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Unsung Heroes

Not Everyone Knows Their Names--But They Should



Bob Alicea, Cathy Bonner, and Mike Rodgers are part of our first annual unsung heroes feature.

Scott Mullin

Ridgefield is full of health and fitness enthusiasts. Our fields are packed with kids, our rink is booked round the clock, and our facilities are top notch. We decided to dig deep and highlight some of the people who make all of this possible—the “unsung heroes” of sports and fitness. You might not always hear their names, but they have made major contributions to the development of athletes, young and old, in our town.

Pete McLean 
In 1989, Pete McLean, a former college rugby player, started formulating performance-training programs, as opposed to just lifting weights. Over the next several years, he developed his program, and in 1999, he came to Ridgefield to run a speed camp for the football team. “That’s when I really got this thing cranking,” he says.

In 2002, when Tiger Hollow was built, the athletics department built a strength and conditioning center. “That’s when it really exploded.” He started with 15 kids in his program, and in 2002, he had 80 kids. That year Ridgefield won the state football title. “Almost every major program in the school was working with us. We were ahead of the curve—better conditioned and stronger than the others we played against.” He also trains younger kids and runs an adult training group on Sundays. McLean says he’ll train about 130 kids this year, and estimates that since he started developing his program, he has trained about 6,000 people over the years.

Cathie Bonner
If a Ridgefield Kid can skate, chances are he or she knows Cathie Bonner. She came to Winter Garden Ice Arena in 2001, as a figure skater hired to teach hockey skating. "There's so much more to do with hockey--it's a team thing."

Her students have gone on to play college hockey. Now she teaches 16 Ice Mice classes a week. There's no telling how many nervous new skaters she has gotten motivated to skate.

Stacy Krys
​Stacy Krys has coached girls lacrosse for six years, served on the board at Ridgefield Youth Lacrosse for two, and coached field hockey for four. "You can't buy the type of confidence gained from playing sports. Though it's inherent in every girl, it lays dormant if not ignited."

This year, she spearheaded a change in fifth-grade girls lacrosse—to become more "inclusive," she created two equal teams in an effort to develop more girls. Anyone who has ever witnessed Krys at work will agree her trademark is her positive encouraging attitude on the sidelines and in her emails to the parents.

Bob Alicea
"A long time ago," Bob Alicea started as the field director for Ridgefield Little League. He created the master plan for fixing the fields. Over the past 20 years, Alicea has done just that. It's safe to say that thousands of Ridgefield little leaguers have benefited from those improvements. "When I see something that's a mess, I've got to fix it." And he has relied heavily on the contractors, donors, volunteers, and the town.

Mike Rodgers
"I have a passion for running," says Mike Rodgers, a former RHS and college track runner who ran 38 marathons before turning to cross training and triathlons. About five years ago, he decided to help train others for their events—5ks, marathons, and triathlons.

"There's a big emphasis on keeping people healthy, smiling, and having fun," says Rodgers, who leads detailed dynamic workouts at the high-school track. It's about running smarter, says Rodgers, who works a finance job in Stamford where he teaches a spin class at lunchtime.

"If everyone worked out the right way, we wouldn't have so many injuries."

The Ridgefield Bicycle Sports Club posts his workouts on their Facebook page. Rodgers met a guy in Weston who was training for a marathon by following his posts. "More people are doing the workout, just at different levels."

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November 2018

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Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

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Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

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Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Cost: $49.50

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The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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Cost: Tickets: $49.50 VIP Meet & Greet Ticket Bundle: $149.50

Where:
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Sponsor: Barts Tree Service
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Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

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Cost: $57.50

Where:
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80 E Ridge Rd
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View map »


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Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
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Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

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Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

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Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
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Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
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Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 to $50

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Telephone: 800 838 3006
Contact Name: Joe Spallina
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Cost: Tickets: $60 VIP Private Meet & Greet Ticket Bundle: $175

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80 E Ridge Rd
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Telephone: (203) 438-5795
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Founders Hall's First-Ever Gingerbread House Decorating Contest! At this year’s bi-annual Wreath Festival, Founders Hall (https://founders-hall.org/) is introducing a fun new contest...

Cost: Entry Fee: $10 / Event is FREE

Where:
Founders Hall of Ridgefield
193 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Founders Hall
Telephone: 860-799-5207
Contact Name: Michelle McQueen
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Guild of Artists' 14th Annual Festive Home...All That Glitters! opens Friday evening, November 16th with a preview party from 6-8pm.  For an entry fee of $20, attendees will...

Cost: $20 Preview Night Party/Free Days

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Guild of Artists
Telephone: 203.438.8863
Contact Name: Mary Pat Devine
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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276 Titicus Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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