Community Soundings: P2P names directors emeriti, Happily engaged...

Seven community members have been named directors emeriti by the Person-to-Person Board: Darien residents Wilder Gleason, Judy Kilmartin and Jan Smith; Stamford residents Patricia Phillips and Rebecca Wilson; Greenwich’s Judy Nemec; and New Canaan’s William Taggart.

P2P was established in 1968 to provide low-income individuals and families living in Lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services. With offices in Darien and Norwalk, the Person-to-Person service area includes Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

Gleason has been involved with P2P as a volunteer since his daughter helped start the Youth Group almost 20 years ago. In 2008, Gleason joined the P2P Board, working on the Finance Committee, serving as chair of the Emergency Assistance Committee and leading the Building Committee for renovation of the Darien facility before moving into the position of board president.

Under his board leadership, P2P successfully completed a merger with Christian Community Action in Norwalk. Given his love of and commitment to the agency, Gleason decided to stay on after stepping down as president, serving as a contributing member of the Development Committee before heading up the committee implementing plans to deliver P2P programs and services to more people in the Stamford community.

Kilmartin worked with P2P for more than 26 years, sitting as an ex-officio board member through most of that time until her retirement in 2010. Beginning as the volunteer coordinator, Kilmartin rose to the position of director of volunteers and assistant director. She currently serves as an unofficial advisor to both the director of volunteers and the executive director, as well as a goodwill ambassador for P2P in the community.

Kilmartin continues to volunteer on fundraising committees and in the Darien Food Pantry.

Smith is a former member of OPUS for P2P, from its founding days. She is also a former secretary, vice president and president of the P2P Board. During her presidency, Smith oversaw the decision to renovate the Darien site and led the capital campaign to fund the renovation.

Smith chaired the Scholarship Committee for several years, hosting the annual reception to honor graduating P2P Scholars at her home. She is still active on the Programs Committee and is the head of a scholarship candidates interview team.

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Turner, of Darien, announce the engagement of their daughter Bethany Hope Turner to Vitaly Fefelov, son of Sozon and Lydia Fefelov, of Nikolaevsk, Alaska.

Turner, a graduate of American University, is a marketing coordinator at The Philanthropy Roundtable in Washington, D.C. Fefelov graduated from Georgetown University and works at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, D.C.

A June wedding is planned for 2018 in Napa, Calif.

Darien’s Jared Garner and Tucker White received degrees during the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s spring commencement ceremonies, May 11-12.

Garner earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the College of Letters and Science. White earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering mechanics from the College of Engineering.

On June 27 and 28, The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Program sponsored a “Youth Mental Health First Aid” training for local teenagers to equip them with skills to recognize and respond to the unique risks posed by a teenager’s mental health crisis.

Darien and Norwalk teens, parents and youth workers gathered in Noroton Presbyterian Church for the eight-hour training to learn about mental illness and how to help a teen in need.

The lectures included role play and simulations to ultimately teach the participants how to recognize and deal with mental illness. These illnesses include anxiety, depression and eating disorders. About 20 percent of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood and 40 percent of adults experience some form of anxiety in their day-to-day lives.

The participant evaluation indicated that the training was a huge success and many individuals left feeling empowered and knowledgeable about mental health. Given the success of the first training, The Community Fund of Darien plans to offer the course again multiple times throughout the coming year to Darien teens in the hope that many more will participate.

Anyone interested in participating or learning more can contact Emily Larkin at

Two Darien natives made the Union College dean’s list. Created annually, Union College students with at least a 3.50 grade-point average are honored with the academic achievement.

Caroline McGuire, a member of the class of 2018, is majoring in classics and anthropology. Anne Sullivan, a member of the class of 2019, is majoring in English.

Darien natives Katherine C. Feehan, Olivia A. Hoyda, Katherine A. Lineberger, Charles D. Mitchell and Katarina Pesa were awarded faculty honors for the spring semester at Trinity College in Hartford. Faculty honors are awarded to students with a semester GPA of at least 3.667 on four graded courses, with no individual grade below B-, and no incomplete grades pending.

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 or 203-517-3346.