Over the past two years, the nonprofit Full Court Peace has grown financially and in its outreach. This would not have been possible without the support of Grace Farms Foundation and facility of Grace Farms.
Five years ago, I initiated a program to unite locally disadvantaged youth with their more affluent neighbors in Fairfield County through basketball. At first a once-per-year event, Grace Farms helped make this a year-round occurrence. Their administration made for a smooth, professional and thorough application process for the kids to use the facility, and their staff supported me as I put together various programs that worked toward our mission.
Grace Farms is indeed a shared space for all to enjoy.
After growing up in Fairfield County, I know the reality of the segregation that plagues our local communities. Here, it’s not normal for diverse communities to interact with each other. Instead, families are isolated, segregated based on their access to resources.
June 20 was World Refugee Day, an opportunity for the residents of this country to reach out to newly arrived refugees. Full Court Peace was humbly able to run a basketball clinic with New Canaan middle school boys and an equal number of newly resettled refugees, supported by the International Institute of Connecticut. With the programming support of Grace Farms, the Syrian, Eritrean and Congolese kids who came to play will never forget it or the new friends they made. I am sure this program, too, will grow — and only at a place like Grace Farms.
Editor’s note: Former New Cannan High School basketball coach Evans founded and directs the Norwalk-based nonprofit Full Court Peace.
To the Editor:
On behalf of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, I thank the people of our town for uniting during the first-ever Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil on Aug. 31 in downtown New Canaan.
It was great to have over double the expected turnout at around 600. We ran out of candles!
This event had three goals: to honor and remember those who died too soon; to come together as a community to openly discuss addiction and mental health; and to learn how we can all help others to heal.
The only reason an event like this could be successful is through the efforts of our hosts, sponsors, a hardworking event committee (Team Orange), our speakers, and clergy from across all local faiths.
Before even starting, I need to call out Evan Reinhardt, whose memory of caring, empathy and humor inspired the vision for this event.
Thanks to all, as it was a true collaboration of people united to end the scourge of addiction and overdose.
Hosts: New Canaan Parent Support Group and New Canaan Community Foundation.
Sponsors: Bankwell, Communities4Action, Exchange Club of New Canaan, Lions Club of New Canaan, Mountainside Treatment Center, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, New Canaan Clergy Association, New Canaan Community YMCA, New Canaan Pop-Up Park Committee, Newport Academy, Ram Council, Silver Hill Hospital, the harris project and the Town of New Canaan.
Speakers: John Hamilton (emcee), Paul Reinhardt, PJ Reinemann, Kera Townshend and Stephanie Marquesano.
Clergy: St. Mark’s — Martha Klein Larsen, Peter Walsh and Justin Crisp; St. Aloysius - Rob Kinnally and Bill Santulli; United Methodist — Eric Fjeldal and Matt Hubbard; Congregational Church — Chapin Garner, Morgan Flagg and Kelly Leather; Church of Christ, Scientist — Barbara Jeffries; First Presbyterian — Kibbie Laird; Grace Community Church — Cliffe Knechtle; St. Michael’s — Derrick Fallon; Temple Sinai — Jay TelRav; and Waveny Care Center — Tom Lilly.
Team Orange: Alison Bedula, Cyra Borsy, Ellen Brezovsky, Kathy Brown, Robert Curry, Stephanie Dalia, Nick deSpoelberch, Jackie D’Louhy, Lucy French, Ingrid Gillespie, Jeff Holland, Kim Hyde, Nicki Jezairian, Leo Karl, JoAnne Kennedy, Karin King, Diane Knetzger, Lance Minor, Tucker Murphy, Chris Otis, Lauren Patterson, Thea Ross, Joyce Sixsmith and Jenny Urbahn.
Finally, a special thanks to Steve Benko; Tom Stadler; Lt. Jason Ferraro and the New Canaan Police Department; Steve Orteig and CERT; Mose Saccary of the Highway Department; the staff at St. Mark’s Church; and the musical contributions from Quiet Giant featuring Matt Vitti and guitarist Tom Larsen.
Editor’s note: Reinhardt is the founder of New Canaan Parent Support Group, which co-hosted the Aug. 31 event with the New Canaan Community Foundation.
To the Editor:
How should we deal with problem coyotes? Should we allow them to be trapped and killed? Or should we modify our behaviors and actions so that coyotes don’t become a problem in the first place?
One of these solutions is temporary (and may in fact make the problems worse). The other is long-lasting. Seems like a simple choice.
Many communities throughout the United States are also dealing humanely and effectively with conflicts with coyotes. We can apply the lessons that these communities have learned to our own situation.
We should never feed coyotes, intentionally or otherwise. Leftover bird seed, pet food, and other food left outside must smell and look like a feast to wandering coyotes. Don’t leave the table set for these animals; they are perfectly capable of foraging for wild food on their own (and, by the way, they’re doing us a service by eating rodents and other pests).
It is essential to keep a close eye on our pets and loved ones. I can’t imagine the tragedy of having my own dog attacked, or worse, by a coyote. Because of that concern, I walk my dog on a leash, supervise outdoor time, and watch what’s going on in my yard.
We can learn how to properly scare away coyotes who might be lingering a little bit too close to the places where we live. I’d like to learn from professionals about how to do this properly, so maybe we can invite some folks to teach us how to do this?
To the Editor:
In light of the catastrophic and unprecedented events that have befallen our fellow citizens of Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas we are obliged to issue a heartfelt call to all Americans of all faiths and traditions, to recite prayers on behalf of those affected by beseeching our Creator on their behalf.
We also call upon every individual to contribute Tzedakah (Charity) to the funds established to help ameliorate the suffering and deprivation of the tens of thousands who have lost their homes and earthly possessions.
As people of faith we are duty-bound to step forth with alacrity, each person contributing according to their ability, to help our fellow man at a time that we so desperately are in need of Divine assistance and favor.
The power of prayer together with good deeds will assure that we find grace and mercy before our Creator that He will grant us success to aid and comfort, protect and shelter the millions of people affected — the young and the elderly the sick and the infirm — who are currently displaced by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the resulting rainfall and flooding of biblical proportions.
Together, we will obtain the mercies of our Father in Heaven to bring about the much-needed relief and reprieve to the people of the greater Houston area.
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht