Community Soundings: Sports stars, A gala...

On April 29, Ox Ridge School sent its first “Unified Sports” team to the state meet in New Haven. Students with and without special needs practiced and played side by side.

Students that participated include Grace Sandoval, Tommy Aysseh, Ella Harvey, Gabriella Galuzzo, Nicholas Salerno, Georgia Procaccini and Cece Cummins.

The team was supported by a grant from Special Olympics of Connecticut and Ox Ridge hopes to expand the program in the years to come.

Aquarium gala nets $720k

More than $720,000 will be available to help present The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s environmental-education programming to students in the tri-state area, following the Aquarium’s “Cirque de la Mer” fundraiser April 20.

The annual gala replenishes a scholarship fund that helps to make the Aquarium and its unique marine-science and environmental-education programs available to schools in the tri-state area regardless of their ability to pay.

More than 400 guests attended this year’s gala, which featured cocktails in the Aquarium galleries, a sit-down dinner, and silent and live auctions. Many Darien residents attended, including Ann Gilmartin, Matt Robertson, Debbie Olsen, Timothy Stisser, Lauren Stisser, Richard Hokin, Lauren Hokin and Sam Fuller.

Chamber hosts panel

The Darien Chamber of Commerce’s subject for its 2017 Business Panel Discussion is “Stay Relevant in Today’s Changing Marketplace.”

The panel is made up of four successful local business owners who are ready to share their knowledge on trends and tips on navigating the changing world of commerce: Cindy Palmer Dean, owner and creative director of Palmer’s Market in Darien; Doug Campbell, author and national speaker; Brian Jarvis, a SCORE volunteer in retail consulting and author; and Peter Belbita, founder of Noble House Creative Group, a marketing and technology specialty firm.

The format is a Q&A format with moderator Mark Rosenbloom, the DCC board chairman and vice president of First County Bank.

“Stay Relevant in Today’s Changing Marketplace” Business Panel Discussion will take place at the Darien Library on May 17. Check-in is at 5:30 p.m. to submit any questions and the discussion will begin at 5:45, followed by networking with the panelists and other small business owners.

Bulk pickup program

The Darien Department of Public Works will continue its bulk pickup program by appointment again this spring.

Pickup will be by appointment only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays ending June 7. Each residence is restricted to a single pickup per calendar year.

Residents should have their debris placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the day of their scheduled pickup. No pickups will be made at addresses on private streets (unless property has road frontage on public street and material is placed along public road frontage).

Items are limited to those too large for transport by a passenger car or SUV.

The following items will not be accepted:

*Hazardous waste.

*Sealed containers or barrels.

*Liquid wastes or paint

*Propane tanks, fire extinguishers or other pressure vessels

*Pathological or medical waste

*Logs, stumps, leaves, grass clippings or brush

*Batteries (bring to Transfer Station).

*Drywall (gypsum board, sheet rock or wall board)

*Wood items must be less than four feet long and six inches in diameter.