The Norwalk Hour
by Michelle Tooker
On March 3, 2008, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, area women are invited to the Westport Country Playhouse for a night of sharing, embracing and spreading wisdom. Produced by Westport-based public relations boutique Connections, the event will feature a light catered dinner, casual atmosphere, three notable speakers and the opportunity to make new friends. Robin Scarella, owner of Connections, created this event so women can experience an empowering evening with peers. She defines wisdom as “being open to hearing all different kinds of people speak,” and with that belief, the evening will be full of interesting discussions on topics pertinent to all females. “Women need to come together and enjoy each other,” she also said, noting that “connecting on a friendship basis is being lost.” Scarella came to fully appreciate the value of solid friendships after battling a number of serious health issues. When friends quickly offered their support, she not only realized the importance of their assistance, but also that it is okay to ask for help—something many women are scared to do. So with that knowledge, her hope for “Wine, Women and Wisdom” is that the participants will not simply network, but also form new friendships, feel inspired to make changes, laugh and learn. Lectures from three powerful speakers are the night’s focal point. New York Times best-selling author, Jane Green, will discuss the inspiration behind her novels and why women always get a second chance. Anne Keefe, Co-Artistic Director at the Westport Country Playhouse, will explain how her skills as a stage manager helped expand and solidify her current career. Keynote speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal, a Fairfield, Connecticut Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Chief of Plastic Surgery at Bridgeport Hospital, is going to discuss the internal benefits of natural-looking cosmetic surgery. As an artist and surgeon, Dr. Rosenthal blends his creative talents with his extensive knowledge of science to individualize each patient’s results. For him, plastic surgery is an art form, and as with his sculpting, poetry, photography and other creative endeavors, he does not stop until he is satisfied with his work. His lecture will help women explore the benefits and downfalls of surgery, understand why cosmetic alteration is desired and what the realistic outcomes will be. “Plastic surgery is not an end-all, but it allows you to put your best foot forward,” Dr. Rosenthal said. For example, “natural-looking eye surgery will make someone look more awake.” Plastic surgery may also improve psychological function and allow an individual to exude more confidence, and therefore give a better first impression. Dr. Rosenthal involved himself with this event to resolve misconceptions about cosmetic surgery, and explain its positive psychological effects. He was also attracted to the evening’s informal, lighthearted structure coupled with the discussion of important topics, which will give attendees valuable information. As for fare, spirits hail from Castle Wine and Spirits and the one-hour light dinner will feature hot and cold food, hors d’oeuvres and stationary items prepared by Collyer Catering. “Ninety-nine percent of what we serve is made by hand, which is very unique,” said cofounder Reed Collyer. Getting involved with “Wine, Women and Wisdom” was an easy decision, she found, because Scarella’s energy and enthusiasm make it impossible that the event will be anything but successful. Additional support for the event comes from Patriot National Bank, Go Figure Studio, Riverside Club and Spa, Bob Lebenson and AG Edwards. The Inn at National Hall is providing a raffle prize for two nights’ stay, and AGIDermatics, leaders in research for DNA repair of skin, will hand-out free samples their product Remergent, which reverses skin cell dysfunction and protects against skin cancer. A portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, which serves women throughout Connecticut. Dr. Rosenthal selected this organization, as Scarella always tries to incorporate a nonprofit component into her events. Transcend, transform and triumph are the themes of the night, and participants are sure to do all three while connecting with new people and shedding preconceived notions based on social status and appearances.