Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
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Dave Huppertz of Darien and his daughter, Emiliana, 2, arrive at the Fall Fair at New Canaan Nature Center, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Contributed Photo
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Darien resident Janine Vairo and Tony Aitoro, owner of AITORO in Norwalk, show off the donations they collected to benefit the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.
Photo: Contributed / Contributed Photo
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Chef Jay LeBlanc, of Knot Norm’s Catering Co., and Darien resident Janine Vairo cook together during a fundraiser at AITORO in Norwalk Oct. 5.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
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Evelyn Dolcetti, 5, of Darien, does some pumpkin decorating at the Fall Fair at New Canaan Nature Center on Saturday.
Photo: Bob Luckey Jr. / Hearst Connecticut Media
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Darien resident Heather Schimenti, center, took part in the YWCA of Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services annual Candlelight Vigil to honor the victims of domestic abuse at the YWCA of Greenwich, Conn., Wednesday, Darien resident Heather Schimenti, center, took part in the YWCA of Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services annual Candlelight Vigil to honor the victims of domestic abuse at the YWCA of Greenwich, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.

Darien resident Janine Vairo, of the Higgins Group Real Estate, recently teamed up with the Norwalk appliance store, AITORO, and Knot Norm’s Catering Co. to support Move For Hunger, which helps coordinate food donations when people clean out their kitchen closets and move from their homes.

At Cooking for a Cause on Oct. 5, guests enjoyed gourmet food and watched cooking demonstrations while experiencing the latest in kitchen trends.

Vairo is the point person at Higgins Group | Vanderblue Team where she helps clear the pantry shelves of their sellers’ homes and drops off the donated food to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Inspired, she decided to creas the Cook-for-A-Cause event.

Chef Jay LeBlanc and Vairo cooked butter-braised steaks with garlic and rosemary for the attendees, as well as demonstrated different cooking techniques used to make the dish. Linguine with freshly caught baby clams and oregano were also served, along with gourmet “adult” grilled cheese sandwiches.

All dishes were paired with fine wines complimentary of AITORO, along with other appetizers.

Owner Tony Aitoro gave a hands-on cooking demonstration utilizing all of the unique kitchen appliances that are available at Aitoro, such as a built-in steamer for the clams.

The attendees brought tons of food donations, including canned vegetables, soups, beans, pasta, flour, cereal, juice, crackers and cookies. All food was dropped off at the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

The plan is to do another similar event at AITORO in December.

The 21st annual Darien Family Fun Day, hosted by the Holly Pond School, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Darien YMCA. This fun-filled family event is open to the public and is designed for preschool and elementary school-aged children.

The day will include entertainment by Magician Danny Magic, music by Ray & Jay, pony rides, arcade games, pumpkin decorating donated by Noroton Heights Stop & Shop and face painting courtesy of the Darien Toy Box.

Besides a bake sale, Heights Pizza and the Melt Mobile food truck will be on hand.

Volunteers from the Darien Depot will ensure things run smoothly.

Tickets cost $30 per family, and all proceeds will benefit the Holly Pond School.

The event will go on, rain or shine.

Five Darien natives are members of the Loyola University Maryland class of 2021. The following local students are Loyola’s newest greyhounds: Elizabeth Burke, Kevin Lindley, Kateri Martin, Ryan Morales and Charles Rand-Riccardi.

A grant for P2P

In keeping with Webster Bank’s philanthropic goals to support and partner with organizations that “serve the best interests of our communities, while providing basic necessities that ensure individuals have the opportunity to live with dignity and pursue their dreams,” the company awarded a $3,000 grant to Person-to-Person for the Emergency Assistance Program.

Through the program, people in crisis receive assistance that helps them put food on the table, secure safe housing, keep the lights on and clothe their family.

With offices in Darien and Norwalk, the P2P service area includes Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

Darien native Doug Allen is returning to his hometown for an evening of country music.

The Nashville-based singer/songwriter will be performing Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 14 Brookside Road.

