The Westport Woman’s Club is now accepting proposals for its annual $5,000 Ruegg Grant. Local non-profit organizations are invited to submit their proposals for projects that will make a meaningful difference in our community.

This grant, established in 1995 by an endowment left to the club by former member Lea Ruegg, is given each year to a deserving organization in the arts, educational endeavors, and health and safety-related fields. Past beneficiaries include the Westport Astronomical Society, Project Return, Earthplace and Wakeman Town Farm.

Community groups with impactful and meaningful projects for this year should submit their project proposals and relevant financial information by March 15 to the Westport Woman’s Club Ruegg Grant Committee, 44 Imperial Ave., Westport.

Westport’s Ross Dener and Max Kupperberg have been named to Purchase College’s dean’s list for the fall semester

To be eligible for the dean’s list, students must carry a semester grade-point average of 3.5 for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs and 3.75 for Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music Performance programs. They must take a minimum of 12 credits.

Dener is studying printmaking and Kupperberg is studying philosophy and literature.

Gettysburg College students with a quality-point average in the range of 3.3 to 3.5 for a semester’s work are placed on the deans’ commendation list. Two Westport natives have been placed on the fall list: Wellington Baumann, class of 2020, and Elisabeth French, class of 2019.

Six Westport natives were named to the fall dean’s list at Loyola University Maryland: Lily Dane, class of 2021, Jennifer Hotch, class of 2018, Edward Houseworth, class of 2019, Lucas Jackson, class of 2019, Edward Long, class of 2018, and Michael Meszaros, class of 2020.

In order to qualify for the dean’s list at Loyola, a student must achieve a minimum QPA of at least 3.5 for the term, provided that, in the term they have successfully completed courses totaling a minimum of 15 credits.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is holding a new event for the town and its residents: the Great Westport Pizza Contest.

The contest, to take place throughout the month of March, will have 14 pizza-making restaurants compete in seven different categories to be crowned Best Pizza Maker in Westport. Judging will be done by town residents by voting online for each category. Furthermore, by voting, each participant is entered into a drawing to win a free pizza from one of the seven winning restaurants.

The 14 restaurants competing across the town are: Angelina’s, Cuatro Hermanos, Joe’s, Jordan’s III, Julian’s Brick Oven, Julian’s Kitchen, Planet Pizza, Rizzuto’s, Romanacci Express, Tarry Lodge, Tuscano’s, Tutti’s, Via Sforza and Westport Pizza.

The seven categories are: Best Slice, Best Personal Pizza, Best Meat Pizza, Best Gluten Free Pizza, Best Veggie Pizza, Best Plain Pizza and Best Delivered Pizza. East restaurant is entered in four.

Residents will have until March 31 to visit all the venues, enjoy the offerings, then go to the Chamber’s Pizza Contest web page to vote. As the community participates throughout the month, the Chamber is encouraging participants to use the hashtag #greatwestportpizza in posts.

Sponsoring the event is Westport law firm Berchem Moses PC.

The winning restaurants will receive a plaque to commemorate their achievement.

For more information and to access the voting pages, go towestportwestonchamber.com/pizza.

The Westport Arts Center is calling for entries for their annual High School Student Art Exhibition.

High School students throughout the region are invited to submit original works of art showcasing their creativity and artistic talent.

In its fourth year, the exhibition will be reviewed by art historian Elizabeth Gorayeb, executive director of the world-renowned Wildenstein Plattner Institute. She will also serve as the curator for the Arts Center’s Spring Exhibition.

The competition is sponsored by Alan Nevas and his wife, Janet, in memory of Tracy Sugarman. Sugarman, a Westport resident who was an illustrator, writer and civil rights activist, is best known for his painting and illustrations recording American history from D-Day to the space shuttle.

Awards will include:

The Tracy Sugarman Award ($100), to the juror’s choice for best submission among Westport students;

The Sontag Award ($500), to the juror’s selection for Best in Show;

The People’s Choice Award ($250), to the artist who has received the most votes by the public.

Submissions are due March 2 and there is a $10 entry fee. Need-based scholarships are available.

Requirements:

Only one, two-dimensional artwork submission per student (completed in 2017 or later);

No sculptures, films and three-dimensional works will be accepted;

Artwork may not exceed 24 inches any direction, including frame;

Work must be ready to hang with wire; works on paper must be framed and wired.

The work may be used for promotional purposes, including social media and press materials.

An opening night reception and awards ceremony for the High School Student Art Exhibition will be held on March 23 at 6 p.m., in conjunction with the opening of the Arts Center’s Spring Exhibition.

Further detail on how to submit work is available by calling 203-222-7070 or by visiting westportartscenter.org.

Dance shoes in closets around Fairfield County are being brought out for polishing as leaders of the local business community begin the demanding process necessary to compete in ElderHouse Adult Day Center’s annual Dancing with the Stars.

The fifth annual gala benefit is being held March 24 from 6 to 11 p.m., at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.

The gala event showcases seven Fairfield County business representatives, each paired with an award-winning dance professional from Norwalk’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, who donate their time to practice routines, hone them to perfection, and compete in this exciting and impressive dance competition.

The notable lineup of 2018 dancers representing Fairfield County includes:

Carolyn Donohue-Ulman, assistant to president and director of Trademark Anti-Counterfeit, Dooney & Bourke in Norwalk;

Hank Fatigate, general manager of the Little Pub in Wilton

Eric Ferraris, chief operating officer at Toohner-Ferraris Insurance Group in Wilton;

Nathan Gottlieb, co-owner of All Seasons Marine Works, located in Rowayton and Westport;

Karen Kelly, senior vice-president at First County Bank in Stamford;

Andrea Kostanecki, a realtor at William Pitt Sotheby’s in Rowayton;

Kristin McClutchy, owner of Pure Barre Darien;

Dancing with the Stars Gala Benefit is ElderHouse’s largest annual fundraising event and helps the Norwalk nonprofit to sustain its award-winning program of adult care, socialization, and recreational activities to a senior population living with aging diseases. Funds will be raised through ticket sales, pledges, onsite voting, live auction, and a paddle raise.

For more information on how to donate, make a pledge to a favorite dancer, or for event tickets, contact ElderHouse at 203-847-1998 or visit elderhouse.org/events.

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at 203-341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior and earning extra money can contact the department or email humansrv@westportct.gov. Students already registered for the program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, is available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a PaintCare Fee of 75 cents per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration.

The addition of this program to the town’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint is recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint-recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

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.