Darien country western band Gunsmoke recently raised $2,000 for hurricane relief in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico through its Music for Hope Hurricane Relief Concert held on Oct. 20 at the Piedmont Club of Darien.

Formed by brothers Jeff and Nick DeMaio Jr. of Darien, Gunsmoke has been performing classic country, western, swing and rockabilly music for over 25 years and includes band members Christina Mae, Van Mankas and Nick DeMaio III.

The Law, a classic rock and soul band, also performed at the hurricane relief concert

Half of the money will be donated to the American Red Cross and the remaining $1,000 will go to the charity Samaritan’s Purse.

Gunsmoke established Music for Hope in 2010 to raise funds to fight cancer on both the local and national level. With the recent advent of three major hurricanes affecting Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, Gunsmoke is redirecting its focus for the first time, to the thousands in those areas now living without much hope.

Tow Times magazine and Ford Trucks announce that Bill’s Auto Body of Darien Inc., won first place in the working truck category in the 2017 Shine ‘n Star Tow Truck Photo Beauty Contest.

The family-owned and -operated company’s 2005 Kenworth T800 chassis with a Century 50-ton towing unit stood out among hundreds of entries received from around the U.S. and Canada.

The white tow truck with a custom psychedelic flame and swirl vinyl wrap got the thumbs up from a panel of towing industry judges who voted it the best looking working tow truck in the 26th Annual Shine ‘n Star Tow Truck Photo Beauty Contest, powered by Ford Trucks.

The truck, which Billy Parker, the third-generation co-owner of Bill’s Auto Body, bought used several years ago, has over 280,000 miles, placing it in the working truck category. Working trucks must have over 150,000 miles. Parker had the engine rebuilt and puts the Kenworth to good use nearly every day.

This is the second time in as many years the Darien company has taken home a Shine ‘n Star prize. In 2015, the company’s 2012 Peterbilt 388 with a Century 60-ton rotator won second place in the heavy-duty tow truck category.

The annual Shine ‘n Star Tow Truck Photo Beauty Contest taps into towing operators’ pride in their fleet, providing an opportunity to show off the beauty and brawn of their equipment.

Tow Times received hundreds of entries from around the country and Canada, with 16 winners in five different categories.

Earlier this month, the Tree Conservancy of Darien planted 29 new trees and 12 shrubs at the Darien Police Station, Veterans Cemetery, the Darien Community Association and the Center Street north parking lot.

The Growing Concern, a Darien landscaper, helped with the installation and donated four large holly trees to the police station.

The Tree Conservancy of Darien is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tree resources of Darien for the benefit of the community, its health and its quality of life. Since its inception in 2010, it has planted over 500 trees in Darien.

Darien’s Dana Goodfellow, an award-winning painter and instructor, generously donated her painting, “Island Lighthouse,” to the Rowayton Arts Center’s holiday raffle.

The Holiday Gift Show, which opens Saturday, is a Rowayton tradition. Goodfellow’s painting, valued at $3,200, will be included the the annual raffle, which supports the Art Center and its educational outreach projects.

Raffle tickets will be available online (rowaytonarts.org) and at the Holiday Gift Show

in the gallery starting Saturday and will continue until the drawing on Dec. 24.

Mount Everett, near Sheffield, Mass., served as the training ground for Darien’s Troop 53 Nov. 11-12.

Eleven Boy Scouts completed 4-mile trek designed to increase awareness of managing heat, hydration, blood sugar and sensory input, such as foot care. The introduction to backpacking group arrived at the trailhead in 14-degree weather to begin the ascent to meet an advanced hiking group at the Glen Brook campsite where they all winter camped without using tents.

Six additional Boy Scouts traveled an advanced 10-mile route over Bear Mountain as part of their preparation for the group’s next high adventure trip this summer. The crews met up and pitched trail tarps to block the north wind

Seven adults with skills in backpacking, trail cooking, wilderness first aid and leadership development guided the Scouts’ journey.

The American Red Cross encourages people to share their good health this holiday season by donating blood for patients in need.

A decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors are busy with holiday activities and travel. However, patients don’t get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:


Nov. 18, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Cesar A. Batalla School, 606 Howard Ave.


Nov. 22, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Fairfield Public Schools Central Office, 501 Kings Highway

Nov. 24, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Church of the Assumption, 545 Stratfield Road


Nov. 22, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Greenwich Hospital, 5 Perryridge Road

New Canaan

Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., St. Aloysius Church, 21 Cherry St.


Nov. 17, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Ave.

Nov. 28, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Norwalk City Hall, East Ave.


Nov. 24, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy, 4 Largo Drive

Nov. 25, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 1184 Newfield Ave.

By giving blood or platelets, donors may give patients more time — and more holidays — with loved ones. Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In partnership with At Home In Darien, the Darien High School football captains have extended a special invitation to senior citizens to attend the DHS home games with free admission.

The Blue Wave football team, led by Captains Nick Green, Brian Minicus, Michael Neary, and Mitchell Pryor, is excited to welcome senior fans to this season’s home games and look forward to seeing them cheer in the stands.

Admission to home games will be free to Darien seniors aged 65 and older, and handicapped accessible space will be available.

At Home In Darien, a nonprofit dedicated to providing services and aid for seniors, will arrange transportation with its sedan and van service for those who need it. To arrange a ride or for more information, call the At Home In Darien office at (203) 655-2227.

Upcoming home games:

Nov. 23 at 10:30 p.m. vs. New Canaan

Jan Dilenschneider, a Darien landscape artist who has championed the cause of preserving the environment in exhibits worldwide, will display her paintings in a new show titled “Paint the Beautiful World” at Stamford’s Palace Theatre.

The show, which will runs through Dec. 31, is in the recently-refurbished Sackler Gallery and in Café Teatro at The Palace Theatre.

For her exhibit at The Palace, the expressionist painter has divided the paintings into themes based on the idea behind the works:

Decalcomania is a series where one surface is painted and then pressed onto or printed onto a second surface, either canvas or aluminum. This gives texture and a haunting mirror image that can be worked on.

Homage to Leaves is themed to help the viewer appreciate the beauty of the everyday leaf.

Reeds, Rivers and Reflections highlights her fascination with the landscape, its colors, variations and the reflections in water.

Dilenschneider, who with her husband, Robert, developed The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts, which rescues artists and arts scholars from repressive regimes around the world. The award is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the largest international exchange organizations in the world, and has provided life-saving fellowships that have taken oppressed artists and their families out of danger and allowed them to create and flourish.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur, and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

Submissions will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the IMAGES 2018 show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15, 2018.

For rules and details, visitgogophotocontest.com/fairfieldmuseumimages2018.

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, which serves children in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, is seeking additional volunteers for its Youth, Empowerment, & Support Mentoring Program.

The YES Mentoring Program supports children 6 to 18 who are involved in System of Care in Stamford and Norwalk. CGC’s System of Care program helps families access integrated services to meet complex needs and safely maintain children at home.

Through YES, youth will have the opportunity to interact and participate in fun, age-appropriate activities with a positive role model. While the mentor is spending quality time with the child/teen, parents will have some time to themselves.

Each YES session lasts 12 weeks, and youth will meet with their mentor for three hours a week. Every mentor will complete thorough interview, orientation, and background checks. The mentor and family will work together to develop a convenient schedule of enjoyable activities for the child.

To learn more about the YES Mentoring Program or to volunteer, contact Sheila Figueroa at sheila.figueroa@childguidancect.org or 203-517-3346.