News

Coldwell Banker Cares

 Above: Scott Cooney & Marie Borner of Coldwell Banker, Anthony Zeolla, CPA, President of Ann's Place

Above: Scott Cooney & Marie Borner of Coldwell Banker, Anthony Zeolla, CPA, President of Ann's Place

Marie Borner and Scott Cooney of Coldwell Banker presented Ann's Place with a check for $962 on January 13. Coldwell Banker Cares is a program in which local real estate agents donate a small portion of commission to go to a charity.  This year they chose Ann's Place.

Marie Borner is a dedicated Ann's Place volunteer and has worked on Festival of Trees since its debut 13 years ago.

Parent-Child Art

Parents and children had the unique opportunity to spend some quality time working on an art project over Christmas break.  There were 14 parents and children who are impacted by cancer who came together on December 30 to create something special.  The ages of children spanned from 7 to 16 years old and a great time was had by all.  All participants felt it was a true gift to be able to spend time away from the stresses and challenges of daily life doing something fun and meaningful.  The class was lead by our talented art teacher, Nancy Chapman. 

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An Update on Wellness with Peggy O'Shea

In January 19, Ann’s Place was excited to welcome Peggy O’Shea, RN, as a guest speaker once again. The event, An Update on Wellness Practices, was hosted by our three breast cancer support groups and was open to all.

Peggy is a holistic practitioner and the Clinical Leader of the Complementary Medicine Program at Danbury Hospital. She has studied complementary medicine for decades, and has been trained in many different modalities.

Peggy’s background means that she is grounded in Western medicine, yet has a curiosity and openness to healing practices from many different traditions.  It is always a delight to hear Peggy speak as we hear a variety of practices that have proven helpful for many.

Introducing ClientTrack

Supporting our existing and expanding community is of the upmost importance to us here at Ann’s Place.  We’ve been working hard for the past several months thinking of ways to use technology to give our clients the best experience possible at Ann’s Place.  And now, we are excited to introduce our new client support software - ClientTrack!

The clients of Ann’s Place can look forward to online registration for clinical programs and activities.  This new system, which is quickly wrapping up development, will lead to a better and faster activity sign up experience at home and in the building - as well as improved insight about how we can better serve our clients. 

It will put the ownership of our clients’ wellness plans directly in to their hands; by giving them access to the portal anywhere and on any device that has access to the internet. ClientTrack will serve to provide an opportunity to strengthen client-clinician relationships, a better way to explore all the services that Ann’s Place offers, and a chance to create even more personalized service. 

Barnes & Noble Holiday Gift-Wrapping

 Volunteers Betty Brown and  Michelle Frosch    

Volunteers Betty Brown and Michelle Frosch

 

In December 2015, 64 volunteers from Ann’s Place wrapped books and gifts at Barnes and Noble in Danbury at the annual Gift Wrapping Fundraiser. 

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time during the busy holidays to wrap gifts, and to represent Ann’s Place with such dedication, fun and enthusiasm.  Thank you to Barnes and Noble for allowing Ann’s Place volunteers to be there once again this year.  And thank you to all the customers for all of your donations and generosity.  All of this in the spirit of giving, and giving back.  

Recognizing Bob Brown

 Bob Brown

Bob Brown

The Board of Directors of Ann’s Place wish Bob Brown a warm and heartfelt goodbye as he has accepted a new role with his organization in St. Louis, Missouri.  Bob has served on the Board as of December 2012 and from the very beginning provided leadership and guidance for many of the initiatives Ann’s Place has been involved in the past several years.  We thank him for being one our biggest supporters and appreciate all his dedication, involvement and personal time he has given to Ann’s Place.  He has made a difference to many of our clients we serve.  We will miss him dearly and wish him and Greta much success, health and joy for the future.

Mind Body Skills Workshop

 Dr. Jennifer Phelps

Dr. Jennifer Phelps

Ann’s Place is pleased to be able to offer to our clients the expertise of Dr. Jennifer Phelps in the form of an eight week workshop on Mind Body Skills.  This is currently the second eight week session of this program in response to the popularity of the first. This workshop demonstrates to cancer survivors and caregivers how to utilize techniques such as autogenic training, meditation, breath work, movement and drawing as a way of coping with stress, anxiety and difficult emotions. 

Jennifer Phelps, MD, is a medical doctor who is board certified in Family Practice.  Dr. Phelps specializes in Integrative Medicine which combines mainstream medical therapies and complementary or alternative therapies that are backed by high quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.  Dr. Phelps has a strong interest in Oncology and utilizing Integrative medicine to help patients during and after treatment

Ann's Place Technology Update!

My name is Robbie and I’m the web and events technology specialist here at Ann’s Place!  My job is to work behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly across the organization by finding and facilitating improvements through technology and I wanted to share some of the exciting things that are going on here at Ann’s Place with you!

