To the editor,

On behalf of the Family Fourth Committee, I would like to thank all who supported the 35th Annual New Canaan Family Fourth Celebration at Waveny Park by purchasing an entrance pass and attending this Independence Day celebration.

All week the weather forecast presented a challenge for us, but we ended up with a beautiful day and clear skies. The fireworks show was spectacular. It was another memorable 4th of July celebration, an outstanding evening of family fun, wonderful music, great food and a fantastic fireworks display. Your financial support makes this great New Canaan tradition possible; whether you drove in or walked in, thank you for buying an entrance pass.

We offer a big thank you to the New Canaan Family Fourth Committee and all of the following; the show could not have gone on without their energy, hard work and commitment:

Fire Department and Fire Marshal

Police Department

Parks and Public Works Departments

Information Technology and Recreation Departments

The Exchange Club of New Canaan

Garelick & Herbs

Master of Ceremonies Dan Taylor

New Canaan Chamber of Commerce

New Canaan Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

New Canaan Town Band

New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Our special benefactors

And those who worked from early morning to very late at night to set up and take down all of the necessary infrastructure and equipment

A special thank you this year to Walter Stewart’s Market and the New Canaan Toy Store for selling entrance passes at their stores and to the local papers for getting the word out about the event.

As usual, the Police and CERT volunteers did a wonderful job handling traffic flow; the park was nearly empty about 30 minutes after the fireworks ended.

And I offer special kudos, as always, to our organizer, Steve Benko, for his tireless efforts in creating a quintessential 4th of July celebration.

Please send any comments, thoughts and suggestions for next year to me at Town Hall.

Tom Stadler is chairman of the New Canaan Family Fourth

Grateful for shelter support

To the New Canaan community:

On behalf of the Shelter for the Homeless organization, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to every attendee, committee member and supporter on a very successful 12th annual Rays of Hope gala. On May 13th, this lively and entertaining evening was attended by more than 400 people, and raised 30 percent toward our annual funding goal. We congratulate the Congregational Church of New Canaan, who was presented with the David Mond Volunteer Award in honor of their outstanding volunteer and support efforts since 1995. Each year the gala plays an important part in allowing us to continue to shelter and feed homeless men from Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien and Stamford, and provide resources to homeless men and women from these communities so they may get back on their feet and lead productive lives.

Thank you to those who helped make this year’s Rays of Hope Gala a success: Orchard Farm Foundation; the Vranos Family Foundation; the Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust; Titan Advisors; Barnum Wealth Management; Chilton Investments; the Herbert & Nell Singer Foundation; The David Mond Fund; First County Bank; First Niagara Foundation; Greenwich Hospital; Purdue Pharma; Rimrock Capital; Weeden and Co.; the Theodore and Renee Weiler Foundation, as well as individual sponsors: Cliff Berger; Rhoda A. Reid; Marta and John LaRock; Alice Melly; Robin and Paul Mickey; Pat and Bob Phillips; Addie and Brad Powell; Andrew M. Reid; Rich Kandel and media partner Moffly Media.

To learn more about Shelter for the homeless, visit

Rafael Pagan Jr. is executive director of Shelter for the Homeless.