March 2020


The Red Bridge at Stratton Brook Park in Simsbury

President's Corner

President - Toni Robinson 860-217-1915

Hello everyone, Happy March!

The month of March brings us hope for Spring with bright yellow daffodils, blue skies, the ides of March and St. Paddy’s Day. Did you know that the Ides of March once signified the new year, which meant celebrations and rejoicing? So, I hope you celebrate every day with joy, friendship and love.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Tuesday, May 19 is the date for our Annual 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 Spaces are limited so it will be first come. You will be required to purchase a luncheon ticket. This is a member only opportunity.

Editor's Note

Christina Brea

Dear Members,

Every year, I look at March as a month of transition. It is the month that we may begin to see a change in the seasons, weather, even the amount of daylight since we will be turning our clocks forward very shortly (Remember, Spring forward, Sunday, March 8th!). This year, I heard recently of another type of change that also happens naturally in all of our lives, the passing of a member of our community.

Most of you have heard about the passing of Sharon Ireland. I only met her briefly on a couple of occasions and I spoke with her for a short time at a Meet and Greet event last year at Shari Cassutt's home. Though I didn't know her well, I did know immediately that she was kind and welcoming. She came and sat beside me, introduced herself, and chatted with me a bit about where I moved here from and what kinds of groups I might be interested in joining. She was a true Simsbury neighbor welcoming a newcomer.

I understand that Sharon was well liked and participated in a handful of activities with other members. I know the SNN group held a memorial luncheon recently, and I'm sure this time is difficult for all who knew her well and enjoyed time spent with her on a regular basis. My wish for all who may be grieving, is that you take the time you need to do so, but that you also hold her in your heart and take her with you as you continue on. Take in this time of transition and keep her with you as you take in the colors, the smells, the sounds of life around you, especially the warmth that the coming season brings. Think of that warmth as you relive the warm memories you shared together with her.

I found something that I'd like to share that can give us some ideas on easing our grief in times like these. It comforts me when I think of the loved ones in my life that have passed. I hope it brings you peace.



In Lieu of Flowers

Although I love flowers very much, I won't see them when I'm gone. So in lieu of flowers:

Buy a book of poetry written by someone still alive, sit outside with a cup of tea, a glass of wine, and read it out loud, or silently, by yourself, or to someone.

Spend some time with a single flower. A rose maybe. Smell it, touch the petals. Really look at it.

Drink a really nice bottle of wine with someone you love.

Or, Champagne. And think of what John Maynard Keynes said, "My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." Or what Dom Perignon said when he first tasted the stuff: "Come quickly! I am tasting stars!"

Take out a paint set and lay down some colours.

Watch birds. Common sparrows are fine. Pigeons, too. Geese are nice. Robins.

In lieu of flowers, walk in the trees and watch the light fall into it. Eat an apple, a really nice big one. I hope it's crisp.

Have a long soak in the bathtub with candles, maybe some rose petals.

Sit on the front stoop and watch the clouds. Have a dish of strawberry ice cream in my name. Or chocolate.

If it's winter, have a cup of hot chocolate outside for me. If it's summer, a big glass of ice water.

If it's autumn, collect some leaves and press them in a book you love. I'd like that.

Sit and look out a window and write down what you see. Write some other things down.

In lieu of flowers,

I would wish for you to flower.

I would wish for you to blossom, to open, to be beautiful.

I would wish for you to align your soul, for a time, with flowers.

- Shawna Lemay


Sue Gannon 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.


Eileen Higham 860-836-4417

Dear Members,

We need you. Our Nominating committee has been working diligently to fill our Slate of Officers and Board positions for 2020-2021. The open positions are as follows: Event Planners (2), Publicity, Newsletter, Nominating, & Web Assistant.

Please consider Volunteering. We know your time is valuable and the Board can be flexible in that regard. Contact Eileen Higham for more information.

Civic Concerns

Genie Wilmarth 860-202-3791

How Unconscious Beliefs Shape our Awareness Logo here

Are we all biased? Prejudiced? The Town of Simsbury has formed a new committee, the Spirit Council, to address and raise awareness of inclusion and diversity in our community. On March 11, 2020, the SPIRIT Council, in conjunction with the Community for Care, will offer a public program on Implicit Bias.


