Letter: Thankful for Turkey Trot support

The the editor,

Our largest Greenwich Alliance for Education Turkey Trot to date was held this year, thanks to a tremendous showing from the community!

On Saturday, Nov. 25, there were nearly 1300 enthusiastic runners and walkers ready to work off that extra slice (or two) of pumpkin pie at the Seventh Annual Greenwich Alliance for Education (“Alliance”) Turkey Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk.

A special thanks to our major sponsors, Hospital for Special Surgery, Cadillac of Greenwich and Greenwich Leadership Partners for their support of the 2017 Turkey Trot. The Greenwich Police Department, GEMS, and 115 volunteers manned the Bruce Park course to keep runners safe.

Included amongst the youth volunteers were students from AVID, an Alliance-funded college readiness system at Greenwich High School and from Innovation Lab, an interdisciplinary, college prep program at GHS. Thanks to donations from our race day contributors, post-race music and delicious refreshments were enjoyed by all in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

In an effort to encourage competitors of all ages, the Alliance tracks participants from the local schools. Special thank you to North Street, Julian Curtiss and Glenville for fostering a friendly competition among the three schools. Not until the final count did North Street School pull ahead as the winner and register the greatest percentage of participants from their school — congratulations to Principal Jill Flood and the NSS community!

Our sincere thanks go to all of our sponsors: Cadillac of Greenwich, Greenwich Leadership Partners, Hospital for Special Surgery, General Atlantic, MarketAxess, 400 Capital Management, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, ESF Camps at Greenwich Academy, Greenwich Braces, First Choice Windows & Remodeling, Scott & Icy Frantz, Tom Markey-Morgan Stanley, O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, First County Bank, Samuel Owen Gallery, Barnum Financial Group, CryoPoint, Cushman & Wakefield, Cynthia DeRiemer — Coldwell Banker Realty, Equinox, Garden Catering, John and Lile Gibbons, Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane LLC, Go Figure Barre Studios, Greenwich Drains, Greenwich Education Association, Greenwich Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Ivey, Barnum & O’Mara, LLC, JDF, LLC, MBI, Inc, M Communications, Pizza Post, Dr. Donald and Jane Pagoda, D.M.D., Putnam Shell, RBC Wealth Management David S. Roth, Rental Instruments LLC, Shepard Insurance Group, Simply Beauty by Sonia, Upper Crust Bagel Company, Westy Self Storage and YMCA of Greenwich.

We would also like to extend a special thanks to Arch Street Teen Center for supporting our event since the first Trot seven years ago.

First County Bank & Palmer’s Market Donate Turkeys to The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County


STAMFORD, Conn., November 21, 2017 - First County Bank teamed up with Palmer’s Market to donate 100 turkeys, a $1,500 donation, to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. Weighing in at over 1,200 pounds, these turkeys will be provided to local nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Wilton. First County Bank is collecting food donations for The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County at all Branches through the end of the year. For branch locations, go to: https://firstcountybank.com/branch-hours-locations-and-directions. Every donation is greatly appreciated.

About First County Bank

First County Bank, headquartered in Stamford, Conn. for more than 165 years, is an independent mutual community bank with 15 branches in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport offering deposit products, mortgages, wealth management, business banking services, mobile and online banking. First County Bank has more than 220 employees, assets in excess of $1.5 billion and is a 2016 Women’s Choice Award winner. For additional information, please visit https://www.firstcountybank.com. Become a fan by clicking “Like” on the bank’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/firstcountybank. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/firstcountybank, view and follow us on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/firstcountybank, watch us on YouTube at http://www.firstcountybank.com/camera or connect with First County Bank on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/920207.

Stamford Toys for Tots seeks donations

By Angela Carella, Stamford Advocate

STAMFORD — For the 70th year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program is collecting holiday gifts for needy children in Stamford.

Organizer George Ducanic said donation boxes have been placed at more than 100 sites in the city, with another 150 or so in Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan.

