DiVirgilio Charity Gala
An Open Invitation!
All profits go to support our U.S. veterans.
Enjoy a night of fun and fine dining right at Double Tree in Bristol CT. This is a charitable event open to the general public for the benefit of our U.S. veterans. The event is being hosted by the Dan DiVirgilio Agency, LLC Farmers Insurance.
★ Live Dinner Theater Show by AspenDreamProductions
★ Come Dressed up Like Your Favorite Mobster!
★ Fine dining by Double Tree
★ Silent Auction featuring items donated by local organizations & Raffel Tickets for anyone who attends!
★ Photo Wall commemorating local veterans.
★ Special Guest Celebrity look-a-like!
About the Live Dinner Theater!
“It’s a complete night of entertainment. You’ll dance, dine, and become part of the family”, said Janice Luise-Lutkus, Founder and Executive Director of AspenDream Productions™. Celebrating its 20th, smash hit, ‘For Better & For Worse’ is an enormously entertaining audience-participation dinner theatre show. AspenDream Production™ shows and murder mysteries have appeared in 72 cities throughout New England and performed for over 20,000 guests.
'For Better & For Worse’ is unpredictable and spontaneous. Prepare to immerse yourself in an interactive theatre experience that takes all the elements of a typical over-the-top Italian American wedding and exaggerates them with hilarious results.
“We're very excited to be doing our production for this fantastic organization. The Dan DiVirgilio Agency, LLC has touched many lives and we hope people will come out and support this cause.”
For more information about Apen Dream Productions, LLC, please visit them at aspendreamproductions.com
Meet the ADP Cast
Dan DiVirgilio as Uncle Franco!
The ladies of ADP
Sponsor the Veteran in Your Life
There will be a wall set up to feature 5”by5” photos of local veterans. If you would like us to showcase the veteran in your life, please submit their photo to our media coordinator Derek Clark using THIS LINK.
There are no fees to submit a photo and you do not even have to be attending the event. But, if you would like us to showcase a larger 10 1/5” by 11” photo of your veteran, please select “Donate - Feature the Veteran in your Life with a Large Photo” and for $20 they will have a large photo on the display wall.
About Our Surprise Guest
Connecticut's very own professional Mariah Carey celebrity look-alike for over 20+, Laura Pasqualoni! Please visit my website: laurasmariah.com
Laura Pasqualoni | laurasmariah.com
For more information please contact Dan DiVirgilio:
EMAIL [email protected]
1460 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike Plantsville, CT 06479
The Essex Community Fund presents the 1st Annual Cheers for Charity Beerfest. Local and unique craft breweries, homebrewers, cider companies, and vineyards will be on tap for tastings INSIDE the Oliver Jensen Gallery and River Valley Junction Hall at the Essex Steam Train.
Choose between the VIP Experience, led by Craft Beer Institute Certified Cicerone and Penny Lane Pub owner, Alex Foulkes, or General Admission tickets.
The VIP Experience kicks off at 12:00pm and ends at 1:00pm, with the option to stay until 4:00pm. Hors d'oeuvres will be served for VIPs. A Cheers for Charity Beerfest T-shirt is included in your purchase.
General Admission opens at 1:00pm and ends at 4:00pm.
Ted's Restaurant's food truck will be serving up and selling their world famous steamed cheeseburgers, fries and more. The Drunken Baker will be selling delicious, brew-infused baked treats. Other snacks will be available for purchase as well.
'Take-a-Chance" raffles and Cheers for Charity Beerfest T-shirts are available for cash purchases.
Come play the newest backyard game, SpinnerBall, inside while sampling the craft brews. Corn hole too!
Join ECF along with Allison Kaufman @ Morning Mojo/WCNI, iCRV Radio along with other local organizations for this special fundraiser.
The Essex Community Fund, a 501 (c)(3) organization, has served the Essex community since 1949. 100% of all ticket, donation and T-shirt sales are granted to local non-profits that serve the residents of Essex.
A huge thank you to all our participating breweries! Check back for more additions!
Angelini Wine, LTD: Centerbrook
30 Mile Brewing Company: Old Saybrook
Epicure Brewing: Norwich
Stony Creek Brewery: Branford
Thimble Island Brewing Company: Branford
Twelve Percent Beer Project: Branford
Outer Light Brewing Company: Groton
Willimantic Brewing Company: Willimantic
Steady Habit Brewing Company: Haddam
Collesi's Artisan Beer, Centerbrook
Yankee Cider Company: East Haddam
These Guys Brewing Company: Norwich
Docs Hill Brewing, Westbrook
Shallow Seas Brewing Company, New Haven
Essex Wine and Spirits, Essex presents Allagash-Maine, Black Berry Farm-Tennesse, Cascade-Oregon, Captain Lawrence-New York
F&F Distributors Inc. presents Connecticut Valley-South Windsor, Soundview-Old Lyme and much more!
A huge thank you to our corporate sponsors! Check back for more additions!
