Police dog gets his own body armor
Westport Police Department’s K9 Onyx has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by the family and friends of the late John Buffone and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of John Buffone — Beloved husband and Dad.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a charity located in East Taunton, Mass. whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,100 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744-$2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs.
Tax-deductible donations of any denomination can be made at vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
Newman’s Own gives $5k to Astronomical Society
The Westport Astronomical Society received a $5,000 grant from Westport-based Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman.
This is the third year Newman’s Own Foundation has supported the nonprofit local observatory with an all-volunteer staff. Since 1975, the Westport Astronomical Society has provided free weekly viewings of the night sky, monthly lectures from leading university researchers, community science outreach, and a valuable resource for local schools. As one of the largest astronomy clubs in Connecticut, they are the go-to destination whenever an eclipse or comet makes the news, and their dedicated team of volunteers works hard to encourage an interest in natural science. Young Westport Astronomical Society members often go on to pursue degrees in astrophysics or related disciplines while older visitors have been inspired to try their hands at private stargazing and astrophotography.
The Westport Astronomical Society also serves as a crucial bridge between amateur observation and professional research. Members actively gather and submit valuable data on asteroid occultations and variable star light curves, and the observatory even serves as a ham radio base of operations for emergency communication.Read Full Article
Early this year, the entire Round Hill Observatory from Greenwich was generously donated to the Westport Astronomical Society, including a second dome, computerized mount, specialized camera, and two advanced telescopes. This state-of-the-art equipment represents a tremendous opportunity that will vastly enhance the scientific capabilities and may even allow remote operation and online viewing.
While most of the gear is in excellent condition, worn parts on the dome itself must be replaced and a stable supporting platform constructed before it can be used. The grant from Newman’s Own Foundation will act as the starting point for their fundraising campaign to make the needed fixes.
Newman’s Own Foundation uses all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products for charitable purposes. Since 1982, Paul Newman, who lived in Westport, and Newman’s Own Foundation have donated over $500 million to thousands of charities around the world.
Maplewood senior communities host toy drive
Maplewood Senior Living is joining forces with the Connecticut State Police to host its annual toy drive.
The event, now in its 18th year, is inviting anyone that wishes to make a donation to bring an unwrapped toy or toys to any Maplewood Senior Living community in Connecticut now through Dec. 20. Toys will be distributed to local families across the state.
“Maplewood is proud to support the Connecticut State Police with its mission to bring toys to needy children,” said Gregory Smith, CEO and president of Maplewood Senior Living, in a news release. “Many of our residents and our staff members partake in community outreach to help others. The toy drive offers a way for our residents to give back to the community this holiday season in a very meaningful way.
Toy donations may be made at Westport’s senior living community, Maplewood Senior Living at One Gorham Island, Suite 100.
They may also be made at other Maplewood Senior Living communities:
Maplewood at Strawberry Hill, 73 Strawberry Hill Ave., Norwalk
Maplewood at Danbury, 22 Hospital Avenue, Danbury
Maplewood at Newtown, 166 Mount Pleasant Road, Newtown
Maplewood at Stony Hill, 46 Stony Hill Road, Bethel
Maplewood at Orange, 245 Indian River Road, Orange
Maplewood at Darien, 599 Boston Post Road, Darien
Maplewood at Southport (Leasing Gallery), 1720 Post Road, Fairfield
For more information regarding the toy drive, contact Debra Laudano at 203- 500-9197.