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
Dodig Salutes Class of 2015 as ‘Fantastic’
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 Troop 36 Boy Scouts Earn Eagle Rank
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
Students Encouraged to Enter CHET ‘Dream Big’ Competition
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 Hosts Benefit Saturday for A Better Chance
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 Seeks Youth Umpires
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.
New Scoutmaster for Troop 36 is a Returnee
Matt Ferencz: learned under Jack Berry. Contributed photo
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.”
Suzuki Music Schools Final Concert on March 29
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
Schools’ Town-Wide Music Festival on March 18
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.
Drones Subject of Y’s Men Talk on Thursday
Jay Dirnberger: Vietnam War vet. Photo by Larry Untermeyer
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.
Y’s Men Speaker Will Focus on Charter Schools
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.
Dacia Toll: will address Y’s Men on March 19. Contributed photo
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.
Troop 36 Back at Saugatuck Congregational Church
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
Westport Chamber Donates $5K to Homes With Hope
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
Visit From Firefighters
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Oktoberfest at Saint Luke
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
Founders at ITN Coastal CT Celebrate
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