Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
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Chandler Drexler, 4, of Darien samples some sweets at Santa's Arrival at Greggs Garden Center & Landscaping, Dec. 9 in New Canaan.
Photo: Matthew Brown / Hearst Connecticut Media
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Chris Malone, of Darien, rolls on his skateboard with his loyal companion Wilson, a 6-year-old Lab-Poodle mix, as they enjoy the weather at Cove Island Park on Dec. 2 in Stamford.

The TD Charitable Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant for the Person-to-Person Emergency Assistance Program.

TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, carries a legacy of supporting not-for-profit institutions and their important work throughout the region.

Established in 1968 to provide low-income individuals and families living in Lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services, the Person-to-Person service area includes Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

The First Congregational Church of Darien is hosting a candlelight Christmas concert, “An Evening of Festive Music,” on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The concert, at 14 Brookside Road, will feature the Darien High School Tudor Singers. Choir soloist will perform popular Christmas songs accompanied by Maxim Pakhomov. There will also be quartet singing and a carol sing-along.

Refreshments will be served.

No ticket is required and all are welcome. However, attendees are encouraged to donate a freewill offering to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, a nonprofit organization that builds communities and improves lives by eliminating substandard housing and creating affordable homeownership possibilities for families in Fairfield County.

Jon Zagrodzky, chairman of the Board of Finance, will talk about the impact of state-level budget challenges at the Darien Men’s Association Dec. 20. The town’s annual budget is $140 million.

He also will comment on broader governance issues for Darien and the state of Connecticut.

Zagrodzky has been a Board of Finance member since 2008 and also serves on the town and police pension boards and the Public Works Garage Building Committee. He is also the chief operating officer for Rhone Group LLC, a middle-market private equity firm.

His talk will start at 10:45 a.m. DMA meetings are held at the Darien Community Association, 274 Middlesex Road.

Guest passes are available at the membership desk just outside the meeting room. DMA welcomes men age 50 or older.

In December, blood donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady.

To encourage donations, all those who give blood or platelets Dec. 21 through Jan. 7 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Upcoming donation opportunities:

Bridgeport

Dec. 20: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St.

Fairfield

Dec. 20: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Congregation Beth El, 1200 Fairfield Woods Road

Dec. 30: 8 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Trinity St. Michael’s Church, 554 Tunxis Hill Road

Norwalk

Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Temple Shalom, 259 Richards St.

Dec. 27: 11:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Walgreens, 55 Westport Ave.

Stamford

Dec. 16: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court

Dec. 23: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court

Dec. 30: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court

Trumbull

Dec. 16: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Nichols United Methodist Church, 35 Shelton Road

Dec. 23: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., St. Theresa Parish, 5301 Main St.

Wilton

Dec. 21: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road

Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“The Nutcracker” comes to life as the Darien Arts Center’s dance companies join together to enchant audiences of all ages at their annual production, “Scenes from the Nutcracker.”

This Tchaikovsky holiday classic is abbreviated to an hourlong narrated show, specifically geared for young audiences. Children get to sit up close and are invited to meet and greet the characters after the performance.

A Darien favorite since 2002, this year’s production features new dances, characters and colorful costumes. The dances consist of members from the DAC dance department’s junior, senior and adult companies.

Performances will be held at the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall. Show times are Dec. 16 and 17 at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. Reservations are highly recommended as performances sell out quickly. Call the DAC at 203-655-8683 or email Bonnie@darienarts.org for reservations.

Bankwell invites the community to help spread some extra holiday cheer this season through three collections in Bankwell’s Fairfield County branches.

For Person-to-Person’s “Keeping Warm” annual coat drive, Bankwell is collecting new and gently-used winter outerwear for all ages and sizes to benefit the those in need through Dec. 31.

Drop-off locations:

Bankwell in Norwalk: 370 Westport Ave.

Bankwell in New Canaan: 208 Elm St.

Bankwell in Wilton: 47 Old Ridgefield

Bankwell in Fairfield: One Sasco Hill Road and 2220 Black Rock Turnpike

Bankwell in Stamford: 612 Bedford St.

Jan Dilenschneider, a Darien landscape artist who has championed the cause of preserving the environment in exhibits worldwide, will display her paintings in a new show titled “Paint the Beautiful World” at Stamford’s Palace Theatre.

The show, which will runs through Dec. 31, is in the recently-refurbished Sackler Gallery and in Café Teatro at The Palace Theatre.

For her exhibit at The Palace, the expressionist painter has divided the paintings into themes based on the idea behind the works:

Decalcomania is a series where one surface is painted and then pressed onto or printed onto a second surface, either canvas or aluminum. This gives texture and a haunting mirror image that can be worked on.

Homage to Leaves is themed to help the viewer appreciate the beauty of the everyday leaf.

Reeds, Rivers and Reflections highlights her fascination with the landscape, its colors, variations and the reflections in water.

Dilenschneider, who with her husband, Robert, developed The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts, which rescues artists and arts scholars from repressive regimes around the world. The award is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the largest international exchange organizations in the world, and has provided life-saving fellowships that have taken oppressed artists and their families out of danger and allowed them to create and flourish.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur, and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

Submissions will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the IMAGES 2018 show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15, 2018.

For rules and details, visitgogophotocontest.com/fairfieldmuseumimages2018.

The City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery is inviting submissions from artists 18 and over for a new exhibit at the Maritime Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words.”

The exhibit will run from Jan. 29 to May 11 at the gallery, located in the Maritime Parking Garage exhibit space in Norwalk.

Every picture tells a story — it can communicate to anyone in the world a complex idea with just a single image, no translation needed. The Maritime Garage Gallery is seeking work that captures how the artist would communicate their stories, emotions, concerns, memories, and ideas about life, nature, hope, world events, humanity, etc. into works of art. The exhibit is curated by Nadia Martinez.

For online guidelines and submissions, go tonorwalkpark.org/callforart. Please email maritimegallery@norwalkpark.org with any questions. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 16.

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