Girl in pool with Swim Across America cap on.

DARIEN YMCA’S SWIM AGAINST CANCER

JOIN US AND MAKE WAVES TO FIGHT CANCER

Swim Across America is a National non-profit that has raised over $100 million for cancer research & clinical trials through open water swims, pool swims & clinics throughout the USA! Join our Darien YMCA swimmers to fight cancer together in Fairfield County!

Darien YMCA's Swim Against Cancer is taking place on May 14th. All funds raised will benefit Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.

We will be swimming laps and having fun relays to make a tangible impact right here in our community! All ages welcome.

WHERE: Darien YMCA
2420 Post Rd,
Darien, CT 06820

WHEN: May 14, 2022
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

11-12pm: PSDY Piranhas only
12-2pm: General public and YMCA members

HOW TO JOIN: Click the register button in the middle of this page and get your own fundraising page to send out to your friends and family. All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here and bring to the event check-in. If you are under 18, please bring the waiver signed by a parent or guardian

FUNDRAISING: We encourage swimmers to each raise at least $100. Many will raise more but if everyone raises $100, our swim could raise thousands to support cancer research, prevention and treatment.

FUNDRAISING INCENTIVES: Every swimmer who participates will receive a Swim Across America cap and tattoos! Raise the amounts below and receive great SAA items for your efforts!

This year we are offering more prizes at more levels! Check out all the great incentive levels below, and see how much money you can help raise in the fight against cancer!

  • $50 - SAA T-Shirt.
  • $100 - SAA Sunglasses + $50 fundraising incentive.
  • $300 - SAA Towel + $100 fundraising incentives.
  • $1,000 - If you raise $1,000 you are acknowledged as a WaveMaker and receive WaveMaker benefits.

Individual WaveMaker Status: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers go above and beyond by raising at least $1,000 regardless of your age. Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status - swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WaveMaker gift. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

QUESTIONS? Feel free to email Amy D'Andrea

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Project SEARCH Internship

Path to Employment for Young Adults with Disabilites

Join us for a Virtual Info Session April 27

About this Project SEARCH Internship

Project SEARCH is a nine-month internship program for people with disabilities. It is for those between the ages of 18-30 including transitioning high school students, who seek competitive employment. The Project SEARCH internships with Abilis run in two locations: one internship program at Greenwich Hospital and one internship program at the Darien YMCA.

At the Darien YMCA Abilis Project SEARCH Internship, interns  rotate in different departments including facilities, wellness, childcare, marketing and membership.

In these programs, total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process, as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. For instance, interns participate in three, unpaid internships and explore a variety of career paths. Along the way, the interns increase their independence, self-confidence, and self-esteem preparing them for future employment. To assist them, Interns work with a team that includes their family, their Project SEARCH instructor, an Abilis job coach/developer and a business mentor.

Project SEARCH is a collaboration between Abilis, Greenwich Hospital, Darien YMCA, various local school districts, and the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services.

Who is eligible for a this Internship?

First, to be eligible for Project SEARCH, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and have a developmental disability. Second, they must be eligible for development or disabilities services, and want to work competitively. Lastly, if the young adult is currently a high school student, a recommendation is required by their school district.

For other young adults, tuition is paid by the Department of Developmental Resources (for those eligible) or a family may choose to pay privately. The Greenwich Hospital Project SEARCH program starts September 2022; the Darien YMCA program starts January 2023. Registration is required for our information session.

Information Session Details:

Learn How Young Adults with Disabilities Can Find Employment Through An Unpaid Project SEARCH Internship.

DATE: April 27, 2022

TIME: 6:00 PM

WHO: Open to the public

LOCATION: Zoom - Meeting link will be sent after you register.

Questions, contact: Nick Stewart at stewart@abilis.us

Dorian working in Facilities

Dorian working in Facilities

Alex at Holly Pond Preschool

Alex at Holly Pond Preschool

Chris working in Wellness

Chris working in Wellness

Mohammad in Wellness

Mohammad in Wellness Center
Abilis Logo
Project Search Logo

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Young Man photographing the Darien Y pool for a Video Project with Norwalk Community College

Best of Darien Videos

DARIEN TV79 ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF STUDENT VIDEO PROJECT PARTNERING WITH NORWALK COMMUNITY COLLEGE

(Darien, CT): September 26, 2021 The television production talents of area students will be on display on Darien TV79 as the station has concluded a “Best of Darien” video challenge to students studying digital media at Norwalk Community College.

