Friday, August 25, 2023

Brews for Boats fundraiser, September 17th

Enjoy great company, local brews, food and live music while supporting our community rowing program! 

"Brews for Boats" on Sept 17th at Stubborn Beauty Brewery, 4-7pm. 

Tix include 2 brews, Taino Bbq and Live music! 

Tickets need to be purchased online by Sept 13th at

Monday, August 21, 2023



Meriden Motorcycle Club Members at Camp Nerden On July 22, 2023 During Their 24 Hour Fundraiser.



The Meriden Motorcycle Club were looking for adventure.  They continued to make it happen for the John J. Nerden Regional Training Center Camp in Middlefield for their "24 Hour Road Bike/Dirt Bike Ride Hard Enduro" fundraiser held on July 21 and July 22, 2023.  

According to the Ride Chairman Dino Pandolfo he stated they had an "Excellent turnout." They had 30 road riders and thirty for their endurance dirt bike race at their club.  Not even the heavy rain on Friday, July 21st  hampered or delayed their event because one of their riders "Babe" who is 82 years young of Berlin kicked off the event on Friday and rode in the rain for the first two hours of the event.   Pandolfo stated "He is fearless.  He is one of the best friends anybody could have."

Front to Back: Meriden Motorcycle Club Members "Babe," Jake & Joe Cournoyer leave their club on the Meriden-Middletown Town Line on July 22, 2023 for their 24 Hour Fundraiser for Camp Nerden. (Photo By FRANK LOGIUDICE)
A Meriden Motorcycle Club member Bob Lipinski drives on Powder Hill Road prior to turning into Camp Nerden for the 24 Hour Fundraiser for the camp on July 22nd. (Photo By FRANK LOGIUDICE)

Meriden Motorcycle Club Members Chris Tautvia and riding as a passenger is April Pierce get ready to turn into Camp Nerden During Their 24 Hour Fundraiser on July 22, 2023 (Photo By Frank Logiudice)

This club has been involved with Camp Nerden since it was founded in 1966.  They donated $1,000 to the camp that year according to Pandolfo.  "We have been a contributor to Camp Nerden since 1966.  We are always helping with any projects needed with Camp Nerden," stated Pandolfo.  The 24-Hour Road Bike/Dirt Bike Ride Hard Enduro” event has been going on for over 20 years, Pandolfo commented.  "Today was everything for Camp Nerden with all proceeds going to Camp Nerden," stated Pandolfo.  He also mentioned that all of the food and non-alcoholic drinks for the event were donated from area local businesses.  Pandolfo added, "We would like to thank them for their support."

Meriden Motorcycle Club Members in front Ryan Crooks & behind him is Ryan Caruso cruise into Middlefield's Camp Nerden on Saturday, July 22, 2023 for their 24 Hour Fundraiser for Camp Nerden. (Photo By Frank Logiudice)
Meriden Motorcycle Club Member Ryan Caruso cruises past the Camp Nerden Pool on July 22, 2023 for the 24 Hour Fundraiser For Camp Nerden. (Photo By FRANK LOGIUDICE)

Camp Nerden Director Sue Chenard stated this about the Meriden Motorcycle Club,  “We would like to thank them for their continued support of camp. We are very appreciative of all that they do for us.”  The camp serves individuals with intellectual disabilities ages 6 and above during the summer.

Meriden Motorcycle Club Member Butch drives past the Camp Nerden's pool on July 22, 2023 for their 24-Hour Fundraiser for the Middlefield camp. (Photo By Frank LoGiudice)
Meriden Motorcycle Club Members Chris Tautvia and riding as a passenger is April Pierce return to the Meriden Motorcycle Club for their 24 Hour fundraiser for Camp Nerden on July 22, 2023 (Photo By Frank Logiudice)

The Meriden Motorcycle Club is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year.

For more information about Camp Nerden go to

Enjoy the videos.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Oddfellows Fall Programs for Youth start September 16th

Registration is now open for Fall Classes at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown! Beginning September 16th, classes in theater, dance, circus and music will be offered for toddlers to 20 year olds. Teenagers are invited to audition for our fall mainstage production. 

Teen Repertory Company (ages 14 - 20) will hold auditions for Coming Into Being: A Journey of Individuation on September 11 and 14, 6 - 9 pm. This new work will be crafted for and with the ensemble. It will be a physical, psycho-emotional exploration into what it is to come into your Self as an individual, as a young adult. Teens are asked to pre-register for one of the two audition evenings, to arrive on time, and plan to stay for the entire time. Everyone who auditions and commits to the rehearsal and production schedule will be cast in the show. Regular rehearsals will be Mondays and Thursdays, 6 - 9 pm. Performances will be November 30 - December 2 and December 8 - 9.

Circophony Teen Circus (ages 12 - 20) offers fall circus training  in preparation for a winter mainstage production. Juggling, Object Manipulation, Unicycle, Stilting and More! will be held on Tuesdays evenings 6:30 - 8:30pm, and Acro Focus on Wednesday evenings 6:30 - 8:30pm, culminating in a Fall Circus Showcase on November 15. Students may register for one or both classes. No previous experience is required. Classes run September 19 - November 15.

For our youngest Oddfellows, Saturday Classes feature Acrobabies (ages 15 months - 3 years with caregiver; 9:15 - 9:55 am); Faerie Tale Theater (10 - 10:45 am) and Circrobatics (10:55 -11:40 am) are offered for ages 3 - 6;  and kids ages 7 - 11 can register for Comedy and Slaprobatics (11:45 am - 12:30 pm) and Equilibristics (12:35 - 1:20 pm). Classes start September 16 and continue through a Share Day on December 16 (12 weeks total - no classes October 14 or November 25).

