Norwalk's HamletHub Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:47:55 -0400 Why Small Businesses Matter in Norwalk: Sound Sailing Center

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Sound Sailing Center!

Four questions with Martin van Breems, founder of Sound Sailing Center.

Why did you start your business?

I started Sound Sailing help you get involved in sailing through an innovative instruction and membership program. Our instruction is based on a simple concept—in 20 to 30 hours you will be out sailing my boats by yourself, so we damn well better do a good job! The membership program uses boats I enjoy sailing myself. 

Finish this sentence in regard to your business: I wish I could...

I wish I could reach more people and get them to realize that sailing is a wonderful mix of relaxation, adventure, challenges, and peace and quiet in a fun. It's a relatively affordable activity that is easy to share with friends and family. Not many things can offer that mix in today's world.

Best selling product or service?

Our daysailer membership program, unlimited sailing for a year for under $2,800.-, no maintenance, no other expenses or commitment.

We use a host of local businesses to help run our business. Some include;

- Quantum sails - Norwalk CT

- Norwalk Cove Marina

- Select Plastics

- Carlton Welding

- Sunset Grill

- Sign Smarts

Visit Sound Sailing Center online here.

Sound Sailing Center is located at 54A Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk.

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible! 

]]> (HH) Places Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:25:48 -0400
Rowayton Arts Center Fall Art Classes

Looking for a fall art class? RAC has everything from Intro to Painting and Figure Drawing, to Alla Prima Portraiture plus much more! Check out the schedule for both kids & adults at the link here: #ArtLivesHere

Photo: Instructor Sam Morrow

]]> (Rowayton Arts Center) Places Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:15:49 -0400
Exhibit Opening: Close to the Line at Housatonic Museum of Art on Sept. 5

The Housatonic Museum announced it will present ‘Close to the Line: Mari Rantanen and Kirsten Reynolds’ on September 5th. An investigation into geometric abstraction through a performative lens, the exhibit offers brightly painted canvasses and sculptural installations for visitors to reconsider the history of 20th century geometric abstraction, its evolution and its place in the 21st century. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Burt Chernow Galleries September 5 – October 12, 2019. A reception with the artists and curator will be held on Thursday, September 5 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The museum is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd in Bridgeport, on the campus of Housatonic Community College.

Close to the Line pairs paintings by Mari Rantanen (b. 1956, Finland) and sculptural installation by Kirsten Reynolds (b. 1972, United States) in a selection made by independent curator Barbara O’Brien. Paired together for the first time, both artists utilize an ambitious, formal vocabulary of intense color relationships, and swooping, geometric line. A gallery walk-through with the curator and the artists will take place at noon on Friday, September 6th. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

Reynolds will have two large-scale sculptural works on view, allowing viewers to walk through “Switchback,” 2019 a cluster of trestle-style wood frames supporting several large fragments of decorative arcs, and “post” 2019, comprised of a smaller arrangement of faux architectural elements. Poised between perpetual creation and imminent collapse, Reynold’s work explores language, architecture and the body as inter-related constructs.

Rantanen will show over-sized paintings creating an enveloping experience of bright and lively color. Her signature palette of glowing oranges, reds, pinks and greens create vibrating geometric forms. Many paintings are from the series, “There is a Crack in Everything. That is How the Light Comes In” – the series title borrowed from the song “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen. Mural-like in scale, the paintings fill the peripheral vision and create an evolving experience as the visitor moves through the gallery.

The exhibit marks the grand re-opening of the museum, which has been closed since August of last year. At that time, the walls and floors of the museum’s Burt Chernow Gallery suffered water damage when the sprinkler system activated in response to an overheated computer on the floor above. Fortunately, the museum’s collection did not experience any damage.

