American Eagle Financial Credit Union Donates $10,000 to Help Feed Children During School Shutdowns

Credit Union Also to Award First Recipients of Its Cash Back to the Community Program

5e6a42fad4ebc-WOOBOX_Cash_Back_VOTE_2019_23American Eagle Financial Credit Union (AEFCU) today announced two donations of $5,000 each to help provide meals to children in Hartford and New Haven counties who have been displaced from school due to COVID-19, the Coronavirus.  AEFCU has directed the funds to Foodshare in Bloomfield and Connecticut Food Bank in Wallingford.

In addition, AEFCU’s new program, Cash Back to the Community, will soon announce the first group of nonprofit organizations that will receive 1% of the Credit Union’s first quarter interchange income as voted on by its members and the public.

“These unprecedented times call for responsible, effective actions to help sustain our communities, especially our children who can no longer rely on nutritional meals during the week due to the mandatory shutdown of all schools in Connecticut,” said Dean Marchessault, president and chief executive officer of American Eagle Financial Credit Union.  “We know that supporting Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank with critical financial support will, in turn, help them serve families in Hartford and New Haven during this difficult period.”

“We are very humbled by American Eagle’s generosity. We thank their entire team for their support in helping us serve our community,” said Jason Jakubowski, President & CEO, Foodshare.

“We are very grateful for this gift and we share American Eagle’s concern for our neighbors in need at this critical time,” said Beverly Catchpole, senior director of development of Connecticut Food Bank.

 Separately, funding for AEFCU’s Cash Back to the Community program, announced earlier this year, is generated each time its members use an American Eagle Financial Credit Union credit or debit card.  At the end of each quarter, one percent of the total interchange income–the fee paid for credit and debit card transactions–will be distributed to the three top qualified nonprofits as voted on by a combination of the Credit Union’s members and the public.  “This program was created to partner with our members and public to support our community, and now our community needs us more than ever, said Marchessault.”

Voting is now open through March 31 to select recipients for funding from the first quarter of the Cash Back to the Community program.  To vote please visit via American Eagle’s website or social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Company Opens Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free, Offers Unlimited Data for Free, Confirms Its Commitment to Connecting Low-Income Families

obj_hands-on-keyboard_getty_970On the heels of offering new, low-income Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of that program’s service to 25/3 Mbps, Comcast today announced additional steps to help ensure people stay connected to the Internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the Coronavirus.

“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees also live and work in virtually every community we serve, and we all share the same belief that it’s our Company’s responsibility to step up and help out.”

Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:

  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24×7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

For an current overview of everything we are doing for our Xfinity customers, click here.

CT Grandmother With Dementia Ages Gracefully At Home Thanks to State Program

Gigi and Benny photoGigi Torres is grateful that she can personally provide the care that her husband’s grandmother, Benedicta (Benny) Martinez, age 86, needs. Gigi is actually paid to be a caregiver because Benny qualifies for the CT Adult Family Living (AFL) program. Gigi is supported by Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire, a credentialed provider of the program.

“The financial benefit has allowed me to quit my job and care for Benny full time,” explains Gigi. “My husband wanted to keep her safe and around family members rather than in a nursing home.”

Gigi notes Benny has complex health issues, including dementia, congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma and is a lung cancer survivor. Prior to enrolling in the program, Benny lived alone and she was not doing her daily tasks as she used to. She kept forgetting day-to-day activities, such as how to season food, pay bills, take medications etc. The family kept an eye on her, but once they realized she was more forgetful, they had her tested and she was diagnosed with dementia.

Thankfully, a previous co-worker told Gigi about the AFL program as she knew how challenging it was for the family to care for Benny in her own home. Now Benny lives safely with Gigi and her husband Luis Torres in Clinton. Gigi is a certified Medical Assistant and has taken classes thru the CT Agency on Aging to help her and her husband better understand Benny’s dementia condition.

In its role as a credentialed provider of the program, ALS provides Gigi and other caregivers with the “tools” needed to be comfortable and successful at caregiving, such as:

  • Provide the caregiver with orientation, education and on-going support.
  • Ensure that the home is properly maintained as required by the State.
  • Make sure the Caregiver is meeting the health and safety needs of the participant.
  • Pay the Caregiver weekly and offer direct deposit for convenience.
  • Provide respite coverage for the Caregiver for time off or vacations as needed.
  • Enlist resources, such as a Certified Dementia Care Specialist, to assist in training for certain circumstances.
  • Utilize the company’s unique and innovative program called CarePlus that combines caregiving and technology to help address client needs at no additional cost. “We provide products that can use sensors and alerts to let a Caregiver know that their loved-one is getting out-of-bed so that they can respond quickly to reduce the risk of falls, or door sensors that reduce the risk of wandering with someone that has Alzheimer’s, or automated medication dispensers that keep people on schedule and compliant with their medications,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA and COO of Assisted Living Services, Inc. “Personal care supplemented with wireless devices is the perfect combination.” There is no cost for the additional technology.

In order to qualify, applicants must be a Connecticut resident, 65 years of age or older, at risk of nursing home placement, meaning, the applicant needs assistance with critical personal care such as bathing, dressing, eating, taking medications, toileting or transferring, as well as meet the program’s financial eligibility criteria.

“Most elderly people want to remain in their own home and home care is more cost-effective than an in-patient care facility,” said D’Aquila. “According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 40 million Americans provide unpaid care to the elderly. The AFL program gives families the option to care for their loved-ones without sacrificing income.”

D’Aquila explains that a caregiver can receive a tax-free stipend of over $500 per week, depending on the complexity of care, under AFL. The program is part of the Department of Social Services’ Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE).

