As part of its mission, Sister Cities Essex Haiti works to provide opportunities for residents of Essex to learn about the people of Deschapelles and their distinct culture by holding or supporting events either singly or in cooperation with area organizations. Sister Cities Essex Haiti is able to support SCEH projects in Haiti through the support and enthusiasm of the community of Essex and residents throughout the State of Connecticut and beyond. Since its inception, the following events have been held. Sister Cities Essex Haiti gives a heartfelt thank-you to all the organizations, presenters and supporters of these initiatives.
Hike for Haiti was treated to beautiful weather on Sunday, October 16. Hikers were able to “walk the walk” and learn more about everyday life in Deschapelles, Haiti. While many Americans hike for pleasure, people in Haiti walk to go to the market, get water from the community well, gather firewood, go to school, and do their laundry at the river. Many thanks to all the hikers, the Boy Scouts who helped out, Essex Land Trust, and our sponsors: Danielle Danese, Siobhan McAndrews and Bill Gunterh, Alexandra Johnson, Sotheby’s International, Rick Weiner and The River Lane in Essex.
Thank you to all who supported the walk and to the event co-chairs Siobhan McAndrews (pictured) and Hope Proctor.
Photos: Kathleen Maher, Director, greeting and posing with some of the walking supporters.
The Sister Cities Essex Haiti 2022 Summer Fundraiser occurred on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at The Ivoryton Playhouse. Learn more about the evening here.
Essex Savings Bank: June 2022
SCEH was featured as a business of the month for its customers. We provided a display about Haiti and Sister Cities Essex Haiti.
Annual Appeal: Winter 2021
Thank you to all who contributed. Your support means so much to us and to the people of Deschapelles.
Understanding Haiti: Lecture by Laurent Dubois: September 14, 2021
In collaboration with Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC), Laurent Dubois presented a provocative lecture on “Haiti & Democracy,” as part of our 2021-2022 speaker series. University of Virginia Professor Dubois discussed the long-term history of the country, focusing on the complex political and cultural dynamics that have shaped the present. To view the lecture, click here. (Tip: advance to minute 15:00 as the first 15 minutes was a pre-lecture SECWAC Board meeting.)To learn more about the lecture, please click here. Many thanks to Professor Laurent Dubois, SECWAC, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Bank Square Books of New London and all those who participated in-person and via ZOOM.
Semi-Annual Appeal: Summer 2021
Thank you to all who contributed to help us keep our programs strong! The people of Deschapelles appreciate it.
Essex Paint and Sip for Haiti: May 2021
On May 7, 2021, artists and would-be- artists gathered at Essex Paint and Sip for a fun evening of creating Haitian-inspired paintings. Many thanks to Essex Paint and Sip and all those who participated. All who came left with their paintings!
A finished masterpiece!
Annual Appeal: December 2020
Thank you to all who donated to Sister Cities Essex Haiti! Your contributions are making a difference!
J. McLaughlin Support: November 2020
Sister Cities Essex Haiti teamed up once again with local retailer, J.McLaughlin, for a two-day fundraiser on November 4 & 5. 15% of the proceeds from all sales over a two-day period were donated to SCEH by J. McLaughlin. Thank you to all our friends at J.McLaughlin and all those shoppers who participated.
A Virtual Evening: September 2020
In collaboration with Madison booksellers, RJ Julia, we hosted a virtual evening with award-winning authors, Edwidge Danticat and Chantalle F. Verna, discussing “Haiti: The Healing Power of Storytelling”, September 26, at 7:00 pm. For more information about the event, please click here. If you enjoyed the event and would like to donate to SCEH, we would very much appreciate it!
Semi-Annual Appeal: July 2020
A very special thank you to all those who gave during this challenging time of Covid-19.
Annual Appeal: December 2019
J.McLaughlin Support: November 2019
Local retailer, J.McLaughlin, and Sister Cities Essex Haiti hosted a “Sip ‘n Shop” on Friday, November 22, with a portion of the proceeds from all sales that day donated to SCEH by J. McLaughlin. Thank you to all our friends at J.McLaughlin and all those shoppers who participated!
