“Choose Love” day in Darien honored Friday, Aug. 31 with Summer Nights fundraising concert

Jesse Lewis, a victim of the 2012 Newtown school shooting, with his mother Scarlett, a Darien native. Darien Choose Love day on Friday, Aug. 31 day is a partnership with Lewis’s Choose Love Movement. 

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement will team up with Darien Summer Nights for a special concert fundraiser featuring The Spadtastics on Aug. 31, 2018 at Tilley Pond Park from 6 to 10 p.m.. The fundraiser also includes live music by Free Flow and special guest, Doug AllenPlus, a photo booth, face painting, food trucks and Choose Love merchandise.

After Darien native Scarlett Lewis’ 6 year-old son was killed in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, her friends from Darien High School rallied around to support her. Nearly six years later, they’re even more committed to Being Part of the Solution and spreading the Choose Love message.

David Genovese, CEO of Baywater Properties, who, together with PG Properties, is underwriting this event, said: “We are in awe of the way in which Scarlett has transformed her tragedy into such a positive global platform in Jesse’s honor. As a community, we need to Be Part of the Solution to protect our children and teach them to be connected, compassionate and resilient.  They are the future.”

The Jesse Lewis Choose Movement is a charitable organization with a mission to ensure that every child has access to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  We do this in honor of Jesse and to spread the message he left on his family’s chalkboard –Nurturing, Healing Love.

Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson stated: “As a mother of 5 children, I can’t imagine what Scarlet and her family have had to endure.  What I do know is that helping our children strengthen their social and emotional resilience will be proven to be one of the most powerful ways to ensure we have a society of healthy, compassionate and empathetic people. That is why I’m officially proclaiming August 31st – Darien Chooses Love Day. ”

The Choose Love Enrichment program is a preK – 12th grade SEL curriculum that teaches kids how to get along, how to have healthy and positive relationships, deep and meaningful connections, skills and tools for resilience, emotional management, conflict resolution and responsible decision-making, among other qualities.  Donations, grants and volunteers enable the Choose Love Enrichment Program to be offered to schools at no cost. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, please make a donation on The Impact Vine: https://theimpactvine.org/nonprofit/jesse-lewis-choose-love-movement/

“I’m so grateful to the Genoveses, the Glassmeyers and everyone else who has worked tirelessly to make this event a successful fundraiser,” said Lewis.  “I’ve dedicated my life to spreading awareness of the solution to the issues our children face today. I’m so grateful to my hometown for marking August 31st Darien Chooses Love Day. There’s no greater mission than focusing on whole child development and keeping our children safe. SEL = Safer schools.”