Community Fund meeting focuses on mental health

On Sept. 26, the Community Fund of Darien’s Human Services Planning Council held the first meeting of the year to discuss co-occurring disorders and addiction. The discussion focused on giving participants an understanding of the relationship between mental health and substance abuse, the prevalence of co-occurring disorders, and the treatment and recovery options available in the community.

Panelists who participated in the meeting included Dr. John Douglas, of Silver Hill Hospital; Linda Autore, of Laurel House; Cary Ostrow, of Liberation Programs; Melodie Keen, of CT Renaissance; Trey Laird, of the Lighthouse, and Ingrid Gillespie, of Communities 4 Action.

The planning council is comprised of representatives from the public schools, government, clergy and local nonprofits. The monthly meetings feature guest speakers and panelists who educate the members on relevant topics of interest, answer questions and stimulate discussion. The meetings take place monthly at the Mather Center, 2 Renshaw Road. The planning council’s October meeting will focus on the results of the Youth Asset Survey and what can be done as a community to support youth.

For information, visit

Fireside fundraiser set

for Saturday

The Darien Nature Center’s annual fundraiser, Fireside, will take place Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. The event will feature a bonfire, food by Amanda Smith Catering, live music by the Uninvited, signature cocktails from Barr Hill liquors and RIPE Bar Juice, a silent auction, and lots of adult fun all around.

Baywater Properties and Callari Auto Group are lead sponsors of the evening. The planning committee is led by Darien residents and Nature Center board members Cindy Handy and Jayne Jepsen. Other local businesses supporting the Nature Center event with financial sponsorship include: Darien Bank and Trust, Dental Arts of Darien, Sail to Sable, Swimm Pools, Cove Tent Co., Bartlett Tree Experts, Cummings & Lockwood Attorneys, Matthew Dougherty Architect LLC, the Livengood family, Pediatric Dentistry LCC, the Meyer Family, and Chris and Rachel Taylor.

In addition, more than 50 local businesses or individuals are providing in-kind support in helping the Nature Center reach its event fundraising goal of $75,000.

Fireside tickets are $125 and can be purchased at, or call 203-655-7459.

Smith display concludes art lecture series

This year’s DCA Art Lecture Series, “Human Form in Space: Sculpture,” will conclude with David Smith’s figures on Thursday.

The lecture begins at 11 a.m., with a luncheon to follow at the Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road.

Presenter Joan Pachner, author of “David Smith (1906 - 1965),” will continue the series. In 1933, Smith altered the course of American sculpture by welding together pieces of metal, a process used on car assembly lines, not in artist studios. His inspiration was a photograph he had seen in a French magazine of a welded steel sculpture from 1928 by Pablo Picasso, which set the young artist on a course to ignore rules that had governed and inhibited sculptors for centuries.

Characterized by a seemingly endless flow of formal inventions, Smith’s goal was never complete abstraction; he was continually inspired by the human figure, although he did dismantle and reimagine its form. He envisioned his work as a continuation of the flow of visual history reaching back to prehistoric times. This talk will focus on sculptures from each decade of Smith’s revolutionary career, each intended as an example of his challenging, often humorous, reinterpretation of the human figure.

P2P to celebrate 50 years

To commemorate “50 years of Transforming Lives,” Person-to-Person will celebrate its golden anniversary with the Transforming Lives gala on Nov. 17 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich. Tickets are on sale.

To mark this milestone year, Person-to-Person will honor three longstanding supporters: Lone Pine Foundation Inc., for its continued commitment to helping Person-to-Person grow and expand to meet the increasing community needs; Kaye and James Barker and the volunteers of OPUS for Person-to-Person.

Event chairs Doon Foster, Kristina Gregory, Judy Kilmartin and Kelly Wheeler are overseeing the gala committee of more than 35 volunteers and P2P supporters.

The gala will feature a cocktail hour, a sit-down dinner, live band, dancing and auction, with approximately 500 in attendance. Guests will include volunteers, supporters and sponsors who have been pivotal to the program’s 50-year success.

Proceeds will support P2P programs, serving more than 24,000 individuals annually. By helping families in crisis, P2P provides a pathway out of poverty for people seeking long-term stability.

Enrollments, dean’s list

Emma Seely, of Darien, enrolled at James Madison University as part of the Class of 2022.

Kyle Cornell, of Darien, was named to the spring semester dean’s list at Bryant University.