Friends Focus

Friends’ Focus: Spring 2018

Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. (FANCI)

The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. (FANCI) exists to support the staff, the programs, and the vision of the Ansonia Nature Center.


The Great Give

Please consider donating to FANCI in this year’s Great Give, an online giving event to support Greater New Haven nonprofits. It is set to run from 8 a.m. on May 1 to 8 p.m. on May 2, 2018. Just go to and select the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, then make your donation. Nonprofits that participate in the annual event can win thousands of dollars in grant prizes from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and its partner in philanthropy, the Valley Community Foundation. Nearly 8,000 individuals participated in The Great Give® 2017, which raised nearly $1.3 million for nonprofits serving The Foundation’s 20-town service area.



Ion Bank Foundation Annual Community Awards Program

Ion Bank customers can still help FANCI earn up to $5,000 by voting for us in Ion Bank’s Community Awards Program through March 31!  Vote online at or visit one of Ion’s branches. One vote per customer. For more information call 203-729-4442 or toll free 877-729-4442, or speak to an Ion staff member.


Help FANCI While You Shop!

If you shop at, you can easily donate to FANCI at no cost to you by using AmazonSmile, a website operated by Amazon that lets you enjoy the same selection of products, low prices, and shopping features as on The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization you select.

When you first visit AmazonSmile, you’ll be prompted to select a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. Type in Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, click the “select” button, and shop as usual. That’s all you have to do for FANCI to receive a donation with each eligible purchase you make. And there is no cost to FANCI or to you! The shopping experience is identical to with the added benefit that you’ll be helping the Friends raise funds.


“I Spy” Nature Quilt Raffle

On display at the Ansonia Nature Center are some truly amazing quilts crafted by longtime volunteer Marcia Cohen. Marcia cares for our reptiles, amphibians, and other creepy crawlies. Her love of nature and animals has inspired her to create one-of-a-kind quilts. Come to see her display and visit the office to purchase raffle tickets at $5.00 each for a chance to win Marcia’s “I Spy” Nature Quilt. Each square in this gorgeous quilt has a nature theme: birds and bears, deer and butterflies, stars and squash, and more. The black-and-white photo here only hints at this quilt’s beauty! The drawing will be held during our Earth Day celebration on April 28, 2018 at 3 pm.


Nature Center Wish List: New Shed •Items for Earth Day Raffle • Stackable Washer & Dryer • Large Flat Screen for Powerpoint Presentations • Bird Feeders • Suet Cakes • Sunflower & Mixed Bird Seed • Nature Days Scholarships for Ansonia Residents • Good Quality Hand Pruners & Loppers • Gift Certificates to Petland, Petco, Staples, & Art Supply Stores •  and VOLUNTEERS for Greeting/Clerical Work • Nature Store Clerks • Docents • Nature Trail Maintenance • Critter Care • Exhibit Work • Habitat Conservation Projects •


Monetary donations: Hagani Foundation, Susan Hawley, Anne Herlihy, Jo-Anne Holden, William Holden, John Jemioto, Doris and Paul Leek, Maryanne and Robert Matthews, Neilsen Foundation, Lindsey Smith, William Velms, Nancy Walton, Masnoh Wilson.

Other donations: Daniel Bosques (head lamp, water bottles), Nicole Caffrey (bird seed), Don Cirkot (minerals, natural history books), Mary Ruth Shields (tree frog).

Class assistants: Charger Club (Micaiah Clinton, Gustavo Malave, Samantha Smith), Jonathan Tookey.

Winter 2018 program presenters: Sophie Zyla (Great Gull Island, Mar. 11), Andy Dobos (Art of Animal Tracking, Mar. 17), Marlow Shami (Nature as Mentor, Mar. 18), Bob Carruthers (Astronomy: Radio Telescope, Mar. 24), Pam Mellitz (Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body, Thursdays), Adam Rylski (Karate Club, Tuesdays), and of course Nature Center staff members for presenting many programs.

Winter 2018 Calendar of Events mailing crew: Sherry Nerreau, Ali Rubelmann, Rich Wade.

Administrative assistance/clerical work: Renee Crainer, Jim Dorney, Donna Lindgren, Norma Jean Moore, Allie & Adam Schaefer, Pauline Sholtys, Theresa Stellato, Rich Wade.

Park maintenance: Geoffrey and Marilyn Turner.

Birthday party presenters: Abbey Crouse, Olivia Kyasky, Gustavo Malave, Chase Rivera, Jessica Sulkowski, Andrea Wagner, Autumn Wankowicz.

Martin Luther King Day Event at the Peabody Museum:  Tom Cox, Kathy Gambacini, Donna Lindgren, Sherry Nerreau, Rich and Jan Wade, Viola Waldo, Amie Ziner.

Animal care: Ashley Ambrose, Ansonia High School Life Skills, Gary Cohen, Marcia Cohen, Donna Lindgren, Joshua Mondi, Allison Ogle, Steven Sciaraffa, Rich Wade, Susan Wilson.

New Members: Nicole Giannetta, Wendy Picardo, Bina Roginsky, Michele Shaw, Matt & Shari Storeygard, Jessica Sulkowski.



Director: Alison Rubelmann; Assistant Director: Wendy Sabol;

Rangers: Daniel Bosques, Dawn Sotir, Jessica Sulkowski, Amie Ziner; Custodian: Jami Condon.

TELEPHONE NUMBER: 203-736-1053




The Friends’ Focus is published seasonally by the Friends of the    Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. (FANCI) as an information link          between FANCI and its members.

Editors: Alison Rubelmann, Pauline Sholtys.

Mailing: Rich Wade.


The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center meet at the Nature Center on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm. All members of FANCI and interested folks are invited to attend.

The Friends’ Focus is published seasonally by the Friends of the    Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. (FANCI) as an information link          between FANCI and its members. Editors: Alison Rubelmann, Pauline Sholtys. Mailing: Rich Wade.


FANCI Seasonal Newsletters

Friends Focus Spring 2016

Friends Focus Summer 2016

Friends Focus Fall 2016

Friends Focus Winter 2016

Friends Focus Spring 2015

Friends Focus Summer 2015

Friends Focus Fall 2015

Friends Focus Winter 2015