In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Talented Teen Chefs Battle with Maple Syrup

First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend

Public to Choose Winner at Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Four talented teenage chefs will compete in First County Bank’s Teen Chefs Challenge event at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center during this year’s Maple Sugar Festival Weekend. On Saturday, March 7, the teen chefs will compete in an exciting competition to create the best tasting recipe, as judged by the public, using maple syrup as an ingredient.

This year marks the 15th anniversary First County Bank has sponsored this family festival highlighting the New England tradition of maple sugaring.

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 7, Aaron Gruen of Weston, 12, Talia Raich of Stamford, 10, Adaiah Stevens of Danbury, 13, and Sheariah Stevens of Danbury, 15, are scheduled to battle it out in the kitchen. They will present their culinary creations for the public to sample and the public will vote for their favorite creation. The winning recipe and chef will be announced at 2 p.m.

“The First County Bank Chefs Challenge has become a highlight of the Maple Sugar Festival Weekend since it’s inclusion into the festivities in 2010,” said Karen Kelly, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at First County Bank. “Last year’s teen chefs challenge was such a huge success, we are excited to again welcome other talented young chefs to the competition. Maple syrup, of course, is the key ingredient that each chef needs to incorporate into their dishes for the public to taste and judge. The Maple Sugar Festival provides an excellent opportunity to showcase local kids’ culinary talents and help them further develop their talent. We appreciate each teen chef’s contributions to the entertainment and look forward to a weekend full of great food, fun, learning and old fashioned New England traditions.”

About the Chefs
Aaron Gruen, Weston, 12
Aaron is a 6th grader at Unquowa School in Fairfield. He has been cooking and baking with his family from the time he could stand at the kitchen counter, and now often makes dinner on his own. Aaron bakes with his mom and older sisters, grills with his dad, and loves to experiment with all sorts of flavor combinations and techniques. His specialties are homemade pasta and challah. When he isn¹t cooking, Aaron loves to ski, play tennis, and read about the science of cooking. He hopes to someday be a doctor, but a chef on the side!

Talia Raich, Stamford, 10
Talia is a fifth grade student at Bi-Cultural Day School. She has been cooking with her parents from a young age. Talia enjoys making desserts and cooking other tasty treats. She also likes working on the creative presentation of the food. Talia’s family has fun in the kitchen together and has made various cooking challenges at home from soup-offs to versions of Chopped. Talia also enjoys reading, playing sports, acting, skiing, and writing.

Adaiah Stevens, Danbury, 13
Adaiah is a 13 year old with creative skills beyond her years. She started cooking and baking at the age of 4, shadowing her mother and grandmother in the kitchen. By the age of 7, she was developing her own recipes. Her creativity in the kitchen is coupled with her gift of music. Adaiah has been writing, arranging and performing music since she was 5 years old. Adaiah recently appeared on the popular reality competition show, MasterChef Jr. on FOX with Chef Gordon Ramsey. Her confidence with flavors and the ability to quickly learn a technique led her all the way to the Semi-Finals.

Sheariah Stevens, Danbury, 15
Sheariah is an all-around artist. At 15 years old, she has demonstrated her artistic gifts on large stage such as the Legendary Apollo Theater, where she was featured as a “Star of Tomorrow.” Whether she is playing her guitar and singing or cooking, her artistic flair is reflected in all she does. She is also a culinary artist. Sheariah enjoys taking elements of international cuisine to bring unique qualities to her dishes. She frequently prepares multi-course meals for family and friends

About First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend
The First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine. The maple sugar season usually peaks around the first week in March. At this family festival, visitors will see maple tapping demonstrations, taste sweet maple syrup treats, make a maple-themed craft, go on a scavenger hunt and enjoy the popular Sunday pancake brunch.

