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Lauren Patterson (left) of the New Canaan Community Foundation and Carrie Bernier of the Community Fund of Darien with the trophy for the "most generous town" competition. The Community Fund of Darien in Lauren Patterson (left) of the New Canaan Community Foundation and Carrie Bernier of the Community Fund of Darien with the trophy for the "most generous town" competition. The Community Fund of Darien in Darien, Conn. won the compeition, held on Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28, 2017

DARIEN — After fueling a local rivalry in the name of generosity, the Community Fund of Darien narrowly won over the New Canaan Community Foundation during their first “Most Generous Town” competition.

The two towns collectively raised nearly $70,000 during their Giving Tuesday competition, which they hope to become an annual event. In the end, Darien earned the title of “most generous town” after winning by a $1,040 margin.

Darien worked with local businesses to raise money, in addition to collecting donations online.

“We blanketed Darien businesses with banners, balloons and signs encouraging support on Giving Tuesday,” said Community Fund of Darien Executive Director Carrie Bernier. “Over 30 Darien businesses participated, giving a percentage of sales and individual gifts. We also engaged social media channels to spread the word. The support of Darien never ceases to amaze me.”

Lauren Patterson, CEO of the New Canaan Community Foundation, said they relied on local givers and anonymous donors to raise their funds.

“I’ve always been impressed by the generosity of our residents, and Giving Tuesday was no different,” she said. “To celebrate our organization’s 40th anniversary this year, we already had a group of anonymous donors in town that created a challenge match, matching dollar for dollar up to $107,500 in gifts from new donors or increased donations from past supporters. A good number of residents stepped up to that challenge match, effectively doubling our impact.”

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, is a day dedicated to donations to charitable organizations following the holiday shopping that often takes place the weekend of Black Friday.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata

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