On May 9, a busload of Darien realtors headed to Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford to urge legislators to “Give us a CT to Sell!”

Geno Auriemma, the women’s basketball coach for the University of Connecticut, was the CT Realtor Rally’s keynote speaker. Auriemma spoke to more than 2,300 real estate professionals from across the state who descended on Bushnell Park in a rally to press state lawmakers to resolve budget differences and reshape Connecticut into a state that attracts companies, jobs and people.

Darien realtors were lead by Darien Board/MLS President Bryan Morris, associated with William Pitt Sotheby’s. Also representing Darien Realtors were Barb Hazelton, the Darien board’s vice president; Gunnar Edelstein with Berkshire Hathaway; Ellen Christian, Kathleen Granath, Linnea McManus, Ruth Anne Ramsey and Tricia Whitehead with Coldwell Banker; John Bainton with Douglas Elliman; Karen Finn and Tom Finn with Gatehouse Realty; Tammy Langalis with William Raveis; Debbie Previte and Stephan von Jena with William Pitt; and Ingrid Hess with Sotheby’s.

Getting greener

The Tree Conservancy of Darien recently planted the remainder of the 30 trees donated by Planters Choice Nursery in December with the generous help of Richard Jones Landscaping.

TCD installed a snowbell at the Town Hall, an eastern redbud, a paperbark maple and a sugar maple at the Darien Community Association, and four sugar maple trees on Ledge Road.

Since the nonprofit’s inception in 2010, TCD has planted over 350 trees in Darien and is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tree and forest resources of Darien for the benefit of the community, its health and its quality of life. Its goals are to educate the community about the value of trees and their care, replace Darien trees lost to disease, construction and storms, maintain the care of new and existing trees and build partnerships with town organizations.

For more information or to donate to Tree Conservancy of Darien, visit treeconservancyofdarien.org or email info@treeconservancyofdarien.org.

Among the graduates

Eight Darien natives graduated from Norwalk Community College on May 18. Among the 752 new graduates were Patrizia B. Dalle Mule, Kaitlyn Granata, Kinga Kotono, Luis A. Lu, Tshifhiwa Mathoni, William McCann, Christopher B. Reilly and Andrea C. Swix.

The dean’s list

Darien natives John Bielstein and Mollie McMullan achieved the dean’s list at Belmont University for the Spring semester. Eligibility is based on a minimum course load of 12 hours and a quality-grade point average of 3.5 with no grade below a C.

At Keene State College, 1,245 students have been named to the spring dean’s list, including Darien’s Leigh Barron and Cassandra Lopiano.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute announced Kelly Vodola, of Darien, a member of the class of 2019 majoring in chemical engineering, was named to the university’s dean’s list for academic excellence for the spring semester.

The criteria for the WPI dean’s list differs from that of most other universities as WPI does not compute a grade-point average. Instead, WPI defines the dean’s list by the amount of work completed at the A level in courses and projects.

Collegiate honors

Bowdoin College’s 21st annual Honors Day acknowledging the exceptional academic accomplishments of students and faculty was held on the academic year’s last day of classes, May 10.

Darien’s Miranda Princi , a member of the class of 2017, received the The Sunrise Prize. Princi is earning a major in government and legal studies and a minor in cinema studies.

Two Darien natives presented at Union College’s annual Steinmetz Symposium Day: Caroline McGuire and John Jonker , both members of the class of 2018.

Now in its 27th year, Union College’s Steinmetz Symposium Day features an extensive array of oral presentations, posters, performances and exhibits, with concurrent sessions held all day in lieu of regularly scheduled classes. The evening includes a reception and musical performances.

Darien author named finalist

A Darien resident was a finalist for a New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Award, a competition hosted by the Shoreline Arts Alliance in Guilford.

In the 17th annual competition, Pamela Farley , of Darien, was a finalist in the young adult novel category for “Chasing Flawless.”

To date, over 65 books have been published as a result of this competition. Judging is done by professional literary agents in the first round, with the final tier of judging done by senior editors and art directors at major publishing houses.

At the Y

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is located at 49 Old Kings Highway North, Darien. For more information, call 203-655-2535 or visit ywcadn.org.

Toddler Time: Registration is open for the 2017-18 school year.

Toddler Time is a two-hour, drop-off program consisting of free play, organized play, story time, singing, art project and snack in a classroom setting.

The program begins in September and meets through May. Families can enroll their toddlers for one, two, or three days per week. To be eligible, children must turn two between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017.

