More than 220 guests attended the New Canaan Community Foundation's annual Touch A Life luncheon May 7 at the Country Club of New Canaan, where more than $58,000 was raised to support the charitable program that pays for essential expenses for hundreds of needy New Canaan residents each year.
The event featured keynote speaker Lee Woodruff. Event chairmen were Marjorie Furman and Kathy Schulte.
Cynthia Gorey, executive director of the foundation, described the Touch A Life program as a critical resource for New Canaan residents.
"Every dollar of each contribution to this program goes directly to help our neighbors," she said in a release.
In 2013, the NCCF received more than 90 Touch A Life requests and made grants of more than $27,000, helping more than 200 residents.
The tables at the event were named for some of the ways the program helps residents, by paying for summer camp, violin rental for an elementary school student, after-school programs, rent, utilities, family board games, groceries, school supplies, car repair, a hearing aid, medical and dental care, summer school, swim lessons, a prom dress, school clothes, home repairs, eyeglasses and preschool tuition.
In her remarks, Woodruff likened the guests' presence at the luncheon to a modern version of a barn-raising, and noted that they were a testimony to the fact that the community steps up to help those who need it.
Woodruff described her family's lifetime of healing since her husband, Bob, suffered a head injury in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq in 2006. She told guests that "the four Fs of friends, family, faith and funny helped their recovery as they came to appreciate the importance and power of community and that the world is mostly, largely a good place.
Woodruff described how she and her family turned their personal tragedy into something positive by establishing the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help those with brain injuries.
In closing, Woodruff quoted from a recent op-ed piece from The New York Times, saying that charitable giving actually stimulates prosperity and that there is a link between service to others and happiness.
She said she believes that generosity is the best part of being an American, and that doing something that connects you to other people matters.
For information, call 203-966-0231 or visit www.newcanaancf.org.