Former Darien Residents Host Thanksgiving for People with Developmental Disabilities

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A traditional Thanksgiving feast will take place on Thursday, Nov. 22, to be enjoyed by 65 local individuals with developmental disabilities who are unable to be with family or friends.

James Lowman John Lowman STAR Thanksgiving event

Photo from STAR Inc.

James (at left) and John Lowman

— an announcement from STAR Inc., Lighting the Way

For the last 17 years, Polly and John Lowman of New Canaan, formerly of Darien, have hosted this joyous Thanksgiving meal to ensure that all STAR clients enjoy a family-style holiday celebration with a traditional Thanksgiving meal complete with games and holiday karaoke.

This year, the Thanksgiving meal will be served at Martin House in Norwalk, a beautiful waterfront home that STAR recently acquired from the State of Connecticut that houses eight adult residents with I/DD [intellectual and developmental disabilities].

STAR clients Thanksgiving

Contributed photo

STAR clients enjoying a Thanksgiving.

“We are so grateful to the Lowmans for continuing their long-standing, generous tradition of hosting our annual Thanksgiving meal for our clients that are unable to be with family,” STAR Executive Director, Katie Banzhaf said. “This is such a special day that we all look forward to that is filled with good food and friends and happy memories. We are especially excited that this year Thanksgiving will be held at our newest residential home in Norwalk — the Martin House.”

Volunteers and friends of STAR including staff members, family members and other local volunteers will staff the celebration. For many of the STAR clients, these STAR volunteers, staff members and fellow clients are their only family. For all involved, the celebration is a feel-good, happy holiday.

STAR staff volunteers Thanksgiving meal

Contributed photo

STAR staff and volunteers at a previous Thanksgiving meal.

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization established in 1952 to serve individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. STAR creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy.

Headquartered in Norwalk and with offices at 15 Cross Street, Norwalk and 111 Elm Street, New Canaan, STAR annually serves over 600 individuals from birth through their senior years in Fairfield County. They aim to inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals.

If you would like to volunteer for upcoming STAR events, sponsor a holiday gift or donate to benefit our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please contact Jennifer Thompson jthompson@starct.org. For more information visit the STAR website.

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