The Volunteer Hub Is Launched to Help Darien Volunteers Find a Good Matches With Local Organizations

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The Community Fund of Darien is launching The Volunteer Hub, a complimentary service to Darien residents interested in finding just the right local volunteer opportunity. — an announcement from The Community Fund of Darien

“We’ve heard from Darien residents that they wanted to be more involved in our community and didn’t know how to get started,” explained Janet King, Executive Director of The Community Fund of Darien. Thanks to its community investments in many local nonprofit organizations, The Community Fund has strong ties to those who need volunteer help — a list that’s growing. “Since TCF has such extensive knowledge of local nonprofits, we want to use this expertise to create a personalized matchmaking service for Darien residents to find their dream volunteer position and support these organizations with their skills,” King said. How It Works
Individuals contact TCF’s Volunteer Hub Hosts, and those “volunteers for volunteering” will personally guide participants to the organizations which best match their skill set and areas of interest.

Running at Abilis Walk/Run event

You Can Still Register for Abilis Walk/Run in Greenwich This Sunday, Oct 17

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It’s time for the annual Walk/Run for Abilis event! For the 16th annual year, Walk/run for Abilis will take place on Sunday, Oct. 17 at Greenwich Point Park. — an announcement from Abilis

Participants can walk or run in-person or participant virtually from anywhere in the world. Participants are encouraged to register in advance at

Darien United logo by Nobu Miki

Darien United Campaign: Town Organizations Unite to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

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A group of organizations in Darien are coming together around a
common cause: celebrating diversity and promoting an inclusive community. — an announcement from the organizers of Darien United

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk, the Darien YMCA, Darien Library, and Minority Voice have partnered to launch Darien United, a campaign that aims to make sure Darien is a welcoming place, particularly for people of color, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, and people with mental or physical disabilities. ______________________

Here’s how the Darien United project is described by its organizers:

“Darien United is a grassroots initiative made up of Darien residents and local leaders who commit to creating and supporting a welcoming community that respects and encourages contributions of all people, in all our beautiful variety of race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, class, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, mental and physical ability, military status, and immigration status. “We commit to upholding these values within our town, organizations, and businesses, as both aspirational and operational guideposts in our everyday practices and priorities.” ______________________

The idea was first conceived and inspired by local artist and activist Nobu Miki, who is the founder of Minority Voice, a support group for women of color in Darien.

Robert Morris

Stamford (and Darien’s) Men’s Homeless Shelter, Pacific House, Hosts Online Fundraiser Oct 21

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When Pacific House hosts its 20th Annual Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 21, it will honor five community partners that helped the organization weather the storm throughout the pandemic. — an announcement from Pacific House
The Pacific House 2021 Community Partnership Honorees are: Sam Cingari of The Cingari Family, Grade A – ShopRite; Community Health Center Inc.; First Congregational Church of Greenwich; New Covenant Center/Catholic Charities of Fairfield County; and Robert Morris, founder and managing partner of Olympus Partners. “The unwavering support these individuals and organizations provided throughout the past year is nothing short of heroic,” said Rafael Pagan, Jr., executive director of Pacific House. “The pandemic upended our day-to-day operations, causing us to mobilize quickly to protect the safety of our clients,” Pagan said.

Tony Goldwyn and Adria Arjona Americares Benefit 2021

Stars Headline Americares Benefit, Streaming Live on Saturday

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Actors Adria Arjona and Tony Goldwyn will co-host the 2021 Americares Airlift Benefit on Saturday, Oct. 2. The virtual benefit celebrates the organization’s life-changing health programs for people affected by poverty or disaster and the health workers and partners who make the programs possible. — an announcement from Americares

Americares supports more than 4,000 health centers worldwide with transformative health projects and donations of medicine, improving the health of millions of people in need every year. The benefit will stream live from Americares 55,000-square-foot Global Distribution Center in Stamford, and will take supporters on a unique virtual journey to see the organization’s work in Colombia, Ghana, Honduras, the Philippines and the United States, as well as meet families overcoming the challenges of disaster, climate change, poverty and inequity.

Maggie McIntire Margaret McIntire Museum of Darien

Museum of Darien Executive Director to Leave Post in October

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After four years as executive director of the Museum of Darien, Maggie McIntire has announced she will be leaving the job in October. A new director is expected to be named in January and start work early next year, the museum announced. The museum’s former name is the Darien Historical Society. “We are eternally grateful for all of the amazing work that Maggie has done for our organization and the community at large,” said Board President Robert J. Pascal Jr., adding that the non-profit’s board is putting a transition plan in motion and is expected to name a new leader in the coming months. Before taking on the leadership role at the Museum in 2017, McIntire directed adult programs at the Mark Twain Library in Redding and previously worked in communications at The Ferguson Library in Stamford.

Americares warehouse

Americares Sends Relief Supplies to Earthquake-Striken Areas of Haiti

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Americares has medicines and relief supplies on the way to Haiti for survivors of Saturday morning’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake. — an announcement from Americares

A shipment carrying 9 tons of intravenous fluids is headed to earthquake-damaged Les Cayes, and Americares relief workers in Haiti and the United States are preparing additional shipments in the coming days to supply health workers treating the injured with antibiotics, wound care supplies and urgently needed medical supplies. Americares relief workers on the ground in Haiti are assisting the local response, and the health-focused relief organization plans to deploy additional staff in the coming days to support the relief efforts. The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 7.2-mangitude earthquake at 8:29 a.m. local time in the southwestern part of the country, 78 miles west of Port-au-Prince—slightly stronger than the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake that devastated the country. Aftershocks as strong as 5.2 continued throughout the day and early reports from the region indicated major destruction in Jeremie and Les Cayes.