Page Taft Christie's International Real Estate
The Clark Group
David F. LaMay, CFP @ Essex Financial
Prints by Moe
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Yes. Attendees MUST be 21 years of age or older.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
On-site parking is available at 1 Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT 06426.
The 9 Town Transit system is available at: www.estuarytransit.org or 860-510-0429
The Essex Taxi Service is available at: www.essextaxict.com or 860-767-7433
Uber and Lyft are varied. You may experience longer than normal wait times or unavailable rides.
What can I bring into the event?
Your proof of age with photo ID (state-issued, Driver's License, state-issued, Non-Driver ID cards or Passport are acceptable).
Cash for on-site food purchases and "Take-A-Chance" raffles.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
What's the refund policy?
All sales are final. 100% of the ticket sales are granted to local non-profits that serve the residents of Essex. Ticket purchases are partially tax-deductible.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Bring either the printed ticket or the one provided on your SmartPhone. Feel free to download the EventBrite app....along with proof of age with a photo ID.
Can I update my registration information?
April 19, 2018 is the 10 year mark of the heartbreaking tragedy of my brother William M. Burruss AKA ILL WILL's death. Since that tragic day in New Haven ten years ago, 500,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns. We urge you to join us in our effort to continue to shine a light on the devastating epidemic of gun violence in our nation.
Gun violence impacts all of our communities and the victims, survivors and the families impacted by gun violence are often forgotten.
The William M. Burruss Keep Me Alive Spring Charity Event is being held on April 21, 2018 from 3:00-7:30 PM at the Bijou Theatre on Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport, CT. We will be joined by William M. Burruss' family, special guests, vendors, fashion show, spoken word, and performers. We encourage you to reserve your seat here !!!!
All proceeds and donations will go to the William M. Burruss Scholarship Fund for kids who lost their parents to gun violence.
Live performance by STUDIO 203
Title: The “No Martyrs” Zone
Location: 24 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06510 (Crepes Choupette, see below for more details)
Date: February 8th, March 8th, April 12th, and May 10th
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
How much longer are you going to hide from what you know you’re meant to do? Making a difference isn’t about sacrificing yourself. This conversation is about the paradox that the more hardship and struggle you insist on inflicting on yourself in your new venture, the less likely you are to make a sustainable impact on the cause or idea you are committed to.
This is one of 4 sessions in the (un)stuck Series. Join us for one or all of these conversations about transitioning from Work as a have-to-do to Work as a way to use your life for something greater than yourself. There is no fee to attend, but advance registration is required.
Check out UofNext.com for details on the other events.
More Location Details: Crepes Choupette is hosting us for this event. The restaurant closes at 6pm, but they will keep the doors open for the social impact attendees. Their awesome staff will provide a menu to purchase food and drinks during the extended hours.
Managing Stress and Building Connections for Success: Three Day Stress Reduction Wellness Course for Helping Professionals
We live in a complex and changing world with increasing demands and expectations of mental healthprofessionals. It is widely recognized that mental health professionals make a key difference in the lives of others. They put other’s needs before their own; hence they become vulnerable to everyday stresses.
We know they are passionate about their work still, they are stressing out, burning out, and turning over in their jobs at alarming rates. Every day, science reveals more about the impact of stress on one’s lives as a primary cause of illness, low performance, depression, and reduced efficacy.
Transform your daily experience by equiping yourself to manage your stress, energy, and emotions better
Perform better when your energy is renewed, stress is reduced, and the mind is refreshed
➢ Unique rhythmic breathing technique - Sudarshan Kriya (SKY)
➢ Revitalizing mind-body relaxation techniques that increase energy and recharge body and mind
➢ Practical knowledge and life skills to reduce counterproductive activities & enhance leadership ability
➢ Interactive processes to improve interpersonal relationships, group management, and foster team spirit
➢ Easy take-home practice and weekly follow-up
What is SKY?
SKY is rhythmic breathing based meditation that has been reported to bring immediate positive shifts in one’s energy, clarity, and state of mind. Breathing meditation settles the mind into deep meditation byusing the breath’s built-in ability to quiet the mind easily and naturally, so you slip into deep meditation without thinking about it. You don’t have to focus, clear your mind or watch your thoughts.
➢ Easy to learn technique without extensive training
➢ Physiological shift to calmer & less stressed body physiology
➢ Increased awareness and mental clarity
➢ Evidence supported – in clinical trials & participant surveys
➢ Improved ability to connect
➢ Immediate stress relieving and calming effect
➢ Mastery of stress management and emotional regulation
➢ Enhanced workplace performance
➢ Job satisfaction and overall well being
Date: February 23-25, 2018
Timing: Friday, Feb 23, 2018 : 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM Saturday & Sunday, Feb 24 & 25, 2018: 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Venue: Yale Child Study, Cohen Auditorium, 230 Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06511
Fee: Early bird through Feb 19, 2018
Regular - $150 Student - $100 Repeater* - $30
After Feb 19, 2018:
Regular - $225 Student - $150 Repeater* - $50
*Anyone who has completed a SKY Meditation Course, Happineess Program or YESPlus will qualify as a repeater for this course. Pleae contact us if you have additional questions at 860-759-0400.
