Community Soundings: A spelling bee, a new office and more

Jackie Nevin of Darien and her kids, Grace, 4, and William, 2, enjoy being dirty at the Open Art Studio for Kids at Grace Farms in New Canaan on Feb. 25.
Jackie Nevin of Darien and her kids, Grace, 4, and William, 2, enjoy being dirty at the Open Art Studio for Kids at Grace Farms in New Canaan on Feb. 25.Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media

The Darien Spelling Bee is a community-wide event to raise money for the Darien Depot and ensure the doors remain open.

The eighth annual Darien Community Spelling Bee will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

The spelling bee is organized into teams, each with three members. Teams compete in rounds, with the winning team of each round participating in the championship round. Trophies will be presented to the winning team and a plaque acknowledging their 2017 bee achievement will hang in The Depot for years to come.

The Darien Spelling Bee does not involve “solo spelling.” Team members consult on a team response. Some teams choose to study the spelling words on the website provided to contestants; others choose a casual approach, but everyone is guaranteed to have a great time, especially the fans in the audience.

The Depot is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to providing Darien teenagers with a supervised substance free environment in which to socialize. The Depot also serves as the town’s designated Youth Service Bureau.

A grant for P2P

A longtime supporter of Person-to-Person, the Near & Far Aid Association, has awarded a $25,000 grant for the P2P Emergency Assistance Program.

The Emergency Assistance Program is at the core of the P2P service offering, providing food, clothing, financial assistance, crisis counseling and referrals to clients.

With locations in Norwalk and Darien, P2P helps nearly 25,000 men, women and children each year and is dedicated to eliminating the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County.

The dean’s list

Two Darien residents have been named to the dean’s list at Clemson University in South Carolina for the fall semester. Robert Andrew Maley Jr. is majoring in marketing, and Katherine Bridget Tyrrell is majoring in communication.

To be named to the dean’s list, students must achieve a grade-point average between 3.50 and 3.99 on a 4.0 scale.

Darien’s Liliana Saffa, a performance major, was named to the dean’s list in Ithaca College’s School of Music for the fall semester at the New York school.

Darien residents Caitlin Burke and Nikolas Cirillo, members of the class of 2017, were named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

To qualify for the dean’s list at Loyola, a student must achieve a minimum quality-point average of at least 3.5 for the term, provided they have successfully completed courses totaling a minimum of 15 credits.

Moving offices

Lawley, among the largest independent insurance brokers in the United States, is moving its Darien office down the road.

Lawley has had a presence in Darien since 2014, after the merger with what was then known as DFM Insurance. The new Lawley Darien office will be located on the third floor of 22 Thorndal Circle, just a half mile down the road from the most recent address at 10 Corbin Drive.

Staff will remain operational and available during the move.

Headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., Lawley has branch offices across New York in Amherst, Batavia, Fredonia, Melville, Purchase and Rochester, along with Darien and Florham Park, N.J.