Community news: Darien High’s Quiz Bowl Teams to compete in national tournament, and more

DHS Quiz Bowl Teams head to national tourney

After its strong finish at the Long Island Fall Tournament, the Quiz Bowl Teams from Darien High School proved worthy to compete on a national stage.

Two teams will represent DHS at a 271-team national competition: National Academic Quiz Tournaments’ High School National Championship Tournament in Atlanta.

The national tournament will run from Friday to Sunday.

Quiz bowl is a competitive academic activity for teams of four students. Teams use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social sciences, current events, sports and popular culture.

Darien has attended the High School National Championship Tournament eight times previously. In 2021, the team made the playoffs and finished in 49th place.

Darien High School will send two teams to the 2022 tournament. The A team will consist of Michael Dong, Evan O’Rourke, Rajiv Pujara and Darryl Wang. The B team will consist of Felix Absolonne, Nikhil Arjunan, Tristian Ebrahimi, John Lazarra, Lucas O’Flanagan and Arjun Vaidya.

Some of the students have nationals experience: Dong, O’Rourke and Wang played in the 2021 High School National Championship Tournament, while Pujara played in the 2021 Middle School National Championship Tournament and on the 2021 Middle School Individual Player National Championship Tournament.

The teams will be coached by John Gearty and Dan Record.

Tournament results will be updated throughout the three days of competition at

League of Women Voters holds annual meeting, luncheon

The Darien League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting and luncheon June 1 at the Wee Burn Country Club at 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road in Darien.

The annual meeting will begin at 11 a.m. and will be open only for LWV members.

The annual luncheon will begin at noon and is open to the public. Actor, director and activist James Naughton will be the keynote speaker and share his personal story during a talk titled: “Death with Dignity.”

A two-time Tony winner and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Naughton has advocated for legislation in Connecticut that would allow adults with a terminal illness to have the right to end their lives peacefully, in a dignified way, surrounded by family and loved ones. His wife died of pancreatic cancer in 2013.

Naughton is known for his starring roles “Planet of the Apes” and “Gossip Girl” as well as for his work on the stage.

To register for the annual luncheon with the League of Women Voters, visit and pay $55 per person. To pay by check or for information, email Stephanie Maher at to make arrangements.

Free concert to support Ukrainian children

A Ukrainian-American woman from Darien has organized a concert of classical music with 100 percent of the donations going to fund the education of Ukrainian refugee children now living in Poland.

Admission to the June 4 concert is free, but donations can be made via PayPal. The one-hour concert — held at St. Basil Ukrainian Seminary, 195 Glenbrook Road, Stamford — will feature pieces from Chopin, Mozart, Verdi and Giordano, as well as a selection of beloved Ukrainian songs performed by musicians of national and international renown.

The event is organized by the members of the local Ukrainian-American community with support from St. Basil Seminary.

“My dear friends from my childhood have become outstanding, dedicated teachers and, like so many of their students, they are also refugees in Poland,” said organizer Olena Czebiniak. “They are dedicated to teaching Ukrainian children despite the war and hardship.

“This is the best way for them to help children and their families,” the Darien resident said. “We are putting on this wonderful concert to raise awareness of the struggle facing refugee students and teachers. All the money people donate will go directly to support their efforts.”

Many Ukrainian students who are refugees in Poland do not speak Polish. The Foundation Nezlamna Ukraina (“Unbreakable Ukraine”) is working to organize Ukrainian schools in Poland, staffed with Ukrainian school teachers who are also among the refugees.

All donations from the concert will go toward the foundation’s efforts, providing the space and materials for Ukrainian students to continue their education.

Among those who are performing at the concert are soprano Anna Torello, a native of Rome who currently resides in Wilton; baritone Robert Garner; and Eugene Sirotkine, a pianist whose family is from Poltava, Ukraine, where he spent his childhood.

New membership year starts at DCA

The Darien Community Association’s new membership year will begin June 1.

The nonprofit organization is encouraging community members to join the DCA or to renew their memberships by visiting

A membership in the DCA provides critical revenue to support the organization’s mission and philanthropic ventures, including its 4-acre bird sanctuary and nature trail; the Darien High School college scholarship program; or the care of its historic buildings and gardens.

The organization is headquartered at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien, where it provides a gathering space and a location for classes and events. Members also enjoy discounted admission for activities and classes. The benefits of a membership often pays for itself when members participate in several events each year.

To pay by phone, call the DCA’s office at 203-655-9050, Ext. 10, during business hours.

DCA accepts matching challenge donations

In the spirit of spring and new growth, the Darien Community Association is accepting new donations. And a matching challenge of $10,000 will be unlocked for next 100 incremental donations made to the DCA as part of its annual appeal.

New and additional donations count toward the matching challenge. There is no minimum amount required for a donation.

All donations must be received by May 31 for the matching challenge.

To make a donation to the nearly 100-year-old nonprofit organization, visit Since 1923, the DCA has provided residents of all ages a place to gather, give and learn.

Tea and Royal Trivia at Darien Library

The Darien Library will offer “Afternoon Tea and Royal Trivia” from 3 to 4 p.m. June 2 in its courtyard. The special event is for adults.

“No need to stretch your pinkies, but perhaps brush up on your royal facts,” say the librarians. Patrons are invited to spend the afternoon sipping tea and savoring tea sandwiches, while sharing their knowledge of the royal family. Staff will be wearing their fascinators, and attendees are urged to have fun with their attire.

Registration is required at

Barrett Bookstore presents Ladies of Summer

Barrett Bookstore will welcome Jasmine Guillory, author of “By the Book;” Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of “The Latecomer;” and Emma Straub, author of “This Time Tomorrow,” to Darien for its Ladies of Summer 2022 event.

It will be a dynamic in-person celebration of summer reading as the superstar authors lead an evening of conversation about the best summer books. Each author will talk about their new novel and following the program will be available for book sales and signing. Ticket includes admission, a glass of wine and light bites.

It will be held at 6 p.m. June 8 at Wee Burn Country Club at 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road in Darien. For more information, tickets ($35 per person) and to order the books, visit

Library to screen ‘The Automat,’ host director

Americans once sipped coffee and ate pie around communal tables, sharing their struggles and dreams with strangers at Horn & Hardart’s iconic Automat.

A documentary film called “The Automat” will be screened at 6 p.m. Monday, June 13, in the Community Room at the Darien Library. Following the screening, there will be a special Q&A session with Lisa Hurwitz, the film’s director and producer.

To register for the event, visit

Lifetimes ago, Horn and Hardart’s Automats nourished a sense of unity that bridged the diversity of class, language, gender and race in the urban melting pots of the East Coast.

From the perspective of former customers — entertainer Mel Brooks, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Horns, the Hardarts, and key employees — “The Automat” shows how the business climbed to its peak success and then grappled with fast-food competition in a forever changed America.

The Darien Library is located at 1441 Post Road in Darien.