Community Soundings: The Depot to host annual fundraiser; Genealogy program offered at library

The Depot to host annual fundraiser

The Depot Darien Youth Center will host its annual winter fundraiser on Feb. 9 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Darien Community Association.

The Apres-Ski themed evening will celebrate and support the longest-running teen center in the nation, where Darien's youth can connect, learn, grow and give back.

Those who cannot attend can still bid on items by registering online.

Tickets available now at

Genealogy program offered at library

The Middlesex Genealogical Society and the Darien Library will present a free genealogy program “More Than Metes the Eye, Using Land Records in Your Research,” with Edwin W Strickland, on Jan. 26 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the library, 1441 Post Road.

The presentation will open with a discussion of land ownership from the right of the king through royal charters, grants and proprietor’s records to individual ownership. After reviewing the differences between metes and bounds and rectilinear survey systems, attendees will examine several case studies show how the land records can answer some genealogical questions.

Strickland has over 40 years experience as both an amateur and professional genealogist. He was raised by his grandparents on a farm owned by the Strickland family since 1789. In 2000, he began to take on clients professionally and since 2006, he has shifted his focus to teaching and lecturing. His own research has focused on his ancestral lines, the descendants of Jacob Carter of Branford, the Strickland families “north of the Mason-Dixon Line” and the families of Otis, Mass.

There will be a 1 p.m. social hour to chat with fellow genealogists or discuss problems. This program is free and open to the public.

‘The Age of Plastic’ film showing

In 1907, an American chemist created a synthetic plastic and made a transformative discovery that changed our way of life.

The story of that invention — the material known as Bakelite — is the subject of a new documentary, “All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic,” which will be shown at the Darien Historical Society on Jan. 13 at 3 p.m., according to a news release.

After the 60-minute film, producer and irector John Maher, a former resident of Darien, will discuss the making of the film and answer questions.

Leo Hendrik Baekeland, known as “The Father of Modern Plastics,” ushered in a new era of man-made materials that marked the beginning of our own modern industrial age.

“His invention had a huge impact on our lives, and his peers were the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford,” said Hugh Karraker, executive director of the film and Baekeland’s great-grandson.

Drawing from original sources, Maher, of JEM Films, fashioned the script from Baekeland’s personal handwritten diaries. His story comes alive through accurate historical re-enactments, rare archival footage, photos, first-person accounts, interviews with scientists, historians, and artists.

The program is free for members and $5 for nonmembers. Register online at, or call 203.655.9233 for information.

Pollinator Pathway launch party set for Jan. 23

The Darien Pollinator Pathway will be hosting a wine and cheese evening at the Gardener’s Center and Florist on Jan. 23. The event is free and open to everyone.

It will feature two classes by the Gardener’s Center: a native seed planting class presented by Kris Barker, and a class in floral design using native flowers presented by Kate O’Keefe. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first class starts at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a raffle, with prizes including a magnificent bottle of wine donated by Sipstirs and a landscaping consultation with O’Keefe.

The Darien Pollinator Pathway is a collaboration of residents from various groups in town, including the Darien Nature Center, the Garden Club of Darien, the Gardener’s Center and Florist and the Darien Library. The goal of the collaboration is to provide habitat and nutrition on both public and private properties across Darien to birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinating creatures that move pollen among plants allowing for new growth.

These pollinator-friendly properties use no toxic products in their landscaping and have at least one native plant species. As the Darien Pathway grows, it will connect with the greater Fairfield County Pollinator Pathway creating a contiguous corridor of pollinator-friendly spaces.

A morning

of Mah Jongg

at the DCA

The Darien Community Association invites the community to a fun, relaxed morning of tournament-style Mah Jongg play on Jan. 25 with popular instructor and longtime Darien resident Donna Holt.

All levels are welcome. The event takes place at 9 a.m. with check-in, coffee, tea and refreshments. At 9:30 a.m., play begins promptly with three rounds of three games each. By 12:30 p.m., the games will wrap up and prizes awarded. Cost for DCA members is $40 or $55 for nonmembers. Payment is required by Jan. 18. Snow date is Feb. 1..

For questions, contact Holt at

Registration is available online at, or by contacting the DCA at 203-655-9050 ext. 10 or

Local care agency among top-rated in country

Right at Home of Darien has been selected by as one of America’s top-rated in-home care agencies with the website’s “Caring Star of 2019” recognition, according to a news release., a resource for families to find in-home care for their senior loved ones, released its annual “Caring Stars of 2019” list, an industry source of information that showcases the best senior care around the country every year. The list is based on consumer ratings and reviews and features the top in-home care agencies in the United States.

Of the 446 in-home care agencies that received the Caring Stars of 2019 award, 141 of them are Right at Home agencies, making Right at Home No. 1 in the nation.

“Being part of the Right at Home system is so important to us,” said franchisee Dave Babcock, owner of Right at Home of Darien. “We joined the franchise system with the intention of providing personalized and reliable services to our community’s aging members. This award is a wonderful public recognition of the hard work our team performs year-round.”

In-home care agencies that made the 2019 Caring Stars list had to meet exceptional criteria. They must have had 10 or more consumer reviews on their listing by the qualification deadline of Oct. 15, and must have had an overall average rating of 4.5 stars or higher on a scale of 1 to 5, in addition to other criteria.

“Congratulations to this in-home care agency for earning such high praise from their clients and clients’ family members,” said Jim Rosenthal, CEO. “Achieving the Caring Stars award is a distinction worthy of significant celebration and promotion — as it speaks volumes about the difference the agency is making in serving older adults. We applaud their accomplishment.”

To learn about the Caring Stars program, visit