For the sixth year, the Darien Winter Club staged its annual charity skate for the benefit of Person-to-Person. Each player made a donation, and the Terry Conners Ice Rink in Stamford donated the ice time, so 100 percent of the proceeds -- more than $6,600 -- has been donated to the Person-to-Person Emergency Assistance Program.

"We are grateful to be the beneficiaries of this event because it allows us to help the people who come to us for assistance with food, clothing and shelter," P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher said.

More than 80 percent of P2P clients live and work in Stamford. This summer, the agency has launched a new initiative to address the year-round need -- the School's Out Summer Food Program. According to Maher, several thousand Stamford children qualify for free lunch during the school year.

"Once school is out, there is added pressure on these families to provide enough food each week for their children," she said. "Our goal is to help 400 families by giving them groceries for one week of meals in July and August. And the generous donation from the Darien Winter Club will help us meet that goal."

Since 2006, when members of the Darien Winter Club first took to the ice on behalf of P2P, they have raised nearly $34,000.

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Fact box

The Darien Winter Club is an ice hockey club for men ages 30 and older from towns that include Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport, Norwalk and Fairfield. It has been in existence since 1953 when two Fairfield County men, who happened to be sitting next to each other on a plane during a business trip, decided they loved the game enough to form a hockey club.

Person-to-Person Inc., a nonprofit agency, was established in 1968 by St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Darien. Its mission was to bring together the needs of people in disadvantaged areas of nearby communities with the resources of people in Darien and the surrounding areas, thereby providing basic emergency services to low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County.

A volunteer-driven agency, Person-to-Person is committed to helping clients achieve self-sufficiency through practical help, advocacy, education and problem-solving initiatives. Programs include emergency assistance, campership and scholarship. In 2010, Person-to-Person helped 22,431 people avert crisis and make ends meet. These efforts are made possible by in-kind donations, a force of more than 2,000 volunteers and financial contributions.

For more information on Person-to-Person, visit www.p2pdarien.org or call 203-655-0048. For more information about the Darien Winter Club, visit www.darienwinterclub.org.