Cindi Bigelow

, president & CEO of Bigelow Tea, will receive the 2018 Caroline House Award for her support over the past decade of programs that benefit low-income women and their families by providing literacy training and life skills.

Founded in 1995 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Caroline House has a mission of helping immigrant women and children to reach their full potential through education in the English language and life skills. To date, more than 1,600 women and children have been served by the Bridgeport center.

Caroline House is one of 21 local nonprofit organizations that receive funds raised through the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge. Since it began 30 years ago, the Bigelow Community Challenge has raised more than $1.5 million for organizations that provide shelter, food, educational services, counseling, crisis management, after-school tutoring and recreational programs.

Bigelow will be honored at the center’s Starry Night Gala on April 6 at the Inn at Longshore in Westport from 6:30 to 11 p.m. The evening will include cocktails, live and silent auctions, dinner, music and dancing. Tickets are $195. For more information, visit or contact Christine Paine at

Bigelow is the third-generation president and CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea, the U.S. market leader of specialty teas that produces more than 2 billion tea bags annually. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston College, an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and honorary doctorates from the University of New Haven and Fairfield University.

Socially- and community-minded, she frequently makes appearances, speaking to students and industry leaders and sharing insights on business ethics and career development. She has received numerous awards for her years of community service.

A mammal is an animal, but is every animal a mammal?

Find out on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. as Lizzy Rockwell reads aloud her new book, “A Mammal Is an Animal,” to kids ages 3 and up on the second floor of the downtown Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road.

Copies of “A Mammal Is an Animal,” along with “Zoo Day: A My First Experience Boo,” illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell and written by her mother Ann Rockwell, will be available for purchase and signing at the downtown bookstore event.

Kids and families who attend Animal Day Storytime will also enjoy a special visit from the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo. A representative will be on hand to answer questions and introduce young children to some of their amazing animals.

Through their awe-inspiring zoo education programs and activities, the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo helps foster curiosity in animals and science, as well as a sense of respect and wonder for nature.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at to reserve a spot.

Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield will host its annual Lancer Legacy Gala Saturday at 6 p.m. at The Waterview in Monroe.

This is Notre Dame’s largest fundraiser of the school year and helps generate funds which directly benefit the students academically and athletically. It is a time for parents, alumni, faculty, and friends of Notre Dame to come together and celebrate Notre Dame’s past, present and exciting future.

A number of Lancer Legacy Gala Awards will be presented:

Carole Surina Educator Award to Michelle Carbone Loris, class of 1964;

Sister Marion Rielly Leadership Award to Rev. Thomas Lynch, class of 1962;

Notre Dame Community Impact Award to Russell Colon;

Excellence in Education Award to John J. Reidy, Jr.;

ND Parent Award to Michelle McGuire.

In addition, Chanel Cathey, class of 2004, Patricia Silk Popp, class of 1986, and Matthew Reale, class of 1982, will be inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame and Lindsay Russo, class of 2010, Jeff Velleca, class of 2005 and the 1986-87 Boys’ Hockey Team will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $125 per person.

For more information about the Lancer Legacy Gala, including ticket and sponsorship information, contact Theresa Marzik, the director of advancement and alumni relations at or 203-372-6521.

Dance shoes in closets around Fairfield County are being brought out for polishing as leaders of the local business community begin the demanding process necessary to compete in ElderHouse Adult Day Center’s annual Dancing with the Stars.

The fifth annual gala benefit is being held March 24 from 6 to 11 p.m., at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.

The gala event showcases seven Fairfield County business representatives, each paired with an award-winning dance professional from Norwalk’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, who donate their time to practice routines, hone them to perfection, and compete in this exciting and impressive dance competition.

The notable lineup of 2018 dancers representing Fairfield County includes:

Carolyn Donohue-Ulman, assistant to president and director of Trademark Anti-Counterfeit, Dooney & Bourke in Norwalk;

Hank Fatigate, general manager of the Little Pub in Wilton

Eric Ferraris, chief operating officer at Toohner-Ferraris Insurance Group in Wilton;

Nathan Gottlieb, co-owner of All Seasons Marine Works, located in Rowayton and Westport;

Karen Kelly, senior vice-president at First County Bank in Stamford;

Andrea Kostanecki, a realtor at William Pitt Sotheby’s in Rowayton;

Kristin McClutchy, owner of Pure Barre Darien;

Dancing with the Stars Gala Benefit is ElderHouse’s largest annual fundraising event and helps the Norwalk nonprofit to sustain its award-winning program of adult care, socialization, and recreational activities to a senior population living with aging diseases. Funds will be raised through ticket sales, pledges, onsite voting, live auction, and a paddle raise.

For more information on how to donate, make a pledge to a favorite dancer, or for event tickets, contact ElderHouse at 203-847-1998 or visit

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.