The drumbeat of news from Ukraine is relentless. It’s tragic, horrific, frightening — there really are not enough words to convey how Westporters feel.
Sitting safely thousands of miles away, we wonder what we can do.
Some, like Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Buck Rosenfeld, travel overseas to help.
Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn, with supplies.
Others, like Stephan Taranko and Mark Yurkiw — both with Ukrainian heritage — use their words and art to keep the plight of their countrymen in the forefront of our minds.
Mark Yurkiw, with his Ukraine installation on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.
Still others, like Darcy Hicks and Bean Corcoran, organize rallies.
Miggs Burroughs at last weekend’s rally. The QR code provides quick access to donations through Save the Children Ukraine. (Photos/Rowene Weems Photography)
And many, many more — our neighbors and friends — respond to requests by organizations like Wakeman Town Farm to collect clothes, toys, medical supplies and money.
Those who help are not doing it to be heroic. The true heroes are on the ground, 4,500 miles from Westport.
But many people here do what they can. If you’ve done anything over the past month — organized or attended a rally, donated needed goods or funds, posted information on social media, flew a flag, whatever — thank you.
It’s a small gesture, but it speaks volumes. Mark Mathias has changed his outdoor lights, to show support for the embattled nation of Ukraine. (Photo/Mark Mathias)
Meanwhile — not far away — an osprey has returned to its Fresh Market perch.
Alert “06880” reader Wendy Crowther reported last evening: “He was primping the nest as I passed by just now. I drive by Fresh Market to and from work or doing errands nearly every day. I always look in that direction.
“This is my first sighting since he left for parts south last fall. I was in my car so I don’t have a photo.”
The Kiwanis Club is one of Westport’s less publicized civic groups. But they’ve been around for decades, aiding everything from Safe Rides and local playgrounds to gear for the EMS bicycle unit.
Very quietly, they continue to enrich our town.
The other day, they donated $5,000 to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Ukraine. Now Kiwanis is gearing up for their grant program for high school seniors. Funding comes from their annual family-friendly Mini-Triathlon at Compo Beach.
The Kiwanis College Grant application is open to income-qualified Staples High School who have demonstrated academic excellence and service to the community. Click here for an application. The deadline is April 15.
The Triathlon is open to all ability levels. It includes a point-to-point swim at Compo Beach, followed by short bike and run courses in the Compo neighborhood.
The event is great for first-timers, and families wishing to race together. To register for the September 11 event or donate to the college grant program, click here.
What do Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, Golda Meir, Jackie Kennedy, Peggy Guggenheim and Mother Teresa have in common?
All will be celebrated this Saturday by Westporter Suzanne Tanner, in her inspiring millinery musical “Voices of Herstory.”
The event (March 26, 3 p.m., St. Andrew’s Church, Kent) coincides with Women’s History Month. And it’s for a great cause: Proceeds benefit Ukrainian refugees, honoring the memory of Tanner’s daughter Tess.
We all know how “Romeo and Juliet” ends, right? (Spoiler alert if you don’t: badly.)
On April 8 and 9 (7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively; Sacred Heart Community Theatre, Fairfield) you’ve got a chance to change Shakespeare’s 425-year-old classic. Internationally renowned pianist — and Westport neighbor — Frederic Chiu is a Prokofiev expert. Among his most noted works: the piano suite from the composer’s “Romeo and Juliet” ballet.
Almost 30 years ago, Chiu discovered the original score. Written entirely for the piano, it contained a revised ending. The lovers do not die.
Twenty-five years later, he commissioned choreographer Sandra Shih Parks to collaborate on “Romeo & Juliet: The Choice.” The audience votes on which ending — Prokofiev’s original happy one, or the traditional dismal version — will be performed.
It debuted at Drexel University in 2018, with Chiu playing the entire ballet on piano, while dancers performed — and the enthralled audience waited for the outcome.
Now, WSHU brings it to Fairfield. Click here for tickets and more information.
Staples High School’s Zero Waste Committee is wasting zero time making an impact.
In addition to next month’s pop-up thrift shop, countering the wasteful “fast fashion” shopping trend, co-chairs Kayla Iannetta and Jenn Cirino are partnering with Sustainable Westport and ZenWTR for a Compo Beach cleanup on April 30.
This is the first time all the Zero Waste Committees from different Westport schools join together for one effort.
ZenWTR is the first beverage in the world to be certified plastic negative (meaning they remove more plastic from the environment than they produce, by investing in sustainable programs). ZenWTR is sold in the Staples High School cafeteria.
A new store — Bobbles & Lace — has opened their first Connecticut location in Bedford Square.
Lindsay Rose Rando launched the store 14 years ago in Marblehead, Massachusetts. B&L offers “modern fashion forward designs at affordable prices.” There are other outlets in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.
Rando says she “loves the sense of community” in Westport, and calls her Church Lane location “bright and beautiful.”
Bobbles & Lace is opoen Monday through Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bobbles & Lace, Bedford Square. (Photo courtesy of Inklings News)
A few seats remain for this year’s Westport Library “Booked for the Evening” gala. The June 1 honoree is television producer/screenwriter/ author Shonda Rhimes — twice named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome, appreciated — and tax-deductible! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to “06880”: PO Box 744, Westport, CT 06881. Or use Venmo: @blog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)