The YWCA Darien/Norwalk has planned their Cookies, Cocktails and a Cause Ladies Night for Thursday, Dec. 9, at Palmer's Market in Darien. Non-members and members are invited to attend this cookie swap and cocktail party benefit that will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Event festivities include a holiday cookie swap and cookie contest for those who bring a recipe, wine tasting provided by Glen Liquors, a cookie decorating demonstration by Palmer's Executive Pastry Chef Megan Palmer Dean, a gift bag for registered attendees with Palmer's treats, Palmer's hors d'oeuvres and more. The centerpiece of the event will be the YWCA Community Tree with ornaments that can be purchased as donations to the YWCA Darien/Norwalk's community outreach programs. Donations of $10 or more to the YWCA Community Tree will receive a free raffle ticket for prizes from local businesses including Palmer's Market, Barrett Books and Glen Liquors.

This is the second year the YWCA Darien/Norwalk has planned this benefit event. Last year's event was held at a member's home and more than 50 women attended, bringing over 1,800 cookies and over $1,000 in donations.

"We're thrilled that Palmer's Market offered to host," Nancy Coughlin, executive director of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk, said. "This event, especially the donations to the YWCA Community Tree, is a wonderful opportunity to help us meet the needs of our community outreach programs."

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk's community outreach programs include YWCA Parent Awareness with lectures to provide support and guidance to parents in our community; New Directions, a program providing women with support and tools needed to find employment with the ultimate goal of economic self-sufficiency; and Better Beginnings, the only free bilingual, prenatal education program in lower Fairfield County.

Attendees are requested to pre-register at www.ywcadariennorwalk.org. An entry fee of $15 will be collected on the night of the event for those who bring cookies for the cookie swap and $20 who will not participate.

For more information, visit www.ywcadariennorwalk.org, e-mail cookies@ywcadariennorwalk.org or call 203-655-2535.

The YWCA nationally is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.