Have You Heard …? Darienites From Stage to Street to Firehouse to Restaurant to Gym to Pool to Museum to Golf Course


Contributed photo

In front of the White House

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Here’s the lowdown on what’s up around town:

Royle School’s recent STEAM started with the third to fifth graders making spinning tops in robotics and the Kindergarten through second graders learning about both color theory and taking a Keva Engineering Building Challenge!

Royle is hosting its first ever STEAM week with hands on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math classes offered after early dismissal. More than 265 children signed up for the various activities.


You can go bald for a good cause, or at least support others who will this Saturday, March 31. The head shaving takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Darien Fire Department, 848 Post Road; the party at Center Street Pub, 22 Center St., runs from 9 to 11 p.m.

St. Baldrick's Darien

Picture from Darien Fire Department on Facebook

From a past Darien St. Baldrick\’s event

“Support Darien Fire Department, Noroton Heights Fire Department and Noroton Fire Department in helping St. Baldrick’s Foundation cure kids’ cancer, and then
join the Highland Rovers Band Trio at the Pub for a St. Baldrick’s Party! Pints, prizes and some mighty fancy fiddling!” Darien Fire Department says on Facebook.


Laurie Orem has joined the staff of the Community Fund of Darien as the  new director of development, the organization recently announced.

She comes to the Community Fund of Darien with a six year history of service as a volunteer and member of the board of directors. Most recently, she served on the Executive Committee as the vice president of development.

Laurie Orem CFD director of development

Photo from the Community Fund of Darien

Laurie Orem, new director of development for the Community Fund of Darien

“Laurie’s commitment to our mission and long history of service in the Darien community make her a wonderful addition to our team” said Community Fund Executive Director Carrie Bernier.

Laurie has been an active volunteer in town for many years at the public schools, Noroton Presbyterian Church and other nonprofit boards, often in leadership positions.

Prior to raising her children, Laurie was a Management Consultant in Strategic Planning for KPMG Peat Marwick.  She has a B.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from Columbia University.  Laurie lives in Darien with her husband and three daughters.


Blanche Librarian Darien Library

Photo from Darien Library on Facebook

“We are thrilled to share that Blanche is the recipient of the 2018 Connecticut Library Association\’s Outstanding Librarian Award! ” — Darien Library on Facebook


Carrie Bernier of Darien (and executive director of the Community Fund of Darien) took part in the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C. last weekend, along with her two sisters and her daughter, Sophie Petti.

Bernier wrote:

“My daughter Sophie said, ‘I vote in 2022. Change is coming!’”

Sophie’s poster is below [shown in the pictures, which Darienite.com is publishing above]. She took a photo from the Darien Times in 2012 when we marched in Hartford after Sandy Hook and asked why nothing has changed.


DHS’s student-run theatre company Theatre 308 revived the 80’s with this stage adaption of the iconic movie Footloose. The performances wrapped up this past weekend.

Darien High School Theatre 308 Footloose Promo from Harry Amyotte on Vimeo.

To put on the production, there were 65 cast members, a stage crew of over 20 students, and a rock band of students and professionals. All creative elements (i.e. sets, color palette, advertising, etc.) were coordinated by student creative director, Justin Mossa, a DHS Junior. Musical direction (choral and pit) was led by Kim Sadler, a music teacher at Middlesex Middle School.

Footloose is a feel-good musical about the importance of self-expression and individual freedom. Ren McCormack (played by Nick Servas) is forced to move from the vibrant city of Chicago to the quiet rural town of Bomont, Oklahoma.

Ren finds himself in a tight knit community where dancing has been outlawed by the Reverend Shaw Moore (played by Jack Savage) after a devastating accident. Five years after the ban, some, including the Reverend’s daughter, Ariel (played by Lexi Staubi), are beginning to feel like they want to break free.

Other featured students actors were:

Isabelle Lariño –  who played Vi Moore

Elizabeth Kelley – who played Ethel McCormack

Sophia Talwalkar – who played Rusty

Kailey Anderson – who played Urleen

Shannon Flaherty – who played Wendy Jo

Grady Allen – who played Willard Hewitt

Sage Gillespie – who played Chuck Cranston

“I’ve done a lot of theater in Darien over the last decade, but this show had an energy like no other,” said Director Tim Sorensen, a teacher at Middlesex Middle School. “These kids were truly outstanding.”


Easter Weekend 2018 Darien YMCA

Image from a Darien YMCA email announcement

Darien Y announces its Easter weekend schedule.

Here’s a link to the Y’s pool schedule for the weekend.


Person-to-Person P2P Mobile Pantry

Photo from Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person is launching the “P2P Mobile Food Pantry” in Stamford to make not only its pantry but its casework counseling and emergency financial assistance more easily accessible to residents.


We mentioned the new mobile pantry and service office in the last edition of “Have You Heard …?” — here’s a bit more information: The “P2P on Wheels” is also meant to increase “our collaboration with partner agencies in Stamford,” the Darien-based organization said in an announcement on Tuesday.

“‘P2P On Wheels’ is staffed by a P2P caseworker for client appointments and features a selection of grocery items including fresh fruits & vegetables, dairy items, grains, meat & poultry and shelf-stable goods.”


The Darien Y’s marketing department is looking for a college intern for this summer. The college student (rising sophomore or older) needs to be a Y supporter with good writing and computer skills who is interested in learning a lot about marketing, PR, and non-profit fundraising. Interns will be assigned specific projects that are designed to build their resume.

