Food Fair a success

To the Editor:

The annual Darien Food Fair was a terrific event this year and Darien EMS-Post 53 has many people to thank for making our community fundraising event so successful.

First, we appreciate the support of the Town of Darien for the use of Tilley Pond and for the oversight offered by the Darien Police Department. We also want to thank the many Darien businesses who donated a portion of the food and other services for our event, most especially Palmer's Market, Stewart Brownlee and "the Bang" for the great music, Rings End, Town Electric, Wee Burn Country Club, Mitch Himmel, the Steinkraus family, Michael Joseph's Catering, Espresso Neat and Robeks. We want to thank the Pepsi Corporation for their donation as well. In addition, we owe a special thanks to the local Darien business owners and private individuals who donated items for the silent auction which added to the success of the Food Fair.

The parents of the young adult volunteers of Post 53 are a huge help, baking treats and volunteering their time to work on the day of the fair.

Finally, of course, we want to thank the citizens of Darien who attended the Food Fair and supported Darien EMS-Post 53 and the work we do in the community.

We enjoy organizing the Food Fair and it is an honor to host this event each year which brings together the people of Darien. Thank you again for your participation and for the on-going community support you give to Darien EMS-Post 53.

The young adults and adult advisors of Post 53

Good for the Y?

Good for Darien?

To the Editor:

While not a physical neighbor the Darien YMCA, I have watched with interest the most recent efforts by the Darien YMCA to apparently circumvent development agreements with their neighbors and the Town of Darien. As many readers know, the Darien YMCA seeks to relocate the gymnastics program back from Goodwives Shopping Center to the Darien YMCA's main location on the Post Road.

In my opinion, this approach seems to drive significant additional traffic to a residential neighborhood and is not in keeping with the character of a residential neighborhood. To accommodate the gymnastics program they want to add a 10,000-plus-square-foot addition to the present location. I am not sure something the size of a small office building is the intended land use when granted their special use permit years ago. This in fact seems the further commercialization of a residential neighborhood.

The YMCA provides enrichment to the community and I hope they continue to do so. However in the current chapter of its development quest they have proven neither good neighbors nor willing members of the community. To the point:

"¢ The YMCA previously vacated the gymnastics program at the Post Road location given the P&Z rejection of previous expansion requests due to the very same traffic and land use issues.

"¢ Reluctant to accept the town's representation that the additional building and attendant traffic was not in keeping with the current residential location ... it has chosen to litigate Darien for a variance.

"¢ In the hopes of enhancing its case it has purchased a neighboring property covertly, presumably for housing but potentially to skew the building footprint in their favor.

I implore the YMCA to find space solutions that do not include the present Post Road location. It is not in keeping with that neighborhood's zoning and its approach reflects poorly on their intention to serve the neighborhood and the larger Darien Community.

To paraphrase an old business adage, what's good for the Darien YMCA may no longer be good for Darien?

Michael Spalding

Darien

Odyssey of the Mind thanks community

To the Editor:

The Darien High School Odyssey of the Mind team, led by faculty advisor Lee Strecker, would like to thank the Darien community for donating funds and buying goods at our many bake sales so that our team could go to the World Championships at Michigan State University last week. It was an incredible experience to compete against creative and fast thinking teams from 36 states and 13 countries. We are grateful to Stephen Falcone who supported our efforts to start this team at DHS last fall. We were one of two top finalists to go to the World Championships from the state competition.

Our team could not have gone to MI State without the sponsorship of Linda Tavlarios, Susan Vogel, Ashley Feehan and Patti Bumgardner.

We would also like to thank those who generously donated to our e-mail fund-raising efforts: Callie Sullivan, Karla Coe, Candace Hughes (Molnitz), Ani Khachian, Ellen Powis, Elsie Patrick, Liz Okun, Rachel Brandon, Patrice Metz, Joan Kanlian, Janet King, Margot Congdon and Robin Hayes.

We love this community because generosity and spirit know no bounds.

Go Odyssey.

Susan Farrington

Coach