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Community Fund of Darien Honors 37+ Volunteers — How Many Do You Know?

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Thirty-seven volunteers and a group of volunteers from a local church have been chosen for this year’s volunteer recognition awards by the Community Fund of Darien, the organization announced Thursday. The volunteers, which include the First Congregational Church of Darien Open Doors Shelter Team were announced in several groupings: Adult volunteers (ages 18 to 64), a volunteer 18 years old or younger, senior volunteers (ages 65 or older), “Outstanding Volunteer Duo” and “Outstanding Volunteer Team.” “[W]e are proud to celebrate these wonderful Darien residents who tirelessly give their time and talent to benefit our local community,” Janet King, executive director of the Community Fund, said in the announcement. Darienite.com will publish profiles from the Community Fund of each of the volunteers that we have pictures for (not all pictures have been handed in to the Community Fund yet — the organization assures us that pictures are being taken with adequate social distancing). Here’s the announcement:

Since the coronavirus health crisis thwarted plans to honor Darien’s extraordinary volunteers in person at the planned April 30 event, the Community Fund of Darien (TCF) is continuing its 40-plus year tradition virtually.

Darien Scouts make PPE Face Shields COVID-19 Coronavirus 2020

Darien Scouts Are Making Face Shields for Healthcare Workers, and You Can, Too

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Following a long and proud history of leading in times of crisis and need, Scouts in Darien are activating to help alleviate the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage that many healthcare systems are facing with a face shield drive in partnership with the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust. — an announcement from Darien Boy Scouting
“I’m proud of our Scouting families across Darien who are stepping up to support our hospitals and healthcare workers. Our Scouts have always stepped up to help the community in times of need,” said Grant Evans, Scoutmaster, Troop 53. “These face shields will help our healthcare workers by giving them critical protection from the COVID-19 virus, yet are simple to make. It is a fun project for the family to work on together, so let’s all join together and make masks.”
Evans shared that the Scouts were inspired after seeing an instructional video posted by Stamford doctor on YouTube.

India Cultural Center kids contribute COVID-19

India Cultural Center Kids Raise $$, Send Drinks, Snacks to Workers at Two Area Hospitals

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Kids at the India Cultural Center in Greenwich recently raised $1,900 on a GoFundMe page to provide relief supplies to area healthcare workers at Stamford and Greenwich hospitals, along with Greenwich Emergency Medical Service during the COVID-19 crisis. — an announcement from the India Cultural Center

The “India Cultural Center Kids Love You” fund provided drinks and energy snacks for local healthcare providers at both hospitals and at the ambulance service. As medical professionals and first responders continue to work tirelessly providing round the clock care to keep our communities safe, putting their own lives at stake, the kids of ICC knew there was more they could do themselves. “We were thrilled when we heard from a group of ICC kids who wanted to give back to local doctors and nurses,” said Margie French, executive director of ICC. “The fund was entirely driven off of their desire to do more and is proof that kids do great things.”

In between virtual classes and homework, the kids (ranging in age from 5 to 13) carved out time from their day to set up home production lines to assemble care packages.

Wide Facebook Lily Genovese 2020

Laurel House Honors Darien’s Lily Genovese as ‘Darien Town Champion’ Mental Health Activist

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Laurel House, Inc. will recognize Lily Genovese as the Darien Town Champion at its annual fundraiser, An Evening with Laurel House, on Saturday, June 13 at the Delamar, Greenwich Harbor. — an announcement from Resources to Recover and Laurel House

Lily, a life-long Darien resident and senior at Darien High School, is being recognized for her leadership role in her community as a mental health activist. As a freshman, Lily joined the Darien Depot Teen Center Student Governing Board and is currently serving her second year as co-president of the Depot’s Board. She also joined the Darien Community Fund’s Youth Asset Team in her freshman year and currently holds the position of co-president. Lily’s passion for those organizations grew in the aftermath of the tragic death of her cousin, who died by suicide in November of 2017.