A New Face for a Changing World!

We’ve made some changes to our website - if you haven’t had a chance yet to look around the new www.annsplace.org take a second to check it out!  You may not notice it right away, but we’ve made improvements to provide a more user friendly experience for you no matter what device you’re viewing the website on. 

Did you know that desktop browsing is no longer the number one method of digital content consumption in the United States?  Don’t believe me?  Check out this article on here on CNN

To meet this evolving demand our new site is responsive.  This means that the layout will change depending on what devices you’re viewing it on in order to best present the content of our site!  There are a number of other benefits on the back end that help me, and the whole staff here, deliver to you fresh and dynamic content.

We’ve made our site easier to get around no matter how you view it, we’ve also made it more useful for you.  Check out our improved and secure online donation & sponsorship forms, now offering an instant email acknowledgements for your tax records and instant notification of your donation to your loved ones. 

Keep an eye on annsplace.org as it continues to evolve! 

Doing our Best for our Donors

Ann’s Place relies on donors!  Any donation, no matter how big or how small, plays a part in the mission of Ann’s Place.  We are constantly grateful for the immense support from our community year in and year out – and we want to make sure you know how much we appreciate you.  But man is it a lot of paperwork! 

Recently, Ann’s Place went live with a new donor tracking software, Little Green Light.  This powerful web-based fundraising tool has been designed to streamline internal practices at Ann’s Place, leading to faster donation acknowledgements and improved insight about how, why, and who is giving to Ann’s Place.

Little Green Light is a valuable tool driving efficiency up while keeping costs low and the office organized - all for the benefit of the clients of Ann’s Place.

Caring for our clients

We’re not done yet – but we will be soon – I wanted to share a little bit of the improvements to come! Supporting our existing and expanding community is of the upmost importance to us here at Ann’s Place.  We’ve been working hard for the past several months thinking of ways to use technology to give our clients the best experience possible at Ann’s Place.  

The clients of Ann’s Place can look forward to online & kiosk registration for clinical programs and activities!  This new system, which is quickly wrapping up development and is on track for release before the end of this year, will lead to a better and faster activity sign up experience at home and in the building - as well as improved insight about how we can better serve its clients. 

I wont spill all the beans yet!  But look forward to greater accessibility to all of the great offerings at Ann’s Place in the future. 

Thanks,
Robbie Siemon
Web & Events Technology Specialist

P.S. Do you have any questions about the Ann's Place website?  Use the form below to ask your question!

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Health Equity Initiative Launches

 

The Board of Directors of Ann’s Place is pleased to announce that Ann’s Place will launch its new Health Equity Initiative, funded by the BI Cares Foundation, on July 22.   A collaboration between Ann’s Place and The Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury (Centro Hispano), the Health Equity Initiative will enable Ann’s Place, a community-based cancer support center, to provide services at Centro Hispano, in downtown Danbury, as well as bilingual services onsite at 80 Saw Mill Road. 

There will be an Open House to celebrate this new initiative at Ann's Place, 80 Saw Mill Road, Danbury on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at noon.  Members of the public are invited.  Light refreshments will be served. 

“Part of our vision at Ann’s Place is to extend the reach of our services to patients and families who are not getting the support they need because of language barriers, poverty, or lack of access to transportation,” said Anthony Zeolla, Ann’s Place President & CEO.   “We are delighted to be able to offer our services at Centro in the heart of Danbury. We hope that this collaboration with Centro—with its accessible location, varied programs, and its deep roots in the community—will help us to better serve populations that for too long have been overlooked and under-served.”

As part of the Health Equity Initiative, Ann’s Place has hired a Spanish-speaking bilingual social worker, Candy Murias, who will provide clinical services at the Centro location.  “Candy brings a wealth of experience serving diverse communities and has a deep commitment to justice and compassionate service,” said Su Murdock, Ann’s Place Director of Clinical Services.  “We look forward to her joining our staff.” 

"Part of the Hispanic Center’s mission aims to improve the well-being of the diverse community in the Greater Danbury area by providing culturally competent preventive health education and promotion,” said Andrea Contreras,  Interim Executive Director of the Hispanic Center.  “We believe this new collaboration with Ann’s Place holds synergy with our current program and vision to make a difference in the community by expanding our services to be able to provide accessible cancer support services to clients and their families.  We are thrilled to work with Ann’s Place and are looking forward to working with them and Candy in this new initiative." 

Boehringer Ingelheim Human Resources - United Way Day of Caring 2015

On June 11, 2015 Ann's Place was pleased to host the team from Boehringer Ingelheim Human Resources.  Under the direction of Ann's Place Horticultural Therapist Erik Keller more than a dozen hard working BI employees volunteered their time and energy to accomplish a variety of tasks around the grounds of Ann's Place. The team completed the installation of several new stone garden beds, spread mulch, completed much needed weeding, planted new shrubbery, and worked in the herb garden!  

