The Tiny Miracles Foundation in Darien is hosting a gala, a car has been donated

After a nearly three-year hiatus, the Tiny Miracles Foundation hosted its annual in-person gala on May 6, raising nearly $300,000 for the organization’s programs and honoring community leaders who champion the families of premature babies in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Nearly 200 guests gathered at the Loading Dock in Stamford to enjoy signature cocktails from beverage sponsor Vale Fox Distillery and appetizers, as well as an elegant sit-down dinner by Abigail Kirsch Catering.

The roaring ’20s event theme “Miracles…and All That Jazz” inspired a champagne tower and speakeasy entertainment venue. One lucky guest won a pair of earrings designed by Donna Vock from jewelry sponsor Vock and Vintage.

The event is the largest annual fundraiser for Tiny Miracles, a Darien-based nonprofit whose mission is to provide compassionate care to families of premature babies in the area. The organization helps families whose babies often spend weeks or months in neonatal intensive care with programs that include one-on-one mentorship, educational resources and financial assistance.

The highlight of the evening was the “Miracle Maker” awards, which honor individuals who share the organization’s dedication to supporting families of premature babies in southwestern Connecticut.


The 2022 event honored Réal and Tara Leclerc, parents of twins born at 28 weeks, and Dr. Meltem Seli, attending neonatologist, Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group, Nuvance Health at Norwalk and Danbury Hospitals.

The special event was supported by sponsors in attendance: Mr. and Mrs. Michael F. Klein and the Bauer Family Foundation and individual and local sponsors including the Godina family; Real and Tara Leclerc; Ginger, Christopher and Lilly Wilson; Twenty-four riches; Stamford Health; Yale New Haven Health System; Ivy Rehab/Ivy Rehab for kids; Gwen and Tom Noto; Eileen and James Thomas; David and Kim Januszewski; Mr. and Mrs. Scott Srolis; Eila and Jeff Johnson; Cheryl and Tim Egan; Cross Private Client Insurance/Pure Insurance; Bank of America; Nuvance Health and Harbor Lights Foundation.

Other sponsors include the Blake family; Jason and Brooke Gies; Laura and Blake Franchi; Mr. and Mrs. William Cunningham; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ruehlman; Tara and Stacy Eastland; Nedder & Associates LLC; Ashley and David Dineen; Heath and Alyssa Kent; Bankwell; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Streinger; Dr. Richard Freedman; Maternal Fetal Care PC and Darien Sport Shop.

For more information on the Tiny Miracles Foundation, visit http://www.ttmf.orgor call 203-202-9714.

The Tiny Miracles Foundation, a 501C3, was founded in 2004 by two local mothers of severely premature twins after experiencing the trauma and devastating impact of premature birth.

Today, Tiny Miracles provides comprehensive support and assistance to families of premature infants at six partner hospitals in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Through its programs, the Tiny Miracles Foundation strives to improve the lives, care and outcomes of children born too young and those who love and care for them.

Car donated to the Stamford family by local groups

A Stamford mother with a disabled child received a completely refurbished used car thanks to several local groups, including Tiny Miracles, the Umbrella Club and New Canaan Foreign Cars.

Matt deGarmo of Matthew L. deGarmo Ltd. in Norwalk created Operation Wheels through the nonprofit Umbrella Club to donate cars to parents of financially challenged children with disabilities. He reached out to Leelee Klein, president emeritus of Darien-based Tiny Miracles, to help find eligible families.

They chose a woman with a 12 week premature baby who suffered from significant birth complications and needs a special wheelchair to get around.

Matt Konspore found the used car and several donors helped buy it. Mark and Lucia Bagg, owners of New Canaan Foreign Cars, donated the labor and supplies needed to get the car ready for the family.

The Umbrella Club donated several years of auto insurance costs to the family as part of the donation.

For more information, visit https://degarmoltd.com or http://www.ttmf.org.

Sixth Annual Shatterproof Event Honors Darien Resident

The non-profit organization Shatterproof held its sixth Showdown on the Sound last Saturday in honor of former Darien resident Michael Taylor.

