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.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Westport Country Playhouse officials announced Monday they have received a $2 million capital grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation to name in perpetuity the building adjacent to the theater as “The Lucille Lortel White Barn Center.”
Getting Grant: There was a large crowd on hand at Monday’s acceptance of a grant by the Westport Country Playhouse from the Lucille Lortel Foundation. Pictured are first row (l-r): Tazewell Thompson, WCP artistic director-designate; Ann Sheffer, WCP board member; Joanne Woodward, WCP artistic director and board member; Elisabeth Morten, WCP board chair. Second row (l-r): Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal; Anne Keefe, WCP associate artistic director; Jim Ross, president, Lucille Lortel Foundation, White Barn Theatre Foundation and Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation; Alison Harris, WCP executive director; Dick Ticktin, trustee, Lucille Lortel Foundation, White Barn Theatre Foundation and Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation; and Jerry Rosenberg, chief of charities bureau, office of New York State attorney general. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kathleen O’Rourke for WestportNow.com
In addition, the Lucille Lortel Foundation has pledged a $500,000 operating grant over 10 years to create The White Barn Theatre Program at the Playhouse.
The original White Barn Theatre, founded by Lortel in 1947 to present experimental works, is now a museum located on Newtown Turnpike in Westport. Its final production there was in the summer of 2002.
“We are honored to accept these gifts,” stated Joanne Woodward, Playhouse artistic director. “They are especially meaningful because I knew and admired Lucille Lortel. Her generosity and commitment to the American theater guided the work at the White Barn for over half a century and were an inspiration to me.”
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Visitors to the Ludlum House on the Westport Historical Society’s 19th annual Holiday House Tour today were asked to remove their shoes outside. The house at 42 Sasco Creek previously belonged to the late, internationally famous suspense writer Robert Ludlum, who lived here for more than 20 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
This house reconstructed in 2002 at 21 Burritts Landing South captivated Westport Historical Society Holiday House Tour visitors with its combined spacious kitchen-dining room that includes a pool table and grand piano. The design incorporates three ceiling elevations that allow sunlight to create a curved feel on the main floor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The first selectmen of Westport and Weston are scheduled to honor senior shutterbugs at a special gala planned at the Westport Center for Senior Activities on Friday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The gala marks the opening of the Y’s Men of Westport-Weston Camera Club’s Annual Photo Contest and Exhibition. The exhibition is set to run through Jan. 27, 2006.
According to Stan Groner, Camera Club president, more than 40 senior photographers submitted more than 75 photos for the contest to be judged by professional photographers.
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss are expected to make more than a dozen awards from Honorable Mention to Best in Show, Groner said. He added that the prizes will range from a digital camera to ribbons and certificates. The Westport Center for Senior Activities is located at 21 Imperial Ave., and the event is open to the public. For further information call 454-4315.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
By Jennifer Connic
Westport residents who want to look at information in the Town Clerk’s office now have some access from home if they have an Internet connection.
The indexes for land records, maps, and marriage and death certificates are now available on the town’s Web site.
Town Clerk Patricia Strauss said she has been working with the town’s information technology staff for the last 18 months to get the information online.
There were initial concerns over security, she said, and fear that hackers could gain unauthorized access and change records. However, the information has been placed on its own, secure server to prevent such invasions, she said.
The Westport Public Library’s Holiday Book Sale is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the hallway of the building’s Riverwalk Level. Library officials boast there will be more than 1,000 “gift quality books” of different genres for children and adults.
The event is sponsored each year by the Friends of the Library, a volunteer group that uses all proceeds to benefit the library and its programs. This year the Friends Book Sale Committee noted a recent donation “of hundreds of brand-new books on gardening, cooking, nature, history and transportation.”
For further information call 291-4840 or visit http://www.westportlibrary.org
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The Charter Oak Foundation, a Westport-based, nonprofit organization aimed at Bridgeport area families and children, recently made grants totaling $60,000 to three area organizations. The recent grants bring Charter Oak’s gifts to more than $1.5 million over the past two years.
