STAR clients Thanksgiving

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. — 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]. “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.

DHS students STAR employee clients

Three Darien High School Seniors Raise Funds for Local Toddlers With Developmental Delays

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Three recent graduates of Darien High School — Lauren Larizza, Owen Stevens and Olivia Taylor — spearheaded a project to support STAR, Inc. as part of their senior internship with The Community Fund of Darien. With their involvement in the Youth Community Fund allocations, these intelligent, kind and proactive interns were aware of STAR’s funding shortfall to complete an important project to benefit toddlers in our community. — This article combines an announcement from STAR Inc. Lighting the Way, along with the text of the fundraising appeal from the students’ project. They were inspired to create and manage a project on The Impact Vine — an online giving platform founded by The Community Fund of Darien to support local nonprofits. Their mission was to raise an additional $750 to purchase iPads and learning software for STAR’s Birth to Three program.