Other activities include face painting, storytelling, music and much more. A daily admission fee of $5 per person will be charged to museum members and non-members $10 per person. All children 3 and under, Family Plus and above members are allowed in free.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business Presents Evening with Joe Connolly of WCBS NEWSRADIO

Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business

Connolly to speak on best practices for family-owned and small businesses in Fairfield County

The Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business, a foundation committed to providing resources for families in business in Stamford and Fairfield County, today announced that it will be holding an event with Joe Connolly, of the Wall Street Journal and WCBS NEWSRADIO 880, at 5:30pm on October 7, 2014 at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel. If you are interested in attending, please contact an Endowment representative at (203) 353-6917 or at

The Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business is excited to host An Evening with Joe Connolly: Best Practices and Insights for Family and Small Businesses. Connolly will speak to a group of local family and small businesses owners on best practices for their businesses, as well as share his insights into the local and global economic climate.

“The Endowment’s coupling of family and small businesses is a great thing,” said Joe Connolly of the Wall Street Journal and WCBS NEWSRADIO 880. “I love talking about business and also hearing business owners’ stories. I’ll tell some of my favorite small business stories, share insights I’ve gained in covering business news and report on what I learned at recent conference on the new economy and entrepreneurship I covered at MIT.”

Connolly is a well-known personality on WCBS NEWSRADIO 880, as well as other broadcast outlets including CNBC, Fox Business News and NPR. His broadcasts are heard by over two million people a week in the New York Tri-State area. In addition to writing for the Wall Street Journal, Connolly has also covered the White House and Congress for the Associated Press and RKO radio. Outside of his reporting experience, Connolly has served as press secretary in the United States Congress and held multiple management positions in radio.

The Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business is looking forward to its second major event and sharing Connolly’s expertise with the business owners of Fairfield County. Founded in 2013 as a partnership between Lapine, Inc., First County Bank and the University of New Haven Center for Family Business, the goal of the Mark Lapine Endowment for Families in Business is to provide small and family-owned businesses with the information and resources that address the unique needs of such businesses and to help them flourish.

“We are excited to be able to bring together family and small business owners in our community to share experiences and learn from each other,” said Mark Lapine, chairman of the board of Lapine. “Having been to an event featuring Joe Connolly before, I know he will bring an insightful perspective on the topic and share helpful knowledge with our group.”

The event is free to attend, but space is limited. If you are interested in attending, please contact (203) 353-6917 or

FCB - Lapine 2

Sponsorships & Events

The countdown to Oyster Fest is on

2014 Oyster FestivalFirst County Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s annual Norwalk Seaport Association’s Oyster Festival. The family-friendly fun kicks-off on Friday, September 5 and runs through Sunday, September 7 at Veteran’s Park on Seaview Avenue in Norwalk.

This year’s event is brimming with tons of activities to entertain everyone in the family. If you “love rock-n-roll” don’t miss headliners Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Saturday night. On Sunday afternoon you’ll no doubt be “at attention” when the U.S. Army Volunteer Band takes center stage in the group’s highly anticipated return to the Festival.

How about some big fun for your little ones? They’ll be excited to find the largest ever Kid’s Cove, featuring a Big Top circus tent by Center Ring Productions. Plus, aerial stunt artists, Nerveless Nocks Thrill Show will be dazzling visitors with a must-see high-flying acrobatics display. That’s in addition to a 65-foot Gondola Ferris Wheel where you can experience a birds-eye view of the Festival and enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Norwalk and Long Island Sound.

Avoid the lines and save
What’s even better is that as this year’s presenting sponsor, we’re selling advance tickets for general admission at a special discounted rate of $10! Full price for general admission at the gate is $12.

Don’t miss out! Be sure and stop by any one of our convenient branch locations for your tickets before the close of business on Friday, September 5.

Hope to see you there.

Bank News, Sponsorships & Events

Homebuyers Workshop for the Community Offered by First County Bank

On May 20th, First County Bank offered the second seminar in the series of Homebuyers Workshops at the First County Bank branch located at 1042 High Ridge Road, Stamford. Open to the community, First County Bank’s Homebuyers Workshop provided home-buyers access to professionals versed in the home purchase process: a real estate agent, a home inspector, an attorney and the bank’s mortgage loan experts were available to answer questions and provide guidance.

