Community news: Darien celebrates with fireworks show, arts center prepares for special sale, and more

Darien fireworks celebration set for Friday night

Darien will hold its Independence Day fireworks celebration on Friday evening at Darien High School at 80 High School Lane after dusk.

The rain date is Saturday.

Resident parking passes are sold out. Individuals may still park nearby and walk into the event.

For more information on the event, visit

Thrift shop gears up for three-day sidewalk sale

The Darien Community Association is preparing its Darien Thrift Shop for the town’s sidewalk sales, which will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Thrift Shop will be taking part in the event, with many of its items for sale on the front lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each of the days.

Shoppers will find bargains at the Thrift Shop, with some items offered for sale that still have the original tags attached.

STAR gets grant to help pediatric therapies

STAR Inc., Lighting the Way has received a grant from the New Canaan Community Foundation to provide pediatric therapies to local children who have developmental disabilities.

The grant from will support STAR’s Early Intervention Children’s Services Program, which provides pediatric therapies to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goal of the program is to assist families throughout the preschool years and beyond by strengthening the continuity of therapy.

Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR Inc., expressed her gratitude for receiving the grant.

STAR’s services include speech, physical and occupational therapy; special education services; parental support; social services; translation services; assistive technology; behavioral support; and referrals.

The STAR Rubino Family Center at 120 East Ave. in Norwalk is a private clinic that provides early intervention pediatric therapies for young children from birth through age 8. STAR, a nonprofit celebrating its 70th anniversary, also operates locations at 51 Tokeneke Road in Darien, 111 Elm St. in New Canaan, and at its main office at 182 Wolfpit Ave. in Norwalk.

STAR was established in 1952 by parents who believed that children with intellectual and developmental disabilities are entitled to the same basic opportunities as other children. It has grown to include a full array of services for over 600 individuals with disabilities, from birth to their senior years, and their families today.

Its mission is to create opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy.

For more information about STAR, or to volunteer or donate, visit

The New Canaan Community Foundation was founded in 1977. It envisions a New Canaan that comes together to address individual and local challenges, enriching the lives of all community members.

The foundation has invested over $21 million in nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit

RAC to sell late Darien artist’s pottery

The Rowayton Arts Center will hold a special sale of pottery items created by the late Darien artist Pat Atkin.

The proceeds of all sales will benefit the arts center, per Atkin’s wish.

A special preview night will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Rowayton Arts Center at 145 Rowayton Ave.

The sale will continue through July 24. The center is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Saturday.

Atkin was an art teacher at the Tokeneke School in Darien for 30 years, and also worked as an artist and potter. She served on the Board of Directors of the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan and was an active member of the boards of the Darien Arts Center and the Rowayton Arts Center.

She died in the spring of 2022 at her home in Noroton.

For more information, call 203-866-2744, email or visit

Darien residents take part in Pan-Mass Challenge

Robert Ronan, Terry Bock and Trevor Hawley, all of Darien, are among the 6,000 bicycle riders who will take part in the the 2022 Pan-Mass Challenge fundraising event Aug. 6 and Aug. 7.

The event raises funds for cancer research and treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

The bikeathon offers one- and two-day routes ranging from 25 to 210 miles that are designed to cater to all levels of ability and fundraising amounts.

A total of 158 Connecticut residents will join in the fundraiser.

Many participate in honor of a family member or a friend who is fighting cancer, and more than 800 riders and volunteers are cancer survivors or current patients.

This year’s goal is to top 2021’s record-breaking gift and raising $66 million for cancer research and patient care. And 100 percent of the money raised by the riders goes to the cancer institute.

The event has raised more than $114 million since the start of the COVID pandemic, bringing its 42-year donation to the cancer institute to $831 million.

To make a donation, visit or call 800 WE-CYCLE.

Community Fund celebrates awards

The Community Fund of Darien celebrated its Community Investment Awards with an event July 13 at its headquarters at 274 Middlesex Road.

The event recognizes local nonprofit organizations in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford that focus on basic needs, community health, youth success and workforce development, according Jessica Anderson, the new director of advancement and marketing at the nonprofit.

The Community Fund also honored its volunteers at the event.

Since its founding in 1951, the Community Fund has distributed more than $20 million to local nonprofit organizations and community initiatives. For more information, visit