Darien resident Aidan Connolly has enrolled at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. for the fall semester. Connolly had not yet declared a major.

Darien Sport Shop will kick off the back-to-school season with a series of events, trunk shows, personal shopping assistance and charitable giving.

Donate a gently-used backpack and receive 10 percent off a new backpack through Aug. 26. DSS will also be collecting gently-used children’s clothing through Sept. 30.

All backpacks and clothing will be donated to Kids in Crisis and Person-to-Person.

Furthermore, DSS will be donating a percentage of back-to-school sales to Kids in Crisis,

Make-A-Wish Connecticut and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.

DSS will also be hosting a back-to-school carnival Sept. 9 from 12-5 p.m. on the third floor. Enjoy complimentary face painting, hair braiding, balloon making, Lego classes, games, prizes snacks, refreshments and more.

Post your kids’ new back-to-school look from DSS anytime through Sept. 30, tag #DSSB2S, and be entered to win a $100 gift card.

Those interested can take advantage of personal shopping assistance.

Sign up for a personal shopping appointment and have a dedicated shopper help complete your back to school checklist. Spend $250 and receive 10 percent off your back-to-school purchase.

Toddler Time is expanding.

Serving the Darien community for over 20 years, Toddler Time provides a two-hour drop-off experience in a relaxed atmosphere at the YWCA Darien/Norwalk office, 49 Old Kings Highway North.

Toddler Time has added two themed toddler clubs. A one-hour themed class will be added two mornings a week from 11:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. These new enrichment programs will follow the regular Toddler Time classes on those days, so parents can choose to leave their children for a slightly longer time or opt to sign up for only the one-hour drop-off “club”.

Mondays, two-year-old’s will enjoy the “Toddler Book Club.” Each week the children will explore a different book, act them out and enjoy activities related to the book.

Wednesdays you can enroll your young artist in their “Toddler Art Club.” The children will make themed projects and have the opportunity to work with various age-appropriate mediums.

For more information or to register for any of the Toddler Time offerings, visit ywcadn.org or call (203) 655- 2535.

The public is invited to Darien’s Sept. 11 ceremony.

The Monuments and Ceremonies Commission of the Town of Darien invites the public to participate in the town’s annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony with Commissioner Phil Kraft serving as the master of ceremonies.

Following tradition, the Darien Monuments and Ceremonies Commission will observe 9/11 on Monday, Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. at the 9/11 Memorial located behind Middlesex Middle School, 204 Hollow Tree Ridge Road.

Josh Doying, a Darien High School graduate, brought the town’s 9/11 monument to fruition.

A wreath and red roses will be placed and a moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Members of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission include Vice Chairman David Polett; Treasurer Terrence Gaffney; Secretary Karen K. Polett, and members, Phil Kraft, Roland Holub, Ken Reiss, Sueann Schorr, Charles Scribner, Rebecca Siciliano, and George Walsh, and Marian Castell, an ex-officio. This group is responsible for Town of Darien-sponsored ceremonies and is also charged with helping to preserve and maintain Darien monuments. Recently, this Commission formed a sub-committee with Sharon Kells as chairman and Tracy Root as vice chairman charged with restoring and improving Darien cemeteries.

Along with the public, first responders, town selectmen and local officials have been invited to attend.

The American Red Cross urges blood donors to give in the final weeks of summer to help overcome a chronic summer blood shortage.

To fully meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks, donations are urgently needed from new and current donors. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to donate again. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days, and Power Red cells can be donated every 112 days.

As a special thank you, those who come out to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross through Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target eGiftCard.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:


8/31: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Darien Library, 1441 Post Road


8/28: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Easton Public Library, 691 Morehouse Road


8/30: 1 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Trinity Baptist Church, 300 North Benson Road

8/30: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Congregation Beth El, 1200 Fairfield Woods Road

8/31: 11:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Ludlowe Center for Health and Rehabilitation, 118 Jefferson St.


8/26: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., St Cecilia Catholic Church, 1184 Newfield Ave.

Appointments can be scheduled by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass.

A warm summer night, three long tables set with white linens and sparkling lights and a local band at Waterbury Field in Darien will set the scene for the third annual Farm to Table Event hosted by the Darien Land Trust Aug. 26.

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 Darienite Kevin Bannerton on drums and vocals.

The Farm to Table Event was created to celebrate the success the Land Trust has had in preserving more than 200 acres in Darien. Their mission is to permanently preserve open space in Darien, providing the community with environmentally rich habitats, scenic vistas, opportunities for educational experiences and the quiet enjoyment of nature.

Several local businesses have lent their support as sponsors of the event, including Baywater Properties, Rings End, BMW of Darien, Darien Rowayton Bank, MacGuire, Cheswick & Tuttle Investment Counsel, LLC and Rowayton Wine Shop and Wine Port of Darien. BMW of Darien has generously donated a bicycle to be presented at random to a lucky guest at the event.

The DLT receives land through a combination of gifts from property owners and, in certain instances, direct purchase of the land. Once the land is under DLT protection, trustees begin an active stewardship program. Waterbury Field was permanently preserved through a combination gift by the Joslin family and purchase in 2008.

Over the past year, Waterbury Field, which is adjacent to the Wee Burn Country Club, has been transformed with a demonstration landscape showcasing native plant species.

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

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 sheila.figueroa@childguidancect.org or 203-517-3346.