Community news: Darien Library’s summer program offers challenges to readers of all ages, and more

Library launches summer reading challenges

The Darien Library is inviting readers of all ages to participate in its 2022 summer reading challenges: “Expedition Blue Wave” for children, the Teen Summer Challenge for tweens and teens, and “Make a Splash” for adults.

Through Aug. 14, participants can read books and enter challenges for a chance to win prizes. Pick up paper logs from the library or join online at or on the app platform.

For each challenge completed, kids will receive one ticket to enter toward one of the prize drawings. Readers who complete all 16 challenges will be entered once into the grand prize raffle. All who register will receive a free book. Challenge maps and recommendations from the library’s youth services can be found at

In the prereaders category, kids are also awarded one ticket for each challenge they complete, which can be entered into one of the prize basket drawings. Prereaders who complete all 15 challenges will be entered into a grand prize drawing.

Readers ages 12 to 18 can join the Teen Summer Challenge, and complete any 15 of the 20 reading challenges to win a gift card and Darien Library swag. Readers who complete all of the challenges win a mystery prize.

The Middlesex Middle School Reading Ambassadors have selected 21 books to help teen readers complete their challenge, which can be found at

Adults can Make a Splash in the reading program by playing online or picking up a game card at the library’s Welcome Desk. Participants can then complete any four challenges for an opportunity to win one of three grand prizes. Participants will be entered into weekly giveaways of the hottest books of the summer. Each completed game card and online badge is a submission to the grand prize raffle.

Game cards, reading inspiration and prize information can be found at

For more information on the program, visit

Theatre 308 earns top awards

Teens who take part in the Darien High School’s Theatre 308 student-led theater club are award winners once again.

The group received seven combined awards at two high school theatrical award shows: the 19th Annual Halo Awards in Waterbury and the Stephen Sondheim Awards in New Haven.

The Halos recognize theatrical achievements at Connecticut high schools for both dramas and musicals and present awards for all aspects of theater, including acting, singing, dancing and technical theater. Over 80 high schools participated this year, and after a COVID-19 pandemic hiatus the show was held live.

Theatre 308 received a combined total of 23 nominations for the fall drama “Metamorphoses” and the spring musical “The Addams Family,” and took home awards in the following categories:

Junior Luke Ryan, “Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Contemporary Musical;”

Junior John Raskopf, “Artistic Director’s Award;”

Sophomore Mia Roofthoof, “Best Hair and Makeup Design;”

Junior Sadie Leopold and freshman Daphne Hentsch-Cowles, “Best Lighting Design;”

Junior Sam Baiocco, “Dance Molinari Scholarship;” and

Senior Sam Bellingham, who received the “Legacy Robe” honor and accepted the “Best Chorus” award on behalf of “The Addams Family.”

Additionally, the Theatre 308 cast of“The Addams Family” participated in the Stephen Sondheim Awards, which are a regional award program, spanning Connecticut and Rhode Island and recognizing excellence in musical theater.

They are presented by the Broadway Method Academy in association with the Shubert Theater in New York City and are considered to be the gateway to the National High School Theater Award show, known as the Jimmy Awards.

Theatre 308 was nominated for 2022 Sondheim Awards and received the honor of the first-ever “Best Ensemble” award.

In addition to the nominations, the cast of “The Addams Family” was invited to perform in both ceremonies.

At the Halo Awards, the cast, featuring Morgan Lindell, Stella Meier and the featured dancers, performed the song “Secrets.”

At the Sondheim Awards, the entire ensemble performed “When You’re An Addams,” receiving a standing ovation.

In addition, seniors Sam Bellingham, Nicky Condon, Stephen Cerussi and Margaret Walter performed with other students from across Connecticut in opening and closing numbers.

For more information, visit

Darien Depot offers summer drop-in hours

The Depot is offering a summer drop-in program for the first time at the Darien youth center.

Organizers said fun activities will be offered all summer for middle school students.

The students can drop in from 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Fridays through Aug. 12. The fee is $40 per person.

In order to participate in the depot’s Friday Night Friends activity this summer, teens must register for the summer hours.

Registration is available by visiting

Girl Scouts of CT celebrates 110th anniversary

The Girl Scouts of Connecticut recently honored three women at its annual fundraising lunch at the Woodway Country Club.

The event on June 8 included a luncheon, silent auction and an awards program to pay tribute to the women, who are making a difference as community changemakers. The 2022 honorees were:

Judy Frey, who is committed to the mission of Girl Scouting and has a more than 30-year legacy of working with the nonprofit organization. She served as a leader for her daughter’s troop, then held several volunteer leadership roles, including as the board chair of its Southwestern Council. Frey has also made contributions of her time and resources and is a member of the Juliette Gordon Lowe Society.

Polly O’Brien Morrow, who serves as senior program manager of global corporate citizenship and philanthropy for Pitney Bowes, vice president of the Pitney Bowes Foundation, and vice president of the Pitney Bowes Relief Fund. Morrow says her passion for the community was nurtured by her parents and through her own experience as a Girl Scout and troop leader.

Jennifer Hubbard, who is the 2022 Courage, Confidence and Character Award recipient. She is president and executive director of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, which honors the memory of her 6-year-old daughter. Catherine, a kind and compassionate animal lover, died in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012.

To continue her daughter’s crusade for compassion, the animal sanctuary was created. It is a place where all creatures are safe and people are kind, her mother said.

Hubbard also served as a leader of a Girl Scout Daisy Troop for her daughter and other girls who died in the tragedy. The Girl Scouts of Connecticut said it honored Hubbard for forging ahead and creating a place of healing for her family and their community while fulfilling her daughter’s dream.