“We asked the NCC students to visit Darien and shoot a montage of local scenes featuring the ‘Best of Darien’, and the results were phenomenal,” says TV79 Program Director Jim Cameron. “These budding videographers saw our town through fresh eyes, yet captured the scenes that make Darien so special.”

The project was a class assignment by Assistant Professor Julie Casper-Roth who leads NCC’s digital media division.

“It was a win-win-win project,” says Ms. Casper-Roth. “The students got real life field experience, great feedback on their projects from the judges, and TV79 got 11 fresh station ID ‘bumpers’”

The 30 – 60 second spots highlight such icon Darien scenes as Tilley Pond, the Darien Library, the Darien YMCA, shoppers on the Post Road and our local beaches. The spots will run for many weeks to come on TV79 and can all be viewed here:

SEE VIDEO SUBMISSIONS

The entries were judged by Cameron and other members of the TV79 Advisory Board, who had a very hard time selecting a winner.  As a result of a tie, the $100 prize for the best of “The Best of Darien” will be split by two NCC students, Jacqueline Ramirez and Olivia Naimoli.

Darien TV79 is the Town’s government television station, accessible on Optimum channel 79, Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube.  The station is funded by the Town, grants from the Area Nine Cable Council and The Darien Foundation.  For more information visit the station’s new website:  DarienTV79.com

Norwalk Community College serves 6500 students in Southern Fairfield County and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The college houses a wide array of programs in the sciences, humanities, and arts. The Film and Television Program (set to change its name to Digital Media) is designed to prepare students for jobs in the diverse and ever-changing field of media production.

 

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

Photos attached of NCC students during video shoot in Darien

For more information:   JIM CAMERON / Program Director    203-952-5758

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FAMILY DINNER

FAMILY DINNER NIGHT

A stress-free, tech-free, fun family evening at home while supporting Darien’s restaurants!

The Y is proudly partnering with local restaurants to honor the at-home Family Dinner Night! We know it’s a stressful time; that’s why we’ve put together the tools to help you enjoy an easy, but fun family evening together!

Order a delicious family meal to go from one of our amazing Family Dinner Night restaurants listed below and enjoy some of the provided tech-free family activities to help make your evening at home special, engaging, and fun for everyone!



DINNER MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

Families that eat frequent family meals together foster:

· Overall nutritious eating

· Teens who are less likely to engage in risky behavior

· Children with better language skills and academic scores

· Lower obesity rate

· Better relationships with each other and their community

Source: The Search Institute


Families that eat together 5-7 nights per week create strong, healthy relationships that keep kids substance-free.

· Those who have fewer than 3 family dinner nights per week are 4 times more likely to use tobacco and 2 ½ time likelier to use alcohol.

Source: National Center on Addition and Substance Abuse (CASA)


FAMILY DINNER NIGHT ACTIVITIES

Come up with a theme such as cartoon characters, Disney characters, animals, famous athletes, etc. Write down the names of each person or character and put them into a hat. Each person at the table now becomes one of these people or characters. Anyone can pick the name for you, but you cannot pick for yourself. To make it easy, you can have the person to your left pick a name out of the hat. Once your new name is picked, that person sticks it to your forehead, and whoever is on that paper is who you become! However, you cannot see what your new name is, instead you have to guess who you are by asking yes or no questions (up to 10 questions).le Description
Instead of humming a tune and guessing what song it is, knock on the table! Think of a song, or pull a title out of a hat, play the song by knocking on the table. Whoever is guessing the song has to sing it out loud!
Just because we can’t go out to fancy dinners doesn’t mean we cannot dress up! Bring a fancy dinner to your family dinner table by dressing up in your best suit or fancy dress! Make it even more fun and pretend you are going to a fancy ball with an orchestra playing music. After dinner, keep the “ball” going with a family dance party!
Have each person take turns writing their first name on a sheet of paper until everyone has written their name in list format. (For example, Susan, George, Ricky, Cassandra). Give each family member (or teams) two minutes to create as many words as they can from the letters in their names. For example, the name list above might generate words such as “sack, rake, car, gorge…” Each letter can only be used once within a single word, but each letter can be used multiple times to make as many words as possible. The person or team with the most words wins.
As a group, choose a category, such as animals, countries, singers, or “people our family knows.” One family member starts the game by naming a person/thing from that category that starts with the letter “A.” Then the next person names a person/thing that starts with the letter “B,” the next person finds something for the letter “C,” and so on.
One person thinks of a rhyming pair of words, and then gives clues about them, using synonyms. For example, if the secret phrase was “funny bunny,” the clue might be “hilarious furry mammal.” The person can also give a clue about how many syllables the secret phrase has by shortening or lengthening the game’s title. Saying “hig pig” means that each word in the secret phrase has one syllable (like “old mold,”), whereas “higgy piggy” means words with two syllables (“chipper zipper”), and higglety pigglety means words with three (“triumphant elephant”).
Think of 5 things that “belong” to something. For example, a banana, a pair of shoes, a book, a pile of paperclips, and a box of flooring. Then have your family guess what these things belong to (answer: things in the trunk of my car). With little kids, you can just ask them outright for a list of things in a category (example: name three things in your bed).

