Vietnam veteran John Wolcott will be the Grand Marshal in this year’s Darien Memorial Day Parade, the town Monuments and Ceremonies Commission announced.— an announcement from the commissionBorn in Berkeley, California in 1943, John lived in northern California, Peru and Trinidad before attending the University of California, Davis, then Berkeley, collecting bachelor’s and advanced degrees.John entered the army in 1967, achieved the rank of captain, served one year at Fort Carson, Colorado before shipping out to Vietnam, where he served a year and a day at Pleiku in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star.John’s career as a CPA began with Price Waterhouse in the Bay Area for six years. John and his wife, Jane moved to Darien when he was asked to “temporarily” relocate to the New York office.When asked to resume his career in San Francisco, John and Jane demurred, choosing to remain in Darien, believing Darien was the perfect place to raise their two beautiful daughters, Dana and Kristine, a decision they’ve never regretted.John joined a NYC boutique investment firm as SVP/CFO for a decade, before devoting the remainder of his career to private wealth management.Locally, John has served as treasurer and on the boards of both the Middlesex Club and Country Club of Darien, and is a former president of the Darien Mens Association.John was recently elected to the Town Board of Finance.John and Jane love watching their four grandchildren grow up (and their daughters and sons-in-law managing that effort,) travel, theatre, museums, music, reading, suffer as faithful Cal and 49er fans, and play duplicate bridge.John will ride at the head of the Parade, which will commence at 10:00AM, starting from Goodwives Shopping Center, marching up the Post Road to Spring Grove Veterans Cemetery, where our traditional Commemoration Ceremony honoring those who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces will take place at 11:15.Any organization looking for information regarding the parade should email the parade committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Longtime Darien resident and Noroton Presbyterian Church member Chris Mead has been named NPC’s executive director, a newly created position to oversee and manage finance, administration, and human resources duties of the church. Mead was recently the head of global finance for data and analytics operations of the London Stock Exchange. He had worked for Refinitiv, partly owned by Thompson Reuters until Refinitiv was sold to the London Stock Exchange in January 2021. Since 1991, Mead had worked for Thompson Reuters in various jobs related to finance. Reporting to the chief financial officer, he had responsibilities in finance, management, strategic planning, and operations. “Chris is an immensely talented and personable individual.
Four Darien High School seniors have been selected as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. Anastasia Carey, Tam-Hao Nguyen, Katherine Wolters and Preston Yao have been recognized based on broad academic achievement and having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or ACT. — an announcement from Darien High School
The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Each year up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students. Those selected Presidential Scholars don’t get scholarship money.
Ox Ridge student Elizabeth Abelson has won the Fifth Grade American History Essay Contest sponsored by Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was one of six Darien students who won recognition in the essay contest. — an announcement from the DAR Good Wife’s River Chapter
Seren Samy also an Ox Ridge student won second place, and Pavana Attonito, a Hindley student placed third. The runners-up are Cole Coghlin from Tokeneke; Tory Brupbacher from Hindley and Simona Sordoni from Ox Ridge. This year’s topic, “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” celebrated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. on Nov.
Make-A-Wish Connecticut on Wednesday announced the appointment of Tracey Yurko of Darien as chair of the Make-A-Wish Connecticut Board of Directors. — an announcement from Make-A-Wish Connecticut
Yurko is the chief legal officer, corporate secretary and a partner of Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, global leader in institutional portfolio management and the world’s largest hedge fund, with approximately $1540 billion in assets under management. She is also a member of the firm’s Executive and Operating Committees. Yurko has served on the Make-A-Wish Connecticut board since 2017. “She brings strong general business skills, governance discipline and an unparalleled passion for the mission that will lead us to the next level as we focus on expanding the wish journey for every eligible wish child and family in the state,” said Pam Keough, the CEO and president of Make-A-Wish Connecticut.
In a first for Darien Scouting, Lindsay Ferretti was honored Sunday as Darien’s first female Eagle Scout. — an announcement from Darien Scouts
Lindsay has always been involved in community service, as an altar server at St. John Church, a volunteer at Person-to-Person, and even helping rebuild a home in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. After just a few weeks in Troop 219, Lindsay was chosen to be the senior patrol leader as the girls attended their first week ever at Camp Sequassen summer camp. For her Eagle project, Lindsay lead a team painting over 50 yellow fire hydrant locater markings on telephone poles to aid firefighters in quickly locating the closest hydrant in an emergency.
Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution presented the 2021-2022 Good Citizen Award pin and certificate to Darien High School senior Christopher “Tripp” Lyons on Sunday, Dec. 5. Tripp was chosen to receive this prestigious DAR award by the Darien High School senior class and faculty. The annual award is presented to the student who best exemplifies the qualities of patriotism, citizenship, dependability and service to community. Membership in the DAR is available to any woman over the age of 18 who can trace her direct lineage to a male or female Patriot who fought for or offered material aid to the cause of American Independence during the Revolutionary War.
DHS Senior Tripp Lyons Given Good Citizen Award by Daughters of the American Revolution Darien Chapter
Darien High School student Christopher “Tripp” Lyons has been honored with the 2021-2022 Good Citizen Award by the Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. — an announcement from the Good Wife’s River Chapter of the DAR
The award, officially the ” 2021-2022 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award” is given to a DHS senior who best exemplifies the qualities of patriotism, citizenship, dependability and service to community. Tripp was selected to receive this award by the faculty and the senior class at DHS. He will receive his award pin and certificate from Darien’s DAR Chapter Regent, Nicole Gorman at a reception at the Museum of Darien on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 5.
Darien High School graduate Matthew Gentile will be awarded the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association on Sunday at the Andrew Shaw Memorial Scout Cabin. Gentile is an engineer with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is part of the Mars Rover Mission team. He was a scout in Troop 35 Darien when he became an eagle scout in 2010. — an announcement from Darien Scouts
The award is granted to eagle scouts who have distinguished themselves in their life’s work and have shared their talents with their communities on a voluntary basis. Only a couple of these honors are awarded from each Boy Scouts of America Council.
The Darien Board of Realtors, Inc. has named Deb Brennan, a Darien resident and realtor with Berkshire Hathaway, the Darien 2021 Realtor of the Year. — an announcement from the Darien Board of Realtors
A panel of past presidents reviewed submissions from members of the Darien board and unanimously chose Deb based on her dedication and commitment to the board and the Darien Multiple Listing Service. According to her peers, Deb has gone above and beyond the call of duty representing Darien realtors at the local, state and national levels. As a true realtor leader, Deb is a dedicated advocate of protecting the rights of property buyers and sellers. About Deb Brennan
Deb has been a realtor for over 17 years, working at the Darien office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, serving Darien and surrounding towns.
Darien Old Timers Athletic Association (DOTAA), a local organization founded in 1961 to recognize outstanding athletes in the Darien community, will celebrate its 60th anniversary with its annual dinner on Monday, Nov. 8 at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s. — an announcement from the Darien Old Timers Athletic Association
The annual dinner will be a time to celebrate past athletic achievements of former Darien athletes and the funds raised will go to providing annual scholarships for Darien High School seniors (not just athletes) and supporting Darien Social Services. This year’s honorees include:
Jeff Bak, DHS ’84 (football) and played for Clemson University
Wes Barton, DHS ’92, receiving James Carlson Award for courage and achievement in the face of adversity, (lacrosse and football)
Tracey Stewart Bird, DHS ’80 (diving), dove for Stanford and currently coaches at Harvard
Michael Koenig, DHS ’80 (football)
Tom O’Malley, DHS ’84 (posthumous) (football)
Jayme Stevenson, receiving the Community Civic Award, Darien first selectman
Mark von Kreuter, DHS ’80 (posthumous) (football)
“We are proud to be celebrating the contributions of Darien athletic achievements for the past sixty years. This year’s honorees are an impressive selection of men and women who have impacted the Darien community and beyond with their athletic and civic accomplishments,” said Bill Peters, president, Darien Old Timers Athletic Association.