A Night of Theatre: September 2019
The Ivoryton Playhouse and Sister Cities Essex Haiti joined up to provide an evening of theatre for America’s favorite comedy, Shear Madness.. SCEH supporters gathered for cocktails before the show and were able to meet the cast after the show. Special thanks to our event sponsors: Norm Needleman & Jacqueline Hubbard, Clark Group, AJ Shea Construction LLC, Benin Management Corp., Jeffrey Mehler, CFP LLC and Centerbrook Architects. And, of course, to The Ivoryton Playhouse. Additional thanks to all of our supporters, event sponsors and the Ivoryton Playhouse.
Annual Appeal: December 2018
A Night of Theatre: September 2018
The Ivoryton Playhouse and Sister Cities Essex Haiti joined up to provide an evening of theatre for the 2012 Tony award winning musical: Once. SCEH supporters gathered for cocktails before the show and were able to meet the cast after the show. Many thanks to all of our supporters, event sponsors and the Ivoryton Playhouse. Learn more.
Essex Savings Bank Display: June 2018
Every month, Essex Savings Bank features a business or organization for it customers. SCEH was chosen for a second time as the featured organization. Thank-you Essex Savings Bank.
Cross-Cultural Presentation: April 2018
Robotics and education were featured at a cross-cultural presentation led by Valley Regional High School students, Rocket Otte, Patrick Myslik and Sam Paulson who spoke about the robotics program at the library and by Olivia Henrickson who visited Deschapelles in 2017 with a focus on education. Both teams presented videos about their projects to over 70 people. Learn more.
Annual Appeal: December 2017
Book Bags!: May 2017
May 2017 marked an important milestone for the Deschapelles library: they started lending books! But Deschapelles is dusty. Books are valued. How to protect the books? Learn more.
Ethan Bortnick Benefit Concert: April 2017
On April 6, 2017, SCEH presented a rousing concert featuring wunderkind Ethan Bortnick. Ethan is recognized as “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline His Own Concert Tour” and has shared the stage with Elton John, Beyonce, Reba McEntire and other world-class performers. Thank you to all of our supporters who attended the show. Learn more.
Annual Appeal: December 2016
Celebration of the Opening of the Deschapelles Library: June 2016
Supporters gathered on the banks of the Connecticut River to celebrate the opening of the Dechapelles Library. After six years of hard work, people were ready and willing to celebrate! Thank you to all the people, businesses and organizations who believed in us and opened their hearts to the people of Deschapelles, Haiti. Learn more.
Cushion-Making Bee: March 2016
When an Essex resident asked if there was a use for extra fabric, the librarians said they could use sit-upon cushions for children’s reading groups! Learn more.
Annual Appeal: December 2015
Lectures at the Essex Town Hall: September 2015
Professors and Art Conservators from Yale University, Brown University and Norwalk Community College presented a series of lectures for many area-residents interested in learning more about the literature, art, history and nature of Haiti. Learn more.
Annual Appeal: December 2014
Fall Fundraiser: October 2014
A good time by all was held at a Pig Roast and Cocktails on the banks of the Connecticut River with visual displays of various SCEH projects. Learn more.
Essex Library Display: Summer 2014
Beginning in the Summer of 2014, the Essex Library graciously gave SCEH a permanent bookshelf to hold fiction and non-fiction books about the history, culture and people of Haiti. Learn more.
Essex Elementary School Display: Spring 2015
Haiti cultural artifacts and SCEH memorabilia were displayed in the art gallery at EES for three months.
Chamber Music Concert: September 2013
Reuben Blundell (conductor of the Hunter College orchestra) and Michael Shane Wittenberg (assistant conductor and coach at opera companies in multiple cities) presented an afternoon of chamber music. Learn more.
Essex Meadows Wellness Day: August 2013
Essex Meadows, a local retirement community, hosted Run or Walk for a Cause. Learn more.
Essex Elementary School Benefit Concert: June 2014
Parents and children at Essex Elementary School continued their strong support of the dream of building a library in Deschapelles, Haiti. Learn more.
Tri-Club Rotary Celebration: May 2013
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate a $10,000 check to purchase books for the library? And, on top of that, 106 additional books! Learn more.
