Wednesday, March 29, 2023



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.

Westport Masons Install New Officers Image
Members of Temple Masonic Lodge No.65 of Westport recently installed a new slate of officers. The Masons, who do philanthropic work throughout the community, are located at 210 Post Road East. The lodge was chartered on May 12, 1824, and is the oldest fraternal organization in Westport. The aprons and tuxedos are part of the traditional garb worn by the members to signify their respective functions within the organization. Pictured are: First row – Walter E. Kaechele, past grand master of the grand lodge of Connecticut; Dennis Corsalini, the new master of the lodge; John Hendrickson, senior warden; Donald B.Treadwell, chaplin. Second row – Fred Clark, associate grand marshall; John T. Kahler, junior warden; George Underhill, treasurer; David Feliciano, junior deacon;  Scott Adelman, senior steward; Thomas C. Hofstetter, secretary; Dr. Rocco Frank, past master 2005; Wilson Dinielli, senior deacon. Last row – William Dykler, district deputy and Dr. Julian Benetatos, organist. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Volunteers Needed For Compo Playground Project Image
Volunteers are needed to help build a new playground at Westport’s Compo Beach. It will replace the current playground that has been enjoyed by children for 16 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Westport Compo Beach Playground Committee is looking for a few good men and women to help with construction in April.

The committee has raised nearly enough money for a project to replace and build a new playground at the beach, but volunteers are needed to help with building the playground.

Rebecca Ellsley, committee co-chairwoman, said there is a meeting planned for Jan. 25 to organize the project, and 1,500 volunteers are needed by that time. There are 650 names currently on the volunteer list.

Those who volunteer do not need to commit to a specific time, but just need to say they are available to help during the building on April 25-30.

Chaplin Films and Orchestra Set for Dec 27 at Playhouse

Classic Charlie Chaplin silent films with their original scores performed by a live orchestra are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Planned are a 2 p.m. showing of one Chaplin film, “The Kid,” which Playhouse officials say is appropriate for ages 10 and older, and a 7 p.m. showing of “The Kid,” followed by Chaplin’s “The Adventurer.”

The films are to be accompanied by Rick Benjamin’s Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, heard on “Main Street, U.S.A.” at Disneyland, Disney World and Euro Disney.

The films are being presented by ARTS in the House, a co-presentation by Westport Country Playhouse and Westport Arts Center (WAC).

First Night Gives Away More than 600 Buttons

Westport-Weston First Night has distributed 613 free buttons to underprivileged children throughout the region.

The buttons, which would have cost the children $10 each, will allow them to attend more than 30 events for children, teens and adults in venues throughout both towns, said Rozanne Gates, First Night executive director

She said the contributions were made by friends, contacts and sponsors of First Night and will be given to underprivileged children and families in Westport, Weston, Norwalk and Bridgeport.

She said 200 buttons were given to the Westport Department of Human Services, seven to Project Return, 100 to the Weston Department of Social Services, 120 to the Norwalk Human Services Council, 83 to the Carver Center in Norwalk, 100 to the Bridgeport Kiwanis Club and three to a Bridgeport family.

‘Wild Women’ Coming to the Playhouse

“Wild Women” is the theme of short fiction readings scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Westport Country Playhouse.

The readings will be performed by actors Kathleen Chalfant, Marian Seldes and Joanne Woodward in a program titled “Selected Shorts,” a live version of the National Public Radio (NPR) show of the same name.

Presented by Arts in the House, a collaboration between the Westport Arts Center and the Playhouse, the program is set to be hosted by Isaiah Sheffer, artistic director of ̶#8220;Selected Shorts” and its home theater Symphony Space in New York City.

Playhouse officials say the readings will be taped for a future NPR broadcast. WSHU Public Radio is the event’s media sponsor.

Y Offers Aquatics Classes Image
The Westport-Weston Family Y aquatics staff will be offering free “Aquatic Fusion” clinics this week. They will be held Wednesday and Friday at 8:45-9:45 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday in the 90-degree pool at the YMCA. Pictured are (l-r) Audrey Thompson, Aquatic Fitness Director Patty Kondub, and Shelly Goldman (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

New Year’s Eve Coming Earlier, Too

Even New Year’s Eve, it seems, is starting earlier. Balducci’s, the Westport specialty food market, has scheduled a First Night preview celebration with balloons, clowns and music for Thursday, Dec. 29, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Teaming up with First Night of Westport-Weston, Balducci’s at 1385 Post Road East, has planned a free and open-to-the-public event that will seemingly step into the future with musical entertainment by the Puttin’ on the Ritz, face painters, food samples and demonstrations.

But the event is not designed to take away from New Year’s Eve by jumping ahead on the calendar. Instead it will offer a sneak preveiw of First Night events while hawking admission buttons to all of its offerings, organizers say.

“First Night offers Westport residents a wonderful and safe environment in which to ring in their New Year,” said Victor DiRoma, Balducci’s general manager.

‘Chanukah Across Town’ Menorah Lightings Scheduled

Beth Israel of Westport-Norwalk and The Schneerson Center of Westport have scheduled five Chanukah events beginning with a menorah lighting ceremony at Westport’s Compo Acres Shopping Center on Sunday, Dec. 25, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The initial menorah lighting will be in front of Wachovia Bank, and planners say it will feature hot potato latkes, live music, dreidels and hot chocolate. Local dignitaries are scheduled to attend, and Rabbi Levi Stone and Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht plan to emcee the event.

The ceremony is part of the week-long “Chanukah Across Town” activities that will include a menorah lighting at Weston Shopping Center on Monday, Dec. 26, at 5 p.m. and a huge menorah lighting at Stew Leonard’s on Westport Avenue in Norwalk on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5 p.m.

Also scheduled is a “Chanukah On Ice” celebration including face painting, holiday gelt and songs at the Longshore Ice Rink on Thursday, Dec. 29. The admission, $12 per adults and $10 per child, covers skates rentals, planners say.

Senior Center to Offer Grandparenting Classes

In an era of fewer and fewer extended families and increased pressures on children, the Westport Center for Senior Activities and Positive Directions, the Center for Prevention and Recovery, are stressing the important role of grandparents.

And on Tuesday, Jan. 24, the two organizations will kick off the first session of a five-week program titled, “Raising Resilient Grandchildren.” The program is set to run Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the senior center.

It uses a research-based curriculum in which grandparents gain the skills needed to help raise healthy grandchildren who avoid risky behavior, said Martha Hauhuth, executive director of Westport-based Positive Directions.

As grandparents assume greater roles, she said, children will become more connected to their families.

St. Luke’s Christmas Concert Set

A Christmas concert titled “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” has been scheduled by Westport’s St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church on North Turkey Hill Road for Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m.

Concert planners said the event will feature three choirs including a hand chime one, and it will be followed by a traditional nativity pageant staged by boys and girls from the church’s religious education program.

For the first time this annual event will feature a musical prelude for early birds at 2:40 p.m., planners said, to be performed by children who are string and brass players for the Norwalk Youth Symphony. They added that the concert will feature a variety of musical styles, including soloists and instrumental accompanists.

The concert is free and open to the public, and all are invited to join in singing traditional Christmas carols. St. Luke’s parish is located at 49 North Turkey Hill Road on the corner of Long Lots Road. For further information call (203)226-0729.