Among the Bridgeport recipients were: Career Resources, which offers basic education classes to help adults earn their GEDs; the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, which runs clinics at Bridgeport Hospital and at its Fairfield office; and Original Works, an outlet for teenagers interested in drama involving plays, television documentaries and song and dance performances.
“All of the organizations funded during our fall grant cycle have previously received grants from Charter Oak and proven that they efficiently and effectively empower some of our area’s most disadvantaged individuals and their families,” said Westporter Andy Boas, the foundation’s president.
According to Boas, Charter Oak was founded in 2001 to help children and families who have the ability to succeed but need financial support to realize their potential. He said that foremost among the foundation’s goals is to reduce poverty in the Bridgeport area.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
By James Lomuscio
Seven movers and shakers, some with enough credentials for a presidential cabinet, have joined the Westport Public Library’s 25-member Advisory Coucil, a body that offers insight on how the library can define its mission and reach its goals.
The new members include: Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; David Komansky, chairman emeritus of Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc.; Lawrence Grossman, former president of NBC News and PBS and current co-chair of the Digital Promise Project; Ann Sheffer, a community arts patron and member of the Connecticut Commision on Culture and Tourism, as well as a board member of myriad foundations; Evelyn Kossak, president and co-founder of Jolen Creme Bleach Company; Ian Bremmer, columnist and commentator who founded Eruasia, a research and consulting firm; and Venetia Kontogouris, managing director for Trident Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm.
The new council members join a powerhouse roster that includes Joseph A. Califano, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare from 1977 to 1979, and John Sias, former president of the San Francisco Chronicle and president of NBC Network Group.
The Earthplace Museum Store will be holding a special sale on Wednesday at 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All purchases over $25 will be subject to a 20 percent discount.
The store has gifts for young and old – including birdseed for your feathered guests. Refreshments will also be available during the sale.
For directions to Earthplace, visit www.earthplace.org.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Author Mark Oppenheimer will speak about the Bar and Bat Mitzvah across America during a session on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Conservative Synagogue.
Since its emergence here a century ago, the Bar or Bat Mitzvah has become a distinctively American rite of passage, and Oppenheimer examines the rite of American Jews today in his book “Thirteen and a Day.”
“Thirteen and a Day” is not just about the Bar and Bat Mitzvah—it is also the story of the author’s own growing attachment to the faith of his ancestors. Oppenheimer will share his experiences and observations and answer questions.
Parents are encouraged to attend with their pre- or post- B’nai Mitzvah age children, and Oppenheimer will be available for book signing at the conclusion of the evening. There is no charge for this lecture, and refreshments will be served. Please call the synagogue for more information at (203) 454-4673.
Shopping and charitable giving are set to converge on Main Street, Westport this Saturday, Dec. 3, as a women’s clothing store stages a holiday benefit to help dependent women move into the workforce.
The upscale Eileen Fisher store plans to donate 10 percent of the day’s sales to Dress For Success Mid-Fairfield County, a not-for-profit organization that helps women in southwestern Connecticut get jobs by providing business appropriate clothing and professional development training.
“Eileen Fisher has been hosting these in-store shopping events for us for seven years now,” said Darryl Manning, Dress for Success executive director. “It’s a fabulous way to get your holiday shopping done and help a worthy charity at the same time.”
Manning added that shoppers will receive $25 off all purchases made throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, November 28, 2005
The runway is set to open at the Westport Woman’s Club for a very special fashion show and luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 11:30 a.m. to benefit CLASP Homes, Inc., a Westport-based not-for-profit agency serving adults with developmental retardation.
What makes the show unique, says CLASP spokeswoman Alisa Levinson, is that the models sporting designs from CHICO’s will be CLASP residents.
“We have worked hard to raise awareness in our community about who we are, and what important work we do,” said Tracy Flood, CLASP president. “Last year was a tremendous success, and the models are very excited about the upcoming show.”
Betty Lou Cummings, a former Westport second selectman, is scheduled to emcee the event, which will also include a silent auction.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
The Westport Police Athletic League’s (PAL) annual Children’s Holiday Party has been set for Sunday, Dec. 18, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Inn at Longshore.
