The Westport Woman’s Club Art Show makes a triumphant return on Saturday and Sunday, May 22-23 (2 to 6 p.m., 44 Imperial Avenue).
The 6th annual open house features some of the area’s best known and most loved artists and photographers; Nina Bentley, Amy Bock, Trace Burroughs, Susan Fehlinger, Judith Orseck Katz, Tom Kretsch, Susan Leggitt, Kerry Long, Michael Lender, Carole McClintock, Bernard Perry, Jon Puzzuoli, Katherine Ross and Jo Titsworth.
There’s wine and snacks too — just like old times!
The Woman’s Club Art Show is not the only event scheduled for May 22. At 11 a.m., the Staples High School track will be officially named for Laddie Lawrence. The 1964 graduate has served as a Staples coach — and Westport’s unofficial but beloved running guru — for 50 over years. (Hat tip:Andrew Colabella)
Laddie Lawrence: forever young, and forever admired.
In one more sign of approaching normalcy, the town is moving forward with plans for an actual Memorial Day parade.
This year’s theme for the float contest is “Honoring Women Veterans.” Certificates will be awarded for Best Development of Theme, Best Youth Organization Float, Most Creative, Best Community Organization, Most Colorful, and the Best Overall Float.
If past form holds true, the Y’s Men will win the Overall award. They’ve won it nearly every year for the past 20 or so.
And the only reason the Y’s Men did not win in 2020, 2017 or 2016 was because there were no parades. (COVID last year; rain those other 2.)
Weather and COVID permitting, this year’s event begins at 9 a.m. on May 31, at Saugatuck Elementary School. Veterans — and thousands of others — will march north on Riverside Avenue, trn right on Post Road East, then continue to Myrtle Avenue.
The Y’s Men’s float won, as usual, in 2012. This one honored Korean War veterans — complete with freezing mist.
Longtime Westport resident Judith Portner Sappern died peacefully on Saturday. She was 88 years old.
The Rumson, New Jersey native was an adventurer who, after serving as managing editor of her high school newspaper, took the unusual step at the time to go out of state for college. A
t the University of Connecticut she served as president of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, made lifelong friends and fell in love with Donald Sappern. Married shortly after graduation, they started a telephone answering service in Norwalk. As Don’s career progressed and he became a successful insurance executive, Judy managed office operations and bookkeeping.
As the couple’s children grew, Judy helped with their studies and supported every interest, from the choir room and pool to the baseball diamond and the rock band that practiced in the basement. She fed generations of Staples High School students who used their nearby house on Wedgewood Lane as a home base throughout the day.
Judy pursued a master’s degree in social work, and volunteered at Norwalk Hospital. She loved helping others work through tough times, and passed that empathy on to her children. When not at the hospital or office, Judy worked on needlepoint, and played golf or bridge with friends. She also became a personal computer enthusiast and fanatical supporter of UConn basketball.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Donald, and her older sister Joyce Cooper. Judy is survived by her children, Laurie Sappern Gaugler (Dean), and Matthew (Rianne), both of Fairfield, and Adam (Margot)of Bethel, Vermont. Judy enjoyed frequent visits and calls with her 7 grandchildren: Billy, Chloe, Brian, Geoffrey, Rachel, Carly and Tobey. She is also survived by her beloved sister-in-law, Pietrina Sappern of Milford.
A memorial service will be held when travel and gathering is less limited. Memorial contributions in Judy’s memory can be made to the IGA Nephropathy Foundation, PO Box 1322, Wall, New Jersey 07727.
This is usually the time of year when we sign up for beach stickers, handpasses and the like.
In this year of COVID, the Parks & Recreation Department says:
Spring and summer are just around the corner. Our team is hard at work getting things ready to open up our facilities and provide programs!
We plan to provide offerings that we were unfortunately unable to offer last year due to COVID-19. Please anticipate modifications while we follow best practices and state guidelines as we strive to create safe environments for all facility users and program participants.
Keep watching for more information later this month on programs, beach emblems and more! Stay safe!
Despite the loss of signature fundraisers like the Yankee Doodle Fair, the Westport Woman’s Club held strong to its 114-year tradition of helping local organizations in need.
Last year, the WWC concentrated its donations on groups that offer COVID-related help. They include
Bridgeport Rescue Mission
Center for Family Justice
Circle of Care
CLASP Homes, Inc.
