Darien Community Association Bird Sanctuary — $33,000
A four acre parcel of land at the DCA has been transformed into an authentic Bird Sanctuary with native plants, shelter, food, water and nesting sites for birds. In order to protect the native plants that sustain the bird population, deer fencing was installed around the perimeter of the sanctuary. In addition to the fencing, this grant also provided birdbaths, native plantings, benches and bird feeders. The DCA’s Bird Sanctuary is accessible to the public during weekdays and is a showcase and model for bird and wildlife conservation – a true town treasure.
The Depot Youth Center — $31,000
The Depot is a welcoming, relaxing, substance-free place for Darien teens to gather and socialize. It hosts themed dance parties, band nights, movie nights, afterschool parties, car washes, pancake breakfasts and ice cream socials to name a few. It also provides a place for teens to develop leadership skills and to learn the importance of community volunteering. The Foundation provided a multi-faceted grant for iMac computers, a new sound and projection system, new furniture for the TV/game room, 60 stackable chairs for student meetings as well security cameras and updated safety equipment.
Middlesex Middle School Quiz Bowl Team — $1,400
The Quiz Bowl Team at MMS is a nationally recognized team that has competed in and excelled in some of the toughest tournaments in the country. The team’s membership is growing and has nearly quintupled in size in the past 4 years. Competitions cover a variety of subjects from history to geography to science to math. In order to host the Charter Oak Scholastic Open, the MMS Team needed buzzer systems for this prestigious tournament. The Foundation was happy to provide funding for this worthy team.
A Better Chance Capital Campaign — $100,000
The ABC program has been in Darien since 1981 and provides academically qualified and motivated students of color from underserved, urban school systems the opportunity to attend high school in environments that will nurture their talents. The ABC Board of Directors purchased a home at 103 Tokeneke Road in December 2013 in order to provide more space to expand the program from 6 students to 8, as well as to upgrade their residential facilities, thus ensuring the program’s long-term viability. Their capital campaign seeks to raise $500,000 to fund necessary capital renovations to their new home as well as to provide furnishings and a maintenance fund. The Foundation was proud to provide $100,000 towards this goal.
Darien Junior Sailing Team — $50,000 pledge
Operating out of Weed Beach since 1978, the Darien Junior Sailing Team offers sailing instruction to Darien residents ages 8-14. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the building that housed the program. The DJST is seeking to raise $150,000 to build a new boathouse at Weed Beach (on land leased from the town) to accommodate the operational and storage needs of the program. The Foundation has pledged $25,000 to start the fundraising campaign and will provide an additional $25,000 once the program has successfully raised $100,000.