Thank you from Darien EMS

To the Editor:

On behalf of all the young adults and adult advisors of Darien EMS-Post 53, we would like to thank everyone who attended our 30th Memorial Day Food Fair at Tilley Pond Park, supporting us and the work we do in the community. Your participation helped make this annual Darien community celebration a great success! Each year we enjoy hosting the Food Fair, which brings together the community in fun while honoring our service men and women on Memorial Day.

Thank you to the town of Darien for the use of Tilley Pond Park, and to the Darien Police Department and Darien Parks and Recreation for their help. Thank you to the parents of the young adults of Post 53 who are a huge help before and during the fair. We also thank the many Darien businesses who donated food and other services for our event, most especially Palmer’s Market, Fisherman’s Net, The Goose, Michael Joseph’s, The Boatyard at Smokey Joe’s BBQ, Expresso Neat, Finocchio Bros. Inc., Mermaid Pool Water and Ring’s End. Thanks also to the many local Darien businesses and individuals who generously donated silent auction items including: JoyRide, BMW of Darien, Fresh Green Light, Carnegie Pollack, Paws and Reflect, Ten Twenty Post, Designs by Zoe, Bodega, Jimmy’s Southside Tavern, Vineyard Vines, Inner Light, Infinity Fitness, HanMade, Helen Ainson, Runner’s Roost, Lanphier Day Spa, Lymbr, Sugar Bowl, Finocchio Brothers Inc., The Authentic Athlete, Darien Sport Shop, Christine Hamilton-Hall, browne and co., Cesco’s Trattoria, Gut Reaction, Papa Joe’s, Aux Delices, Chocolate Works, Andrew Stefano Salon and Spa, Barrett Bookstore, Fredric and Company, Dynamic Athletics, Koko Fit Club, Darien Arts Center, Good Goods, Kirby and Company, The Hairy Barker, Hands on Pottery, Kings Highway Tennis Club, Splash Car Wash, Everything is Rosey, Williams & Company, Vibe Fitness, Blueline Sports Inc., The Pi Group, and The Ritz Carlton. We would also like to thank the Darien Community Band for their first appearance at our Memorial Day Food Fair. We also want to thank our adults and young adults who donate their time to various committees, pre-ticket sales, park set up, clean up and work the day of the fair in addition to their volunteer hours on the ambulance to make this community event happen.

We are so blessed and thankful to be a part of this community. Thank you again for coming out and supporting us. We look forward to continuing to serve our community in the year to come and hope to see you at our 31st Memorial Day Food Fair next year!

Grace Silsby, VP of Programming

Dawn Edgar, Adult Advisor and Food Fair Chair

Darien

Thanking all who supported Down on the Farm event

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Darien Nature Center, I would like to thank every sponsor, volunteer and attending family who supported our eighth annual Down on the Farm event on Saturday, May 26, in Cherry Lawn Park.

Down on the Farm is an enormous undertaking and would not have been possible without the power of volunteerism. Businesses and residents started coming together weeks and even months prior to the big day — a testament to the generosity of our local community.

Thank you to Boylan Bottling Company, Two Roads Brewery, and Whole Foods for their sponsorships.

Thank you to Almstead Tree & Shrub Care Company for once again hoisting hundreds of children into the treetops for a birds-eye view of the party.

Thank you to Fox Hill Builders for sharing construction vehicles that provided a unique jungle gym for guests of all ages.

Thank you to our food truck vendors for donating a portion of their sales to the Nature Center: Dough Girls Pizza, Melt Mobile, Cowabunga, and Skip’s Ice Cream.

Thank you to our local government entities for overseeing the safety of the event. We appreciate the members of the Darien Police Department, Fire Marshal’s office, and Parks & Recreation Department.

We are beyond appreciative of these combined efforts and thrilled that your dedication has helped further the Nature Center's mission of bringing friends together to play in and learn about the natural world around us. See you next year!

Leila Wetmore

Executive Director

Darien

Anti-Semitic chants a symptom of bigger problem

To the Editor:

On May 30th, the Fairfield Prep lacrosse team defeated Staples 11-10 in overtime. It was a magnificent win for the Fairfield team, but a horrible loss for our community. As reported by people who attended this match, a group of fans from Fairfield Prep, known as the Bomb Squad, yelled anti-Semitic chants and slurs when Jewish players had the ball or scored a goal.

Some people might dismiss this as an isolated incident and blame rowdy teenagers cheering for their friends to win a game, but for me, this is a symptom of a much greater problem. This incident is sadly part of a trend that is surging in our society and in our country. Last year, the Anti-Defamation League reported that anti-Semitic incidents dramatically increased by 57 percent across the country. Forty-nine of those incidents occurred right here in our home state of Connecticut, including acts of vandalism and harassment. A recent study released this past April, showed that nearly two thirds of American millennials don’t know what the horrific concentration camp Auschwitz is, and 22 percent of American millennials said they haven’t heard of the Holocaust.

I applaud the recent legislation signed by Governor Malloy requiring local and regional school boards to include the study of the Holocaust and other genocides in their curriculum. This is a great step forward, but what happened at that lacrosse game shows us that legislation is not enough. We need to work holistically. We need to educate parents, teachers and community leaders to serve as role models to our children. We need students, adults, staff and coaches who are prepared to stand up to bigotry and hate in any form and stop horrendous acts like this while they are happening.

Anti-Semitism is not only a Jewish problem, it is a problem that impacts all of us. Throughout my career, I have worked with wonderful and committed Jesuit ministers. They were loving, caring and embodied the values of compassion and tolerance taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola. They taught me that any action aimed to demean the dignity of another person has no place in our society. These Bomb Squad students showed that we have a ticking bomb in our hands. I call on our local authorities, leaders and parents to investigate this incident so that the instigators and participants in this hateful act can be shown there is no place for this kind of hatred and cruelty. We must do everything in our power to dismantle this bomb before it explodes in our midst.

Rabbi Marcelo Kormis

Congregation Beth El

Fairfield