Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier


Ella Musumeci, left,  and Maya Orbegozo. Photos by Marc Allard.

The smiles were evident on the faces of Woodstock Academy seniors Ella Musumeci and Maya Orbegozo.
Here the two were, in the final week of March, and instead of sitting in the classroom learning the rules of the game or trying to chip on the common in front of the school waiting for the snow to melt- they were getting ready to tee off for a practice round at the Woodstock Golf Course.
“No snow,” Musumeci said. “We’re back at it and can open up a little earlier this year than last year. It feels great to be back out here again. I just love to golf. Sitting in class, it’s like, ‘Oh wow, I have practice later and I have to work on these shots,’ and it’s something I just love.”
Orbegozo took a year off from golf as a junior to get a little more club soccer time in.
She decided after her senior soccer season that she wasn’t going to play soccer again in the spring and would turn her attention back to golf.
Centaurs coach Earl Semmelrock is glad she did. The senior will likely be his top player this season and it’s not like she should be all that rusty. Orbegozo has been playing golf, in a manner of speaking, all winter long.
“I’ve been playing at Bears Virtual Golf in Danielson this winter, big shout out to them; they have helped me a lot with my game. I’ve been taking lessons. I’m happy to be back with the team. It’s going to be a great season,” Orbegozo said.
The Centaurs finished with a 6-9 record last season and finished third in the ECC championship match.
It’s a good thing the Centaurs were able to get outside quickly.
Their first match of the season is scheduled for Wednesday in East Lyme and then they travel to Waterford on Thursday before taking a week off for spring break.
That includes Orbegozo who was the sixth player on the Centaurs team that won a Division II state championship in 2021.
Add to that Musumeci, fellow senior Shannon Cunniff, junior Isabella Siwiko and sophomores Lily Bottone and Sophie Gronski who had solid debuts as freshmen a year ago. Sophomore Isabel Mawson and freshman Lilly Moran will also likely see varsity play.
There are several other players, giving Semmelrock his biggest turnout in a while.
The varsity players will work and play at the Quinnatisset Country Club with the JV staying at Woodstock.
“I’m excited about what we can do and when I look at the other teams in the league and see who has graduated from last year, I think we will be in a pretty good spot,” Semmelrock said.
Speaking of those teams, there are more of them this season in the ECC.
In addition to the Centaurs, Norwich Free Academy, East Lyme and Bacon Academy, Waterford will field a team again this season, Stonington returns to the fray and Killingly will have a co-op team with Ellis Tech for a first time.
“I don’t know what to expect as far as how they will play because I haven’t seen a couple of teams in the past. It’s all good. We’re trying to grow the sport and this bodes well for us. The Killingly/Ellis Tech co-op has a good player. We also won’t have as much travel since we have matches around here and won’t be going out west as much. That’s good,” Semmelrock said.
Semmelrock said the goal is to retake the title.
Woodstock, going into last year’s championship match, had won five of the last six titles. Unfortunately, NFA wrested it away from the Centaurs a year ago for the Wildcats’ first title since 2014.
“We missed it last year for the first time in a while and I think the girls have that as a goal and it’s within reason. It’s really up to them how they do and how they want to attack the season,” Semmelrock said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


caption, page 8:
Seniors Paige Owens, left, and Stella Atchinson will be key components to the girls’ tennis team hopes this season. Photo by Keith Atchinson.

