SoundWaters Flotilla launches Saturday

Area residents and paddling enthusiasts will launch Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in a flotilla, paddling four miles from Cove Island Park in Stamford to the beach at Boccuzzi Park on Stamford Harbor.

The second annual flotilla is sponsored by SoundWaters, a nonprofit organization based at Cove Island Park that strives to protect Long Island Sound through education. SoundWaters created the event to reinforce the role Long Island Sound plays in the lives of coastal communities.

“Our mission at SoundWaters is to help people learn about and appreciate the incredible resource we have in Long Island Sound. We do this all year by teaching over 32,000 students from across Connecticut, but we also know that a great way to learn to love the Sound is to just get on the water and have fun — in this case by paddling,” SoundWaters President Leigh Shemitz said.

Event check-in will take place at 7:30 a.m. at Cove Island Park, 1281 Cove Road, Stamford. At this time, participants launching from Darien’s beaches will paddle to the Cove Island start. The flotilla launch is schedule for 8:30 a.m., followed by a beach party at Boccuzzi Park, 200 Southfield Ave., Stamford, until 2 p.m.

Summer STEM program at DHS next week

Camp Invention, a nationally recognized, nonprofit summer enrichment camp program, is coming to the Darien area.

Using hands-on activities, Camp Invention promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning; builds resourcefulness and problem-solving skills; and encourages entrepreneurship.

These activities include:

Optibot: Campers will launch into the future with their own Optibot — a small self-driving robot that senses changes in light.

Robotic Pet Vet: Throughout this module, campers nurse their robotic puppy back to health and design and build dog parks as they hammer out ideas for the best park attraction.

Mod My Mini Mansion: Campers will design their own futuristic smart home filled with gadgets, LEDs, technology and innovations.

Stick To It: Campers will invent something new every day as they explore what it is like to be a physicist, engineer and entrepreneur. Young innovators will invent, make and craft solutions to real-world challenges by building their own prototypes.

The program will take place at Darien High School the week of July 16-20. For information, visit campinvention.org or call 800-968-4332 .

Operation Fuel seeks energy assistance help

Operation Fuel’s statewide network of fuel banks has begun taking energy assistance applications from Connecticut households. Families and individuals who are in danger of having their utility services terminated due to financial hardship should call 211 to see if they are eligible for energy assistance.

There are more than 320,000 low- and moderate-income households statewide that can’t afford their energy bills. During 2017, more than 52,000 households had their electricity disconnected because of non-payment, according to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Brenda Watson, Operation Fuel’s executive director, said she is concerned about how people will survive a heat wave if their electricity is shut off.

“An energy grant from Operation Fuel can be lifesaving. The home energy affordability crisis is a health and safety issue for over 300,000 Connecticut households. Just a small donation to Operation Fuel can help a local family or individual remain in their home,” Watson said.

For this past fiscal year, which ended June 30, Operation Fuel helped 7,232 households with more than $3.1 million in energy assistance.

“We want to help even more households this year, but we need the resources to do that. Lack of electricity can create serious problems for the elderly, young children and babies, and people who have chronic health problems. Being without electricity during extreme heat is especially hazardous,” Watson said.

The annual winter moratorium, which prevents qualified households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and doesn’t resume until Nov. 1.

For information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Ave., Suite 2-240, Hartford CT 06106.

Honors recipients

Darien residents Emily Eppley and Morgan Sawitsky were named to the spring semester dean’s list at Quinnipiac University.

Abigail Conway, of Darien, was named to the honors list and Matthew Rehm, of Darien, was named to the high honors list for spring at Pomfret School.

Darien residents Brooks T. Daley, Martha A. Wright and Madeleine A. Hauben were named to the St. Lawrence University dean’s list for the spring semester.

Jackson Huffman, of Darien, earned the distinction of Faculty Honors for spring at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Among the graduates

Darien residents Alisson Gil, Morgan Sawitsky and Tianhan Sun graduated from Quinnipiac University in May.