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Tuesday, December 12 News

Community Channel: Donors thanked, Seniors, need help?...

Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, graduated 460 students from 38 states and 36 countries on May 29, including Westporter Amelia Green. Cumulatively, the class of 2017 performed 80,000 hours of community service, exemplifying Bates’ commitment to community learning and civic action.

The daughter of William R. Green and Linda M. Durakis, she graduated after majoring in psychology at Bates. She is a 2013 graduate of Staples High School.

Westport residents Christian J. Trefz and Eva Trefz, longtime donors to the Westport Library, gave a $1 million gift in support of the community campaign for the library’s transformation project.

In recognition of the generous gift, the soon-to-be Forum (currently the Great Hall) will be named after Christian J. Trefz. The Forum will be one of the most flexible spaces in the newly-renovated library, designed for everyday use but also able to seat up to 600 people for large events and programs.

Christian J. Trefz’s story began in 1957 when he worked alongside his brother Ernie at Roessler’s Meat Packing Company in Bridgeport. With newly-opened McDonald’s restaurants quickly becoming their largest customers at that time, the brothers were inspired to pursue careers as McDonald’s franchisees. On Sept. 27, 1964, their first McDonald’s, in Waterbury, opened for business.

Now, Trefz and his family operate 45 McDonald’s restaurants in Connecticut and New York.

Members of the Trefz family were among some of the founding chairpersons of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Connecticut and New York and continue to serve as board members. Christian J. Trefz, a director of the Norwalk Hospital Foundation Board, and Eva Trefz are long time Norwalk Hospital Foundation donors. Their generosity created the Hospital’s new Christian J. and Eva W. Trefz Lobby and registration area.

The couple’s most recent gift established the Christian J. Trefz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health at Western Connecticut Health Network. This program creates the first endowment of its kind in Connecticut and will serve to expand global health awareness and education for aspiring physicians in perpetuity. It is only one of a limited number of hospital-based endowed global health chairs in the nation.

In addition to the Trefz family, there are other donors who have supported the transformation project and make up the library’s Cornerstone Society. The Society was established in 2014 to recognize individuals and organizations who have made gifts of $250,000 and above to the transformation project.

The Cornerstone Society supporters include Howard J. Aibel, the Nancy Jones Beard Foundation, Kathryn Frazer Brooks, the estate of Patricia Lauber Frost, the Komansky Foundation, Inc., John Kossak and Evelyn Kranes Kossak, Paula and Tom McInerney, Frances and Alan Offenberg, Roz and Bud Siegel, the estate of Jerry A. Tishman, Christian J. Trefz and Eva W. Trefz, and the Michael M. Wiseman and Helen A. Garten Charitable Foundation, as well as several anonymous donors.

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To celebrate the dedication of these benefactors, unless they wish to remain anonymous, their names will be inscribed in a permanent location in the renovated library. Name recognition will be given in the annual report and campaign publications. They will be honored at private receptions during and after the campaign and will have a place of honor at the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremonies of the transformed library.

The $19.5 million project broke ground in a ceremony Sept. 14. Construction is projected to last 18-21 months during which time the library will be kept open to the community.

Funding for the transformation project is being provided by a variety of sources.

The town of Westport allocated $5 million to cover the cost to replace the dated and inefficient mechanical systems — the HVAC, plumbing and elevator — which are original to the 1986 facility. The library applied for and received a $1 million grant from the Connecticut State Library. The bulk of the funding is being raised by private donors.

To date, the library has raised over $17 million for the project. First County Bank is providing bridge financing — a short-term loan used until a long-term financing option can be arranged — for the project.

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors that the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at (203) 341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior in need and earning extra money can also contact the department or email them at humansrv@westportct.gov. Students already registered for this program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the current list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

The Westport Arts Center presents “Vivian Maier — a Lifetime of Photographs” on view through Nov. 10. The exhibition features over seventy color and black-and-white photos taken by the secretive nanny-photographer during her lifetime.

Maier’s story has been pieced together only from the images she made and from the handful of facts that have surfaced about her life. For over five decades while she served as a nanny in Chicago and New York, she shot more than 100,000 images, which she kept hidden from the world. Maier captured both revealing self-portraits and casual, unposed images of people in urban America; she was interested in the fringes of society, and had special interest in the poor and the forgotten.

In 2007, two years before Maier’s death, Chicago historic preservationist John Maloof discovered a trove of negatives and undeveloped film in a storage locker he bought at an auction. They revealed a surprising and accomplished artist and a stunning body of work, which Maloof championed and brought to worldwide acclaim.

Maier’s life is also the subject of an Oscar-nominated film, “Finding Vivian Maier.” Currently available on Netflix, it will be screened at the Westport Arts Center in October.

Compact smart homes with elevators. A commute-busting high-speed ferry from Westport to Manhattan. A bike path connecting downtown to the Saugatuck train station. Out-of-the-way lots for self-parking driverless cars.

Welcome to Westport in the year 2067.

A new exhibit, 06880+50, brings together the the innovative imaginings of a select group of Westport architects at Westport Historical Society.

The participants range from independent architects to members of large firms and include works from David Adam Realty, Inc., Peter Cadoux Architects, Robert Cohen, Roger Ferris & Partners, Michael Greenberg & Associates, Juresko Herman, Frederick William Hoag, John Jones, Dierdra O’Farrelly, Leigh Overland, Roundtree Architects, Sellars Lathrop Architects, Scott Springer, Robert Storm and Vita Design Group.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, will be available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Westport residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12:00 pm.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a “PaintCare Fee” of $.75 per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration.

The addition of this program to Westport’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint if recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a non-profit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

The Community Service Corps is an after-school program available to Westport students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Agency placement is made based upon the student’s interests and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Student volunteers work one afternoon each week, Monday through Thursday, from 3 to 5 p.m. At the end of the 10-week program, there is a wrap-up event at Toquet Hall, where student volunteers reflect on and discuss their experiences.

Applications for the fall session of the Community Service Corps are available. A copy of the student’s medical form must be submitted with the application.

Registration forms are available at westportct.gov, as well as in the Department of Human Services office in Town Hall Room 200.

Contact Youth Services Program Director Kevin Godburn at 203-341-1155 or kgodburn@westportct.gov or Westport Department of Human Services at 203-341-1050 with any questions.

The Westport Domestic Violence Task Force is seeking local salons willing to donate gift certificates for haircuts and color treatments.

The gift certificates would benefit the two local Domestic Violence Crisis Center shelters.

The women and children residing in these shelters have fled violent households, often with just the clothes on their backs. Many women in these shelters have been out of the workforce for a while and want to prepare themselves for job interviews or they are looking to change their appearance to avoid an abuser. The gift certificates would be used anonymously at later dates for that purpose.

The gift certificate drive is being conducted through Sept. 30.

Donating salons will be named and thanked at the task force’s October awareness event and at the Unitarian Church’s October Voices Cafe.

Donors are asked to complete a donation form available at westportct.gov, which will be used to provide them with an official receipt for tax purposes, as the crisis center is a public charity.

Gift certificates and submission forms can be dropped off to task force co-chairwoman, Lt. Jillian Cabana, at Westport police headquarters, 50 Jesup Road, or arrangements can be made for salon pick-up.

For information, contact wdvtf06880@gmail.com or call 203-341-6009.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Southbound lane closures are from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday; from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.

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