Tokeneke Sch Darien Book

Book Drive by Tokeneke School Students Gathers 5,836 Books for Darien Book Aid Plan

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Back in February, students at Tokeneke School held a book drive for Darien Book Aid Plan collected 5,836 books that the organization is sending to Peace Corps volunteers and literacy programs in the U.S. and worldwide. Here’s Darien Book Aid Plan’s announcement about the project:
If you entered Tokeneke School during the month of February, you would have noticed signs around the school promoting a book drive organized by the Tokeneke Student Council to benefit local non-profit Darien Book Aid. Darien Book Aid distributes free books to Peace Corps volunteers and literacy programs around the globe as well as to underserved schools and other programs in the United States. Thanks to the students and families of Tokeneke School, the book drive was a huge success and yielded a record-number 5,836 gently-used books for the non-profit. Some of these books are already on their way around the world.

DHS Football New Covenant House Pie Making

Twenty-Seven DHS Football Players Make 50 Pies for One Good Cause

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Twenty-seven athletes from DHS Football Team spent the day at The Depot Youth Center this past Sunday on a mission:

Wearing Mom’s aprons, bowls and spoons in hand, the men put together 50 chocolate cream and key lime pies, which they will be serving at the New Covenant (House) Center in Stamford. — an announcement from the Depot Youth Center

The mission of New Covenant Center “is to provide a nutritious meal to all those who are hungry. By creating a safe, warm and compassionate environment, we are taking the first steps toward empowering men, women and children to reach their full potential …”

Open 365 days a year, New Covenant Center is one of the greatest and most needy organizations in the area, helping people with hunger as a mission. A special thank you to our generous sponsors: Marc D’Iorio of D’Iorio Printing; Darien Stop and Shop, Palmer’s Market and Blue Line Sports.

Darien Youth Hockey Association Wreaths Across America 2019 2020

Darien Youth Hockey Association Supports Wreaths Across America This Winter

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The Darien Youth Hockey Association directly supported Wreaths Across America this winter, with over 60 players volunteering to help place wreaths at graves in the Veterans Cemetery at Spring Grove Cemetery. — an announcement from the Darien Chapter of Wreaths Across America

The group also donated more than 250 wreaths to be placed at the cemetery as a local fundraising group. The experience taught the players that their success as a team can translate beyond the ice. “It was an amazing event, and the players directly saw the impact of their efforts in raising wreath donations at the wreath laying ceremony which promotes remembering our veterans, honoring our active duty, and teaching our youth about the value of freedom,” said Michelle Woodward, the DYHA sponsorship and fundraising director. Wreaths Across America began in the early 1990s, when Worcester Wreath in Maine had extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season.

Lower res for facebk Katie Murphy volunteer recognition TOPS 2019 ComFundD

Thank You, Katie Murphy, for Your Work With the Darien Youth Commission

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Thank you, Katie Murphy, for your volunteer work with the Darien Youth Commission. —This concludes a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Katie Murphy’s Efforts With the Darien Youth Commission

Katie is, in a word, a gem. She joined the TOPS group in a lead position three years ago when her fourth child was entering the sixth grade, and has been a constant, steadying force with this group since then. She never loses sight of why we do what we do, which is to provide our middle school-aged kids with fun, safe and exciting social opportunities.

Annie Arrix and Lily Kosnik volunteer recognition 2019 Thriving Youth Task Force

Thank You, 
Annie Arrix and Lily Kosnik, for Your Work With the Youth Asset Team

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Thank you, Lily Kosnik and Annie Arrix for your volunteer work with the Youth Asset Team, a project of the Community Fund of Darien. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Annie Arrix and Lily Kosnik’s Work With the Youth Asset Team
Annie and Lily have gone above and beyond as this year’s Youth Asset Team presidents. They have organized and spoken at many special events, helped design the latest iteration of the Our Darien campaign and facilitated meaningful and productive biweekly meeting for their peers. They are insightful, creative, articulate and confident.

Stephanie O'Malley thumbnail closeup volunteer recognition Tokeneke PTO 2019

Thank You, Stephanie O’Malley, for Your Work With Tokeneke PTO

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Thank you, Stephanie O’Malley, for your volunteer work with the Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Stephanie O’Malley’s Work With the Tokeneke PTO

Stephanie O’Malley has been an incredible asset to the Tokeneke Committee. Past roles she’s held include TPTO chair and vice chair, Bingo Night chair, Spring Fling chair, and enrichment chair. Her boundless energy and commitment has benefited Tokeneke School immeasurably.

