OPUS for Person-to-Person Launches ‘Balloons for Families’ Campaign

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It is an annual tradition for a sea of red balloons to decorate Darien mailboxes every spring. In the past, these balloons, placed by members of OPUS for Person-to-Person, have signified support of P2P’s campership program, which sends over 400 children from low-income households to summer camp every summer. But this year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything is different. — an announcement from OPUS for Person-to-Person

With continued uncertainty about the duration of the COVID-19 crisis and with social distancing protocols potentially impacting the full operation of summer camp providers, P2P has had to keep their annual campership program on hold until there is more clarity about what the summer will hold. What is certain is that the families of the 400 children who would have been eligible for the program this summer are the most vulnerable in our community and have been the most disproportionately impacted by this crisis.

TCF Community Dinner May 30 2020

Community Fund of Darien to Fundraise With Evening of Dining at Home to Benefit Homeless

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The Community Fund of Darien (TCF) invites all residents to join in a second special evening of dining “together” at home to fund programs aimed at improving the quality of life for our community. This dinner, held on Saturday, May 30, will benefit the homeless population and homelessness prevention efforts.  The first event, held on May 9, raised nearly $17,000 to fight food insecurity. — an announcement from the Community Fund of Darien
Order a family meal provided by Palmer’s Catering, which includes a bottle of wine provided by SipStirs, and the Community Fund of Darien will direct half your purchase to their local nonprofit partners providing stop-gap services and immediate assistance to our most vulnerable neighbors. TCF will provide free doorstep delivery of your meal on Saturday, May 30 from 3:45 to 5 p.m.
The $150/per family purchase includes:

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breast, Arugula & Tomato Salad, Dill Potato Salad,  House-Made Herb Potato Chips and Assorted, Nut-Free Cookies for 4 to 6 people provided by Palmer’s Catering

Bottle of wine provided by SipStirs

Mini-football and flying disc for loads of family fun! Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27 at www.communityfunddarien.org.

Rachel Snyder author Rachel Louise Snyder DVCC

At a Time When Domestic Violence Victims Are More Vulnerable, Local Organization Holds Online Fundraiser

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Domestic Violence Crisis Center will go online this year to host its “Voices of Courage Virtual Spring Luncheon” from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. The event’s keynote speaker is Rachel Louise Snyder, award-winning journalist and author of “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.”

“The timing of her presentation is really poignant during the COVID-19 crisis, where we have seen so many reports of domestic violence victims being especially vulnerable because of stay-at-home orders,” said Suzanne Adam, DVCC’s executive director. — an announcement from the Domestic Violence Crisis Center

Snyder’s acclaimed book was named one of the New York Times “Top 10 Books of the Year,” National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, and most recently a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. “While we struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to recognize that there is a shadow pandemic of domestic violence happening behind closed doors,” Snyder said. “The UN estimates an additional 31 million victims of domestic violence globally during the next six months because of COVID-19; this number is alarming, certainly.

Person-to-Person Is Giving Out More Groceries and Is Asking for Your Food Donations

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Person-to-Person (P2P) is calling on lower Fairfield County community to ensure the well-being of our neighbors during the pandemic by participating in P2P’s Food Drives. During the months of March and April, P2P has seen a 50% increase in its food assistance program. Meeting the increased need, P2P has provided groceries for more than 280,000 meals to more than 4,500 families. — an announcement from Person-to-Person

However, P2P is faced with a lack of food available for families, in part due to the cancellation of the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. “Stamp Out Hunger is historically P2P’s largest annual food drive, bringing in an average of 68,000 pounds of food, enough food for 55,000 meals for families in need,” said Nancy Coughlin, CEO of Person-to-Person.

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Stars and Comedy Stars Align to Perform on Youtube Friday, May 1 in Benefit for Americares

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The biggest names in comedy are coming together to help health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a special virtual comedy fest on Friday, May 1. The Covid Is No Joke comedy show will be a night of levity, laughter and community in support of frontline health workers—the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. — an announcement from Americares

The show will air LIVE on covidisnojoke.org and Americares YouTube channel at 8 p.m. EDT, benefitting Americares COVID-19 response. The star-studded event will feature a mix of sketches, stand-up comedy and heart-felt messages from:
Elizabeth Banks, Ike Barinholtz, Jack Black and Tenacious D, Wayne Brady, D’Arcy Carden, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Cotter, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Kyle Gass, Linda Hamilton, Chelsea Handler, Mindy Kaling, Kerri Louise, Jonathan Mangum, Patton Oswalt, Natalia Reyes, Adam Scott, Finn Straley, Paige Weldon, Jenny Yang and more. Americares board member and actor, director, producer Tony Goldwyn will host the one-hour event.

