Tag Archives: Nest Egg Foundation

Roundup: Yarn Bombing; Coffee Roasting; Black Duck; More

Everyone loves the Yarn Bomber. Now you can learn her secrets.

No, not who she is. Even better: how she does it.

The Yarn Bomber is bringing her talents — decorating trees and street signs in beautiful, uplifting colors — to the masses. She’s created a virtual knitting course, and anyone can join.

For just $50 you get needles, starter yarn, 5 days of instruction (1 hour a day), knitting videos, online tutorials, and a live public socially distanced yarn bomb at a scheduled date. All supplies can be picked up will at Westport Yarns.

The Yarn Bomber can also accommodate custom group sessions for groups (minimum of 6 participants).

Email yarnbalmer@gmail.com for more information.

Yarn bombing at Compo Beach (Photo/Judy Auber Jahnel)

There are plenty of places to buy coffee in Saugtuck, from Dunkin’ to Donut Crazy.

There may soon be one more.

A sign next to Tutti’s — in the storefront occupied briefly by a kombucha bar — advertises ILSE Coffee. It’s the work of 2013 Staples High School graduate Lucas Smith, and Rebecca Grossman.

They started a Kickstarter campaign. Their goal is to open a “dream cafe and marketplace.” The roastery/market will include specialty coffee, pastries, sandwiches, small plates and to-go food, along with wine, beer, cocktails and retail items. They hope to host coffee cuppings, seminars and workshops too.

The goal is $10,000. The deadline is August 1.

As of yesterday though, the Kickstarter drive was $9,999 short.

Lucas Smith, in the Saugatuck space.

Speaking of Saugatuck — here’s the news you’ve all been waiting for:

The Black Duck is back open!

Just in time for summer, all’s right with the world.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Uncertain weather today forced a postponement of the Supper & Soul Drive-in/Tailgate Concert. The event — featuring the Tom Petty Project — is now set for Sunday (July 5, 6 p.m.).

Tickets for tonight’s show can be used on the new date. If you can’t make the new date, contact the sponsoring Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (matthew@westportwestonchamber.com). There’s a wait list for the sold-out show.

During the show, anyone with comments or concerns should call 203-851-2771.

The Chamber and Westport Library will also hold a streaming concert next Sunday (July 11). Part of Supper & Soul, it features the ’80s hair band Mullett. Tickets are $10.80. Click here for details.

In these challenging times, support groups are more important than ever.

But physical distancing and other rules make it challenging for organizations to offer that support.

Positive Directions — the Westport-based prevention and counseling agency — can help. They offer free, weekly virtual support groups for people trying to achieve healthy lifestyles, after battling substance abuse addiction.

There are special sessions too for family members, and young adults. Click here for details.

Kami Evans — who as “Kami’s Kloud” provided tons of Westport information on social media platforms — will move back here with her family in August. She’s been in England since 2018.

Her newest project is working on a global social media campaign, incorporating local artists. Her first video stars Westport’s own Rosie Jon. Born without arms, she paints (beautifully) with her toes.

Rosie’s current project — #WeAreOne — is “so poignant right now,” Kami says.

Click below for Rosie’s video. Click here for links to all of Kami’s platforms.

Westporters Chris and Amy Overman were ready to start a family. Yet at 38, Amy struggled with infertility. For 6 years, the couple tried many treatments.

After 13 failed cycles — including IUI, IVF and stem treatments — Amy read a chapter in her infertility book that many people skip: egg donation.

It’s expensive. But the Overmans received an egg donation. They’re now the proud parents of a son, Ryder.

Two years later, Amy paid it forward. She gave $10,000 to the Norwalk-based Nest Egg Foundation — and called it the  Ryder Grant. Now, someone else can benefit from an egg donation.

The Foundation’s application window for the 2020 fertility grant program runs through July 31. Connecticut and New York residents are eligible.

For more information, including grant application eligibility criteria and how to become a donor, click here

And finally … a fitting tribute to the late John Prine.

Nest Egg Foundation Helps Infertile Families Grow

About 1/8 of all couples have infertility issues.

Only half of those have insurance coverage to try to become pregnant.

And of those who do, many face strict financial limits. Becoming pregnant can cost up to $20,000.

Dr. Mark Leondires

Dr. Mark Leondires knows those issues well. As medical director and partner in reproductive endocrinology at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, he sees them every day.

Now he’s doing something about it.

With a group of local residents — some medical professionals, others in finance and law; 4 from Westport, 1 from Weston — he’s formed the Nest Egg Foundation.

It’s a brilliant name — and a wonderful concept.

Each year, the non-profit provides $10,000 grants for in vitro fertilization treatment to people who have been unable to start their families due to financial needs.

There’s no guarantee of success in the infertility field. But the Nest Egg Foundation’s success is clear. Last year, they gave 4 grants. Three of those women are already pregnant. The 4th is getting ready to try.

It’s a rigorous process — and that refers to the selection, as well as the treatment. Applicants are vetted by a retired OB/GYN, a psychologist and a CPA.

“This is not about giving money,” Leondires notes. “It’s about giving the opportunity to try to get pregnant. My heart breaks for these people. If people want to have a child, money should not be a barrier to try.”

“Everyone thinks everybody around here can afford everything. That’s not true. A lot of our neighbors can’t.”

He adds, “In some ways, I have the best job in the world. People always send me pictures of their babies. But in some ways, this is the most challenging, because of all the people who can’t.”

The Nest Egg Foundation began when Leondires realized that although RMACT provided financial assistance to clients, it had no clear process for deciding who to help.

Now the aid is more consistent, more clearly defined — and out of the hand of the physicians themselves.

Though it’s professionally run, the Nest Egg Foundation relies entirely on volunteers. Miggs Burroughs donated the logo; others — including many from Westport — offer free legal and PR help.

Many people find the organization through RMACT’s website. “If you’re dealing with infertility, you spend a lot of time on the internet looking for information,” Leondires says.

Others hear of it through social media, or word of mouth.

Of course, the Nest Egg Foundation needs its own nest egg. Money comes from donations, board members and fundraising events like last month’s “Birdies for Charity” golf tournament.

Many worthy causes ask for money. Leondires is proud to be one of them.

“Becoming pregnant can change people’s lives,” he says. “The chance to try gives us the chutzpah to keep asking.”

(For more information on the Nest Egg Foundation, click here. To donate, click here.)