This February 24th PHYSICAL event is postponed.
This ONLINE fundraiser is still happening.
I originally wanted to do a physical fundraiser for these 3 non-profit organizations to give back on my 50th Birthday on and for the date February 24th. The necessary elements did not align at this time, and so, this event is physically postponed. I am sorry for any inconvenience and want you to know that I do not take anyone’s time and sincerity lightly. This ONLINE fundraiser is still happening in honor of these foster kids’ positive future and for their love of film, television and entertainment development for making movies for and by kids.
Please, In lieu of birthday gifts, I would love if you would donate to their repective web sites (See details and links below.). Please contact [email protected] for any further, necessary details. The kids thank you and we all appreciate your contribution in making a difference for them. 100% of your donation(s) go to your selected non-profit(s). Thank you so much.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT:
Bill Duke, Sharon Jimenez, Tige Charity, Bob Jimenez, Gary Visconti, Gina Felix Goldman, Claudia Wells, Patrick Kilpatrick, Massi Furlan, Peter Kwong, Antonio Charity, Jennifer Durst, Sebastian Siegel, Maria Russell, Gregory Douglass, Douyé, Jackson Gillies, Connie Gillies, Ron Tryon, Jennifer Fernandez and Kids in the Spotlight Team, Christian Iles, Isabell Rossignol, Lisa Bianchi, Jose Rojas, Gretchen Nordham, Preston Smith, Tess Lutham, Christine Peake, Sandra Hamilton, Thomas Hamilton, Teresa Lowe, Rae Whitney, Sheri Pedigo, Jake Mast, Sheri Marsh, Dennis Burkhart, Ron Servidio, Kathy Servidio, Melissa Mcavoy, Debbie Hobday, Marcy Feldman, Mary Lou and Justin Sandler, and these businesses:
Film Advisory Board, Calabasas Style Magazine, Flicks4Change Film Festival, Celebrity Society Magazine, Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not! Hollywood, Hollywood Swag Bag, See Beyond Magazine, EdNet Career Institute, International Magician Michael Grandinetti, Music Producer Paul McDonald, Musician Gregory Douglass, Jazz Singer Douye’, International Singer/Actor Maria Elena Infantino, Impeccable Catering, Food Share, RMS Printing, Hamilton Private Security, International 3D Chalk Artist Tracy Lee Stum, Cocktails for a Cause, Creative Charity Auctions, Unique Auction Items, Have Mercy Wellness, Florentyna's Flowers, LiMor Cakes, and 21 + Video Productions, GroundHob Audio, and to so many more who care. Thank you again. Cheers.
You can donate to these non-profit organizations that support youth development here or at their respective web sites anytime. FYI:
Kids in the Spotlight, Inc. (KITS) was established in 2009 by Founder and Executive Director Tige Charity. KITS provides a platform for foster youth to tell their stories, their way, by writing, casting, and starring in their own short films. The training culminates into an annual film screening and awards celebration where “Movies by Kids” are presented and awarded publicly. KITS screenplays are registered with Writers Guild of America, West, which issues each student a certificate for their registered script. All KITS programs are offered free-of-charge to kids and solely rely on, and is supported by, sponsors, grants, and donations. It also provides a safe haven for kids to express themselves and encourages more positive teamwork, creativity and discipline, that results in building their self-esteem and their sense of accomplishment.
Kids in the Spotlight / www.KitsInc.org major press:
Ty Burrell was just on The Ellen Show (Nov. 2017) to discuss Kids in the Spotlight
ABC7 – Kids in the Spotlight Goes to the White House
KABC7, LATimes, LA Opinion,
Jimmy Kimmel Live - Kids in the Spotlight
Sneak Peak on Entertainment Tonight - CBS
Extra - NBC
Wire Image photos:
KITS Sizzle Video:
Along with the Kids in the Spotlight, Bill Duke’s Duke Media Foundation prepares youth by exposing them to specific film, media, and financial literacy tools, helping and enabling them to compete, survive and thrive in film and television. Bill Duke is an actor, director, producer, writer, and humanitarian dedicated to bringing quality edutainment to audiences around the world. He was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to the National Endowment of Humanities and has been honored by the Directors Guild of America with a Lifetime Achievement Tribute. DukeMediaFoundation.org and http://www.dukemediafoundation.org/press.html
And Sharon Jimenez is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF), a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that fights for jobs and for increasing tax incentives for the creative economy. BHHF works to stop job outsourcing and to bring film, TV, music production and post production back to California. Jimenez states, “This fundraiser is all about giving and teaching kids the skills they need to build the entertainment studios of tomorrow, today.”
