Sailing season might be over by the time fall rolls around, but Darien's Tilley Pond will be filled with dozens of tiny wooden boats on Oct. 23 as part of a community-wide gathering hosted by Family Centers.

Called HOPE Floats, the family-orientated event allows children of all ages and their families to build and decorate small, easy-to-construct sailboats. Glue, markers and other art supplies will be available to help children personalize their boats. Those wishing to remember a loved one who has died are encouraged to write that person's name on the boat's sail. Families will be invited to launch the sailboats beginning at 4 p.m.

Sailboat kits are available for $10 on or at Family Centers' offices in Greenwich (40 Arch Street) and Darien (590 Post Road). Kits will also be on sale the day of the event. Those purchasing sailboat kits will be given tickets for free pizza courtesy of The Pizza Truck Company of Bethel. All proceeds will benefit critical illness and bereavement support services offered through Family Centers' Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids.

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 1000 professionals and trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health.

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