WestportNow welcomes news and notices from Westport community organizations and individuals. Please send them to for consideration for publication. Be sure to include the Westport connection, date and time of event, if appropriate, as well as contact information. WestportNow reserves the right to edit submissions to conform to our editorial style.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Today was the last graduation ceremony for Staples High School Principal John Dodig, who is retiring after 11 years. He saluted the Class of 2015 as a “fantastic,” adding, “You have helped to make my dream of what a public high school can and should be come true…. I am truly honored to be graduating with you.” Dodig told the class: “We’ve been accused and described by some as living in a bubble in Westport. I don’t apologize for that. Being loved, protected, and nurtured in a safe environment allowed you to flourish. You have the rest of your lives outside that bubble and to recognize just how difficult that can be.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Two Boy Scouts in Westport’s Troop 36 have achieved Scouting’s highest honor.
Peter Campbell and Steven Bean have earned the rank of Eagle, something only 5 percent of Scouts ever accomplish. They join more than 120 boys from Troop 36 who have also earned that distinction.
Peter’s Eagle project was done to benefit Sherwood Island State Park. It entailed constructing interpretive panels to display the information and findings of a recent archaeological dig of a colonial homestead at Sherwood Island. It also involved providing the history and context of these findings.
Peter is a senior at Fairfield Prep where he serves as assistant concertmaster of its symphonic orchestra. He is first violin in the principal orchestra of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras and has performed with his group at Carnegie Hall. Peter volunteers at the Westport Senior Center and Bridgeport Hospital. He plans to major in pre-med next fall in college.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sponsors are encouraging Westport students in grade K-8 to enter the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Dream Big Competition before the end of March for a chance to win money for college.
The competition asks students to share their dreams about life after college in a drawing or essay for a chance to win a CHET 529 College Savings account contribution and promote the importance of saving for college.
Four students from across Connecticut will win a $1,000 grand prize CHET account contribution with 80 students representing the states eight counties winning a $500 contribution to a CHET account.
Teachers, parents and guardians can print an entry form and find more information, including the Official Rules and entry deadlines, at http://www.chetdreambig.com. Winners will be announced and recognized during a ceremony in May.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
iFloat, a Westport stress reduction and mind education center, on Saturday will host Float for a Cause, an art show and fundraiser to benefit A Better Chance of Westport .
It will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight at FTS Gallery, 415 Main St, Stratford (second floor).
For the last three years iFloat has offered three complimentary floatation therapy sessions in exchange for a work of art inspired by their experiences. The art will be displayed for the first time at FTS Gallery.
There will be food, drinks, music, dancing, and plenty of opportunities to view and purchase the art through a silent auction, an announcement said.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Westport Little League has announced it is seeking youth umpires.
Eligible candidates must be students in the sixth grade and up, an announcement said. Pay is $20 to $30 game.
Those interested should register at http://www.westportlittleleaguebaseball.com. (Click “register now” and scroll down to youth umpire section.
Westport’s Boy Scout Troop 36 has announced that one of its own Eagle Scouts, Matt Ferencz of Westport, has returned to the troop to serve as Scoutmaster.
“Matt will continue the scouting legacy of our longtime Scoutmaster Jack Berry,” said Bruce Borner, Troop Charter Rep for the Saugatuck Congregational Church. Berry died Feb. 8, 2014 of pancreatic cancer after serving as Scoutmaster since 1984. He was 71. (See obituary here)
Ferencz, 27, spent 12 years in Boy Scouts earning Eagle Scout in 2005. “Scouting, and especially Troop 36, had a tremendous impact on my life,” he said. “Now it is my time to give back.
“My Scoutmaster, Jack Berry, taught me a lot about how to lead boys and develop them. His example will help guide me in my new role.”
The Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange presents its inaugural Piano Final Concert with 24 young pianists performing with an orchestra on Sunday, March 29.
The concert will take place at 4 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 651 Pequot Ave., Southport. There is free admission with a $10 suggested donation.
The performers, aged 5 through 14, will play pieces ranging from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” through concerti by J. S. Bach and Beethoven.
All the performers are students of the Suzuki Music Schools of Westport & Orange and they come from the towns of Cheshire, Darien, Fairfield, North Haven, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Riverside, Shelton, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
March is National Music in Our Schools Month and Westport celebrates with its annual Town-Wide Music Festival on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.
The concert will be held in the Staples High School Gymnasium and will feature the combined 7th and 8th grade middle school bands, as well as the Staples combined bands.
This year’s guest conductor is David Winer, former music supervisor for the Westport Public Schools.