According to PAL, the event is open to children 10 years old and younger, and it will include a magic show, a DJ, and the arrival of Santa with gifts at 1:30 p.m.
Along with food and door prizes each child will receive a coupon entitling him or her to skate at the Longshore Ice Rink from 3 to 5 p.m. that day, PAL officials said.
The yearly party was the brainchild of the late Peter “PJ” Romano, PAL director and special police officer, who was also instrumental in bringing the ice rink to town.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
A Peregrine Falcon with a broken wing isn’t the first image that comes to mind when one hears the words Tiffany & Co. Nor do thoughts arise of woodchip trails along a 62-acre preserve and displays showcasing mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
But on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., the Westport Tiffany’s on the Post Road plans to host an invitation-only cocktail reception benefit for Earthplace, Westport’s nature center located at 10 Woodside Lane. Titled “Keys for a Cause,” the event aims to raise funds for the renovation of Earthplace’s Exhibit Hall. When completed, Earthplace officials say, the 3,200-square-foot hall will include more interactive, real-life animal displays.
Frank Grazynski, Earthplace’s development manager, added that the event will also offer guests a chance to win Tiffany gifts. “Guests can purchase keys that may open a golden-padlocked vitrine,” Grazynski said. “Vitrines will display Tiffany Blue Boxes filled with wonderful treasures.”
For further information, contact Earthplace at 227-7253.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Beth Israel of Westport-Norwalk plans to host a Chanuka program for children and teens with special needs on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the temple at 40 King Street in Norwalk.
The event, being sponsored by the Circle of Friends and Sunday Children’s Circle, has scheduled an afternoon of sports, dance and crafts led by professional therapists and leaders, and each participant will be teamed up with a teenage volunteer, officials said.
The Circle of Friends is an affiliate of the national organization YACHAD and a beneficiary
of the UJA Federation of Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The Westport Historical Society Friday presents its inaugural gala “Westport Stories: Fame and Infamy, Places, Events.” In connection with the event, it released this photo from its archives of a 1936 New Year’s Eve costume party held in a barn behind King’s Highway North. The Society said the Friday affair will celebrate “Westport’s charismatic, creative, eclectic people, its places and events, and will feature live music by Total Re-Mix, dancing, original skits, buffet dinner, open bar, and just a touch of scandal.” Tickets are $200 and may be purchased by calling (203)222-1424. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Westport Historical Society photo
Monday, October 17, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Westport Fire Department said today that there are still openings in its babysitter class which begins Wednesday and runs for four weeks.
The 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. class will be held at fire headquarters, 515 Post Road East. The cost is $20. To register, call Carol Underhill at (203)341-5020.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Westporter Gene Seidman, a freelance brand strategist and creative director, addressed the Sunrise Rotary today on ways to use “the power of ideas to out-innovate, out-compete and cut-perform your competition.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jerry Kuyper for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The Westport Volunteer EMS will be offering an EMT training course for those who want to join the corps.
An information session will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 at police headquarters, and applications are due by Oct. 21.
Class tuition is $500, and it may be refunded later based on volunteer service.
Classes start Nov. 1 and continue through May. Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7-10 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
As a community service, Westport’s Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services will do free screening for depression from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6 at 47 Long Lots Road.
The screening is also available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at The Center, operated by Hall-Brooke, at 2400 Main St., Bridgeport, and is provided by both English and Spanish speakers.
Hall-Brooke’s services are part of the National Depression Screening Day which makes available the free opportunity for diagnosis to persons throughout the United States who may be suffering from depression or bipolar disease, an announcement said.
The Westport Fire Department is offering a babysitting safety course to be held at Westport Fire Headquarters. The course will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and continue on Oct, 12, Oct. 26, and Nov. 2 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Applicants will be chosen on a first-come/first-serve basis. The maximum number of participants for the program is 15. Applicants must be age 11 or over.
