Tag Archives: Josh Levkoff

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!)

Roundup: Memorial Day Parade, Bright Lights, Knotweed …


And the grand marshal of the 2022 Memorial Day parade is … Jean Wells.

Born 104 years ago in Indiana (!), she moved to Westport in 1926, Jean attended Bedford Elementary School (now Town Hall), and Katherine Gibbs School.

In 1943 she joined SPARS, the women’s division of the Coast Guard. She attained the rank of Yeoman 2nd Class, and was discharged in 1945. Jean returned to Westport, and in 1957 married David Wells.  They have 2 sons, David and Jonathan.

Jean has been active with the Red Cross, and volunteered at Norwalk Hospital for over 32 years.  She also visits with her fellow veterans at the VA hospital.

Her selection as grand marshal fits well with this year’s Memorial Day parade float contest them: “Honoring Women Veterans.”

The Memorial Day parade begins at 9 a.m. on May 30. A ceremony follows immediately, on Veterans Green.   

Jean Wells and her caregiver, Simone Nevi, at her 102nd birthday in 2019.


Last month, “06880” reported on a dispute between residents of Cottage Lane and SIR Development. Neighbors complained that lights from the new construction at 1480 Post Road East were shining brightly onto their property.

On Monday, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-2 to approve the original lighting plan that had been passed by a subcommittee, and supported by Cottage Lane homeowners. SIR had requested that a later plan, submitted by them, be okayed.

Click here for the full story, first reported in Westport Journal.

Lights at 1480 Post Road East. (Photo/Chris Grimm)


Swoon — the great antiques/art/accessories/custom furniture/design services space in Sconset Square — was the setting last night for Jane Green’s launch party.

The bazillion-selling author (and longtime Westporter) just published her first novel inspired by a true story, “Sister Stardust” re-imagines the life of troubled 1960’s icon Talitha Getty, as only Jane Green can.

Jane Green, at her launch party. (Photo/Jerri Graham)


Speaking of Sconset Square: Josh Levkoff and Stacey Lewis (and their 2 toddlers) are new in town. They run their own small businesses, and are looking to get involved in many ways.

Josh — a jeweler — is wasting no time. He’s teamed up with Bespoke Designs, for a “Sip and Shop” event tomorrow (Thursday, April 7, 5 to 7 p.m.) and Friday (April 8, 10 to 3 p.m.), at Bespoke (in Sconset Square).

He’s already got the Westport spirit. A portion of the proceeds will go to MoCA Westport, for children’s programming.


Prince Charles’ goddaughter is coming to town.

Designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian India Hicks — recently feature in People Magazine — headlines a special event at MoCA Westport (May 12, 5 to 7 p.m.).

After a cocktail hour, India will chat with CT Cottages & Gardens editor-in-chief DJ Carey about her most recent book, “An Entertaining Story.”

Tickets includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a copy of her book. Click here to purchase.

India Hicks


Nix the knotweed!

That’s the title of Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch & Learn” (April 13, noon to 1:15 p.m., Zoom).

Natural gardener Suzanne Thompson offers an overview of the worst invasive plants in the area (yeah you, mugwort, garlic mustard, multiflora rose, Japanese barberry, and of course knotweed).

She’ll talk about how to remove or combat them, and re-establish native ecosystems that support pollinators, wildlife and insects. Click here to register.

Suzanne Thompson


Sports and entertainment — two of America’s most popular and fascinating industries — intersect at the Westport Library on April 26 (6:15 p.m. reception, 7:15 p.m. program).

Westporter Mark Shapiro talks about his career — first with ESPN, now at Endeavor (the talent and media agency with clients in movies, television, music, theater, digital media and publishing — and the NFL, NHL and Ultimate Fighting Championship).

He’ll chat with author and investigative journalist Jim Miller. It’s the next “Andrew Wilk Presents …,” courtesy of the “Live at Lincoln Center” producer.

The event is free. Click here to register to attend in person, or via Zoom.


Tickets are selling fast for “Next to Normal,” the first Westport Country Playhouse production of the 2022 season.

But you don’t have to see the show to be part of a series of special events, delving deeply into the theme of mental illness.

“Next to Normal: Dig Deeper” is free, and open to all. The sessions begin approximately 2 1/2 hours after the curtain time.

Tom Kitt, the show’s composer, is the guest this Sunday (April 10, 3 p.m. curtain). He’ll discuss his musical that received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and 2 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestrations.

Other programs include post-play dialogues with the audience. The first is a conversation about the music from “Next to Normal” and its significance to the subject matter (Thursday, April 7).

Pastoral counseling services and spiritual well-being will be discussed with Rev. Dr. Bernard Wilson of Norfield Congregational Church (April 12).

A perspective on the musical’s mental health themes will be presented by Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, on April 19. He discusses how to live with and help people coping with mental illness

Resources for those living with mental illness will be explored by Linda Autore, CEO of Laurel House, on April 22.

Click here for more information on “Next to Normal.”


Caravan of Thieves — the gypsy jazz/acoustic guitar/upright bass/violin/ mesmerizing harmony group, including Staples High grad Dan Asher — brings its magic to the Unitarian Church’s Voices Café this Saturday (April 9, 8 p.m., in-person and livestreamed).

The press release calls Caravan of Thieves “theatrical, humorous and intense … (they) defy classification, and music loving fans may feel compelled to join the band in momentary fits of claps, snaps and sing-alongs.

Voices Café and Caravan of Thieves share a commitment to social justice. A portion of the concert proceeds benefit community organizations under the Unitarian Church in Westport’s social justice programs, including anti-racism, identity and equity, immigration and refugee efforts, and local programs that serve under-resourced communities.

Groups of 4 or more can reserve table space. For more information and tickets, click here.


It’s baaaaaaaaack!

One of our town’s most beloved — and ephemeral — signs of spring has returned, right (or slightly ahead of) schedule.

The “Daffodil Mile” (measured liberally) is again in bloom, alongside Main Street in front of Willowbrook Cemetery.

It’s one of our favorite “Westport … Naturally” sights.

Given the state of the world, it’s more treasured today than ever.

(Photo/Arlene Yolles)


And finally … in honor of the “Westport … Naturally” photo above: