Thank You for a Successful 2023 Spring Breakfast

At the RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast, the early bird was treated to quiche, coffee, convivial conversation, and possibly even a trip to Africa.  

It’s amazing what 400 people can accomplish before 9:00am on a Friday morning. In 90 minutes on April 28th, the annual RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast raised $138,000 to support our programs and mission. And there were a lot of happy prize winners!

With lots of spring in their step, area business professionals, physicians, veterans, RVNAhealth supporters and staff filled the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury at 7:30am.  Government officials from several communities were also in attendance, including the First Selectmen from Washington Depot (James L. Brinton), Bethel (Dan Carter), Warren (Gregory LaCava), Sherman (Don Lowe), Ridgefield (Rudy Marconi), Roxbury (Patrick Roy) as well as Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito, State Representative Farley Santos, and State Senator Julie Kushner.

A highlight of the morning was hearing firsthand the critical role RVNAhealth plays in the community, offering an enhanced continuum of care and meeting the needs of patients from birth to end-of-life.  Impact speaker, Anita Wolter McElroy, could not have been more powerful, as she shared her heartfelt story as a dedicated and loving daughter, trying to find the best of care for her aging parents. She found it in RVNAhealth, where her family’s medical, physical, and emotional needs are being met under one umbrella – always carefully organized, orchestrated, and well communicated. Referring to RVNAhealth as “the glue,” she shared, “It’s not just the services they offer, but how they provide those services.”

Many, many thanks to all of our event sponsors; our gracious table hosts and guests; the local businesses who donated more than 60 raffle items; our friends at Rodier Flowers; our special speaker, Anita Wolter McElroy; our brilliant auctioneer, Allison Stockel; our extraordinary event chairpersons, Andrea Gartner and Cathy Moore, and our fabulous committee who all brought an early Friday morning to life for RVNAhealth.

If you missed the Spring Breakfast and still want to show your support, please click here to make a donation.

Thank you to Deborah O’Brien for these wonderful photos!



RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast: Community Coming Together to Care for Neighbors


RVNAhealth will host its 22nd Annual Spring Breakfast on Friday, April 28 at The Amber Room in Danbury. This event, co-chaired by Andrea Gartner and Cathy Moore, attracts more than 400 local residents, business owners, and community leaders in the greater Danbury area. The early morning program (7:30am – 9:00am) consists of a delicious breakfast, inspirational speaker, lively auction and raffle prizes all in support of RVNAhealth. This is a major fundraiser which helps sustain RVNAhealth’s home health and hospice care, and the vital programs we bring to our communities, including well-child services, immunization clinics, support groups, wellness programs on nutrition and disease prevention, and help for the homebound.

The agency would like to thank its sponsors, including

  • Diamond Sponsors: Larry and Nancy Bossidy, Mutual of America, Eileen and Jay Walker
  • Gold Sponsors: Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, Lori Berisford and Elaine Cox, BMW of Ridgefield, Fairfield County Bank, Liz and Steven Goldstone, Valerie Jensen, Rodier Flowers
  • Silver Sponsors: Elizabeth Murray Ellis, HamletHub, Kane Funeral Home, Meadow Ridge, Glori and Adam Norwitt
  • Bronze Sponsors: All American Waste, Base Technologies, Inc., The Chefs’ Warehouse, Chipman Mazzucco Emerson, LLC, Cohen and Wolf, P.C., Cramer & Anderson, LLP, Harriton & Furrer, LLP, Christopher and Mary Joyce, Dean and Theresa Miller, Annette and Dan O’Brien, On the Mend Medial Supplies & Equipment, Saint Joseph Parenting Center, Union Savings Bank, Upnext Leadership Coaching and The Watermark at East Hill

You may purchase a sponsorship or table online or contact Connie Marsala, Development Manager, at or at 203.438.5555, x1018.


Gather Your Friends and Join RVNAhealth’s Annual Spring Breakfast!

