are provided but bring your own drink. For more information, contact activity chair: Alayna Clark. clarkalayna40@comcast.net



The Evening Mah Jongg group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. We welcome players of all levels and are happy to teach anyone who would like to learn the game.

Movie Night

Mary Lou Cassotto Mlcassotto@gmail.com 860-830-8805

Mary Lou's photo is forthcomiing

Hi, I am from the Film Discussion group. We meet to go to a movie at the Simsbury Apple Cinema once or twice a month on a weekend day. Originally we met latter in the month, on a Sunday to discuss at the library, but now we meet after the movie to discuss over a coffee if anyone is interested.

An email goes out once or twice a week, and if anyone wants to be notified they can write mlcassotto@gmail.com.

So far we have seen Downtown Abbey, the Mr. Rogers movie, and Little Women.

Mary Lou Cassotto


Karen Goldschmidt kgoldschmidt@earthlink.net 914-393-9672

A group of women who meet once a week to work on a variety of needlework projects and visit and share ideas. The needlework projects consist of needlepoint, knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch, and quilting. Besides needlework, some of the ladies work on card designing, Zentangles, beading and other small craft projects.

We meet at the library on Monday mornings. Attendance weekly is not necessary.


The following photos are from the library where knitted items are rewards for reading and reporting, called "Warm Reads". The picture of the table is in the children's room. The one of the clothes horse is in the main room.

Paddle Tennis

Ladies: Carolyn Brand brandcmb@aol.com 860-408-1566

Mens: Steve Parker sbparker2012@gmail.com 860-651-9445

Mixed Doubles: Camilla Thompson cbthomp48@gmail.com860-658-2038

Carolyn's photo forthcoming

Paddle Tennis is similar to tennis, but played outdoors during the colder months on raised courts. In snowy conditions, the courts are heated to melt the wintry mix. We play November through March, using the courts at Simsbury Farms. The Mixed Doubles group plays on Sunday evenings (4:30 - 6), the Ladies play on Monday and Thursday mornings, and the Men play on Saturday mornings.

If you would like to play paddle and have played other racket sports, please contact the activity coordinators. The rosters tend to fill up by early October. Hope to see you on the courts!

Simsbury Farms usually offers Paddle lessons. Please check with their office for more information - 860-658-3836.

Couple's Paddle

Welcome Couple's Paddle Tennis Enthusiasts!

The Simsbury Newcomers and Neighbors have sponsored a Couple's Paddle Tennis group for close to two decades! We meet Sunday afternoon from November through the end of March. The playing time is 4:30 to 6:00 PM. The lights are on a timer and turn on at dusk.

We enjoy a fun, social, round-robin format of play. Four couples are scheduled each Sunday afternoon; each couple can expect to play one to two times per month. Many of you know the drill. After a brief warm-up, play begins on both courts. After the first set is completed, the winners go to Court 1 (closest to the street) and split, forming new teams with the other winners. The second place finishers go to Court 2 (nearest the golf course) and also split forming new teams. This round robin format mixes up the players and abilities and makes it more fun.

The courts are a seasonal rental, so the cost depends on the number of players who sign up. It is usually around $100/couple for the season.

We are always looking to expand our group of players so if you know of anyone who is interested, please forward their contact information.

I'm looking forward to another great season! Please call if you have any questions.

Camilla T.

(860) 658-2038

30 Metacom Drive

Simsbury, CT 06070

Paddle Calendar:

Sundays - Couples Paddle -February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Mondays - Ladies Paddle - February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Thursdays - Ladies Paddle - February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 5, 12, 19, 26

Saturdays - Men's Paddle - February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; March 7, 14, 21, 28


Daytime: Sue Gannon suelarrygannon@windstream.net 315-406-4850

Evening: Judy Rabinowitz jhr123@sbcglobal.net 860-658-9262

If you like to play cards and would like to be part of an informal, social, and fun group of women, Pinochle may be the perfect activity for you. Pinochle is a card game that is easier than bridge, but still challenging enough to be interesting. Our members range from experienced to just beginning - and we are very willing to give lessons to anyone who is completely new to the game.


We meet at 1 p.m., the first and third Tuesday afternoons of each month to play for two to three hours, but you do not need to play each time. We take turns hosting either in our homes or at library or community center rooms.