Alex Domeyko Darien Nature Center director

Darien Nature Center Names Alex Domeyko New Executive Director

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The Board of Directors of the Darien Nature Center has named Alex Domeyko as the organization’s new executive director. — an announcement from the Darien Nature Center

Domeyko succeeds Leila Wetmore, who oversaw the organization’s strategic planning process in advance of the Darien Nature Center’s 40th anniversary. “Al’s deep commitment to the environment and his experience in nature-based programming will be tremendous assets as we launch our strategic plan,” said Board President Alicia Sable. “He shares our vision and we are confident that he will help the Darien Nature Center build upon its strengths and provide even more programs and resources for nature lovers of all ages,” Sable said. Domeyko has devoted his educational and professional career to the natural sciences, working in environmental research and outreach for more than a decade.

Poster 1 Knights for Aces Norwalk Grassroots Tennis 2021

‘Knights for Aces’ Tennis Tournament for Kids and Teens, Aug 22 in Darien and Norwalk

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Kids and teenagers of any skill level are invited to play in the Knights for Aces tennis tournament, coming Sunday afternoon, Aug. 22. — an announcement from Grassroots Tennis & Education
The competition, from 1 to 6 p.m., features round robin doubles tennis matches, starting on the courts of four clubs in Darien — Middlesex, Tokeneke, Wee Burn and Woodway. Participants are asked to arrive by 12:45 p.m.

After matches are played, the winning doubles team in each division will play in the finals at Grassroots tennis courts in Norwalk. Players and spectators are invited to enjoy pizza and refreshments, and winners will take home trophies and t-shirts. 
Finals and food will be  at the William Rippe Tennis Center at Springwood Park, 11 Ingalls Ave.

Tommy Gogolak STAR YMCA

STAR Gets Grant to Help People With Disabilities Find First Jobs

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STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way received a $20,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation to support local individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) find first jobs through their My First Jobs Program. — an announcement from STAR Inc., Lighting the Way

STAR’s My First Jobs Program provides support to workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in entering the workforce. Current research indicates that only 15% of people with IDD are employed. However, with the right supports, many people with IDD can build a career alongside their typical peers. STAR is recognized as a leading agency in Connecticut in job placements, coaching, and hours worked competitively by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Charlie Sherman Charles Sherman

How Four Area People with Disabilities Work and Live on Their Own, With Help

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How many of us have dreamed of having our own home? How many want that home located in our home town, where we know people, we know the shopkeepers and the street signs, and where people know our name? — an announcement from STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

For many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), that’s not only their dream, it’s their reality, thanks to a program from the state Department of Developmental Disabilities called Individualized Home Supports. Here’s how several people in Darien and nearby communities were helped by the program:
Charlie, at Whole Foods in Darien
There is hardly a customer at Whole Foods in Darien who is an unfamiliar face to Charlie, who has worked there for over six years. In a job that makes him beam with pride, he says: “Everybody knows me […] I get to be outside on my own helping and greeting people, not a lot of bosses, and I just do what I gotta do!”

To get to work each day, Charlie walks from his apartment in his hometown of Norwalk to the East Norwalk Metro North station, where he boards the local train to Darien.

Abilis Expands Special Needs Services in Darien With Four Programs This Year, More Expected

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Abilis, a nonprofit that serves people with special needs and their families, will be expanding programs and services in Darien, starting with four programs in the areas of job training, life skills, employment and housing. — an announcement from Abilis

Abilis is now accepting applications for two programs: Abilis LEAP Transitions Program, which helps people acquire life skills, as well as Project SEARCH, a 10-month internship at the Darien YMCA to provide job training. Two other programs are still in the works: Sometime later this year Abilis will open Darien Library Café. Later this summer and early fall, the organization will run the supportive living program for 12 new, large studio apartments on East Lane, as part of the Corbin District project. “Having these four initial Abilis programs, and more to come, in the Darien community, will only strengthen our ability to help more individuals with disabilities or special needs,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis.

Darien Chamber of Commerce Logo 5-3-16

Kesti Aysseh Becomes New Darien Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

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Kesti Aysseh has been named the new executive director of the Darien Chamber of Commerce, and a new business manager, Reedie Karl, has been named the new business manager, the chamber announced. Most recently, Aysseh was executive development director of The Depot Youth Center. Karl was recently community relations associate for Maplewood Senior Living. Aysseh succeeds Susan Cator, who left the job in December after more than six and a half years. Karl succeeds Masako Sparks as business manager.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse

Your Kid’s Summer Camp Could Visit Sheffield Island Lighthouse

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New this summer, the Norwalk Seaport Association is now welcoming regional organizations that offer summer camps for children to come and visit Sheffield Island and Sheffield Island Lighthouse for an unparalleled maritime excursion. — an announcement from the Norwalk Seaport Association

Preservation of the island and lighthouse as well as offering educational opportunities for children are two of the founding principles that the Norwalk Seaport Association has been founded on. If organizations and summer camps are looking for a new camp activity that will delight and engage kids of all ages, they should consider renting the Norwalk Seaport Association’s vessel the C.J. Toth for an excursion. The Norwalk Seaport Association has developed two options for camp educators to choose from, both offer an educational and rewarding experience at affordable price points. A two-hour harbor cruise is scenic, educational, and fun.