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Historical Society Unveils its ‘Reimagined’ Campus By Richard Kaufman
NEWS in brief
I t is said that sometimes a tragic event brings out the best in people. Fred Camillo is one of those believers. After a last year’s highly successful inaugural Donna Marie Camillo’s Paws For A Cause walk to cure childhood leukemia, the event will be back in Greenwich this Saturday, at Bruce Park. “We have had a lot of these in the past few years and have a bunch more to go,” Camillo said. “But having these events, not only to honor a person but to help an organization as well, helps bring a community together. It shows that we are there for each other. It’s about doing things for others and not for ourselves, and this community really proves that all the time. There’s always an event and always a charity, and people are giving. They are giving, not only their money, but also their time and effort, and it reaffirms your faith in humanity. Sometimes, the most tragic circumstances truly bring out the best of the human spirit.” This year’s event will k ick of f in Bruce Park, on Wood Road, at 9 a.m., and will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Lynn Gulli. An elementary school student at Julian Curtiss School, Gulli has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since April, 2017. “She’s battling leukemia now and she’s just an energetic and outgoing young woman who everybody loves,” Camillo said. “We are all going to be there for her and we are not going to walk for her, we will walk with her. Lynn is going to be at the walk, too, and that will be very special.” Gulli’s parents started The Willow Project, which is a community fund that supports Greenwich families that have children battling cancer. The walk is Camillo’s tribute to his sister, Donna Marie Camillo, who lost her life to leukemia back in 1968, at the age of 11. For years leading up to the first annual walk, Camillo was pondering this walk and knew that the time was now to get the ball rolling on Paws For A Cause. “If I didn’t do it last year, I would never do it,” Camillo said. “I wanted to do a yearly thing to honor my sister. When she died of leukemia, in 1968, there was no cure; now there’s a 90% cure for childhood leukemia. What I wanted to do is keep on doing this until there is a 100% cure. And, when there’s a 100% cure, I would do something for all childhood cancers. Instead of giving half Donna Marie Walk By Paul Silverfarb Sturbridge, Mass. "It's an amazing structure. It's an amazing building from the outside, any way you look at it," he said. First Selectman, Peter Tesei, said the new campus is a "treasure" for the town, and that it will serve as a great learning tool to Greenwich's youngest citizens. "History is our greatest teacher, and those of us who serve today, those of us who have served previously, all rely upon the history to teach us the values and beliefs of what this community was about and is about, and its future," he said. "The resources that are now available to us as citizens, particularly our youngest citizens, is just unbelievable." Peter Malkin, chair of the Reimagine the Campus Capital Campaign Committee, and a longtime supporter of the GHS, noted that the project renovation, whichwas privately funded, was completed a year ahead of schedule and slightly under budget. The $20 million capital campaign has exceeded the $13.5 million goal that was needed for the campus renovation and the programing initiatives. The balance still to be raised will fund the Historical Society's endowment, which will be used to cover operational costs and support programs and partnerships with Hamilton Avenue School and other schools in town. After the bright green ribbon was cut, excited guests got a first look at the campus. Several gathered in the cafe dining area, which was once the lobby of the Railroad Continued Page 4
I t's often said that history is one of life's greatest teachers. From now on, those who visit the Greenwich Historical Society's (GHS) brand new campus will be enriched and educated for years to come. Last Saturday, the Greenwich community gathered just off Strickland Road in Cos Cob for the ribbon-cutting ceremony which officially unveiled the reimagined GHS campus. Afterwards, attendees toured the grounds, enjoyed live music, arts and crafts, games and food trucks. The transformed campus, which has expanded parking and complete ADA access, features state-of-the-art museum galleries, an accessible library and archives, cafe, gift shop and restored Impressionist- era gardens. The campus allows the GHS to display more collections and programming to help people better understand the significant role Greenwich played in opening up the gateway to New England. The inaugural exhibition at the new campus is titled, “History Is…” and encourages visitors to reflect on the role history plays at different stages in their lives and explores the ways individuals look at, define and interpret history. Those in attendance on Saturday were thrust back into the 1800's, as an organ grinder played music before the ribbon- cutting ceremony. Davidde Strackbein, chair of the Board of Trustees for the Historical Society, said the new campus
