BROOKFIELD, CT—As a Marine who served in Afghanistan, Brookfield resident and business owner David Alger is committed to working diligently to render an outstanding work product. As the owner and general contractor of Elite Construction Group, Alger’s work ethic is strong because he has a “mission first mentality” when it comes to handling his clients’ requests and needs.
According to the Veteran’s Mental Health website, a “mission first mentality” is one that is task-focused, sets defined goals, and achieves them.
“Whether the mission is completing the obstacle course in record time, getting through tank gunnery, or getting a college degree, a goal-focused mindset is a huge benefit. Things had to get done when we were in the military, no questions asked. From getting to morning formation to start physical training to completing our part of an annual training exercise, you did the best you could as part of the team with the resources you had,” said Duane K. L. France, combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and mental health counselor.
Alger agrees with France’s explanation.
“Veteran-Owned makes me feel like I am providing a top-tier service and product. I want our clients to know that we are different from others and feel it’s obvious from the first time we speak,” Alger shared from his newly opened Brookfield office.
Supporting local charities, sports teams, and the schools are also important to Alger as a local business owner and parent.
Alger served in the Marine Corps in Operation Enduring Freedom, a mission created in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. He specialized as a field radio operator and surveillance sensor operator and received several medals and recognitions as a result of his service.
After completing his tour of duty, Alger said he wanted to open Elite Construction Group business after hearing from family and friends about their need for an honest, quality construction enterprise in the area. He attributes his skill in leadership that he learned in the Marine Corps as a major contributing factor to his success.
“I started Elite Construction Group in 2013 because I wanted the opportunity to bring integrity into the remodeling industry while providing a great customer experience and Grade A product,” he noted.
Alger, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Technology from Southern New Hampshire University, utilizes technology for projects and said that coupled with stellar customer experience has helped his business grow.
“The transparency and communication our clients receive from start to finish is what keeps them coming back and referring us to their friends and family,” Alger said.
Despite the challenges of this past year due to COVID, Alger said that his business is growing by leaps and bounds due to the current boom of the real estate market. In addition, many of his clients are working from home and requesting additions and renovations for office space.
“At first there was an immediate pause [due to COVID], as people were leery of us coming into their homes,” he said, continuing, “the lack of workers, supply chain demand, and the drastic increase to materials that went up over 200 percent were also a challenge but we overcame that and are carrying on full steam ahead.”
Alger said that Elite Construction Group is “growing every day, and continuing to expand our teams.”
For more information, visit eliteegroup.com.
JJ Stacks is Building Taste in Brookfield One Double-Decker at a Time
BROOKFIELD, CT—If you need an excuse to eat a hearty and delicious double-decker burger or sandwich today, JJ Stack’s got you covered! The newly opened Brookfield eatery boasts mouthwatering burgers, hot dogs, hand cut fries and much more. Owners Joe Attonito and Joe Acocella opened the unique eatery in late August and have been going full steam ahead ever since.
Attonito was the owner/operator of the former Tiger’s Den Sports Bar in Ridgefield, and has over 28 years of experience in the industry, started our as a bus boy and working his way up through the ranks.
“Currently I work in sales, selling food to restaurants, but was itching to get back in. This to me is like sort of some unfinished business when my previous restaurant closed abruptly after years of struggle,” Attonito said.
Acocella, on the other hand, is a restaurant newbie, but is dedicated to learning the business and becoming a bigger part of the day-to-day operations he said.
The dynamic duo said they were originally going to open a food truck but then came across this opportunity and they couldn’t refuse the chance to make something uniquely theirs and thus JJ Stacks was born. The restaurant got its name when Joe Acocella combined their first initials and the restaurant concept of their triple decker sandwiches.
Attonito said he chose to open in Broofield becasuse he loves the feel of a charming small town.
