To the Editor:

On Saturday, May 20th 13 friends of Michael Taylor staged a fundraising event at Weed Beach in Darien to benefit Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment and recovery from addiction and is currently focused on the opioid epidemic. This group conceived the idea of having a fundraiser built around a fun day at the beach to welcome the beginning of summer. They spent the last 12 months planning the event and the fun day exceeded all expectations. The “build your own boat” to race was the highlight of the afternoon with 20 teams of 4 competing.

The support from this community and other areas of the country where Michael had touched people’s lives was phenomenal. Over $220,000 was raised to support Shatterproof’s mission.

We want to thank everyone that contributed to this event and especially want to recognize the gang of 13 millennials for their creative idea, superb planning skills and discipline to pull this off:

Will Herling Kate Taylor

Scott Herling Lau Sullivan

Will Bergen GraceAnn Sweeney

Nick Eisen-Berkeley Justine Sweeney

Matt Nestor Cait Sullivan

Justin Baldacci Emma Witschi

Katie Balloch

Michael would be proud to know he had so many friends that cared for him and this group carried on the tradition since high school of having a party to welcome summer. Thank you all.

Annmarie, Kate, Frank Taylor

Darien

Wear orange on June 2

To the Editor:

On Friday June 2, 2017 the country will observe National Gun Violence Awareness Day. This year gun sense advocates in Darien will be joining #WearOrange activities across Connecticut to honor the victims and survivors of gun violence. Every day 93 Americans are killed by guns, while more than twice that many are injured. In total, more than one half million people have been killed or injured by guns since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, 2012.

The #WearOrange campaign was inspired by friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago student killed by gunfire, who decided to honor her life by wearing orange on her birthday, the color hunters wear to protect themselves.

We are going to wear orange on June 2, and ask residents of Darien to join us to honor the lives lost and to pledge to reduce gun violence in all its forms. We can do this by supporting common-sense gun laws and gun sense pratices such as asking if there’s a gun in the houses where your children visit friends. While respecting the Second Amendment we must do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Connecticut has the second strongest gun laws in the country and the fourth lowest rate of gun deaths. Study after study show that sensible gun laws save lives.

Please build awareness of this public health crisis by taking a photo of yourself wearing orange (and holding a sign, “I wear orange for…”) and share it on social media with hashtags #WearOrange and #CTgvp.

A coalition of gun violence prevention organizations including CT Against Gun Violence, Newtown Action Alliance, Sandy Hook Promise, and Moms Demand Action is holding the Orange Walk and Rally in Newtown, CT on June 2 from 5pm to 7pm. Speakers include Senator Blumenthal and the actress Joan Melissa Hart. Get event details and sign up at bit.ly/wearorange-ct.

Tracy Marra and Abigail Knott

Darien