Tag Archives: Amanda DeRosa

Accidents Happen. Amanda Is There.

Life has been challenging for Amanda DeRosa.

She has a long QT syndrome, a congenital abnormality of the heart’s electrical system that can lead to sudden death.  Her 2nd-grade son has inherited the condition. Both take beta blockers.

But those — and other hardships — have not deterred Amanda. Since moving to Westport 5 years ago, she’s jumped into community life. She always looks to help. Last year, for example, she rallied Starbucks regulars to fund a gift card for a pregnant barista who needed help.

Amanda DeRosa (right) and her Starbucks friend.

She’s been active too in ensuring that AEDs (portable devices that deliver electrical shocks to cardiac arrest victims) are in as many places as possible — and that their batteries are replaced when needed.

It’s not only the elderly and people with long QT syndrome who may need help, she notes. Youngsters hit the wrong way by a ball can go into cardiac arrest too.

Amanda’s 64-year-old father is a volunteer firefighter in Chatham, New Jersey. “This stuff is in my blood,” she says. “I run to the fire, metaphorically.”

To be prepared, last July she took a Red Cross adult and pediatric first aid/CPR/AED course. She gave up 6 1/2 hours on a beautiful summer day, and it cost $117, but the certification was important to her.

Almost immediately, she put her training to use. An older woman fell on the sidewalk, near (of all places) the Post Road Starbucks where Amanda had aided the barista.

The woman bled profusely. Amanda put on her N95 mask, announced who she was, and got the bleeding under control. She kept the woman calm, until EMTs and firefighters arrived.

Not long after — at nearly the same location — Amanda saw a pickup truck hit a young man on a moped.

Again she raced into action. He was shook up, but not injured. She stayed with him, and made sure he was okay.

On Tuesday, Amanda again ran toward the metaphorical fire. Driving on the Post Road, she saw a serious 2-car accident at Turkey Hill. First responders had not yet arrived. A couple of people had stopped, but did not know what to do.

Amanda parked in the closest lot, grabbed her mask, and assessed the scene. A woman was out of her car, using her cellphone. A young man was still in the vehicle, dazed.

She introduced herself, and said she could help if needed. He nodded yes.

He said his wrist and chest hurt, and he felt dizzy. “I think I’m in shock,” he said.

Amanda calmed him down. She breathed slowly, and got him to follow. “He was terrified,” she says. She stayed with him until EMTs, firefighters and police arrived.

Those 3 incidents reinforced Amanda’s decision to take the Red Cross course.

“I know not everyone can handle blood,” she says. “But if you can, you really should do it.

“It takes time for first responders to arrive. If that young man needed CPR because of the airbag impact, I could have done that.”

A few days before that Turkey Hill accident, Amanda’s father had called. The firefighter said that a 52-year-old father of 4 had just died in Chatham, after his car was struck broadside.

“That was my hometown,” she says. “But Westport is now home. I just want to help, and I know there are millions of people like me.

“I’m just a mom. If that was my son in that car, I hope someone would be there for him.”

Amanda DeRosa has done plenty already. But she’s not stopping with the first aid/CPR/AED course.

This summer, she’ll start courses for a nursing degree at Norwalk Community College.

(To find a Red Cross first aid/CPR/AED course — or any other type — click here.)

Roundup: Starbucks Smiles Update, The Bats, Bus Shelters …


Last Wednesday, “06880” posted a plea from Amanda DeRosa. The Westport mom sought help for her favorite Starbucks worker, a woman in dire straits due to deliver a baby in September.

Less than 5 days later — yesterday morning — Amanda delivered $4,550 in gift cards to the woman. They’re for stores like Buy Buy Baby, Target and Stop & Shop — and they’re all courtesy of “06880” readers.

“I’ve never felt so much joy in my heart,” says Amanda, about the moment she handed the cards (and flowers) to the woman.

“She said she couldn’t believe it. She felt her mom” — who died before she was a teenager — “was looking out for her. We both hugged and cried.”

Thanks go to Amanda — and the more than 100 very generous “06880” readers, who helped make one life a little brighter today.

Amanda DeRose (right) and her Starbucks friend.


Rex Fowler has played the Levitt Pavilion before. So has Dodie Pettit,

But they’ve never played the Levitt together before.

They’re on stage Thursday (June 24). Of course, Rex and Dodie are not some fill-up-an-empty-date wannabes.

They’re Aztec Two Step 2.0. They’ve toured internationally; their music is known far and wide.

But on Thursday, the husband-and-wife duo will be performing in their home town.

Joining them are other noted musicians, including Westporter Joe Meo and Westonite Chris Coogan. It’s free, but tickets are required. Click here to register, and for more information.

Aztec Two Step 2.0 (from left): Muddy Roues, Joe Meo, Dodie Pettit, Rex Fowler, Peter Hohmeister, Chris Coogan.


Speaking of music: REO Speedwagon and Styx will open the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport on July 28.

It’s part of the “We Are Back Tour 2021.”

