Did you know that more than 75% of a mattress can be recycled — even that old one in your basement?
So how to get rid of it? Sustainable Westport and Earthplace host their semi-annual mattress recycling drop-off event this Saturday (May 14). Bring your dry, unsoiled mattress and/or box spring to Earthplace from 8:30 to 11: a.m.
It will be recycled into all sorts of stuff, from carpet pads and insulation to air filters and steel products.
Can’t get your mattress to Earthplace? Boy Scout Troop 36 will take it for you. Spots are limited; click here to sign up. A donation of $20 is suggested.
And … if you miss this event and can’t wait for the fall collection, Park City Green in Bridgeport accepts mattresses and box springs year round, Call 203-212-3860.
Boy Scout Troop 36 picks up recyclable mattresses.
The Day of Champions is set for this Sunday (May 15, 9 to 11:30 a.m., PJ Romano Field between Saugatuck and Kings Highway Elementary Schools).
The family-friendly fun and fierce competition may remind you of summer camp. That’s because it’s a fundraiser for Experience Camps — the place where children who have lost parents or siblings can smile again, with peers who understand and caring counselors.
Click here for more information — and to create, join or donate to a team.
Tickets are going quickly for the Queer Cook-off. The Westport Pride fundraiser — pitting 3 teams, each with a noted chef, and celebrity teams — is set for Thursday, May 19 (6 p.m., Aitoro Appliance, Norwalk).
As they’re cooking in a “Chopped”-style competition, there’s plenty of food and drink for the “audience.” Food and beverage sponsors include Organic Krush, Copps Island Oysters, Dave & Charlie’s Hometown Deli, Garden Catering, Longford’s Ice Cream, The Kitchen and Tribus.
Ingredients for the chefs — Bill Taibe of Don Memo, Kawa Ni and The Whelk; Jes Bengtson of Terrain Café and Amis Tattoria, and Arik Bensimon of Monogram Design Center — come from Sport Hill Farm, Ayn’s Chili Oil and Pam’s Jams. Raffle prizes are donated by Nordstrom, Clay Story CT, Munson’s Chocolates, artist M.C. Hewlett, Monogram and various chefs.
As if that’s not enough to whet your appetite: I’m one of the judges.
And finally … Susan Jacks, the Poppy Family singer best (and probably only) known for her 1969 hit “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?,” died last month in British Columbia. She was 73, and on the waiting list for a second kidney transplant. Click here for a full obituary.
Last month, Allyson Stollenwerck and her 12-year-old son Walker attended Wakeman Town Farms’ “Attainable Sustainable” panel.
They heard about Food Rescue US. The nonprofit’s app enables volunteers to pick up unused food from local restaurants and markets, and bring it to social service agencies.
Allyson and Walker signed up. Their first assignment was to bring leftover donuts and pastries from Coffee An’ to the Westport Housing Authority on Canal Street.
“It was super simple,” they report. “Food Rescue emailed great instructions, and it was a quick trip. We hope others give it a try.”
I have no idea why Coffee An’ does not sell out every day. But if they — and any other food establishment in town — don’t, it’s great to know that Food Rescue can help. (Click here for more information on Food Rescue US).
Walker Stollenwerck, rescuing food from Coffee An’.
The longtime Westport lawyer is a former Connecticut state representative, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut, District Court judge, and — following retirement in his 80s — a special counsel attorney.
Now he’s got another accomplishment. At 93, was the oldest runner among nearly 1,200 in the traditional Chilmark Road Race on Martha’s Vineyard. He completed the hilly 3.1-mile course, in hot weather, in 1:08.37.6.
Congratulations, Judge Nevas! (Hat tip: Susan Filan)
How’s this for a delicious combination: The Westport Farmers’ Market, and MoCA Westport.
An opening reception for “Between the Ground and the Sky” — a collaboarative exhibition — is set for August 27 (6 to 8 p.m., MoCA).
Guests can meet featured artists, enjoy custom cocktails from Bar MoCA, and check out the great new garden.
“Between the Ground and the Sky” features more than 50 stunning large-scale photographs by Anne Burmeister and Ashley Skatoff from the Who Grows Your Food initiative — a photographic journey celebrating the farms and farmers associated with the Farmers’ Market.
The exhibition also includes two site-specific installations by Kristyna and Marek Milde and the naturalistic works of Donna Forma. Click here for more information.
“Yesterday was the 3-year anniversary of the day we lost Rachel. [The 2015 Staples High School graduate — a rising senior at Cornell University, National Merit Commended Scholar, talented Players costume designer, and founder of “Rachel’s Rags,” a company that makes intricate cotton and fleece pajama tops and bottoms — died following a rare reaction to common medications.]
