Giving Drive asking for donations

Weichert, Realtors-Madison and Post Westport will be partnering with the Family & Children’s Agency of Norwalk/Foster Care Program for its second annual Holiday Giving Drive to benefit families in the local and neighboring communities.

The drive will provide gifts and donations for children in the foster care program. This year, Weichert is also partnering with Homes With Hope/Westport to provide gifts and donations for homeless mothers and children who are housed in emergency shelters. Donations of gift cards for toys, games, books, groceries and movie tickets are suggested.

“It is important for all of us at Weichert, Realtors- Madison and Post Westport to not only provide knowledgeable, dedicated, and attentive service to our clients, but also remember families and children who are in need, especially during the holiday season,” said Regional Vice President Barry London.

Local poet contributes

to all-women anthology

Westport resident Abbey Forrest joins seven others as a contributing author in an all-women anthology, “Splintered Souls: An Anthology of Poems.”

Splintered Souls is now available on Amazon worldwide and can be requested for purchase from any local bookstore. The invitation to contribute came as a surprise to Forrest, who was selected for the project by the Oregon-based publishing company, A.B.Baird Publishing.

The pages of “Splintered Souls” hold poems written by women from a variety of places in life. Authors include a middle school teacher, a mother of four, a youth worker from England, a secret introvert with a gamer’s heart, a typewriter collector with a love for Sylvia Plath, a vegan who loves to travel, an animal lover from a village in rural England, and a concertgoing Minnesotan.

Hanukkah event set for Dec. 4

On Dec. 4 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Norfield Grange, 12 Good Hill Road in Weston, a Chanukah Extravaganza Family Game Show produced by the renowned Holly Rock Entertainment of Jericho N.Y. will be held.

The cost of admission is $8 per person and includes potato latkes, donuts, refreshments and a Menorah lighting ceremony. The program is suitable for all ages and is open to the entire community.

The event is being hosted by the Weston after-school Hebrew program led by Freida Hecht. The program is accepting registration for its new semester that begins Jan. Parents and children are welcome to enjoy the activities and also meet the teaching staff.

For information, visit www.westonhebrewschool.org, email westonhebrewschool@gmail.com or call Freida Hecht at 203-493-6505.

Historical society hosts gingerbread decorating workshop

As part of the Westport Historical Society’s Holly Days Series, a gingerbread decorating workshop will take place Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to noon at25 Avery Place.

Online registration is $8 for members, $12 for nonmembers. At the door, $10 is the suggested admission for members, $15 for nonmembers. No charge for children 12 and under; $5 for students with ID. Register online at westporthistory.org or call 203-222-1424, ext. 5.

‘Sounds for a Starry Night’ concert on Dec. 7

The Westport Woman’s Club is presenting “Sounds for a Starry Night” on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the WWC clubhouse, 44 Imperial Ave. This special concert will feature two acclaimed Westport musicians: international violinist Igor Pikayzen and famed Russian pianist Tatyana Pikayzen.

Grandson of the legendary Soviet violinist Viktor Pikayzen, Igor was born in Moscow, Russia. Since his concert debut at the age of eight, Igor has performed with major orchestras in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Igor was a winner of a Horizon Award, presented by the Westport Arts Advisory Committee to an outstanding Westport artist, under the age of 30 with a national/international reputation. Praised by critics and audiences alike for his astounding technical ability and majestically lush tone, Pikayzen is regarded as one of the most promising young artists of his generation. He is a graduate of Staples High School, Juilliard and the Yale School of Music.

Tatyana Pikayzen has performed to critical acclaim across three continents. A top prize winner at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras in the world’s most prestigious concert halls. Featured composers for the violin-piano program will include Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, among others.

Tickets are $50 ($25 for students up to 18 years old). Admission includes a reception following the performance.

To purchase tickets, visit www.westportwomansclub.org.

Proceeds from this “Sounds for a Starry Night” concert will benefit need-based scholarships for Staples High School seniors.

Weston Historical Society receives major grants

The Weston Historical Society recently received two major grants totaling $600,000 from the Daniel E. Offutt Charitable Trust. The grants will enable the historical society to launch a major restoration of the Coley Homestead farmhouse, carriage barn, and barn, located at 104 Weston Road.

“The realization of our vision thanks to the generosity of the Daniel E. Offutt III, Charitable Trust will bring more people, from Weston and beyond, to the Coley Homestead for a unique experience of Weston, Connecticut’s history,” said Pam Kersey, president of the Weston Historical Society. “This exciting new initiative will enable us to provide the community with a historic campus that includes the recently built museum and archive, in addition to the Coley farmhouse, barn, and its outbuildings.”

The historical society’s 1841 farmhouse, the David Dimon Coley house, is an architecturally significant historic structure that holds an important role in Weston.

Plans are underway to provide major structural restoration of the farmhouse and barn. In the past, the Society has worked with the Weston schools to host student groups to the Coley House, but those tours have been put on hold until the project is completed and the Coley House reopens to visitors.

The Coley House was the home of five generations of the Coley family over 130 years. The house will be reinterpreted in the 1941-45 period when three generations of the family lived there. The stories of the five generations will be woven into the tour. In addition, there will be a thematic exhibit on the first floor that will make comparisons between 1841, the year the house was built, with 1941, the year the last owners of the house took up residency.

The exhibition will also look to the future and will ask visitors to speculate on what might happen in 2041.