Westport Woman’s Club accepting grant proposals

The Ruegg Grant Committee of the Westport Woman's Club invites local nonprofit organizations to apply by March 8 for up to $10,000 in one-time funding for a 2019 project.

Submitted proposals should be high-profile initiatives that make a meaningful difference in the Westport community.

This grant, established in 1995 by an endowment left to the club by former member Lea Ruegg, considers an annual grant to a deserving organization’s project that enhances social services, health, safety, the arts or education. Recent Ruegg Grant beneficiaries include the Westport Astronomical Society, Project Return, Earthplace and Wakeman Town Farm.

Visit www.westportwomansclub.org to access the 2019 Ruegg Grant Application on the “Community Services” page.

Community groups with impactful and meaningful projects for this year should submit their completed project proposals and relevant financial information to the Westport Woman’s Club, c/o Ruegg Grant Committee, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

Near & Far Aid gala tickets on sale

Near & Far Aid’s annual gala will evoke a fashion-forward theme this year.

Tickets are available now for the March 1 event. Mitchells of Westport, will once again host the Gala.

Fundraising is the focus of the evening and patrons can support the effort through tickets sales, direct donation and bidding in the live and silent auctions, whose offerings always include luxury items and travel, as well as unique experiences.

The evening will include interactive food displays, a designer fashion show, dice games, a dance party and more.

The event will be held at Mitchell’s of Westport at 670 Post Road East at 7 p.m. Tickets are $400 premium seating for live program and $350 standing-room-only (limited availability). Visit www.nearandfaraid.org/events to purchase tickets.

Romantic comedy playreading on Feb. 25

Westport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand playreading of the romantic comedy “The Cemetery Club,” on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. Written by Ivan Menchell, the reading will be directed by Anne Keefe, Playhouse associate artist and curator of the playreading series. Tickets are $20 each.

Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves in this hilarious, yet moving comedy. Ida is sweet tempered and ready to begin a new life; Lucille is feisty and just wants to have fun; and Doris is priggish and judgmental. When Sam, the butcher, meets the widows while visiting his wife’s grave, he is attracted to Ida, even as Doris and Lucille try to squash their budding romance.

Upcoming Script in Hand playreadings include “Tricks of the Trade,” a thriller by Sydney Michaels, on March 25; and “Murder, Too,” a new comedy thriller by David Wiltse, on May 6. Titles will be announced later for playreadings on Nov. 18 and Dec. 16.

All dates, titles, and artists subject to change.

For information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at 203-227-4177 or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court.

‘Exit West’ author to speak at Saugatuck Elementary

The Westport Library has announced a keynote video chat with Mohsin Hamid, author of Westport’s 2019 community read, “Exit West.”

The event will take place on March 12 at 7 p.m. at Saugatuck Elementary School, 170 Riverside Avenue.

Short-listed for the Man Booker prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, “Exit West” follows two refugees who, against all odds, find life and love on the run. Forced out of their country by civil war, this story celebrates love, courage, family and the fierceness of the human spirit.

Born in Lahore, Hamid was raised in Pakistan and California. He has also lived in London and New York City. His work has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted to cinema, and translated into over 35 languages. “Exit West” is his fourth novel.

Fleet Feet opens shop in Westport

Fleet Feet, the retail leader in inspiring and empowering the runner in everyone, opened its newest Westport location on Valentine’s Day at 10 Sconset Square.

Prior to Fleet Feet, owners Dave and Lynn Wright worked in different industries. Dave crafted a career in retail technology, earning his MBA along the way, while Lynn spent two decades working for the government.

Both runners, Dave continues to run two to three marathons per year while Lynn runs recreationally. Married for 17 years, the two have two children and four grandchildren, and have lived throughout New England for their entire lives.

The 1,200 square-foot Westport location will open with Fleet Feet’s exclusive personalized outfitting experience, fit id which includes 3D foot scanning. The store will also feature Fleet Feet’s exclusive in-house running shoe brand, Karhu, which last year debuted the first running shoe with a last informed by 100,000 3D foot scans, the Ikoni.

Dave says the location will employ up to eight full and part-time positions. Training programs through the brand’s Fleet Feet Running Club begin in March, starting with 5k and 10k programs, and regular fun runs. A grand opening celebration will take place later this spring. The community can stay up-to-date on upcoming events and plans on the store’s Facebook page or online.