“We are thrilled to re-open the galleries with this dynamic exhibit that showcases balance and structure through immersive form and vivid brush strokes, allowing the viewer to interact with the lively work of these contemporary artists” said Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Reynolds has exhibited at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, the McIninch Gallery at Southern New Hampshire University; the Museum of Art, University of New Hampshire; the Blue Star Contemporary Museum, San Antonio, Texas; the Currier Museum, Manchester New Hampshire, and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln Massachusetts. She holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Maine College of Art. Reynolds is the recipient the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, New Hampshire State Council for the Arts Artist Grant. She lives and works in Newmarket, New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

Born in Espoo, Finland, Mari Rantanen had a professorship at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from 1996-2005. Commissions to design large-scale architectural public art works include the Niittykumpu Subway Station in Espoo, Finland and the Citybanan Odenplan Metro Station in Stockholm Sweden. Rantanen has had solo exhibitions in France, Finland, Sweden, Germany and the United States. She has a studio practice in Stockholm, Sweden, Tammela, Finland, and New York City, and studied at the School of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, Finland. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied at Pratt Institute in New York City.

Barbara O’Brien is an independent curator and critic based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was Executive Director of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri from 2012-2017, after serving as chief curator and director of exhibitions since 2009. O’Brien was an assistant professor in the Art & Music department at Simmons College in Boston (2006-08), editor-in-chief of Art New England magazine (2003-06) and Director of the Gallery and Visiting Artist Program at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA (1990-2001). O’Brien earned an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and in 2006 was awarded the RISD national alumni award for professional achievement. She is an elected member of AICA-USA, International Association of Art Critics.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Events Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:15:19 -0400
Mayor Rilling unveils the Mayor’s Dashboard

On Monday, August 19, 2019, Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling officially unveiled the new “Mayor’s Dashboard” - an interactive look at the information and statistics that help guide the city. The Mayor’s Dashboard is a web-based platform that is accessible to the public directly from the city’s homepage

“Norwalk is data-driven, and we make decisions based on facts, trends, and information. Much of what is presented on the Mayor's Dashboard I am using to steer the direction of our city,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “Our residents expect and deserve high-quality services and have the right to know their tax dollars are going to good use. I am incredibly proud of what we have put together. Displaying this information on our homepage shows our commitment to accountability and continuous improvement.”

The Dashboard does not show information grouped by department, instead, it is deliberately sorted into six different areas representative of the fabric of what makes Norwalk a great place to live, work, and visit. The Dashboard presents information in a modern way to tell the story of what is happening all around Norwalk. Most of this work occurs behind-the-scenes, and the Dashboard brings that story to life. There are currently over 100 data points that were selected based on feedback from City staff and their experiences interacting with the public.

“I firmly believe in government transparency, and I am thrilled that we can share this information directly with the public. This information was not chosen because it made us look good, but rather, it was what we felt the public would be interested in seeing,” Rilling stated. “The Mayor's Dashboard is a living product, and we will continually look to add and expand the information as we move forward. I hope the public takes time to explore the Dashboard and will let us know what they think. Their feedback is critical and will help inform where we go next.”

To view the Mayor’s Dashboard, visit

]]> (City of Norwalk) Life Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:14:40 -0400
Come to Newtown's Persnickety Bride to Meet The Man Who Dresses Brides Around the World

You could say Justin Alexander has married thousands of women. In fact, thousands of women around the world, have been married is his gowns and Justin will be at Persnickety Bride (224 South Main St. Newtown, Ct) on Saturday, September 28 to meet brides and show his latest collection. Brides can also take a photo in-store donning a Justin Alexander robe and post it to Instagram to enter to win a swagbag for herself and up to 5 bridesmaids!

Justin Alexander Warshaw runs the global bridal wear business, JUSTIN ALEXANDER, a Millennial-owned, Millennial-centric company run by a Millennial, This gives Warshaw, CEO and Creative Director, a unique, global view.

Warshaw believes the bridal wear needs to be more inclusive. Which is why JUSTIN ALEXANDER offers gowns from sizes 2 thru 32, with no up charges, a rarity in the industry. His brand campaigns have featured the model of body positivism, Iskra Lawrence.

