I am writing to thank Dan Woog for all that he does for the Westport community. He is the thread that ties the community together. Through his brilliant writings, he weaves connections by sharing your community stories of history, politics, new and old businesses, stories from the community elders, as well as the energy, good deeds and passion of its young people. He is the vessel in which you all are able to share the life of your vibrant community. He is a gift.

I am lucky enough to live in Newtown, and I know just how important these threads are to the health of a community and to individuals. Last year at this time, my 87-year-old father, a retired school principal, asked to pay his respects at the children's memorials in Sandy Hook. With great difficulty, he struggled to walk to the memorials. A Westport policeman, who was supporting our town by his service, came to assist my father. Without speaking, this officer supported my father as he walked to the many tree memorials for the children. As he returned to the car, my father was overcome by grief. This Wesport policeman just held my father, and the two wept together. In that moment my two worlds converged, for I am a teacher in Westport. At that point I have never felt more connected with community.

This is Dan's gift to you all. He builds connections within your community and creates that common thread of support. Whether he writes about Westport's compassionate individuals or the more obscure little-known events, his message is always the same. He loves the town and celebrates all of the uniqueness within its boundaries.

When you see Dan, please thank him for his many talents and gifts. Most of all, thank him for caring enough about your town that he takes the threads of this community and binds them together with love.

Linda McClary