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Showing Their Stuff

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The Flaming Marshmallows, a middle school robotics team, demonstrated their skills today at the weekly Westport Farmers Market at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden, 8 Sylvan Lane. Sahiba Dhindsa (r ), 14, an eighth grade student at Coleytown Middle School, demonstrates First Rescue, a robotics device the team will enter in the state-level robotics competition FIRST Tech Challenge to be held Feb. 20 at Greens Farms Academy. The five-member team was also represented by Tala Garcia (l), 13, a eighth grade student at Darien’s Middlesex Middle School, and Tabitha Halupa, (c ) 14, a ninth grade student at Norwalk’s Brien McMahon High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Fundraising Effort Honors Staples Teacher

An online fundraising effort has raised $2,305 to place a memorial bench outside Westport’s Staples High School in honor of Staples English teacher Cody Thomas.

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The online fundraising effort was begun following the death of Cody Thomas on Jan. 23. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo from gofundme.com

The gofundme.com campaign was begun following the Jan. 23 death of Thomas, 27, who took his own life, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. (See WestportNow Jan. 25, 2016) Cody was also co-adviser to the Staples award-winning Inklings newspaper.

As of today, 66 persons had contributed to the effort, according to the website, which said the original goal was $1,400.

“Please support the purchase of a memorial bench outside of Staples High School to honor Mr. Cody Thomas, a wonderful English teacher who touched the lives of many students,” the website says. “All donations are greatly appreciated.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016


10 a.m. – Westport Library – ACT/SAT Practice Test
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens – Westport Farmers Market
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Enid Munroe: Artist & Alchemist”
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Earthplace – Winterfest
Noon – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “Window to Westport’s Past & Present”
2 p.m. – Westport Library – A Cat Lover’s Afternoon
6 p.m. – Westport Country Playhouse – WestportREADS 2016: Keynote Talk with James McBride
7 p.m. – Toquet Hall Teen Center – Halosis
8 p.m. – Christ & Holy Trinity Church – The American Boychoir

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

Antonia Welsher, 61

Antonia “Toni” Welsher of Toms River, N.J., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 28 at Community Medical Center. She was 61.

Born in Italy, she came to the United States when she was four years old. She lived in Westport prior to moving to Toms River in 1984.

Shei was the founder and operator of the Michel Welsher Scholarship for pediatric cancer, which awards high school children college scholarships.

She was predeceased by her son, Michael Welsher. She is survived by her husband Joel Welsher; one son Matthew Welsher and his wife Brianne; two grandchildren, Benjamin and Megan; one sister Pasqualina Coppola and her husband Teodoro; niece, Flora and her husband Dario; nephew, Stefano and his wife Donna; also by her great nieces and great nephews, Lillian, Luke, Michael, Sophia, and Sabrina.

Comings & Goings: Green&Tonic to Taylor Place

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Green&Tonic, a health food eatery, will open in April at the corner of Jesup Road and Taylor Place, the former site of Crumbs, which closed in November 2015 (see WestportNow Nov. 10, 2015.)  The Cos Cob-headquartered business, founded in 2011 by Jeff and Cal Pandolfino, opened in Darien (1098 Boston Post Road) and Cos Cob (7 Strickland Ave.) in 2012, Greenwich (85 Railroad Ave.) in 2013 and New Canaan (5 Burtis Ave.) in 2014. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

WestportNow Teardown of the Day: 18 Evergreen Parkway

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An application for a permit to demolish the house at Westport’s 18 Evergreen Parkway is in process. Built in 1946, the 1-3/4 story cape has 2,203-square feet and is situated on a .32-acre property. Because the house was built more than 50 years ago, the application will be reviewed by the Westport Historic District Commission. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Evan Rackson, 25

Evan Rackson of Westport died Jan. 28 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 25.

Born in New York, N.Y., he was a 2009 graduate of Staples High School.

He s survived by his parents, Alan and Fran Rackson, his brother and sister, Brian Paul Rackson and Alyson Michelle Rackson, and by his grandparents, Hy and Taffy Goldberg and Chester and Selma Rackson.

Services will take place on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. from The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, 30 Hillspoint Road, with interment following at The Conservative Synagogue of Westport Cemetery, Reid Street, Fairfield. Shiva will be held at the family’s home on Sunday immediately following the funeral until 8 p.m. with minyan at 5p.m., Monday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.with Shiva minyanim held each night at 7:30 p.m.

Comings & Goings: Michaels to Post Road East

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Michaels, an arts and crafts retail chain, will open soon at 1850 Post Road East, in the Westport Plaza Shopping Center anchored by HomeGoods. The 19,300-square feet space was last occupied by Walgreens which closed in May 2015 (see WestportNow April 24, 2015). Other Michaels stores in Connecticut are in Wilton, Stamford, Milford, Brookfield, Waterbury, Meriden, New Britain, Berlin and Avon. Based in Irving, Texas, Michaels was founded in 1973 and has 1,262 stores in 49 states. It is the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in North America.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com