Guest speakers and the topics featured at this workshop included: David Zamary, senior vice president, residential originations, at First County Bank, “How your bank can help you on the road to home buying”; Ruth Miner of Country Club Properties, “Understand the role of your real estate agent”; Joe Lattarulo, home inspector at House Masters, “Learn about the home inspection process and what it covers”; Richard J. Margenot, Esq. attorney-at-law, “What you should know about a real estate contract and the role of your attorney.”

Homebuyer workshop at First County Bank

L to R: Joe Lattarulo, home inspector at House Masters, Richard J. Margenot, Esq. attorney-at-law, Ruth Miner of Country Club Properties, Dave Zamary, senior vice president, residential originations at First County Bank, participated as expert panelists offering guidance to homebuyers at the May 20 Home Buyers Workshop offered by First County Bank.

“First County Bank is proud to host this event for home buyers to help them learn about purchasing their new home,” said Dave Zamary, senior vice president, residential originations. “Even for experienced home buyers, the process can be daunting and for new home buyers it can be overwhelming. We hope to educate consumers by providing the necessary tools and experts to approach home buying in a more confident manner, taking the mystery out of the process.”

First County Bank mortgage loan experts were in attendance to guide home buyers through the application process and explain mortgage options. They reviewed attendee finances to help determine how much they can borrow based on the guidelines used at First County Bank. Mortgage experts provided home buyers with: tips on applying for a mortgage; a complementary financial review to help determine a budget; borrowing guidelines; what documents and supporting information are required to complete a mortgage application; and how to negotiate for their dream home. Mortgage Information Kits detailing the steps involved to purchase and finance a home were distributed as a resource at the event.

Another opportunity, open for the community to attend, is an informative Homebuyers Workshop on Tuesday evening, September 9, at the First County Bank branch located at 660 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT. More details will be announced at a later date.

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

2014 Norwalk Summer Concert Series Kicks Off June 25

The 2014 First County Bank Summer Concert Series at Calf Pasture Beach kicks off at 6 pm on Wednesday, June 25, commencing with a Classic Car Show Beach Cruise organized by The Coachmen, and continues every Wednesday through September 3. This will be the sixth consecutive year First County Bank sponsors the concert series, which typically attracts 1000 to 1500 people. The sponsorship ensures all 11 concerts are free and open to the public.

The 45th anniversary of Woodstock and the 50th anniversary of The Beatles are the celebrated theme for this year’s concert series. Featured performances by tribute bands and regional rock and roll bands include Tim Currie’s Motown Band, Jimmy and The Parrots (Jimmy Buffett), The Cast of Beatlemania (The Beatles), Billy Genuario and Destiny, The Royal Kings, ABBA Girlz (ABBA), Cash Is King (Johnny Cash), Déjà vu (50s and 60s), Desert Highway (Eagles), Back to the Garden (Woodstock 45th anniversary) and Keith Marron’s Whistleville Band.

First County Bank donates to City of Norwalk

L to R: Michael Mocciae, The City of Norwalk Recreation and Parks director, Reyno Giallongo, First County Bank chairman and CEO and Harry W. Rilling, mayor of The City of Norwalk.

“First County Bank is pleased to once again sponsor Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department’s summer concert series at Calf Pasture Beach. This year they are providing an excellent line up of bands celebrating Woodstock, The Beatles and my favorite, Jimmy Buffett,” said Rey Giallongo, CEO and chairman of First County Bank. “Sponsoring this concert series is just one example of the many ways the Bank supports organizations and communities throughout lower Fairfield County. We thank the City of Norwalk’s mayor, Harry W. Rilling, and their Recreation and Parks’ director, Michael Mocciae, for sharing our commitment toward the betterment of our community.”

“As Mayor of the City of Norwalk, and on behalf of our residents, I express our appreciation to First County Bank for its continued sponsorship of the Summer Concert Series organized by Norwalk’s Recreation & Parks Department. The generosity of this community minded corporation allows us to provide great music and entertainment for the enjoyment oflocal residents of all ages. I look forward to year’s concerts at Calf Pasture Beach,” said Mayor Harry W. Rilling.