BringHollywoodHome.org Foundation’s (BHHF) Mission, a 501 (C)(4) Non-Profit Public Policy Leadership Organization, is to bring jobs back to California (CA), with fair and equal tax credits, that support independent productions for film and TV and businesses whose success depends on the economic growth of the entertainment industry. Milestones include:
Established 2010 – After the first California tax credits were passed, which excluded most independent productions, we knew something was wrong in Sacramento. Independent small and medium sized productions were being job outsourced because they had no real lobby/public policy activists to support them. Sharon Jimenez (public policy expert, publicist in two presidential races in 2004 & 2008, policy advocate for gerrymandering reform 2005 & 2011, publicist for Elected LA Charter Reform Commission and Measure H for Hollywood & Valley improved leadership) created BHHF, a 501 (C)(4) non-profit organization to advocate for film, TV, new media and music production and post production jobs.
2011 – BHHF endures attacks from status quo leadership and major media who are protective of job outsourcing. Job outsourcing is a source of increased profits to a struggling movie and TV industry, trying to stay competitive, by moving to states and countries willing to give more lucrative business support to production and post production jobs.
2012 – First BHHF events launched to coalition build and spread the word. BHHF Advisory Board Member, Tracy Saunders of Artisfactions.com Ad Agency, holds a celebrity arts fundraiser supporting Bring Hollywood Home Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club and veterans.
2013 – BHHF endorses Mayor of Los Angeles and crucial LA City Council Seats, shaping a new debate emphasizing the need to save the creative economy. BHHF holds first news conference advocating for a private CA Film Fund with state supported tax credit incentives.
2014 – BHHF introduce first CA State Legislation AB #1780, lifting the cap on tax credits and expanding access to tax credits to small & medium sized businesses. Gained approval, passing through two committees, finally stopped from going to the floor for debate against AB #1839, the studio led tax credit incentive legislation. BHHF supported AB #1839 urging amendments.
2015 – BHHF events and press releases continue to coalition build and raise awareness of job outsourcing and the need for greater CA tax credits.
2016 – BHHF pursue meetings with key lawmakers who have supported tax credits for studio productions to amend AB #1839, research diversity in Hollywood, UCLA, USC studies, coalition build with women & minority led productions, join civil rights leadership to challenge state, county and local legislation for better business models, transparency and equal access to bring jobs back to CA. New Roads School’s Paul Cummins and the Coalition for Engaged Education support BHHF’s event as 150 advocates raise awareness of job outsourcing and the need for CA tax credits.
2017 – BHHF’s Bob Jimenez writes and sends legislation to Sacramento lawmakers for review that would make CA competitive with other states and would create an independent film fund and film commission. Independent productions sized up to $10 Million worth would benefit. BHHF event at Harvelle’s raises awareness of job outsourcing and for more fair and equal tax incentives for independent filmmakers. Let’s BringHollywoodHome.org.
SAVE THE DATE!
What: 4th ANNUAL SWING INTO SPRING EVENT - COMEDY NIGHT!
Date: Saturday, April 21st, 2018
Time: Doors Open at 530pm (Full Cash Bar / Sampling Buffet) / Show Starts at 7pm
Why: Proceeds to benefit Spring Reins of Life 501c3 (Horses serving veterans & youth in NJ)
Who: Comedians - Dustin Chafin, Bill Chiang, Mark Riccadonna, Marc Kaye, Buddy Harris & Mike DiAlto (MC Darren Ventre)
Flemington, NJ --- This winter has been so cold we are all ready to welcome Spring 2018! Join us with a fun time of COMEDY, DINNER & DESSERT! On Saturday, April 21st from 530pm-10pm (ish) at The Flemington Elks Lodge there will be an evening of food, drink and funnymen at the 4th Annual Swing Into Spring event which benefits central NJ nonprofit Spring Reins of Life. Headliner this year is Dustin Chafin, featured is Bill Chiang along with Marc Kaye, Mark Riccadonna, Buddy Harris and Mike DiAlto! Ticket includes sampling buffet, dessert and hours of fun with a full service cash bar all night. There will be lots of prizes and lucky chances for you to win while supporting the cause of helping veteran & youth trauma survivors in New Jersey to find trust and personalized coping skills from a special Herd of horses. For detailed information on the performers – see bio listings below.
The Three Bridges based nonprofit, Spring Reins of Life (SRoL) will utilize the funding raised at Comedy, Dinner & Dessert to provide EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) group therapy sessions for moderate to severe trauma survivors, namely: at-risk/high-risk youth teens, PTSD veterans and bereaved children by way of the horse. SRoL has found that the majority of trauma survivors either does not want, or simply cannot “talk about it” and so utilizing an un-mounted EAP approach can go a long way to establishing trust, finding personal coping skills and present moment without saying anything! Tickets are $35.00 with the option to add additional donation. If you cannot attend please consider making a tax deductible donation for any amount on this event checkout.
SRoL provides EAP services under the EAGALA Model certified program and since there is no riding involved it is not necessary to have any prior horse experience to achieve results - in fact most of SRoL clients have never been in contact with a horse before. The horses provide immediate ‘present moment’, a space of peace, a natural environment to build trust, and due to their size / power coping and resiliency skills which create pathways for more of the same. Sir Winston Churchill may have said it best in the quote “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”.