This is the seventh year BI HR has dedicated their time as part of a united way day of caring, this collaboration is one of many that has existed between Ann's Place and BI over the years. 

Welcoming Peggy O'Shea Back to Ann's Place

On May 27th, Ann’s Place was pleased to welcome Peggy O’Shea, RN, holistic practitioner and the Clinical Leader of the Complementary Medicine Program at Danbury Hospital.  The program was hosted by our three breast cancer support groups and was open to all of the Ann’s Place community.  Peggy has a strong foundation and respect for western medicine and combines that with an openness and curiosity about other cultures and healing methods.  She has been a long time student and practitioner of many different modalities and is diligent to seek out the research that might substantiate the claims that she hears or reads about.  Peggy did not lay out a strict path for all to follow, rather she invited each person to begin to listen more - to their bodies and their own wisdom. Some of the topics included nutrition, meditation, energy work, acupuncture, essential oils and magnets.  There was a lively question and answer period as all sought to hear Peggy’s insights and experiences.  We were all grateful to welcome Peggy back to Ann’s Place, where she is always sure to draw a crowd!

Healthy Eating Pot Luck with Diana Sadtler and Joe Gillotti

Our Healthy Eating Pot Luck members welcomed a special speaker in May- Diana Sadtler.   Diana provided a demonstration of making a delicious raw food snack.  She spoke about some of the benefits of raw foods and how to integrate them more into the diet.  After the demonstration, all gathered to share the different dishes they prepared.  There are always so much variety and delicious things to try.  We all enjoyed a time of conversation, sharing recipes, and having lunch together.  Joe Gillotti then discussed the many benefits of adopting a plant based diet, and the benefits of adding more water soluble foods to our diet.  Please join us on June 27th at 11:30 a.m. for our next Pot Luck! Call Ann’s Place at 203-790-6568 to register.  This will be the final Pot Luck of the season, and we will start up again in September.

Timothy Bayley Visits the Head & Neck Group

 Timothy Bayley

Timothy Bayley

Tim Bayley, who holds a Master's Degree in Nutrition, presented "Nurturing Through Nutrition" to the Head and Neck Cancer Support and Education Group on Wednesday April 1st. Tim gave some great tips and pointers to those who are struggling with nutrition after treatment for head and neck cancer. Tim finished his presentation with the making of a smoothie for all to sample. We are grateful to Tim for sharing his time and expertise with our clients.

Volunteer Appreciation Celebration

 Ann's Place President & CEO Anthony Zeolla, CPA, thanks our volunteers

Ann's Place President & CEO Anthony Zeolla, CPA, thanks our volunteers

On May 1st, Ann's Place was pleased to host it's annual volunteer appreciation gathering! The event was a relaxed gathering attended by volunteers from across the agency. Attendees enjoyed refreshments, music, and good company. Last year over 1,000 volunteers helped us to continue our mission in some way. Above: Anthony, Lynn, and Su thank our volunteers.

New Quilting Workshop

Ann's Place was pleased to offer a two session Quilting Class, with Selma Kenter, a resident of Istanbul, Turkey. Selma has been involved at Ann's Place for many years, and is a prime contributor to the Festival of Trees Quilter's Corner. Selma contacted us to offer this class as she planned to be in the United States, where she also a part time resident for a month. It was exciting to be able to offer this new program to our clients.

 

Thank you Kristen

 Kristen Harrison

Kristen Harrison

For the last several months Ann's Place was happy to have a helping hand from intern, Kristen Harrison. Kristen, a social work major at WCSU, expects to earn her bachelors degree in 2016. 

"My experience at Ann's Place has been amazing. From the incredibly dedicated and motivated staff, to the inspirational and strong community. I have learned so many things that I will take with me as I continue my journey as a student and future as a social worker, " Says Kristen. 

We thank Kristen and wish her well with all of her future endeavors. 

National Volunteer Month

April is National Volunteer appreciation month! 

Ann's Place wishes to recognize the small army of volunteers whose time, dedication, and willingness to volunteer at Ann's Place continues to astound us year after year! 

"In 2014 Ann’s Place utilized over 1,000 volunteer positions. Whether on a weekly or monthly basis, at an event or fundraiser, or for occasional administrative help, maintenance, and setting up for events, your willingness, compassion, and eagerness to help continue to inspire and amaze me daily." says Lynn Stubbe, Ann's Place Volunteer Coordinator

"I would also like to thank you for making my first year at Ann’s Place such a special one. Your kindness, support, and guidance are greatly appreciated and truly makes me smile."