After-School classes for ages 6 - 14 begin September 16 and will run for nine weeks this fall, culminating in a “Share Week” November 13 - 16. Most classes run 4:50 -5:50 pm.

Stage One classes for ages 6 - 8 include Playing With Puppetry, Musical Mentoring I, Circus I, Complete Actor I, and The Silent Clown

Stage Two classes for ages 9 - 11 include Sign-a-Long, Circus II, Musical Mentoring II (ages 9 - 12), Complete Actor II, Street Jazz Dance and Hip Hop Dance (both open to ages 9 - 14).

Stage Three classes for ages 12 - 14 include High Stakes Acting, Complete Actor III (both of these classes meet 4:30 - 5:50 pm), as well as Street Jazz Dance and Hip Hop Dance (again, both dance classes are for ages 9 - 14).

Middletown Public School students may complement their class experience with Oddbridge, an extended day program which provides transport from Middletown schools to the Playhouse, a snack, and supervised arts activities, games and homework help before classes start. This year Oddbridge will extend throughout the school year, providing special programs and field trips on early dismissal days or days when regular Oddfellows’ classes are not in session.

For more details on times, tuition and class descriptions, please go to If you have specific questions, email or call (860) 347-6143. Financial Aid is available for all programs. It is Playhouse policy that the arts should be available to every young person regardless of ability to pay - no one is turned away for lack of funds.

Oddfellows Playhouse, founded in 1975, is Connecticut’s oldest and largest performing arts program for young people. Oddfellows programs are made possible with support from the Middletown Commission on the Arts; Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD; City of Middletown; The Fund for Greater Hartford; American Savings Foundation; State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (Youth Violence Prevention); Middletown Youth Services Bureau; Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Liberty Bank Foundation; Middletown Health Department; Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation; Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Trust Fund; Middlesex United Way; CT Humanities/CT Cultural Fund; COA General Operating Support for Theaters; New England Foundation for the Arts/New England Arts Resilience Fund; George & Grace Long Foundation; and many generous individual donors.

Sunday, August 13, 2023


                                              Caption:RTC Campers & Staff Perform during a music activity. From Bottom Left Up: RTC Staff/Music Teacher Celine Cardona with pink glasses, then from left to right behind her; Delia Van Steenbergen, Jack Waggoner, Eddie Poole, Shane Kelly, & Logan Solomon (Photo By Frank LoGiudice)



RTC Camper Abby Murphy perform during a music activity at Camp Nerden on July 13, 2023. Photo By Frank LoGiudice 

Your favorite cartoon characters came to life via the campers, staff & volunteers of the John J. Nerden Regional Training Center Camp for "Cartoon Day" held on Thursday, July 13th in Middlefield.  They wore their favorite cartoon characters on their clothing. Campers, volunteers and staff all seem to love it according to Camp Nerden Director Sue Chenard.   There was even an art activity where the campers made hats resembling the character “Forky” from  "Toy Story 4."  Add an extra dose of fun and the result was a wonderful day full of smiles, laughter and high fives for the RTC Campers. 

                                           L-R: RTC Camper Mikayla Basta with RTC Volunteers Addie Buckheit, & Kiley Mullins            During A Music Activity At Camp Nerden.

Camp Nerden serves campers with intellectual disabilities ages 6 and up and there is not an age limit when campers must stop attending camp. The camp season began June 26th and ended August 11th from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.   It is free and is funded through local service clubs and the towns the campers reside.  

                                                       RTC Camper Carter Miller Bell Begins His Piggyback Ride To Lunch Thanks         To RTC Staff Conner Willett. Photo By Frank LoGiudice

Director Sue Chenard believes Camp Nerden is "A wonderful environment where everybody has a chance to be themselves and have a great summer."  This season Camp Nerden has an average of 90 campers who attend every day, but 110 campers are registered.  Chenard said the camper enrollment has increased a little from last year. They have 18 staff and 40 "Counselor In Training" Volunteers but only about 25 volunteers show up daily.

                                        Left RTC Camper Begins The Music Activity With Assistance From RTC Staff Members

Camp Volunteer James Straight of Meriden who will be a Junior at Platt High School has been a volunteer for five years.  He became involved because his sister is a camper.  "I love working with the kids," stated Straight.   Music teacher & Staff Celine Cardona, an incoming senior at Meriden’s Maloney High School became involved because of her father's volunteer involvement at Camp Nerden.  "He encouraged me to do it last year.  I fell in love with the program," stated Cardona.  Upon graduation, she said this camp gave her aspirations to become a Special Education Teacher.  

RTC Camper Frank Stange plays capture the flag and behind him is RTC Staff Chase Willett. Photo By Frank LoGiudice

Rockfall resident Brady Koba was a volunteer for two years and this season he became a staff member.  "My friends and I decided to give it a try, " commented Koba.  His involvement with Camp Nerden made him decide to major in Special Education at the University of Hartford where he will be a sophomore.

RTC Campers & RTC Volunteer James Straight Relax Before Getting Ready To Play Pictionary At Camp Nerden On July 13, 2023.  Photo By Frank LoGiudice

For more information go to  Their mailing address is  P.O. Box 2617, Meriden, Connecticut  06451.  Their phone number is 860-349–9826

RTC Staff Adam Bufford Cournoyer & RTC Camper Eddie Poole Play Pictionary At Camp Nerden On July 13, 2023.Photo By Frank LoGiudice

Enjoy the videos.