Office collecting gift cards to help

The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 472 Riverside Ave., is collecting grocery gift cards for distribution to needy families before Thanksgiving through the nonprofit Homes with Hope.

The brokerage said this is the seventh year it has worked with Homes with Hope to help feed families in need at Thanksgiving.

Gift cards for food or groceries may dropped off at the Coldwell Banker office Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Thursday, Nov. 20, the brokerage said. Cards will be delivered to the relief agency for distribution.

Chamber Artists to play library

The Bergen Chamber Artists, with Carol Shansky on flute, James Millar on piano and Joseph D'Auguste on clarinet, will perform a program called "Winds in the Salon: Lesser Heard Works and Composers of Chamber Music" on Sunday, Nov. 9.

The program, which will take place at 2 p.m. in the Westport Library's McManus Room, is free and open to the public.

The concert of music for flute, clarinet and piano introduces less-well-known composers and music, including work by Clinton, Barnett, Faure, Reinecke, Ibert and Stravinsky.

Flutist Carol Shansky received her doctor of musical arts degree from Boston University. She is assistant professor of Music and director of the Music Program at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Clarinetist Joseph d'Auguste is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and frequently performs around the tri-state area with orchestras and with chamber and contemporary ensembles.

Pianist Jim Millar has taught at Tenafly High School in Tenafly, N.J., for 10 years, where he is the director of choirs and orchestras.

For additional information, call 203-291-4800 or visit www.westportlibrary.org.

Synagogue sets Middle East talk

A Middle East expert will discuss Israel's security in the face of hostile Islamist groups during a program Wednesday evening, Nov. 12, at the Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Weston and Wilton.

The talk by Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, a conservative think tank, is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at the 30 Hillspoint Road synagogue. The program is free and open to the public.

Berman's talk is titled "Volatility in the Middle East -- Radical Islam, the Iranian Threat and Their Impact on Israel's Security," the synagogue said.

CNN called Berman one of "America's leading experts on the Middle East and Iran." He has been a consultant to the CIA and U.S. Department of Defense and is a frequent guest on TV news programs.

Pre-holiday sale at Curio Cottage

The Westport Woman's Club's nonprofit Curio Cottage Thrift Shop has planned a five-day sale in advance of the holiday shopping season, offering 50 percent off all merchandise.

The shop has a wide array of goods, the club said, including china, crystal, clothing, cashmere, furs, jewelry and framed artwork. All proceeds from the shop's sales support the Women's Club's charity work.

Sale hours are Monday, Nov. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The club said the sale was an opportunity to supplement serving ware for holiday parties, add to costume jewelry collections, find a vintage garment or buy an economical hostess gift.

Bedford students run for a cause

On the run: That's what students from Bedford Middle School recently did as a way to help other children around the world.

More than 30 students from the school's sixth, seventh and eighth grades ran half-mile laps at Wakeman Fields for pledged support to raise money for Save the Children's "Run for Kids" program.

The initial goal was to run a total of 26.2 miles, or a marathon, but the Bedford students ran up a total of 68.5 miles, according to the school.

The Save the Children supports various international programs to help at-risk children.