Girls' Tennis
Centaurs hoping
for an ECC Div.
II 3-peat despite
graduation losses
Just run off the list of graduates from last year’s Woodstock Academy girls’ tennis team to coach Keith Atchinson.
Addy Smith, Jackie Trudeau, Logan Reynolds, Sydney Schuler, Morgan Bentley, and Alexa Fernandez all have moved on.
“You’re hurting me,” Atchinson said with a laugh when reminded of those players. “We lost a lot of really good depth and we’re certainly missing those girls already. I was fortunate to step into that situation with them as juniors. It’s going to be a different year. We have a lot of nice, solid players who really want to learn and there has been some incredible improvement from last year for a couple of the girls.”
For example, junior Maeve Lusignan hadn’t played before when she tried out a year ago and didn’t make the team.
“She is going to be in the lineup this year because she has done a tremendous amount of work in the offseason,” Atchinson said.
Senior Paige Owens returns and has shown great improvement as has the only other senior on the team, Stella Atchinson.
Add to that, juniors Ellie Bishop-Klee, Emma Massey and Peyton Bentley and there is a strong returning group from last year’s team which finished 11-5 overall and won its second consecutive ECC Div. II crown.
“We have a pretty good core of five or six girls who I think will be able to help us out when we get into the matches and we have a really nice group of freshmen that are coming up, too. We’re going to get them going on strategy and, hopefully, they can help us in doubles,” Keith Atchinson said.
Bishop-Klee is the likely No. 1 singles player replacing Smith.
“Ellie hits laser beams with her shots and if she attacks first, she will be successful at first singles. It will be a different type of player, Addy wanted to fight for everything and never gave up on a ball. Ellie has the power and will get quicker points,” Keith Atchinson said.
Stella Atchinson, Owens, Bentley and freshman Wynter Worth will compete for the other three singles spots.
Keith Atchinson also has freshmen Kerrigan Reynolds, Gianna Musumeci and Kate McArthur as well as Lusignan to work with this season.
“It’s always great to see such a good turnout from the younger group. We didn’t have any freshmen last year. We have four in the lineup this year, a couple alternates as well, so it’s a really good freshmen group,” Keith Atchinson said.
Can the Centaurs win a third-straight ECC divisional title?
“I think we have a good shot at it. It’s going to depend on the depth, but we’re certainly planning on competing for it,” Keith Atchinson said.
The Centaurs will again play at Pomfret School this season.
That means some late practices and late matches.
Woodstock opens at home during the spring break week as it plays host to Norwich Free Academy at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 10 and follows that up against Lyman on Tuesday, April 11 at 5:45 p.m. also at Pomfret.
“We will take whatever we can get,” Keith Atchinson said of the home-away-from-home setup.
“We may have some one-hour practices, which in the tennis world, is very short. You can’t get a lot done in an hour but we’re grateful to Pomfret that they are able to share their courts with us.”
The girls will also likely follow suit with the boys and play no ad scoring rules and if a third set is necessary, will be playing a super tiebreaker which is the first player to 10 points and players must win by two points.
“It will be a little different but it makes for some fun, exciting points when you get to deuce and the next point wins. Having the girls learn how to play pressure points will be fun,” Keith Atchinson said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


featured at
art gallery
PUTNAM — The Putnam Arts Council will present an art show featuring the works of 95-year-old artist Gerald (Jerry) Ferguson will be on display at The Corridor Gallery at the Putnam Municipal Complex through June 30.
The show, titled “A 70-year Retrospective: The Works of Jerry Ferguson,” is a visual journey through his long, varied career. Mediums will include oil painting, watercolor and pastel.
Jerry says he is “inspired by nature, the scenery around him, his family and humanity.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1928, his favorite hobby as a child and teenager was drawing and studying art along with his younger brother and sister. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, and later graduated from Cooper Union in 1953. He began his first job as an illustrator for Science and Technology magazine. He was also employed as an Art Director for the books division of Reader’s Digest in New York City.
Jerry and Helen moved to Putnam 17 years ago where he has enjoyed painting landscapes, still life and portraits, as well as some abstract interpretations. Photography is another of his passions as it can be spontaneous, capturing a moment in time. He has found oil painting to be fulfilling because of all the colors he achieved. He enjoys watercolor because of their simplicity, but stresses you need to be committed to your color scheme, as it is more difficult to modify your choices compared to oils. As he grew older, he worked in pastels, as it is very direct and versatile.