The next recipient of the Darien Veteran Street Sign Honor is the late Carmelo A. Roda, who bravely served in the United States Army during World War I, the Darien Monuments and Ceremonies Commission announced. — an announcement from the Commission
The street sign with Roda’s name added in his honor will be unveiled on Herman Avenue during a 12 noon ceremony on Sunday Nov. 7. The new signage will not change the name of the street in any way, and no addresses are affected. The veteran’s name is simply added to the sign as an honorarium. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the unveiling. The Monuments and Ceremonies Commission is very pleased to recognize Carmelo Roda’s active service during wartime and his community involvement in the Town of Darien upon return from his duties during WWI.
The National Merit Scholarship Program has named a total of 25 Darien High School seniors “commended students” for 2022, the high school announced Friday. These students were named:
Emma de Graaff, Luke Dehmel, Andres Devens, Brooke Dolan, Alexander Domittner, Kiran Ebrahimi, Patrick Finnegan (missing from photo), Piper Fitzgerald, Julia Fullington, John Gorman (missing from photo), Elizabeth Haidinger (missing from photo), Ryan Jones, James Leone, Reed Levinson, Lachlan McLaren, Stella Meier, Sebastian Mengwall (missing from photo), Ellis Murphy, Clara O’Connor (missing from photo), Shruthi Palaniappan, Andrew Siever, Ella Whitticom, Katherine Wolters, Charlotte Zaino and Saskia Zimmerman. Assistant Principal Katherine Dimoulas and Director of Guidance Meghan Emanuelson presented each of the scholastically talented seniors with a letter of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.
Navy veteran Peter Kenyon will be the the grand marshal for Darien’s upcoming Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, and Sharad Samy will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony after the parade, the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission announced. The Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery in Spring Grove Cemetery is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m.
Parade Marshal: Peter Kenyon
From the announcement about the parade marshal:
Commander Peter Kenyon served on active duty in the Pacific from 1963 to 1966, aboard USS Bausell (destroyer DD-845.) While attached to the 7th Fleet they engaged in plane guard duty, naval gunfire support (shore bombardment), Search and Rescue operations, amphibious task force escort duty, Formosa Patrol, and Anit Submarine patrols. Pete qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer, a Command Duty Officer, Tactical Action Officer, Officer of the Deck (both Fleet Activity and Independent Steaming), CIC Watch Officer, and JOOD. His assignments included Electronics Officer, CIC Officer, Intelligence Officer, and Administrative Officer. After active duty, Pete served in the Navy Reserve service from 1966 to 1985, mainly in Convoy duty units, and with three short tours on reserve destroyers, and a final tour on the Naval War College Reserve Staff. Pete had 2 tours as a Commanding Officer (VTU and NCSO).
Six Darienites who have taken on the task of advocating for vulnerable children have been honored for their services by Child Advocates of Southwest Connecticut, the organization announced. — an announcement from Child Advocates of SW Connecticut
The Darien residents recognized for “outstanding volunteer advocacy” are Amy Harned, Robert Noonan, Megan Pryor, Maureen Roach, Ruthie Strother and Jody Truwit. Child Advocates of SW Connecticut (CAC) is a Fairfield County-based non-profit organization that trains and supervises volunteer advocates for vulnerable children. “CAC is thrilled to honor our incredible volunteers,” said Stacey Sobel, executive director of CAC. “Vulnerable children have suffered disproportionately during the COVID pandemic, and our volunteers have done a tremendous job ensuring needs are being met.”
CAC volunteers are a consistent, caring presence in a child’s life and advocate for the child’s best interests in the community, school and courtroom.
Lindsay Smith, a Darien High School student and EMT with Darien Emergency Medical Services, has been awarded the Claes Nobel Future Female Leader Scholarship. Of nearly 600 applications, Lindsay was one of 10 students who were selected to each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, which was by the National Society of High School Scholars (a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 and not related to the National Honor Society). — This article is based on an announcement from the National Society of High School Scholars. The scholarship was established to encourage and empower young women to assume future leadership roles in their higher education, careers, and communities and to become mentors for the young women following in their footsteps. Lindsay is a nationally registered EMT and volunteer in Darien’s Emergency Medical Services group, Darien EMS Post 53, the only high school student-run EMS program in the U.S.
She spends countless hours there each month, including multiple 24-hour first response shifts and 48-hour second response shifts.