Wounded servicemen honored at charity tourney

Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Jared Luce and Marine Cpl. Manuel Jimenez were named the honorees and beneficiaries for the 13th annual Sticks for Soldiers Thanksgiving Charity Lacrosse Tournament, hosted by the Fairfield Ludlowe High School boy’s lacrosse program on Nov. 24.

Luce and Jimenez both sustained life-changing injuries from combat in February 2005 and August 2010, respectively.

Sticks for Soldiers is a nonprofit charity with its mission to raise money to support future needs of severely wounded soldiers, and promote youth awareness of military service through this statewide event. In 12 years, the tournament, which is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, has raised nearly $800,000 through team entry fees, silent auction, merchandise, and corporate and private donations.

This year, more than 750 boys and girls from 50 Connecticut high school teams were expected to participate and play 100 games during the event. Game officials from around the state of Connecticut donated their time as well as many volunteers from Fairfield Ludlowe High School and the surrounding communities.

All proceeds directly benefitted these, and other, wounded honorees.

Children’s choir to perform this weekend

The Chamber Singers of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir will perform during the fourth annual Young Persons’ Concert at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.

The program features classical, holiday, gospel and popular vocal selections. This program is free to the public and registration is not required.

The Chamber Singers are the most advanced choristers of the FCCC and have performed across Europe, in Canada, New Orleans, San Francisco; and at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden and West Point.

Donations for Operation Hope will be welcome at door.

Birding trifecta at Audubon Society

A birding triple-header begins at 10 a.m. on Dec. 8 at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Center at Fairfield.

First up is Backyard Birding, a free class led by long-time birder and naturalist Dick Worth. While viewing feeders from indoors, learn how to identify Connecticut’s birds by sight and sound, who is coming to feeders this time of year and their feeding habits. Participants will also receive tips on what kind of seed and feeders to use, and other ways of creating a bird-friendly sanctuary.

At the Nature Store, the annual Winter Birdseed Sale takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All birdseed will be 20 percent off. There’s a wide selection of seed and suet to provide the calories and nourishment needed by non-migratory birds that winter in Connecticut.

The center’s Nature Store may also be the perfect place to shop for holiday gifts and decorations. In addition to birding supplies, there are unique cards, ornaments, books, home decor items and educational toys for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages.

To register for the Backyard Birding class, and get more information about our Nature Store or upcoming winter programs, visit www.ctaudubon.org/fairfield-programs-events/ or call 203-259-6305, ext. 109.

The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Fairfield is located at 2325 Burr St. in Fairfield. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Opera singer to perform at Christmas concert

Acclaimed soprano Jennifer Glidden, of Texas, is scheduled to perform as a special guest for a Christmas concert titled “Behold, Emmanuel,” at Fairfield Grace Methodist Church in Fairfield on Dec. 7.

She was the first-place winner in the 15th International Canto Lirico Voice Competition and Festival. Glidden is an assistant professor of music, voice and opera at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her directing credits include Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Frank Loesser’s “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” two comic one-acts — Donizetti’s “Il Campanello di Notte (Italian),” and Mozart’s “The Impresario (English)” — Handel’s “Xerses,” and “I love you, You’re perfect, Now Change.”

Glidden serves on the voice faculty of Varna International Opera Academy.

The concert is headlined and directed by Jonathan William, a Christian contemporary/gospel artist and local Connecticut native. The concert’s central focus is around the birth, life and resurrection of Christ.

In the past, William toured with the two-time Grammy-nominated show choir, the Singing Hoosiers, and also won a trip to Von Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont for his performance at iSing for St. Jude Vocal Competition.

The concert will be accompanied by concert pianist Clayton Reedstrom. Background vocals provided by Melissa DePaolo, Renee Luna, and Sarah Miller.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Chamber, FELO to host annual holiday party

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfield Emerging Leaders Organization will celebrate the holiday season with their annual Holiday Party on Dec. 11 from 5:30 tp 7:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St. The event will be held in FTC’s Warehouse space.

Guests will gather in FTC Warehouse to enjoy wine and beer from the open bar, and food provided by The Castle on Post, The Pantry, Tuttobene Restaurant & Bar, Wings over Fairfield, Quattro Pazzi Cafe and Strada Craft Pizza & Bar.

Background classic holiday music will be provided by FTC throughout the evening.

FELO will host an after-party at Crave Restaurant, following the main event at the Warehouse. Raffle items will be offered during the evening as well.

The event is open to the public and chamber members. Tickets are $45 for chamber or FELO members, and $55 for nonmembers with an additional $5 for walk-ins.