Community news: Two fifth-graders from Darien write award-winning essays for contests, and more

Flats of Flowers fundraiser event sale underway

The Darien Community Association is continuing its Flats of Flowers fundraiser event sale through May 13.

Customers will be able to pick up their flowers between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. May 24 at the association’s building at 274 Middlesex Road.

Cost is $22 each per flat of 48 plants from a local grower. Orders can be made at the association’s website at Customers can choose the type of flower, color and quantity.

More information is also available by calling 203-655-9050, Ext. 10.

Fifth-grader named CT finalist in essay contest

Pavana Attonito, a fifth-grader at Hindley Elementary School, is a state finalist in the 30th annual Letters About Literature contest sponsored by the Neag School of Education, the University of Connecticut Department of English and the Connecticut Writing Project.

Some 558 submissions were received for the 2022 competition, which asked students in fourth through 12th grade to read a piece and write to the author and explain how their words affected them.

Three students were named state finalists in each of three categories — elementary, middle and high school.

Attonito wrote her letter to Veera Hiranandani, author of “The Night Diary,” and related the main character’s experiences to her own, describing her Indian grandmother’s kitchen and connecting to her culture and her family through culinary secrets that are passed on through generations.

Attonito won a $100 gift card for her winning essay. Her essay can be read at

Student wins DAR essay contest

Elizabeth Abelson won first place in the 2022 Connecticut State Daughters of the American Revolution Fifth Grade Essay Contest.

Abelson, who attends Ox Ridge Elementary School, tackled the topic for the 2022 contest, “The Tomb of the Unknown Solider,” and competed with essays by other fifth-grader across the state.

Her essay was the winner of the local essay contest sponsored by Darien’s Good Wife’s River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The topic celebrated the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Washington, D.C.

Abelson received her state award and certificate from essay contest Chair Darcy King at the recent state conference in Hartford. Chapter honorary regent Karen Polett and recording secretary Rebecca Siciliano were in attendance.

Hindley to host Spring Happening

The Hindley Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization will present a “Hindley Happening 2022” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7.

There will be food, fun, rides, prizes and games at the event, which will be held rain or shine, at the school at 10 Nearwater Lane.

To accommodate children who are sensitive to noise and activity, the PTO will open the rides at 9 a.m. for families of children with special needs.

For more information, contact Hindley Assistant Principal Leslie Davis at 203-655-1323, or Lindsay DeVito at 203-451-3415.

New Beginnings holds Haiti talk

The rise of kidnappings as well as gang and political violence in Haiti will be the topic at a special conversation at 5 p.m. May 7 at New Beginnings Community Church, 65 Tokeneke Road.

Former Haitian Congressman, entrepreneur and Harvard University graduate Jerry Tardieu will be the keynote speaker.

The coordinator of the discussion will be Guy Bocicaut, owner of the Haiti Plus passport office at 9 Mott Ave., Suite 208, Norwalk.

Several churches and community organizations are involved in the event, which is free. For admission and information, call Haiti Plus at 203-244-2504.

RespectWorks to present info on Camp Hope

The Darien Domestic Abuse Council’s youth outreach program, RespectWorks, will present information about Camp Hope, a camp sponsored by The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport that is open to children throughout Connecticut.

The presentation will be on May 12 at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road.

From 7:30 until 8:45 p.m., attendees can meet the campers, counselors, the director of the camp and the clinician for the camp, as well as learn about what makes the camp a place of healing for kids ages 7 to 17.

Mission Possible registration open

Registration is open for the Community Fund of Darien’s “Mission Possible: Scavenger Hunt” set for May 13 through May 15.

Registration is available at Participants can win one of three prizes, $250, $500 and $1,000.

The event is sponsored by the Noroton Presbyterian Church, 2011 Post Road.

DCA hosts talk with Julianna Margulies

Actor and author Julianna Margulies will be on hand for a special paperback release of her memoir, “Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life,” scheduled for 7 p.m. May 10 at the Darien Community Association.

A reception is set for 6:15 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by the Barrett Bookstore and the DCA. The evening will also feature a question-and-answer session with Margulies.

Margulies will be in conversation with Darien resident and author Kristen Harnisch. Harnish’s books include “The Vintner’s Daughter,” “The California Wife” and the soon-to-be published sequel, “The Vintner’s Legacy.”

The cost is $30 for DCA members and $40 for nonmembers. A signed copy of “Sunshine Girl” is included in the ticket price as is a wine reception.

Registration is available by visiting or calling 203-655-9050, Ext. 10, by noon May 9.

Margulies, who has won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, is known for her roles on the long-running television shows “The Good Wife” and “ER.” She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

Abilis celebrates ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’

Abilis, a nonprofit that serves and supports individuals who have disabilities and their families in Fairfield County, was recently featured in a special online program titled “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”

The program was hosted by celebrity dancer, choreographer and fitness professional Billy Blanks Jr.

It celebrated a month of activities at Abilis and provided an opportunity for the community to support the nonprofit with donations to go toward new initiatives that will improve the quality of life for Abilis community members throughout their lifespan.

“All of us at Abilis have been so thankful for the continued support of our organization,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “With the particular challenges during the past two years during the pandemic, we decided to reimagine this year’s annual Gala and created ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ to showcase and celebrate our Abilis program participants, their families and the community. We are having fun creating videos of dances and showcasing our very special community.”

To learn more and/or to donate, visit and click on the “Home Is Where the Heart Is” banner.