PUTNAM — Michelle (Auger) Cruz, age 56, went home to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 30, 2023, at Harrington Care in Colchester after succumbing to illness.
She was born in 1967 in Webster.  Michelle grew up in Putnam and was part of the Putnam High School graduating class of 1985.  Over the course of her life, Michelle worked in several fields, including many years as a server, a construction worker and a security guard for United Technologies at the Gold Building in Hartford.
To know Michelle was to know her passion for gardening and how she expressed her love of nature and appreciation for the beauty in life by tending to her flowers and watching the birds at their feeders.  Michelle loved cooking new and creative meals, including fresh meals every day for her dog Coco.  During the rest of her free time, Michelle was an avid reader and absolutely loved doting on her precious Coco.
She leaves her husband, Luis Cruz of Putnam; her mother, Gayle (Kryger) Auger and her father, Ernest Auger, both of Putnam; a brother, Bob Auger of Danielson; two nieces, Kayla Auger of Putnam and Kristin Auger of Danielson.
A Memorial Service will be at 11 a.m. April 22 in the Tri-State Baptist Church, 386 Quinebaug Road, N. Grosvenordale. Gilman-Valade Funeral Homes & Crematory, 104 Church Street, Putnam.


Wed. April 5
Art Exhibit
THOMPSON --- Thompson Public Library’s Art @ the Library will present the 19th Annual Thompson Community Art Show, “Resilient by Nature,” on the gallery walls and in the display case through April 27. Reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 5. 860-923-9779.

PUTNAM --- “A 70-year Retrospective: The Works of Jerry Ferguson”  will appear in the Corridor Gallery at Putnam Municipal Complex through June 30. It features the works of Gerald (Jerry) Ferguson. Free.

Fri. April 7
Food Drive
PUTNAM --- A Good Friday Food Drive for Daily Bread Food Pantry will be held from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WINY Radio.  Nonperishable food items and monetary donations all welcome. Sponsored by the Putnam Elks, the Putnam Lions and the Putnam Rotary Club.

Sat. April 8
Easter Egg Hunt
WOODSTOCK --- 30th Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 1 p.m. at Roseland Cottage. Open to all. Rain date April 8. Bring a nonperishable food item for the local food bank. Also, the Peeps Diorama Contest will be held for grades pre-K through Grade 4. Include name and grade on your entry. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sun. April 9
Happy Easter!

Easter Breakfast
PUTNAM --- The VFW Post and Aux 1523 will host a free Easter Breakfast from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the post on Providence Street . An Easter Egg Hunt starts at 11:30. Ages: 2-5; 6-8 and 9-12. Bring your own basket. All welcome.

Sat. April 15
Clothing Giveaway
PUTNAM--- IHSP-NU 2 U Clothing Closet will hold a clothing giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon in the Fellowship Hall of the Living Faith United Methodist Church. Free clothing, all ages, winter and summer. Bring your own bags. All welcome. Not accepting clothing donations at this event.

Thur. April 20
WEBSTER --- Poets at Large will feature, from 6 to 8 p.m., spoken word/poetry readings at The Rose Room Café on East Main Street. Featured readers will be Woodstock resident Karen Warinsky, Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate (2021-2023) Tommy Twilite, and Worcester poet/funny man Joe Fusco  Jr. Free to the public (ages 14 and up). Intermission and an open mic after. Anyone wishing to participate in the open mic should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Open mic readers will get 5 minutes each. Sponsored in part by bankHometown, the Putnam Area Foundation, and Global Partners (Ashford Xtra Mart and Webster Honey Farms).

Sat. April 22
Rabies Clinic
DANIELSON --- Pet Pals Northeast is holding a low-cost rabies clinic from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital on Rt. 12. $15 cash. Preregistration and appointment is required. No walk-ins. 860-317-1720.

