Sponsored Events

PROBUS 2022 Balloon Sale Fundraiser a Memorial Day Success!

After a two year hiatus, the Memorial Day parade resumed in West Hartford on May 30th, 2022. Fourteen PROBUS volunteers arrived early in the morning at Town Hall and worked efficiently in the Judge’s chambers inflating hundreds of balloons and assembling patriotic pinwheels. By 9:30 A.M., this determined group took to the streets of Farmington Ave. and South Main St. Eager youngsters and parents purchased all the offerings as the parade began under azure skies and comfortable Spring temperatures.

The crowd was delighted, and PROBUS sales were well supported. The pictures of the event reflect the public enthusiasm, and the pleasure of our PROBUS volunteers, who overcame supply chain issues (shortage of Helium tanks) and volunteer shortages. Heartfelt thanks go to the several family members and friends who joined our PROBUS team to make this event a  success. Thank you also to retired Judge Syd Elkin, and to Acting Town Manager for West Hartford Rick Ledwith, for arranging PROBUS use of Town Hall.

Hartford Probus Has Resumed Hosting Area Group Homes At CCSU Varsity Basketball Games

On a snow squall Saturday afternoon, Probus resumed it’s hosting of area group homes at CCSU basketball games! On February 19th, 2022, eighteen residents & caregivers from group homes in New Britain, Newington, Simsbury and Storrs traveled to Detrick Gymnasium as our guests to watch an incredibly exciting Women’s Varsity game vs. Wagner. The Wagner Seahawks from Staten Island, NY defeated the CCSU lady Blue Devils 65-58. The Blue Devils, who were down by 25 points in the first half, staged a gritty comeback in the second half, and nearly pulled off the upset! It was great to see some familiar faces from the group homes come back to the New Britain CCSU campus for much deserved fun!

One week later, on Saturday February 26th, five Probus members (Dr Bob Dobrow, Charlie Dobrow, Mark Goldberg, David Maslin and volunteer Yehuda Meyer) hosted twenty-three group home residents and their caregivers at a fast-paced CCSU Men’s basketball game vs. Mount Saint Mary College. The Mountaineers from Newburgh, NY defeated the CCSU Blue Devils 65 – 46. At half time, all guests were treated to a well-choreographed performance at center court of young women from the SRL Irish Dance Academy from South Windsor, The talented CCSU cheer leaders also entertained.

It was heart-warming to observe one group home attendee proudly wearing a Special Olympics Medal that he received in a (CTSO) softball competition. This was yet another indication of how important opportunities for sporting event participation are to persons in the I.D.D. community. Probus volunteers have been pleased to assist at various CTSO events. We are indebted to our partners in the CCSU Athletics Department for providing us with basketball game tickets to hand out to group homes attending from throughout central Connecticut.

Probus Volunteers Attend First “Re-Opening” Men’s Basketball at CCSU

Probus Greater Hartford held a mid-Winter social event on Saturday, February 12th 2022, when a half dozen Probians attended a Central Connecticut State University Men’s Basketball game vs. St. Francis of Brooklyn, NY on the New Britain campus. Although Central lost 67-50, a great time was had by all and it was thrilling to once again safely attend a live game, out in a public venue. Tickets for these games have been generously provided to Probus, by Steve Valenti, Director of Athletics, CCSU.

Probus Donates to New Britain Shelters

Before the February 12th C.C.S.U. “Blue Devils” game, Probus chapter members generously donated priority supplies to the C.C.S.U. annual drive to support New Britain’s homeless shelters. The Alumni Association and the Office of the President were collecting self-care and other items that will be placed in overnight emergency kits. Donations included toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, warm socks and other essentials. Non-perishable foods were also accepted and donated to Maria’s Place, the C.C.S.U. food pantry. The numerous items donated by PROBUS more than filled a huge carton, and will help many in need during this long and cold Winter.

