Human Services' Wellness Series back for an encore

Published on Wednesday, 3 October 2018 13:53
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEWINGTON - Back in town by popular demand this fall is “A Drum Circle: Drumming for Wellness.”

It’s one of several programs being hosted by Newington Human Services as part of its Wellness Series, which began last year. The monthly events were a hit with residents, so staff decided to continue them.

“The idea behind it is if we all take care of ourselves - spirit, mind and body,” Human Services Director Carol LaBrecque said. “We’re going to prevent the crises in our lives, or at least be resilient when they come our way.”

The first of three this fall will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in Newington Town Hall. All take place in the Helen Nelson Room.

Judith Stonger, from Wheeler Clinic, will be leading “Love, Laughter and the Art of Self-Care” with a demonstration on laughter yoga. People are invited to come and experience the fun and benefits of this practice, which is performed while sitting in chairs.

“You finish and you just feel so rejuvenated,” LaBrecque said.

As vice president of Wheeler Prevention, Wellness and Recovery, Stonger has built a strong professional relationship with Newington Human Services over the years.

The department is fortunate to have made connections with organizations and people like Stonger, who are willing to bring their specialties to Newington at a low cost so they can be offered free to residents.

Another is Carla Pomprowicz, who learned African drumming from master drummer Bolokada Conde. She later brought a clean water project to his home village of Morowaya, Guinea.

Pomprowicz, who also happens to be Town Clerk in Hebron, will be sharing this culture and the healing experience of drumming in Newington on Nov. 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Her program was first offered back in June and people were tickled to take part, LaBrecque remembered.

“It was very well received,” she said. “Emails came in afterwards from people saying, please do it again. We loved it. Carla is just amazing.”

Pomprowicz practices the djembe style of drumming, said to accelerate physical healing, boost the immune system and produce feelings of well-being. She will be bringing 20 drums with her that evening, but anyone with their own drum who wants to participate is encouraged to bring it along.

Finally, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. a representative from the Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford will teach people how to reduce stress using mindfulness practices.

This workshop will feature guided exercises and clear directions on transforming chaos and conflict into creativity and deeper well-being.

“We had a volunteer who attended a weekend program of theirs and raved about it,” LaBrecque said.

People interested in attending any of the three events are encouraged - but not required - to RSVP to Human Services at 860-665-8590.

Staff plan on continuing the Wellness Series with three different programs next spring. They’re hoping to hear from participants about other areas of interest they might want to explore.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Wednesday, 3 October 2018 13:53. Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2018 13:56.