Toys for Tots needs the donations by Dec. 15 so they can be distributed to the community organizations that hold Christmas parties and hand the gifts to children, Ducanic said.

“We hope that people are in the Christmas spirit now, and when they are out shopping in the next two weeks, they will think of Toys for Tots,” said Ducanic, a Stamford resident who has headed the effort for 25 years.

The group needs about 18,000 toys to fulfill the requests of all the community agencies, he said. Usually donors bring plenty of toys for children ages 1 to 5, and the need is for gifts for 6- to 10-year-olds, Ducanic said.

Donors will find collection boxes at Donut Delight coffee shops and the branches of First County Bank, Ducanic said. Other boxes have been placed at Stamford Toys, 970 High Ridge Road; Springdale Florist & Garden Center, 28 Camp Ave.; Bank of America, 1070 High Ridge Road; Fairfield County Bank, 850 E. Main St.; Keough’s Turn of River Hardware, 907 High Ridge Road; Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road; Karp’s True Value Hardware, 485 Hope St.; Instant Replay Sporting Goods, 4 Largo Drive.

Donors can also drop off gifts at Toys for Tots headquarters, 850 Canal St.

For more collection sites, visit www.toysfortots.org or call 203-359-9662.

SmartMove brings first-time homebuyers to homeownership

Written by Phil Hall

The Housing Development Fund of Stamford announced last month that it was expanding its services for prospective homeowners to Putnam County and the five boroughs of New York City. This was the latest evolution for the nonprofit counseling and lending agency that began operations in 1989 with a very different mission.

“We started off providing financing for developers of multifamily homes, and we continue to do so,” said Joan Carty, HDF president and CEO. “About 15 or 16 years ago, we started working with first-time homebuyers. We initially provided counseling so they could be better prepared to take advantage of the affordable home programs that the community banks offered.”

Carty said the agency soon realized it needed a new game plan. “We quickly discovered that this area is so expensive that people needed financial assistance as well. They needed assistance for down payment requirements and for closing costs.”

At first, HDF relied on philanthropic resources and federal and state grants to fund its work. As interest in its services grew, so did its footprint. The Long Island, Westchester and Rockland County markets were added and in Connecticut it expanded statewide from the Stamford area .

Joan Carty, president and CEO of the Housing Development Fund. Photo by Phil Hall
In 2005, the organization tapped the banking industry for help in a new approach. “We launched a bigger program called SmartMove that was capitalized by banks,” Carty said. “That has been our signature program for first-time homebuyers.”

In the federal SmartMove program, borrowers can receive a second mortgage at 3 percent interest that covers up to 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. Service fees vary according to the state.

Qualified applicants need to meet the program’s income guidelines, complete homebuyer counseling and education classes conducted by HDF or one of its partner counseling agencies and buy a home within the fund’s service areas.

Borrowers also must have their first mortgage from one of the 22 lenders in the SmartMove program and submit their second mortgage request to a pool of participating lenders that reviews and signs off on the application.

“We’re one of the banks that share a pool and vote on the loans,” said Judith Corprew, executive vice president and chief compliance and risk officer at Patriot Bank. “This helps us in lowering the risk level that could be associated with mortgages for first-time homebuyers.”

Carty said the rejection rate is between 5 and 6 percent for SmartMove applicants. The process is a win-win for participating lenders, she said.

“The first mortgage is going to be under 80 percent loan-to-value, so it is a safer first mortgage for the banks. It is a mortgage that is easier for them to sell into the secondary market. The second-mortgage pool is basically getting a loan that is made up from all of the different banks,” she said.

One person who can attest to HDF’s effectiveness is David Zamary, senior vice president of residential lending at Stamford’s First County Bank. Zamary is among the lenders participating in the second-mortgage approval process, which also touched him on a personal level.

