Chamber gears up for spring events

The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce welcomed a new Duck Race mascot, Wally, named after Wallace Barnes.



The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce will be offering a variety of activities from spring to summer.

President and CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce Cindy Bombard will kick off its spring activities with the annual Duck Race.

In a change up, Bombard said this year’s event will be run more like a festival. Waddles the Duck will be retired and Wally, named after Bristol’s Wallace Barnes, will take over.

The Duck Race and Festival will be held on Sunday, May 5, beginning at 10 a.m. The duck launch will be at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $5 at a number of locations, including the chamber office, 440 N. Main St.; Crystal Diner, 43 Main St.; Greer’s Chicken, 64 Matthews St.; One Fifty Central, 50 Central St.; Veteran’s Strong Community Center, 111 N. Main St.; as well as a few other.

Duck Race partners — the Bristol Central High School Booster Club, the Bristol Education Foundation, the Bristol Exchange Club, the Miss Forestville Scholarship Organization, and the United Way of West Central Connecticut – also will be selling tickets.

During Small Business Appreciation Week —  Sunday, May 5 through Saturday, May 11— the chambers will be hosting a small business appreciation breakfast. The event will feature keynote speaker, Christopher Santilli, the publisher of the Hartford Business Journal.

Five Bristol businesses will be recognized for their commitment to their community: Dr. Victoria Biondi of Briar Rose Network, the Bristol-Towpath BNI (Business Network International), Computer Development Systems, Maple End Package Store, and Jerry Rafaniello of AFLAC.

The event will be held on Thursday, May 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 42 Century Dr., and will begin at 8 a.m., with registration at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $30 for chamber members, and $35 for non-members and walk-ins.

On Wednesday, May 22, the chambers, the New England Spring and Metalstamping Association, and the CTMA (Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities) will be hosting a Small Business Resources and Educational Forum.

Held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1081 West St., Southington, Bombard explained the forum will allow the business community to learn about available resources to aid in the success of their companies.

Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 8 a.m. To register and purchase tickets ($30 for members, $35 for non-members and walk-ins), visit

Joyce Lukasewski, an office and administrative assistant with the chambers, explained the three golf-centered events that will bring attendees through spring and into summer.

Beginning on Tuesday, May 14, and running for 14 weeks, is the Ladies 9-Hole Golf League. Held at the Tunxis Country Club, 87 Town Farm Rd., Farmington, is an offshoot of the Martinis and Mulligans learn-to-golf program.

Martinis and Mulligans will also be offered again this year, and will run in June and July at Chippanee Country Club, 6 Marsh Rd., Bristol.

Both of these events will feed into the 28 Annual Golf Tournament, held on Monday, Aug. 5, at the Tunxis Country Club. The tournament will offer 18-holes, open to men and women, as well as a ladies-only 9-hole tournament.

Registration for all three golf events is now open at, or by calling (860) 584-4718.

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