SCEH in the Movies!: 2013-present
A film, Welcome to Deschapelles, Our Sister City” was produced by Essex residents Brenda Floyd and her son Logan. To view the film, please click here. Learn more about the making of the film.
Dreamscapes: Spring 2013
Dreamscapes, a full service graphic arts and web design studio located on Main Street in Essex, helped SCEH spread the word about all the activity in Deschapelles! Learn more.
Art Show at Page Taft Realty: Winter 2013
Art-lovers had the opportunity to view and purchase Haitian art at Page Taft Christies International. Learn more.
Mohegan Sun: February 2013
The Big Book Club Getaway at Mohegan Sun featured information about SCEH and the film, Welcome to Deschapelles, Our Sister City. Learn more.
Rotary Presentation: January 2013
The International Committee of the Chester, Deep River, and Essex Rotaries invited SCEH to show the film “Welcome to Deschapelles, Our Sister City”. Learn more.
Exponential Ensemble Benefit: September 2012
The Exponential Ensemble kindly donated their time and talent to benefit Sister Cities Essex Haiti. Learn more.
Rotary Breakfast: September 2012
Chester Village West, a retirement community in historic Chester, Connecticut, hosted a breakfast for its residents and Rotarians. Learn more.
Region 4 School District Initiative: Spring 2012
The schools of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Region 4 raised over $6,000 for the Sister Cities Essex Haiti Early Education Teacher Training project! Learn more.
Have a Heart for Haiti Fundraiser: March 2012
Sister Cities Essex Haiti held its second Have a Heart for Haiti fundraiser at the Left Bank Gallery on Main Street in Essex. Learn more.
Essex Savings Bank: September 2011
Essex Savings Bank chose Sister Cities Essex Haiti as its featured “Business of the Month.” Learn more.
Essex Meadows Lifecare Retirement Community invited Sister Cities Essex Haiti to install a second Haiti art exhibit dedicated to the memory of Mary Lee Robertson, an accomplished artist and supporter of Hospital Albert Schweitzer and Sister Cities Essex Haiti. Learn more.
Chamber Music Concert: May 2011
The Essex Consort presented a sublime oboe concert at the Essex Congregational Church to benefit SCEH. As a bonus, Karen Birch Blundell, oboist, introduced SCEH to her Musical Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota’s Person to Person outreach program which has been er supportive of SCEH’s music project. Learn more.
Art Exhibit: Spring 2011
Essex Meadows Lifecare Retirement Community hosted an art show featuring Haitian art. Learn more.
Rotary Reaches Out: April 2011
The Tri-Club Rotaries held an H-2-O fundraiser to benefit Haiti and Niger. Learn more.
Jazz at St. John’s: February 2011
The Occasional Jazz Ensemble attracted people from all over the area. Learn more.
Ringing of the Bells: January 2011
Bells were rung for 35 seconds at St. John’s Church, Essex, CT, and elsewhere, to commemorate the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Learn more.
Have a Heart for Haiti Fundraiser: October 2010
SCEH held its first fundraiser at the Connecticut River Museum which involved over 40 volunteers and raised over $35,000 for Hospital Albert Schweitzer and the efforts to build a library in Deschapelles. Learn more.
Haiti Week: October 2010
As part of an initiative to bring greater awareness of Haiti and Sister Cities Essex Haiti to southeastern Connecticut, the merchants of downtown Essex participated in “Haiti Week”.Learn more.
Essex Elementary School Read-a-Thon: April 2010
Essex Elementary School presented SCEH with a check for $8,275 raised by students through a Read-a-Thon! 107 students read 34,448 pages in a total of 727 books. Learn more.
Girl Scouts Support: 2010-2014
Girl Scout Troop 62041 have been very active supporting SCEH. Learn more.
Tri-Club Rotary Initiative: February 2010
Tri-Town Rotaries have been early and loyal supporters of SCEH. Learn more.
Raising Awareness: February 2010
Original efforts began as “Have a Heart for Haiti”awareness and fund-raising for Hospital Albert Schweitzer through publicity and support such as the dedication of the February 14, 2010 Essex Winter Series Valentine’s Day Concert to Hospital Albert Schweitzer.