Community Connections

Community Connections provides opportunities to discuss community issues and interests, and opportunities for collaboration among organizations serving Lyme and Old Lyme.

Community Connections Luncheon
For Nonprofit & Organization Leaders, Board Members & Volunteers
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
12:00 noon
Old Lyme Country Club

“Philanthropy is Rooted in Relationships”
with Claire Gadrow, Development Director, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding

Claire Gadrow, Development Director, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, in Old Lyme, will share best practices in a comprehensive giving program. While she spent 30 years in ambitious University campaigns, the fundamentals can be scaled to any size organization. She will be discussing important topics for your organization such as:
• What are national trends in philanthropy?
• What does a donor-centered approach mean?
• If you have limited staff and financial resources, where do you prioritize?
• What is the most important thing you can do in a successful fundraising program?
Claire will end with a Q&A so bring your questions!

Cost: $30

Please join us to discuss community issues and interests, and opportunities for collaboration among organizations serving Lyme and Old Lyme.

To be added to our email distribution list please email

Community Connections is a network for local organizations to explore collaboration opportunities for the enhancement of our Lyme-Old Lyme community.  All area organization leaders and volunteers are welcome to join us.  NOTE:  This page is temporarily hosted by LYSB, while the Community Connections website is under construction.

We launched in September of 2014 with a networking luncheon attended by more than 80 people representing more than 50 organizations.  We host three luncheons per year with networking and discussions on community topics.  Previous meetings and topics listed below.

Community Connections was created by local volunteers who saw a need for our area organizations to network and collaborate. Our planning committee includes:
Tina Birkic
Trudy Burgess, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding 
Katie Huffman, Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
Cheryl Poirier
Dyanne Rafal
Mary Seidner, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau
Laurie Walker, Coldwell Banker
Jean Wilczynski, Exencial Wealth Advisors

NOTE:  This page is temporarily hosted by LYSB, while the Community Connections website is under construction.

Brian T. Dagle Memorial Foundation
Boy Scouts Troop 26
Camp Claire
Caroline’s Miracle Foundation
Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut
Coldwell Banker
Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut
Duck River Garden Club
Essex Savings Bank
Estuary Magazine
Estuary Transit District / 9 Town Transit
Exencial Wealth Advisors
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
FISH – Friends in Service Here
Florence Griswold Museum
Friends of the Lyme Library
Friends of OLPGN Library
Friends of Whalebone Cove
Girl Scouts of Lyme/Old Lyme
Healthy Addiction
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding
HOPE Partnership
Kiwanis of Old Saybrook/Lyme/Old Lyme
Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore CT
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
Lyme Ambulance Association
Lyme Art Association
Lyme Farmers Market
Lyme Garden Club
Lyme Land Trust
Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce
Lyme/Old Lyme Education Foundation
Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Womens Club
Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club
Lyme & Old Lyme Neighbors Magazine
Lyme-Old Lyme Schools
Lyme Public Hall
Lyme Public Library
Lymes’ Senior Center
Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau
MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation
Mentoring Corps for Community Development
Music Now Foundation
Musical Masterworks
Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center
Old Lyme Historical Society
Old Lyme Land Trust
Old Lyme Open Space Commission
Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
Old Lyme Police Union
Old Lyme Visiting Nurse Association
Old Lyme Volunteer Ambulance Association
Old Saybrook Rotary Club
PARJE (Public Art for Racial Justice Education)
Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
Safe Futures
Shoreline Arts Alliance
Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council
St. Anns Episcopal Church
Studio 80 & Sculpture Grounds
Thames Valley Council for Community Action
Tim Buckley Project
Valley Shore YMCA
Vann Bulas & Co
Womens Exchange of Old Lyme


September 2014 Meet & Greet
November 2014 Roundtable Discussions
January 2015 Volunteers: How to recruit, train, & retain
with Megan Ellis, High Hope Volunteer Manager
May 2015 Meet the Media
with Lymeline, WFSB Channel 3, The Day, Lyme Times
September 2015 Defining Your Image
with John Visgilio, Outthink
December 2015 Collaboration!
with Maryam Elahi, Community Foundation of Eastern CT
March 2016 Social Media for NonProfits
with Julia Balfour LLC
June 2016 Grant Writing and Grant Making
with Millie Devine
September 2016 Shifting Paradigms
with Ian Neviaser, Superintendent LOL Schools
January 2017 High Speed Rail in SE CT
with Gregory Stroud, SECoast
September 2017 Board Building
with Nancy Brennan, National Executive Service Corps
January 2018 Media Strategies to Boost Marketing in 2018
with Kayla Hedman, Miranda Creative
May 2018 Get Your News in Local & National Publications
with Lee Howard, The Day
October 2018 Planning for Success
with Tom Gezo, PMP
January 2019 Leaving a Legacy
with Alison Woods, Community Foundation of Eastern CT
March 2019 Collaborations & Networking for Non Profits – Happy Hour
with Kitty Stalsburg, High Hopes and Katherine Verano, Safe Futures
May 2019 How Connecticut’s Budget Affects Your Organization
with Keith Phaneuf, CT Mirror Budget Reporter
January, 2020 How a Healthy Community Affects Your Organization
with Frank Burns & Sue Gray, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts,
and Howard Margules, OL Economic Development Commission 
July, 2021 Reconnect, Network & Mingle Happy Hour
at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts