To the Editor:

My name is Doug Mellinger, I am a resident of New Canaan and a longtime resident of Fairfield County. I am writing to express my heartfelt support for Grace Farms Foundation and why Grace Farms is a treasure for the community. I live very near Grace Farms and see no negative impact and have only experienced the positives in my many visits there.

As the facility was being built, I had no idea what it was nor what its purpose was going to be. My wife went with my son to volunteer on the opening weekend as part of his SLOB’s (Service League of Boys) community service project about a year ago. She came back and told me about this amazing set of buildings and an environment that was truly unique.

A few weeks later we went back and I was amazed that such a facility was in our proverbial backyard. I walked around in awe at the sheer beauty of the grounds and the building.

I have brought many guests over the last year and they all came away just as impressed. This was not just a set of buildings, a place for kids to play basketball or an incredible place to have tea or just contemplate life. It is a place to come together as a community, learn and discuss seemingly intractable issues.

I have attended the two-day gathering of United Nations University world leaders to discuss human trafficking at Grace Farms and plan for what can be done to address this horrible global situation. Next April, my chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO Fairchester) will discuss faith and conflict there.

Grace Farms is a treasure for our community and for the country. I am so impressed with the work of the organization. I truly hope that the leaders in the town of New Canaan realize what an asset Grace Farms is for our community and support their programs and usage of the facility.

Doug Mellinger

New Canaan