Person-to- OPUS for Person-to-Person Fall 2009 Newsletter September 2009 www.opus4p2p.org The 7th Annual Big Rig Gig 2009 Campership Picnic is on Sunday, October 4th! On July 22nd, OPUS was once again thrilled and honored to treat 40 ROSSCO campers and Get out your hard hats and mark your calen- 20 Horizon youth-group volunteers to a great afternoon of fun, food and games at the an- dars! The 7th annual Big Rig Gig will be nual OPUS Campership Picnic. Guests enjoyed the festivities on the lovely front lawn of held Sunday, October 4, from 11 AM to 3 Saint Luke’s Parish. The kids had a ball playing tug-o-war, sack races and traditional lawn PM at the Darien Town Hall — rain or games of years past. The event was en- shine. The event is a big hit for the entire hanced with the addition of a new kara- family. Kids of all ages can climb behind oke dance party and the many toys and the wheels of big trucks, play on bouncy moon bouncies loaned to us from OPUS castles, dance to musical entertainment by board members, thank you! The many the Bossy Frog Band, get their faces painted wonderful Horizon volunteers helped the – and so much more! Don’t miss out on ROSSCO campers with arts and crafts winning terrific items from the raffle and including tattoos, sand and bead brace- silent auction, and stay for a yummy lunch lets, foam visors and sticker photo fun. and snacks! As in years past, the OPUS board came out in large numbers to help serve the Tickets are $35 for a family of 6 members guests a delicious chicken tender lunch ($5 per additional family member). The provided by Stew Leonard’s. The big hit ticket price includes the bouncy castles, of the day was the cold and yummy pop- face painting and the Bossy Frog Band. Be sicles that cooled everyone down during sure to mark your calendars and buy your the hot day. tickets for this fun-filled, family day. Tick- ets are available online at This annual event is a wonderful oppor- www.opus4p2p.org. tunity for OPUS members to have a per- ROSSCO campers line up sonal contact with the children who di- Volunteers are always needed and are wel- for a turn on the roller coaster rectly benefit from our fundraising ef- come. Please contact the Big Rig Gig Op- forts. This year OPUS helped Person-to- erations Co-Chairs Caroline Hanley at Person send 450 children from low-income families to over 20 local day camps. The camp email@example.com or 202-2509, Katie experience for these children is a necessity, not a luxury, as the camps provide a safe, fun Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org or and nurturing environment for children while their parents are at work. It is through Bal- 202-9248 and Lauren White at loon Day that the most funds for the OPUS Campership program are raised. Through the email@example.com or 202-7249 to 2009 Balloon Day event, OPUS was thrilled to contribute $17,000 to Person-to-Person for find out how you can help. the Campership program. MARK YOUR CALENDAR •The 7th annual Big Rig Gig on Sunday, October 4, from 11 AM- •The OPUS Membership Meeting on Wednesday, November 3 PM at the Darien Town Hall. For more information contact Kait- 4, at 9:30 AM in the St. Luke’s Parish Hall. For more informa- lyn Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org. tion, contact Alicia Lyon at email@example.com. •The popular Fall Member/Guest event on Thursday, October •An evening with New York Times best-selling author Wally 22, at 7:30 PM. For more information, contact Debi McGahren at Lamb on Thursday, November 11, at 7:00 PM at St. Luke’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Parish Hall. For more information, contact Marla Chandler at NYCmarla@aol.com. •Baby Basics Drive on Saturday, October 24, from 10AM – 3PM at Shaw’s in Goodwives Shopping Center. Gently used baby •The Person-to-Person Toy Store from Wednesday, Decem- supplies especially onsies, crib sheets, new pacifiers or bottles, ber 16, through Saturday, December 19. For more informa- winter clothing and sleepers are greatly appreciated. For more info tion, contact Alicia Lyon at email@example.com. contact Kristine Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Co- Co-Presidents’ Message 2010 OPUS Welcome to the 2009-2010 OPUS for Person-to-Person Beach Benefit year! We’re thrilled to be kicking off the year with such a wonderful group of caring volunteers who are working 5.1.10 hard to make all of our fundraisers a tremendous success. We are thrilled to While the economy still presents challenges, we are announce that the strongly encouraged by the level of commitment, 2010 OPUS for excitement and creative ideas from everyone. Together we Person-to-Person are making a tremendous difference in the lives of over Annual Spring Benefit will take place on 22,500 people each year. May 1st and is moving to the Wee Burn Beach Club in Rowayton. There are no We are proud to announce that after 13 years of service lack of creative ideas surrounding what we OPUS has reached the $2 million milestone in funds we have provided Person-to-Person! Not only does this are affectionately referring to as the speak volumes of the work you are all doing, but it is a “Benefit at the Beach” and planning is un- tribute to the alumnae who established such a strong Missy Radin & Liz Koons derway for what’s sure to be a terrific eve- foundation that we continue to build upon today. ning! Another exciting milestone is that Person-to-Person is finally going through a much-needed If you are interested in joining the fun in renovation and expansion to allow easier access for their clients to receive food, clothing and other planning this event you can sign up at the emergency assistance. Our Baby Basics Loft will have a new home in this new facility with more OPUS Member/Guest event on October storage for the growing number of requested layettes. We will need your help getting organized and 22nd or to learn more, contact Kerri Larkin stocking up!! at 202-2527 or email@example.com. Below are some new changes and additions we are making to help keep our membership informed: NEW OPUS All Membership Meeting on Wednesday, November 4, at 9:30 AM in the St. Donate a bag of groceries to the Luke’s Parish Hall. All OPUS members and anyone interested in learning more about OPUS are invited to come and hear updates about the activities that we are planning for the coming year. It Person-to- food pantry at Person-to-Person will help all of our members understand who we help, how we help and how to get involved on any level! Coffee and refreshments will be served. We encourage all members to attend. Last year Person-to-Person provided over 100,000 meals to 3,096 families. This year, Improved interactive website and new online directory at www.opus4p2p.org . With the the demand is even greater and we need help of OPUS members Katie Adams and Katharine Calderwood, we now have a more your support. Please help us feed those in informative and interactive website allowing each OPUS member to access our online directory. need by donating funds for a bag of grocer- Members can now log into the site to update personal information, read news on a message board, ies. 100% of your donation will go directly purchase tickets, pay dues and make donations through PayPal. to the Person-to-Person food pantry. Gro- New Alumna Benefactor Membership Level which was created for OPUS Alumna members cery bags may be purchased for $10 each at who, after 4 years of membership, are no longer able to remain actively involved in our www.opus4p2p.org. fundraising efforts, but still want to support OPUS. For more information please contact Dana Marchiony at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to all of the exciting new things happening in OPUS, we are looking forward to a fabulous fall with so many ways for everyone to get involved. We want to thank the Big Rig Gig event co- chairs, Tina Devir, Kim Sullivan and Beth Williams and their committee chairs and members who have been hard at work during the summer months to make October 4th a big success. Please see our OPUS Fall list of events coming this fall in the "Mark Your Calendar" section of this newsletter to learn more! Member/ 10.22.09 We also want to thank everyone who volunteered their time to help at the annual Campership Picnic in Guest Event July. At this event, OPUS volunteers had the privilege of meeting over 40 children who we help to send to camp each year. For many of us, meeting these kids helped drive home why we dedicate so much of our time to OPUS. It was a truly special day with lots of fun for everyone. A special thanks to Alicia Lyon for organizing the day! Be sure to mark your calendars for this As we enter our 14th year, we want to thank everyone for