The EAGALA Model has seen a massive growth rate of over 400% in the last 3 years. EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) has certified programs in all 50 United States and over 50 countries offering an acute intervention based and solution focused therapeutic model for an extremely wide array of mental health issues. SRoL is proudly a certified EAGALA program since 2012 serving 1000’s of trauma survivors, additionally SRoL is one of 17 programs in the USA to earn “Military Service Provider” certification (first in NJ since 2014).
In 2010 RAND Report posted that 22+ veterans commit suicide everyday – this number was based on 30% of states reporting and this was 5 years ago. New Jersey has a high population of veterans from OIF, OEF and Vietnam – we need to see an intervention that will save lives, today not tomorrow. SRoL’s Operation Horse is designed specifically for combat veterans who are struggling with PTSD, here is a short video that illustrates why horses Veterans-Operation Horse by UpWorthy SRoL currently works with Lyons VA Hospital’s PTSD Units on a regular ongoing basis and is in constant need of funding for this population.
On The numbers of inner city teens that are in trouble with the law and involved in gang violence is at an all-time high, yet we see positive behavior changes while in the EAP arena in as little as one group session. The tactics that work on the street will not work with a 1000 pound horse, so other (more positive) skills are developed to be successful. Horses do not care if you if you are a dropout or can spell, they care about the truth of who you are being. Young children who have suffered a loss close to them are grieving just as much as the older family members but without the vocabulary and life experience to draw upon, expressing their feelings can be difficult and frustrating. SRoL recently began an alliance with Good Grief Princeton called Pony Pals and we are ready to go once we raise just under $9,000 to cover these costs in 2018.
EAP has seen a growing trend for people who are suffering from mental / emotional issues - the horses provide a way to explore their feelings and emotions with honest, nonjudgmental feedback and reactions that allow the participant to decide if the outcome was favorable or not. If you are curious to learn more about this form of therapy contact Spring Reins of Life at [email protected] Annually on the first Sunday in June there is an Open House/Demo where the public can come and meet the Herd and see what EAP is about. This year’s Open House is on Sunday, June 3rd from 12-3pm. “The elusive answers to life’s most difficult and complex challenges come to the surface from within by accepting guidance from…a Horse!”
ABOUT Dustin Chafin (Headliner) Since Chafin first grasped the microphone, he has been very busy. He has been featured in the New York Underground Comedy Festival and Hosted The Bill Hicks Tribute Show at the Laugh Factory. Dustin has been featured in the Chicago and Las Vegas comedy festivals where he won “Best of Fest.” Chafin headlines regularly at premiere NYC venues such as Caroline’s on Broadway, Comic Strip Live, Broadway Comedy Club, Dangerfields and Standup NY. He is the creator of “Uncensored Comedy,” a critically acclaimed show that runs weekends in New York City and nationally on tour becoming the staple of the award-winning Greenwich Village Comedy Club. Chafin has toured with the USO to perform in Korea, Japan, Africa and Iraq. He has been a staff writer for the Sci-Fi Channel, and contributing writer for many television shows. Dustin is a regular on Sirius and XM Satellite Radio—he has been featured on Jim Breuer Unleashed, Court TV Radio, Blue Collar Radio, Howard Stern radio, Howard Demand, Insight Channel and Raw Dog. He was also featured on ABC’s special coverage of the New York Comedy Festival. Dustin brought down the house on Showtime's White Boyz in the Hood. Dustin has also been a writer, producer for United Stations Radio and iHeart radio. He will be playing himself in an upcoming episode of Crashing on HBO new series created by Judd Apatow. "Stop Telling People That" his new album released on Comedy Records is available on iTunes. www.DustinChafin.com
ABOUT Bill Chiang (Feature) An immigrant with a traditional Asian background, stand-up comedy is probably the last thing people would have predicted for Bill. In fact, even he doesn’t believe it. Out of curiosity, he tried one night in 2005 and since then, he has quickly become regular in clubs across the East Coast. Bill’s source for comedy comes from the absurdity and silliness of everyday life. Unique views on sex, TV and stories about growing up as an Asian immigrant in NYC makes him a crowd favorite in clubs and benefits. Bill is a comedy competition winner in NYC, has been featured on Comcast On-Demand and has played in historic comedy venues such as the New York Comedy Club, The Comic Strip, Catch a Rising Star and the Comedy Cabaret in Philadelphia.