The event was a fundraiser for the national nonprofit organization that raises funds to transform addiction treatment, end stigma and support community efforts to end addiction.

Since its inception, the event has raised over $815,000 for Shatterproof programs. Organizers said they hope the money raised at this year’s event will bring the total to $1 million or more.

The first Showdown on the Sound took place on May 20, 2017, about a year after Taylor died of an opioid overdose. With the exception of 2020 and 2021, when it went virtual, Showdown on the Sound was an early summer way to invite audiences to the events and sports Taylor enjoys, according to organizers.

Taylor grew up in Darien. He was an all-state tennis player at Darien High School and played Division One varsity tennis for three years. He graduated from Villanova University and started a career in marketing. He loved travel, adventures and being on the water, his family said.

He also suffered from an addiction that began with opioid medication prescribed after reconstructive shoulder surgery due to a tennis injury during his freshman year at Villanova, according to information from the nonprofit organization. Shatterproof.

Sponsors include the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Stamford Health, Rings End, Baywater Properties, Janney Trust Advisors, CJS Securities, BMW of Darien, Land Rover of Darien, the Liberation house, The Lighthouse and Adventure Recovery.

For more information about the organization, visit shatterproof.org. For more information about the event or to donate, visit www.showdownonthesound.org.

United Way CT appoints interim CEO

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County announced the appointment of Margo Amgott as interim President and CEO.

Amgott, who replaces Jeffery Kimball, will lead the nonprofit agency as it transitions to a permanent replacement announced by the organization. His position took effect on May 16.

Amgott brings to this position more than 30 years of leadership experience in nonprofit organizations, higher education, and state and local government. She currently provides transition support and project management through her consulting firm, Amgott Interim LLC.

A specialist in transitional leadership, Amgott previously reopened the Jacob Burns Film Center with fundraising and renewed programming.

She also served as acting director of Studio in a School, an arts and social justice organization that provides standards-based arts education in New York City schools; as interim CEO of the Hearing Health Foundation, the largest nonprofit funder of hearing and balance research in the United States and as chief operating officer of the National Council of Jewish Women, where she led strategic planning for policy advocacy, growth and sustainability.

Earlier in her career, she led programs at Columbia University, Hunter College, New York University NYU Langone Medical Center, and for the New York City Department of Health.

She holds a master’s degree from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and an undergraduate degree from Barnard College.

The Council will launch the search for a permanent replacement shortly.

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County serves Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton. The organization’s mission is to tackle the most pressing issues in a community with local partners.

For more information, visit https://unitedwaycfc.org/.

Author Kristen Harnisch speaks

Barrett’s Bookstore and the Darien Community Association will feature author Kristen Harnisch at 7 p.m. May 24 at a live book launch of ‘The Vintner’s Legacy’ at the DCA building at 274 Middlesex Road.

Tickets are $25 for members of the Darien Community Association and $35 for members of the public. Ticket price includes a signed paperback copy of the book and a wine reception at 6:15 p.m.

More information and registration available at https://dariendca.org/book-talks-and-signings.

The community association will host the annual meeting

The Darien Community Association will hold its annual meeting on June 3 with coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting at 10 a.m.

Featured guests will be Taylor Carter and Liz Geiger, hosts of the “Now We’re Talking Darien” podcast, in conversation with CNN commentator and fellow Darien resident SE Cupp.

Carter and Geiger launched their podcast series in the spring of 2021, talking about the city they live in and love.

Broadcasting from Taylor’s home, the pair have hosted more than 40 podcasts, showcasing all aspects of life in Darien and the people who contribute to the town.

The event will take place in person with a virtual attendance option.

The event is free for community association members. Tickets for the public are $25.

The presentation will be preceded by several business minutes from the community association, including a vote on the organization’s proposed board slate for the 2022-23 year.

More information and registration available at https://dariendca.org/dca-board-of-directors-proposed-slate-2020-21/.

The registration deadline is June 2 at noon through the community association office or by calling 203-655-9050, ext. ten.

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