“I’ve put my daughter through the program and she used it to purchase her house in Milford in 2013,” he said, adding that his daughter also benefited from the HDF counseling. “A lot of first-time homebuyers don’t understand how you can buy a house. They think you need an 800 credit score and put 20 percent into your
down payment. But that’s not the way
it works.”

Bank participation in SmartMove and HDF’s counseling outreach also help financial institutions meet their federal Community Reinvestment Act obligations in serving the needs of their lending areas. But Michael Weinstock, M&T Bank’s market president for Connecticut and vice chairman of the HDF board, pointed out that the nonprofit’s mission was also vital to strengthening local economic empowerment.

“HDF works holistically with the individual,” he said. “Without their help, many people would have a hard time getting financing in the broader banking market. Not a lot of groups out there are doing that.”

To date, Housing Development Fund has leveraged more than $400 million in first mortgages and more than $110 million in second mortgages. Approximately 2,600 households in Connecticut has been helped by HDF but only about 30 households in New York have benefited since the nonprofit started operating in the
state in 2014.

Carty said that in addition to helping first-time homebuyers, HDF also helped save others who may have fallen into serious financial trouble during the housing bubble.

“In the early 2000s, real estate prices were doubling and tripling,” she said. “We had a lot of people who wanted our financial assistance, but they also wanted us to pre-approve them for a much higher mortgage than we thought was safe. Because we said no, people were kept away from a lot of those predatory-type mortgages. It vindicated our business model and reinforced how we look out for people.”

First County Bank, Palmer's Market Donate Turkeys To Food Bank

Written by Daily Voice

STAMFORD, Conn. -- First County Bank teamed up with Palmer’s Market to donate 100 turkeys, a $1,500 donation, to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Weighing in at over 1,200 pounds, these turkeys will be provided to local nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, and Wilton. First County Bank is collecting food donations for The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County at all Branches through the end of the year.

Click here for branch locations .

Norwalk's Courage To Speak Adapts Program To Tackle Opioid Crisis

Norwalk Daily Voice

NORWALK, Conn. -- The Courage to Speak Foundation has developed a new program, “Parenting Through the Opioid Crisis and Beyond,” a free drug prevention course designed specifically for parents of elementary, middle, and high school students.

The program was developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation by a grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. This new program is specifically designed to address the current opioid epidemic and is offered free to parents in the community.

The program covers topics such as addiction and its physiological consequences; abuse and misuse of over-the-counter and prescription medications; communication and listening strategies; warning signs and symptoms of drug use; practical steps if you suspect drug use; parent resources, and more.

The Courage to Speak Foundation drug prevention programs comprise a multi-component, holistic model that engages home, school and community to address youth drug abuse and provide students, parents, educators and others with knowledge and skills to achieve healthy solutions.

This special program will kick off on Nov. 14 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, with a live presentation by Ginger Katz, founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation. Katz tells her compelling story of her son Ian’s losing battle with drugs and provides guidance to parents to help them reduce the risk of drug use in their families.

The second part of the first session will be presented by Larry Katz, co-founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation. The second session on Nov. 16 at West Rocks Middle School is the delivery of the “Parenting Through the Opioid Crisis and Beyond” by Carlos Reinoso, MSMO, BHCC. This program is sponsored by First County Bank.

For more information, visit www.couragetospeak.org .

The Home Team / The world’s 10 nicest people (Part 2)

By Hank Herman, Westport News

Back in June, 2001, I wrote a column in this space called “The World’s 10 Nicest People.” Over the years, I’ve been asked time and again to do a sequel. You may wonder why it’s taken me more than 16 years, and over 400 columns, to come up with that new list. Hey, I just happen to have very high standards.

Joe the Italian Mailman: When Norman the Mailman, a first-ballot shoe-in on my original list, retired, I thought he was irreplaceable. Then we got Joe. And don’t think I’m being politically incorrect when I call him “Joe the Italian Mailman”: That’s what he calls himself on his Christmas cards and on the countless notes he leaves us along with gifts of fresh veggies and spices from his garden. When our load of mail is too big for the mailbox, he delivers it to our door. With a treat for Kemba, of course.