The internship starts in late May and runs until mid-August. We require 15 hours a week, distributed across multiple weekdays. The internship is unpaid, but the student will gain valuable experience, will have fun learning about marketing, and will enjoy a free summer membership at the Y!

Interested candidates can send their resume to:
Amy Kiser at akiser@darien-ymca.org


Mike Pietrafeso Krista Pietrafeso

Contributed photo

Roost co-owners Mike and Krista Pietrafeso

From Monday through Friday next week, April 2 to 6, Roost, the new eatery at 1950 Post Road in downtown Noroton, will be hosting a food drive in support of the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. The restaurant owners intend to make it the first of an annual event.

You can bring in non-perishable food donations (see the suggested list below) throughout the week. Along with the food drive, on Saturday, April 7, the store will donate 10 percent of daily sales to the food bank.

Owners Mike and Krista Pietrafeso say feeding local families is a mission they hold near and dear to their hearts, and they like seeing the local community come together to make a difference by feeding local families in need.

Most needed foods for food drive Roost 2018


Image from Stepping Stones on Facebook xx

Image from Stepping Stones on Faceboook

This Thursday

Stepping Stones Museum for Children has space available for your parties or other events, and you can check the place’s space out at their “Venue Rental Open House” from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 29. Chocolate and champagne will be served.

“We know about inspiration. We know how to dazzle the senses. And with just a little bit of #SteppingStones magic, our talented team knows just how to take your vision and make it a reality!” a post on the museum’s Facebook time line said.

“Come by and meet our talented Events and Audio-Visual Team, tour our event spaces and learn all the possibilities our whimsical venue has to offer! For more information or a private tour, contact: Lauren at 203 899 0606, ext. 208 or lauren@steppingstonesmuseum.org!


The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is seeking artwork from talented regional high school students for its “iCreate 2018” exhibition. The deadline is Sunday, May 6, 2018. Select pieces will be showcased in the 8th annual iCreate exhibition in the Museum’s Bantle Lecture Gallery.

iCreate art competition Bruce Museum

Image from Bruce Museum on Facebook

Create. Submit. Who knows, maybe glory will be showered upon you.


The exhibition, opening June 9, will have about 40 works of art chosen from hundreds of expected submissions. The chosen works will be on display through August 12. Local students in Grades 9 through 12 are urged not to miss the opportunity to participate in this highly regarded annual exhibition.

Any high school student from the region may submit up to three entries digitally to MLendenmann@brucemuseum.org by Sunday, May 6, 2018.

The top five honorees will be awarded cash prizes from $500 to $100; the winner of the people’s choice award will receive $250.


The Piranha Spring Stroke Clinic is a tryout for the Piranhas, the Darien Y’s Competitive Swim program, and House Swimming, the YMCA’s “bridge” from lessons to team.

This clinic, which takes place from 4 to 4:45 p.m., this coming Monday through Thursday, April 2 to 5, is offered to swimmers 7 to 13 years of age (swimmers who are 6 and aging up to 7 before the end of the year can participate).

The Clinic is taught by the Piranha coaching staff with the goal of teaching new drills, improving technique and stroke mechanics while evaluating the swimmers for promotion to the Team and/or House. Please note space is limited in both.

Fees: Members $105, Non-members $165

Click here for additional details.


An announcement from Darien Parks and Recreation Department:

Darien Parks and Recreation hosted the second annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Friday evening at the Town Hall Castle (gym). The majestic evening was filled with stunning dresses, well-dressed Dads and ALL KINDS of dance moves!

Whether deciding to head straight for the dance floor, or be silly in the photo booth, or even indulge in the “castle cravings” spread, there were plenty of opportunities to make magical memories to last a lifetime.

Parks and Recreation would like to thank all the Daddys and Daughters who joined us for such a special evening.


The Darien Y is planning for their third annual golf scramble fundraiser to benefit the Darien YMCA special needs programs. The golf scramble will be held on June 6, 2018, at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Club in Greenwich.

 Vincent Bruzzese

Photo from Darien YMCA

Pio Bruzzese’s son, Vincent, has participated in many of the programs.

The Darien Y is the largest provider of special needs programs in our community with annual participation rates of over 600 individuals.

These programs include enrichment activities such as cooking and art, fitness programs including yoga and martial arts, clubs for girls, teens and young adults, as well as aquatics programs.

Last year, the Darien Y provided $400,000 in funding for special needs programs, most which came from donations and fundraising. All proceeds from the Darien Y Golf Scramble will go towards Darien YMCA programs for children with special needs.

This annual event was founded by Pio Bruzzese, whose son, Vincent, was diagnosed with autism. For the past eight years, Vincent has participated in many special needs programs at the Darien Y, where he has had the opportunity to interact with children of different abilities.

Pio told the Darien YMCA about his reason for creating the event, “It is through this fundraiser that we hope to build on this wonderful foundation that has been created at the Darien YMCA to provide a setting where children with all different abilities can be respected for who they are and feel part of their community and wider society.”

The golf scramble event involves breakfast, an 18-hole golf tournament, and a luncheon. Sponsorships are available at the $150, $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000 level. Details about sponsorships and the event are on the Darien YMCA website.

For more information about the event, sponsoring, or to register, please contact Pio Bruzzese at (646) 660-5082 or at pbruzzese@nemotile.com


Shake Shack employee 912-30-16

Shake Shack is looking for a “Restaurant Team Member Food Service Counter/Cook/Cashier position for our #Darien, CT Shake Shack! Ready to join the family?” the business says on Facebook.

Here’s where to check it out.

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