RVNAhealth will host its 22nd Annual Spring Breakfast on Friday, April 28 from 7:30am-9:00am at The Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. The Board of Directors, Spring Breakfast Committee, and friends of the organization look forward to celebrating the meaningful work of RVNAhealth and the continuum of care the agency provides throughout 35+ communities. Each year, the Spring Breakfast brings together 400 local business leaders, medical professionals, community groups, and RVNAhealth supporters to welcome spring and raise funds critical to patient care and program support. Funds raised allow RVNAhealth to care for patients and clients regardless of age, diagnosis, or financial circumstances and make a lasting impact on the lives of those served. It’s truly an inspiring morning and a great way to start the day! This year’s impact speaker is a business leader who has worked with RVNAhealth to provide care for her elderly parents. She will describe how the integrated continuum of RVNAhealth services supported her family, even as their needs changed, and she will offer useful insights for others who may be caring for aging loved ones. You are invited to become a sponsor or host a table at this year’s event, which will include a delicious breakfast, live auction with travel and entertainment packages, and a raffle with over 40 prizes. You may purchase sponsorships or tables online at or contact Connie Marsala, Development Manager, at 203.438.5555, x1018 or

Now is a Great Time to Join our Governor Society!

RVNAhealth’s Governor Society is a membership program for business and community partners who invest $1,000 or more each year in the health and well-being of their community. Governor Society support funds our Community Health & Wellness programs, such as our Chronic Care program for low-income individuals, community education, blood pressure clinics, vaccinations, and our Well-Child Clinics for underinsured children. Contributions may also support Hospice care, enabling us to provide bereavement support, music therapy, and even pet therapy – services not covered by insurance.

Governor Society membership options include event and program sponsorships, targeted gifts by service area, or unrestricted contributions to areas of greatest need.  The benefits to Governor Society Members are many, including recognition on our website, brand exposure in event materials, publicity, exclusive access to special events, and concierge services.  In customizing their philanthropic support over a 12-month period, our Governor Society members can target their giving to strengthen their communities in a way that is both meaningful to them and beneficial to their business or organizations.

For more information on RVNAhealth’s Governor Society or other ways to support RVNAhealth, contact Jennifer Christensen at or call 203-438-5555, x1052.

Other ways to support RVNAhealth:

Every gift—no matter the size—has a meaningful impact on our work and the communities we serve. There are many ways for businesses to support RVNAhealth:

  • Donate to RVNAhealth’s Annual Fund
  • Choose to become an event sponsor 
  • Advertise in event program books
  • Make an in-kind donation of gift certificates, event tickets, or unique experiences or services for our event auctions and raffles
  • Partner with RVNAhealth to present on a health and wellness related topic
  • Sponsor a community health and wellness program
  • Encourage your staff to volunteer with RVNAhealth

Upcoming ‘Save the Dates’:

  • March 25 – Wellness Fair, East Ridge Middle School, Ridgefield
  • April 28 – Spring Breakfast, Amber Room, Danbury
  • September 30 – Autumn Dinner, Silver Spring Country Club, Ridgefield

Eye Spy a New Billboard…Thank You Fairfield County Bank!

Thank you to Fairfield County Bank for generously donating their billboard space on I95N Exit 15 to RVNAhealth from November through January!  The Bank has been a loyal supporter of RVNAhealth for more than 25 years.  Use of this billboard is another example of the many ways in which the Bank partners with RVNAhealth to support and help expand our services in the region.

As Theresa Santoro, RVNAhealth President & CEO explains, “RVNAhealth’s growth and innovation have been due, in no small part, to the support received throughout the years from Fairfield County Bank, its employees, and its board members. From banking, insurance, and investments to guidance, advice, and support across countless volunteer hours, the impact Fairfield County Bank has had on RVNAhealth has been immeasurable.  They are a true friend and partner of our agency and we are immensely grateful for their unwavering commitment to the health and wellness of our communities and the many lives we serve.”

The Precious Gift of Education

The gift of education is a profound one. An investment in an individual that rewards their potential; offers enlightenment; and has the power to influence the course of their life. Every year, select RVNAhealth staff members are fortunate to receive such a gift  — through scholarships offered by Fairfield County Bank and the Couri Family Foundation, both longtime donors and believers in RVNAhealth.Continue reading

In Celebration of Family Caregivers – Tips to Remain at Your Best!