“One of our core brand pillars is inclusivity,” states Warshaw, “to design dresses that look great on real women. We want our brides to feel confident and comfortable in a dress that makes them shine, on one of the biggest days of their lives.”

For more details and to make an appointment for the Justin Alexander trunk show September 27-29, 2019 contact The Persnickety Bride 203-426-2598.

]]> (Colette Sipperly) Events Mon, 19 Aug 2019 08:10:05 -0400
CT Towns Hop On the Chowdafest Bandwagon

Westport, Conn – Not just any restaurant can enter the New England Chowdafest, only those who are invited.   “About six years ago, chowder lovers started telling us that Chowdafest was the best such competition in New England” said executive director, Jim Keenan. “We knew what they meant but it made us wonder how we could be the best if the rest of New England wasn’t in the competition.  Soon after that we started searching for great chowder, soup and bisque from restaurants from all over New England.” 

Restaurants frequently ask to compete in Chowdafest and Keenan is happy to consider them after he’s samples what they want to enter.  “Just having a good chowder doesn’t mean it’s good enough to be invited.  As a rule, we don’t invite anyone if we don’t think they can win one of our four categories.  One of our competing restaurants who literally travels all over the country participating in chowder events probably says it best, “when you win the New England Chowdafest, you’ve earned it”. ‘”Every year the bar is raised and the level of completion gets better and better”.

About 50% of those invited this year are new to Chowdafest and joined by those chefs & restaurants who have already distinguished themselves in prior years.  “I call it the hunt for next October,” said Keenan as he explained the annual event is usually held on the first Sunday in October.  The hunt includes those who have won local events or received great press but he puts an emphasis on word of mouth Keenan says.  “When we hear people tell us about great restaurants, we listen. Foodies know what they are talking about.  It’s why Chowdafest is a true people’s choice event and why they determine our winners.  We don’t have celebrities or trained pallets determining who is best.  It’s people who love chowder and soup, just like you and me."

Keenan’s search covers all six New England states but 80% of the competition he says comes from Connecticut.  “Connecticut is spoiled” said Keenan amusingly.  “So many great chefs call it home." The incredible concentration of culinary talent in Connecticut lead this annual event being held at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. People travel from all over the country to Connecticut to determine the best chowder, soup & bisque in New England.  Chowdafest has made Connecticut the chowder capital of New England.  To reinforce this distinction, the state includes a Chowdafest Cafe  in their Connecticut building at the Big E, the fifth largest state fair in the U.S. Over 1.6 million people visit the building and can purchase a cup of great chowder, soup & bisque, just a small example of what they can try at Chowdafest in October. 

This year, restaurants from New Canaan CT (Gates), Danbury (21 Lake Restaurant), Redding (Redding Roadhouse), Georgetown (Milestone), New Hartford (BLT), Old Saybrook (Saybrook Soup & Sandwich Co. and Penny Lane Pub), Ansonia (Crave 102) and Westrook (Braise & Brew) are among towns represented in the New England wide competition for the first time. “You never know where you’ll find a great chowder or soup,” said Keenan. “I think everyone will be more than impressed with this year’s lineup."

Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, will be held on Sunday, October 6 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.  CT The event benefits Food Rescue US in the ongoing fight against food insecurity.  Over 2 million meals have been funded through Chowdafest in the past 4 years.  For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit or email event director, Jim Keenan at  

Chowdafest is presented by Stop & Shop and sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Chabaso Bakery, Chica de Gallo, City Carting, CT Bites, Copp's Island Oysters, Dave’s Planet Pizza, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Even Hotels,  Foods of the Vine, Hood Cream, Local Food Rocks, Lowe's, Lucy’s, Michele's Pies, Mi Nina Tortilla, MINI of Fairfield County, Natalie’s Juices, New England Dairy Council, People’s United Bank, Polar Beverages, PKF O’Connor Davies, Silly Cow Farms, Tetley Tea, Toast, Wades Dairy, WEBE 108 and Westminster Crackers. 