their ongoing support of OPUS for Person- year’s Fall Member/Guest event. We have to-Person. As demand at Person-to-Person continues to grow, we ask you all to please continue your an exciting evening planned, which will support, and also help to spread the word about OPUS. With your help, regardless of how large or take place on Thursday, October 22, at the how small, the lives of the more than 22,000 clients whom Person-to-Person serves each year can be home of Gretchen Davis at 74 Salisbury changed for the better. Road. The festivities will begin at 7:30 PM Current members and women looking to We hope you will contact us with any questions, ideas or feedback throughout the year. become involved with OPUS for Person-to- Person will be treated to a fun girls night Sincerely, out! Please RSVP for you and your guest(s) Liz Koons (email@example.com) and Missy Radin (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Pam Cappella 656-0072 or Co-Presidents of OPUS for Person-to-Person email@example.com. 2 OPUS Author Event Welcome New OPUS Members Who needs Oprah--when you have OPUS? Anne Barnard Hope Barton Back by popular demand, OPUS will be hosting our 2nd Author Event Libbie Bock on Thursday, November 11, at 7 PM in Saint Luke's Parish Hall. We are excited that best selling author Wally Lamb is coming to Darien to Allison Boeckmann share his latest novel and lend a helping hand to Person-to-Person. Colleen Davenport The author of “She’s Come Undone” and “I Know This Much Is Susan Demark True,” both selections of Oprah’s Book Club that spent considerable Katriena Devlin time on the New York Times best-seller lists, Lamb has just released Wally Lamb Sara Ernst his newest novel, “The Hour I First Believed" in paperback. Jennifer Hite And what about the novel itself? Over the course of more than 700 pages, the narrative Kelly Kelly takes on major events (the Columbine High School shootings, the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina) and weighty issues (motherhood, marriage, alienation, psychological trauma, drug Nicole Knox addiction, chaos theory, prison reform, grief, the connection between ancestry and identity Beth Lane — to name just a few.) Laura O'Grady Get your copy now at Barrett Books and get reading--we'll see you in November for what is Pamela Prichard sure to be an enlightening conversation with one of America's most revered writers of our Jill Stelben time. Tickets will be available online at www.opus4p2p.org and at Barrett Books. Jen Smith-Tunnell OPUS Elves Needed New Alumnae Benefactors Stacie Allen While Santa and his elves are busy getting ready for the Holidays Brooke Beck at the North Pole, Person-to-Person needs our help here! The an- nual Toy Store at Saint Luke’s Parish in Darien will be open this Kelly Belloli year from December 16th through the 19th to provide new toys Katie Benson and books to low income families from Stamford and Norwalk. Nicole Eades Last year 1,600 children received a new toy and book, and 451 families received a board game or family gift to share. The joy Susan Hamill brought to all these children from the Toy Store is immeasurable, Kelly Hoffman especially in these tough economic times. Jennifer Kennedy This is an extraordinary opportunity for OPUS members to work Whitney Lancaster with the Person-to-Person clients and assist them in picking out gifts for their children, gifts Barbara Moody that they would not be able to otherwise afford. We are asking that each OPUS member donate a few hours of their time to come help wrap gifts on the December 16th wrap-up day, Elaine Pizzarelli or come help the clients shop at the Toy Store December 17th through the 19th. Especially Amy Powless valuable are volunteers who can speak Spanish with the clients. Volunteering in the Toy Stacey Sauerberg Store is a great way to help remind us all the true meaning of the Christmas Season. Please look out for upcoming sign-up information coming via e-mail, the OPUS website, and post. Nicole Stone If you are interested or have questions about helping at this year’s Toy Store, please contact Kelly Rouse Alicia Lyon at 203-202-9410 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ho! Ho! Ho! Lia Von Stuelpnagel OPUS Launches Coat Drive The last days of summer are but a memory and soon the leaves will start to change. As you get your kids ready for the coming