S Saturday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m. Art For Awareness, a club at Greenwich High School, is hosting a silent charity auction of professional and student art at the Round Hill Community House with all proceeds going to Neighbor to Neighbor. Attendees will be treated to live music played by a high school jazz group, catering, conversations with the artists and an opportunity to purchase a work of art all while helping a great cause. Tickets are $10 per person. For more information, call 203-832-3349, or email firstname.lastname@example.org S Gr e e nw i c h i s among t h e inaugural list of communities certified under the Sustainable CT program, a statewide initiative under the aegis of Eastern Connecticut State University. Greenwich is certified as a Silver community, the highest level of recognition of the Town’s efforts to promote sustainability by employing efficient, resilient and inclusive best practices. “The Sustainable CT designation illustrates the proactive role the Greenwich community has taken to preserve and protect not only our global environment, but our local and regional environments as well,” said First Selectman, Peter Tesei. “The Town looks forward to continuing to advance those efforts.” S Interim Superi ntendent of Schools, Ralph Mayo, announced t hat And rew By rne ha s been appointed as the Interim Folsom House Administrator at Greenwich High School, effective Nov. 5. Byrne, who will also oversee the mathematics program at GHS, comes from Darien where he was the assistant principal for Middlesex Middle School. Byrne previously taught at Sacred Heart Greenwich for 10 years before going to Darien. S Cos Cob School has been closed since Monday, Oct. 8, and portions of the building will likely be closed for an extended period of time following a water leak that occurred last weekend. As a result, the district began to work on a relocation plan for at least three grades of CCS students and staff while the remediation and restoration process takes place. For more information visit GreenwichSentinel.com S The YWCA of Greenw ich, celebrating its centennial year, is the only state-accredited provider of domestic abuse services in the community. According to YWCA of Greenwich President and CEO, Mary Lee Kiernan, thousands of men, women and children have been helped by the YWCA's free domestic abuse services since the domestic abuse services advisory council was established in 1981. Kiernan said that last year alone, YWCA staff responded to 3,500 calls on its hotline (203-622-0003) from residents looking for help, either for themselves or for loved ones. For more information visit GreenwichSentinel.com. S This past Monday morning, under overcast skies and damp dr i zzle, nea rly 50 Greenwich residents gathered outside of Town Hall for the St. Lawrence Society's annual Columbus Day flag raising. Each year, the St. Lawrence Society traditiona lly honors only one member of Italian descent who has contributed greatly to the Greenwich community, by raising the f lags outside of Town Hall on Columbus Day. For more information visit GreenwichSentinel.com. S Sign Up for the 5 Things To Do in Greenwich Today daily email to keep up with Greenwich events at www.GreenwichSentinel.com
Helen Maher; Preston Johnson; Brian Maher; and Fred, Rose Mary and Lincoln enjoying the scarecrow making. (photo courtesy of Elaine Ubiña)
represents what the GHS, founded in 1931, is all about. "We've made a bit of history of our own by reimagining the campus while remaining true to our original charter mission: to collect, persevere and share the history of the town of Greenwich," Strackbein said, noting that the foundation has been set for another successful chapter for the GHS. "[We want to] contribute to creating a stronger, more unified future for our children and community, [while] embracing a shared history, a shared history that defines us, inspires us, and unites us."