]]> (Jim Keenan) Events Sun, 18 Aug 2019 03:06:00 -0400
Blood Drives Near Norwalk, Urgent Need Before Summer Ends

With many regular donors delaying giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

While thousands of donors have rolled up a sleeve this summer, blood and platelet donations aren’t keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give through Aug. 29 with a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Norwalk through August 31

Town Date Address
Norwalk 8/22/2019: 11:45 a.m. - 5:45 p.m. Walgreens, 55 Westport Avenue
Norwalk 8/30/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Norwalk Hospital, 34 Maple Street
Westport 8/14/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


]]> (Red Cross) Events Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:37:57 -0400
Norwalk Celebrates Healthy Harvest with Party at Fodor Farm

The Norwalk Health Department, its partners, and families in the Growing Gardens, Growing Health program celebrated another successful summer session with a harvest party at Fodor Farm on Monday.

Over 9 weeks this summer, parents worked with master gardeners and a registered dietitian to plant, grow, and use fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They received practical, family-friendly information about nutrition and improved their skills and confidence by making fun, healthy recipes during cooking lessons. Kids were able to get their hands dirty planting and tending to tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and more in their family garden plots. They also learned about healthy eating and tasted the new recipes their parents made.

On Monday, families from Growing Gardens, Growing Health harvested crops from the garden, enjoyed some favorite recipes from the summer, and celebrated a job well done.

“Growing Gardens, Growing Health could not thrive without its valuable partnerships,” explained Norwalk Health Department health educator Theresa Argondezzi. “We are so grateful for our incredible partners at the University of Connecticut Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and our Master Gardener and Master Gardener interns, who provided family friendly instruction and guidance all summer. We also worked with Cooking Matters at the Store and ShopRite in Norwalk to offer a grocery store tour and shopping challenge, and the City of Norwalk’s Department of Recreation and Parks generously offered the use of Fodor Farm. This program is made possible by the generous funding support of the Campbell’s Healthy Communities Program.”

About the Norwalk Department of Health: Under the direction of the mayor, and with valuable guidance from its six-member Board of Health, the Norwalk Health Department provides a variety of services and programs to fulfill its mission: to prevent and control the spread of disease, promote a healthy environment, and protect the quality of life within its changing community. The Health Department achieved accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) in June 2014, demonstrating that it meets or exceeds national public health standards and commits to continuously improve the quality of the services it delivers. More information is available at

]]> (Theresa Argondezzi) Life Thu, 15 Aug 2019 12:28:09 -0400
Rowayton Arts Center Open Call to Artists – Autumn Juried Show

Online submissions are now being accepted in an Open Call to Artists for the “Autumn Juried Show” at Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) from October 13, 2019 to November 9, 2019. The show is open to all artists interested in exhibiting their artwork. Categories include: oil painting, acrylic painting, watercolor, mixed media, color photography, black and white photography, sculpture, printmaking, pastels or drawing. Submit pieces for consideration at Deadline is September 12, 2019 and accepted artists will be notified on September 20, 2019.

Visit the RAC website for the prospectus at and other information. The opening reception on Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 4 pm to 6 pm is free and open to the public. RAC celebrates the study, creation and appreciation of the arts through classes, exhibitions and events open to all in the community.

RAC celebrates the study, creation and appreciation of the arts through classes, exhibitions and events open to all in the community. For almost 60 years, this nonprofit organization has been a cultural gem in Rowayton, CT. The gallery and art school overlook the scenic Five Mile River at 145 Rowayton Avenue with space for regional artists to exhibit their art and a classroom for workshops and classes at all levels offered to children and adults. Visit and follow @rowaytonarts.

]]> (Rowayton Arts Center) Neighbors Thu, 15 Aug 2019 11:41:42 -0400
Many Connecticut Cities Ranked Highest for Number of Nonprofits

Norwalk and other nearby cities data can be seen on the chart below.

