News

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.

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."


Smarter Eating with Kim and Tim

Smarter Eating with Kim and Tim, a new cooking and nutrition program at Ann’s Place, debuted on March 26th with a great turnout of enthusiastic attendees. Kim created some delicious, healthy and easy recipes while Tim spoke about the how’s and why’s of good nutrition. There was an easy flow to the evening, with participants asking questions and learning more about the science of good eating. Everyone loved the menu items which Kim prepared for all to try. The foods were colorful, tasty and had great nutrients and fiber. Good eating does not have to be boring, or take hours to prepare! Keep your eyes open for future Smarter Eating with Kim and Tim programs!  Future programs will be based upon participant interest!  To request a nutritional topic email su@annsplace.org

Return Path Supports Ann's Place

Return Path, headquartered in NYC, is a global data solutions provider that helps the world’s leading companies promote and protect their brands. Return Path believes the passion and creativity of their employees is intensified when they have an opportunity to make a difference in their communities. With that in mind, Return Path established the DreamFund in 2011, an employee-directed grant program to support local charities and outreach programs.

Each quarter, Return Path provides financial contributions and program assistance to support employees in making a positive impact globally and locally through grassroots initiatives — promoting social responsibility and helping individuals and communities. Return Path employees have completed projects across the globe, from helping the Tennyson Center for Children in the US, to Beanstalk in the United Kingdom.

Jacqueline Leo, Financial Analyst, and Jordan Hunt, Technical Account Manager, were awarded funds through this Dream Fund Program to support Ann’s Place. They chose to support Ann’s Place because they wanted to support the mission of helping their community members through their struggles with cancer. As volunteers, they have seen firsthand the positive impact that Ann’s Place has had on individuals and families who have been affected by cancer in some way. Ann’s Place is a unique organization that they are very proud and excited to support!

"SDRAWKCAB" Night at Ann's Place!

By Laura Donnelly, MWS, LCSW

Lynn & Shannon Stubbe

Lynn & Shannon Stubbe

If you saw people at Ann's Place with clothes on backwards and inside out they were most likely on their way to BACKWARDS Night!  Ann's Place hosted a Family Fun Night on Tuesday March 24 The theme of the evening was BACKWARDS night.  The evening began in backwards fashion with dessert first followed by dinner!  The families engaged in activities such as backwards t-shirt making, unmusical chairs, creating inside out piñatas  and a mad game of Family Feud.  A fun time was had by all but most importantly the families enjoyed spending time with each other and connecting with other families who are impacted by cancer. 

On hand volunteering was Shannon Stubbe, daughter of Ann's Place Volunteer Coordinator Lynn Stubbe.  This was a special evening for mother and daughter; Shannon along with her sister Lyla and father Doug participated in past family evenings during Lynn's own cancer treatment.  It is a special privilege for Shannon to return and to help other families relax and have a fun filled evening!  

New Clinical Program: Quilting for Beginners

Selma Kenter, an experienced quilter, has offered to teach a Quilting Class at Ann’s Place. Selma has been helping with our Festival of Trees and has donated many quilts over the years to Ann’s Place. Her quilts are always the prize submission at our Festival. She is an outstanding quilter, and we are so excited that she will be sharing her knowledge and talents with us! The quilting class will be held at Ann’s Place on Tuesdays, April 14 and 21, at 1:30 p.m. Please call and speak with a clinical staff member to register if you would like to attend the class.

Health Equity Initiative

By Catherine McGrath, Director of Development 

Our efforts continue to partner with the Multicultural Center of Danbury (Centro) to offer Ann’s Place cancer support services to a broader range of non-English speaking communities in the Greater Danbury area. We plan to seek funding to hire a part time, bilingual LCSW to be housed in a building next to CENTRO (owned by Family Child Aid). Family Child Aid has offered us space for free. We continue to partner with BI Cares, the Hispanic Federation, United Way of Western CT, and the Tribuna, as well as other local individuals who have expressed interest in helping us.

Join us on Saturday, March 14 for An Evening of Latin Dance & Entertainment to kick off the initiative! Join local latin dance duo Jay Bardalai & Laura Kara at Ann's Place for an evening of dancing, food, and other fun activities. Click here for details & to register! 