The program is open to the public but space is limited.

Golf scramble: The third annual golf scramble fundraiser to benefit the Darien YMCA special-needs programs will be held June 5 at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Club in Greenwich.

The Darien Y is the largest provider of special-needs programs in the community, with annual participation rates of over 600 individuals.

All proceeds from the Darien Y Golf Scramble will go toward Darien YMCA programs for children with special needs.

This annual event was founded by Pio Bruzzese , whose son, Vincent, is on the autism spectrum. For the past eight years, Vincent Bruzzese has participated in many special-needs programs at the Darien Y, where he has had the opportunity to interact with children of different abilities.

The golf scramble event involves breakfast, an 18-hole golf tournament, and a luncheon. Sponsorships are available at the $150, $1,000 and $2,000 level. Details about sponsorships and the event are at darien-ymca.org or by contacting Pio Bruzzese at 646-660-5082 or pbruzzese@nemotile.com.

Robot experts

New Canaan Country School’s Middle School Robotics Team participated in the eighth annual ROBOnanza!, a competition for Westchester and Fairfield County independent schools held in Greenwich May 13.

The “Cougar Bots” — robots built completely out of Legos and programmed by the fifth and sixth grader — contended against robots from other schools in three levels of challenges.

As per the CSI-inspired theme “Forensic Frenzy,” the students were challenged to build robots that could travel down a lane and knock over as many pins as possible in a 5-frame game (Bowling For Burglars); navigate to five numbered areas with various “Lego evidence” worth various point values (Collect the Evidence); and complete an obstacle course autonomously (Police Academy Training).

Country School sixth graders Sofie Petricone, of Rowayton, and Charlotte Calderwood , of Darien, took home the first-place trophy for Police Academy Training, while the fifth grade team of Malcolm Stewart , of Darien, Cyrus Pearson, of New Canaan, and Decatur Boland, of Rowayton, netted second-place honors in the same category.

The Cougar Bot designed by sixth graders Tyler Rosolen, of Norwalk, and Sam Cherry, of Westport, scored second place in Collect the Evidence, and the fifth grade team consisting of Waverly Walters, of New Canaan, Katey Charnin , of Darien, and Annie Nichols, of New Canaan, placed third.

Sixth grader and New Canaan resident Parakram Karnik scored second place in Bowling for Burglars.

Darien resident Peter Metcalf , a fifth grader, won a special trophy for being the only person in the competition to complete the Police Academy challenge fully. He was also cited for successfully navigating his robot around the line figure of a human body.

All team members took home certificates for successfully completing challenges.

New Canaan Country School is an independent day school serving students age 3 through grade 9.

Support Post 53

Darien EMS- Post 53 ’s annual Memorial Day Food Fair is here. The Food Fair is a fundraiser to support Post 53, which provides emergency medical services to the Darien community.

Tickets are $5 each.

The fair at Tilley Pond Park, which begins immediately after the parade on May 29, continues until 2 p.m. and features live music, a silent auction, games, crafts and food from local shops, including from Palmer’s Market, Michael Joseph’s, Fisherman’s Net, The Goose, and Smoky Joe’s.

58th Darien Art Show and Sale

The 58th Darien Art Show and Sale returns to the Darien Arts Center ’s Weatherstone Studio from June 3 through June 10.

The awards reception will be held on June 2, from 7 to 9 p.m., when the winner of Best in Show will be announced. The winner will be given a solo exhibit in the Town Hall in the spring of 2018.

The show will be open for public viewing every day from June 3 through June 10, from noon to 5 p.m.

Darien Rowayton Bank is the corporate sponsor of the Art Show and Sale.

Prize sponsors are Ben Larrabee Fine Art Portrait Photography; Big Shots; The Dock Shop; Dana Fead of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties; Rose-Marie Fox, Board Chair, Silvermine Arts Center; Geary Gallery; Jerry’s Artarama; David M. Osherow, D.D.S., Orthodontist; Sugar Bowl and Wilson Avenue Loft Artists.

Show sponsors consist of Baubles; Darien Carpet; Frederic & Co.; The Gardener’s Center & Florist; Grieb’s Pharmacy; Imported Cars of Darien; Kennedy’s All-American Barber Club; Michael’s Cleaners; Rowayton Fuel & Oil; Rowayton Market; Silverhill Landscaping; Tammy Langalis of William Raveis Real Estate and Wineport of Darien.

To find out more about the 58th Darien Art Show and Sale, visit darienarts.org or call 203-655-8683.