snow and cold, please think about children and families who will be struggling during the coming months with the cold weather. You can help! OPUS will be spearheading a new clothing drive for Person-to-Person by having our very own coat drive. We will be accepting both gently used and new coats for children and adults throughout the fall and OPUS will deliver them to Person-to-Person in late October. The follow- ing is a list of places and events where you can bring your coats for donation: October 4th — Big Rig Gig October 24th – Baby Basic Drive at Shaw’s October 22nd – Fall Member/Guest Event November 4th – OPUS Membership Meeting And feel free to drop any coats at Alicia Lyon’s home: 11 Overbrook Lane Thank you for helping to make a difference! 3 Did You Know... • Last year P2P provided assistance to over 22,000 people in • With school starting P2P is in need of backpacks, children's lower Fairfield County through emergency assistance, Cam- clothing and school supplies. pership and scholarship programs. • Local families have been burdened with a 10% increase in utility • P2P sent 450 children of low-income families to camp this bills. P2P provides assistance to families unable to afford this year. increase. • The OPUS Baby Basics program provided over 300 layettes • This Fall, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust for newborns last year. their unemployment insurance benefits. As benefits run out and unemployment rates stay high, the demand for emergency assis- • The demand for food at P2P is up 32% over last year. tance could increase dramatically. Person-to- OPUS for Person-to-Person’s Annual Balloons for Campers Day NEW Annual Event Celebrating 41 Years of Campership Raised Over $17,000 OPUS On May 16th, more than 400 OPUS red balloons were flying high in the Darien 11.4.09 Membership skies. The 2009 OPUS for Person-to-Person’s Annual Balloons for Campers Day Event raised over $17,000. Thanks to the hard work of our co-chairs Meeting Alex Eising, Sara Franzese, and Diana Nehro, board members, and count- less other OPUS volunteers, all balloons were up and out starting at 6am! The OPUS Board of Directors will be hold- A big thanks also goes out to our corporate sponsor, Palmer’s Market for ing an annual Membership Meeting on their generous donations of all our supplies, and St. Luke’s for sharing their Wednesday, November 4, at 9:30 AM in space with us for the morning’s “inflation station”. Many thanks to all the the St. Luke’s Parish Hall. This will be an Block Captains and to the members of the community who participated in this informative meeting with an opportunity for great event. Each donation helped send 450 children to summer camp. What a all members and potential members to gain difference it makes in their lives. a better understanding of who we help, how We are gearing up for 2010’s Balloon Day with co-chairs Caroline Hanley and we help and how to get involved on any Amy Walton. Mark your calendars for May 2010 and remember to sign up to be a Block level! In addition to covering an overview Captain! of OPUS and how the funds we raise helps Person-to-Person clients, we will also pro- vide updates on our upcoming Balloon Day, Spring Benefit, Baby Basics program and Baby Basics exciting Membership Events. We will look The Baby Basics program provides and delivers layette items forward to hearing your feedback and an- and other newborn essentials to new mothers in need at Stam- swering any questions you may have. ford and Norwalk Hospitals. Items in our layettes include new- born outfits, sleepers, crib sheets, blankets, bibs, burp cloths, Coffee and refreshments will be served. We onesies, diapers, pacifiers, blankets and toys. Last year, Baby- encourage all our members to attend and we Basics delivered more than 300 layettes. look forward to seeing you there! Look for email reminders this fall. In addition to baby donations, we need people to volunteer as Room Managers to help assemble these layettes. Demand for our services has grown substantially this past year and we need Holiday your help! Being a Room Manager is a great hands-on volunteer experience that you can do on your own time - even just once a year! Sign up with a friend or bring your child. Shopping Volunteer for a couple of hours one day or volunteer every day of the week that you pick. 12.3.09 You decide