Cynthia Malkin Blumenthal, wife of U.S. Senator, Richard Blumenthal, who are both honorary chairs of the Reimagine the Campus Capital Campaign, presented a proclamation to the GHS. She spoke of her love of history, and quoted the esteemed historian, DavidMcCullough: “‘History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are, and why we are the way we are. You cannot be a full participant in our democracy if you don't know our history,’”she said. State Sen., Scott Frantz, also an honorary chair, called the new campus a "home run," and compared it to the living museum in Old Sturbridge Village in
A Visit to London’s Royal Botanic Garden at Kew with Sir Ghillean Prance By Anne W. Semmes Greenwich-based non-profit, RAMP (Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project) made its 5th annual visit to rural Appalachia, where members of its kids’ program worked for 2 days sorting, packaging and distributing 120,000 pounds of fresh produce to impoverished families in Martin County, KY. Hungry families arrived at RAMP’s Community Food Pantry hours before the scheduled distribution, to ensure a place in line. They waited in 100-degree heat for the opportunity to receive fresh produce donated by RAMP partners. RAMP Kids is the youth program of Greenwich-based non-profit, Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project (a.k.a. RAMP), founded by Greenwich resident and small business owner, Amy Guerrieri. On this recent trip to KY, in addition to the produce distribution, RAMP Kids delivered more than 400 shelf-stable meals for the school board to provide to the children along its summer bus route. Families and local businesses interested in supporting RAMP’s hunger relief efforts and/or getting involved with RAMP Kids, visit: www.rampamerica.org.
I t was Sir Ghillean “Iain” Prance, one of the world’s most celebrated e x p l o r e r s o f t h e Ama z on i a n rainforest, who inspired my trip last week to London’s Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, where Iain was to give a talk. Iain, as senior vice president of the New York Botanical Garden, had inspired my first trip to the Amazon rainforest 30 years ago, following his slide show before the Greenwich Arts Council, sponsored by the then Greenwich Audubon Society. In those intervening years, Iain as a renowned botanist had directed the Royal Botanic Garden for 11 years, and continued his crusade for saving the earth’s biodiversity. He would be sharing his part in that unique ecological experiment, Biosphere 2, in Arizona’s Sonora Desert, where eight scientists shut themselves inside the world's largest science laboratory from 1991-1993. Iain would introduce Mark Nelson, one of the eight scientists and mastermind of the project, and his new book, Pushing Our Limits – Insights from Biosphere 2. It was a warm day. “It’s the hottest year every recorded in England,” so said my taxi driver. And, here I thought I’d left it behind in Greenwich! With time to explore before the talk, I took the “train” tour of the Garden, circling around the 326 acres (compared to the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden) and got a gander at the garden’s wonders. “There are 700 varieties of holly,” intoned the tour guide, “and 300 oak
Palm House at Kew: The resplendent gardens before the Palm House with its three environments inside at the Royal Botanic Garden.
trees,” and redwoods as gigantic as in California – and a good number of badger setts or underground burrows. “There are 17 buildings in the garden and 250 scientists studying how to conserve plants around the world,” the guide continued. Of those buildings, I would enter three of the most famous: the Palm House, the Princess of Wales Conservatory, and the Water Lily house, the latter with Iain as my guide. I would sadly not visit the great new attraction, the enlarged Temperate House, now dubbed a botanical cathedral with its 15,000 panes of glass and 10,000 plants. I first saw Iain striding strongly at 81 years towards the Jodrell Laboratory, the site of the talks. His bushy white beard and mustache gave him a look of a sprightly John Burroughs, although Burroughs did not have 40 Amazon expeditions under his belt. The audience was scientific and included a few interns fortunate to be studying with noted
scientists from around the world. Smith College has offered its students summer internships at Kew for the last 24 years. Iain related his part in designing the rainforest area of “that extraordinary visionary project,” Biosphere 2, and then shared his similar role in what has become England’s greatest tourist attraction, the Eden Project in Cornwall. The project, with its giant biomes filled with a variety of environments, including an impressive rainforest, is now being replicated around the world. Dr. Mark Nelson then told of the challenges of that two-year enclosure in Biosphere 2, “with nothing allowed [except humans] that would damage life.” Mark was intrigued (along with a billion followers of the live-in project) to learn “what humans do to the biosphere,” and how to support life without harming it. Iain seemed to speak for both of them
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