Calf Pasture Beach Park is located at 69 Calf Pasture Beach Rd. in Norwalk. For updates and additional information call the Norwalk Recreation and Parks Office at 203-854-7807. All concerts (except Jimmy and The Parrots) have a rain date of the following day and except for the July 3 fireworks and concert program, which will be held on July 5 in case of inclement weather. For cancellation information call 203-854-7938. Parking at Calf Pasture Beach is free for residents with a Norwalk Resident Pass on their cars. Without a Norwalk Resident Pass the parking fee is $10 per car. For the July 3 Independence Day fireworks display which typically attracts more than 20,000 spectators, a fee of $25 is charged for cars without a Norwalk Resident Pass while cars with the pass will be allowed in free.

First County Bank Summer Concert Series at Calf Pasture Beach 2014 Entertainment Schedule

June 25 Wed.
6 p.m. Classic Car Show Beach Cruise by the Coachmen
7 p.m. Tim Currie’s Motown Band

July 3 Wed.
5:30 p.m. at Calf Pasture Beach: The Amazing Andy Show (family fun)
6 p.m. at Shady Beach: Dance to the Music with DJ Nuzzo (Before and after fireworks display)
Fireworks at dusk
8 p.m. Jimmy & The Parrots – performance continues after the fireworks.

July 9 Wed.
7 p.m. The Cast of Beatlemania – celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles

July 16 Wed.
7 p.m. Norwalk’s own Billy Genuario and Destiny

July 23 Wed.
6 p.m. Classic Car Show Beach Cruise by the Coachmen
7 p.m. The Royal Kings – The Coachmen’s favorite band

July 30 Wed.
6:30 p.m. Kids’ Show: TBA
7:30 p.m. ABBA Girlz –Mamma Mia! – ABBA tribute band

Aug. 6 Wed.
7 p.m. Cash Is King – country sounds of Johnny Cash

Aug. 13 Wed.
6 p.m. Classic Car Show Beach Cruise by the Coachman
7 p.m. Déjà vu – music of the 50s and 60s

Aug. 20 Wed.
6:30 p.m. Kids’ Show: TBA
7:30 p.m. Desert Highway – #1 Eagles tribute band

Aug. 27 Wed.
7 p.m. Back to the Garden – celebrating the 45th anniversary of Woodstock

Sept. 3 Wed.
6 p.m. Classic Car Show Beach Cruise by the Coachman
7 p.m. Keith Marron’s Whistleville Band

Sponsorships & Events

Workshop for Homebuyers

New homebuyersAre you looking to buy a new home? We understand that from finding that perfect place all the way through to moving day, buying a home can be a tricky path to navigate for even the most seasoned of buyers.

And like most important financial decisions, it really pays to do your homework ahead of time. Which is why you won’t want to miss our complimentary Homebuyers Workshop on Tuesday, May 20 at our 1042 High Ridge Road location in Stamford.

The following team of trusted local experts will be leading discussions and fielding all of your questions to help ensure you are fully prepared for the process:

• David Zamary – Residential Sales, First County Bank
 How your bank can help you on the road to homebuying

• Ruth Miner – Country Club Properties
Understand the role of your real estate agent

• Joe Lattarulo – Home Inspector – House Masters
Learn about the home inspection process and what it covers

• Richard J. Margenot, Esq. – Attorney-at-Law
What you should know about a real estate contract and the role of your attorney

Plus, in addition to the wealth of information you’ll takeaway from our experts, the seminar is also a prime opportunity to connect with, and learn from, other homebuyers.

Click here to secure your spot before the registration deadline on May 15. However, seating is limited, so don’t delay!

In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Teen Chef’s Big Success at Annual Sugar Fest

Teen Chef's ChallengeThe 14th annual First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center was a big success again this year! A New England tradition, the Maple Sugar Festival Weekend has evolved into one of the most anticipated and highly attended family events in lower Fairfield County.

New to this year’s Festival was a twist on our annual Chef’s Challenge. For the first time the Saturday competition featured four top teenage chefs from our communities. Tasked with creating a delicious dish using maple syrup were chefs Hannah Buzkin of Westport, 13, Evan Cassidy of North Branford,15, Marissa Young of Stamford, 13, and Hunter Zampa of Stamford, 13.

