Sexual assault crisis center gets $12K grant

Last month, the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education received a $12,000 grant from The Community Fund of Darien.

Lisa Haas, grants director for The Community Fund, said the grant review committee “was impressed by the center’s staff; they clearly have enthusiasm and commitment to the center’s mission. Their professionalism and strength showed the depth of the organization and the ability of the center to fulfill its mission.”

This grant will fund the center’s prevention education programming, which it delivers at no cost to the school districts and community groups of lower Fairfield County. An ongoing goal of the education department is to reach different audiences in the community, to increase awareness of both the problem as well as the resources available to those affected by sexual violence. Part of that initiative includes instructing police officers, social workers, health teachers and parents, in addition to in-school programs.

Community Fund names new executive director

Janet King has been named the new executive director of The Community Fund of Darien.

“We are excited to welcome Janet in her new role. She brings a wealth of experience, talent and enthusiasm for Darien and community philanthropy to our organization,” said the Fund’s board Chair Frank Huck.

King, who is currently the volunteer director at Person-to-Person in Darien, has worked in that role for the last eight years. In that position, she has been responsible for recruiting, coordinating, training and managing more than 4,000 volunteers. She was also responsible for developing and implementing the P2P mobile food pantry to address basic needs access for local communities. In addition, she brings experience from her background in program management, employee training, and marketing, from a variety of companies including Western Athletic Clubs, Brooks Brothers, Esprit de Corp and May Company.

She is a native of Cleveland, and has worked in New York City and Silicon Valley. King is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in business administration and marketing.

“'I am honored to carry on the tradition of The Community Fund of Darien in bringing resources and people together to help strengthen the local community which we call home,” King said.

Group launches blanket crowdfunding campaign

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission and The Impact Vine in Darien have partnered up to launch a crowdfunding campaign to provide blankets to their clients.

According to a 2017 census, 8.6 percent of Fairfield County residents live in poverty, and more than one in four households live beneath the basic cost-of-living threshold.

Many children go to bed without a blanket during the cold winter nights.

But organizations like Bridgeport Rescue Mission are working to solve many underlying causes of poverty.

“We’re thrilled to partner with The Impact Vine to launch this exciting crowdfunding campaign to bring blankets and creative, inspirational messages of hope to those who need it most,” Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s Director of Grants Denise Papay said. “Ten dollars will purchase one blanket with a personal message each donor provides, and we hope to have lots of families get involved — maybe their children can help come up with the message for the blankets they’ll be donating.”

For information, visit theimpactvine.org/project/were-sending-blankets-tagged-with-love-to-neighbors-in-need.

Annual Farm to Table event set for Aug. 25

The fourth annual Farm to Table will take place at Waterbury Field in Darien on Aug. 25.

A three-course dinner will be served in the field by Tim LaBant catering, which specializes in fresh, local fare. Wine pairing recommendations for the menu will be created by WinePort of Darien. Musical entertainment will be provided by Busker, an acoustic pop/rock band, featuring Darien resident Kevin Bannerton on drums and vocals. BMW has donated a bicycle to be presented to a guest at the event.

The Farm to Table event was created to celebrate the success the Darien Land Trust has had in preserving more than 215 acres in Darien.

“Our Farm to Table event has been a huge success over the years,” said Land Trust President Flip Huffard. “It’s a magical evening, having dinner outside under the stars and enjoying the field and the natural setting. Having supporters join us for an event on the land we’ve preserved always creates a special occasion.”

To join the Darien Land Trust for the Farm to Table event at Waterbury Field, purchase tickets at darienlandtrust.org.

Dean’s list recipients

Nicole Caputo, of Darien, was named to the spring 2018 semester dean’s list at Connecticut College.