Department of Human Services
Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
Filling in the Blanks
Food Rescue Us
Homes with Hope
Malta House, Inc.
Town of Westport: Department of Human Services Visiting Nurses & Hospice of Fairfield County Westport Volunteer EMS
Fingers are crossed for a Yankee Doodle Fair this year. But whether there is a full, scaled-down version — or none at all — the Westport Woman’s Club will find a way to make Fairfield County a better place for all.
On Tuesday, “06880” ran a photo of a mysterious sight photographed by Nancy Vener, from Saugatuck Shores. Other readers sent similar photos:
Ever-vigilant Wendy Crowther found this statement from NASA’ Keith Koehler:
A 3-stage suborbital sounding rocket was launched in the afternoon on March 3, for the Department of Defense from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The launch was to study ionization in space just beyond the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.
After flying to an altitude of several hundred miles and about 500 miles offshore, the rocket’s payload released a small quantity of vapor into the near-vacuum of space. There is no danger to public health or the Earth’s environment from the vapor release.
MoCA Westport’s spring Exhibition, “Smash,” premiers April 2. It’s devoted exclusively to the videos of contemporary artist Marilyn Minter.
Both grandiose and intimate, in settings throughout the museum’s galleries, Minter’s videos will be exhibited together for the first time in a public institution. Seeped in lush imagery and moving between figuration and abstraction, his works encapsulate feminism, pleasure, voyeurism and notions of beauty, desire and chance.
Her custom-designed AMC Pacer –featuring an interior, surround viewing of her work “Green Pink Caviar,” will also be exhibited for the first time.
It’s not too early to think about Easter — well, the catering part, anyway.
Mystic Market across from the train station is early out of the box. Their appetizers and platters (artichoke jalapeño dip in a bread bowl, charcutier board…), salads, soups (carrot giner, potato leek), brunch quiche, breads, sides, dinners (roasted pomegranate lamb, potato-encrusted Chilean sea bass, roast beef tenderloin, salmon filet, beef lasagna…) and desserts) must be ordered by April 1.
Yesterday’s weather was not exactly frightful. Just foggy, wet and miserable.
But MoCA Westport’s outdoor holiday open house was on.
Families enjoyed caroling by Staples’ Orphenians, performances by teen musicians and members of the Westport School of Music, kids’ crafts,admission to the World Peace exhibition, and complimentary hot chocolate.
It was — almost — beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
A small group of (socially distanced) Staples Orphenians.
This has been a tough year for everyone.
Particularly our FedEx, UPS, Amazon and other deliverypersons.
They’ve worked long hours since March. They’re monitored closely. They’re not paid particularly well.
A few Westporters are putting treats — baked goods, other munchies, soda, water and the like — on their front steps, with a note of thanks.
And don’t forget your mail carrier. They’ve been battered this year. An envelope with cash is always appreciated!
Andrew Colabella spotted this holiday house on Vani Court:
Have you entered Westport Holiday House Decorating Contest?
Register first (click here). Then submit no more than 5 photos or videos of your decorations to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 20. Prizes are awarded for the top 3 entrants.
Next Saturday (December 19), the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra’s Brass Quintet tootles downtown. They’ll be at the Bedford Square pick-up circle outside TecKnow and Barbour.
A bit of holiday normalcy, in an abnormal year!
I wrote about the Westport Woman’s Club’s gingerbread house fundraiser the other day (click here for details — it’s a great cause!).
Here’s a bit more: It would not have been possible without the help of 2 big chain stores. Michael’s provided a number of gingerbread kits at a great discount — and Trader Joe’s donated 10 more. That’s the holiday spirit!
A few of the Westport Woman’s Club’s gingerbread houses.
Tom Cook sends this photo. It shows a squirrel at Longshore enjoying Tom’s PB&J sandwich during his last round of golf for the year.
Staples High School’s 80th annual Candlelight Concert will look nothing like the previous 79.
But it will still look very cool.
Yesterday, “06880” described this year’s COVID format: a livestream on December 19, with recorded performances and intriguing interviews. (Click here for details, and a registration link.)
Staples senior Brandon Malin was the lighting director for last weekend’s taping. It was a professionally produced event, as befits the music department’s traditional, beloved gift to the town.
