Master Sergeant Clayton Jensen planned to speak in Westport long before the announcement that American troops would leave Afghanistan.
But his appearance Friday (September 10, 5 p.m., Compo Beach), as part of Catch a Lift’s annual (and inspirational) fundraiser is now especially timely.
During his 15-year military career, Jensen was deployed numerous times to Afghanistan and Iran. He suffered several serious injuries
He holds graduate degrees in international relations and organizational leadership, and is working toward his third master’s in international public policy.
Jensen will talk about his work in the military, what he’s learned about Afghanistan, and how to find hope amid devastation.
Catch-A-Lift is a national organization supporting combat-wounded veterans through physical fitness, nutrition, mental support and community.
It has strong roots in Westport. This weekend — the 20th anniversary of 9/11 — will be special. Over a dozen vets will be hosted here, in our town’s 7th annual gathering of camaraderie and hope.
Click here for tickets to Friday’s ceremony, including a sunset celebration.
The Catch a Lift weekend also includes a community workout (Saturday, September 11, 3 p.m., Westport Police station, Jesup Road; click here to register), and a family bike tour (Sunday, September 12, 9 a.m., beginning and ending in Ridgefield; click here to register).
Speaking of Afghanistan: The Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants is preparing to welcome and resettle up to 150 men, women and children from that war-torn land.
That’s an unexpected addition to the 180 refugees CIRI had already planned to help, from countries across the globe.
Individual Westporters have long supported the non-profit. In addition, Christ & Holy Trinity and the Unitarian Church are part of a larger group of faith-based organizations that help set up apartments when refugees arrive in Bridgeport.
They create fully furnished homes, with beds, linens, bath needs, kitchen items and culturally appropriate food. Children receive school items, toys and diapers.
Some of the refugees have lived in camps for 15 years. Many of the children have never had a home. CIRI provides ongoing services for all families.
CIRI hosts a crucial fundraising gala this Sunday (September 12, 4:30 p.m., 80 Grovers Avenue, Bridgeport). For more information on the cocktails, live auction and more, click here. To learn more about CIRI, and donate, click here.
Westport Paddle Club‘s 2021 season ends today (Tuesday, September 7).
But it doesn’t have to be over, for kayakers and paddle boarders.
Owners Robbie and Taryn Guimond have over 15 kayaks and 20 paddle boards that need a new home.
Top of the line 2020/21 Ocean Kayaks Malibus sit-on-top doubles and singles are available. So are new 2021 SUPs, at deep discounts.
Head down to Westport Paddle Club (471 Riverside Avenue), call 203-998-1519 or email email@example.com, to paddle home with great gear.
Yesterday was the last day for lifeguards at Compo Beach. Of course, Westporters will continue to visit their favorite spot.
Reflecting on the end of the “season,” though, Eve Potts realized something was missing this year: trash.
She writes: “As a daily Compo Beach walker, I rarely see traces of garbage. Everyone is very careful to deposit trash in the conveniently placed cans. And the Parks & Rec Department does an incredible job of hauling it away regularly. You rarely see overflowing trash cans.Hooray for the public, and Parks & Rec!”
Wheels2U Westport, the on-demand, group ride, door-to-train shuttle service, is extending its service hours.
Effective today, Wheels2U Westport will operate an hour and half longer each weekday afternoon: 4 to 9:30 p.m.
The 5:45 to 9:45 a.m. morning service is unchanged.
The longer hours should help commuters and others who work late, or want to meet friends for a drink or dinner after work.
The service area covers nearly all of Westport. Residents use the “Wheels2U Westport” app to request a pickup for trains leaving Grand Central as late as 8:07 p.m. Riders are taken from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms station to their front door.
Pickup areas at Saugatuck are on the westbound side of the platform (corner of Franklin Street) or Railroad Place (near the elevator). Pickup at Greens Farms is in the large commuter parking lot just west of New Creek Road.
The fare is $2 when paid with the Wheels2U app. A Metro-North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.
Whatever I could say about this Post Road sing — and a similar one at Compo Beach — pales in comparison to what “06880” readers will write.
Have at it! Click “Comments” below.
Sure, it now takes 2 or 3 weeks to get from Westport to Grand Central Station.
But at least — after 15 or 20 years — the gantries are gone.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature is a 2-fer. Naturally — because there are 2 magnificent birds in each photo.
And finally …. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. Shana Tova! Let’s party like it’s 5782.