The concert is free and open to the public.
Jay Dirnberger, who flew helicopters during the Vietnam War, will be the featured speaker at the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston’s Thursday, March 12 meeting at the Unitarian Church in Westport at 10 Lyons Plains Road.
Coffee and donuts start at 9:45 a.m. with the talk at 10:30 a.m.
Dirnberger saw his first drone-like weapon in 1968 as an infantry captain flying helicopters with the 1st Cavalry Division in South Vietnam.
While patrolling the coast of North Vietnam, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mansfield, with Dirnberger aboard, deployed a modified unmanned aerial submarine detector to bomb enemy installations.
Dacia Toll, co-CEO and president of Achievement First, will be the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston’s featured speaker at its March 19 meeting at the Unitarian Church in Westport at 10 Lyons Plains Road.
Achievement First is a nonprofit management organization that operates 29 public charter schools in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.
Toll will talk on the activities of Achievement First—what needs to be done to improve elementary and secondary education and the role of charter schools. Coffee and donuts start at 9:45 a.m. followed by her talk at 10:30 a.m.
A Morehead Scholar as an undergraduate at University of North Carolina, Toll went on to earn a Master’s Degree at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, a J.D. from Yale Law School and a teaching certificate from Yale University.
Boy Scout Troop 36 is back to meeting on Monday nights at Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church which has chartered the troop for over 60 years. The troop was one of the organizations that was displaced after the November 2011 fire. Now Troop 36 will be doing some rebuilding of its own by holding Open Houses for boys 11-17 on March 16 and April 6. Gathered in Hoskins Hall (l-r) are: Scoutmaster Matt Ferencz, Phillip DeMunck, William Bean, Kelvin May, Toby Patton, Jake Trock, Liam Borner, William Bean, Ben Waller and Assistant Scoutmaster Craig Patton. Not pictured: Peter Campbell, Michael Dodd and Lucas Nash. For more information, contact Barbara King, (203)454-3566. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Monday, October 27, 2014
Matthew Mandell (r), executive director of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, today presented a check to Jeff Wieser (l), president of Westport-based Homes with Hope, a beneficiary of the third annual 2014 Slice of Saugatuck Festival held on Sept.14 Joining in the check presentation ceremony were Jim Donaher of Gault Energy; Linda Matthews, Chamber of Commerce staff, Maria Funicello, Tutti Ristorante owner, and Karen jewell, owner of Down Under. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, October 24, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Westport’s Saint Luke Parish today held an Oktoberfest run by the Youth Group. Pictured are the Edelweiss Oompah Trio and youth group members, including: (top row, l-r) Gabriela Vega, Linus Nickel, Bobby Becker, Sean Driscoll, (bottom row) Lauren Revay, Jane Schutte, Sofia Vega, and Ryan Peterson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Saturday, October 11, 2014
The founders of ITN Coastal CT, the nonprofit driving service for seniors and the visually disabled, met at the annul fundraiser for ITN at the Pequot Library Friday night. Pictured (l-r) are Stan Nayer, Leslie Wolfe, Stephanie Ross, Maybeth Wirz, John Thompson, Judy Guthman and Peggy Kamins. The event raised money to purchase gas cards and to permit the organization to provide rides to seniors in the six-town region of Fairfield, Easton, Norwalk, Weston, Westport and Wilton. For information about memberships or volunteering, contact Nancy McCormick at (203)858-2001 or go to www.itncoastalct.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, October 10, 2014
To help promote Westport Restaurant Week and urge residents to “eat local,” First Selectman Jim Marpe (3rd r) and Matthew Mandell, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce executive director, (2nd l) had lunch at Post 154 today and tasted the creations of Executive Chef Alex Rosado (3rd l) They were joined by Jonathan Baron, chairman of the coard of the WWCC, Steve Desloge president of the Downtown Merchants Association (2nd r), and Dewey Loselle (r) operations manager for Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Saturday, August 09, 2014
Carrie Aitkenhead, co-director of Wakeman Town Farm, demonstrates techniques for canning jam, jelly, and pickles at today’s workshop. Featured demo: strawberry preserves. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, June 01, 2014
Twenty-four Westport youngsters and three adults from Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Church were confirmed and received today at Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton. The Rev. James E. Curry, Bishop Suffragan, lead the service. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Saturday, May 03, 2014
Animal caretaker Veronica Swain helps visitors listen to the sounds of the Madagascar hissing cockroach at Earthplace today, part of the weekend GreenDay activities coordinated by the Staples High School Green Club. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Malley for WestportNow.com
Friday, October 04, 2013
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who represents Westport, and state Rep. Kim Fawcett, who serves Fairfield, are scheduled to be at the Greens Farms train station Monday at 7 a.m. to listen to commuters’ concerns in the wake of a power outage that has disrupted service over the past two weeks.
