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Holiday Happenings

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includes a preview cocktail party and Candlelight Tours of Bush-Holley House. No Strings Marionette Company performs Handsome and Gretel December 7 at 1:00 and 2:00; and on December 15 from 4:30 pm–7:00 pm, Candlelight (members free-nonmembers $10) is a festive evening that includes tours of Bush-Holley House decorated for the holidays, holiday music, refreshments, craft projects for kids, and a visit from Santa Claus (5:00 to 7:00 pm). Proceeds from all events support the Historical Society’s art and education programs.

 

The Greenwich Reindeer Festival  at Sam Bridge Nursery November 29–December 24 includes free admission to see reindeer and Santa’s Village, carousel and train rides ($4), and photos with Santa ($29.99). Come hungry for food trucks Friday afternoons and Saturdays.

December 7 and 8 is the 11th Annual Greenwich Holiday Stroll Weekend, a shopping and dining event that spans Greenwich, Byram, Glenville, Cos Cob, and Riverside. Enjoy live music, a live nativity, and horse drawn carriage rides, as well as promotions, refreshments, and holiday cheer from more than 140 participating retailers and restaurants. 

 

Catch one of the three performances December 7 and 8 at Christ Church Greenwich of the Greenwich Choral Society’s A Holiday Tapestry!, which ends with a crowd favorite, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

Many houses of worship across town also present special holiday music performances, so check local listings.
 

OGRCC: Serving the Greenwich Community Since 1943

By SARA CORREA

For nearly three quarters of a century, the Old Greenwich-Riverside Community Center has been teaching and guiding local young people in the ways of sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership and more.

“I don’t think that there’s one organization in Greenwich that has such a big volunteer, community driven direction,” said Marketing Director Suzanne Wind.

Known locally as simply OGRCC, the non-profit organization has increased membership from 30 members in 1943 to nearly 1,800 today, according to its website, myogrcc.org. 
 

“Historically, it’s been very much a youth sports program,” said Ingrid Winn, executive director of the organization, which rents space within and the fields around the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center on Harding Road in Old Greenwich.

“We’re trying to accomplish that mission [of reaching out to the entire community] by introducing as many programs that we can,” she said.

Among the many sports, leadership, social and childcare groups, as well as camps, offered at OGRCC, the Thunder baseball team, for example, provides an experience for its young members that is seemingly beyond compare.

Since 2007, participants at the 12u level have gone to play at Cooperstown Dreams Park, an experience that includes a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and is available only to invited teams.

Charlie Wind, Suzanne’s now-14-year-old son, played in the Thunder league for four years. While he had hoped to play for Greenwich High School this year, Wind is instead nursing a broken arm and will head up the OGRCC’s umpiring for its National League – coordinating the high school-aged umpires for the third- and fourth-grade teams.

“To be able to go to Cooperstown and play under the lights, that’s huge,” Charlie Wind said. “To be at Dreams Park really is a dream.

He added of how the OGRCC brings people together: “You meet kids from all around Greenwich and even if they don’t go to the same schools, you can still make friends.”

Suzanne Wind, who started with the organization when her own kids played sports, said part of what sets the “hidden jewel” that is the OGRCC apart, is that kids stick with it throughout many years.

“They grow up with OGRCC,” she said.

 “We want everyone to have that feeling of being a part of the organization that’s growing,” Wind added.

 OGRCC executives and board of directors are “really open” to parents interested in starting programs coming to them with ideas, according to Wind and Winn.

 “We find particularly in Greenwich that there is a huge deficit of activities in [the high school] age group,” the executive director said, referring to students who don’t make the cut for the school team but still want to play. She said the OGRCC is hoping to expand further into that realm with its own programming.

 “We try not to compete with other organizations, as it’s counterproductive,” Winn added.

 Registration is now underway for the annual OGRCC Sandpipers summer camp for children ages three to 10. The camp annually takes place at Tod’s Point and offers arts and crafts, visits to Island Beach, games and other activities.

 Upcoming events that the OGRCC sponsors include a Mother’s Day bike ride on May 14, as well as the Annual Sailboat Regatta on October 15.

 For more information about OGRCC, its programs and events, and sponsorship opportunities, visit the website or call 203.637.3659.

 

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