Coffee, tea, sodas, juice and dessert are provided as part of the $10 admission fee. Children get in free.

Flu season is fast approaching and Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will hold several flu vaccine clinics in Darien this fall.

The nursing agency will hold flu clinics at the Darien YMCA, 2420 Post Road, Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.; and at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will hold additional flu clinics at its offices in the Health & Wellness Center at I-Park, 761 Main Ave., Suite 114, at the intersection of Kent Road and Route 7 on the Wilton/Norwalk town line. These clinics will be held every Wednesday from 3:30 until 5 p.m. through Nov. 15.

Anyone four years of age or older can receive the seasonal flu vaccine at these clinics and there is no residency requirement.

All flu clinics are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and appointments are not necessary. Persons under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The cost of the vaccine is $50 for the regular dose and $68 for the high dose, which will be available for those aged 65 or over. Cash or check will be accepted or it can be billed directly to

Medicare Part B, Aetna, Anthem, Connecticare, Harvard Pilgrim, Multi Plan or Wellcare. Bring your insurance card with you to the flu clinic.

Those wishing to receive the flu vaccine are encouraged to wear short sleeves or sleeves that are easy to roll up.

For more information, please call the flu hotline at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County at (203) 834-6341, ext. 444.

Jan Dilenschneider, a Darien landscape artist who has championed the cause of preserving the environment in exhibits worldwide, will display her paintings in a new show titled “Paint the Beautiful World” at Stamford’s Palace Theatre.

The show, which will runs through Dec. 31, is in the recently-refurbished Sackler Gallery and in Café Teatro at The Palace Theatre.

For her exhibit at The Palace, the expressionist painter has divided the paintings into themes based on the idea behind the works:

Decalcomania is a series where one surface is painted and then pressed onto or printed onto a second surface, either canvas or aluminum. This gives texture and a haunting mirror image that can be worked on.

Homage to Leaves is themed to help the viewer appreciate the beauty of the everyday leaf.

Reeds, Rivers and Reflections highlights her fascination with the landscape, its colors, variations and the reflections in water.

Dilenschneider, who with her husband, Robert, developed The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts, which rescues artists and arts scholars from repressive regimes around the world. The award is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the largest international exchange organizations in the world, and has provided life-saving fellowships that have taken oppressed artists and their families out of danger and allowed them to create and flourish.

In partnership with At Home In Darien, the Darien High School football captains have extended a special invitation to senior citizens to attend the DHS home games with free admission.

The Blue Wave football team, led by Captains Nick Green, Brian Minicus, Michael Neary, and Mitchell Pryor, is excited to welcome senior fans to this season’s home games and look forward to seeing them cheer in the stands.

Admission to home games will be free to Darien seniors aged 65 and older, and handicapped accessible space will be available.

At Home In Darien, a nonprofit dedicated to providing services and aid for seniors, will arrange transportation with its sedan and van service for those who need it. To arrange a ride or for more information, call the At Home In Darien office at (203) 655-2227.

Upcoming home games:

Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. vs. Fairfield Warde

Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. vs. Wilton

Nov. 23 at 10:30 p.m. vs. New Canaan

For a full schedule of games, go to

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, which serves children in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, is seeking additional volunteers for its Youth, Empowerment, & Support Mentoring Program.

The YES Mentoring Program supports children 6 to 18 who are involved in System of Care in Stamford and Norwalk. CGC’s System of Care program helps families access integrated services to meet complex needs and safely maintain children at home.

Through YES, youth will have the opportunity to interact and participate in fun, age-appropriate activities with a positive role model. While the mentor is spending quality time with the child/teen, parents will have some time to themselves.

Each YES session lasts 12 weeks, and youth will meet with their mentor for three hours a week. Every mentor will complete thorough interview, orientation, and background checks. The mentor and family will work together to develop a convenient schedule of enjoyable activities for the child.

To learn more about the YES Mentoring Program or to volunteer, contact Sheila Figueroa at or 203-517-3346.