Have You Heard …? Land, Tables, Awards, Casting Call, Picnic, Storytime & More

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What’s up from all around town and a bit beyond Darien — notable news notes:

The Darien town government closed on its purchase of 41 Hecker Ave., a  1.2-acre tract which will become open space on the northern side of Spring Grove Cemetery. After a long delay, the town bought the land from the cemetery on June 29, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

“I want to thank the Darien Land Trust for this small but very unique public/private partnership to preserve the 1.2 acres,” she said. “I appreciate the patience and generosity of the Spring Grove Cemetery board for their land offering and for their patience over the last four years.

“We began this process in March of 2013, believe it or not, and it took us all that time to work through the town approvals and grant funding process, but we have it, and we will discuss next year what, if anything, we want to do with it.”

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A much larger piece of land, the northernmost 16-plus acres of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, has already been acquired by the town, and town officials are now working on “the details of our special permit application, which will likely go to the Planning and Zoning Commission sometime in the early fall,” Stevenson said Monday at the Board of Selectmen meeting.

“We had to complete a variety of different things, including a property survey, engineering and traffic studies, schematic design and architectural design before we can make an application to P&Z,” she said.

“The Hunt Club has an application coming for Planning & Zoning […] to move the sand ring from what is now town property onto their own property,” she said.

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Darien Sport Shop is seeking local kids to appear in its 2017 Back to School marketing campaign.  The ages and sizes needed are boys and girls, sizes 8 to 14 only.

Darien Sport Shop 2017 casting call

Image from Darien Sport Shop

Darien Sport Shop’s casting call

Children must be available to come to the store for a fitting the week of July 24 and then available all day on Thursday, Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the photo shoot at a location in Darien.  Images will appear on social media, email campaigns, website, in-store and local publicity.

Compensation will be in the form of a Darien Sport Shop gift card as well as digital copies of the photos.  Modeling experience is not necessary, but a plus.  Please submit photos (head shot and full body along with age and size) to Geri Corrigan at gcorrigan@dariensport.com.

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The Community Fund of Darien announced that it surpassed this year’s fundraising goal. “We set an ambitious target of giving away more money in grants this year to fund critical needs in Darien, Stamford and Norwalk,” Executive Director Carrie Bernier said in a statement released by the organization.

“In late May, we were significantly below our goal. We sent a rallying cry to our community and you all responded. We raised nearly $160,000 in the month of June! As a result, we will now be able to award close to $800,000 in grants and community initiatives this year.”

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Laurelton Hall Sikorsky competition 07-13-17

“The Wright Sisters,” the student engineering team from Lauralton Hall, a private school in Milford, was chosen as the winner of the prestigious annual Sikorsky STEM competition. The yearlong design challenge was to solve a real-life engineering problem for the F4U4-Corsair plane. Here’s the team at the May 20 CT Expo, with Kristin Franco, a junior from Darien, on the far left.

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First Selectman Jayme Stevenson met with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes at Town Hall on July 3 to talk about a federal study for high speed rail service. “We also discussed some ways in which we think the state of Connecticut might be able to receive a greater share of federal transportation funding,” she said. Stevenson said she was grateful for Himes’ taking the time to visit.

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Storytime at Weed Beach 2017Darien Library will be conducting a beach-themed storytime every Tuesday through the end of August at Darien’s Weed Beach Park.

The program is open to all ages and takes place from 10:30 to 11 a.m. from July 18 to Aug. 29.

Patrons must have a beach pass to attend the program, which is co-sponsored by the Darien Parks and Recreation Department.

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Despite the one-day rain delay and despite the surprise of finding a trench dug into the stadium seating area that’s used for fireworks watchers, Darien’s Independence Day fireworks display was “the best ever” this year, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said on Monday.

“Anyone interested in joining the fireworks committee or the committee that puts on the Memorial Day Parade: We are in need of some new volunteers,” she said at the Board of Selectmen meeting. “So please contact the First Selectman’s Office if you have an interest in helping for 2018.”

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For the fifth year, Doug Milne and Sheree Frank, The Home Team at Houlihan Lawrence, will sponsor the OPUS for Person-to-Person Campership Picnic, which will be held on July 19 at St. Luke’s Community Center.

Campership Picnic 07-13-17

Photo from Person-to-Person

Campers

The picnic is the culminating event of the Balloon Day fundraising initiative, which raised an unprecedented $73,000 to help fund the Campership program this year.

The attendees of the picnic will be 50 children who were among those granted campership scholarships by Person-to-Person. These children attend Roscco, a school and summer camp in Stamford that provides kids with a well-rounded program of classes, two meals a day and extended-day programming for those families who need it most.

At the picnic, the kids will do arts and crafts, jump in bouncy houses, enjoy a magic show by Amazing Andy and eat the finest kid-approved cuisine from the Cowabunga Food Truck.

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Help the homeless enjoy a meal in the great outdoors this summer! Open Door Shelter is crowdfunding for a couple of outdoor tables and umbrellas to help children and families at their shelter. Please give them a hand up.

Table request Homeless Shelter 2017

Photo from the Impact Vine website

These kids could do a lot more if they had a couple of tables outside.

Visit this page on the Impact Vine website, created and run by the Community Fund for Darien, to make a tax deductible donation to their project.

They’re looking for $540 and have raised $268 so far, but raising money for this appeal has been difficult. The campaign will last another three days.

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Darien Historical Society’s exhibit, “Mannequins on the Runway. Haute Couture and Contemporary Designs of the 20th Century” has been extended to Nov. 1.

You can see the exhibit during the society museum’s hours of 12 noon to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays at 45 Old Kings Hwy. North, right next to Goodwives Shopping Center.

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Darien Y Holly Care Program 2017

Photo from Darien YMCA

Darien YMCA Holly Care Program

Registration for the Darien YMCA’s Holly Care Program begins July 31. The program provides a structured environment in which children revel in their exploration of new ideas and new activities.

Children may attend the morning, afternoon, or full day sessions. Each day’s activities include supervised lunch time, outdoor play, story time, arts & crafts and more.

Kids in the program participate in the special theme of the day to help develop their motor and social skills. Children must be 3 years of age and fully potty trained.

Click here for more information.