Sturges Ridge partners with community groups

Benchmark Senior Living at Sturges Ridge of Fairfield is partnering with several community groups, including the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut, Fairfield American Little League, the Bigelow Senior Center, Al’s Angels and Operation Hope. The community’s support includes providing volunteers, supplies and funds to help keep Fairfield strong.

In recognition of Benchmark founder, chairman and CEO Tom Grape having played baseball at nearby Sturges Park with Fairfield American Little League, Sturges Ridge recently sponsored a team.

“Seeing the Sturges Ridge logo on the T-shirts was a very special moment for me,” Grape said. “When I was their age growing up here, I would have never imagined I would be bringing the first assisted living community to Fairfield, helping to create a great resource for the community and a home away from home for Fairfield’s older adults and their friends.”

In addition, as an extension of Sturges Ridge’s commitment to supporting the arts, the community is also sponsoring the Sweet Sounds of Summer Concert Series through August. The community helped put on a production of “Music Man” from June 28-30 on the Fairfield Museum green.

Sturges Ridge was also a major sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut’s Paint the Town Purple, an event chaired by Sturges Ridge Executive Director Terry Hornikel. To bring awareness to Alzheimer’s and dementia-related disorders, Hornikel and team helped plan and orchestrate this community-wide event, including organizing a ribbon-cutting, securing business participation and a proclamation from selectmen, spreading the word and even turning their own welcome center purple.

In September, Sturges Ridge will bring assisted living to the town of Fairfield for the first time. Located between The Carolton Chronic and Convalescent Hospital and Fairfield Ludlowe High School, once complete, it will offer 85,000 square feet of assisted living apartments, memory care suites and spacious common areas. Features will include underground parking, a rooftop patio and apartments featuring views of Fairfield Ludlowe High School football games.

For information, visit

‘Really Big’ Tag Sale set for August

Operation Hope’s Annual “Really Big” Tag Sale will take place Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Aug. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at First Church Congregational, 148 Beach Road in Fairfield. Held rain or shine, event admission is $1.

All proceeds support Operation Hope’s mission to end hunger and provide services to the region’s most vulnerable citizens in the community.

The Tag Sale provides an opportunity for local residents to donate items they no longer have use for and to volunteer at the event, all for a worthy cause. Donations are accepted at First Church Congregational from Aug. 13-16 between 9 a.m. and noon, and 5 and 8 p.m. daily. Preferred donations include furniture, household goods, jewelry, table linens, pictures/paintings, art, toys, gaming systems, newer electronics (flat screen TVs, monitors and newer computers), bikes, outdoor equipment and sporting goods. Operation Hope cannot accept bedding, clothing, cribs, shoes, stuffed animals, entertainment centers, books, VCR tapes and tube TVs/monitors. Furniture cannot be picked up by Operation Hope. For details about donations and volunteering, visit

The event is in need of volunteers Aug. 13 through Aug. 20. For information, contact Volunteer Program Manager Donna Schmidt at 203-292-5588 x207 or

Open space art exhibit set to open

Fairfield’s open space landscape is the subject of an Aspetuck Land Trust-sponsored exhibit of work by local painter Gail Bell at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road in downtown Fairfield. It will start Aug. 3 with a reception open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m.

The paintings, on display at the bookstore for the month of August, reflect Bell’s impressions of several of the 12 land preserves across some 60 acres in Fairfield owned by Aspetuck Land Trust “for the benefit and education of the public,” according to the mission of the trust.

Bell, who began studying the trust’s Fairfield land preserves and creating the paintings in 2017, has agreed to give a 20 percent discount to land trust members and to donate 20 percent of the exhibit’s proceeds to benefit the group.

“I fell in love with this land and I hope the paintings make others feel the same,” Bell said.

Since its founding in 1966, Aspetuck Land Trust properties have grown to include more than 1,800 acres in 149 preserves in Fairfield, Easton, Westport, Weston and other nearby towns. The land trust has also said it is targeting 350 acres of unprotected forest land in Weston and Wilton for acquisition. It additionally recently informed its 1,100 members of a larger strategy to create a 17,000-acre greenbelt corridor of adjoining or nearby parcels of open space in the area over the next ten years.

The paintings donated by land trust member and volunteer Bell capture vistas of six Fairfield properties, namely Great Salt Marsh Island in Ash Creek plus the Hillman, Old Hayfields, Butkus Pond, Lobdell and Acorn Lane preserves. Information on these preserves is available at

Dean’s list recipients

Meghan Maciejewski, Elizabeth Revay and Jacquelyn O’Brien, all of Fairfield, were named to the spring 2018 semester dean’s list at Stonehill College.

The following Fairfield residents were named to the spring 2018 semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: Nina Alessi, Rachael Brisman, Ingrid Duffy, Anna Katz, Madelyn Lippman and Lindsay Taylor.

Lydia Hammond, of Fairfield, was named to spring 2018 semester dean’s list at bard College at Simon’s Rock. Simon's Rock Spring 2018 Dean's List

Among the graduates

The following Fairfield residents graduated from Quinnipiac University in May: Kyle Adams, Matthew Bray, Tristan Jesby, Allison Nascimento, Ashiss Paul, Eric Rasmussen, Michael Santangelo, Sadie Snow, Matthew Warner, Anthony Carlucci and Brenna Oricoli.

Katherine Penkala, Stephanie Margaret Schramm and Emma L. Wilkinson, all of Fairfield, graduated from the University of Rhode Island in May.

Alex Campbell, of Fairfield, graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with an associayte’s degree on May 20.