Source: TheFamilyDinnerProject.org


25 Questions to Ask Around the Dinner Table!

Eating dinner as a family is one of the best ways to connect as a family, share what’s going on, and enjoy each other’s company. In today’s world, it’s easy to let our phones distract us at the dinner table. In an effort to strengthen family relationships and help parents connect with their children, we want to share 25 questions you can ask around the dinner table to help cultivate conversations with your children.

Be sure to take turns answering questions, too! This allows your children to learn even more about you in a fun way.


1. What was the best part of your day?

2. What was the hardest part of your day?

3. What’s something new you learned today?

4. What’s something that made you laugh today?

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

7. Who is your favorite movie character?

8. If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

9. Would you rather fly or breathe underwater?

10.Who is your favorite superhero?

11.What makes a great friend?

12.What’s one thing you want to learn?

13.Would you rather be 100 feet tall or the size of an ant?

14.What would you do if you were president?

15.What do you want to be when you grow up?

16.If you could do anything you wanted for a day, what would you do?

17.What’s one thing you are scared of?

18.What’s your favorite thing about school?

19.What’s your favorite thing we do as a family?

20.What are you excited about for tomorrow?

21.If you could pick a new color for the sky, what color would you make it?

22.What’s your favorite song?

23.What would you do with $100?

24.What is your least favorite color?

25.What are you most thankful for?

One fun way to use these questions is to write them on slips of paper and keep them in a jar or basket. Each night at dinner, every family member gets to pick one slip of paper from the jar and ask everyone else that question. Try it at dinner this week


Blog originally posted by Country Home Learning Center, a premier daycare serving families in Austin, TX.

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Full Court Peace initiative

Boys Basketball Full Court Peace Intiviative

Full Court Peace initiative is A Huge Success

The Darien YMCA Basketball Program partners with Full Court Peace to raise money and refurbish basketball courts in Norwalk, Conn.

DARIEN, CT (July 8, 2021) The Darien YMCA basketball program has over 2,000 kids participating on a yearly basis making it one of the most popular youth sport programs in Darien.  It's the starting point for many kids to learn about becoming and staying active and promotes healthy habits that kids will carry with them throughout their lives.

But not all kids and families have the same opportunities.

The Darien YMCA partnered with local non-profit organization, Full Court Peace, to refurbish 2 basketball courts, on July 10th, in Norwalk, CT to give more kids these opportunities.

Full Court Peace uses basketball as a healthy outlet to connect athletes from suburban and urban communities, and 30 Darien basketball athletes and families joined Norwalk athletes and families to create another safe place for kids to gather and play basketball.

“We believe the appearance and functionality of an outdoor court are important, and that places where basketball is popular should feature updated facilities, bright paint and an inviting atmosphere. We also believe that the repair and subsequent use of these facilities can be a shared activity between diverse communities,” said Mike Evans, Full Court Peace, Founder/Executive Director.

Darien youth and families raised over $10,000 in funds to support Full Court Peace and the YMCA Financial Assistance program to ensure everyone - regardless of their ability to pay – can belong to the Y, participate in programs, and improve their lives.

“We were very excited to have our local Darien basketball players and families jump in and help with this project. What better way to teach our YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. We are also committed to excellence and dedicated to developing the finest of athletes, as well as the finest of citizens, through all our sports programs,” said Joe Marzano, Darien YMCA, Sports Director.

By working together, the YMCA and FCP are building unity and community through basketball, making sure that all kids, whether on the basketball court at the Darien YMCA or at neighborhood courts in Norwalk, CT have a chance to come together and play ball!

 

Please consider joining this ongoing effort by donating to support  programs and services provided by the Darien YMCA. Donate Now!

Your support and generosity help to serve our community so everyone can continue to learn, grow, and thrive during these challenging times.

 

Well DONE!!!!