Wed. April 26
NAMI Meeting
MANSFIELD CENTER --- The Windham County Affiliate of the Connecticut National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) annual meeting will start at 6 with a special presentation following the business meeting at United Services Mansfield office. The presenter is Lynne Weeks, grant coordinator of the School Based Health Centers in Windham. This meeting is free and open to the public. Per CDC guidelines, masks are required inside this facility.

Thur. April 27
Poetry Celebration
DANIELSON --- Quinebaug Valley Community College will hold its 16th Annual Julius Sokenu Poetry Prize Celebration at 6 p.m. in Robert E. Miller Auditorium. Free and all welcome. It includes readings by award-winning student poets and guest speaker and poet Edgar Kunz. Sandwiches, hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and beverages will be provided.

Sat. April 29
Beautification Day
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Business Association, with help from town departments, will hold its annual Beautification Day at Rotary Park. Gather at 8:30 a.m. to receive cleaning assignments. 11 to noon for volunteer appreciation lunch at the park. For info on volunteering or to RSVP: 860-963-6800, ext. 200. Trophies awarded. Rain date: May 6. Funded in part by The Last Green Valley and the Town of Putnam.

Fund-raiser Concert
POMFRET --- Minnesota folk singer, Peter Mayer, returns at 7 p.m. to The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret, 218 Day Road. $25 for CAS members; $30 for non-members. Registration required:

Fri. May 5
WOODSTOCK --- DKH will hold a Cinco de Mayo Beef & Wine Tasting at 6 p.m. at Mansion at Bald Hill. Tastings, entertainment, drawings, food. Benefits the NECT Cancer Fund of Day Kimball Healthcare. $45. Purchase in advance.

Sat. May 6
Maker Fair
THOMPSON --- The Thompson Maker Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Riverside Park.

WOODSTOCK --- The Bungay Fire Brigade will host its spring 2023 Chicken BBQ from 4 to 6 p.m.

Fri. May 12
Ballroom Bash
PUTNAM --- The Bradley Playhouse will hold a Big Band Ballroom Bash benefit concert and dance lessons from 7 to 10 p.m. Flamingo Big Band  and Kelly & Paul Wybieracki dance instructors.

Sun. June 4
Fishing Derby
POMFRET --- The Pomfret Recreation Department's 23rd annual Fishing Derby will begin at 8 a.m. at the Pomfret Rod & Gun Club. For boys and girls ages 5-15. $5. Register at

Sat. June 17
Art Festival
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Arts Council (PAC) will be hosting the Putnam Fine Arts and Crafts Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 17 and June 18 at the Municipal Complex. It includes all the arts plus live music.  Rain or shine. Free.

Sun..  July 9
WOODSTOCK --- The Bungay Fire Brigade will host Touch-A-Truck from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Roseland Park.

Sun.  Aug. 27
Cruise Fund-raiser
THOMPSON --- DKH will hold its Cruise, BBQ & Brew - Motorcycle & Car Cruise at 10 a.m. at the Thompson Speedway and The Black Dog Bar & Grille in Putnam. Benefits the NECT Cancer Fund of Day Kimball Healthcare. $35 registration.

Fri.  Sept. 8
Golf Classic
PUTNAM --- The Day Kimball Hospital Centreville Bank Golf Classic will set off at 7:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Connecticut National Country Club. For info:

Sat.  Sept. 30
WOODSTOCK --- The Bungay Fire Brigade will host its fall 2023 Chicken BBQ from 4 to 6 p.m.

Sat.  Nov. 11
Dueling Pianos
THOMPSON --- The DKH Dueling Pianos fund-raiser will be held at 6 p.m. at the Raceway Restaurant and Banquet Hall. Benefits Day Kimball Healthcare At Home services of HomeCare, HomeMakers, and Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut. Food, drawings and more. Tickets $45, must be purchased in advance.

Sun.  Dec. 3
Tree of Life
The DKH 34th Annual Hospice Tree of Life Ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. in 11 towns throughout northeastern Connecticut. The purchase of memorial lights on each community's Tree of Life benefits Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut. For info:


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