“In our ongoing mission to support families with critically ill children, we are holding an outdoor, family-friendly event (October 2, 4 p.m., Compo Beach).
“Rachel’s grandfather “Pa” pledged to walk 1,000 miles in his 80th year to honor Rachel, and raise money for Rach’s Hope. Please join us October 2 to Walk the Extra Mile with Pa and Team Rach’s Hope (or just cheer us on).
“At the end of the 1-mile walk, we will gather to celebrate Pa’s feat — and all your love and dedication to our charity — with a pizza truck, live music by Ellis Island, and beverages. PJs are optional, but encouraged!”
Click here for more information, and to register or donate.
Rachel Doran’s grandfather gets ready to walk. You can too!
The Great American Relay starts in Boston, and ends in Santa Monica, California. There are 415 stages through 18 states, over 38 days.
It starts on 9/11 — the 20th anniversary of that fateful day, and raises funds to support the military and first responders. Runners can dedicate their stage to a first responder or veteran they care about.
Last year, Westonite Jeffrey Wollman was a support runner, from Fairfield to Westport. An avid racer — he’s run 8 marathons since 2015 — he is also the Fleet Feet Westport training group coordinator, and one of their coaches.
He’s participating again this year, as the lead runner from Westport fire headquarters to the Darien Fire Department. He’ll start his 8.3-mile stage on September 13, just before noon.
Eight spots are still available. For more information, or to join or donate, click here.
Dave Wright (Fleet Feet Westport owner, left) and Jeffrey Wollman.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is in Ridgefield. But there’s a strong Westport presence.
Board chair Diana Bowes is a longtime Westporter. Betty Stolpen Weiner is the new director of development. Claudia Lonkin — the visitor experience manager — is also a substitute teacher at Staples. And executive director Cybele Maylone is the granddaughter-in-law of former Board of Education chair Joan Schine.
All are exited about the Aldrich’s Artists at the Table (October 1). The “farm-to-museum” dinner in the Sculpture Garden features a locally sourced 3-course dinner prepared by Hayfields Market Catering. Guests and artists share a meal, engage in conversation, and celebrate local flavors and contemporary art.
The Westporter has been a reporter in Europe, Asia and the Americas; a communications director with NASCAR and the US Olympic ski program; a ghostwriter of 14 memoirs for clients like Rudy Vallee’s wife, a US ambassador, a nuclear physicist, oil baron and more; and a mystery series writer.
Her new novel, “In Terror’s Deadly Clasp,” is based on a true story. It provides a rare, chilling glimpse of terrorists’ daily lives in America as they enjoyed strip clubs, fast food, fat bank accounts and freedom from their religious rules while planning the 9/11 attacks.
“This bullfrog hangs out a foot from my dock on Nash’s Pond. He doesn’t flinch when people walk by (hence my ability to get a closeup). I guess he been here longer than we have, because he’s not budging!”
September 14, 2011 could have been the worst day of Harrison Malec’s life.
It turned out to be his luckiest.
After school, the Staples freshman went early to the Saugatuck Rowing Club to run 10 kilometers. He posted an inspirational message on the team whiteboard, then ran over the bridge and on to Baker Avenue for hill sprints.
That’s the last thing he remembers about the day.
Running up the hill, his heart stopped. Sudden cardiac arrest is extremely rare in adolescents. Few survive.
When Harrison collapsed, his teammates carried him to his coach. The coach immediately called 911.
A teammate — remembering lifeguard training — started CPR. Westport EMTs arrived less than 5 minutes later, and quickly applied an AED. An electronic shock restarted Harrison’s heart.
He was stabilized at Norwalk Hospital, then airlifted to Yale New Haven‘s pediatric intensive care unit.
A rare congenital defect was diagnosed. Two weeks later, open heart surgery corrected the defect.
Within 4 months, Harrison was back training with his team. Last week he competed at the Northeast Regionals.
Harrison Malec (2nd from right) at William Raveis Real Estate, with employees and training dummies.
On Tuesday, Harrison took time out from training and schoolwork to make a presentation. He joined William Raveis employees — where his mother, Joelle Harris Malec, works — to donate funds to Westport’s Volunteer Emergency Medical Service. The gift — in gratitude for the CPR and AED instruction provided to members of Raveis’ Westport office in June — were used to purchase 8 training dummies.
This was not the 1st “Harrison’s Heart” event. In March, 70 of his junior rowing teammates were trained in CPR. $1,000 in donations were raised.
Harrison described all this on Tuesday, at the Raveis presentation.
And he added a PS: The inspirational message he’d written on the whiteboard the day he collapsed was, “Rowers don’t stop until they end up in the hospital.”
Eerie. But lucky. He noted, “I celebrated my 15th birthday in June. And, hopefully, many more.”
With many more years of paying CPR and AED training forward.
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