Litchfield News




The Buzz Around Town

Morris Creates Ready-to-go
Thanksgiving meals for Twenty Families
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti identified twenty local families in need of some help to enjoy a happy thanksgiving, and a large number of town residents stepped forward to help their neighbors, by donating to a food drive held at the transfer station, and by bringing donations to the town’s food pantry.  The large baskets of food items were accompanied by frozen turkeys and homemade pumpkin pies to complete the holiday meal.
Pictured are First Selectman Tom Weik, who spearheaded a food drive at the town’s transfer station, and Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti, who gathered volunteers to assemble and decorate the twenty baskets.
Those seeking information or to apply for assistance from the Morris Food Pantry at town hall are encouraged to contact Laurel Gillotti at or 860-567-7430.  Donations are gratefully accepted.
Getting ready for the holiday season
The lights are being placed on the tree on the Litchfield Green by John Langer
Views of Litchfield courtesy of John Langer
Morris Selectman’s Office Collects
Thanksgiving Basket Donations
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
Braving 25-degree temperatures and bitter wind gusts, Morris Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti and First Selectman Tom Weik conducted a food drive at the town’s transfer station on November 11.
Pictured are Morris Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti and First Selectman Tom Weik accepting donations for the Morris Food Pantry’s Thanksgiving baskets at the town’s transfer station on November 11.
Laurel Gillotti is gathering the items to include in Thanksgiving baskets that will be personally delivered by the First Selectman’s office.  She is also creating the annual “Giving Tree” that offers children a gift from their wish list that will be donated by Morris residents.  For more details or to make donations to the Morris Food Pantry or Giving Tree, please contact 860-567-7430 or
Mildred Wheeler of Litchfield celebrates her 105th.
Mildred Wheeler of Litchfield celebrated her 105th birthday on Thursday. She lives with her daughter, Debbie Dove, and is believed to be the oldest resident of Litchfield and one of the oldest people in Connecticut. She has lived in Litchfield for 30 years. A daily thyroid pill is the only medication she takes. She maintains a sense of humor and a positive attitude and said the oatmeal she has for breakfast every day is one of the things that keeps her going. First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. stopped by to present Wheeler with flowers and wish her a Happy Birthday. BZ photo
Family Fun Day fulfills its promise in Morris
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
The renowned wedding venue of the White Barn at South Farms was filled with the voices of children, troubadour Eran Troy Danner’s acoustic music and happy chatter on Sunday, October 22, as two town officials hosted a public getting-to-know-you party.  The event notice promised “rain or shine” but the weather cooperated with a warm sunny day, enticing the many children to get face-painted, play games, and enjoy free range running around the farm property.
Cody Martin helped to grill the hamburgers and hot dogs outside and homemade chili and Swedish meatballs were featured on the indoor buffet.
Mitzi Cippello, who brought her one-year-old granddaughter Veda, said she was happy to come to the event presented by Morris First Selectman Tom Weik and Selectwoman Erica Dorsett-Mathews, because “they are both wonderful, upstanding people.”
First Selectman Tom Weik (middle) welcomed Morris residents Jim Sardo and Sally Irwin to South Farms on a beautiful sunny day.
Selectwoman Erica Dorsett-Mathews (left) chatted with Jody Lee Lillis, Jeannette Lillis and Ava Pond.
Tiny Food Pantry in Morris has Big Plans
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
The Morris food pantry has been well supported by town residents, and various food drives have been held to keep the shelves stocked. The pantry, located in a small closet of a room in community hall, was in desperate need of refurbishment. First Selectman Tom Weik personally took on the project of gutting the entire room, removing the old carpeting, pouring a new floor, painting the walls and floor with a shiny, speckled finish and adding new brighter lighting. The result was a completely transformed, cozy and welcoming room that was recently decorated for the holidays by Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti.
First Selectman Tom Weik and Social Services Director Laurel Gillotti restocking shelving of the recently renovated Morris Food Pantry.
The First Selectman said, “Laurel does a great job with the food pantry. The people that utilize it love her and trust her. Confidentiality is very important and she has done a wonderful job keeping everything private. She also puts in extra unpaid hours toward this mission, especially during the holidays.”
Laurel Gillotti has also begun an “Adopt-a-Family” plan that offers townspeople a unique opportunity to help their neighbors in need.
Volunteers can become a monthly sponsor of a local family experiencing financial hardship, a devastating tragedy, grandparents who are primary caregivers of their grandchildren, victims of domestic abuse or fire, or those suffering from a serious illness. She is already planning the items to include in Thanksgiving baskets that will be personally delivered by the First Selectman’s office, and looking ahead to the annual “Giving Tree” in the Morris town hall that offers children a gift from their wish list that will be donated by Morris residents. For more details or to make donations to the Morris Food Pantry, please contact 860-567-7430 or
Little Free Library shows up inside Goshen Center School
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
On Wednesday, October 18, Rose Buckens joined in the Grand Opening of the newest Little Free Library that was specially built to be displayed inside the Goshen Center School. A blend of new wood and barn wood, the two-story lending library was built by master woodworker Dan Cassidy and set atop an antique school desk that had been gifted to the school by Little Free Library at StoneHill and restored to perfection by him as well.
L-R: Principal Tracy Keilty, Rose Buckens, Bethany Cassidy and Dan Cassidy
Dan’s wife, Bethany Cassidy, is the Special Education teacher at the school.  She and Principal Tracy Keilty both were enthusiastic about the addition of a Little Free Library to the school’s entrance, and he offered to build it. Rose Buckens also gifted the Charter #46380, putting the school on the global map with over 63,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide, and 43 in the works in the Litchfield Hills by Little Free Library at StoneHill.
Little Free Library goes to the dump
~ contributed by Jo Ann Jaacks
The newly opened swap shop at the Morris transfer station is beginning to take shape as a community meeting place and opportunity to recycle once-loved belongings that are ready for a new home.
L-R: Joe Gregory, Rose Buckens and Tom Weik
On Friday, October 13, three Morris residents brought a carload of items. First Selectman Tom Weik, who had previously donated some much-needed shelving from his own home, helped bring in donations of framed art and décor provided by Joe Gregory and toys and two boxes of children’s books from the Little Free Library at StoneHill donated by Rose Buckens.