The name is fitting. In 1971,  the most popular track on Speedwagon’s debut album was “157 Riverside Avenue.” That’s where — in Westport — they stayed while recording at Leka’s studio. Which (speaking of “we are back”) was in Bridgeport.

“157 Riverside Avenue” remains one of the band’s concert favorites. No word on whether they’ll take a side trip next month to their old stomping grounds.

If so, they won’t recognize it. Ten years ago, it became just another teardown.

(Tickets for the Bridgeport show go on sale Friday, June 25, 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com.)

(Photo/Peter Tulupman)


Staples High School’s graduation ceremony last week was special for 450-plus graduates.

It was extra special for 12.

Russell Sherman writes: “In 2009, a group of kindergarten boys started their Little League careers together on a team called The Bats.

“Over the years the boys stayed in touch, and so have the parents. Thursday night, following Staples graduation 12 years later, they gathered for a reunion to celebrate.

“They are fantastic kids. It has been a privilege watching them all grow up. Obviously it is an emotional time for all of us parents. But we can’t help but be proud of them, and excited for what’s to come.”

The Bats, all grown up …

Front row (from left): Danlel Rosenkranz, John Vincini, Owen Sherman, Tucker Lawrence. Middle row: Coach Steve Vincini, Quinn Jumper, Eduardo Andrade, Sam Kleiner, Mathew Ambrifi. Standing: Coaches Russell Sherman and Eduardo Andrade.
Missing: Lucas Dimyan, Steve Greenberg, Mike Greenberg. (Photo/Scilla Vincini)


Next on the Planning & Zoning Commission agenda: bus shelters.

On Thursday (June 24, 6 p.m.) the board holds a public hearing. A proposed text amendment would define bus shelters, exempt them from coverage requirements, and permit them within the front landscape area setbacks.

An explanatory statement notes that in Westport, bus shelters are considered structures with no special exemptions. Installing them adjacent to the roadway and within the 30-foot front landscape area requires a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The proposal will explicitly define bus Shelters, specify which features are permitted there, specify which agencies are responsible for overseeing the locations, exempt bus shelters from coverage requirements. and allow them to be located within the 30-foot front landscape area setbacks adjacent to the roadway without a variance.

The P&Z meeting will be live streamed on www.westportct.gov, and on Optimum Government Access Channel 79 and Frontier Channel 6020.  Comments may be sent prior to the meeting at PandZ@westportct.gov, and during the meeting at PandZComments@westportct.gov. Interested parties may join virtually to offer live testimony during the meeting if the meeting link is requested by sending an email to maryyoung@westportct.gov by noontime on the day of the meeting.

Waiting for the bus — without a shelter. (Photos courtesy of Planning & Zoning Commission Bus Shelter Working Group


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is Molly Alger’s darling dahlia:

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … happy 68th birthday, to the amazing Cyndi Lauper!

Smiles At Starbucks: Westport Steps Up For A Woman In Need

During the darkest days of the pandemic, Amanda DeRosa was heartened by regular trips to Starbucks.

With several health issues, the 37-year-old Westporter used the drive-thru. She got to know one of the regular order takers.

“She’s so lively and bubbly,” Amanda says. “She’s spunky and young. I’d think about her while I was waiting to pick up my order. She made me feel secure.”

At the drive-thru window, Amanda adds, “she wore a mask. But I could see the smile in her eyes.”

A Starbucks worker brings joy to customers.

Recently, Amanda noticed the woman was pregnant. But when Amanda congratulated her, she looked sad.

Amanda wanted to help. She asked for the woman’s phone number; a tear rolled down her cheek.

They began texting. Amanda learned her new friend lives in a Bridgeport studio apartment. She has a 3-year-old son, and a longtime partner. When she was 12, her mother died. She’s struggling.

She’s been at Starbucks more than 3 years, and hopes for a promotion.

“This is a dig-her-heels in woman. She works hard for her family,” Amanda says.

The Westporter wanted to offer more than encouragement. When her own son was born, she was registered with Buy Buy Baby. Suddenly, she had an idea: collect donations, and present the woman with a gift card.

“I want her to have the joy of walking into the store with her partner, and pick out the stroller, car seat, crib, bassinet, toys, books and formula they need,” Amanda says.

Babies need lots of “stuff.”

She put the word on social media last night. As of this morning, grateful Starbucks customers — and those who do not even know the woman — had contributed $440.

Amanda hopes for much more. She’s cleared her own personal Venmo account. All donations (Venmo: @AmandaDeRosa) will go directly to the woman. (To ease concerns, Amanda will send “06880” a screen shot of the balance, plus the gift card receipt.)

Amanda will present Westport’s gift to the woman on Monday. (She knows she’s getting something, but has no idea what.) A florist — who did not want to be named — will contribute a bouquet, to accompany the gift card.

“We’re all human beings,” Amanda says.

“We all do what we can, with what we have. This is a wonderful woman, someone in need. I’m proud of how this great community is helping her.”