On its 45th annual jUNe day -- Saturday, June 26 -- the Town of Westport will welcome United Nations (UN) staff and diplomats for an informal day of recreation and celebration in honor of the signing of the United Nations Charter on June 26, 1945.

Each year on the last Saturday of June, between 300 and 350 visitors from the UN enjoy the best that Connecticut has to offer: a casual setting, the beauty of the Long Island Sound, sports and camaraderie. A welcome breakfast and brief opening ceremony will begin the day, and then the guests will disperse to play golf, tennis, soccer and baseball; explore Earthplace, the nature center; and take a walking tour of Westport led by the Westport Historical Society.

Sponsored by the United Nations Association and International Visitors Committee of Southwestern Connecticut, jUNe Day helps promot world peace and international understanding through friendship, both for the visitors and their hosts. During the day, families representing countries from across the globe will have the opportunity to interact with local residents.

The public is invited to participate in the following events:

"¢ 10 a.m. -- opening ceremony at Saugatuck Elementary School, 170 Riverside Ave. The town will extend a warm welcome to Michael Adlerstein, United Nations assistant secretary-general and executive director of the Capital Master Plan for the renovation of the UN Headquarters complex in New York City. Prior to accepting his UN appointment in 2007, he had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Department of the Interior, including service as project director for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the most ambitious historic restoration project ever undertaken by the department. The community will also welcome Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, under-secretary general and special advisor to the secretary-general of the United Nations, who will introduce Adlerstein and deliver the secretary-general's message for jUNe Day. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will welcome the visitors at Saugatuck elementary with Bill Hass, president of the UN Association (UNA-USA), Southwest Connecticut Chapter. Michaela MacColl, jUNe Day chairperson, will brief guests on the day's activities.

"¢ 10:45 a.m. (over 35) and 12:15 p.m. (under 35) -- soccer matches

Over the past five years, Westport has won three matches; and the United Nations has triumphed in the last two. The public is invited to watch both matches, which will take place on the field behind the school.

"¢ 11:30 a.m. -- town walking tour with the Westport Historical Society

Join a guided walking tour of the town and reception at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place. The tour will conclude at 12:15 p.m. at the Westport Arts Center on Riverside Avenue.

The public is encouraged to participate in all the events and to promote peace and collaborative solutions to global problems simply by sharing in this day of relaxation and goodwill. Residents can also help in volunteer positions. Volunteers are needed for set-up, food-preparation and decorations. Photographers are needed at all venues; and servers are needed to serve both breakfast and lunch. In addition, "tour guides" will ride along in buses to point out interesting sites, and hospitality volunteers are needed at the tennis courts and pool at Longshore. For those who like to pitch in behind the scenes, a clean up crew is also needed. Individuals, groups and families are welcome. To volunteer, call Barbara Jay at 203-226-1710.

All food and refreshments for the day have been provided by local businesses and by the UN Association and International Visitors Committee of Southwestern Connecticut.

For more information, contact Michaela MacColl at 203-227-9461 or Bill Hass at 203-454-7685.