Ribbon Cutting for Parkview North run by Pacific House

Pacific House Homeless Shelter Opens Renovated Norwalk Home to House 12

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Pacific House, a homeless shelter that provides services to homeless men, including any from Darien, held a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, April 16 for its latest residence, a newly  renovated home in Norwalk that will house 12 formerly homeless individuals. — an announcement from Pacific House
Named ‘Parkview North,’ the property expands the Pacific House portfolio to a total of 14 homes that the organization owns and operates, providing a total of 140 units of permanent supportive housing across Stamford and Norwalk. Each resident contributes one-third of their monthly income, and in return, receives a safe place to live and case management services to help keep them on track. “We’re committed to our mission, and we take a lot of pride in basically two things,” said Rafael Pagan, executive director of Pacific House. “One is our emergency shelter services, which we’ve been involved with for over 35 years.

Spring for Abilis 2021 wide for social media

Packed With Entertainers, ‘Spring for Abilis’ Online Gala on May 1 Is Free to Attend

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The “Spring for Abilis” virtual gala, organizers promise, will be packed with comedy, entertainment, singing, dancing, the Abilis’ Giving Garden and a live auction appeal. Special guests at the May 1 gala include: actors Brendan and Afton Fraser, musician Rob Mathes, singers Loren Allred and Sharon Catherine Brown, and dancers/choreographers Billy Blanks Jr. and Michael Dameski. — an announcement from Abilis

While the Spring for Abilis gala is free to attend, registration is required at SpringForAbilis.GiveSmart.com. Hosted by entertainer and comedian Brett Walkow, the event is meant to be fun for the whole family. Spring for Abilis is a major fundraiser for the Fairfield County-based nonprofit, which is celebrating its 70th year.

Voices Annual Golf Outing 2021

Annual Golf Outing June 14 to Support Voices Center for Resilience

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Voices Center for Resilience (formerly Voices of September 11th) will host its 7th Annual Golf Outing on Monday, June 14, 2021 at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York. — an announcement from Voices Center for Resilience, headquartered in New Canaan
All proceeds will benefit Voices’ work to assist communities preparing for and recovering from tragedy, and to provide long-term support and resources that promote mental health care and wellness for victims’ families, survivors and responders. Frank Fetchet, Voices vice president of business development, said, “This is our second year at Quaker, and we’re thrilled to be welcomed back. As many golfers know, Quaker Ridge is one of the world’s premier golf courses, and its recent redesign by architect Gil Hanse makes a golf experience at QR second to none.” This year marks the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 – a milestone that also recognizes Voices for its work in advocacy and social services.

YWCA Darien/Norwalk Stand Against Racism

YWCA Darien/Norwalk Launches ‘Stand Against Racism’ Essay, Poster, Poetry Contest for Grades 6 to 12

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The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is launching an Essay + Poster Art + Poetry Youth Contest to provide Darien and Norwalk students in Grades 6 to 12 an outlet to explore racism in a safe, accessible manner. — an announcement from the YWCA Darien/Norwalk

The contest invites students from Norwalk and Darien to use their creativity as a tool to Stand Against Racism. All students in Grades 6 through 12 are eligible and encouraged to participate by responding to the prompt: #How I Take A Stand Against Racism. It is the hope of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk that within the context of local and national events students take some time and reflect on what they are seeing in the world around them and demonstrate through their creativity how they can have an impact. The contest’s goal is to highlight how students take action when faced with challenges resulting from racism, and to encourage students to share their experiences and ideas with the community.

Bicycles Darien Scouts Online Mega-Auction.

Darien Scouts Still Seek Donations for Online Mega-Auction: Clutter for You, Treasures for Others

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As you are doing your Spring cleaning this year, please consider donating items to the Darien Scouts Online Mega-Auction. — an announcement from Darien Scouts

Seeking new or gently-used, clean, “auction-ready” items including indoor and outdoor furniture, bicycles, sporting goods, artwork, jewelry, vintage and antique collectibles, toys, lawn and garden items, tools, lawnmowers, snowblowers, electronics, and musical instruments. Darien Scouts also takes cars, boats, and motorcycles in any condition throughout the year. So please sort through your clutter and Send It to the Scouts! Items can be dropped off at the Scout Cabin at 140 West Ave.

Americares Colombia hands

MathWorks Donates $1 Million to Americares

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MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists, has generously donated $1 million to support Americares health programs for people affected by poverty or disaster. — an announcement from Americares

The funds will be used to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from future emergencies; increase access to critical medicine and medical supplies; and improve and expand clinical services around the world. “This donation will help ensure Americares can continue to provide health and hope for families in the aftermath of disasters, quality care for the uninsured in the United States and life-changing health programs in underserved communities,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “We are so grateful for MathWorks support, and together, our work will help even more people thrive and live longer and healthier lives.”

Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, supports more than 4,000 health centers worldwide with transformative health projects and donations of medicines and medical supplies, improving the health of millions of people in need every year. The organization carries out health programs in over 20 countries and maintains offices in Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Liberia, Malawi, the Philippines, Tanzania and the United States, including Puerto Rico.

Latasha Smith, resident Lauren Lindsey

Darien Foundation Awards $80K To Convert The Cottage, a STAR Group Residence, Into a ‘Smart Home’

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While the six residents at the Darien Cottage are already living semi-independently and several of them hold jobs and volunteer locally, smart home assistive technology will soon allow them to be more self-reliant in their home. — an announcement from STAR Inc., Lighting the Way and The Darien Foundation

Nestled on Edgerton Street, the STAR Cottage is home to six residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including wheelchair user, Ashley Milne. Now, when Ashley wishes to enter or exit the Cottage, she relies upon other people to open and close the doors for her. Now, through a $80,707 grant from The Darien Foundation, the STAR group residence will literally be able to open doors for Ashley. When fellow resident Tom Gogolak turns in for the night, he and the residential staff perform a series of tasks to lock up the house, arm the security system, and shut down all of the devices.

