Rocco & Associates Wealth Management, Inc.

in Fairfield will be hosting their third annual toy drive.

They will be collecting new, unwrapped toys with the Fairfield Police Department to benefit child cancer patients.

The firm will assist in hand delivering the toys with members of the Fairfield Police Department directly to pediatric cancer patients at St Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport as the holiday approaches.

Email eric.johnson@roccoandassociates for more information on how to participate or stop by and drop a toy off during normal business hours, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The John Patrick Flanagan Foundation (JPFF), a charitable foundation established in Fairfield to help vulnerable children and families of Connecticut, has awarded $43,000 in grants to local organizations.

The grants were awarded to nine Fairfield or Bridgeport-based charities including the Connecticut Audubon Society, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club’s Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse, Circle of Care, Hall Neighborhood House, Mikey’s Way, LifeBridge Community Services and the High School Scholarship Foundation of Fairfield, among others.

Since its creation in 2008, more than $230,000 grants have been awarded to area programs that help children and families.

The grant allocations:

Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield: $11,000 to fund the cost for the JPFF Trailblazers Program, which enters its eighth year of existence, providing Bridgeport public school students with transportation to the Nature Center for field trips. Since its inception almost 5,000 students have participated in the Trailblazers program.

Circle of Care: $5,000 to support their Lifeline Emergency Fund, a financial assistance program aimed at alleviating some of the financial difficulties many families experience when their children are undergoing treatment for cancer, enabling them to have continued access to high-quality care, while relieving the devastating financial impact of treatment.

Hall Neighborhood House: $5,000 to support after-school programs for kids on the east side of Bridgeport that emphasize positive character development through social and emotional learning.

LifeBridge Community Services: $5,000 to support its Community Closet program that distributes basic needs items to over 2,500 families impacted by poverty, and its School Supplies Project that specifically focuses on children’s preparedness for school through the provision of basic items that students need (i.e. writing utensils, paper, books, etc.) to participate in classroom and homework activities.

Mikey’s Way Foundation: $5,000 to support the charity’s mission — named in memory of 16-year-old Mikey Friedman, who also passed away in 2008 — to provide interactive, handheld electronics to sick children in the hospital as a way to escape the fear, boredom and isolation of their hospital beds.

United in Hope Scholarship Fund: $5,000 to provide college tuition assistance to high school graduates who have lost a parent to cancer. This grant is jointly supported by the Chad A. Jacobs Memorial Foundation.

Wakeman Boys & Girls Club’s Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse in Bridgeport: $5,000 to support a new fitness and nutrition program, FitFutures, an after-school program that serves 150 members annually educating them on healthy eating habits, improved physical activity and the positive effects of healthy eating and exercise.

The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport’s Janus Center: $5,000 to fund the Janus Center’s Summer Enrichment Program, which provides at-risk teens with a five-week summer program that exposes youth to various career choices and engages them with educational and skill-building topics.

High School Scholarship Foundation of Fairfield: $1,000 to fund the John Flanagan Memorial annual scholarship awarded to a college-bound, high-achieving student with an economic need at Fairfield Warde High School.

The JPFF was established in memory of John Patrick Flanagan, who passed away from a rare and aggressive neuroendocrine cancer in 2008 at the age of 44. His family, friends and colleagues established the foundation to serve as a charitable legacy to support what he cherished above all else: children and family.

To learn more about the JPFF or to make a donation, visit

Bankwell invites the community to help spread some extra holiday cheer this season through three collections in Bankwell’s Fairfield County branches.

For Person-to-Person’s “Keeping Warm” annual coat drive, Bankwell is collecting new and gently used winter outerwear for all ages and sizes through Dec. 31.

Through Dec. 6, the bank is also collecting new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls of all ages. All donations will be distributed to kids and families throughout Fairfield County as part of Inspirica’s holiday gift collection.

Drop-off locations:

Bankwell in Norwalk: 370 Westport Ave.

Bankwell in New Canaan: 208 Elm St.

Bankwell in Wilton: 47 Old Ridgefield

Bankwell in Fairfield: One Sasco Hill Road and 2220 Black Rock Turnpike

Bankwell in Stamford: 612 Bedford St.

The Fairfield Museum invites professional, serious amateur and student photographers from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts to participate in the IMAGES 2018 Juried Photography Show.

Submissions will be accepted from Dec. 1 through Jan. 22. IMAGES 2018 provides an opportunity for artists to connect with prominent collectors, gallery owners, fellow photographers, and the public.

A jury of artists, photographers, and curators selects approximately 40 submitted photographs for exhibition in the show, which will be on display at the Fairfield Museum and History Center from March 1 to April 15.

For rules and details,

The City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery is inviting submissions from artists 18 and over for a new exhibit at the Maritime Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words.”

The exhibit will run from Jan. 29 to May 11 at the gallery, located in the Maritime Parking Garage exhibit space in Norwalk.

Every picture tells a story — it can communicate to anyone in the world a complex idea with just a single image, no translation needed. The Maritime Garage Gallery is seeking work that captures how the artist would communicate their stories, emotions, concerns, memories, and ideas about life, nature, hope, world events, humanity, etc. into works of art. The exhibit will be curated by Nadia Martinez.

For online guidelines and submissions, go Please email with any questions. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 16.

How did government-sponsored messages about World War I affect those who lived through it? See how the federal government used posters, publicity campaigns, and censorship of critical viewpoints to inspire support and sacrifice — on the home and military fronts — at the Fairfield Museum’s newest exhibition, “Fairfield and the Great War.”

This exhibition explores these messages and how they influenced people in the Fairfield and Bridgeport area, where wartime manufacturing made the city a boomtown. Also on view are uniforms, memorabilia, letters from locals serving in WWI and more.

The exhibition runs through Jan. 21 in the Spaght Gallery.

The Fairfield Museum, at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.