Mother Nature seemed to cooperate by providing some much-needed rain during Tree Conservancy of Darien’s planting of 25 trees at the Spring Grove and Veteran’s cemeteries. Tree Conservancy’s most recent project along Hecker Avenue and the Post Road in Darien was completed during the week of Nov. 28.

Tree Conservancy of Darien is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tree and forest resources of Darien for the benefit of the community, its health and its quality of life. Since the nonprofit’s inception in 2010, TCD has planted 335 trees in Darien. Its goals are to educate the community about the value of trees and their care, replace Darien trees lost to disease, construction and storms, maintain the care of new and existing trees and build partnerships with town organizations.

For more information or to donate to the conservancy, visit or email them at info@treeconservancy

Among the graduates

Kelly Keating, of Darien, graduated from Roger Williams University last spring. She earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in elementary education from the Providence, R.I. school.

Darien native Marcus D’Iorio graduated from Ohio’s Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services over the summer.

A grant to dance

The Darien Arts Center recently received a grant from The Community Fund of Darien for its Danceabilities dance program for those with disabilities. Founded in 1975, the Darien Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing visual and performing arts programs and events for the community.

Danceabilities, a creative movement class for children and adults, was started in 2009 by DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos and DAC dance instructor Marie Maccarone. The program has 17 students.

In addition to Gombos and Maccarone, Elizabeth Hall and Jordan Cassetta teach Danceabilities classes with many volunteer assistants at the DAC Weatherstone Studio and the Andrew Shaw Scout Cabin in Darien.

The classes provide a supportive learning environment in which students explore the world of dance by using classical ballet, tap and modern techniques. They are specifically adapted to the varying capabilities of the students.

With the success of the Danceabilities program and through a new relationship with Star Inc., the DAC added an art program for those with disabilities in 2014. Artabilities, taught by DAC Visual Arts Director Beth Cherico, encourages students to create using varied media. It has 15 students that attend classes in the DAC Visual Arts Studio and at Star Inc.

For more information about Danceabilities or Artabilities classes call the DAC at 203-655-8683 or email The Darien Arts Center is at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.

Winter concerts are coming

The Holiday Winter Concerts put on by the music department of the Darien Public Schools continues. For additional information contact the Darien Music Department at 203-655-3981 ext. 2250 or visit

Dec. 12: Tokeneke Holiday Concert at 9:30 a.m.

Dec. 13: Holmes Holiday Concert at 9:30 a.m.

Dec. 14: DHS Holiday Spectrum Concert (Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Pops Strings, Concert Choir, Tudor Singers) at 7 p.m.

Dec. 15: Ox Ridge Holiday Concert at 9:45 a.m.

Geography champs

Fin Kehrli, an eighth grade student at Middlesex Middle School, won the school competition of the National Geographic Bee on Nov. 30 and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship.

The school bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee.

Eighth grader Alex DelVecchio was the runner-up. Other contestants were Anna Burgess, William Collins, Owen Coventry, James Leone, Brandon Liu, Adi Prashanth, Maggie Russell and Dominic Seibold.

Eleven thousand schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories are participating in the 2017 Bee. The school champions, including Kehrli, will take a qualifying test; up to 100 of the top scorers on that test in each state will then be eligible to compete in their state Bee on March 31.

‘Clara’s Dream’

“Clara’s Dream,” an abbreviated family-friendly version of “The Nutcracker” will be performed by students of the Darien School of Dance on Dec. 11 at Darien High School at 2 p.m. Dancers as young as 4 and up to teens will perform in this ever-popular holiday classic with a cast of more than 60 dancers.

This is the third annual Nutcracker performance for the group.

Before the performance, audience members will have the chance for a free photo opportunity with a Snowflake Ballerina.

Tickets for the 50-minute performance cost $20 and will be available Dec. 5. They can be purchased at the YWCA,, email or at the door.

At the DCA

The Darien Community Association is at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien. Reservations and payments can be made at or by contacting the DCA at 203-655-9050 ext. 10.

Christmas party with Santa: The DCA welcomes Santa back to Mom’s Morning In annual Christmas Party on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.

Parents and caregivers and their toddlers/preschoolers are welcome to join for some holiday cheer, and to take the classic photos that are a must every year.

The highlight of the party will be the visit with Santa, set against the backdrop of a full-size Christmas tree nestled within the historic DCA Meadowlands home.

When there’s a line, adults will find plenty of chairs, and toddlers will have some little things to keep them occupied, including holiday cookies and juice.

The DCA’s Mom’s Morning In programs are held monthly on Fridays at 10 a.m.; reservations are not required. Fees are $10 per child per class.

Collecting for P2P Toy Store

For the 21st year, Person-to-Person will be hosting the Holiday Toy Store in December. With the support of a dedicated volunteer organizing committee, scores of volunteers and countless generous donors, more than 2,100 children will have a holiday that is merry and bright.

For low-income clients who struggle throughout the year to provide basic necessities such as food and clothing, the holidays can be particularly stressful. But with Toy Store, parents are able to select a free toy and book for each child plus a board game for the family to enjoy.

If you would like to stage a toy drive or donate unwrapped gifts, please contact Janet King at P2P Darien, 203-621-0683, or Susan Zelman at P2P Norwalk, 203-621-0703. Gifts for all ages — birth to 15 years — are appreciated.