Community news: Darien recreation supervisor earns award; holiday donations for those in need and more

Parks & Rec supervisor earns industry award

The Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association honored Jami Gore, recreation program supervisor for the town of Darien, with its Young Professional Award.

Gore received the award at the association’s annual conference held late last month at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Convention Center in Uncasville.

“Congratulations to Darien Parks & Recreation supervisor Jami Gore for winning the Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association's ‘R. Peter Ledger’ Young Professional Award,” the Town of Darien said in a statement.

Gore was also awarded $1,000 to be used for continuing education purposes.

The award is given to a CRPA member who has served 10 years or less and is “deserving of recognition for achievements and accomplishments” in the parks and recreation profession, the town said.

In the photo, from the left, are: Darien Parks & Recreation Assistant Director Jim Coghlan; Jimmy Gore; Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association Executive Director Valerie Stolfi Collins; CRPA awards co-chairwoman Eileen Cicchese; Darien Parks & Recreation Director Pamela Gery; Jami Gore; and CRPA awards co-chairwoman Dale Izzo.

Darien grad makes All-Big Ten football team

Andrew Stueber, a former football player at Darien High School, was recently named to the first team of the All-Big Ten football team.

Stueber plays right tackle for the University of Michigan football team. The 6-foot-7 338-pound offensive lineman is a graduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Darien Human Services seeks donations

Darien residents can make difference without leaving their houses this holiday season by making a donation through an Amazon Wish List to the Darien Human Services Department.

The Human Services Department maintains a wish list to help local families and senior citizens in need throughout the year.

Wish list items include toiletries, paper goods and gift cards, which will be deliverer to the Darien Human Services Department in Darien Town Hall at 2 Renshaw Road.

To find a wish list, residents can also search the registry for Darien Human Services or visit

The Human Services Department thanks the community for donations to this good cause, especially during the holiday season. For more information, contact the Human Services Department at 203-656-7328.

Learn to make winter flower arrangements

Jaime, a floral designer from The Gardener’s Center in Darien, will demonstrate how to make a long-lasting flower winter arrangement during a virtual program hosted by the Darien Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Registrants can use their own florals and flowers, or purchase a kit, which will include a celebratory container, and florals and flowers for a winter arrangement.

Kits could be purchased through The Gardener’s Center by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7. The Gardener’s Center is located at 1396 Post Road in Darien.

The kits will be ready for pickup on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Attendees are encouraged to have a pair of garden clippers and scissors ready for the virtual demonstration.

To register, visit

Sip ‘n’ Shop event to benefit DVCC

The J.McLaughlin retail store at 1020 Post Road in Darien will host a Sip ‘n’ Shop event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, to benefit the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

Fifteen percent of all sales that day will be donated to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, which advocates for individuals who are experiencing abuse in personal relationships and supports individuals on their journey to safety.

Peggy Brown and Janill Sharma of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center will act as hostesses for the event.

J.McLaughin offers free gift wrap and shipping on orders.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center at 1111 Summer St., Suite 203, Stamford, serves the residents of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, Wilton and beyond.

For more information, visit If you are experiencing domestic violence, the DVCC is available to help: Call the 24-hour hotline at 888-774-2900. All victim services are free and confidential.

Author to speak on Roosevelt bio

The Darien Library in partnership with the Friends Virtual Author Series are hosting a virtual event with David Michaelis, author of “Eleanor,” a biography of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16.

Michaelis will discuss the book and his inspiration for writing the biography. The book paints a portrait of Roosevelt as an avatar of democracy, whose agency as the longest-serving first lady, diplomat, activist, icon and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential figures of the 20th century.

To register for the event, visit

Michaelis is also the author of “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography” and “N.C. Wyeth: A Biography,” which won the Ambassador Book Award for biography.

His work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, American Heritage, LIFE, Reader’s Digest and American Scholar, as well as in “Best American Essays.”

Darien Lions Club makes donation

Steve Fritsch, past president of the Darien Lions Club, recently donated $3,000 in grocery gift cards to Ali Ramsteck, director of the Darien Human Services Department.

The donation, made on behalf of the Lions Club, was presented at Darien Town Hall.

Residents are also invited to donate a “gingerbread wish” from the holiday giving tree located in the lobby of Town Hall.

Country Club hosts luncheon, toy drive

The Woodway Country Club at 540 Hoyt St. in Darien will host the annual Christmas luncheon for the New Canaan Men’s Club at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

In keeping with its commitment to serve the community, the New Canaan Men’s Club is also conducting a Toys for Toys drive this week.

In place of its regular weekly meeting on Fridays, the Men’s Club is instead collecting games and toys at the Christmas luncheon for children ranging in age up to 16 years old.

The New Canaan Men’s Club is asking its members to bring new and unwrapped toys, games, sports equipment, dolls, action figures and/or gift cards to support its Toys for Tots drive in collaboration with Career Resources Inc., a Bridgeport-based nonprofit that provides training to prepare its clients for employment.

Hodge displays artwork at Atria

The Atria Darien, an assisted senior living retirement community, is displaying the artwork of Old Greenwich artist Maia Sreseli Hodge in its Gratia Gillespie Art Gallery throughout December.

The Atria Darien is located at 50 Ledge Road in Darien.

Born, raised and educated in the country of Georgia, Hodge describes herself as an artist in motion. She said she believes that a canvas is a reflection of her dreams, observations and imagination. Her artwork is rich in colors, illuminating the release of life’s energy in each piece.

During the past five years, she has had eight solo art shows, and has participated in many other special events.

Hodge is a member of the Old Greenwich Art Society. She lives in Old Greenwich with her husband, Peter C Hodge, and her children Ika and Magda.