Community News: Hemp farmer comes to town; middle schooler wins essay contest; and more

Franny Tacy, the first female hemp farmer in North Carolina in 75 years, is bringing hemp wellness to Westport and the Greater Fairfield County area on Dec. 20 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Franny’s Farmacy Holiday Pop-Up Shop at 29 Church Lane.

— On Dec. 13, a ceremony was held at Bedford Middle School to honor seventh-grader Sofia Alarcon-Frias, who is the middle school division grand prize winner in the 2019 Altice USA Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest. Her essay, “An Unstoppable Dreamer,” is a celebration of the life of Edith Straheli, Sofia’s grandmother, who endured arrest, incarceration and deportation in Argentina for educating the poor in her area.

During the ceremony, which was attended by First Selectman Jim Marpe, Bedford Principal Adam Rosen, language arts teacher Paul Ferrante and Sofia’s parents, Natalia and Claudio, she read an excerpt from her essay and was awarded a $1,500 scholarship check by Allison Aylward, Community Affairs Manager for Altice USA.

Robert Zyskowski, of Westport, was named to the fall 2019 high honors list at Pomfret School. Kayla Shah, of Westport, was named to the fall 2019 honors list.

Joseph Montuoro, of Westport, a member of the class of 2020 majoring in mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was a member of a student team that recently completed an intense, hands-on research project in Stockholm. The project was titled Drywall Robot.

— The Annual Alumni Run hosted by coach Laddie Lawrence will be held on Dec. 22 at 9 am in Staples High School cafeteria. Join current and former Staples High School cross country and track members for a 2-mile run, followed by a reception with light breakfast refreshments in the cafeteria. Parents and family members are welcome to join in the run or hang out and socialize.

The alumni run is also a fundraiser via donations for the Laddie Lawrence Scholarship Fund.