DCA Thrift Shop

REMINDER: Sunday, 12 Noon to 3 PM — ‘Special Preppy Sale’ at DCA Thrift Shop

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The DCA Thrift Shop is holding a “Special Preppy Sale” with top brands of clothing this Sunday, March 28, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., the DCA announced. When you buy from the Darien Community Association Thrift Shop, you help support a nonprofit with a mission that includes scholarships for Darien High School graduates. The sale will include these brands for men, women and children:

—Brooks Brothers
—Jack Rogers
—J.Crew
—Lilly Pulitzer
—Ralph Lauren
—vineyard vines
—and more! —along with an extra sale on boutique items.

More About the Thrift Shop
According to the thrift shop’s page on the DCA website:

The shop, located at 996 Post Road, has a long partnered with other non-profits and organizations: “Men’s socks are donated to Pacific House, women’s and children’s socks to Inspirica. Toiletries and diapers are also donated to shelters.

Bartlett Arboretum Gala 2021

‘Broadway at the Bartlett’ Gala Fundraiser This Wednesday for Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens

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Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is holding a virtual gala fundraiser, “Broadway at the Bartlett,” on Wednesday night, March 31, hosted by Chuck Scarborough of NBC 4 New York, and featuring a silent auction and the Broadway cast of “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations.” — an announcement from the Bartlett Arboretum
Tickets for the online event, which runs from 6:50 to 7:30 p.m., are priced anywhere from “a donation of your choosing” to $500, which “includes a complimentary bottle of wine or spirits, two stemless wine glasses and a charcuterie board for two DELIVERED to your home within 10 miles of the Bartlett. Choose from Josh Cabernet Sauvignon, Josh Prosecco or Luksusowa Vodka.” “Please view our silent auction items, which will open on [Saturday] March 27 and close at 8 p.m. on March 31,” the organizers said on Bartlett’s website. “Please consider a donation to our ‘paddle raise’ this year, which is to make the Herb Garden accessible for all abilities. This includes widening and replacing the pathways to connect with those of the Sensory Garden.”

Americares Will Try to Reduce ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ With a New $2.6 Million Federal Grant

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Americares announced today it has been awarded $2.6 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy at free and charitable clinics across the country. — an announcement from Americares

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes joined Americares President and CEO Christine Squires for the announcement at the Fred Weisman Americares Free Clinic in Bridgeport, Conn. “Vaccine hesitancy, among other factors, is preventing low-income, immigrant and communities of color from getting vaccinated, even though these communities are most adversely impacted by COVID-19,,” Himes said. “I am proud to see Americares—a well-respected relief organization based in southwestern Connecticut—encouraging vaccination so that life can get back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Stamford-based Americares will work with hundreds of clinics, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and state associations to dispel myths and educate staff and volunteers about the importance of vaccination. “Free and charitable clinic staff and volunteers care for underserved communities, including some with deep-rooted distrust of the health care system.

Future of Fairfield County: Darien

What Does Darien Envision for Itself in the Next 10 Years? Zoom Meeting, Presentation April 5

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The League of Women Voters of Darien is pleased to join the Darien Library and the Fairfield County Community Foundation in cosponsoring the first in a series of civic conversations on “The Future of Fairfield County: Darien.” — an announcement from the Darien League of Women Voters, Darien Library and the Fairfield County Foundation

The online series via Zoom will begin on Monday April 5, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Each discussion or conversation will focus on the future of Darien as part of Fairfield County and will include expert, forward-looking analysis of demographics and statistics in each of several areas. Most importantly, the series will focus on what the community envisions for their hometown during the next 10 years and beyond. The April 5 program will focus on the long-range economic outlook in the area, as well as the impact on environmental sustainability, and equity. During the discussion, attendees will identify key issues to examine in a follow-up session at 7 p.m. on April 22.

wide Women of Distinction YWCA Darien/Norwalk

YWCA Darien/Norwalk Invites Your Nominations for Women of Distinction Awards

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The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is seeking nominations for women who epitomize leadership in the areas of racial equity, social justice, and have worked to strengthen our community during this pandemic for their 12th Annual Women of Distinction Awards. — an announcement from YWCA Darien/Norwalk

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold last year’s Women of Distinction Award Ceremony to formally honor the six phenomenal women selected. During the 2021 event, the YWCA will honor those six women, in addition to at least one additional woman and one young woman of distinction. The event will be held in early June and will be an intimate in-person event coupled with a live stream. The 2020 honorees were, Kim Dickinson, Susie Flaherty, Shieva Ghofrany, Susan Marks and Shelly Skoglund along with Young Women of Distinction Lily Genovese.

Charcoal drawing by Nancy McTague

Learn to Draw Flowers at Rowayton Arts Center Workshop, Starting Feb 19

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The Rowayton Arts Center is offering a new workshop, “Learn to Draw Flowers in a Variety of Media,” with Nancy McTague-Stock in the studio on four Friday mornings, starting Feb. 19. — an announcement from Rowayton Arts Center
The classes run from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. A new medium will be introduced each week, giving students the ability to experiment with different rendering methods. The fee for the workshop is $135.