Roundup: Y & Ukraine, Descendants, myTeamTriumph …

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The world knows Lindsay Czarniak as a Fox Sports anchor and reporter.

Westporters know her as our neighbor.

Westport Weston Family YMCA members know her as a fellow cardio fitness class member. Instructor Ashlee Grieb is a longtime friend.

The other day, Lindsay posted a story to her 180,000 Instagram followers. She described how Ashlee introduced a song requested by Jane Laska, a fellow group member.

Jane came to the US from Ukraine years ago, as an exchange student. She fell in love with a man from Alabama, and married him. They live here now, where she’s raising a family.

But her own family, and many friends, remain in Ukraine.

Ashlee then played a song — “Good Evening, We Are From Ukraine” — as a way to support Jane. And she added her own choreography.

It was a special moment, for Ashlee and Jane.

It was special enough for Lindsay to post about it. It already has over 10,000 likes. Click below to see for yourself. (Hat tip: Julie Maciejewski)

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Didn’t get a chance to see “Descendants: The Musical”?

Staples Players’ lively musical has 3 more dates: tomorrow (Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (April 9, 3 and 7:30 p.m.). Click here for tickets, and more information.

Not sure about it? Need a little push?

Disney executives came to Westport during rehearsals. Staples is piloting the show, and they wanted to see it in action.

They brought a camera crew. The teenage actors and tech crew were eager to talk about the show’s message — and its energy.

The result is a sizzling sizzle reel. Click below to see:

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Speaking of live theater, here’s a message to the woman sitting next to me at last night’s powerful Westport Country Playhouse performance of “Next to Normal”:

Unless you’re waiting for a kidney, there’s no need to check email messages on your phone in the middle of a show.

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It was Staples Day yesterday, when Middlebury and Union faced each other in a college baseball game.

Both starting pitchers were former Wrecker teammates: Justin Lessing for the Panthers, Harry Azadian for the Dutchmen. George Goldstein also pitched, for Middlebury.

George got the victory, 7-5. But the real winner was Staples baseball.

George Goldstein (Photo/David Goldstein)

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In a town filled with volunteer opportunities, myTeamTriumph stands out.

The program pairs children, teens and adults with disabilities (“captains”) with volunteers (“angels”) who help them participate in triathlons and road races. In those events, everyone truly is a winner.

The next big event is the Westport Young Woman’s League’s Minute Man 10K and 5K Runs, and 5K Walk, on April 30.

MyTeamTriumph always looks for more captains (special needs athletes). They’re also short of angels (volunteer runners). This is their first time participating in the Minute Man.

They’re excited to provide an opportunity for people with special needs (and their families) to have increased visibility, and be involved in a great community event.

There is no cost. Angels can be any ability of runner or jogger.

Captains and angels can click here to sign up. MyTeamTriumph will take care of race registration.

Questions? Email kziebell@myteamtriumph-ct.org. For more information on myTeamTriumph, click here.

Sami Leskin, racing with myTeamTriumph in the 2018 Westport Triathlon.

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The Westport Library’s Spring Book Sale returns soon.

From April 29 through May 2, thousands of “gently used” books, in over 40 categories of fiction and non-fiction, for children and adults, plus antiquarian volumes, CDs and DVDs, will be on sale (and cheap!) in the Library.

Of special interest this year:

  • Vintage matchbooks from around the country
  • Antique photographs and daguerreotypes
  • Psychology texts for the practitioner
  • Large selection of books in German and Czechoslovakian
  • Many “Great Courses” DVDs.

Vinyl records (and of course more books) are available across Jesup Green, at the Westport Book Shop.

Admission is free, though there’s a special “early bird” admission on Friday, April 29 (8 to 9 a.m.; click here for tickets, beginning April 18 at 9 a.m.).

For exact times and more information, click here. To volunteer to help, click here or email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Can’t make it? Shop 24/7 on the book sale’s online store, or at their new eBay store.

Westport LIbrary Book Sale.

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In June, 22 Staples High School students will graduate with high honors. The distinction goes to those with a GPA in the top 4% of the graduating class.

Principal Stafford Thomas says, “This class is extremely talented. The most
astonishing aspect is that these students were involved in a number of
extracurricular activities and various aspects of school life which took a great deal of time, focus and concentration outside of the classroom as well.

We were lucky to have had them for 4 years, and we will no doubt hear about their next great achievements in the years to come.”

High honor graduates include: Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Gregory Beal, Zachary Bishop, Michael Brody, Oliver Clachko, Sabrina Didner, Erin Durkin, Matthew Genser, Alexandra Maskoff, Aidan Mermagen, Gabriella Messenger,
Tessa Moore, Luke Morelli, Chloe Nevas, Emma Nordberg, Talia Perkins, Finn Popken, Ishan Prasad, Jessica Qi, Allison Schwartz and Julian Weng.

Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas (back row, far left) and assistant principal Chase Dunlap (back row, far right), with Class of 2022 high honors graduates.

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Though dogs are banned for the spring and summer at Compo Beach, they’re still welcome at Sherwood Island — but only through April 14.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a bit of canine joy at Connecticut’s first state park.

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)

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And finally … people of a certain age knew him as a smooth-voiced, good-looking pop singer in the pre-Beatles days. He had 19 Billboard Top 40 hits,.

People of a younger age knew his name only because it was a fictional high school in “Grease.”

He was Bobby Rydell. He died Tuesday near Philadelphia, his longtime home, from complications of pneumonia. He was 79. Click here for a full obituary.

4 responses to “Roundup: Y & Ukraine, Descendants, myTeamTriumph …

  1. That’s very impressive re the Middlebury-Union game and obviously a reflection of the success of the Staples baseball program.

    One of my coolest experiences playing college soccer roughly a half century ago was when, in my senior year, we faced UConn, which featured three former Staples/Westport SC teammates of mine in the starting lineup—Tim Hunter, Neil Brickley, and Paul Hunter—along with two players from our high school archrival, Brien McMahon (and whom I had been summer soccer teammates with).

    Thankfully trash talking wasn’t commonplace then because my team was the underdog—and we did lose 1-0 (although, quite frankly, the final score did not reflect the extent to which UConn outplayed us).

    But I do recall that I was especially psyched up going into the game.

    PS—obviously college soccer is much more competitive these days because it is highly unlikely we will ever again see 5 starters in the UConn lineup from just two high schools from neighboring CT towns.

  2. Love Love Love the YMCA / Ukraine story and hadn’t seen it – thank you for sharing. Also love the baseball piece, perfectly placed on Opening Day!

  3. Last night,we really enjoyed the Playhouse’s production of Next to Normal; Intense acting/beautiful musical. Intrusive though was a group of 40ish old women who were repeatedly texting/scrolling. By the 2nd Act..When I politely said the phone was disturbing-she did comply but I then needed to ask her to please tell her friends to also shutoff their phones. Ya think?It’s time to speak up when others are disrespectful…

  4. Luisa Francoeur

    Perhaps it is time for the person who introduces the show to remind the audience to SILENCE their phones in addition to refraining from using them during the performance. They used to do this.

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