Marybeth Allen: Make that Saint Marybeth. She’s been a NICU nurse for most of her professional life, and it shows in her kind and softspoken manner. She’s also generous and thoughtful, and is one of the best listeners in the world. If you compliment her on her amazingly calm demeanor, she says, “You should see me when I get really mad!” Well, Marybeth, it’s been 30 years, and we’re still waiting.

Roosevelt at First County Bank: Our youngest son Robby thinks Roosevelt, Assistant Branch Manager at our local First County on the Post Road, is the coolest person on the planet. He’s also one of the nicest. You know those commercials where they try to make banking seem fun and friendly? Roosevelt actually does that. Except that I have to figure on a 20-minute visit, so we can dissect and solve the problems of the Jets, Mets, and Knicks.

John McKay: John was Robby’s roommate for all four years they were at USC. Do you know anybody you’d want to have as your roommate at school for four years? John is easy-going, kind, friendly — and knows everything there is to know about football. Kids love him, parents love him, guys love him, girls love him. Ask Robby’s friends at USC and back here in Westport, and not one has a bad word to say about John.

Jon Edwards: Another fantastic John. (Okay, different spelling.) Jon has been our builder/handyman/friend for 15 years, covering countless projects. If we tell him we have a problem, he’s here before we hang up the phone. If we tell him no hurry, he does it now. There is nothing this gentle giant can’t do. And like the other John, he doesn’t know how to frown.

Bree and Alejandra: My Post Road Starbucks baristas supreme. No matter how crazy that place gets, always a smile. Always “Have a great day!” and “Hope to see you again soon, Hank!” And they really mean it. They — along with a Grande Cold Brew — start my day off on the sunny side.

Tom Pajolek: Tom might just be the most upbeat guy I’ve ever met. He’s always ready for skiing. He’s always ready for hiking. He loves dogs. He’ll happily talk toanyone.Everybody likes him. He likes everybody. He even likes kale.

Fran at Bostwick’s: She’s been the smiling bartender at our favorite restaurant in Amagansett forever. She knows what you like to eat. She knows what you like to drink. She remembers to ask about every member of your family, by name. She found me a surfing instructor. She found me a dog sitter. In her day job she works with first graders — and I’ll bet money they adore her.

Sam at Mobil (next to Barnes & Noble):Carol and I were driving home after a Lake Mohegan hike with the dog. She wanted a Sunday New York Times, and was ready to stop . . . anywhere. I said, no, we gotta go to my favorite guy, Sam, at Mobil. As she was paying for her paper, Sam asked, “Is that your husband in the car?” When Carol nodded, he said, “Keep him. He’s a good guy.” I guess the feeling’s mutual.

Kelly and Alison (our daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law-to-be):Kelly has been up pretty much every night for seven months with Baby Ryan. After a recent all-nighter for her, I stopped by. I figured she’d be an ornery wreck. Not at all. Instead, she said, “I felt so sorry for him. His teeth hurt so much, poor thing.” That’s Kelly, our angel, who makes everybody feel like the most important person in the room. And then there’s Alison, who’s always up for everything — including long bike excursions with yours truly. We ride side by side (traffic permitting), talking the whole way. I love the wide-eyed, positive way she looks at life. I love what she has to say. And it doesn’t hurt that she has the nicest little North Carolina accent.

Carol and I — with sons only — always wondered who’d look after us in our old age. Thank God, now we know!

SilverSource executive director thanks supporters

Letter to the Editor, Greenwich Post
To the Editor:

I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supported and attended our Innovation and Technology summit at the 3rd annual SilverSource Autumn Breakfast. On October 17, this engaging event explored technological innovations that will help us all live better as we age. Attended by over 225 investors, entrepreneurs, and business and community leaders, the event raised critical funds for older adults in need of financial assistance and community support in our area.

