Town of Orange


Main menu: Home | Government Services | Emergency Services | Recreational Services | Educational Services | Community Services

sample header image

Community Services Department

High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT 06477
Office hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Director of Community Services - Joan Cretella
(203) 891-4786


The Holiday Programs for The Orange Community Services takes place every year, and as usual we are so grateful to all the wonderful people who participated, donated food, baskets, gift cards and toys, every year is better than the next. In addition, we received many generous monetary donations to the Community Assistance Fund which supports the Holiday Programs and the Food and Fuel Banks. The Lions Club held their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Orange residents; it was a huge success and well attended. Also, The Lions Club for donating food baskets and gift cards. Maplewood of Orange who hosted their annual Festival of Lights Event a silent auction of beautifully decorated trees; of which the proceeds were donated to the Community Assistance Fund. Artie Dixon a local resident, who has an annual Holiday Party, donated un wrapped toys.
We are privileged to have so many businesses, organizations, schools, places of worship, employees and individuals that have been so generous to our programs.

We would like to thank: American Seal and Engineering Company, Bobs Furniture, Mr. L Matthies, Dr.and Mrs. Gustave L Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Proestakes., Coldwell Banker, Baybrook Remodeling, Ms Marion Nugent, The Orange Board of Education, The Orange Police Union, the Orange Police Benevolent Association, Town of Orange Highway Department for their very generous monetary donations. Also, the Town of Orange Highway Department For the toy drive. Dunkin Donuts for donating fifty turkeys to supplement the Holiday Baskets, The Barrett Family for their generous donation of grocery gift cards. Mrs. Gagel for donating the beautiful handmade children’s hats and sweaters.  Church of Good Shepherd, Or Shalom, Holy Infant Church and Temple Emmanuel, Congregational Church, Zion Lutheran Church who donated toys.  Red Hatters of Orange, Orange Arts Council, ,Orange Healthcare, Home Depot, Consignment Originals, Helping Hands, Mr. Ralph Okenquist, Orangewood Women, Orange Community Women, various Daisy, Brownie, Girl Scout Troops, Cub Scout & Boy Scouts.  Also the Orange Republican Women, and the Amity PTO; Amity Middle School, The Goddard School, Peck Place School, Turkey Hill School, Race brook School, and finally the all the residents who gave monetary and food donations.  We want to thank all who took time out of their busy lives to participate and sponsor a family or resident for our programs or to give a donation. There are so many generous donors it would take pages to list everyone so we apologize if we missed anyone.

Again, thank you to everyone involved in donating to the Community Assistance Fund and sponsoring the Holiday Programs that provide for Orange residents in need. Your kindness and generosity is so greatly appreciated.  As always the response was amazing!

Thank You All So Much!

Joan Cretella   
Director Orange Community Services 
Denise Stein
Outreach/Municipal Agent    
Kim Callahan
Administrative Assistant




Brought To You By Region 2 Mental Health Board, Catchment Area Council 6, Bethany Orange and Woodbridge Drug and Alcohol Action Committee and Orange Community Services

Free training & 6 training hours from CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

The Community Awareness Program is a free 6 hour training facilitated by professionals sponsored by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction  Services. The program is designed for anyone who would like education on how to recognize, provide support, and give assistance to youth and adults struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Participants will also receive QPR (suicide recognition/prevention) certificate of training.

Where: High Plains Community Center Cafeteria 525 Orange Center Road, Orange CT

When: Wednesday March 22, 2017 and Wednesday March 29, 2017 5pm to 8pm light dinner provided

Please RSVP by March 8, 2017 via
Questions contact  Kapriel Mouradjian/CAP Advisor/


For those in the community that are not familiar with the Tracy Bunch, let me take this opportunity to introduce us. The Tracy Bunch is a group of special needs adults that reside in our community. The group is offered by the Town of Orange, Community Services Department. The group meets on Monday evenings from 6-7:30 pm at High Plains Community Center unless we have a special activity scheduled for that evening.

Every month the group decides what activities they are interested in, we then schedule the activities for the following month.  Since becoming the group leader in June, there has been an increase the group’s participation and with community participation.  We have played miniature golf at The Sports Center in Shelton, bowled at Devon Duckpin, visited Walnut Beach in Milford and Orange Police Officer Amarone provided the group with a home safety presentation.

We are always looking for volunteers from our community.  Do you have a unique talent that you would like to share with this special group? If you have one hour once a month that you would like to share with this wonderful group, or if you or a loved one are interested in joining the group; contact Joan Cretella Director of Orange Community Services at or 203-891-4786.

On Sept 26, 2016 Tracy Bunch went to Chips restaurant for dinner. A man and a woman were seated next to us. As they were leaving the women approached the co-leader. She handed him $20.00 and stated “this is a good thing that you are doing.” The Tracy Bunch would like to thank you! Because of your generosity, the Tracy Bunch enjoyed ice cream after their dinner. This was a treat they were not expecting.

Should you see us in the community, please stop and say hello.

Thank you,
Marie Romano
Leader Tracy Bunch

Orange Community Services on the air!
Director Joan Cretella and Municipal Agent Denise Stein spoke about the Orange Food Bank with radio host John Voket on April 27, 2014. Click any of these links to hear the broadcast:

The Community Services Department is responsible for planning, providing and coordinating social services for the elderly, disabled and youth. Family Counseling, Volunteer Coordination and Special Transportation are also provided under the Community Services Department.

The Department provides a wide variety of services for the Elderly. There is a Senior Center which provides social, educational and cultural activities and programs to residents 55 and over between Monday and Friday. The Senior Center Lounge is available for reading, movies, cards, and television. A monthly newsletter is mailed, upon request, to residents over 55 years of age. The "Friendlies" newsletter contains information on all activities, health programs, trips, and special programs. In cooperation with the Community Action Agency of Greater New Haven, a nutritious lunch is served daily at the Senior Center. A donation is requested, and reservations must be made the previous day before noon. An Outreach Worker is also available to provide information, referral, support, and followup to homebound seniors, persons with disabilities, and their families. Assistance with entitlement and income-eligible programs is available through the Outreach Worker. Handicapped-equipped vans are used to transport senior citizens and persons with disabilities to medical, dental, and therapy appointments, adult day care, and for other special needs.

Under the Community Services umbrella is the Youth Services component which includes a Job Bank for Orange youth between the ages of 13 and 16 and classes and outreach programs both at the Community Center and at Amity Junior High School. Youth Services provides regular evening activities for 7 - 8th graders in Orange through its Youth Activity Program. Youth Services is a member of the BOW Parenting Initiative and the Amity Local Systems Collaborative and does other collaborative programming with agencies in the BOW community. Crisis intervention and short-term counseling are provided by Youth Services staff. Also provided are an intergenerational tutoring program and various special events.

Self-help support groups for people with disabilities and/or their caretakers are formed, as requested. The Tracy Bunch is a weekly program that provides social activities for adults with special needs. It meets on Monday nights and often has special programs and/or trips.

Community Services Commission

  • James White, Chairman
  • Nettie Bartocetti
  • Peter Boppert
  • Arlene Consiglio
  • S. Aileen DeFeo
  • Kevin Hadlock
  • Veronica Hendrick
  • Antoinette Hudgens
  • Susan Noonan
  • James White
  • Pat Ziman

The Community Services Commission meets the second Thursday of each month at the High Plains Community Center at 7:00 PM.