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. “This has enabled us to put those funds to use right away during this difficult time for our town.”
In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, The Darien Foundation immediately shifted its focus to determine where it could best serve and support the community. Woodberry and Board Chairman Ward Glassmeyer promptly contacted First Selectman Jayme Stevenson as well as other community leaders to find out how the Darien Foundation could help.
Stevenson told them one of her most pressing priorities was the senior citizens who had relied upon daily lunches at the Senior Center.
“Knowing that the Senior Center was closed and that the elderly could potentially be at a loss for meals was a significant concern for me and other town officials,” Stevenson said.
Corbin Care Initiative Starts Up
Meanwhile, Baywater Properties and PG Properties were acting quickly to form Corbin Cares—an initiative that would leverage local Darien restaurants to provide meals for the food-insecure in Darien and neighboring communities. This collaboration includes
Bodega Taco Bar, Ten Twenty Post, Baldanza Bistro, Four Forks, Jake’s Place and UCBC, and will provide ready-to-eat, healthy, safely-prepared meals to Darien seniors in need, families referred by Darien’s Department of Human Services, and nonprofits that feed the food-insecure of Fairfield County.
Foundation Gets Behind Corbin Care Project
“Once we learned of the Corbin Cares initiative, we saw there was a natural synergy with our goal of addressing immediate needs of the Town of Darien,” Woodberry said.
The Darien Foundation Board fast-tracked approval for a $75K grant to support Corbin Cares within Darien. The program will launch on Monday, March 30, providing 30-35 lunches each day for seniors, as well as a weekly takeout dinner for approximately 75 families, which includes about 125 students.
“While this is a bit outside the parameters of our typical grant funding, The Darien Foundation has always tried to be responsive to the needs of our community,” said Ward Glassmeyer, Chairman of the Board.
In the past, the Darien Foundation has provided over $1.1 million in technology grants to all seven public schools and thought it might be effective to provide additional equipment, such as more Chromebooks and iPads. However, the Board of Education relayed that technology is not a crucial need at this point.
Corbin Cares, with the support of our community, has brought together The Darien Foundation, The Community Fund of Darien, the Darien Lions Club, Food Rescue US, and several local restaurants to get healthy, ready-to-eat meals delivered to those in our community who are food insecure and to our hospital and healthcare workers during this battle with COVID-19.
“We will reach out to each establishment to ensure best practices are observed in the preparation and transportation of all food,” said David Knauf, Darien’s Director of Health. “Corbin Cares is a great initiative and the Health Department is pleased to be involved.”
In addition, The Board of the Darien Foundation has approved a $110,000 grant to fund technology that will assist the Darien Police Department in training, decision making, and critical incident safety. The Darien Foundation is also moving forward with a $50,000 grant to TV79, a key resource for our town government and our community.
The Foundation is grateful to the full list of corporate sponsors who had agreed to sponsor the Yacht Rock On benefit, including: Eagle Point Credit, JP Morgan Private Bank, Baywater Properties, East Coast Structures, Eileen B. Hanford Realty, First County Bank, PURE Insurance, NOLA Physical Therapy, Rand Insurance, The Residence at Selleck’s Woods, SubShots, and Moffly Media.
About The Darien Foundation
The Darien Foundation is an independent, community-based, 501(c)(3) public charity. Since 1998, The Darien Foundation has funded $4.5 million in grants for technology and capital initiatives, which create opportunity for Darien’s youth, support our town’s safety and security services, and enhance the overall quality of life in Darien.
Our volunteer Board of Directors, who reflect the many constituencies of Darien, thoroughly evaluate grant requests, and assists grant recipients in achieving their goals. Public donations are directed to supporting grants awarded by the Darien Foundation, as all operating costs have been funded by Board member and Officer contributions. Most recently, The Darien Foundation has awarded grants to The Darien Nature Center, DAF Media, The Depot, The Mather Homestead, and Person-to-Person.