As noted by Crispin Baynes, of Aging 2.0 in his keynote address, there is no place in our society for ageism. We applaud the volunteers and visionaries who came together to explore the implications and growth opportunities of developing services to improve lives while assisting people in need today. We also wish to congratulate the 2017 SilverSource Award winners: Roni Lang of Greenwich Hospital- Yale New Haven Health, Patricia Knebel of the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging, Jim Lisher of New Canaan, and ElderHouse of Norwalk.

On behalf of the SilverSource Board of Trustees and staff members, we thank those who helped make this year’s Autumn Breakfast a success: First County Bank, KAF, Yale New Haven Health/Greenwich Hospital, Mezzapelle and Associates, Plaza Realty, Purdue Pharma, and media sponsors Fairfield County Business Journal, Westchester County Business Journal and Stamford Magazine/Moffly Media.

To learn more about SilverSource, visit SilverSource.org.

Kathleen Bordelon, executive director


Fairfield County CFOs of the Year tell what keeps them up at night

By Phil Hall, Westfair Online

The question posed by the Business Journal, “What keeps you up at night?” was answered by the winners at the 2017 Fairfield CFO of the Year Awards, which was held Oct. 17 at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. Westfair Communications, the publisher of the Fairfield County Business Journal, co-presented the awards with RSM, a Westport-headquartered provider of audit, tax and consulting services.

The first CFO to receive an award was Alexandra Cooley, who is also the co-founder of Greenworks Lending LLC, a Darien-headquartered provider for energy-saving upgrades to commercial properties. When asking herself about what keeps her up at night, Cooley recalled the inventory of major and minor considerations that could either make or break a company or have no impact whatsoever.

“Of course, we all think through big strategic issues every now and then,” she said. “But it is making a lot of small decisions every day and learning from them as we go that allows us to look back in every quarter and, hopefully every year, and think that we can improve on this.”

The Bruce Museum’s Bill Ference, in accepting his award, acknowledged sleepless nights when considering the wealth of the institution’s collection. “At any moment of time, this museum has $50 million in art hanging on the wall and it changes every three to four months,” he said. “Luckily, I don’t have to worry about hanging it. I have to worry about insuring it, paying for the shippers, paying for the loans, paying for the light and power. These are very expensive pieces of art, so I have to worry about the alarm system and the heat.”

Ronald Holbert, who has been part of the corporate team at Stamford-headquartered First County Bank for 39 years, admitted that his sleeplessness could be blamed on regulatory overkill. “The things that keep us up at night are regulations, regulations, regulations,” he said. “We’re an over-regulated industry. We have changing interest rates all of the time, changes in accounting standards and it’s very difficult to keep up.”

Another CFO at a Stamford-based company, Todd Jordan of Hedgeye Risk Management, explained that his firm provides equity research to institutional investors, hedge funds and mutual funds, which could be a good cause for insomnia in view of regulatory oversight, especially with the threat of insider trading.

“We have to be very, very careful,” he said. “And the good news is why I get a little bit of sleep every night is because we’ve been on this since we started the firm in 2008. When we started, we had a little bit of an anti-Wall Street angle. We are not a traditional company on Wall Street, we are open and transparent and completely unconflicted with our research. Right from the start, we put into place some very, very strong compliance infrastructure and we have an in-house compliance team. They read our research and read every single email, both internal and external. We have to do this.”

Michael Kinney of Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University noted his sleepless nights were tied to the institution’s $450 million investment in new facilities, which he said was accomplished with very conservative accounting.

“We worked everything on margins,” he said, adding that took responsibility for the university’s most prominent real estate transaction. “You are looking at the character who convinced the board to purchase the General Electric headquarters. And what were we going to do with that? We were going to turn that into one of the finest business, engineering and technology centers in the Northeast.”