Full Court Peace Volunteers on Basketball Courts in Norwalk
Full Court Peace Volunteers on Basketball Courts in Norwalk
Full Court Peace Volunteers on Basketball Courts in Norwalk
Full Court Peace Volunteers on Basketball Courts in Norwalk

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Darien YMCA Gymnasts Shine!

Darien YMCA Gymnasts Shine

In 2020 Covid-19 brought the world, and the Darien YMCA competitive to gymnastics program to a standstill. However, it did not take long for our coaches and gymnasts to find a way to come together and move forward as a team. Throughout last spring, the Darien YMCA Gymnastics coaches connected with their gymnasts via Zoom, helping to ease the mental and physical effects of being separated from each other and the Y gymnastics center, their home away from home. Thrilled to return to the gym last summer the team worked together to restrengthen and prepare for the rigors of competitive gymnastics training.

As the gymnasts adjusted to wearing masks and training in pods, their coaches and the Darien YMCA staff worked to bring some normalcy to their routine. With some creative planning gymnasts were able to compete again, holding virtual meets. In partnership with the Darien Athletic Foundation the meets were live streamed so that family & friends could follow along in real time. The Darien YMCA is incredibly grateful to Damian Andrew and the Darien Athletic Foundation for the many hours donated to making sure our gymnasts’ friends and families could watch them shine!

The hard work and dedication of our gymnasts over the last year culminated in some amazing successes this spring at the USA Gymnastics State, Regional and Eastern Division levels. In April, 10 Darien YMCA Gymnasts had a very strong showing at state Level 4-6 championships. Later that month four Level 9 gymnasts, Saskia Chermayeff, Sarah Cross, Sofia DeStefano & Mia Karlehag qualified at the USAG Regional meet for USAG Level 9 Eastern Championship. Gymnasts must score in the All-Around top 7 for their Division/Age Group at the USAG Regional event to qualify for the Eastern Championship. At the Championship held in May in Atlanta the Darien YMCA gymnasts were the only YMCA gymnasts to qualify for this coveted event – a huge accomplishment!

We are beyond proud of the grit and determination our gymnasts and coaches have shown over this last year. We look forward to watching all of our gymnasts from house league to Level 9 continuing their journey in the Y’s gymnastics program!

Well DONE!!!!

Jacquelyn Coppola

Courtney Timmeny

Maddie McGivney

Taylor Davies

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Luis Lemus Collage

Luis Rodriguez-Lemus, Completes an Ironman

Luis Rodriguez-Lemus, Completes an Ironman

For the first time ever, the world famous Ironman Competition came to the Darien YMCA. On Sunday, April 18th local Ironman athlete, Luis Rodriguez-Lemus, set to swim 2.4 miles in the Darien YMCA pool.

Luis originally signed up to compete in the Ironman in Texas on April 18th, but due to COVID concerns it was cancelled. Luis, who has been training here at the Y, has decided to carry on and complete the Ironman distance triathlon on his own.  So, on Sunday, April 18th, he swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles within the 17-hour time limit.

THIS IS HIS MESSAGE TO THE DARIEN YMCA AFTER HE COMPLETED THE IRONMAN!

“Sunday was a wild ride of emotions and physical challenges but we got it done!!!!!!

Here’s the race recap.

I finished within the 17 hour time limit with a time of 13 hours and 48 minutes. The swim went fantastic and I did it 10 minutes quicker than expected. The bike got off to a good start, but eventually the hills of northern westchester county took their toll on me. By mile 75 on the bike my legs were wrecked and the hills just kept on coming and coming. No doubt that was the lowest point of the day and I thought about throwing in the towel multiple times. I dug deep and just took it one pedal stroke at a time and somehow managed to finish the 112 miles on the bike in 8 hours. I ended up logging 5x more elevation gain than what IMTX was supposed to have.

My legs were absolutely wrecked coming off the bike. They felt like they were made out of jelly and weighed 1,000 pounds each. I started the marathon by running a few miles on the track at New Canaan HS and to my surprise, my legs came back to life. After a few loops around Waveny park I headed towards Stamford to finish the marathon. I was in good spirits until it got dark, started raining and I got cold – still had about 10 miles of the marathon left at that point. At mile 16 of the marathon, which was also mile 130 of the 140.6 is when emotion and willpower took over. I was so exhausted and broken yet my body somehow kept moving. All I thought about was everything I overcame to get to that point, mainly obesity and struggles with anxiety. I just kept reminding myself that I didn’t come this far to only come this far. I ran the Ironman in honor of my childhood best friend, my uncle and cousin, all 3 who are no longer with us – and their memories and thinking that they’d be proud of me got me to the finish line. I set out on this journey to prove to myself that I can do hard things – mission accomplished!