Collecting toiletries for Simsbury residents who cannot afford the “luxuries”

We all have bought shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, deodorant, body wash, body lotion, nail polish and remover on sale, only to discover we already have more than we can use. Let’s send some of these “luxuries” to our neighbors who might not be able to afford them.

Brynn Brown will be collecting toiletries from March 1-8 at her house, 221 Firetown Road, Simsbury. Items can be dropped next to her front door.


April Luncheon Bedding Collection

Spring cleaning? How about donating your extra sheets, pillowcases, blankets and spreads to be delivered to Gifts of Love? We will collect them at the Spring Luncheon on Tuesday, May 19th. Please make sure they are in good shape, cleaned, and bagged. Thank you!


Local Events

The Simsbury Library has frequent and free concerts, lectures and events. Recent ones included a coffeehouse, a wine tasting and a tailgate party for the UCONN women’s basketball team. On March 25, the library will host a discussion on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Visit for more information.


Census 2020

2020 is US Census year. The US Census Bureau will be asking for data which is used for redistricting, reapportioning congressional seats and distributing federal funds. The best way to avoid being visited at home by a census taker is to complete the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.


Happy Almost Spring, Neighbors.

Upcoming SNN Events


The following SNN Members are celebrating their birthday this month:

  • Lorraine C
  • Patty D
  • Jane G
  • Lisa H
  • Ginny L
  • Julie L
  • Heather M
  • Tanya S
  • Evie S
  • John T
  • Annette V

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

Book Discussion - Daytime

Jane Fox 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.

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

Book Discussion - Evening

Cheryl Cook 860-408-1577

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 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 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

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 860-882-3044

Katherine Estell 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.


Hello Dining Out group,

We will not be venturing too far for this cold time of year. Dining Out will meet on Friday night for March.

Reservations have been made for 14 max.

Place: Soma Grille at the 1820 House

Date: Friday, March 13th

Time: 7:00 pm

Address: 731 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT 06079

We look forward to seeing you!

Please respond to Theresa at or Katherine at

Discover New England

Patty Howland 860-470-7771

Diana Pratt 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.

Diana and Patty

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 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).

As of 2/9/20 this event had only two more spots available. Please contact Patty or Diana immediately to see if there is still room available.

Food Chat/Recipe Swap

Shari Cassutt 505-670-4982


Contact Shari at

Happy Hour Social Club

Shaun Murphy

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 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 860-217-0054

Toni Robinson 860-217-1915

On March 12th at 11:30 am, the Ladies Lunch Bunch will be going to:

Rivers Edge Bistro

210C West Main Street

Avon, CT

Mah Jongg

Daytime: Alayna Clark 860-217-0054

Evening: Cheryl Sojkowski 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.



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 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 later 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 to

Mary Lou Cassotto


Karen Goldschmidt 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.

Paddle Tennis

Ladies: Carolyn Brand 860-408-1566

Mens: Steve Parker 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 - March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Mondays - Ladies Paddle - March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Thursdays - Ladies Paddle - March 5, 12, 19, 26

Saturdays - Men's Paddle - March 7, 14, 21, 28


Daytime: Sue Gannon 315-406-4850

Evening: Judy Rabinowitz 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 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 or 860-658-9262.


Shari Cassutt 505-670-4982

Open to suggestions if anyone wants to help coordinate something. Give me a call or drop me a line.

Single Active Women

Krista Mancarella

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.


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 -

Walking Group

Michele Abbott 515-480-5107

It's still quite cold out, but the walking group is still trudging along. Hopefully the warmer weather is on its way!!

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 860-658-2199

Sarah Nanzig 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, March 19th, 7:00 pm at the home of Kathy Rothstein. Please bring an appetizer or dessert, and a beverage to share with the group. 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: 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. We still need a host for June.

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

Copyright © 2020 Simsbury Newcomers & Neighbors, All rights reserved.