Thank You, Kathy Arrix, For Your Volunteer Work With the Depot Youth Center

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Thank you, Kathy Arrix, for your volunteer work with the Depot Youth Center, increasing the organization’s revenue by 83%. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Kathy Arrix’s Work With the Depot Youth Center
Through Kathy’s position as co-president of the Depot in 2018-2019, she increased revenue by 83% from when she initially came onto the Board of Directors. Kathy has been instrumental in keeping the Depot doors open and operating, leading a hardworking and functional Board of Directors and staff. — Kesti Aysseh and Catherine McNear

Here’s the Full List of Volunteers
Each of these volunteers was recognized this year and will be profiled in this series:

Shyamla Menon (A Better Chance);—Nina Miller (At Home in Darien);—Rochelle Charnin (Building One Community);—Frank Huck (Darien Arts Center);—Darien firefighters, including Fire Chiefs Vic Pensiero, Shaun Volin & John Hessmer (Darien Board of Selectman);—Pam Miller (Darien Book Aide Plan);—Cheryl Williams (Darien Chamber of Commerce);—Pat Parlette (Darien Community Association);—Tiffany O’Connor (Darien High School);—Anne Lise Brown (Darien High School Parents’ Association);—Carolyn McGrath (Darien Historical Society);—Janet Cling (Darien Land Trust);—Kathy Larkins (Darien Human Services);—Peter Eder (Darien Library);—Mike Wheeler (Darien TV79);—Scott Overbeck (Darien YMCA);—Jennifer Geddes (Domestic Violence Crisis Center);—David Ball (Family Centers);—Shelly Skoglund (League of Women Voters);—Andrea Huntington (Mather Homestead Foundation);—Katie and Emily Wiley (Norwalk Grassroots Tennis);—Hayley Ackers (Person-to-Person);—Margaret “Annie” Slaughter (Silver Hill Hospital of New Canaan);—Reeve Boeckmann & Elizabeth Hall (The Carver Foundation of Norwalk);—Jill McCammon (The Community Fund of Darien);—Bryne Pozzi (The Darien Foundation);—Donna Collins (The Darien Nature Center);—Kathy Arrix (The Depot, Darien Youth Center);—Annie Arrix & Lily Kosnik (Thriving Youth);—Stephanie O’Malley (Tokeneke PTO);—Katie Murphy (Darien Youth Commission).

Byrne Pozzi volunteer recognition Darien Foundation 2019

Thank You, Byrne Pozzi, For Your Volunteer Work with the Darien Foundation

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Thank you, Byrne Pozzi, for your volunteer work with the Darien Foundation as event chair and then member of the Board of Directors, as well. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Byrne Pozzi’s Efforts With the Darien Foundation
Byrne jumped in full steam to serve as event chair for the 2019 benefit. She has a remarkable ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Her unflappable demeanor, her attention to detail, and her incredible work ethic have brought new energy to the planning process and new volunteers to the committee.

Thumbnail square Donna Collins Darien Nature Center volunteer

Thank You, Donna Collins, For Your Volunteer Work at Darien Nature Center

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Thank you, Donna Collins, for your volunteer work, shaping meaningful and thoughtful exhibits at the Darien Nature Center. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Donna Collin’s Efforts With the Darien Nature Center

Donna has been our volunteer exhibit coordinator and curator at the Darien Nature Center for the past three years. She has gifted the Nature Center her time and talent to shape meaningful and thoughtful exhibits that reflect the values and mission of the Nature Center to celebrate and engage with the natural world. In addition to her curatorial skills, Donna has shared her own beautiful artwork with the Nature Center in exhibits that lift up the natural world to our visiting public.

Thank You, Reeve Boeckmann and Elizabeth Hall, For Volunteering at the Carver Center

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Thank you, Elizabeth Hall and Reeve Boeckmann for your volunteer work with the Carver Foundation, and recruiting others to volunteer there, too. —This article is part of a series of daily articles profiling the volunteers recognized in May at the Darien annual volunteer recognition luncheon organized by the Community Fund of Darien. Elizabeth Hall and Reeve Boeckmann’s Work With the Carver Foundation
Elizabeth and Reeve started a community service club at Darien High School to help students find organizations where they can volunteer. Besides inviting Carver to join their list of organizations, they, along with other volunteers they recruited, helped with Carver’s annual Halloween party and Thanksgiving basket stuffing. They have led their peers by example and shown what it means to serve their community!