Community news: Darien’s Tokeneke School prepares to celebrate fall with Pumpkin Carnival, and more

Tokeneke Elementary School is scheduled to hold its Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. The event at the school will also feature a wide variety of mechanical rides are suitable for children of all ages.

Tokeneke Elementary School is scheduled to hold its Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. The event at the school will also feature a wide variety of mechanical rides are suitable for children of all ages.

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Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival scheduled

Tokeneke Elementary School is scheduled to hold its Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at the school on Old Farm Road in Darien

The event, organized by the Tokeneke Parent Teacher Organization, will feature a variety of mechanical rides, rides suitable for young children, boardwalk games, lawn games, art activities, face painting, bounce houses and prizes.

There will be an obstacle course, food from Burgers Shakes & Fries, Heights Pizza and the Tacos Los Portrillos food truck, along with homemade goods and typical fairground snacks.

Live performances will feature students from The School of Rock and the Dance on the DL dance school.

There is no rain date.

The school is once again partnering with the Darien Human Services Department to offer eligible area families the opportunity to attend the Pumpkin Carnival for free.

Sponsors include the Darien Sport Shop, Ruddy Builders, Nola Physical Therapy & Performance, Baywater Properties, BMW of Darien, DEANE Kitchen Remodeling, Miceli Insurance, the Orthodontic Boutique of Connecticut and the Pinnacle Group of the COMPASS real estate firm.

Funds raised at the Pumpkin Carnival support the Tokeneke Elementary School’s Enrichment Program.

More information is available at

People can also like the school’s event on Facebook at, and on Instagram through TPTO @tokeneke_pto.

Floral designer returns for fall centerpiece event

Deb Hebertson, a local floral designer, is returning for a “Create Your Own Autumn Centerpiece” program planned for 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien, courtesy of the Darien Community Association’s Information and Inspiration group.

She most recently held her program in Darien in 2021.

Herbertson uses foraged and found items from nature to create her centerpieces and will help attendees create their own from similar objects.

The cost is $65 per person, $55 for Darien Community Association members, including all materials. Prepayment is required by 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

Registration is available by visiting or by calling 203-655-9050, Ext. 10.

Geary Gallery presents October art exhibit

The Geary Gallery at 576 Boston Post Road in Darien will showcase the work of Dutchess County, N.Y., artist Ginny Howsam Friedman for its October exhibit, “Environment’s Inspiration,” slated for Oct. 1 through Oct. 29.

More details are available by calling the gallery at 203-655-6633, or by visiting the gallery’s website at .

The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

NPR podcast host visits Darien Library for talk

The Darien Library and the Barrett Bookstore are hosting author Mary Childs at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 in the common room of the library at 1441 Post Road.

“The Bond King: How One Man Made a Market, Built an Empire, and Lost it All,” is the story of Bill Gross, co-founder of the Pacific Investment Management Co. — PIMCO — in 1971.

The book examines both the company and American finance over the past 40 years and how so few people have gained so much.

Childs is a host and correspondent of NPR’s “Planet Money” podcast and is also the recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

Register on Darien Library’s website at .

DAC hires new martial arts instructor

Rasheem Brown is the new martial arts instructor at the Darien Arts Center.

Brown has more than 10 years of experience in working with students of all ages and ability in the martial arts.

He is teaching fall martial arts classes, which will run through January.

Available courses at the DCA at 2 Renshaw Road include: Youth Martial Arts for students in kindergarten through seventh grade from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays; Open Martial Arts for students in third grade through adults from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays; and Teen/Adult Martial Arts for students in ninth grade through adults, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays.

All of the center’s offerings, newsletters and class registration are available on the association’s website at or by calling 203-655-8683.

Town hosting Out of The Darkness Community Walk

The Town of Darien is encouraging residents to participate in the Out Of The Darkness Community Walk by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The walk, designed to bring hope to people affected by suicide, seeks to unite community members in the effort to fight suicide, raise awareness and educate the community, is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22 on the Jesup Green in Westport.

Registration is free and open to the public.

More information on the walk is available at .

For information about other suicide prevention and awareness programs, or to learn more about Darien’s Mental Health Task Force, contact Darien Human Services Director Ali Ramsteck at

Darien EMS Post 53 plans its haunted house

Darien EMS Post 53 is holding a haunted house, featuring three different levels of fright, from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at its headquarters at 0 Ledge Road in Darien.

The group is also offering games for children, ambulance tours, pumpkin decorating, face painting and treats.

A suggested donation is $10 per child. All of the donations will support the organization.

Darien Community Association awards scholarship

Boston College junior Colleen Cassidy is now a Darien Community Association scholarship recipient.

A longstanding component of the DCA mission is providing college scholarships to Darien High School graduates. In the 81 years it has provided scholarships, it has awarded at least $50,000 in scholarships each year to more than $1,400 Darien High Students for a total of more than $2 million.

DCA to hold fall gardening workshop

The Darien Community Association’s Greenhouse group is holding a fall gardening workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 18. The event includes coffee and lunch.

The course will include how to put a garden to bed by dividing plants, lightly pruning various shrubs and updating winter pots. While the program is designed for novice and beginner gardeners, experienced gardeners are welcome to help.

Reservations are requested at to ensure that there is plenty of lunch for all attendees.

Birds of Prey demonstration returns

The non-profit Skyhunters in Flight: Birds of Prey Demonstration is returning to Darien from 2 to 3 p.m. Oct. 2, courtesy of the Darien Community Association.

Interested people can come for an up-close look at live owls, hawks, and falcons from around the world with master falconer Brian Bradley.

The program is for children ages 3 and older to adults.

Mather earns summer grant from CT Humanities

The Mather Homestead Foundation was awarded a $2,640 Connecticut Summer at the Museum grant by Connecticut Humanities.

The money supported the Mather Homestead, 19 Stephen Mather Road, in opening for more summer hours and in offering free admission for children and their caregivers over the summer.

The Homestead was raided by the Tories in 1781 during the Revolutionary War. Stephen Tyng Mather, who was a later owner of the Homestead, was the first director of the National Park Service, which was established in 1916.

Moms of Military members meet

Members of the New Canaan/Darien Moms of Military met on Sept. 13 to discuss the group’s plans for the next 12 months.

Upcoming initiatives include hanging Veterans Day banners in New Canaan and planning care packages for members whose sons or daughters are deployed.

The group started in 2019 to provide support to moms whose children chose to pursue military service. It is open moms of active duty military members and of those attending military academies.

There are more than 70 members in the group, which focuses on community projects, speaking events and providing a network of support for each other.

More information is available by emailing

Bereavement groups offered

The New Day Bereavement Ministry at St. Thomas More Church is offering a nondenominational care plan and bereavement support group.

It will meet weekly for nine weeks, offering ways to cope with bereavement needs.

The meetings will be held in the Rectory Annex of the church at 374 Middlesex Road in Darien.

There are two sessions: from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, from Oct. 11 through Dec. 6, or from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, from Oct. 12 through Dec. 14.

There is no cost for the program. Registration is required.

For information on joining the group, call Lillian Toll at 203-966-9367 or the parish office at 203-655-3303.

At Home in Darien hires new leader

Chris Jones is the new executive director of At Home in Darien, a nonprofit organization that helps aging residents live independently and comfortably in their own homes as long as possible.

Jones will take over the overall strategic and operational responsibilities for staff, programs, services, fundraising, marketing, public relations and more.

For more information, visit .