Here’s what it looked like, when the masked, socially distanced musicians arrived:
Dead fish continue to pile up on the shores of Compo and Old Mill Beaches.
They’re bunker. They form large colonies, deprive themselves of oxygen, and die. It’s unusual though for it to happen so late in the season.
Patricia McMahon composed this grim but natural collage:
(Photo collage/Patricia McMahon)
Who doesn’t love gingerbread houses? But who has time to make them?
Members of the Westport Woman’s Club, that’s who.
They’ve created 20 gorgeous (and non-edible) houses for a special fundraiser.
Click here to see all of them. For a $20 ticket, you’ll be entered in a random drawing. It’s a great way to help the Woman’s Club fund many worthy projects. Tickets can be purchased at the link above; in person at the club (44 Imperial)Avenue, or mailed to the above address.
A few of the gingerbread houses.
Bruno Guiduli is a key defender on Staples High School’s soccer team.
But this winter, he’s scoring — not preventing shots. He’s shooting on a small cutout banner in his yard. By scoring 2,020 times, his “goal” is to raise money and increase awareness of TOPSoccer, a nonprofit that embraces children and teenagers with intellectual, emotional and/or physical disabilities. Players develop at their own pace, in a safe, fun and nurturing environment.
Bruno has set up a page for donations, while he shoots. Funds help special needs players participate. “No one should be turned away due to financial challenges,” he says.
“Soccer has been a source of competition, challenge and discipline,” Bruno says. “It has taught me the value of teamwork and reaching a goal (no pun intended). So I want to help kids of differing abilities reach their goals. and experience a similar love for the game as I do every day.” Click here to donate.
Bruno Guiduli, with the TOPSoccer goal he’s shooting at.
Dave Briggs is a pro.
The former CNN, Fox News and NBC Sports anchor’s Instagram Live interviews (@WestportMagazine) are consistently compelling and clever.
And I’m not just saying that because I’m his guest today (5 p.m.). Check us out!
The other day, Nile Rodgers testified before Parliament. The world-famous singer/guitarist/musician/arranger/producer told British lawmakers that streaming platforms should pay musicians more. He said he realized the situation when COVID curtailed his touring.
I’ve never been inside his Saugatuck Shores home. But if the Daily Mail photo below of his testimony — livestreamed, of course — was taken there, it’s got some pretty impressive decorations. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)
(Photo courtesy of Daily Mail)
And finally … today marks the first night of Hanukkah. Don’t let the light go out!
The University of California professor of astronomy is the only member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the universe, which led to a Nobel Prize. He’s been voted the Best Professor at Berkeley a record 9 times.
On December 15 (8 p.m.), he’ll visit the Westport Astronomical Society — virtually — for a free lecture on “A New Surprise in the Accelerating Universe.” It’s available on Zoom, and YouTube.
Mozy is a new member of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. The local company produces a “lower-body thermal wrap engineered to keep you 100% warmer than most blankets.”
It’s perfect for “game day, drinks on the deck or a sunset hike” — and the “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Blanket) outdoor dining initiative championed by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. Click here to buy online, or email for in-person pickup: email@example.com.
They just released their first book: “Fred From Fresh Meadows: A Knicks Memoir.” Author Fred is also from Westport. The 1971 Staples High School graduate is well known to “06880” readers as a frequent commenter on a variety of topics, a documentary filmmaker, an off-Broadway producer, and a keeper of the flame of local musicians like the Remains and Charlie Karp.
Fred’s Knick bona fides go back decades. He was at Madison Square Garden for the “Here comes Wilis!” game. He stayed up late the night before the SATs to watch a big game on the West Coast. In law school he chose where to live based on which neighborhood had a team cable TV package, then chose an apartment in Manhattan based in part on proximity to Madison Square Garden.
Along the way, Fred might have inadvertently caused Jerry Lucas to have one of the worst shooting nights of his playoff career, drove with Earl Monroe to a business meeting, and sort of sued Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to get revenge for Knicks fans.
Fred is a truly good guy. He’s donating 100% of the royalties from his pandemic project to the John Starks Foundation, which provides grants to college-bound high school seniors with academic excellence, financial need and a commitment to community service.
During COVID, many folks are drinking alone. Now you can do it without shame — and with the knowledge you’re helping raise money for great causes.
