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Tuesday, February 20 News

Community Buzz: Fundraising through dance, New Canaan man honored...

On Oct. 10, the New England Academy of Dance held a “Zumba” fundraiser to support relief efforts by Americares in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which made direct landfall on the island of Puerto Rico, leaving most of the island without power or access to essential food, water, or fuel.

The event at the New Canaan studio was attended by 40 students who attended the fitness dance class and NEAD was able to raise over $2,000 for Americares.

The Zumba fundraiser was led by the school’s directors, Ginna and Frances Ortiz, who are Puerto Rican, and veteran dance teacher MaryLynn Poin, who started the Zumba program at NEAD 10 years ago.

Americares is a global health organization that provides immediate response to

emergency medical needs and supports long-term health care initiatives for people in the

U.S. and around the world. It was started by New Canaan residents Robert and Leila Macauley in 1979 and is currently headquartered in Stamford.

SilverSource hosted its 3rd Annual Autumn Breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Stamford Hotel Oct. 17.

A New Canaan resident was among those honored during the annual breakfast event, the primary fundraiser for SilverSource, which serves older adults and their families in Fairfield County.

Jim Lisher of New Canaan received the Community Service Volunteer Award.

He served for 10 years as the chairman of New Canaan’s Health and Human Services Commission, for three years as the chairman of the town’s Aging Commission, and recently helped to facilitate a public-private partnership to launch iSTEP, a telehealth initiative that enables local seniors to age in place in their homes.

The other SilverSource award winners were Roni Lang of Greenwich Hospital-Yale New Haven Health and Patricia Knebel of the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging — Contribution to Community Award — and ElderHouse of Norwalk — the Outstanding Organization Contribution to Community Award — that was accepted by Denise Cesareo.

SilverSource, formerly known as Senior Services of Stamford, was founded in 1908. It is an independent, nonprofit foundation that advocates for older adults and provides case management, emergency financial assistance and other services to positively improve the quality of life for people over age 60.

Waveny LifeCare Network employees, volunteers and family members helped fight Alzheimer’s disease by participating in this year’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk Oct. 8.

Held annually at more than 600 sites nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association’s walk is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Funds raised through donations and sponsorships support the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter and stay in the community to fund essential care and support services for people with Alzheimer’s.

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Waveny’s team has participated in the three-mile walk since its inception 21 years ago. Rachel Brunetti, Waveny’s director of social services, served as the team’s captain for the first time this year.

The Waveny team joined scores of walkers from throughout Fairfield County at Calf Pasture Beach in support of medical research to improve treatments and find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Waveny’s team is especially passionate about this mission given the dedicated, therapeutic care Waveny provides to patients, residents and participants with Alzheimer’s disease at Waveny Care Center, The Village — Waveny’s assisted living residence dedicated to memory care — and in Waveny’s Adult Day Program.

Located in New Canaan, Waveny LifeCare Network provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the changing needs of older adults from all areas.

The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, which serves children in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, is seeking additional volunteers for its Youth, Empowerment, & Support Mentoring Program.

The YES Mentoring Program supports children, ages 6 to 18, who are involved in System of Care in Stamford and Norwalk. CGC’s System of Care program helps families access integrated services to meet complex needs and safely maintain children at home.

Through YES, youth will have the opportunity to interact and participate in fun, age-appropriate activities with a positive role model. While the mentor is spending quality time with the child/teen, parents will have some time to themselves.

Each YES session lasts 12 weeks, and youth will meet with their mentor for three hours a week. Every mentor will complete thorough interview, orientation, and background checks. The mentor and family will work together to develop a convenient schedule of enjoyable activities for the child.

To learn more about the YES Mentoring Program or to volunteer, contact Sheila Figueroa at sheila.figueroa@childguidancect.org or 203-517-3346.