Both have stated that they support Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s demand that commuters be given full refunds from Metro-North for the number of days the trains are not in service. They also want Metro-North to give an explanation as to how an outage of such magnitude could occur.
“New Haven line commuters are long-suffering, from coping with substandard rail cars and tracks to frequent delays and outages,” Steinberg said. “It’s time Connecticut’s rail customers got a fair deal from Metro-North, starting with full reimbursement for every day without regular service.”
Calling the failed service outrageous, Fawcett stressed that the rail system cannot “wait until the next major failure to open the conversation.”
Friday, August 30, 2013
Cadet Peter Hugh Bonenfant, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Bonenfant of Westport, Conn., completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy.
Bonenfant entered West Point on July 1 and has successfully completed six of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy.
The initial military training program provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training.
Bonenfant began classes Aug. 19. The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
The Connecticut Food Bank has launched launched a “Hurricane Sandy Virtual Food Drive” to respond to the rapidly growing need for food assistance as well as seeking food donations and volunteers.
Stamford-based AmeriCares is seeking donations to support its provision of medical and other aid to Sandy victims in the United States and the Caribbean.
The Salvation Army is serving those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with food, clean-up kits, and emotional and spiritual care.
Volunteers are busy matching the records for ballots that were distributed against those that have been received by the Town Clerk office at Westport Town Hall. According to Town Clerk Patricia Strauss, 2,357 absentee ballots were distributed through Friday and 1,738 completed ballots have been returned. She said as of this morning, there were approximately 75 ballots distributed, most of which were completed on site. Strauss said the deadline for distribution of ballots is 4:30 p.m. on Monday and completed ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday. Sealed ballots will be opened in Room 201 starting at 10 a.m. on Election Day, and that process is open to the public, according to Strauss. “This will be the first presidential election voting process without the use of levers,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Three Conservative synagogues are set to converge on Westport’s Levitt Pavilion Saturday evening Sept. 8 for a special “service under the stars” prior to the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur.
Officials at the Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston and Wilton say they will co-host the event with Congregation Beth El of Norwalk and Temple Beth El of Stamford. Set to begin at 8:30 p. m., the evening is free and open to the public, and blankets or chairs and flashlights are recommended, synagogue officials say.
They add that the evening will feature the music of acclaimed artist Basya Schechter and her band Pharaoh’s Daughter. The band’s music has been cultivated by Schechter’s Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan, and Greece, according to a spokeswoman for the Conservative synagogue.
Clergy from all three synagogues will be officiating the service: Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Cantor Laura Berman of the Conservative Synagogue; Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and Cantor George Mordecai of Temple Beth El of Stamford; and Rabbi Ron Fish of Congregation Beth El of Norwalk.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Westport-based Project Return’s 17th Annual Birdhouse Auction featuring more than 160 original birdhouses created by artists from all over the country is set for Friday evening from 7 to 10 at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.
“Inspiration and originality have conspired with an astonishing variety of materials, including feathers, wood, clay, buttons, vintage records, bicycle parts, and shells, to showcase the vision of each artist,” says Project Return’s Laura Bard. “Some of this year’s designs are quiet and personal, while others are whimsical and sassy.”
Traditional and contemporary and designed for outdoor use or to enhance indoor spaces, all of the birdhouses reflect themes of home and sanctuary, according to Bard.
Project Return serves adolescent girls and young women in crisis through its group home facility and other programs that develop self-esteem, resiliency, and independence. Like birdhouses, the agency provides a safe haven for fledglings not yet prepared to leave the nest, noted Bard.
Friday, January 06, 2012
Chowdafest organizer Jim Keenan (Chief Chowda Head) announced the details of Chowdafest IV at a press conference today at Westport’s Unitarian Church. Present were several representatives of sponsoring local restaurants who are contestants in the “food fight.” The football-themed event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4, the day before the Superbowl, at Bedford Middle School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will benefit for the Connecticut Food Bank. The cost is $6 for adults, $2 for kids under 12. More information can be found here: chowdafest.org. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Westport Policemen Dave Farrell (l) and Marc Heinmiller are all smiles during a successful turnout of generous people from Westport and neighboring communities who donated toys to the annual Toys for Tots drive in the parking lot of The Athletic Shoe Factory, 1560 Post Road East. The collection continues on Sunday and next weekend between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com