ABOUT Mark Riccadonna (Feature) Mark Riccadonna grew up an artsy jock outside of Youngstown, Ohio. At age 17 (like a bad independent movie), Mark moved to NYC in search of himself and happiness. He pursued Theatre at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, joining "The Company" after graduation. Soon after, Mark stumbled upon Stand-Up Comedy and found success as a storyteller, performing throughout New York City, and 'on the road'. Mark currently also performs for Armed Forces Entertainment and has entertained U.S. and U.N. Troops worldwide, performing in six continents while working with his childhood heroes. Outside of comedy, Mark is an accomplished actor and writer. Most recently Mark has a lead role in the feature film "Days of Power" and is writing for Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. Whether he is working with The Amoralists Theatre Company (In the acclaimed hit "Happy in the Poor House"), Angry Shih Tzu Productions or on tour with Stand-Up, Mark continues to climb the ranks. He is a gifted storyteller, with a charisma that makes you feel like you’ve known him forever, unique delivery, signature voice (featured in many commercials) and likability; you will see why he is a favorite at clubs and theatres everywhere. www.MarkRiccadonna.com
ABOUT Marc Kaye (Opener) Marc Kaye has been a regular on the comedy circuit spinning tales of growing up differently, navigating fatherhood, divorce, strange looks while traveling and even stranger thoughts when not distracted! Marc has performed in clubs from CT through Washington, DC on the East Coast and nationally, as well, often finding that there are no real regional differences that can’t be overcome when it comes to humor. An avid writer and musician, Marc has also developed several scripts, three web series, authored numerous articles and written for Fortune 100 companies. https://www.facebook.com/marc.kaye.5
ABOUT Buddy Harris (Opener) After being inspired by his 6yr old daughter to get off his butt and chase his dreams, Buddy Harris jumped head first into the comedy circuit. Performing up and down the coast, Buddy bases his comedy on life experiences. Being a divorced, father of 3 daughters, he has plenty of experiences to talk about. http://facebook.com/buddy.harris.comedy
ABOUT Mike DiAlto (Opener) Mike DiAlto is a comedian who has been preforming all over the U.S. for the last 7 years. Originally from Staten Island, NY Mike and his family moved to New Hope, PA in the late 90's giving him a wit that is both city grown and country bound. He's made many stops from bar shows in L.A. to fire houses in New Jersey to some of the biggest clubs in NYC and on the east coast. His wild style on stage keeps every show fun and captivating. Mike also he has a long running monthly show at the legendary rock club John and Peters in New Hope, PA. www.facebook.com/mikedialto
ABOUT Spring Reins of Life, 501c3 Spring Reins of Life (Horses, Humans & Healing) is a 501c3 nonprofit public charity offering Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to trauma survivors in New Jersey, NYC and Eastern PA. Spring Reins of Life (SRoL) was founded in 2012 and is dedicated to serving PTSD veterans & their families, at-risk/high- risk youth and children in bereavement. In 2014 SRoL became the first and still currently the only program in New Jersey to earn the “Military Services Provider Certificate”. SRoL’s clients include: Lyons VA Hospital, Lakewood Vet Center, Bonnie Brae, Misunderstood Youth Development Center, New City Kids, Hunterdon Youth Services, NJJJC, NJTS and Good Grief Princeton. EAP services are offered under the EAGALA Model adhering to code of ethics and HIPAA compliancy. SRoL is a volunteer run organization allowing the majority of all funding to be spent on programming costs and providing as many groups offerings as possible. Public/private funding is both necessary and greatly appreciated; all donations are fully tax deductible. Have skills? Offer to volunteer! www.SpringReinsofLife.org
Great Gardens of Cornwall
Date: Sunday 17th June - Thursday 21st June 2018 (5 Days, 4 nights)
Depart 8am from Coolings
Price: Prices from £959 per person
(If booked before 24th December 2017 including Early Bird Booking Discount + 10% Coolings Family Discount)
Single Person Supplement £320
A Payment plan applies to this holiday if booked before 24th December 2017
The retail price after 24th December 2017 is £1,199
Readers will remember we visited Cornwall to see the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan last year.
Those of you who chose to come will recall the luxury of the superb Carlyon Bay Hotel where we were utterly spoiled in what most of us believe is a five-star hotel pretending to be a four-star hotel!
For this break we return for more pampering and pleasure to this lovely hotel and spa/golf course, in between our forays out into the wilds of Cornwall and its garden treasures.
At the time of writing, the gardens are still fully tied up with their 2017 season and are still to finalise their 2018 programmes, so it may be necessary to vary the days we see some of the gardens below. But hopefully all will fall into our timetable without difficulty!
Many of these gardens are hilly, so you will need to be reasonably comfortable with slopes and steps, to enter and enjoy all the gardens we will be visiting.
We depart Coolings at 8am and head southwards on our luxurious coach, with frequent stops to stretch our legs.
On the way south we aim to squeeze in a visit to Mount Edgcumbe Gardens opposite Plymouth. Entry to these fantastic gardens is free, and our visit is dependent on making good time as we travel through the day.
Finally, we aim to arrive at the hotel at around 6pm, hopefully a little earlier.
One of the joys of Cornwall is that nothing opens until 10am, and so we can have a leisurely breakfast and depart at a comfortable hour on each day we are staying in the County!
Our first visit of the day will be to Trewidden Garden, right down near the very end of the peninsula.
This garden has a rich horticultural and industrial past where you can experience the truly remarkable stand of tree ferns, set within ancient tin workings, and said to be the finest in the Northern Hemisphere.
Find Champion Magnolias, a venerable old Jelly Palm, and an extensive collection of Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas all within a mature woodland setting.