The Bridgeport Region ranks 20th for the US regions with the highest concentrations of nonprofit organizations according to Governing Magazine.  The Bridgeport metro area has a total of 1,391 nonprofits, which translates to 14.7 per 10,000 population.

The number of nonprofits in towns near Norwalk are:

City # of Charities Value of Assets
Dance, CT 1 $1,269,405
Darien, CT 224 $538,642,219
Darlen, CT 1 $11,084,872
East Norwalk, CT 1 $108,667
Fairfield, CT 342 $2,947,055,634
Georgetown, CT 16 $5,607,875
Glenbrook, CT 1 $645,793
Greens Farms, CT 11 $148,933,167
New Canaan, CT 235 $1,093,350,329
Noroton, CT 1 $7,042,063
Norwalk, CT 437 $1,194,597,542
Rowayton, CT 22 $12,606,132
S Norwalk, CT 1
South Norwalk, CT 5 $25,145,008
Southport, CT 62 $82,160,995
Stamford, CT 809 $4,561,483,886
Stanford, CT 3 $300,185
Stmaford, CT 1 $1,815,471
West Redding, CT 6 $11,993,703
Weston, CT 93 $61,920,069
Westport, CT 314 $1,463,592,749
Wilton, CT 170 $4,853,979,403

The magazine studied all of the regions in the United States to try to determine why some regions have more charities than others, and they found some interesting results. "What we found was that the concentration of locally focused nonprofits doesn’t just vary from one part of the country to another -- it varies a lot. The top 10 metro areas on our list have more than twice the number of nonprofits per capita as all those in the bottom quarter."

Other regions in the top 20 according to Governor Magazine include:

Metro Area Nonprofits
Nonprofits Per 10k Pop
Barnstable Town, MA 517 24.2
Pittsfield, MA 286 22.6
Santa Fe, NM 285 19
Missoula, MT 219 18.4
Ithaca, NY 187 18.2
Springfield, IL 358 17.2
Trenton, NJ 634 17.1
Bismarck, ND 222 16.7
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 366 16.6
Madison, WI 1,094 16.6
Napa, CA 231 16.6
Boulder, CO 538 16.5
Duluth, MN-WI 447 16
Fairbanks, AK 157 15.9
Great Falls, MT 130 15.9
Glens Falls, NY 198 15.8
Jefferson City, MO 234 15.4
Portland-South Portland, ME 813 15.2
Anchorage, AK 595 14.9
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 1,391 14.7


Other Connecticut regions on the list include:

  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford with 1,576 nonprofits
  • New Haven-Milford with 1,082 nonprofits
  • Norwich-New London with 318 nonprofits

The governing analysis is based on data published by The National Center for Charitable Statistics.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Charities Thu, 15 Aug 2019 04:30:00 -0400
59 Area Nonprofits Receive Over $1.2 Million in Grants from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has announced the details for its most recent grantmaking cycle, which distributed funds to area nonprofits this summer.  Competitive grants totaling $1,274,091were awarded to 59 nonprofit organizations who align with the Community Foundation’s result areas and its vision to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County by eliminating disparities in income, education, employment, housing and health.

The Community Foundation’s strategic plan, now in its second year, focuses on fostering a vital and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive while promoting philanthropy as a means to create lasting change in Fairfield County.

The dedication and generosity of our donors to advance our mission to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County is humbling, inspiring and exciting. It is gratifying to announce the distribution of over $1.2 million during this grantmaking season to nonprofits who are creating lasting change and working collectively to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County. Helping to advance the work of these critical nonprofit organizations is a privilege and an honor for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation,” stated Juanita James, CEO & President, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation’s result areas drive where the organization focuses its competitive grantmaking, community leadership work, and fundraising efforts. The types of grants include specific program support, capacity building support and general operating support. The following is a breakdown of recent grants by result area:

Result Area: All Fairfield County residents have safe, stable, healthy and affordable housing in communities of opportunity