Probus Annual Picnic 2021

Probus Greater Hartford has partnered with the oldest camp in the country to share the joy of a summer picnic with area group homes and special needs individuals. Probus Greater Hartford held it’s Annual Picnic for intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals on Sunday, August 29th at Camp Courant in Farmington, CT. This camp was founded 124 years ago and it is the oldest and largest free summer day camp in the nation. It served as the ideal venue to welcome our 109 guests who arrived in vans from area group homes, and other facilities, including The American School For The Deaf in West Hartford. Our 22 Probus volunteers and board members cooked hamburgers and hot dogs to 25 picnic tables under the massive pavilion. Chips, cookies and bottled water were also handed out. The 2020 pandemic cancelled our picnic last year and this August, Hurricane Henri  caused us to reschedule our picnic date to the end  of the month.

Kudos to our hip D.J. Matt “Funktavious” who provided a great mix of danceable tunes to set the mood and provide a palpable energy. Many attendees danced among themselves and with caregivers. A number of our guests also availed themselves of the camp’s swing sets, jungle gyms and other recreational equipment, or strolled the lovely campus.

As our guests were departing Camp Courant they were given some small gifts to take with them, to help remember the day.

We are indebted to Camp Courant for outstanding cooperation and generosity and their Director of Donor Involvement, Jessica Pierson, and her talented and tireless staff!

TWENTY-THREE GROUP HOMES REGISTERED FOR OUR PICNIC. They came from the following 13 towns: South Windsor, East Hartford, Rocky Hill, Newington, Storrs, Manchester, New Britain, West Hartford, Bloomfield, Hartford, Ellington, Simsbury and Willimantic. PROBUS looks forward to further events serving those in the IDD community.

Probus Volunteers for Special Olympics

Probus volunteers were excited to participate in two Special Olympics CT events on Saturday June 19, 2021, welcoming this extraordinary organization’s return to physical gatherings after last year’s forced pandemic suspension.

The two events included a track and field meet held at Fitch Senior High School in Groton, CT, and a cycling competition at a corporate facility in Cheshire, CT. Probus members Charlie Dobrow, Dr. Bob Dobrow and Chris Magnifico volunteered as Cycling Course Marshals at the Summer Sports Series Cycling Event in Cheshire. The trio were supplied with walkie talkies and stationed at various points on the oval course to help monitor and maintain a safe riding environment for the competing athletes. A myriad of bicycles, including English racers and over-sized adult tricycles were safety inspected, and used for a series (1K to 5K) of time trials.

Meanwhile, at the Groton Summer Sports Series Athletic Competition, the threesome of Adrienne and David Maslin, along with Mark Goldberg, were busy attaching assigned numbers to athletes, escorting them to their starting positions on the track, and providing last minute lane and finish line instructions. The day saw a full range of races — from 50 meters to 1500 meters – each involving multiple “heats”.

The Probus volunteers also cheered on and encouraged the determined athletes who have been training for months for these events. Many of the Special Olympians smiled and pumped their fists at the crowd as they competed. The competitions were truly inspiring: there was a palpable sense of joy and pride displayed by spectators, coaches and family members of the athletes who urged their loved ones on.

Commemorative Medals were awarded to all the athletes.

Probus sends a big “Thank You!” to Special Olympics Connecticut for the opportunity to partner with you on this festive day of competition!

Baseball Clinic

”3 D. Disability, Dream and Do“, arranged by Dave Clark, hosted by The Hartford Yard Goats team, and assisted by Hartford PROBUS volunteers on the field.

Two annual summer Clinics have hosted hundreds of area youngsters with special needs  enjoying the thrill of sports participation.

The Annual Picnic

SPONSORED BY PROBUS has hosted as many as 275 persons from area Group Homes and Respite Care facilities. This extremely popular event features barbecued grilled meals and hours of D-J music in an outdoors and open pavilion settings, which are wheel-chair accessible. Recent entertainments included College sport celebrities and professional team mascots. Travel to this event has been in specialized vans provided by DDS.

Basketball at Central Connecticut State University

For several years Probus of Greater Hartford has sponsored group homes attendance at varsity college basketball games. Most recently nearly 150 residents and caregivers enjoyed double-header CCSU men’s’ and women’s games at Detrick Gymnasium on the New Britain campus. Tickets were given by the CCSU Athletic Dept. Probus volunteers welcomed each guest on arrival and seated all at court side. Attendees have expressed great satisfaction with these exciting outings.