Tag Archives: Filling in the Blanks

Staples Students Are SLOGs

By now, most Westporters know that Staples students are SLOBs.

The acronym stands for Service League of Boys. It’s the largest club at the high school, and all year long they’re at work. SLOBs clean parks and the Gillespie; staff events like the Rotary Club LobsterFest, and partner with organizations like the Senior Center and Library.

Girls have never been SLOBs.

But now they’re SLOGs.

The Service League of Girls was an idea waiting to happen.

Alex Gordon, Kira Tomoda, Abby Friedman and Emma Morris were lead busy lives. They play sports (swimming, water polo, cross country, track and lacrosse). They are involved in clubs like AWARE, and work after school (Offline clothing store, JL Rocks, Village Bagels).

Independently, two pairs (Abby and Kira, and Alex and Emma) saw a need to for a SLOB-like group for girls. They got together, and slogged through the process of starting a club.

SLOGs leaders (from left): Alex Gordon, Abby Friedman, Emma Morris, Kira Tomada.

Their mission statement notes: “We strive to provide an inclusive environment, and foster a sense of compassion, empathy and social responsibility in those who participate.”

SLOGs debuted with a booth at the school’s club fair this fall. They created an Instagram page, and told friends.

They found plenty of members. Then they needed jobs for them to do.

Staples SLOGs, at this month’s meeting.

There’s no lack of opportunities. In its first few months SLOGS:

  • Ran a winter clothing drive for the Open Doors community closet in Norwalk.
  • Wrapped gifts with the Carver Foundation. The next day, they handed them out.
  • Helped at the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s “Pizza with Santa” event.

Wrapping gifts for the Carver Foundation.

In the works:

  • A fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of America
  • A packaging event with Filling in the Blanks, the Norwalk weekend meals program for students.
  • A spring program at the Senior Center.

There are many ways to describe Staples students. Among the most worthy: SLOGs and SLOBs. (Hat tip: Amy Schafrann)

 (“06880” is proud to highlight the great work of Westport’s youth. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Roundup: Fence Rule, Curio Cottage, New Orleans …


Echoing similar legislation in communities across the country, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 4-2 yesterday to approve legislation mandating that the “finished” side of a fence must face outward.

In other words: Homeowners will see the cross beams, while neighbors — or passersby on a street, if that’s the case — will see smooth pickets.

In addition to esthetics, there is a safety reason. Fence supports can make it easier to climb over.

The regulation takes effect next month. It is not retroactive.

The “bad” side of a fence (shown) here must now face the property of whoever built it.


Curious — okay, frantic –about where to buy last-minute gifts?

The Curio Cottage Thrift Shop is open today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Curio Thrift Shop is the cute white cottage, operated by the Westport Woman’s Club next to their handsome home 44 Imperial Avenue.

The Curio Cottage is filled with affordable, unique holiday items, in addition to its usual inventory of thrift treasures.

The Curio Cottage opened in 1999. It has contributed over $500,000 in support of the Woman’s Club’s direct grants and services to non-profit organizations and charities throughout Fairfield County.

PS: There is plenty of free parking. NOTE: They accept cash and checks only (no credit cards).

The Curio Cottage looks small. But wait till you see what’s inside.


Last week, artist Brian Whelan — a frequent contributor to the “06880” online art gallery — and his wife Wendy Roseberry celebrated their 15th anniversary in New Orleans.

They booked dinner at the new Chemin à la Mer restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel on the Mississippi River. Word got around management that they were from Connecticut.

That brought David Griswold — the restaurant’s assistant manager — to the table.

The former manager of Mystic Market told the couple about his new adventures in the Big Easy, and caught up on all the news here since his move last September.

“David made sure we had a gorgeous meal,” Wendy says. And he sends his best to his many friends, and former customers, here.

David Griswold says hi from New Orleans. (Photo/Wendy Roseberry)


Attorneys and staff members at Westport’s FLB Law recently stuffed backpacks with holiday treats, pancake mix, syrup, a book, toys and toothbrush kit — for underserved area kids. The gifts were distributed through Filling in the Blanks.

“FLB Law’s culture is rooted in community,” says FLB lawyer Matthias Sportini,  “While many of us serve on boards and volunteer individually, gathering together to give back as firm was especially meaningful. It adds something special to the holiday season.”

FLB attorneys and staff members take a break from stuffing backpacks.


It’s winter (though not particularly) cold in Westport. That hardly stops dogs from romping at Compo. As today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows, they’re enjoying their 6-month off-leash days at the beach.

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)


And finally … on this date in 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Roundup: Library Reopening, Light Up Westport, More


The Westport Library returns soon to its December COVID schedule.

Effective Monday, February 8, appointments will no longer to browse the adult collection, speak with a librarian or use an Express computer.

Patrons visiting the Children’s Library, MakerSpace, media studios and store must still make appointments. Click here for more information.

The Library will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. It will remain closed on Sunday. Entrance is only through the upper parking lot doors.

Late fees will continue to be waived. Conference and meeting rooms will remain closed.


For 4 years, WestportMoms has lit up Westport online. Now the multi-platform group wants to do so — literally.

Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post have launched “Light Up Westport.” The “appreciation project” charity fundraiser encourages people to send luminaries and personal notes of gratitude to friends, local businesses and first responders.

On February 4 (7 p.m.), participants should place their luminary in front of their homes or stores. They’ll light up the town.

They’ll then share photos on social media, and tag #lightupwestport.

Click here to order luminary kits. They include a WSPT luminary, note card and LED tea light. Volunteers will deliver them the day before the event.

All proceeds will go to Filling in the Blanks. The organization provides weekend meals to needy children throughout Fairfield County. WestportMoms have partnered with Ali Dorfman of Purpose 2 Purchase on this initiative.

WSPT luminary. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)


If you haven’t visited George Billis Gallery, you’re missing a great addition to Westport.

The newest addition to Main Street — in space formerly occupied by Jonathan Adler — announces its first big events.

An international exhibition, is set for February 5-28. There’s an opening reception from 3 to 7 p.m., including a Zoom walk-through with juror Lisa Cooper from 3 to 3:30.

The exhibit features over 30 national and international artists presenting painting, photography, sculpture and works on paper.

George Billis Gallery, 166 Main Street.


“06880” is looking for stringers/interns to cover town meetings: Board of Education, Board of Finance, Board of Selectmen. Town knowledge, enthusiasm, writing chops, ability to watch for hours needed. Perfect for bored college students and anyone else interested in town affairs. Interested? Email dwoog@optonline.net


Bernie Sanders is a very impatient guy.

He was spotted yesterday outside Gold’s, waiting for bagels and lox …

(Meme courtesy of Our Town Crier)

… and then at Loeffler Field, waiting for the 2021 soccer season to begin.


And finally … on this day in 1996, “Rent” opened officially at the New York Theatre Workshop. It was a bittersweet moment: composer/playwright Jonathan Larson died hours before, from an aneurysm.

Twenty-five years later, his work is considered one of the most monumental and important musicals of all time.

Filling In The Blanks To Fight Local Hunger

We’ve heard a lot about the importance of helping local restaurants during the pandemic. And of course we know that now, in these very tough times, many area residents are hungry.

Here is a brilliant way to help both.

Westport-based CK Business Solutions and Stamford’s CC VIP have teamed up with Filling in the Blanks. The non-profit delivers weekend meals to low-income children in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

The astonishingly simple idea:

Buy a gift card from a restaurant anywhere in Westport — or Norwalk, New Canaan, Stamford or Greenwich.

Leave it at the restaurant and email fundandfeedlocal@gmail.com, letting them know you bought it. A Filling in the Blanks volunteer will pick it up.

If you prefer, you can mail the gift card to CK Business Solutions, PO Box 2031, Westport, CT 06880.

Filling in the Blanks will put the card in the hands of a family in need.

You help your favorite restaurant. They feed a hungry family.

We got this! Let’s go to town — figuratively and literally. It could be the greatest gift you give this holiday season.

(For more information about this project, click here.)


Roundup: Farmers’ Market For Kids, Westport Woman’s Club, Staples Baseball, More

The pandemic has prevented live gatherings for the “Get Growing” kids’ program at Westport Farmers’ Market.

No problem! WFM has launched “Get Growing to Go!,” a craft kit of activities youngsters can do at home. The brainchild of Mae Farrell, it includes a free package parents and caregivers pick up at the Cross Highway farm.

Each week Mae announces the craft for the following week on Instagram and Facebook, and children and parents through the week’s activity — on their own schedule.

“’Get Growing’ is dear to my heart,” says WFM executive director Lori Cochran-Dougal.

“Mae has taken it to a whole new level, both in person and now virtually with the craft kits. Families are a big part of our market. We won’t let the pandemic prevent us from helping the next generation appreciate nature, farmers, and importance of a local food community.”

Parents can pre-order craft kits for pick up at WFM between Sunday and Tuesday by email: getgrowing@westportfarmersmarket.com. The first pickup is Thursday, August 13, and each Thursday thereafter from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. WARNING: Only 30 craft kits are available each week.

For an introduction and sample, click here (Facebook) or here (Instagram).

Among the recipients of the Westport Woman’s Club’s 2020 community grants: Filling in the Blanks.

The Fairfield and Westchester Counties non-profit says: “Because of you, we delivered 11,014 meal bags in the month of May. That is 44,056 individual meals for children who otherwise would not have had enough to eat. We added students in New Canaan and Norwalk last month, and will add more in Greenwich this month. Thank you from all of us at Filling in the Blanks for making it possible for us to provide this basic nutrition when it is needed most.”

The 2020 Staples High School baseball team did not get a chance to defend their state championship this spring. COVID took care of that.

But the Wrecker baseball family gathered yesterday for a ceremony today honoring the 2019 state and FCIAC champions — and the team’s unanimous #1 ranking in Connecticut.

The turnout was great. The memories were wonderful. Now the plaques will serve as an inspiration for the 2021 squad — and all that follow.

And finally … hard to believe I haven’t used this “Monday” song before. But I haven’t.