“I grew up working in restaurants with heavy “local” and “regular” business and that’s how I want to grow,” Attonito said. “We are a very community-oriented team as far as supporting local business and teaming up for fun and often charitable events, and Brookfield seems like a town that would greatly appreciate that.:
At his previous restaurant, Attonito was well-known in the Ridgefield community and helped dozens of non-profits, educational organizations, sports teams and more. He has already begun doing the same in Brookfield by hosting a few charitable events.
While opening during a global pandemic has been a challenge, Attonito said that the large patio and outdoor section offers plenty of room for safe social distancing and a great view of the mini golf course which is perfect for outdoor family fun.
“The fact that the whole feel of the place is that of an old take-out burger and ice cream joint which made us feel more comfortable considering COVID precautions. We love the idea of a unique way to spend time outdoors and something fun for kids and families to do together after being cooped up inside for so long. Obviously, we have our share of challenges, but we’re hoping the community takes to us quickly and we’re able to overcome what is sure to be a very tricky winter,” Attonito said.
Speaking of which, the restaurant offers take-out and curbside to go in addition to catering for corporate and community functions. The restaurant will be open all year round offering their full menu as well as homemade soup and donut specials for curbside and take-out, as well as limited dine-in options. JJ Stacks also participates with @deliverydotcom @ubereats @doordash and @grubhub.
Photos: Joe Attonito, JJ Stacks
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Brookfield Nonprofit Plans 20th Annual ‘Rake n Bake’ to Help People in Need in Greater Danbury Area
BROOKFIELD, CT—When Brookfield resident Peter Brady returned from his “regular” job, he had no idea that what he started as an after retirement ministry would soon turn into a full-time volunteer gig that would help thousands in need in the Greater Danbury area.
This fall they are planning their 20th annual “Rake n Bake” community service outreach program and it’s sure to be bigger and better than ever. The community event and its organizer helps the elderly and homebound by organizing a team of volunteers to go out and rake and clean up people’s yards. The nonprofit Brady founded has helped countless local folks not only with yard cleanup but also with buying food, making utility bill payment for those in need, helping people housing, purchasing wheelchairs, scooters and so much more.
In a newsletter to his helpers and volunteers, Brady said:
“You’ve all no doubt noticed those little objects falling from the trees, making a mess of your driveway, deck, and car. That can only mean one thing…’Rake and Bake’ is back!! It’s time to register for HDHM’s signature volunteer event of the season – this year marking our 20th year helping needy citizens of Brookfield and surrounding towns who would not otherwise be able to handle this basic home cleanup task themselves.
I will be running this year’s event for Pete and I will make sure the experience is as helpful to our clients and meaningful to our volunteers as in years past. YOU and literally hundreds of others make this event happen each year by providing the raking energy – but it’s success really depends on one single favor you can do for us right now… signing up early.
Though the actual raking happens all on one day (this year on November 16th), it takes our hard-working committee members several weeks to coordinate the many teams, equipment and properties to prepare. Please go to hdhm.org and click on the Rake/Bake link to register right away.”
Peter Brady, who goes by the name of “Boss Man,” woudl appreciate volutneers and donations to help make this year’s “Rake n Bake” a success. To make a donation, click here.
Town of Brookfield to Participate in #CityHallSelfie Day
BROOKFIELD, CT— The Town of Brookfield is encouraging residents to participate in “City Hall Selfie Day” on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The day is an online picture sharing event where locals snap a photo in front of their town hall and other government buildings.
Participants should take a selfie in front of a Brookfield Town Hall, 100 Pocono Road, and share it using the hashtag #CityHallSelfie. Prizes will be awarded for the best #CityHallSelfies in multiple categories.
Visit the Town of Brookfield’s website for entry details.
Image via Google Maps
2 Fires in Bethel Require Mutual Aid From Brookfield, Forcing One School Closure on Monday
BETHEL, CT — Bethel and area fire crews had a busy Sunday battling not one, but two blazes this afternoon, one at Clarke Business Park and the other at Bethel Middle School. No injuries have been reported thus far, according to the Bethel Fire Marshal who posted the following message on their Facebook page:
FD operating at a fire in Clarke Park. We are monitoring the smoke and runoff with DEEP for hazards. No hazardous issues at this time. If the smoke is in your area you can close windows in your home. We will update as needed.