Panel Presentation Recap

Living long term with a cancer diagnosis

By Su Murdock, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

What’s it like to live long term with a cancer diagnosis? Ann’s Place recently held a training on this topic for the clinical and administrative staff of both Ann’s Place and Praxair Cancer Center. The training was in the form of a panel presentation with time for questions and answers. Speaking poignantly on all topics – financial, spiritual, physical, social and emotional, were Dr. Suz Brooks, Lola Hannah, Anne Murray and Chris Quirk. About 35 participants gathered to understand the day to day give and take of what it is like to live with this diagnosis. The feedback from this presentation was overwhelmingly positive. The panel discussion will be given again in the near future for the nursing staff and doctors at Praxair. 

Family Fun Evening to Return in March

By Laura Donnelly MSW, LCSW

A Family Fun evening is scheduled for Tuesday March 24 at Ann’s Place.  The evening will be for families with children between the ages of 5-12 who are impacted by cancer.  This will be an opportunity for families to have fun together and connect with other families who are facing the challenges of living with cancer and raising children.  Details regarding the theme of the night are coming soon!

Smarter Eating with Kim & Tim

Kim Wien and Tim Bayley are so excited collaborating with one another as they get ready to present a first-ever, comprehensive food series. So many of you expressed interest in learning how to eat smarter! Kim's 20+ years of teaching, along with her overwhelming enthusiasm to create quick, easy, healthy and delicious foods complements Tim's many years of professional education in nutritional biochemistry and plant-based nutrition as well as his passion for cooking. Together they will present a wealth of information, in various ways, and take you through the hows and whys of smarter eating.

Kim & Tim's Smarter Eating kicks off on March 26th 6:30-8PM.  To register call and speak with a clinical staff member. 

Family Evening At Ann's Place

By Laura Donnelly, MSW, LCSW

Ann’s Place hosted a fun and festive evening in December for families with young children who are impacted by cancer. It was an opportunity for families to relax and have fun together. Clinical Social Workers, Martha Shilstone and Laura Donnelly along with six teen volunteers from Brookfield High School, led the evening with games, activities, gingerbread house building and a light dinner. We are looking forward to planning more of these events for Ann’s Place families in the coming year.

 

Health Equity Initiative

By Catherine McGrath, Director of Development 

Our efforts continue to partner with the Multicultural Center of Danbury (Centro) to offer Ann’s Place cancer support services to a broader range of non-English speaking communities in the Greater Danbury area. We plan to seek funding to hire a part time, bilingual LCSW to be housed in a building next to CENTRO (owned by Family Child Aid). Family Child Aid has offered us space for free. We continue to partner with BI Cares, the Hispanic Federation, United Way of Western CT, and the Tribuna, as well as other local individuals who have expressed interest in helping us.

Join us on Saturday, March 14 for An Evening of Latin Dance & Entertainment to kick off the initiative! Join local latin dance duo Jay Bardalai & Laura Kara at Ann's Place for an evening of dancing, food, and other fun activities. Click here for details & to register!  

Smarter Eating Demo Coming to Ann's Place

Ann’s Place is excited to host Kim Wien, chef extraordinaire, and Tim Bayley, nutritional scientist, as they collaborate to present a Smarter Eating Demo At Ann’s Place. Kim will show you step by step how to prepare quick, easy, healthful and delicious snacks or meals as well as share the best places to shop and how best to store foods. Tim will offer comedic color commentary on scrumptious healthy nutrients and food chemistry, as well as provide you with a healthy foods checklist, nutrition and cancer fact sheets, and where to find free credible nutrition information.

Be on the lookout for Kim & Tim's Smarter Eating on our March calendar! Join us and take one small step in the direction of smarter eating.

