The new board of directors of Opus Person-to-Person consists of 23 women who volunteer their time and energy toward fundraising efforts that support the Darien-based, nonprofit agency.
The 2012-13 board members are Sarah Konecke and Erica Wood, co-presidents; Kristie Calvillo, vice president; Shelby Smith, secretary; Kerry Coppola and Kate Wartels, co-treasurers; Linda Costello, Jenny Gjervold and Anne Fox, Baby Basics; Katie Kern, board liaison, Balloon Day; Laura O'Grady, board liaison, Big Rig Gig; Tori Bolger, board liaison, Spring Benefit; Patty Deery, Betsy Hendrickson and Kristin Levinson, corporate development; Jen Forlizzi, external communications; Renee Schwandt, internal communications; Heather Tucker, event logistics; Kate Kaplan, Lisa Malloy, Diane Sedlock and Meghan Shanley, membership events; and Diana Nehro, membership and recruitment.
Opus for Person-to-Person is a charitable organization of close to 200 women from Darien and surrounding towns. Since its launch 16 years ago, Opus has contributed more than $2.3 million to Person-to-Person as its only fundraising and awareness arm. In 2011, Opus raised $184,050 that went directly to Person-to-Person's critical programs and services. "Coming on the heels of our milestone 15th anniversary, this year promises to be a very exciting and productive time for Opus," Konecke said.
Opus supports Person-to-Person through fundraising efforts and public awareness with the annual spring benefit, Balloons for Campers Day in May and the Big Rig Gig in September.
New and prospective members can learn more at a New Member Coffee Sept. 13 at St. Luke's. Businesses interested in becoming corporate sponsors can contact email@example.com. Visit www.opus4p2p.org.
The events raise funds for the volunteer-driven community agency that responds to neighbors who lack basic necessities and/or resources to improve their lives.
Last year, approximately 22,000 people received assistance from Person-to-Person, including food and clothing donations, funds for scholarship and camp programs, layettes for babies, living assistance loans, a holiday toy store and more. Person-to-Person's 4,500-square foot headquarters is at St. Luke's Church in Darien, where the organization also houses a new food pantry. In 2011, 170,184 meals were given to 3,769 families in need.
On July 19, Opus hosted a Campership Picnic at St. Luke's, connecting Opus members and their families with the children who receive scholarships to attend summer camp. The Balloons for Campers Day raised more than $60,000 to help send more than 575 children from Stamford-area low-income families to summer day camps.
The Big Rig Gig fundraiser is Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Darien Town Hall. The event features big trucks, a carousel and train, games and musical entertainment. Money raised at the Big Rig Gig will specifically help fund Person-to-Person's Emergency Food Pantry, which faces increased demand in support of its new initiative in the Stamford public elementary schools. More than 2,000 families qualify for the free lunch program during the school year, but because this program is not available during the summer months, many parents are forced to stretch overburdened budgets. Person-to-Person is now providing these qualified elementary school families with groceries from the Emergency Food Pantry. Tickets for the Big Rig Gig are $30 in advance and $40 at the door, per family.
Plans are now under way for the annual spring benefit, which is the organization's largest fundraiser of the year. In March 2011, the Crystal Ball at the Loading Dock in Stamford raised approximately $130,000 which went directly to support Person-to-Person's efforts.
New and prospective members can learn more about Opus' mission and how to become involved at a New Member Coffee Sept. 13 at St. Luke's. Businesses interested in becoming corporate sponsors of Opus can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.opus4p2p.org.