Total Grants Awarded: $266,250

In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent the Community Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting and sustaining thriving communities and ensuring equitable access to safe, healthy and affordable housing for all Fairfield County residents. Grantees include Bridgeport Rescue Mission ($10,000); Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness ($25,000); Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center ($15,000); Five Frogs, Inc. ($15,000); Housing Development Fund, Inc. ($10,000); Inspirica, Inc ($20,000);

Neighbor-to-Neighbor ($5,000); Open Door Shelter ($20,000); Operation Hope ($25,000); Pacific House ($20,000); Person-to-Person ($20,000); Rapid Results Institute ($9,250); STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way ($15,000); Supportive Housing Works ($25,000); The Hartford Food System ($10,000); and United Way of Western CT-Danbury Office ($22,000).

Rapid Results Institute, for example, will be utilizing its grant to support their participation with a team from Fairfield County in the CT Youth Homelessness 100-Day Challenge. Housing Development Fund, Inc. will be concentrating on its First Time Homebuyer Program and utilizing the grant in that regard.

Result Area: All Fairfield County older youth and young adults have training and credentials that lead to meaningful career opportunities

Total Grants Awarded: $172,500

Young people in Fairfield County often graduate without the skills or preparation needed to secure a living-wage job. By aligning youth with educational tools and job opportunities, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Thrive by 25 aims to empower every young adult to achieve self-sufficiency by age 25 — strengthening the future of our whole community. Several organizations advancing that objective were selected for grants, including: Abilis, Inc ($25,000); Cardinal Shehan Center ($20,000); Connecticut Science Center ($20,000); Construction Workforce Initiative ($22,500); Family Center Services ($20,000); Laurel House ($20,000); Norwalk Community College Foundation ($20,000); and Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers ($25,000).

With these grants, Abilis, Inc. will be supporting their Life Skills Satellites in Stamford and Ridgefield, while Family Center Services will be focusing this funding on their Reaching Independence through Employment Program (RITE).

Result Area: All Fairfield County students graduate with a high school degree and are prepared for post-secondary education and employment.

Total Grants Awarded: $277,000

In this result area, the Community Foundation awarded grants to organizations that represent an ongoing commitment to education support to close the opportunity gap. The grants were awarded to Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich ($25,000);Community Center, Inc. ($20,000);Creative Youth Productions, Inc.($25,000);English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County ($22,000);Stamford Peace Youth Foundation ($15,000); United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for their Norwalk ACTS - Cradle to Career initiative ($50,000) and for their Bridgeport Prospers initiative ($30,000);United Way of Western CT($30,000);United We Dream, Inc.($25,000);University of New Haven($15,000); and Wakeman Boys & Girls Club ($15,000).

United We Dream, Inc. will be supporting its College Access Program focusing on Fairfield County high school partnerships.


Result Area: All Fairfield County women and girls are economically secure, healthy and safe

Total Grants Awarded: $510,823

Through Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women & Girls (FWG), philanthropists come together to invest in sustainable solutions that support the safety, health and economic security of women and girls across Fairfield County. The Fund for Women & Girls awarded $319,663 for its continued commitment to the Family Economic Security Program through the Housatonic Community College Foundation. Additional grants were made to Bridgeport Generation Now ($1,360); Bridgeport Hospital Foundation ($40,000); Connecticut Women's Education & Legal Fund for the CT Collective for Women and Girls ($15,000) and for its Legal Education Program ($17,000); Family & Children's Agency ($30,000); Liberation Programs, Inc. ($40,000); Norwalk Community Health Center ($30,000); People for the American Way Foundation ($1,000); Stamford Museum & Nature Center ($5,000); Women's Campaign School at Yale University ($1,800); and YWCA Greenwich ($10,000).

Bridgeport Hospital Foundation will direct this grant to their Prenatal Care: Not Just for Babies program and Liberation Programs, Inc. will be supporting a Craft Traine Family Therapist.