The Walled Garden has mixed borders to provide a riot of colour for the summer months, with ancient tin smelting kettles used as water features. Unusual, rare and exotic plants plus specimens new to cultivation provide a wide range of interest for visitors and garden enthusiasts alike!
Moving on from this treasure we next go to visit Bonython, situated on the Lizard Peninsula and close to the mainland’s most southerly point!
The manor house strikes a dramatic sea-facing pose, its grand façade dating back to the 1780s. Since new South African owners took over in 1999, a modern and exotic horticultural twist has brought Bonython to the attention of the keen plant brigades.
Explore the South African roots beneath the scorching display of ornamental grasses, cannas and proteas that bring one of the three lakes into a froth of colour throughout August and September. But rainbows don’t stop here. Herbaceous borders of the walled garden are lined with alliums, catmint and carefully selected varieties that enhance blue, purple, yellow and white colour themes. Even the herb garden has been sprinkled with ‘picking flowers’ to infuse it with vibrant pink and burgundy hues.
The array of species is enough to whet any garden-lover’s appetite, especially when it’s served up with a jaw-dropping view that stretches over the orchard of Cornish apple trees towards the swan-scattered Lake Joy. And a joy it really is, for a wander back through the woodland walk, or a meander through the tree fern and rhododendron dell can be described as nothing less.
Indulge in the enchanting atmosphere of what was a traditional garden, and has now been passionately infused with innovative planting to become one of the most interesting gardens in the southwest.
Our first treasure today is another famous name, Trebah, a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop; the result of 175 years of inspired and dedicated creation.
Discover the magic of this beautiful valley garden, explore under canopies bursting with exotic blooms and follow vibrant tunnels of colour that cascade down to our very own secluded beach on the Helford River.
Trebah offers visitors a year round experience. In spring, Trebah comes alive with a colourful array of 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias; in summer, the giant gunnera is a must see for young and old. In autumn, Hydrangea Valley casts clouds of china blue and soft white across Mallard Pond, and in winter, the spectacular champion trees dominate the landscape, whilst plants from the southern hemisphere flower.
The history of Trebah is a fascinating tale, from its creation by Charles Fox, part of the Fox family of Falmouth whose influence on Cornish gardens is well documented, to the second world war, when Trebah’s beach was an embarkation point for the 29th US Infantry Division destined for the assault landing on Omaha beach.
Between 1961 and 1971 Trebah was owned by the racing driver and car designer Donald Healey, who removed most of the concrete from the beach, built the boathouse and restored the ponds. In 1981, Trebah was bought by Major Hibbert and his wife Eira, who continued a programme of restoration, and in 1990 the Hibberts donated the house and garden to the Trebah Garden Trust, a registered charity.
If we can tear ourselves away from this superb paradise we’ll head to the superb Lamorran Situated on the Roseland Peninsula, this sub-tropical Italianate garden of many levels is built on a south facing slope. It is surrounded by water on three sides, and with St Anthony’s Head across the estuary, creates a protected inlet to St Mawes and the river beyond, as well as a lovely view. . These unique conditions mean that the garden remains frost free in all but the most serious of winters; the last recorded frost being in 1987. A wide range of plants from all over the world is therefore able to be grown, resulting in something of a plantsperson’s paradise. An extensive, eclectic and unusual range of plants can be found, with particular emphasis on southern hemisphere and sub-tropical flora.
It’s a plant person’s paradise with emphasis on plants from the Southern Hemisphere, and is divided into compartments and levels ensuring a sense of adventure while you seek out the hidden treasures.
Our first stop of the day will be Trewithen.
Enjoying the warmth of the Gulf Stream, these magical Cornish gardens are home to a wealth of the most exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees in the British Isles.
The creative genius of the early 19th century Cornish garden owners, and their hunger and passion for exotica, led them to sponsor the great Victorian plant hunting expeditions. The seeds and plants which they brought back from all over the world helped create these unique examples of wild and magnificent living theatre.
A beautiful place to visit, there is something to discover at every turn of Trewithen’s level gravelled pathways. Champion Trees, rare shrubs, exotic fern collections, woodland glades, wildflowers and the longest lawn in Cornwall – just some of the features of a truly beautiful place that visitors say is both inspiring and relaxing.
There are viewing platforms so you can get up close to the floral canopy, a rare camera obscura and a sycamore avenue.
Moving along from this triumph our next stop will be Marsh Villa Gardens.
This magical 3-acre water and woodland garden lies in a former tidal creek and is rich in variety and conservational significance. With the first plantings in 1988, the garden is well established, boasting extensive herbaceous borders and mixed beds, amongst a charming network of waterways which drain the Treesmill marsh levels.
A hornbeam avenue forms a central axis whilst meandering paths lead from one ‘room’ to the next ‒ to the large natural pond, the formal enclosed garden, the small woodland areas with under plantings, the boscage and the marsh ‒ whilst plenty of comfortable corners provide opportunities for enjoying the peace.