The Westport Woman’s Club is sponsoring a “Swirl & Sip” wine-tasting fundraiser (Wednesday, December 9, 6 to 7 p.m.). For just $25, Castle Wine & Spirits is providing sparkling wines from Italy and Spain. Silver Ribbon donates the door prize: a $200 gift certificate.
Proceeds from the virtual event help fund grants to local non-profits, and need-based college scholarships. Cheers!
MoCA Westport’s Holiday Open House has been postponed from this Saturday to next (December 12, noon to 5 p.m.).
The outdoor event includes caroling by the Staples High School Orphenians, free admission to the World Peace exhibition, performances by teachers and students of the Westport School of Music, and a holiday-themed project for kids.
There’s free hot chocolate and doughnuts, and food trucks for purchases. There is no admission fee, but MoCA suggests bringing an unwrapped toy for the Westport Police Department’s annual drive.
And finally … in honor of the Westport Astronomical Society’s lecture on the expanding universe:
Posted onOctober 17, 2020|Comments Off on Westport Woman’s Club Wants To Give You $$$
Like all local non-profits, Westport Woman’s Club’s fundraising efforts have been battered by COVID.
But that just inspires the 113-year-old organization to help all those other groups even more.
Last spring — as it does every year — the WWC Community Services Committee was finalizing its 2020 grants. When the coronavirus struck they pivoted, awarding funds to 5 community health challenges.
“Everyone has a favorite Fairfield County non-profit,” the WWC says. “And every non-profit needs a helping hand.” So — as the Woman’s Club accepts grant proposals for 2020-21 — they encourage “06880” readers to share awareness of the opportunity. The application deadline is October 30.
The WWC offers both monetary grants, and a one-time use of the Bedford Hall meeting space for an event. Grants are considered each year for organizations working in education, health and safety programs, and the arts.
Click here for an application. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Westport Woman’s Club opens its doors to grant applications — including the use of its clubhouse.
Comments Off on Westport Woman’s Club Wants To Give You $$$
The title is intriguing: “Living Progressive Values in a Polarized Election Season.”
So is the sponsor: The Unitarian Church in Westport.
The liberal faith tradition opens its Zoom room on 4 Tuesdays in October (6 to 7 p.m.). Everyone — of all political persuasions — is welcome.
Senior minister Rev. Dr. John Morehouse will begin each hour with observations about Unitarian-Universalism. Then the “floor” is open for discussion, debate and conversation.
October 6: Civility, Tolerance and Grace
October 13: The Blurring of Church and State
October 20: Public Convictions and Private Behaviors
October 27: Our Children: Our Pupils and Our Teachers.
Email email@example.com for Zoom information.
Another Westport congregation had a big day yesterday.
Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church officially inducted Father John Betit as rector. The ceremony — which was also livestreamed — marked the first Sunday morning gathering since COVID-19 struck in March.
But that was not all. CHT also welcomed new confirmands — and celebrated a baptism.
The busy — and welcome — morning at the handsome downtown church was followed by a courtyard liturgy, and blessing of the animals.
Rev. John Betit’s official induction.
The Westport Woman’s Club Yankee Doodle Fair takes months of planning. It raises important funds, which go toward much-needed community grants and scholarships.
COVID put the kibosh on last June’s century-old tradition. Now — in a matter of days — the WWC has organized a new, socially distanced, outdoor fundraiser.
A jazz concert with the great Chris Coogan Trio is set for this Friday (October 9, 5 to 7 p.m.). The clubhouse upper parking lot — where the Yankee Doodle kiddie rides and carousel usually are — is the site.
A limited number of tickets are on sale ($40 for 1 adult, $65 for 2; children are free); click here. Venezuelan food is available from El Chamo. Bring your own chairs and blankets.
An added attraction: Concert-goers can buy a ticket for the Remarkable Theater‘s special “Greatest Showman” feature that night, at 7:30. It’s a fundraiser for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities — so you can support 2 local profits that day.
Old Hill residents don’t know who stole the Biden/Harris signs from their lawns.
But there was a witness to a similar act Thursday afternoon, on Compo Road South across from Longshore.
A man with gray hair — perhaps in his 60s — in a gray Volkswagen sedan was spotted stealing a Biden/Harris sign from private property. A police report was filed.
