Tag Archives: James Bacharach Award

Roundup: Kids’ Grief, Senate Parliamentarian, More


Kids are resilient.

We say that a lot. Partly, it’s true. Partly, we want to believe it.

But COVID has caused grief for many youngsters. They’ve lost relatives. They fear others may suffer and die. They’ve lost so much of their own normal lives. And there’s so much uncertainty, day after day after day.

Experience Camps knows a lot about grief. The national, no-cost program for grieving children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver runs great summer camps for children and teens.

When the coronavirus derailed last year’s programs, they focused instead on raising awareness of the many facets of childhood grief.

A key part of that effort is a Zoom panel discussion next Tuesday (March 2, 2 p..m.). Experts from a variety of perspectives will discuss “How the Pandemic of Grief is Impacting Kids.”

Experience Camps founder Sara Deren says the audience is “anyone and everyone. Everyone is grieving now. This is not just for professionals. If you have or know kids, it’s important to understand COVID’s impact on them.”

Click here to register, and for more information.


There’s always a Westport connection to national news.

When the US Senate parliamentarian ruled against yesterday that raising the minimum wage to $15 violated budgetary rules limiting what can be included in the legislation, at least 2 “06880” readers wondered: Who exactly is this parliamentarian.

Google (and Wikipedia) provided the answer: She is Elizabeth MacDonough. And although she grew up near Washington, DC, she graduated from Greens Farms Academy in 1984.

The New York Times reports that MacDonough — the first woman in the post — has “retained both the position and bipartisan respect under the leadership of both parties since she was named in 2012.”

Not much else is known about her local ties. If you’ve got more — or her remember her from GFA — click “Comments” below. (Hat tip: Clark Thiemann)

Elizabeth MacDonough:  (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


One of the town’s most important — and least publicized — honors is the James S. Bacharach Service to the Community Award.

Presented annually for the last 32 years by the Westport Youth Commission to one or more high school seniors who live in or attend school in town, it recognizes significant service to Westport. Bacharach founded and served as president of the Youth Adult Council. He was also deeply involved in the organization that is now Homes with Hope.

Any Westporter — adult or student — can nominate a high school senior. Nominees should have a strong record of community service within Westport. Click here for a nomination form.

Submissions must be accompanied by 2 references. A maximum of 2 letters of support can be uploaded to the application or emailed separately to kgodburn@westportct.gov. The deadline is March 26.


Last night’s nearly full moon was big.

But not as big as it was as seen through the Westport Astronomical Society’s telescope, at Rolnick Observatory.

Franco Fellah sends along this shot, and points out the prominence of the Tycho impact crater on the right.

(Photo/Franco Fellah)


And finally … there are some red-letter birthdays today. Johnny Cash was born February 25, 1932. He died in 2003.

Fats Domino was born on this date in 1928. He died in 2017.

And of course Victor Hugo, born today in 1802. He died in 1885.

Honoring James Bacharach

You may not know the name “James Bacharach.”  But most Westporters are familiar with him nonetheless.  A founder of the Westport Youth Commission, his enduring legacy is the Bacharach Community — 3 homes on Wassell Lane and 1 on the Post Road, providing emergency shelter to mothers and children.

Bacharach was a tireless volunteer in service to his community, and one of the town’s most prestigious awards is named in his honor.

You may not have heard of the James Bacharach Award either.  Presented annually to 1 or more high school seniors, there’s no money attached to it.  And it comes too late to count for college admissions.

That’s the idea, though:  It’s presented for selfless, no-return-asked volunteer efforts, right here in Westport.

The Youth Commission is soliciting nominations for this year’s Bacharach Award.  (Full disclosure:  I am a member of the commission, and help select the honorees.)

Anyone — students, teachers, parents, organization members, volunteers — can nominate a high school senior living in Westport.  He or she does not have to go to Staples.

Here’s the catch:  The award is for impressive community service in Westport.  Previous winners have included students who have given enormous time and effort to EMS, worked on local diversity issues, and set up mentoring programs.

Building toilets in Honduras — as worthy as that is — is not what the Bacharach Award is about.  It’s for hometown, home-grown service.

To nominate a worthy high school senior, click here.  The deadline is May 16.  For more information contact Elaine Daignault: 203-341-1065; elained@westportct.gov.

(The Youth Commission also seeks new youth and adult members for the upcoming school year.  If interested, contact Elaine Daignault as above.)