Kinney earned one of the evening’s biggest laughs by jokingly inviting the awards ceremony audience to lend a hand and a few dollars on behalf of the university. “As you walk out, there are pledge cards out there,” he beamed. “Any amount will do, we
are not proud.”

A more somber consideration was offered by another educational institution CFO, Elio Longo of Westport Public School. “I am concerned, as a public-sector financial officer, that we operate under a new paradigm of uncertain economic times,” he said. “We do not produce widgets. I cannot assist in creating a new market share or increasing the size of the market. We are in the business of preparing children for the 21st century and beyond. The decision as a public sector finance officer rests on this, as well as economizing the very limited amount of funds available at a local level and at a state level.”

Richard K. Trowbridge Jr. from the Stamford nonprofit Americares identified his sleepless situation as being fueled by generous donations that cannot be equally spread across the organization’s relief programs.

“The money that is donated for hurricanes is restricted or nonflexible, so it has to go for that purpose,” he said. “It is incredibly appreciated, but it gives us little flexibility with respect for our very important needs elsewhere. So much of our work concerns emergencies in a number of places or life-changing programs in remote places that never makes the headlines, which makes it harder to fundraise.”

Trowbridge added that he hoped to inform “donors on the importance of unrestricted funds, because our programs would not be able to work with them.”

Stephen Turner of Talalay Global pointed to the Shelton company’s product line of latex mattresses and scored a laugh by bragging, “I am fortunate that nothing really keeps me up at night.” He admitted that one of his concerns involved the company’s sales across the nation, where tax issues vary from state to state.

“Within the states, there are hundreds of different counties with their own taxes, and everyone wants money,” he said.

John Vuono of Stratford’s Ashcroft Inc. blamed the fear of the unknown for contributing to being kept up at night. “Managing uncertainty is a fancy business term for avoiding disaster,” he said. “Being in this position is not unlike a father: being in a position where you are not just responsible for yourself, but for other people.”

The Fairfield County CFO of the Year Awards were presented with Bronze Sponsors , including Val’s Putnam Wines & Liquors, the Bruce Museum, Rakow Commercial Realty Group, APS Payroll, Martin LLP Counselors at Law and Talalay Global, with Supporters including Gilda Bonnanno LLC, Audi Danbury and Robert Half.

Deeply affordable development in Stamford a new model for housing

By Liz Skalka, Darien News

STAMFORD — A new downtown development will provide affordable housing for 125 people who earn less than a third of the area’s median income, helping to alleviate the persistent problem of family homelessness in the region.

Inspirica, the largest provider of homeless services in lower Fairfield County, broke ground Monday at 72 Franklin St., a development the nonprofit says is a new kind of venture that will supply “deeply affordable housing” without government subsidies used for construction or rent, helping to keep costs low and the project self-sustaining, officials said.

“Despite its resurgent economy, Stamford continues to experience stubborn homelessness,” Inspirica CEO Jason Shaplen said. “This may seem counterintuitive in one of the wealthier areas in the nation.”

Most affordable housing is for people earning around half of the median area income, Shaplen said. Deeply affordable housing, aimed at the impoverished or homeless, is for those earning 25 to 35 percent. The median area income determined by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority is $142,800 for a family of four in Stamford.

“Seventy-two Franklin ... fills this devastating gap in the spectrum of housing,” said Shaplen, who noted the city is part of the nation’s fifth-most expensive housing market referred to as the Bridgeport-Norwalk-Stamford metro region.

The 47,000-square-foot building will have 26 studio apartments, 17 two-bedroom apartments, 10 three-bedroom apartments and a day care operated by Children’s Learning Centers with six classrooms for 48 infants and toddlers.

More than 80 percent of the units will be for those earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. Rents are expected to be $470 for studios, $700 for two-bedrooms and $830 for three-bedrooms, about one third of the market rate. Government vouchers will not be accepted so tenants will be paying rent out of pocket.

The project was funded by private donors, including $2.5 million from the Freedman family, who operate Garden Homes Management, Stamford-based owners and managers of real estate.

