Church celebrates Rally Day, pet blessings service

The congregation of the United Methodist Church of Darien celebrated Rally Day on Sept. 16, overlooking its new playground that serves both the church and the Methodist Family Center Preschool.

At Rally Day, Sunday school teachers were commissioned to serve the church and its mission in the teachings of Christ. All teachers are parishioner volunteers. Also, the church celebrated pets by having a service focused upon the blessing of animals. Parishioners brought their pets and had them blessed by the Rev. Tom Kim and the congregation. The service was followed by a fellowship lunch.

Tickets on sale for BigGER Rig Gig

OPUS for Person-to-Person is selling tickets for its annual fall fundraiser, The BigGER Rig Gig.

All are welcome to attend this outdoor event on Sept. 29 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Rowayton Community Center, a new location for OPUS’ most popular event. Tickets can be purchased at; member tickets are $135 each, and nonmember tickets are $150 each.

For its sixth annual event, OPUS has chosen a “Homecoming” theme, where all partygoers are encouraged to wear colors and apparel from their alma maters. The event will invite all to tailgate from the food trucks of Cowabunga, Melt Mobile, Taco Pacifico, Boothbay, Pizza Truck Co., and Wafles and Dinges. It will also feature live music from Booga Sugar, lawn games and the chance to win auction items that include a two-night stay at Hotel Bel Air in Beverly Hills, tickets to “Watch What Happens Live,” and tickets to an Alabama football game.

“Every year, the BigGER Rig Gig raises tens of thousands of dollars for the emergency programs at Person-to-Person, thanks to those in our community who attend this fundraiser and thanks to all our sponsors who support us. The funds we raise go directly to the people who need it most in our community. It’s exciting to think that the work we put into this event has a direct, positive impact for so many who are in dire need,” said Kristen Smith, co-president of OPUS for Person-to-Person.

High schoolers to award $10,000 youth grant

Generation Impact, a newly formed program for girls in grades nine thorugh 12 throughout Fairfield County, is kicking off the school year with 40 members from schools in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and Westport.

This fall, the group hopes to recruit at least 60 more girls. Its goal: 100 members will donate $100 each, pool their membership donations, and award a $10,000 impactful, youth-focused grant to a deserving nonprofit organization in the community.

Though the girls will work toward awarding a grant and making an impact, Generation Impact’s mission is three-fold: introduce the next generation to the needs in our community; foster the spirit of philanthropy; empower girls to work together to make an impact in Fairfield County.

The program was inspired by Impact Fairfield County, a collective giving circle which engages women in philanthropy on a deeper level — where they learn about the many needs across our community, and the nonprofit organizations working to meet those needs. Members then determine what initiatives to fund with transformational Impact Grants each year.

Beyond girl membership, Generation Impact also hopes to explore potential donations and underwriting opportunities from local women professionals and women-owned businesses in Fairfield County.

To make this program happen, Generation Impact needs local youth-serving nonprofit organizations throughout Fairfield County to apply for its first-ever grant. The grant application process will begin on Oct. 16, when the application becomes available online at Generation Impact’s website. Applications can be submitted through Nov. 13.

Girls interested in joining the program, local businesses wishing to donate to the grant and/or provide foundational support, and nonprofits interested in applying for the grant can visit the website at .

Laurel House given $14k grant

Laurel House, Inc. was awarded a grant of $14,000 by The Community Fund of Darien at the fund’s annual Grant Awards Breakfast held at the Darien Community Association in July.

The Community Fund of Darien is an independent, results-oriented, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that addresses health and human services needs in Darien and surrounding towns of Stamford and Norwalk. The grant will be used to help fund Laurel House’s Supported Education program and new Tele-Education Support Program.