Westport’s winter fund drive for Lyman — our Ukrainian sister city — continues to pay dividends.
Part of the $252,000 raised paid for bulletproof vests and helmets for utility workers near the front lines. They worked in very dangerous areas — and have restored electricity to 30,000 people.
Contributions are still welcome, via Ukraine Aid International (co-founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer). Click here; then select “Lyman” from the drop-down “Designation” menu.
The Westport Weston Family YMCA is celebrating its 100th anniversary in (almost) 100 ways.
One involves lifelong Westport resident/award-winning artist/Y member since childhood Miggs Burroughs.
Members — and everyone else — is invited to submit a self-portrait, for the “100 Faces of Our Y” art project. Any medium is fine; just use this template (or pick one up at the front desk).
Then submit it digitally here. email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop it off at the desk.
The first 100 submissions will be featured in and around the Y.
Not an artist? There are many other ways to get involved:
- Share Your Stories: Members and the community can submit Y stories, memories and photos, to be featured on the anniversary webpage.
- Help Make an Impact: Become a corporate sponsor. Donate items, experiences or gift certificates for the live-and silent auctions at the October 6 Anniversary Gala.
- Healthy Kids Day (April 29): A national initiative to help inspire healthy habits in kids and families. The free event includes fun activities, healthy snack demos, food trucks, sports lessons, games, art, and free t-shirts for the first 200 children.
- 100 for 100 Yoga Event May 11): Instructor Greg Barringer leads a high-quality yoga experience at the Mahackeno Outdoor Center. Proceeds support the Y’s Financial Assistance Program.
- 7th Annual Golf Tournament (May 22, Aspetuck Valley Country Club): Another fundraiser for the Financial Assistance
- 100-Year Anniversary Gala (October 6, Mahackeno Outdoor Center): Donations, contributions and sponsorships fund financial assistance to under-resourced families, and those in need. Last year the Y awarded $746,000 to over 400 families in need: $446,000 in financial assistance, and $300,000 in education- related grants.
I had a great meal the other day at Casa Me. It’s a welcome addition to Westport’s dining scene. (They’ve done a fantastic job with the interior, too.)
But this is not a plug for the Sconset Square spot. (Well, not really.)
It’s about what I learned from my server: Restaurants lose a lot when diners ask to split the check.
Credit card companies charge a fee for every swipe. So if 2 — or, 3, 4 or more — people at one table all offer credit cards, the restaurant gets socked for each one.
The solution? Use one credit card, then square up with the person paying by giving him or her cash.
Or — better yet — pay for the entire meal using actual money.
Speaking of restaurants: “06880” noted yesterday the closure of Parker Mansion.
Also gone: Its sister business next door, Parker Pizza.
They replaced Julian’s in December 2019.
What a shame. And not just because I had the honor of hanging on their wall, along with several other notables… (Hat tip: Michael Catarevas)
It’s a St. Patrick’s Day tradition: The Y’s Men Hoot Owls serenade the Senior Center.
Sure, and yesterday was a great one for all.
It was a big week for the Staples High School Counseling Department.
Their “Spark Your Future” program — highlighting the cool, creative work done by graduates, including the ups, downs and detours their career paths took — was named the Connecticut School Counselor Association’s Outstanding Student/Family Program of the Year. It was masterminded by Sandra Zeigler, the department’s College and Career Center coordinator
In addition, the organization chose Fran Geraci as Administrative Assistant of the Year. Anyone who deals with Staples’ counseling department knows how much she does every day, for every staff member and student.
The department will be honored April 26, at the University of Hartford.
The last time we checked in with Anne Wells, the Westporter was hard at work for an organization she founded: Unite the World with Africa Foundation.
The original goal was to bring education (and a loving community) to orphans in Tanzania. It branched out to tackle women’s health issues, provide scholarships for higher education, create jobs for tribal women and artisans, offer micro-finance loans, and run a host of other initiatives for marginalized women and youth. (Click here for that 2018 story.)
In 2021 she started a food program. They offer fair market prices for crops, and hermetically sealed bags so farmers do not have use chemicals or fumigants to preserve what they grow.
They’re transporting maize, rice and beans all the way across the country, working with women at a food processing plant, and helping 77 students learn about sales, marketing and finance.
Now — in Unite’s first big event since COVID — Anne will talk about all that she’s done, and wants to do, at a “Cocktails & Conversation” fundraiser. It’s set (appropriately) at Wakeman Town Farm (March 31, 6 to 8 p.m.).
An African drummer will perform, and Tanzanian partners will give updates.
Tickets must be purchased in advance; click here. For further information on Unite the World with Africa Foundation, click here. For Anne’s blog post about her most recent trip to Tanzania, click here.
Anne’s foundation has many Westport connections. Among them: board members Nicole Gerber, Dr. Nikki Gorman and Tanya Murphy.
Today’s rant comes from a woman who asks for anonymity. She growls:
I’m a dogless, taxpaying Westporter who enjoys the beauty of our shoreline. I go to the beach year-round, including the winter to take peace in the soft gray tones of the horizon.
One of my favorite things about Compo Beach in winter is parking my car next to the cannons, facing the water, and watching dogs — unbound by seasonal restrictions — play and pounce to their hearts’ unleashed content.
I appreciate how it becomes an unofficial dog park. Owners stand around cross making awkward, forced conversation while watching their dogs sniff each others’ butts. I love how doggies dive fearlessly into the icy waters in pursuit of a tennis ball.
Alas, for all its wintertime canine fun, Compo Beach is not a dog park.
It is a public beach.
I heard two guys yelling at each other, over dog poop. One of them yelled “It’s a dog park!” — seeming to validate his inability or indifference to pick up his dog’s droppings.
Of course, that’s not the way a dog park operates.
And Compo Beach is, in fact, not a dog park.
It is a public beach.
When Jim Nantz signs off after the NCAA men’s basketball championship on April 3, he will have called 354 tournament games — including 64 semifinals and 32 championships.
This will be the final Final 4 for the longtime (though now former) Westport resident.
He’ll still do the NFL, at least through 2033 — the final year of CBS’ contract with the league — and the Masters. Nantz hopes his final assignment will be that golf tournament’s 100th anniversary: April 13, 2036.
For a full Greenwich Time story on Nantz, click here. (Hat tip: Bill Mitchell)
Representative Town Meeting member Harris Falk was at Sakura yesterday, hoping to save the 2 weeping cherry trees which may be cut down as part of the state Department of Transportation Post Road improvement project.
His hopeful shot of a crocus epitomizes “Westport … Naturally.”
And finally … Jerry Samuels died last week in Pennsylvania, from complications of dementia and Parkinson’s. He was 84. (Click here for a full obituary.)
His name is unfamiliar to nearly everyone. But in 1966 — as “Napoleon XIV” — he recorded a novelty song. “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!” zoomed to the top of the charts.
Just as quickly, it dropped off. Record stations stopped playing it, after a barrage of complaints that it mocked mental illness.
You be the judge:
(“They’re Coming to Take Me Away” may not be your cup of tea. But hopefully, “06880” is. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)