Thanks to those who

supported Fresh Air Fund

To the Editor:

This year, 105 New York City children found out once again just how special summer is on Connecticut's Southwest Coast. Fresh Air Fund hosts, volunteers and local supporters dedicated their time and efforts to help these inner-city youngsters experience simple summertime pleasures, including afternoons of swimming, fishing at sunset and roasting s'mores over a campfire.

None of this would be possible without Yvette Eenkema van Dijk, your local Fresh Air Fund volunteer leader, who works throughout the year to make sure host families and children have the opportunity to enjoy memorable summertime experiences together. I invite you to join Yvette and the local Fresh Air Fund committee to help spread the word about the wonderful opportunity of hosting next summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call Yvette Eenkema van Dijk at 203-655-2226 or visit www.freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau

Executive Director

Artworks thanks

local merchants

To the Editor:

The Artworks Committee of the Darien Arts Center is grateful to the nearly 40 merchants in town who have opened their doors to local artists to display their work. As you walk through town, you'll be able to see the artwork already though the official day is Saturday, Sept. 18.

At that time, Grove Street will be transformed into a performance space for musicians, actors, singers, comics and artists during the hours of 1 to 9 p.m.

Sponsored by David Genovese of Baywater Properties, and in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, this event promises to showcase the tremendous talent in our town.

Thank you to all who are participating -- including you, the audience.

Amy Allen, Executive Director

Chistine Bang, Chairwoman of Artworks

Lisa Thoren, President

Darien Arts Center

Good news, bad news

To the Editor:

I'm delighted to say this year marks the 60th anniversary of The Community Fund of Darien. And because of this, all of us in Darien have a lot to celebrate. That's the good news.

Unfortunately, as we are suffering through the worst recession since The Great Depression, these are exceedingly tough times for people in our area who are living "on the margins." That's the bad news.

As we begin our 60th anniversary campaign, challenges for the needy are troubling -- with no end in sight. Unfortunately, just when needs are greatest, funds supporting human service agencies are severely stretched. Moreover, grants from public sources are drying up. And generous donors and foundations are facing difficult choices.

Our mission? Simply "to increase the capacity of the community to care for one another." Apart from the support we give to 26 agencies -- which do wonderful work for our community -- we operate a variety of TCF initiatives that help all of us. A new Aging in Place initiative to help elderly residents stay in town. "Thriving Youth" programs that hold promise of recalibrating the way adults and youths interact with each other in town. A Touch a Life Fund that offers tangible assistance to Darien residents in crisis. And our list goes on and on.

As we enter our seventh decade of service, one thing that comforts all of us in these tough times is all of you. When things are bad, Darien and Rowayton residents step up and deliver. With your volunteering time and efforts. With your generous funds. With your compassionate support. And when you step up, you enable us to deliver!

The bad news? This is a tough year for the needy. The good news? On this, our 60th anniversary, you will receive a letter in the mail from The Community Fund of Darien that will help you help us help others in need.

Bob Wells, President

The Community Fund of Darien

Combined agency thanks community for smooth transition

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the members of the Darien community for embracing the recent merger of Nursing & Home Care and Mid-Fairfield Hospice. Our agency, now Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, has received much positive feedback and support since the merger became effective on July 1.

After operating in formal affiliation and providing a continuum of care for nearly two decades, we are pleased to combine our related goals and missions to provide greater clarity and simplicity and a more integrated system of delivering home health and hospice care.

Although our name is new, our administrative and clinical leadership remains the same and our dedicated team of skilled caregivers will continue to provide the same level of home care services from the same location. We are committed to providing quality home health care and compassionate hospice services to individuals and families in the heart of Fairfield County.

We are grateful for the generosity of spirit and continued support of the community that has enabled us to bring healing and comfort to those in our care for more than 85 years.

Sharon M. Bradley, RN, MSN

President & CEO

Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County