Sue Gannon is the activity coordinator and can be reached at suelarrygannon@windstream.net or 860-421-5009, and would be glad to answer any questions you may have.


The Women's evening Pinochle group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 10 PM. Each monthly game is hosted by a different player, so location varies.

Judy Rabinowitz is the activity coordinator and can be reached at jhr123@sbcglobal.net or 860-658-9262.


Shari Cassutt scassutt@yahoo.com 505-670-4982

It's the Superbowl!

Yes, once again the PopUps will be holding our annual potluck for the Big Game. I know we probably don't have a lot of '49ers or Chiefs fans in the crowd but the food and company will be as wonderful as in years past and there's always the chance of winning the ever popular Commercial Bingo game. Time - kickoff is 6:30 so anytime after 5:45. Date - Sunday, February 2nd. Place - Shari and Dick's home 44 Wheeler Rd. Instructions - Long ago I gave up trying to coordinate the potluck. Bring something yummy. However, I have a freezer full of cookies so think about hearty appetizers.

RSVP - Please!!! scassutt@yahoo.com (I've already heard from a few of you, but when in doubt RSVP again!)

Single Active Women

Krista Mancarella m.krista01@gmail.com

Krista's photo is forthcoming

The Single Active Women's group is a group for any single woman - divorced, widowed, or simply single.

Our group's purpose is to provide opportunities for single women to meet and make friends with other single women through our activities.

The group will have one planned lunch on the first Tuesday of each month. Other activities may also be planned each month. Members will be notified of these activities by email.

We also hope to give our members the opportunity to find friends to join them on activities they are interested in, and we may share activities that members are interested in doing with the group for that purpose.


Brunch will be at 11am on 2/9 @ Soma Grill in Simsbury. Please RSVP by the 5th so I can make reservations.


On Thursday 3/12 at 5pm - Pool at Alayna's

(Thank you Alayna!) Please bring an appetizer.

It would be very helpful if those who plan to attend RSVP to me at least a few days prior to the event. A simple email with your intention to attend in the subject line would be great.


Krista - m.krista01@gmail.com

Walking Group

Michele Abbott megabbott@hotmail.com 515-480-5107

Don’t let the cold weather scare you-walking group is still meeting although only for a two mile walk most days. You may start out chilly, but a brisk walk warms you up real quick!

We meet everyday at the bus stop behind CVS at 9 am and walk 2-5 miles on the Iron Horse Trail. This is a fun group that is for all ages and paces.

Contact Michele by text with any questions, and before your first walk to be sure we look for ya!

Wine & Women

Cheryl Sojkowski csojkowski@comcast.net 860-658-2199

Sarah Nanzig dnanzig@comcast.net 860-651-9085

Wine and Women is a fun and casual group that meets once a month, at a member’s home, usually on the third Thursday night of the month. Everyone brings a bottle of wine or other beverage of choice and an appetizer or dessert to share. It’s fun to meet new members and reconnect with friends. We welcome members to join the group at any time during the year. And, of course, you don’t have to drink wine to enjoy an evening out with this lively crowd!

Our next gathering will be held on Thursday, February 20th. We have a special event this month, a private wine tasting at Super Cellar’s Liquor store in Avon, from 6:30-8pm. Super Cellar’s is located on Rt. 44 in Avon, next to CVS. The store will have 6 different wines to sample. Cheryl and Sarah will provide a few nibbles so all you have to do is show up! We will then meet at First & Last Tavern, also on Rt 44 in Avon, to enjoy dessert and discuss the wine tasting. A reminder email will be sent the week before the event with the location details and you can RSVP by replying to the email.

SAVE THESE DATES: March 19, April 23, May 14, and June 12 (a Friday date for “Wine, Women and Guest”). Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to open their home to our group!

There are many Activity Groups that meet regularly. To find out more about them visit the Activity Page on our website: List of Activity Groups

Book Discussion ~ Bridge ~ Bunko ~ Come for Cocktails ~ Dining Out ~ Discover New England ~ Food Chat/Recipe Swap - Happy Hour Social Club ~ Humans for Humanity ~ Ladies Lunch Bunch ~ Mah Jongg ~ Movie Night ~ Needlework ~ Paddle Tennis ~ Pinochle ~ Pop Ups ~ Single Active Women ~ Walking Group ~ Wine & Women

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