The fire departments were also called according to a report on the school district’s Facebook page. The middle school will be closed on Monday, the district stated in their letter to parents:
PLEASE READ IMPORTANT MESSAGE BELOW:
Dear Parents/Guardians, & Staff,
At approximately 1 PM this afternoon there was a fire in an isolated area within the building at Bethel Middle School. The fire department responded promptly and the fire was extinguished. Clean up operations will begin soon but we are in the process of evaluating the impact of the fire on the electrical panels. Therefore, Bethel Middle School and ONLY Bethel Middle School will not be in session tomorrow, Monday, May 20, 2019. As we have more information, we will be in contact with you.
BROOKFIELD, CT — Brookfield’s “Giving Garden” is hosting their 10th Annual Planting Day on Saturday, May 18, 2019, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon and they’re inviting experienced and inexperienced gardeners to join in the fun.
Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, hats, gloves and sunscreen and bring newspapers (black & white only), gardening tools, and bug spray. The organization will provide drinking water, snacks, and lunch for volunteers and children are welcome.
The Giving Garden is a project of the Kiwanis Foundation of Greater Danbury, and located at the Eriksen Farm Open Space, 8 Nabby Road in Brookfield. Since 2010, the Giving Garden has grown thousands of pounds of vegetables for local food pantries and soup kitchens.
Please R.S.V.P. by emailing GivingGardenCT@gmail.com, or texting Donna at (203) 241-7336.
Find out more on Facebook by clicking here.
Photo credit: Giving Garden
166 Arts Organizations, Including Brookfield Craft Center, Receive $786K In Grants From Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund
HARTFORD, CT — The Connecticut Office of the Arts recently announced the 166 Connecticut Arts Endowment grants that were awarded to local nonprofits totaling $786,107.
- Brookfield Craft Center, Inc. – $6,488
- Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut – $1,620
- Danbury Music Centre, Inc. – $1,313
- Friends of the Ives, Inc. – $500
- Kent Singers – $500
- TheatreWorks New Milford, Inc. – $500
- Village Center for the Arts – $969
- Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – $3,927
- Ridgefield Chorale – $615
- Ridgefield Playhouse for Movies and the Performing Arts – $6,021
- Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – $1,684
- Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts/Ridgefield Theater Barn – $500
- Arts Escape, Inc. – $875
To see the full list of grant recipients, visit the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s website.
BROOKFIELD, CT — A Brookfield gymnastics studio has lots to be proud of after four out of their five Xcel Gold State gymnasts placed in the championships held at Killingly High School on April 21 and 22, 2018.
Kratos Gymnastics, owned by Ashley and Mihael Anton, had four of their gymnasts on the Xcel Gold Team compete. In their first season of the Xcel Gold level, everyone qualified to the CT State Championships and medaled in their individual age groups.
- Izabella Dobkowski, of Danbury, placed fourth on the floor exercise.
- Ella Penna, of Sherman, came in ninth place on balance beam and second place on the floor exercise.
- Mila Kuilan, of Danbury, came in fifth place on balance beam, fourth place on vault and uneven bars and all-around, and came in first place CT State Champion on floor exercise.
- Madison Larkin, of New Milford, came in ninth place on vault, second place on floor, and 1st place CT State Champion on uneven bars, balance beam, and all around.
Mother’s Day & We Care 5K to Benefit Late CT State Trooper
BROOKFIELD, CT — The Brookfield Parks & Recreation announced the Mother’s Day & We Care 5K, presented by Dr. Philip Mascia. The race will be held on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. The race starts at Brookfield High School, 45 Long Meadow Hill Road and will be held to benefit the Brookfield High School Track and The Amyloidosis Foundation in honor of Tommy Corres who passed away in January of 2018 at the age of 55.
