To the Editor:

On June 5, the Westport Library held its 19th annual gala, “BOOKED for the evening,” where the Westport Library Award was presented to award-winning actor, director, writer and educator Alan Alda. Alda has won seven Emmy Awards, received three Tony nominations, is an inductee of the Television Hall of Fame and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Aviator. Alda played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series M*A*S*H, and his films include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Everyone Says I Love You, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Bridge of Spies and many more. Alda is an active member of the science community, having hosted the award-winning PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years and founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University

The Westport Library Award was established to honor those whose work reflects the heart and purpose of the Library - to nurture the love of learning, to deepen our compassion and to enhance our understanding of the world. Proceeds from this event enable the Library to provide outstanding programs and resources throughout the year and to offer the entire community a chance to come together, exchange information and create new ideas.

The event was an overwhelming success and we thank our generous sponsors for supporting the Library’s signature fundraiser. Thank you to our Diamond Sponsors: Jocelyn & Walter Barandiaran and Paula & Tom McInerney. Thank you to our Sapphire Sponsor: Thomson Reuters and our Ruby Sponsor: the Nguyen-Guadarrama Family. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: the Ashken Family, Bankwell, Nancy & Gene Beard, Maxine Bleiweis, Kathleen & Charles Carey, Rondi Charleston & Steve Ruchefsky, Claudia & Art Cohen, Cindy & David Eigen, Stephanie Ercegovic & Brian Foster, Alison Hoffman & Kevin Rakin, Tracey & Anil Narang, Frances & Steve Rowland, Sharon & Jim Seymour and Roz & Bud Siegel. A complete list of sponsor names can be found at westportlibrary.org - the Library’s website - in the support section. We thank Lux Bond & Green for generously donating and engraving the award presented to Alan Alda and we thank our Media Sponsor, Westport Magazine.

We are very grateful to our Benefit Committee for their outreach and participation, and to our dedicated and determined BOOKED committee, which includes Martha Aasen, Stacy Bass, Barbara Durham, Theanne Feldman, Julia Genser, Lori Goertz, Lucy Johnson, Melissa Kane, Jennifer Keller, Maggie Mudd, Tracey Narang, Laura Curley Pendergast (stage manager), Kelle Ruden (event coordinator) Nina Sankovitch (scriptwriter), Tricia Schwartz and Diane Sembrot. Thanks to Douglas Tirola and 4th Row Films for producing the special video compilations honoring Alan Alda. Thanks also to our Executive Director, Bill Harmer; Cindy Clark, the Director of Development; the entire Library staff; and the 540 attendees this year for making the 19th annual event an overwhelming success.

A special thanks to our master of ceremonies, Cynthia Gibb and to actor Brian Carter and Pianist Michael Burnett. Hats off to Carrie Mascaro, Staples Orchestra Director and members of the Staples orchestra students for their outstanding performance during the evening.

We’d also like to express our deep appreciation for the incredible support and enthusiasm of this community. We should all feel proud to live in a town that supports the Library and the intellectual curiosity it inspires.

We look forward to seeing you at BOOKED for the evening next year.

Candice Savin

Wendy Brown

Co-Chairs, Westport Library BOOKED for the evening committee

An extraordinary night

To the Editor:

Education and the pursuit of learning have been my lifelong profession. Last Friday night, at the Westport Pops Concert, I had an epiphany that dramatized and clarified our educational mission in Westport.

In its aftermath, I am still processing the profound impact that event had on me and on the entire audience. Beyond the exquisite music performed, the evening sent powerful messages to our students.

They were told that their music is cherished, their hard work to perfect their talent is honored, and with such distinguished guest host, James Naughton and Lincoln Center’s Andrew Wilk as their guest conductor, they were told that they could be anything they wished to be. This evening under the stars taught each one of them that the stars are reachable.

Too few students in public education are afforded such extraordinary pathways to success. To everyone who contributed to this extraordinary evening, I extend the gratitude of the Westport Board of Education and our entire district.

Colleen Palmer

Westport Superintendent of Schools

Capatalism is king

To the Editor:

Riding my bike up and down the hill in Saugatuck to my gym I see all these yard signs no dealership and I get a whiff of deja vu, going back to a time nearly 30 years ago, when rich suburban women were getting their panties in a twist over animal rights at a time when tens of thousands were dying of AIDS. What a waste of energy and money at a time when all who can should join the resistance against horribly cruel and destructive federal political agenda.

Dan Woog has already spelled out the common sense arguments around the new Tesla repair facility. I just add - this is America - capitalism is king - and someone owns the property at 20 Saugatuck Ave.

They don't intend to leave it tenant-less.

Marianne Seggerman

Westport

Thanks to the Tavern on Main

To the Editor:

I would like to take a moment to publicly thank the employees at Tavern on Main and Brandy Melville for the compassion these folks bestowed upon my 93 year old Dad (a native Westporter) while visiting town on June 1. I am so touched by their act of kindness and thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

Jennifer Anderson

Westport

My deepest thanks

To the Editor:

I wanted to express my deepest thanks and appreciation on behalf of the 32,000 Girl Scouts in Connecticut, to those who supported our 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program! Because of your generosity and support, more than 2.1 million boxes of cookies were sold in Connecticut! In addition, Girl Scouts sold more than 100,000 boxes of cookies for our Gift of Caring program, Cookies for Heroes, which we will send to our service women and men at home and overseas, as well as to local community heroes.

Our Cookie Program teaches girls to be go-getters as well as five important skills that they will use in their everyday life: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. The Cookie Program truly brings out the best in our girls. This year, girls across the state earned more than $1.8 million through their cookie sales. This money goes directly back to the girls to invest in their communities, plan fun, educational experiences, and also to help support other girls who otherwise could not afford to participate in Girl Scouting.

We are also happy to announce that Girl Scouts of Connecticut continues to have a successful experience in how engaged the girls are with the Digital Cookie® platform. We saw a 55 percent increase in the number of girls who participated this year with online sales, and they sold over 140,000 boxes of cookies through the Digital Cookie platform. Thank you for embracing this exciting technological change that will help our girls learn financial literacy skills, e-commerce and digital skills, and more!

It’s also important to thank our 15,000 wonderful adult volunteers for their year-round dedication and commitment to our girls, including during the Cookie Program. We are grateful to each and every one of you who support our girls throughout the year in so many ways.

Thank you again for your generous support of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, as you are helping us build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Mary Barneby

Girl Scouts of Connecticut, CEO