Here’s what they served up: Hannah Buzkin prepared Shaved Brussels Sprouts with candied bacon and almonds and Maple Fritters with a black pepper maple caramel; Evan Cassidy created Sweet Potato Cupcakes with maple buttercream and bandied Bacon and Maple Meringues with cinnamon and toasted almonds; Marissa Young tantalized our sweet tooth with Devil’s Chocolate Cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting. Finally Hunter Zampa treated us to his very own maple syrup Donut Delights.

All the visitors had a chance to taste the chefs’ savory samples before taking to the ballot box. Evan Cassidy of North Branford was the top vote getter, taking home the inaugural Top Teen Chef title!

Be sure and check out our Facebook Page to see more photos from the competition and Sunday’s famous Pancake Brunch.


In Our Community, Sponsorships & Events

Small Business Saturday: A Boost to Main Street

Small Business Saturday is back again tomorrow, Saturday, November 30! While many anchor chain stores are “dealing” with Black Friday, small businesses are preparing for Main Street shoppers looking to support the small businesses in their area. It is one of the biggest day of sales for the 23 million small businesses in the US who represent about 54 percent of all U.S . retail sales, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is encouraging shoppers to not only “shop small” tomorrow but also year round. Whether a bookstore, cafe, auto-shop, any small business or mom-and-pop, we inspire you to buy local and invite your family and friends to do so as well! Spending money in our lower Fairfield County shops helps boost small businesses which helps them create jobs which in turn powers the economy and revitalizes our community. Shop small, spread the word and know that you’re doing your part by giving back to the community you live in! Happy Small Business Shopping!

Bank News, First County Advisors/Wealth Management, Sponsorships & Events

First County Bank Event “From Fiscal Drag to Wealth Effect” a Roaring Success

l to r: David Metzgar, CFP, CTFA, Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, First County Advisors.; Philip J. Orlando, CFA Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist Federated Investors, Inc.

Last Wednesday, First County Advisors, the wealth management division of First County Bank, hosted an evening networking and educational event titled “From Fiscal Drag to Wealth Effect” featuring Phil Orlando of Federated Investors, Inc. The event was a complimentary seminar hosted by David M. Metzgar, CFP, CTFA, Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, First County Advisors.

First County Advisors were thrilled to provide customers and guests an opportunity to hear Philip J. Orlando, CFA Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist Federated Investors, Inc. as the event’s keynote speaker. Phil spoke to a packed house at Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk.

Phil’s presentation included an overview of the economy and markets, perspective on the recent Washington debacle, what activity to anticipate in the markets, and what perked all ears: how to make money in the markets now. A lively question and answer session followed.

Dave wrapped up the event encouraging participants to consider First County Advisors for their investment, estate and wealth management needs. He and his group received overwhelmingly positive feedback for the evening with many participants interested in further discussion. If you would like to contact Dave about your investment management needs, please email him at or call him directly at 203.462.4267.


Sponsorships & Events

First County Bank Hosts Seminar on Building a Legacy Giving Program for Your Nonprofit

Last week, First County Bank presented a complimentary seminar for local nonprofit organizations called “Building a Planned/Legacy Giving Program for Your Nonprofit Organization” at UCONN Stamford. Due to high interest, we are republishing the presentation with permission from our speaker, Bob Congdon, Director of Development at the University of New Haven.

At the event, Congdon spoke about legacy gifts and methods for identifying good prospects for legacy gifts and addressed organizations’ readiness for a planned/legacy giving program.


About the Speaker:
Bob Congdon, Director of Development at the University of New Haven, has 30 years experience in fundraising and nonprofit management. He previously served as Vice President for Development and Public Relations for both United Methodist Homes and its affiliated Wesleyan Foundation for Health and Aging in Shelton, CT.

Congdon has also been the Director of Special Gifts at The Masonic Charity Foundation in Wallingford, CT, and a campaign consultant for Clemow Consulting Group in Bloomfield, CT.

Congdon has a B.A. from Yale University and he is the past President of the Planned Giving Group of Connecticut. He has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive since 1991.