The signs were quickly replaced. Here they are, yesterday afternoon:
When she was singing and acting at Staples High School, everyone predicted that Cara McNiff would be a star.
The 2014 graduate has just released a new single. “See the World”is an ethereal, uplifting pop song evoking wanderlust and dreams of escape in a time of restriction and risks. She and 2 other artists recorded it remotely, while scattered across the country by the coronavirus.
Cara — who now calls herself Caraa — pushes the boundaries of pop and R&B.
Click here to stream “See the World” on major music platforms.
And finally … today — October 5 — is the most common birthday in the United States.
On a normal day, 750,000 Americans celebrate a birthday. Today, more than 960,000 will.
Why is today unlike any other day?
One theory is that the average length of a pregnancy is 274 days. Counting backward, the date of conception for babies born today is December 31 — New Year’s Eve.
i guess not everyone spends the night watching the ball drop.
Outdoor entertainment returned to MoCA Westport last night. A socially distanced crowd enjoyed Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Alexa Tarantino Quartet.
More concerts will be announced soon.
Outdoors at MoCA.
With food insecurity still a serious issue, the Westport Woman’s Club Food Closet is grateful for a nice donation from Westport National Bank.
Any organizations or family can donate food to neighbors in need. Bring non-perishable donations to the WWC 44 Imperial Avenue) from 9 a.m. to onoon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If the clubhouse is locked, call 203-227-4240.
Monetary donations are also welcome. Click here, or send a check made out to Westport Woman’s Club to WWC, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.
At the Westport Woman’s Club food pantry (from left); Wendy McKeon, WWC food closet co-chair; Robin Clark, WWC member and Westport National Bank vice president; Selma Blue, WNB head teller.
The “hidden history of Black Westport” will be visible to Westporters next Saturday (September 12, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.)
As a follow-up to the Westport Museum of History & Culture’s “Remembered: The History of African Americans in Westport” exhibit, guides will lead tour groups (maximum of 10 people) throughout downtown.
They’ll describe local history, from enslaved people to soldiers, sailors, activists, artists, and respected residents, through existing buildings and long destroyed sites.
Tickets are $10. Reservations are required; click here to register. Foe moew information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aarti Khosla needs help in providing chocolate hearts to every Westport and Weston educator, as a show of thanks for all they do. 10% of all proceeds benefit another educational institution: Mercy Learning Center.
Click here to purchase hearts ($8 each). You can also stop by Aarti’s store, Le Rouge Chocolates (190 Main Street).
The final (and 15th) #FridayFlowers are on display at the Compo Beach lifeguard station. The Westport Garden Club — sponsor of the summer-long floral project — is grateful to the guards, and everyone at Westport Parks & Rec — for keeping our beaches safe and fun.
Pictured below (from left): David Levy, Noah Ross, Mia Parkes, Ella Thompson and Avery Tucker.
RTM representative and Westport Writers Workshop founder Jessica Bram undergoes brain surgery at Yale University Hospital this morning.
Doctors will drain excess hydration to reverse motor, cognitive and memory impairment resulting from a recent fall.
Jessica sends affection and high regard to the Westport community, past and current writing students, RTM colleagues, and Webb Road neighbors.
The Remarkable Theater was this summer’s surprise entertainment hit. The group — whose focus is bringing a movie house back to Westport — pivoted during the pandemic, procuring an outdoor screen and showing several drive-in films a week at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.
The site is just south of the Westport Woman’s Club — which every year for nearly a century has run the beloved Yankee Doodle Fair. The event spills into the parking lot, and is a major fundraiser that allows the WWC to provide aid to many local nonprofits.
The Remarkable Theater’s premiere event — “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” — was a fundraiser for the Woman’s Club. The other day, Remarkable president Marina Derman (bottom row, right) presented a check to WWC past president Christina McVaney. Watching from the steps above are Remarkable vice president/creative director Doug Tirola and club president Karen Kleine.
Balducci’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last night. No word yet on the fate of the Westport location.
A rally Saturday in support of the US Postal Service drew a small crowd to the Norwalk Post Office. Several Westporters attended, including Hallie Picorello (lower right).
And finally … I’ve been waiting for a while to include this. As summer starts to fade, now is as good a time as any.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome — and appreciated! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Or use Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)