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Little League Challenger

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Darien, http://www.dybs.org
Norwalk, http://www.leaguelineup.com
Stamford, http://www.leaguelineup.com
Wilton, http://www.wiltonlittleleague.org
Fairfield, http://www.eteamz.com
Greenwich, http://www.littleleague.org

I was never very good at sports. I loved them, though, and signed up for every thing: basketball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse… back when we signed up for sports and were spared the disgrace of try outs. It was common knowledge I’d be useless with a ball but, shoot, I could yell and cheer louder than anyone else on the team. So I did, and instead of runs, baskets, goals, and things that actually won games, I made them very noisy. And I did get a few Spirit Awards…

When I read about the Challenger Division, a team of mentally and physically challenged children playing baseball with the help of volunteers, I was touched. Here is an opportunity, I thought, to reward spirit and teamwork as the end result of a game: a laudable, often overlooked goal, and I bet I’m not the first cheerleader to agree.

What they are: “…a program that enables mentally and physically-challenged youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities.
“The philosophy is to give all children the chance to play baseball in a setting that is fun and supportive. A big part of this, for the players, is to experience the sense of belonging that comes with being a part of a team, as well as the spirit of friendly competition through games with other Challenger teams from neighboring towns. In Challenger baseball, scores don’t count - everybody is a winner. It’s all about acceptance, self-esteem, positive learning experiences and team spirit.”

Click to read the rest ... "Little League Challenger"

Give     Darien     Fairfield     Greenwich     Norwalk     Stamford     Wilton    
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 • Permalink

Java Coffee & Café

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44 Church Lane, Westport

I have observed, with a certain dark interest, the rise and fall of several eateries on this random bit of real estate, tucked around the corner from the Y and a touch inconvenient for Main St. consumers. Then, like a knight in shining armor, Java struck its sword into this plot of commercial property and out popped a great cafe.

Java - based in Idaho - is hip, colorful, and boasts excellent coffee. The service is prompt and friendly and they even keep a large dispenser of ice water and lemons by the door so you don’t have to lighten your wallet for bottled water. Awwww.

Holy cow, it’s healthy. The salads are rife with kale, quinoa abounds, and fresh salad accompanies almost everything. For cross-fitters and über-moms, there’s Paleo banana bread. For the rest of us, there are organic sweets and baked snacks. Soon it’ll have a wine, beer & limited liquor license.

It has an outdoor patio for eating al fresco, overlooking the lovely grounds of Christ & Holy Trinity. So the health benefits of your meal won’t be offset by the inhalation of traffic toxins.

Robin’s note: During one of my three visits in four days, I sat on the patio with friends. We happily agreed that hanging out there felt “just like being on Friends!” Which both dates us and divulges our communal belief that sitcoms are real and present a life to which we all aspire. So… there’s that.

Click to read the rest ... "Java Coffee & Café"

Dining     Bars + Baristas     Westport    
Friday, May 02, 2014 • Permalink