The city donated a portion of the land — what had been Stanley Court, a dead end off Franklin — and Inspirica purchased two parcels surrounding it for $1.7 million. Garden Homes is building a market-rate building behind 72 Franklin St. on a separate parcel.
The self-sustaining development is believed to be one of the few, if not the only one of its kind in the nation, officials said. They hope it will put Stamford ahead of the state and federal goal of eliminating family homelessness by 2020 in a city with a history of welcoming affordable housing developments.

“In some other towns in lower Fairfield County ... our reception would have been frosty,” said Richard Freedman, president of Garden Homes and chairman of Stamford’s Board of Finance. “But not here, not Stamford. People who live here, people who work in local government here and people who serve in local government here understand that we collectively, as a city, should help those in need.”

Freedman and Shaplen together spearheaded the project, bringing it to city agencies for necessary approvals and securing donors, including the the Edward S. Moore Foundation, First Congregation Church of Greenwich and First County Bank. Stamford developer RMS Companies is building 72 Franklin at cost.

This past spring, in partnership with the city’s housing authority, Charter Oak Communities, Inspirica opened a 41,000-square-foot deeply affordable housing development for people 55 and older on Summer Street. It also has deeply affordable housing on Woodland Place. Both sites are government subsidized.

“A safe home is just the foundation,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4. “You are taking some of the lowest income people who are placed into the highest cost context and giving them a shot to climb that ladder, through the on-site education, through the proximity to jobs and retail, and that’s how you do it. You don’t just provide a home — you provide a ladder into the middle class and the American dream.”

Stamford Fancy Dress Ball Will 'Unmask' Cycle Of Child Abuse

Meredith Guinness, Stamford Daily Voice

STAMFORD, Conn. — The Exchange Club of Stamford hopes to ‘unmask’ child abuse and raise funds for its Parenting Skills Center with its 2nd annual Masquerade Ball on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Sheraton Stamford Hotel.

The Venetian-style fancy dress evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes dinner and open bar, dancing to the Summertime Band and a DJ, locally crafted beverages from sponsors Asylum Distillery and Black Hog Brewing Co. and complimentary red carpet glamor shots from sponsor Stewart Title Insurance.

Exchange Club past President Nino Antonelli, vice president of business banking and senior portfolio manager at Stamford’s First County Bank, will be honored for his dedicated service to the Stamford area.

“With the ball, we hope to raise awareness, critical funding and support for our Exchange Club Parenting Skills Center, so the dedicated staff can continue to assist Fairfield County children and families with services that work to halt the cycle of abuse and neglect,” said Chairperson Cristina Andreana.

A silent auction and raffle will feature destination vacations, luxury accessories, performances, sought-after classes and home design goods and services.

A portion of proceeds will support the club’s Dollars for Scholars youth scholarship and local programs for veterans.

Tickets are $125. You may purchase tickets online at www.ecsunmaskchildabuse.dojiggy.com .

Darien Chamber, first selectman to host breakfast with Linda McMahon

By Darien Times

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Darien Chamber of Commerce and Darien First Selectman, Jayme Stevenson will host a breakfast at the Country Club of Darien at 500 Mansfield Avenue in Darien featuring Linda McMahon, 25thAdministrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Other participating organizations include the Norwalk and Westport-Weston Chambers of Commerce as well as The Business Council of Fairfield County.

Tickets are on sale now at www.darienctchamber.com $40 for members and $50 for non- members. Seating is limited. Please pre-register by Oct. 16 by 5:00 pm.

There will be a breakfast buffet starting at 7:45am and Linda McMahon will speak at 9 a.m.

The Mission of the Darien Chamber of Commerce is to work to improve the quality of life for the businesses and residents of Darien. The DCC is generously sponsored by Elite Sponsor-Darien Rowayton Bank and Select Sponsor-First County Bank-throughout the year.