The Community Fund of Darien has a new website:

The website is designed to increase awareness and support for those who are most vulnerable in Stamford, Norwalk and Darien by sharing local needs assessment data and the positive impact of Community Fund grant awards to local nonprofits and community initiatives.

The updated and modernized style of the website allows for a much more user-friendly and informative experience, with infographics and compelling visual imagery to share important information quickly and clearly. For each of The Community Fund’s four funding goals — Basic Needs, Youth Success, Self-Sufficiency, and Eye on Darien — there is information on the needs and The Community Fund’s response with grant awards and community initiatives.

The site allows visitors to donate online to a specific funding goal or to all of the nonprofit’s funding goals and support a range of needs.

The site also provides information on the staff, board of directors, history of the organization, financials, grants, events and news.

Collegiate honors

Morgan Taylor Sawitsky of Darien was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s honor society, during a campus ceremony Dec. 4 at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Students inducted into the society must exhibit superior academic performance in the field of communication and in overall academic performance. The society’s main purpose is to recognize, foster and reward students who have outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies. It also aims to promote professional development and create a closer bond between professors and students.

Darien native Marcus D’Iorio completed a certificate program in internationalization of higher education from Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services last summer.

Darien native William Halloran is one of 118 Colgate University students inducted into the National Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society this year. Phi Eta Sigma, with chapters on 378 campuses nationwide, is the country’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines.

Halloran, who attended Rye Country Day School, is a member of the class of 2019 at Hamilton, N.Y., school.

In the world

of business

The United Way of Coastal Fairfield County named Darien resident Sam Tingley chairman.

Tingley is the administrative vice president and group manager for M&T Bank.

The United Way of Coastal Fairfield County has its main office in Bridgeport and marshals charitable contributions from businesses throughout the Norwalk area.

Panera is closing

On Dec. 20, Panera Bread is closing its location on the Westport-Norwalk line after 10 years at the Imperial Plaza Shopping Center at 596 Westport Ave. Panera said employees will be offered jobs at other nearby locations.

Panera has a cafe at the Wal-Mart plaza at 650 Main Ave. in Norwalk, but is shuttering others in the area, including in Darien at year end.

In the third quarter, St. Louis-based Panera earned $32 million, or $1.37 a share, with sales up three percent from a year ago to $684 million.

Shopping to support a school

The Family Britches stores in New Canaan and Chappaqua are celebrating the holiday season by donating 5 percent of their December proceeds to San Miguel Academy of Newburgh, a school many local residents have adopted for its incredible work with low income, at-risk middle school boys. An additional 5 percent discount will be given to clients who mention San Miguel at the time of purchase.

Darien residents Brendan and Megan McCarthy helped found the San Miguel Academy.

Get a photo

with Santa

Darien Sport Shop, which is usually closed on Sundays, will be open for holiday shopping and Santa photos Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 from 12 to 5 p.m.

In total, Santa will be in the store for photos on the following dates:

Dec. 10 from 12-3 p.m.

Dec. 11 from 12-3 p.m.

Dec. 17 from 12-3 p.m.

Dec. 18 from 12-2 p.m.

Dec. 22 from 3-6 p.m.

Dec. 23 from 3-6 p.m.

Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Furthermore, Darien Sport Shop and Jack Dog Studios are holding a special Santa photo contest. Tag your photos on Facebook or Instagram #DSSanta16 or @dariensportshop to be entered to win a free family portrait sitting and 11 by 14 print from Jack Dog Studios. One winner will be awarded each week.

For more information, please contact Geri Corrigan at or visit for the full store events calendar.

Resources toolbox

Too often, parents, spouses, friends, and caregivers find themselves confronted with issues they may be ill-equipped to deal with. While the opioid crisis is certainly among the most frightening — and certainly among the most dangerous — other issues, such as bullying, suicide, and dating violence, can leave people looking for resources.

Darien Police Department has attached a “Resources Toolbox” to their website, The toolbox can be accessed by clicking on the “Services” tab at the upper right of the homepage.