Nocturnal emissions the focus at Darwin Day Dinner

A presentation by a top scientist, with cocktail hour, dinner and science quiz will be held at the Darwin Day Dinner on Feb. 16, starting at 6 p.m.

The annual Darwin Day Dinner has been growing in attendance each year, and it is moving this year to the expansive main hall at the Italian Center in Stamford. The invitation and registration may be found at darwindayct.org.

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held around Charles Darwin’s Feb. 12 birthday. It celebrates the discoveries and life of the man, and expresses gratitude for the benefits of scientific knowledge to the advancement of humanity.

Dr. Mark Siddall will speak on “Nocturnal Emissions: Bioluminescence as a Survival Strategy.” Siddall is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History. Self-styled “Curator of Wormy-slimy Stuff,” his research focusses on evolutionary biology of charismatic microfauna from microbes to leeches.

Siddall recently led expeditions to South Sudan, Cambodia and the Lower Amazon.

The event is sponsored by the Bartlett Arboretum, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Earthplace, the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Wilton Quaker Meeting, the Unitarian Church in Westport, and the Norwalk Public Schools Science Department.

The cost is $69 per person. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m.. Invitation and registration can be found at www.darwindayct.org

Westport Woman’s

Club hosts celebrity chef

The Westport Woman’s Club welcomed Matt Storch, celebrity chef and restaurant owner of Match Burger Lobster in Westport, Match in Norwalk and Nom-eez in Bridgeport, as its speaker for their February Club Day.

Storch grew up in Westport, but his travels around the world as a child, as well as his close relationship with his grandmother, inspired him to become a chef.

Storch and his sister were the first brother/sister team at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He has since cooked with Julia Child, James Beard, Todd English and other famous chefs in Vail, Aspen, Las Vegas and New York City.

Storch has been a guest on the Food Network where he was a winner of their popular competition, “Chopped.” Match in South Norwalk is now in its 20th year of operation.

Residents

receive achievement awards

STAR, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to serving those impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently held its 66th annual meeting and Achievement Awards in January at STAR Center on Wolfpit Avenue in Norwalk.

Board President Assaf Ben-Atar called the meeting to order and motioned in new board members, and STAR Executive Director Katie Banzhaf presented the awards.

Westport residents, nonprofits and businesses were the recipients of several awards.

The “Community Volunteer of the Year” award was presented to Curtis Lueker, founder and president of of My Team Triumph of Westport, for his organization’s work in enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities through community athletics.

The “Anne O’Callaghan Parents of the Year Award” was presented to Kimberly and Jason Greenberg, of Westport, for their energetic involvement, advocacy and generosity as parents whose child is served by the Birth to Three Program at STAR.

‘Story Pirates’ musical celebrates students’

creative writing

Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series will present “The Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show,” celebrating creative writing by students in a sketch comedy musical performed by professional actors and musicians, on Feb. 24.

The show is produced by The Striking Viking Story Pirates.

Performances are at 1 and 4 p.m., approximately one-hour in length, and appropriate for ages 4 and up. Tickets are $20 each.

The performance is based on stories written by elementary school students nationwide, with part of the show made up on the spot by the kids in the audience. “Story Pirates” includes puppets, songs and sketches.

The Story Pirates’ Play/Write Program, from which the show’s stories originate, began in 2003 as a pilot in a Harlem school. It has grown to become a nationally respected creative writing and drama curriculum in place annually at over 200 schools across the country.

To enhance children’s experience of “Story Pirates,” the Westport Library will host a free, hour-long program called “Story Explorers” on Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m.

“Story Explorers” will include activities surrounding the show’s themes led by staff from Westport Country Playhouse and Broadway Method Academy, the resident conservatory of Westport Country Playhouse.

Upcoming Family Festivities shows include “The Wizard of Oz,” on March 17, “Angelina Ballerina The Musical” on April 7.