Doug Allen

Doug Allen Concert Online Friday Benefits Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement

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One Darien High School classmate, Doug Allen, is performing an online concert this Friday to benefit the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, founded by another DHS classmate, Scarlett Lewis, and they both hope you’ll watch and listen. — an announcement from Corbin Cares

This special concert with Doug Allen, sponsored by Corbin Cares, runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, April 24 on Zoom. Allen, born in Darien and a member of DHS’s first lacrosse team,  is a Nashville based singer-songwriter who is quickly becoming known for his high energy, acoustic shows and rich voice. Often compared to a cross between Zac Brown & John Denver he’s an artist whose songs, killer stage presence and voice make you take notice. Along with having two successful albums and several singles available online, Doug has had songs featured in Universal Pictures and Lions Gate Films. He keeps busy playing over 200 shows a year in theaters and corporate events between LA, Chicago, Nashville, and New York.

Tyler Cowen with wine

Join a ‘Virtual’ Wine Tasting Online Thursday to Benefit Corbin Cares, Must Order Wine, Bread, Cheese by Noon Tuesday

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The Corbin District and SIPSTIRS are pleased to co-sponsor our first virtual wine tasting to benefit Corbin Cares. A donation to Corbin Cares is suggested, but not required to participate. — an announcement from Corbin Cares

Corbin Cares is a charity launched in town to have deliveries of breakfasts, boxed lunches and dinners to seniors and others in need during the COVID-19 epidemic. The effort, which can always use contributions, is a collaboration between nonprofits, local businesses and town government departments. Darien seniors and others identified by the town Human Services Department are eligible to participate, as well as others in need in surrounding communities.

Blades for the Brave logo 2020

FRIDAY NIGHT: Champion Figure Skaters, Including Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan in Benefit Event for Health Workers

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Update, Friday, April 17 — Figure skating legend Dorothy Hamill and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan are joining the biggest names in figure skating this Friday, April 17, for a livestream benefit event supporting Americares response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japanese champions Miki Ando, Shizuka Arakawa, Yuka Sato and Fumie Suguri have also joined the roster of skating stars raising funds for Americares COVID-19 relief, along with three-time Olympian Todd Eldredge and World Champion pairs skating team Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. The special one-hour “Blades for the Brave” livestream hosted by Jason Brown and Gracie Gold, will air on BladesForTheBrave.org, Americares Facebook and Twitter feeds and on its YouTube channel at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PT. Viewers can support Americares COVID-19 response by making a donation on americares.org or by texting “BRAVE” to 80100 to make a $25 donation. Original article, April 7:

Olympic and World Champion figure skaters are coming together to help health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic with a special fundraising event on Friday, April 17.

Grace Farms Foundation donations

Grace Farms Foundation Distributes More Equipment to Fight COVID-19 in CT, Looks for Donations

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Grace Farms Alliance Against COVID-19 has distributed more than 150,000 N95 respirator masks — 30,000 more than announced on April 2 — and is poised to deliver an additional 150,000 to the front lines, including Connecticut hospitals, COVID-19 clinics and testing sites, first responders and skilled nursing facilities in local towns this week. — an announcement from Grace Farms Foundation

An additional 50,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including surgical and disposable masks, coveralls, and goggles have also been delivered and are currently in use statewide. Despite the Alliance’s efficient supply chain infrastructure and large deliveries, significantly more PPE is required to fill the gap to protect front-line healthcare workers. HOW YOU CAN HELP

Grace Farms Foundation is actively seeking additional philanthropic support to ensure the Relief Fund continues to fill the need for PPE throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Anyone interested in supporting the Fund and learning about Grace Farms Foundation’s efforts can donating online by going to this Web page on the Grace Farms Foundation website.

Face Shields Housatonic Community College

Almost 300 Groups Around CT Creating Face Shields for Health Workers and Could Use Donations

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Housatonic Community College (HCC) and three of its instructors have partnered together to create plastic face shield frames that ultimately can be worn by healthcare workers in the fight against Coronavirus. The efforts by Scobie and team are part of a larger undertaking happening around the state. Nearly 300 businesses, organizations and private citizens are working on over 500 3-D printers to make the shields daily and reach a goal of 20,000 shields in 20 days. — an announcement from Housatonic Community College
Working remotely, HCC instructors George Scobie, Adam Scobie and Tristan Hunte borrowed nine 3-D printers owned by the college and are privately donating the plastic materials and labor to build the frames. On Day Four of the effort, the team has already built a total of 150 frames at Scobie’s business, MRH Tool in Milford.

