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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Opus announces new board of directors

Published 10:16 am, Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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  • Sarah Caras, Elizabeth Hole and Caroline Gallagher were named co-presidents of Opus for Person-to-Person's Board of Directors. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / Darien News Contributed
    Sarah Caras, Elizabeth Hole and Caroline Gallagher were named co-presidents of Opus for Person-to-Person's Board of Directors. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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Opus for Person-to-Person, a charitable organization of more than 200 women from Darien and surrounding towns, has announced its 2014-15 board of directors. The new board consists of 24 women who volunteer for fundraising efforts for the Darien- and Norwalk-based agency Person-to-Person.

Since 1996, Opus has contributed approximately $3.04 million to Person-to-Person as its only fundraising and awareness arm. Last year alone, Opus raised more than $220,000 that went directly to Person-to-Person's programs and services.

"On the heels of another successful Opus year, the momentum is building with our talented new board of directors," said Caroline Gallagher, co-president of Opus for Person-to-Person. "It's a dynamic group with a lot of exciting ideas, and we're happy to have 12 returning board members lend their expertise."

"The board and our committee chairmen are already putting new programs into place this summer," added Elizabeth Hole, co-president of Opus for Person-to-Person. "Our primary goals are to increase alumnae participation and expand the membership base, create ongoing volunteer opportunities for members, and engage additional corporate participation in the greater Norwalk area."

The new 2014-15 board of directors includes:

Co-Presidents Sarah Caras, Caroline Gallagher and Elizabeth Hole; Vice President Patty Deery; Secretary Jennifer Barbagallo; Co-Treasurers Carol Faherty and Jennifer Sherman; Hope Barton; Kathryn Mann; Amie Willis; Tasha Blair; Liz Ezbiansky; Jordan Castellani; Katie Briggs; Nicole Harder; Erika Spraker; Kristina Gregory; Christa FitzPatrick; Kate Cusack; Pam Byrne; Lindsay Warnke; Catherine Webb; Gina Gromelski; and Katherine Sakara.

Opus supports Person-to-Person through fundraising and public awareness with four popular events: the BigGER Rig Gig in September; a family concert in January; an annual spring gala; and Balloons for Campers Day in May. These events raise vital funds for Person-to-Person.

Last year, approximately 24,500 people received assistance from Person-to-Person, which included 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 located at St. Luke's Church in Darien. The organization houses self-serve food pantries in both its Darien and Norwalk locations, where clients shop alongside volunteers to choose the food they know their families will eat. In 2013 alone, nearly 550,000 meals were provided to families in need.

On Wednesday, July 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Opus will host a Campership Picnic at St. Luke's Church in Darien, connecting Opus members with the children who receive scholarships to attend summer camp. At the Balloons for Campers Day in May, Opus and Person-to-Person jointly raised more than $140,000 to help send 500 children from low-income families in Stamford to area summer day camps. The Person-to-Person Campership Program provides safe and positive environments for these children during the summer months, while alleviating their parents' childcare concerns.

The BigGER Rig Gig is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Darien. Last year's sold-out event raised close to $45,000. The second annual BigGER Rig Gig is a casual evening of fun for grown ups, complete with gourmet food trucks, a local band and games. Tickets will go on sale in early August 2014 and will be inclusive of all food, drinks and games. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as last year's event sold out quickly.

Money raised at the BigGER Rig Gig will help fund Person-to-Person's Emergency Food Pantry, which faces increased demand in support of Person-to-Person's ongoing initiative in the Stamford Public Elementary Schools. Nearly 50 percent of Stamford school children qualify to receive free or reduced-price school meals 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 provides many of these qualified families with groceries from its food pantry.

Following the success of family concert Snowflakes, Songs & Slices in January 2014, Opus plans to bring back the all-ages benefit on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. Children will be treated to an interactive band, pizza and arts and crafts.

Plans are also underway for the annual spring benefit, which is typically the largest fundraiser of the year. Last May, the Cinco de Mayo-themed Fiesta on the Sound -- held at Wee Burn Beach Club in Norwalk -- raised approximately $138,000 for Person-to-Person. Next year's spring gala will take place on Saturday, March 28, at the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien.

Businesses interested in becoming corporate sponsors of Opus can contact info@opus4p2p.org.

For more information on Opus, please visit www.opus4p2p.org and become a fan on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/opus4p2p.