This month RVNAhealth took time to recognize and thank our StayingWELL caregivers for their tireless efforts in helping clients remain safely and confidently at home.  We celebrate our caregivers during November, which also happens to be National Family Caregivers Month.

As a caregiver, prioritizing time for yourself can be just as important as the care you provide for a loved one at home.  Feeling your best and feeling adequately prepared can only happen when you invest time in yourself.  Here are some helpful tips to help family caregivers remain at their best both physically and mentally.

  • Learn and use stress-reduction techniques, e.g., meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi
  • Attend to your own healthcare needs
  • Get proper rest and nutrition
  • Exercise regularly, even if only for 10 minutes at a time
  • Take time off without feeling guilty
  • Participate in pleasant, nurturing activities, such as reading a good book, taking a warm bath
  • Seek and accept the support of others
  • Seek supportive counseling when you need it, or talk to a trusted counselor, friend, or pastor
  • Identify and acknowledge your feelings, you have a right to ALL of them
  • Change the negative ways you view situations
  • Set goals

If you or someone you know is a family caregiver in need of additional care support, RVNAhealth offers care planning and management services, as well as its own StayingWELL services offering both hourly and live-in caregiving for personal and household support.  Visit RVNAhealth at or call us at 203.438.5555 x 4 for more information.

If you would like more information you can go to:




Sponsor Spotlight: Ryer Associates

Above: Three generations of support. Left: Jeff (seated with wife, Laurie) and Gus (standing) Ryer at the RVNAhealth Spring Breakfast. Right: Mike Ryer with RVNAhealth President & CEO Theresa Santoro.

This month, we caught up with father and son, Jeff and Gus Ryer of Ryer Associates. Jeff, president, and Gus, vice president, were introduced to RVNAhealth through Mike and Lynn, their parents and grandparents respectively, dear friends and supporters of the organization for many years. Jeff and Gus are keeping the family legacy and impact alive and thriving, all the while keeping that coffee flowing…

Q: Tell us a little about Ryer Associates.

Jeff: Ryer Associates was founded in 1972 by my father, Mike Ryer.  Over the years, it’s evolved into a boutique commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm.  We primarily serve northern Fairfield and New Haven Counties, but are licensed in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and have worked with clients on a regional and national level. 

We have participated in many of the area’s more significant transactions, but we also work with local clients seeking commercial space or investment properties.  Our affiliations with national/international professional organizations, like CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) and SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®) allow us to serve a broad spectrum of clients, providing exceptional customer service paired with strong analytic and demographic tools.

Q: What appealed to you both about the business?

Jeff: After college, I worked in the banking sector where I trained in a broad spectrum of disciplines including commercial lending.  I joined Ryer in the ’80s then took a brief vacation back into banking – this time handling foreclosed commercial real estate resulting from the early ’90s’ recession.  I returned and have been running Ryer since 1997.

Gus: I graduated college in 2011 and saw joining the family firm as a great opportunity.  I’ve always been a curious person – not only could I learn brokerage under both Jeff and Mike, but I could also learn about the various businesses I was serving.  I jumped in with both feet, quickly earning a CCIM designation and serving with various commercial real estate groups and the Connecticut Association of REALTORS®.

Q: How big is your team? 

Jeff: We currently have four associates, though we’re always looking to grow.

Gus: Give us a call if you (or someone you know) want to talk about joining!

Q: What is your business philosophy?

Jeff: We believe in providing the highest quality, most responsive service possible with the strictest level of personal and professional ethics.  We devote significant effort to education and staying on top of current and anticipated commercial real estate issues.

Gus: It’s also important to us that we give back, volunteering in professional and community organizations whenever possible.  Real estate is local, so being involved in our community is vital.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

Jeff: COVID-19 has profoundly changed the commercial real estate industry, and we’re still trying to sort out the long-term impacts. Smaller office, restaurant and some retail occupants have shuttered their doors and won’t re-open.  Large companies aren’t immune as they try to balance COVID-reduced occupancy, profit margins, employee/customer health, and shifts in consumer spending behaviors.