Flickr via Wikimediia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SARS-CoV-2_(yellow).jpg

LATEST DARIEN COVID-19 NEWS: Continual Updates: March 30 to April 5

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Shorter news and links on the COVID-19 pandemic for Darien:
SUNDAY State Statistics on COVID-19 Cases in Lower Fairfield County
Sunday, April 5, 9:25 p.m. — According to New Canaan Emergency Management Director Mike Handler, New Canaan actually has had 82 people testing positive for COVID-19, and 10 deaths (including two on Sunday). 9:20 p.m. — As of Sunday, an even 100 Darienites (six more than the day before) have been identified with COVID-19, according to information released by state authorities. (Reminders: Many people are thought to have the COVID-19 virus who aren’t identified; the state says “all figures are preliminary and subject to change.”)

Here’s the number of identified cases in nearby communities, according to the state government Coronavirus statistics updates Web page:

Stamford — 652 (48 more than the day before)
Norwalk — 503 (39 more than the day before)
New Canaan — 65 (three more than the day before)
Greenwich — 196 (five more than yesterday)
Westport — 135 (the same as the day before; no additional cases)
Wilton — 73 (three more than the day before)
Weston — 32 (the same as the day before; no additional cases)
Ridgefield — 101 (eight more than the day before)
Fairfield — 70 (four more than the day before)
Bridgeport — 163 (13 more than the day before)

TOP TEN MUNICIPALITIES (with total cases): 1. Stamford (652), 2. Norwalk (503), 3.

Katharine Calderwood of Calderwood Digital Corbin Cares distribution

Darien Foundation Postpones ‘Yacht Rock On’ Fundraiser a Year, Gets Behind Corbin Cares Food Distributions

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The Darien Foundation has canceled its annual fundraiser, ‘Yacht Rock On,’ originally scheduled for April 25, 2020. The event will now take place on April 24, 2021. The foundation also announced that it is actively supporting the Corbin Cares initiative to provide food to Darien seniors and others in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, and described what other projects it’s funding in town. — an announcement from the Darien Foundation
“We had a great team working on Yacht Rock On and we had significant momentum,” said Byrne Pozzi, benefit co-chair and board member of the Darien Foundation, “However, once this crisis hit, we quickly shifted our focus to helping the community.”
Added Alison Muench, also a co-chair of the benefit, said the founcation is offering ticket holders a full refund or the opportunity to donate some or all of the ticket purchase price. “Many of our corporate and individual sponsors have been incredibly generous in light of the cancelation and have offered to convert their sponsorship dollars to outright donations,” said Executive Director Sarah Woodberry.


New Charity Formed to Support Connecticut Nonprofits Helping Those Impacted by COVID-19

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Recognizing the considerable demand on resources the COVID-19 public health emergency is having on nearly every aspect of life across the state, a group of Connecticut-based philanthropists today announced that they have established a charitable organization to raise new support for the state’s nonprofit organizations that are serving those impacted by the pandemic. — Here’s most of the announcement from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office:

The Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection — also known as 4-CT — is an independent, 501(c)3 organization with the mission of bolstering the resources available to support the state’s frontline providers who are serving all areas impacted by the crisis. 4-CT will provide financial support to ensure their services can meet increased demand and have a positive impact. In announcing its launch, the charity has already raised $10 million from generous donors and is seeking to significantly increase these efforts in the coming weeks and months to further support to the state’s nonprofit community. Gov. Ned Lamont, acknowledging the urgency of addressing the impact of the crisis on communities across the state, said the creation of this charity is an example of Connecticut ingenuity and generosity, and applauded the efforts of those who sought to bring it to fruition.

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Tickets on Sale Now for Darien Foundation’s April 25 ‘Yacht Rock On’ Benefit

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Tickets are now available for purchase for this year’s Darien Foundation benefit, Yacht Rock On, to be held on Saturday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at The Tokeneke Club. The event will feature a live performance by the high-energy, award-winning, six-piece band Three Sheets to the Wind: America’s Number One Tribute to Yacht Rock. — an announcement from the Darien Foundation

Last year, tickets sold out over two weeks in advance, so The Darien Foundation encourages those interested in attending to purchase tickets early. Tickets are available at the Darien Foundation website. “We continue to be amazed by the tremendous support for our annual flagship event,” said Byrne Pozzi, Darien Foundation board member, fundraising chair and event co-chair.

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Darien Human Services Asks You for Household Goods Donations for Darienites at Poverty Level

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The Darien Human Services Department will be holding a household goods drive beginning Monday, March 2. Here’s the department’s announcement:

Many Darien residents (up to 5%) live at or below the poverty level. Services are available in town to provide these families and individuals with food and clothing, but not everyday essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, personal grooming and hygiene products, and cleaning supplies. Furthermore, families and individuals in need are prohibited from purchasing these items with food stamps. The Darien Human Services Household Goods Closet was designed to fill this gap by providing much-needed cleaning supplies, paper goods, and personal grooming and hygiene products to eligible Darien families and individuals.