Ann's Place Reaches Out to Ridgefield

At a meeting of the Ridgefield Men’s Club on September 3, Kevin Berrill, LCSW (center) and Jim Coffey MA (left) of Ann’s Place hold a certificate of appreciation from the Club’s program director, Douglas Coombs. Before a group of approximately 75 club members, Kevin discussed the impact of cancer on survivors, their loved ones, and the wider community. He also described the various programs and services that Ann’s Place offers to clients. Jim, who facilitates the Men Together support group at Ann’s Place, described the challenges faced by men with prostate cancer and ways in which members of his group provide mutual support. Forty-five men belong to Jim’s group, making it the largest support group at Ann’s Place. Following the presentation, Jim and Kevin answered questions from the audience about cancer and the work of Ann’s Place. (Photo: Chuck Rich)

Ann's Place Development Committee Established

August 2015 - Ann’s Place has established a Development Committee to review the effectiveness of present fund raising activities. The committee consists of nine members: Peggy Marconi - Chair, David Nurnberger, Wilda Hayes, Kathy Pape, Ceil Ruggles, Bethan Austin, Betty Hensal, Patty Hellrigel and Catherine McGrath. The committee meets monthly, providing regular reports and recommendations to the Board. The first meeting was held on August 5, 2014 to decide how the committee will operate, issues to be addressed, a schedule of meetings, and creating an initial report to the board. Issues to be addressed are Board giving/outreach, direct mail, major gifts, government and private grants, special events, donor contributions, etc. A Development Plan will be developed to better organize fund raising efforts.

Planting Art As Inspiration

New Arrivals in the Marian and Hans Kretsch Meditation Gardens

June 2014 - During the construction of Ann’s Place, one of oncologist Dr. Marc Rappaport’s patients, a realtor who was fighting breast cancer, spoke to him about a property she was brokering in Greenburg, New York.  An estate was being liquidated in advance of a new subdivision.  Debra Tricarico (pictured left), who was with Houlihan Lawrance in Westchester County, was being treated at Danbury Hospital.  Today she also represents Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Brookfield, CT.   “Dr. Rappaport was awesome; I could not have survived without him,” Debra says today.  

Debra also credits being a client of Ann's Place as an invaluable part of her cancer care, the services Ann's Place provided to her pulled her though her treatment phase, throughout her treatment she didn't miss a single day of work. 

Dr. Rappaport is a cancer survivor himself and has helped facilitate the Young Adults Group and make scientific presentations at Ann’s Place, including the upcoming Head and Neck Cancer Panel.  What Debra was describing to her oncologist was not simply an estate.  It was an estate with a sculpture garden, amassed over the last 50 years by Edward and Doris Rosenthal.  On the grounds was a cottage that served as a studio for Masami Kodama, a sculptor who had immigrated to America from Hiroshima, Japan in 1964.  Kodama found a patron in the Rosenthal family and produced many abstract works, which have found homes in museums, public, private and corporate collections, while others remained on the estate.  Professor Kodama also taught sculpture at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. 

With Dr. Rappaport’s encouragement, Debra approached the Rosenthal family with a recommendation.  As they were donating the remaining sculptures to cities and museums to clear the estate, Debra spoke passionately about Ann’s Place and the inspiration she and other survivors have found there.  Wouldn’t a meditative sculpture add timeless inspiration to the grounds where clients come for peace and solace on their cancer journey?  

The family was receptive to the idea and vetted the agency over the next several months to ensure that Ann’s Place was soundly run.  Debra connected the estate heirs to then agency President Wilda Hayes and Chairman Paul Dinto and site visits and discussions began, with Debra, still in chemo and actively working, as the go-between.  In the end, it was decided that two pieces would come to Ann’s Place as a gift from Jason and Nancy Rosenthal.

On Friday, June 13th, 2014, during a monsoon rainstorm, Mariano Brothers of Bethel arrived with giant rigs to plant the two granite pieces on the grounds.  Staff and clients watched in fascination as thousand of pounds of stone were lowered to the ground.  With cancer not being a stranger to their families, the company donated their services and crew for hours of careful work.  Earlier, another mover who lost his mother to cancer had donated moving and storing the pieces until the right time for installation.

It comes full circle: a caring community gives back and allows the next generation of people whose lives are interrupted by cancer to take advantage of all the resources for their journey.  Debra Tricarico and all the others involved became part of that circle of paying it forward.  The circle concept is appropriately echoed in both of the Kodama sculptures that now grace the grounds at Ann’s Place.

Boehringer Ingelheim United Way Day of Caring

July 2014 - On July 30, 2014 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 40 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 new stone dust paths, several stone garden beds, completed much needed weeding, and the installation of a garden box around our sign!  

This is the sixth 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.