Tag Archives: Aitoro Appliance

Roundup: Make-A-Wish, Ella Fitzgerald, Fashion Week …

Make-a-Wish Connecticut is amazing. Every year they offer 150 kids — seriously ill, with so much to deal with — a chance to enjoy life. Whatever experience they want, Make-a-Wish makes it happen.

We read those stories, and feel great. But they often involve youngsters we don’t know, doing things in places far from here.

On October 3 (6 p.m.), 6 boys and girls will have their wishes come true just a mile from Westport.

Any “06880” reader can join them. And, at the same time, raise money to help other kids’ wishes come true.

Those half a dozen youngsters’ want to cook with top chefs. At Aitoro Applianee’s high end kitchens, they’ll join one of these celebrities:

  • Matt Storch (“Chopped” winner; chef/owner, match Burger Lobster and Match)
  • Jes Bengtson (executive chef, Terrain Garden Café)
  • Anthony Kostelis (executive chef, The Whelk)
  • Robin Selden (managing partner, executive chef, Marcia Selden Catering and Naked Fig Catering)
  • Dan Kardos (chef/owner, Café Melba)
  • Christian Petroni (winner of “Food Network Star”; owner of Petroni Foods).

Each chef will work with the one youngster to prep and cook great food. Then everyone there can eat (and drink) it all up.

“Taste of Wishes” began in 2019. This year’s promises to be the biggest and best yet.

Along with the chefs’ and wish kids’ stations, other food samplings includ

  • Copps Island oysters
  • Bartaco
  • Forever Sweet Bakery
  • Fresh bread and zeppole, made on-site
  • Candy Connection truck
  • Bridgewater Chocolates cart.

A VIP ticket includes early entrance and a sneak peek, Prosecco, and great swag. Click here for VIP and general admission tickets, and more information.


Speaking of Make-a-Wish Connecticut: The other day, the Hartford Courant profiled Evie Herman.

The 15-year-old Westporter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 6. She is now in remission.

Her wish was a special one: A 4-day visit to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. It’s one step on her goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

The Greens Farms Academy sophomore and Saugatuck Rowing Club athlete says that for 2 years after her diagnosis, “I spent almost every day in the hospital surrounded by other patients and doctors.

“I think seeing these doctors and all the work that they’re doing and meeting patients younger than myself really inspired me to want to join the fight against cancer. Knowing what patients go through every day really made me want to try and make it so that one day no child will ever have to go through that again.”

Evie Herman at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. (Photo courtesy of Hartford Courant)


Westport PAL’s 2nd annual gala honors a first-rate family: the Romanos.

PJ, his wife Joan and son Pete have been synonymous with youth — and youth sports — for well over half a century.

PJ has died (but lives on in the name of the field behind Saugatuck Elementary  School). Joan and Pete will draw a huge crowd on November 2 (6 p.m., the Inn at Longshore).

They’ll all enjoy an open bar, dinner, auction, entertainment and more.

Funds raised will help rebuild the PAL clubhouse at (of course) PJ Romano Field.

Click here for tickets, and information on sponsors and advertising.


When the Westport Country Playhouse canceled its production of “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play,” they promised a replacement.

Now they’ve got one. “First Lady of Song: Cherise Coaches Sings Ella Fitzgerald” takes the stage October 27 to November 5.

Coaches appeared on Broadway in “Waitress,” and was in the national tour of “Disenchanted: The Musical.”

She’ll be on the Westport stage with a band, performing classic tunes like “Summertime,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”

Click here for tickets, and more information.


The 2023 New York Fashion Week had a Westport feel.

Christian Siriano dressed his models in jewelry designed by fellow Westporter Josh Levkoff. They have collaborate for several years.

The new collection featured custom diamond pieces crafted to reflect the theme of the season. Levkoff used Siriano’s “ballerina: theme to “incorporate elements of edginess and sophistication.” Click here for details.

A number of A-list, front row celebrities wore Levkoff’s work too.

Josh Levkoff (Photo/Shane Levancher)


Sure, they look cool.

But spotted lanternflies are invasive pests. They should be squashed, smushed, destroyed.

Before doing so, Nathan Greenbaum took this photo — admittedly, a pretty one — for “Westport … Naturally.” It was one of 3 he found at Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/Nathan Greenbaum)


And finally … in honor of next month’s “Taste of Wishes” special tasting event (story above), starting with Westport’s own Sophie B. Hawkins:

(“06880” wishes that everyone who enjoys this blog supports us with at least a small contribution. Please click here to  help. Thank you!)

Unsung Hero #26

Since 1948, Aitoro has been the place to go for refrigerators, washer-driers, TVs and other big-ticket home items. Just across the line in Norwalk, they’ve developed a passionate following in Westport (and the rest of Fairfield County).

Tony Aitoro — one of the current owners — loves selling appliances.

But just as much, he loves offering his store for good causes.

Since opening a big showroom in 2004, Tony has made that his mission. Nearly every Thursday night — as soon as customers leave — he hosts an event for a worthy cause.

Tony Aitoro

Clothes to Kids, STAR, Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, Cooking for Charity — nearly any non-profit that asks can use Aitoro’s great space for a fundraiser. If there’s food involved, caterers — or specialty chefs — take over the kitchen.

The cost of renting a hall can be huge. Thanks to Tony, that money is never spent.

Tony’s generosity extends beyond Thursday nights, of course. When Wakeman Town Farm was putting in a new kitchen this year, he gave them a great price.

“He loves this area. He loves the water, his family, his business, and helping charities,” says Eric Aitoro, Tony’s nephew.

And “06880” loves Tony Aitoro right back.

(Want to nominate an Unsung Hero? Email dwoog@optonline.net. Hat tip: Livia Feig)