Result Area: Advocacy, Capacity Building and Environment

Total Grants Awarded: $47,518

Nonprofit organizations received a total of $47,518 as part of the Community Foundation’s Community Advocacy and Capacity Building and Environment initiatives. Those organizations receiving grants include: Bridgeport Generation Now ($1,500); Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County ($2,000); Connecticut Council for Philanthropy ($17,629); Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees ($1,250); Greenwich Historical Society ($5,000); Long Island Community Foundation for The Long Island Sound Stewardship Fund ($14,439); Norwalk Education Foundation ($1,500); Partnership for Strong Communities ($1,200); Remarkable STEAM, Inc. ($1,000); and Supportive Housing Works ($2,000).

Supportive Housing Works will use its grant to enhance its Fairfield County 100-Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness.

As a valuable best practice in the grantmaking process, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence educates and informs nonprofits on Results Based Accountability as a framework for articulating and measuring the changes they are working toward. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence is celebrating its 10th Anniversary of service to Fairfield County’s nonprofit community. A celebration is scheduled for November 13th at the Westport Public Library. In addition, on September 24th at The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien, Forward Fairfield County: A Day of Data-Driven Conversation, will offer presentations and discussions about two new research studies — the 2019 Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index and new research from The Fund for Women & Girls. Save the dates! Details will be announced soon. 

A complete list of grantees and information about applying for a grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is available at

]]> (Helen Koven) Charities Tue, 13 Aug 2019 10:41:16 -0400
The Sally: Adventures of a Norwalk Sloop During the American Revolution

Discover Norwalk’s maritime involvement during the War of Independence on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 2:00pm during the slide lecture: “The Sally: The Adventures of a Norwalk Sloop During the American Revolution”.  The lecture presented by local historian and longtime Norwalk Historical Society Board Member, Madeleine Eckert, will take place at the Townhouse at Mill Hill Historic Park – 2 East Wall Street Norwalk, CT. Tickets are $8.00 and can be purchased at the door the day of the lecture or RSVP at 203-846-0525.

Experience the true story of the “Sally,” a Norwalk merchant sloop that was converted into a Continental Sloop of War.  Discover Norwalk’s maritime importance during this critical period of our nation’s history.  Hear about the exploits of the Sally’s four successive captains, some of her crew and notable passengers as they dealt in espionage, raids against the enemy, and privateering along the treacherous “Devil’s Belt” of Long Island Sound.  After the lecture, join Madeleine Eckert for a short walk to Irving Freese Park, the site of embarkation for Nathan Hale’s spy mission – one of the “Sally’s” famous passengers and voyages!

For more information on visit, e-mail , or call 203-846-0525.  
The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

]]> (Norwalk Historical Society) Life Tue, 13 Aug 2019 07:32:34 -0400
City: Plastic Bags Cannot Go Into Recycling Bins

It has been one month since an ordinance prohibiting single-use plastic bags went into effect in Norwalk. City officials remind residents that any plastic bags in circulation cannot be placed into their blue recycling bins. To recycle any plastic bags, residents must drop them off at specific locations, such as local grocery stores.

“Not everything we buy can be recycled. We all must pay attention to what can be recycled and what should be otherwise thrown away,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “I encourage residents, as well as all City and school employees to recycle as much as they can and when possible, move to reusable products – like canvas tote bags and travel coffee mugs – instead of relying on paper and plastic.”

Over the last five years, the City’s recycling tonnage has increased to nearly 9,000 tons collected annually. All items placed into the recycling bin should be empty, rinsed, and clean. Do not box, bag or bundle items. Everything must fit inside of the container – do not stack items outside or on top of the blue bin. In addition to plastic bags and plastic wrap, single-use coffee pods, plastic straws, Styrofoam cups, paper cups, and packing peanuts cannot be recycled.

“When plastic bags or plastic film go into the recycling bins, it ultimately ends up in the solid waste stream,” explained Norwalk Waste Programs Manager Jessica Paladino. “Workers are manually sorting plastic out of the recycling process and removing it when it becomes clogged in the machines. This is labor intensive and dangerous to workers.”