“I took over all of her daily activities that she is unable to manage anymore,” said Gigi. “She is able to live with family who takes good care of her. It also helps that she is surrounded by familiar faces especially since she has dementia. It can be tough. It means a lot to my husband as well for her to be home with us. I feel good about that.”

For almost 25 years, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire with branch locations in Clinton and Fairfield has provided quality care to residents across Connecticut. Their unique CarePlus program blends personal care with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. Learn more by visiting or calling 203.634.8668.

Gerson DaSilva Joins Chelsea Groton Bank As VP, Commercial Loan Officer

GersonDaSilvaGerson DaSilva recently joined Chelsea Groton Bank as Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer. Gerson, who is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, will work to develop commercial loan and commercial mortgage relationships with centers of influence across the Bank’s market areas.

“With over a decade of banking experience, Gerson is skilled at finding creative, unique ways to help clients reach their financial goals,” said Carolyn Welch, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank. “He has a keen understanding of not only the commercial lending product that will best serve a customer, but the supporting treasury management suite of products that will help a business grow. We are excited to welcome Gerson to the Chelsea Groton team.”

Most recently, Gerson was VP, Senior Associate Relationship Manager at Webster Bank in Glastonbury, CT, where he grew new and existing business relationships.

Gerson lives in Glastonbury, CT with his family. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Glastonbury.


Glastonbury Seeking Advisory Committee Members for Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Community Fund

0The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has established a $100,000 community fund for each of the 29 towns in its region, including Glastonbury.  The purpose of each fund is to support residents in taking ownership of the needs in their town, and encouraging broad and inclusive civic engagement.

Glastonbury’s Community Fund will be allocated by an Advisory Committee, which will consist of as many as 15 town residents that collectively represent the Glastonbury community.  The Advisory Committee will design a grantmaking process to solicit, evaluate, and fund project ideas submitted for consideration later in this process.  The Advisory Committee’s purpose will be to select project ideas that will afford the most benefit to town residents.

WHO can be on the Advisory Committee?

  • Glastonbury residents, age 14 or older
  • Those willing to commit to a schedule of meetings held over one year or longer
  • Those willing to compromise to reach a consensus with all members of the Committee
  • Those willing to abide by a conflict of interest policy
  • Elected officials are NOT eligible for this group

If you are interested in applying for a position on the Advisory Committee or nominating a fellow resident who meets the requirements above, please visit to download and complete your application.  Committee member applications must be submitted by no later than April 15, 2020.

For additional information not answered on the website, please contact

ShopRite to Open in Vernon, CT

shopriteState-of-the-art ShopRite of Tri-City Plaza to Open Sunday, March 8

 ShopRite today announced plans to open its newest state-of-the-art, full-service supermarket on Sunday, March 8 at the Tri-City Plaza in Vernon, CT.

Waverly Markets, owned by the Cohen Family, owners of ShopRite of Manchester and ShopRite of East Hartford, CT, will operate the new store after completing a major renovation of the space at 35 Talcottville Rd. Vernon Mayor Daniel Champagne and community leaders are expected to join the family and associates for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Waverly Markets and the Cohen Family will also make a donation to regional food bank Foodshare to celebrate the grand opening of the Vernon ShopRite.

Visitors to the new ShopRite will find store favorites such as Butcher, Seafood, Deli, Bakery, Prepared Foods, Produce and Floral departments along with a spacious café with free WiFi and charging stations.  The full-service Pharmacy and health and wellness team provides services including flu shots, immunizations, supplies, auto fill prescriptions and prescription counseling and product recommendations as well as complimentary services from in-store dietitians. ShopRite from Home, ShopRite’s e-commerce shopping platform, will also be available to customers who want to order their groceries online and pick up the order at the store or have it delivered to their homes.

Waverly Markets continues to hire for all three store locations and is expected to provide up to 250 full- and part-time jobs at the new ShopRite in Vernon.

“Our ShopRite supermarkets have been proudly serving the surrounding communities for more than 20 years. We’re excited to open a new store that allows us to extend our reach in Eastern Connecticut and we are thrilled to finally open in Vernon,” said Jordan Coe, President and Co-Owner of Waverly Markets.

With an emphasis on reducing its eco-footprint, the new store will also feature energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting and partner with several area organizations to combat hunger and reduce food waste. The ShopRite of Tri-City Plaza will be open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Waverly Markets operates ShopRite stores in Manchester and East Hartford, CT.  Founded by Rich and Kye Cohen, Waverly Markets joined Wakefern Food Corp. in 1999. Today the company represents a fourth-generation family food business with Jordan Coe and her brother Alexander Cohen.

For more information about the ShopRite of Tri-City Plaza, check out the store’s Facebook page at

Jenny DeRosa Bergeron of Athene Wealth Management, LLC Awarded Connecticut Five Star Wealth Manager Award

Jenny Small FileJenny DeRosa Bergeron of Athene Wealth Management, LLC in Glastonbury has been awarded the 2019 The Five Star Wealth Manager award. Out of 3,147 Connecticut area wealth managers considered for the award; only 9% (289) were named 2019 Five Star Wealth Managers. The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative
  • Being a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years
  • Individual has a favorable regulatory and complaint history review
  • Criteria must be met for number of clients served and recent personal production and performance that meets industry specific criteria
  • Certain education and professional designations/ industry and board certifications.

For a full description of the criteria of eligibility you may visit

Jenny DeRosa Bergeron is the founding member of Athene Wealth Management an independent advisor with LPL Financial. Jenny offers a full range of financial services, including retirement and financial planning. Her comprehensive approach includes partnering clients with qualified estate attorneys and tax professionals as tax efficient strategies and proper wealth transfer techniques are of the utmost importance in a financial strategy.