Close to 180 supporters spent a fun and festive evening at the Darien Community Association Friday celebrating an organization they take very seriously.

The Darien Depot Youth Center held its annual 80’s Apres Ski Winter Party—an opportunity to raise much-needed funds to keep the center in operation and a chance to reflect on its important mission.

“With this event we raise the majority of the money that helps run The Depot,” said Kesti Aysseh, executive director of development. “Everybody plays a huge role in putting on the party tonight.

Unique items donated for the live and silent auctions included tickets to the Tonight Show, the Video Music Awards ceremony, and front row seats at a Jerry Seinfeld performance. Funding allows young people a safe place to feel part of a community, at the same time fostering their own ambitions toward a philanthropic approach to life.

“The Depot has for a long time now provided a home away from home,” explained Catherine McNear, co-president, “a place to feel supported, to feel safe, (and) a place to have someone to talk to.”

“They view it as their second home,” said Kathy Arrix, co-president.

“It’s a really good community with a lot of nice members,” said Lizzie Canelli, 15, of Darien, a Depot member.

“It’s a place for kids who share the same interest of promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Depot member Sara McCarthy, 16, of Darien. “And everyone is supportive of one another.”