Course content will include responsibilities of the babysitter, handling babysitting emergencies, first aid, rescue breathing, a demonstration of the use of fire extinguishers, and kitchen safety. Cost is $20. To enroll or for further information, call the Fire Marshal’s Office at (203)341-5020.
Friday, September 16, 2005
CLASP Homes, a Westport-based non-profit serving adults with developmental disabilities, will hold a relief drive for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Sept. 27, the organization announced.
Those living in CLASP’s apartment program will be collecting bottled water, blankets, snack food or easy to open, non-perishable foods, batteries, tents and tarps. Everything that is collected will be taken to the Norwalk Armory.
While the people who live at CLASP are in need of support themselves, over the past couple of weeks several have asked how they can help the people of the Gulf Coast, an announcement said. It said this is a great opportunity for them to reach out to the survivors and make a difference in their lives.
Community members may drop off the items at the CLASP Homes office at 246 Post Road East between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sept. 27. For more information about CLASP and its programs, contact Development Director Alisa Levinson at (203) 226-7895 ext. 144 or visit www.clasphomes.org.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
The Westport-Weston Chapter of AARP will open its fall season Wednesday with practical advice from professionals on how to promote wellness and independence.
The 1 p.m. meeting at the Westport Center for Senior Activities is of particular interest to those age 50 and above who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, an announcement said.
Dr. Michael McGlynn, well-known clinical nutritionist with a practice in Westport, will focus on preventing disease and promoting wellness through good dietary practices. He received his post-doctorate diploma from the American Chiropractic Board of Nutrition,
Susan Lackey of Home Instead Senior Care in Norwalk will present a “Banana Blast” party inspired by the “30-Minute Meals for Seniors”. booklet created by TV chef Rachel Ray. Lackey will bring bananas, dipping chocolate and assorted toppings and invite the audience to participate in preparing—and eating—the nutritious afternoon treat.
Both speakers will welcome questions from the audience. For more information about the meeting, call Thelma Shiboski, (203) 227-8594.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A group of Westport area women recently marked the 85* anniversary of the Constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote with an informal lunch at the Blood Root restaurant in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Seated (l-r) are: Carol Diamond, Joan Kahn, Martha Aasen, Vidal Clay, Jackie Heneage, and Pat Hendrickson. Rear (l-r) are: Janet Roberts, Jill Beres, Bobbie Herman, Sarah Herz, Athena Ploumis Bradley, and Barbara Webster. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Winifred Balboni for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 29, 2005
The 54th and final free performance of the Levitt Pavilion’s summer-long season of entertainment took place tonight, indoors due to the weather, at Saugatuck Elementary School in Westport. The Fairfield Counts, a jazz ensemble consisting of Farfield County musicians, provided the closing act for the Levitt’s 32nd season. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
Saturday, August 27, 2005
There were 102 runners participating in today’s second to last Westport Road Runners race of the summer. The 9.3 mile race started at Compo Beach and took a long loop around the Compo area. Anatolie Vartosu, 37, of Stamford won the race in 55:55 while the first woman to finish was Heather Crosby, 31, of Danbury. The first Westporter to finish was Paul Greenberg, 44, who was the fourth overall finisher. The tenth and final race of the summer will take place next Saturday at 8 a.m. It will be a 10-mile race, starting at Staples High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jonathan Thrope for WestportNow.com
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Fairfield University men’s basketball Head Coach Tim O’Toole and player Charles Bentley spoke at Friday’s Westport Sunrise Rotary Club meeting. He spoke with optimism for the 2005-06 season and proudly mentioned the school’s near 100 percent player graduation rate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Compo Beach Playground Project will be hosting a clambake at Compo Beach Saturday, Sept. 17, from 5-9 p.m. to raise funds for the Compo Beach rebuilding initiative.
The clambake will only be open to 200 guests and tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to a letter to residents from Compo Beach Playground Project Chair Suzanne Dodge.
The night will include music spun by a world-class D.J. as well as a mixture of seafood to feast on, Dodge wrote in her letter.
Tickets are $75 per person and 100 percent of the net proceeds will go to the Compo Beach playground rebuilding project.