And to my surprise, my family and friends were waiting for me and cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. It was the perfect cap to my first Ironman journey! I was overcome with emotion at the end thinking how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system. No rest for the wicked though! The makeup date for Ironman Texas will be October 2nd, and I look forward to continuing my training at the Darien Y!

Thanks again for your continued support – I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. I am so glad we were able to raise $1,200 for the kids :)”

WATCH LUIS CROSS THE FINISH LINE!

To learn more about Luis and his support of our Camper Campaign visit, Donate Now | 2021 Luis Rodriguez-Lemus Ironman: Supporting the Darien YMCA Send A Kid To Camp Campaign by Darien YMCA

Luis Lemus Collage
Luis Lemis dedicated his run to passed family members

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Ragetime Art Show table at Darien YMCA

Art Show at the YMCA

Art Show At YMCA

Ragetime Art Show table at Darien YMCA

Curated Culture: Metamorphosis Presented by RAGETIME

The Darien YMCA is pleased to be partnering with RAGETIME, a grassroots organization and collective of current students and alumni who have a passion for equality and justice.  They have recently launched an Art Showcase entitled, Curated Culture: Metamorphosis – A culmination of artistic expression displaying a personal metamorphosis or change in perspective.

 

RAGETIME requested submissions of work that expresses an experience that has impacted the artists perspective and created their own personal metamorphosis.  Art pieces are being showcased around the Darien community at the Darien YMCA, YWCA, The Depot and Darien Arts Center.  We welcome our community and members to come view each piece and read each artist’s personal statements.  We hope these works will spark conversation and encourage dialogue and action around equal opportunity and education for all.

 

Through their work, RAGETIME envisions education for every student in which Black history and the contributions of other minority communities are integrated into the standard curriculum for all subjects, and students are afforded an intellectual, safe learning space where they are taught that anyone can invoke change.   Their newly launched website includes resources for the greater community that encourages dialogue and action around equal opportunity and education for all. Resources are centered around education and curriculum, diversity and inclusion, mental health, emotional wellness, and activism.  We also encourage you to visit their newly created website where you will find diversity and inclusion booklists, mental health, curriculum and education resources, Rage Time advocacy work and more.  www.RAGETimeCT.com

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Helpful Vaccine Info

VACCINE INFO

Assistance for Seniors 75+ and Anyone Registering for COVID-19 Vaccine

If you are 75 years of age or older, you qualify for Phase 1b, and are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have already heard from your medical provider about receiving the vaccine, you do not need to do anything else – if you have not, several scheduling options are available to you.

The YMCA is sharing these directions to assist our members.

Below are the steps needed to register and get and appointment through the Department of Public Health’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS):

IT IS A TWO STEP PROCESS

    1. Create a VAMS Account
    2. Schedule an appointment to get your vaccine

Very Important

***Each person needs their own EMAIL ACCOUNT to schedule an appointment***

Tips when creating your VAMS Account:

  • When asked if you have registered in VAMs before please select no.
  • Enter your state and county and then CDC will email you a number verification that you will enter into the pop up box. Once that number is entered it will prompt you to create a password that meets all the requirements that are listed on the page (be sure to write your password down as you will need it for logging in to VAMs next time).
  • Next you will begin your registration process by entering your information.
  • For the question concerning race you will highlight your race in the box on the left and hit the arrow aiming to the right to move it into the empty box on the right
  • Continue to fill in your information-if the page does not advance after you hit next (located in the bottom right) look back at the questions and find the one with the red information letting you know what you missed. The VAMs system does not like special characters (dashes, commas, etc.) so please do not use them. Questions with a red asterisk * are required.
  • Once you have entered all of your information hit submit. You will then receive an email that says:  “Next steps to schedule your vaccine appointment”
  • Click on the link in the email to select and place to get your vaccine and the time and day. (you may have to click on future dates to find a list of open appointment times)

Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line at 877-918-2224.

We hope this information is helpful to you. If you need further guidance, do not hesitate to reach out to the YMCA for assistance or call the Appointment Assistance line at 877-918-2224.

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BASKETBALL OPEN GYM

BASKETBALL OPEN GYM

It's back! Basketball - Come on in for some family fun on the court! Or grab a few friends to shoots some hoops!


Basketball Open Gym Safety Precautions:

  • Face coverings required at all times.
  • Hand sanitizer provided.
  • Groups must stay on their half of the gym.
  • Basketball only. No other sports allowed for safety reasons.
  • Must bring your own basketballs.

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