Large rigid plastic items, clothing, shoes, electronic items, light bulbs (fluorescent or regular), scrap metal, waste oil, antifreeze, and batteries are not recycled curbside. Most of these items are recyclable at the Norwalk Transfer Station with a valid City of Norwalk Resident Pass or permit. Chemicals, gasoline, oil-based products and other items can be disposed of at the upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Norwalk High School between 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For a complete recycling list visit For more information contact the Customer Service Center at (203) 854-3200.

]]> (City of Norwalk) Life Fri, 09 Aug 2019 07:05:34 -0400
David Brighton to Bring the Best of David Bowie to Norwalk's Wall Street Theater

David Brighton's Space Oddity, the Internationally Acclaimed, Ultimate David Bowie Concert Experience will perform at the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk, on Friday, September 6th. Brighton's credits include performing side by side with David Bowie himself in the TV commercials for Vittel Mineral Water and for Reality - Bowie's CD.

"David Brighton has the voice, moves and look to actually step in for David Bowie if he were unavailable and few would ever know. Experiencing David Brighton's Tribute to David Bowie made for a truly remarkable evening…" says Harry Maslin, the Producer of David Bowie's YOUNG AMERICANS and STATION TO STATION Albums.

Brighton has been performing live concerts and making radio and television appearances worldwide as a celebrity look-alike/sound-alike since 1994. He's performed on bills with some of the biggest acts the world has known - including: Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Devo, Kenny Loggins, Three Dog Night, Little Richard and Barry Manilow. From the Superdome in New Orleans with bands like Chicago and KC & the Sunshine Band, to stadiums, arenas, concert halls, theaters, casinos, cruises, festivals, fairs, conventions, private functions and corporate events… touring extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados and Puerto Rico.

David has performed for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver… Brooke Shields, Dustin Hoffman, Martina McBride, Sylvester Stallone, Jay Leno, David Foster, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, Barbara Streisand, Quincy Jones, Lisa Marie Presley and Nicholas Cage... to name a few...

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

]]> (Tommy Thevenet) Events Wed, 07 Aug 2019 12:11:45 -0400
SoNo Sky Rooftop Bar Celebrates Grand Opening

SOUTH NORWALK, CT – South Norwalk restaurant and bar offerings have multiplied like crazy in recent years, but rooftop bars? Not so much. The new bar located atop the new Residence Inn by Marriott is changing that. South Norwalk now has an amazing addition to the neighborhood with SONO SKY located in the heart of the town. Developed by F.D. Rich & Company, SONO SKY is not only accessible to hotel guests but to non-hotel guests too. This new rooftop lounge transforms from day to night, with impeccable panoramic views of the Long Island Sound and the South Norwalk skyline that go from great to incredible at sunset.  

The lounge/bar will debut this Friday, August 9 and to celebrate the opening, guests will enjoy half-price beer, wine, and cocktails on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 from 5:00pm – 8:30pm. 

SONO SKY will serve as a convenient stop for a pre-dinner snack or a nightcap, encouraging guests to slow down, let the time pass, and savor the moment, cocktails, and the scenery. Menu offerings consists of shareable small plates and rotating Happy Hour specials will be offered daily. 

SONO SKY is located at 45 South Main Street in Norwalk. Open Monday through Thursday 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm – 11:00pm. Neighborhood lots and street parking is available.

Join the SONO SKY community by following them on Facebook and Instagram @sonoskyct

About F.D. Rich Company:

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, The F. D. Rich Company is a century old enterprise whose proud legacy has been built upon a long standing tradition of developing real estate projects of the highest caliber. With a rich history in city building, the company specializes in the creation of complex, urban mixed-use development projects. It partners with world renowned design firms in its quest for perfection and to create environments recognized for their superior quality and design.

]]> (Ria Rueda) Places Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:56:54 -0400