Gus: From a day-to-day brokerage standpoint, we’ve had to shift our practices to keep everyone safe while we do business.  We now have a higher emphasis on digital services, focusing on video and 3D tours, remote showings, and socially distant in-person meetings.

Q: What type of services do you provide?

Jeff: We provide commercial real estate brokerage and advisory services.  We market commercial real estate and also represent buyers and tenants looking for properties or space.  Recently, we’ve done a lot of advising with respect to COVID; for example, early on, landlords wanted to know if they should charge restaurant tenants for the use of outside areas for dining (no) or how they should handle tenant requests for rent relief (be kind).

Gus: We’re also well equipped to provide market reports and consulting services, including demographics analyses, market rates, lease reviews, and comparative site studies.  If what you need is beyond our scope, we’ll know who can help.

Q: Any trends consumers should be aware of?

Jeff: COVID has added a lot of uncertainty to the commercial real estate market, but there are opportunities to prosper. For example, there’s a line of thought that corporate relocations from urban to suburban areas may occur, as crowded cities, public transportation, elevators, and shared air handling systems seem risky compared to direct/low rise stair access, operating windows, and dedicated heating/cooling. Properties like that are more easily found in the suburbs and have the added bonus of being closer to the homes of many executives. While that’s a nice theory, we’re still waiting to see it happen.

Gus: That being said, we’ve seen a tenuous uptick of businesses searching in CT from out of state. So far it seems like a response to the state’s coronavirus response, but we’re hoping it’s the start of a lasting trend. The residential market is booming, and commercial real estate tends to follow suit.

Q: Remind Us How We Met? 😊

Jeff: I was introduced to RVNAhealth through my parents. Lynn and Mike Ryer were passionate supporters of several community organizations and they were particularly fond of RVNAhealth. Prior to his death, Dad had been a long-time board member of the agency and co-chaired the Campaign for Tomorrow with Eileen Walker to build the RVNAhealth Center for Exceptional Care. I stepped in after he passed and was impressed with your scope of services and leadership’s long-range vision.

Q: How has the relationship evolved and what are the key elements of Ryer Associates’ relationship with RVNAhealth?

Jeff: While Dad was pretty much limited to well-care services like flu shots, health screening, etc., my mom depended on RVNAhealth extensively for many years prior to her death.  RVNAhealth team members were integral to her well-being. You provided frequent visits to her home at Meadow Ridge, accompanied her to medical appointments, and provided guidance to me on the state of her medical care.  She also received hospice care, and I am so grateful to Laura for all the aid and comfort she was able to provide.

Since getting involved with RVNAhealth, Ryer Associates and I have supported the agency financially, and we’ve been proud to participate in several events like your annual Spring Breakfasts in Danbury and Southbury, in addition to helping with your Campaign for Tomorrow.

Professionally, Ryer Associates was honored to assist RVNAhealth in evaluating, marketing, and selling your property on Catoonah Street, where you and the Thrift Shop operated together for twenty years, 1960-1980, before outgrowing the space. 

Q: Any Ryer Associates/RVNAhealth stories to share?

Jeff: I started this interview saying my involvement with RVNAhealth began with the Campaign for Tomorrow and to build your Center for Exceptional Care, because I feel very strongly about the agency’s serious and enduring impact to the community. However, my actual involvement really started when Dad asked me to host a Spring Breakfast table for him. Dad typically filled two tables, and I was called upon to host the extra table, meaning I became quickly adept at pouring the coffee—a table host requirement. In fact, I’ve become so well trained that I often find myself jumping up to serve the coffee at other breakfast events. After Dad’s passing, I strived to fill his shoes and Gus took my spot as second table host. I’ve also seen him try to resist the urge to pour the coffee at other events, too.

Gus: Join us at our table when all this is over – I’ll keep the coffee flowing (and maybe try to snag some extra pastries for you)!