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Lighting a Fire in Our Towns

Photograph by: Bob Capazzo

It’s hard to imagine what our society would be like without people like my friend Darie, who despite having a full-time job in the financial world still finds time to volunteer on behalf of causes that interest her. In recent years this has meant heading up the auction at a major gala that raises funds for cancer research and organizing tournaments and other events for her golf association. Then there’s Jane, a teacher by profession who spends most of her time outside the classroom working to stop domestic violence. And don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just women who give of their time and money. My friend Kevin has used his talents to coach youth sports teams, mentor a disadvantaged youngster and help repair an elderly person’s home.

It is to honor people like these and thousands of others that Moffly Media, publisher of New Canaan·Darien Magazine, has created its Light a Fire event. Earlier in the year, we asked the public for nominations in twelve categories. We were seeking individuals and nonprofit groups dedicated to helping others, both in our communities and in the larger society.

The enthusiasm of those who responded was heartwarming, and it was difficult to make choices. But the selection committee did its job, and on Thursday, October 30, we will be honoring the inaugural twelve recipients at an awards dinner at the Stamford Sheraton Hotel. To learn more about the accomplishments of this first group of distinguished honorees, check out the “Light a Fire 2008” feature, written by Leslie Chess Feller.

Of course we know that these twelve are not the only people and groups worthy of acknowledgment. But they do represent qualities that we all can strive to emulate as we seek to make our communities even better places to live and work.

From gala awards dinners to intimate gatherings in our homes, October officially begins the entertaining season. To help make those dinners with friends really special, we sent Christopher Brooks in search of local stores that offer something different — perhaps even extraordinary — for the discriminating host. As usual, Brooks came through. In “Entertainment Tonight,” he not only highlights some terrific specialty shops offering unique foods and beverages, but he also includes a generous sprinkling of tips to help make your parties even more successful.

On a more serious note, in recent months the news media have been reporting on Darien’s efforts to address the problems that led to last year’s flood. Now at the one-year anniversary of that event, we asked, “Could it happen again?” Bill Slocum talked with many of the parties seeking a solution. Learn what they had to say in “The Great Flood.”

Finally, right now we all are being bombarded by political information, and there is a temptation to tune out much of it. But these upcoming elections are especially important to the future for every one of us. In this issue we offer our look at the Fourth Congressional race. And we urge each of you to get out and vote on November 4.