Corres served as a Connecticut State Trooper with Troop A in Southbury for 22 years where he received a Life Savings Award in 2008, according to his obituary. The Amyloidosis Foundation began in order to support research, to support patients and increase awareness of the diseases, AA amyloidosis, which occurs as a reaction to another illness, such as a chronic inflammatory disease or a chronic infection, and AL amyloidosis is caused by a bone marrow disorder, according to The Amyloidosis Foundation.
The registration fee is $25, payable by mail or by phone, before May 11, 2018. Race day registration is available for $30 on race day. Online registration for individuals is due by Thursday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. for $27.25 per person by visiting: http://brookfield.usaxc.com.
T-shirts will be given to the first 250 entrants. Prizes will be given out in the following categories:
- Top Male
- Top Female
- Ages 8 and under
- Ages 9-13
- Ages 14-19
- Ages 20-29
- Ages 30-39
- Ages 40-49
- Ages 50-59
- Ages 60-69
- Ages 70-79
- Mother/Daughter team
- Grandmother/Granddaughter teams
- Mother/Son team
- Grandmother/Grandson teams
The course route begins at Brookfield High School to Long Meadow Hill Rd., to Hop Brook Rd, with a turnaround at the cone, back on to Long Meadow Hill Rd. to Brookfield High School.
Click here for more information on the race.
To donate to the Family of Tommy Corres Fund, click here.
Brookfield Librarian, Former Sandy Hook Library Media Specialist, Wins Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians
NEWTOWN, CT —Yvonne Cech, current Library Director of the Brookfield Library and former Library Media Specialist of Sandy Hook Elementary School, is one of two Librarians who were chosen as the recipients of the 2018 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity, according to Cheryl Malden, Program Officer with the American Library Association.
Diana Haneski, Library Media Specialist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, along with Cech will both be presented with a cash prize an award at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, LA., Malden said in a statement.
The ALA explains the origins of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity in the following manner: “It is of the opinion of Lemony Snicket, author, reader, and alleged malcontent, that librarians have suffered enough. Therefore he is establishing an annual prize honoring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact. The prize will be a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket’s disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing. It is Mr. Snicket’s hope, and the ALA’s, that the Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.”
The adversity Cech met was on that horrific December day five years ago, on December 14, 2012, when a lone gunman shot his way through the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary School taking the lives of 26 students and educators. According to a release, Cech saved 18 fourth grade children on that day by hiding them in a storage closet, locking the door and barricading it with book trucks and other objects until the SWAT team arrived. Cech would not open the door until she verified the officers’ identity.
Similarly, five years later, during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL, Haneski shielded 50 high school students and five adults from harm in a barricaded equipment room. She also refused to open the door until she was sure that the rescuers were who they claimed to be, the statement said.
Cech is now a Librarian at the Brookfield Public Library where she, her bio says, specializes in children’s literature but also loves adult nonfiction books about history. Cech lives in Danbury, received her Master’s in Library Science from Florida State University and holds a Teaching Certification from Southern Connecticut State University, with undergrad degrees from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and SUNY Oswego.
Best Brunch Spots in Brookfield
BROOKFIELD, CT — Quiche Lorraine, Country Farm Pancakes, Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Frittata…. is your mouth watering yet? Looking for a great spot to take the family for Easter Brunch or Passover? Here are the top three spots in Brookfield, as ranked by Trip Advisor and Yelp users.
Yelp’s Top 3 Brookfield Brunch Spots
- Maggie McFly’s, 195 Federal Road
- Agora of Brookfield, 834 Federal Road
- Bagelman, 14 Candlewood Lake Road
Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Brookfield Brunch Spots
Trip Advisor did not have any rankings in Brookfield specifically for brunch, so below are the top ranked places for breakfast and lunch in Brookfield.
- Chick-fil-A, 156 Federal Road
- Bagelman, 14 Candlewood Lake Road
- Hacienda Don Manual, 265 Federal Road
What do you think of their picks? Tell us in the comments.
We wish you a very Happy Passover season and a Happy Easter to you and yours!
Photo Credit: Kyle Van Horn via Flickr Creative Commons