The Square Garden is glorious in early summer, with roses and clematis smothering the diamond-shaped pergola, and there are convenient seats where you can rest. Herbaceous borders are packed with colour, and there is an extensive collection of shrubs and mature trees.
Sit quietly in the large summer house overlooking the pond and you may see a kingfisher!
The 14-acre marsh itself is largely impassable but there is a path through a small section for you to enjoy a truly natural walk ‒ a walk where once the tide brought Daphne du Maurier's characters up the creek to the House on the Strand.
We say goodbye to our lodgings and hope we haven’t put on too much weight as a result of the sumptuous food, before we make our way to our last proposed visit, Tregrehan.
Tucked into St Austell Bay, Tregrehan has an enviable location for a woodland garden. Cornwall’s atmospheric rainforest is sheltered by higher ground, gets adequate rainfall and has the mild Gulf Stream less than a mile away.. Towering conifers from the early Victorian Plant Hunters, combined with botanically important recent planting, has encouraged over 150 trees to reach champion status in the UK.
This family run non-commercial setting is a delight on open days, or any time by appointment. In airy contrast the old grain mill, walled garden, and magnificent glasshouse range is a wonderful space just to relax and unwind.
After this casual and relaxed last visit we will wind our way, with regular stops, back home with the aim of reaching Coolings at around 7pm, subject to traffic.
You will receive an email confirmation from Eventbrite our online booking system provider. This email is only confirmation. Your tickets will be sent to you within 28 days before you depart for your holiday.
Trip Specific Information:
1. It is recommended you have adequate travel insurance to cover the duration of the trip
This trip will depart at 8am from Coolings Garden Centre, we suggest you arrive 15 minutes early to allow time for parking. Within our car park there will be a designated area for you to park. Please follow the signage on the day.The trip will return at approximately 7pm, but please be aware this time is approximate and can be subject to change dependant on traffic and circumstances beyond our control.
Coolings always use the finest quality coaches and all but the very smallest vehicles are fitted with toilets and we also aim to stop roughly every 90 minutes to stretch your legs and refresh ourselves.
A member of the Coolings team will be present throughout your excursion to assist you and be on hand should you have any questions or concerns.
You can make full payment for this holiday (per person) at the time of booking by phone or take advantage of a deferred payment period (see below)
Deposit / Deferred Payment
If you wish to defer payment for some of this holiday (per person) you may do so.
A third of the ticket price (per person) is due as deposit to confirm your booking. A further third, 2nd payment (per person) is due by 28th February 2018. The final third, 3rd payment is due one month prior to departure by 17th May 2018. All future payments should not be made via Eventbrite and can be made by calling Coolings on 01959 532269.
A full payment schedule will be sent to you after booking confirmation has been received. If you have any questions concerning our deferred payment process please contact us on tel: 01959 532269.
Am I only able to now book online for events / excursions with Coolings?
Our online ticket system is by far the easiest way for the majority of our customers to make a booking. However we are still happy to receive phone booking at Coolings Garden Centre on 01959 532269 (payment can be made preferably by credit / debit card over the phone / cheque in the post).
Alternatively you may still visit Coolings Garden Centre in person and make a booking at our customer service desk located in the main shop. If making a booking in person at Coolings you can pay by credit / debit card, cheque or cash.
If paying by cheque for any event / excursion this is only available up until 10 days prior to the event / excursion taking place. If you are booking less than 10 days prior to the event payment must be made by one of the alternative methods.
I am have a Coolings Family Card, can I use it?
Coolings Family can be used for this excursion. To use your card please enter your card number into the 'Enter Promotional Code' box when selecting your tickets. This is the full 11 digit cardholder number.
What if I have some specific requirements that are not listed here?
Please contact Coolings Garden Centre on 01959 532269 or alternatively email us on [email protected] to discuss your requirements and as always we will do our best to accomodate them.
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please contact Coolings Garden Centre on 01959 532269 or alternatively email us on [email protected]
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
You may transfer your ticket to someone else, but we must receive confirmation of this 48 hours before the event / excursion. For some holidays you may not be able to transfer your booking with less than 7 days notice.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Yes a printed ticket must be brought to the event. Although our ticket provider 'Eventbrite' does offer electronic tickets mobile reception at Coolings is often limited so this may mean you are unable to recall your ticket on site. We do hold a record of all attendees to any event / excursion/ holiday, but if you do not have your ticket this will cause you some delays.
What if I wish to cancel?
Refunds on Events and one day Excursions can only be offered 14 days before the event/excursion.
Refunds on holidays (trips of more than one day) can be offered under the following terms.
Figures expressed as % below relate to the full amount you were to pay for the holiday.
84 days or more before departure Coolings will retain 10%
83-57 days before departure Coolings will retain 30%
56-31 days before departure Coolings will retain 50%
30 days or less before departure Coolings will retain 100%
The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay?
Tickets may be transferred with 48 hours notice or 7 days for some holidays but on the day of an event / excursion/ holidays ticket attendee/s should match our registration details.