your week and your hours - it’s that easy and flexible! If you are interested in Event signing up for a week, please contact Meredith Carre at email@example.com. New and gently-used newborn items are always appreciated and can be dropped off at P2P. OPUS for Person-to-Person will be hosting We are especially in need of onesies, sleepers, winter clothing, crib sheets, new pacifiers its Annual Holiday Shopping event and bottles, and blankets. Thursday, December 3, 2009. Join us at the Darien Sport Shop for a day of holiday We will be having our annual Shaw’s (Goodwives River location) Baby Basics drive on shopping. OPUS members will be treated Saturday, October 24, from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, so any donations may be dropped off to an exclusive "sneak peak" visit with there as well. Santa Claus himself so bring the kids along too! The Darien Sport Shop will gen- Contact Meredith Carre (202-9131), Ellie Edwards (662-9206), or Kristine Miller erously give back 10% to Person to (662-0464) with any questions. Person on all purchases that day. 4 Person-to- A Word from Ceci Maher, Executive Director of Person-to-Person Dear OPUS, As you know this year we have been very busy at Person-to-Person. We have seen an unprecedented number of clients coming for finan- cial assistance, food and clothing. And, as unemployment benefits run out for many this fall, we can expect to see more clients turning to us for help. We are working hard, with your help, to meet these needs! While meeting immediate needs we are also working on improving how we provide our services. This fall we hope to open a new Food Barn located in our former garage. Clients will be able to select the foods their families most want to eat, increasing the impact of food orders and decreasing waste. In early winter we will take over the third floor of our building with the goal of renovation to provide in- creased privacy for clients, in part through creating individual casework offices. I am delighted to share the news that with our additional building space we will have a room dedicated to OPUS, including the important Baby Basics program, housed on the second floor. It will be a warm place in winter to pack layettes. We look forward to seeing more of OPUS at P2P. There will also be additional volunteer opportunities in our new Food Barn – clients will need assistance choosing food and we anticipate setting up shorter, time-limited shifts for volunteers to help; we hope you will consider taking a shift. Thank you for all you do through OPUS – we truly could not operate without your help! There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to working with you this year. All the best, Ceci Ceci Maher OPUS 2009-2010 Board of Directors Co-Presidents Corporate Development Baby Basics Liz Koons 655-5088 Alex Eising 355-2711 Meredith Carre 202-9131 Missy Radin 202-9419 Sara Franzese 588-0767 Ellie Edwards 247-8677 Cara Gately 202-9501 Kristine Miller 662-0464 Vice President Alicia Lyon 202-9410 Fundraising Events External Publicity Kerri Larkin 202-2527 Christa McNamara 655-2997 Membership Events Kaitlyn Troy 202-9708 Pam Cappella 656-0072 Elena Whidden 655-7100 Marla Chandler 656-3060 Co-Treasurers Debi McGahren 655-0756 Event Logistics Suzanne Bell 359-3823 Justine Mullin 655-4554 Kallie Hapgood 202-9354 Stacey Smith 656-1158 Membership & Recruitment Internal Communications Secretary Dana Marchiony 353-9600 Katie Adams 655-1616 Barbara Napoli 202-9186 OPUS Board of Directors Front row left to right: Kristine Miller, Alicia Lyon, Missy Radin, Liz Koons, Suzanne Bell, Elena Whidden. Second row: Meredith Carre, Ellie Edwards, Stacey Smith, Barbara Napoli, Alex Eising. Third row: Katie Adams, Pam Capella, Marla Chandler, Cara Gately. Fourth row: Justine Mullin, Debi McGahren, Christa McNamara. Fifth row: Kallie Hapgood, Sara Franzese, Kaitlyn Troy, Dana Marchiony. Missing from photo: Kerri Larkin 5 NONPROFIT O PU S f or Pe r s o n - t o - Pe r s on U.S. Postage F a l l 2 0 0 9 N e w s le t t e r PAID Darien, CT 1864 Post Road Permit No.116 Darien, Connecticut 06820 www.opus4p2p.org In This Issue 2009 Big Rig Gig…………………….. 1 Fall Coat Drive………………………. 3 Campership Picnic…………………... 1 New Members………………………... 3 Upcoming Events……………………. 1 Did You Know……………………….. 4 Presidents’ Message…………………. 2 Balloon Day…………………………... 4 OPUS Beach Ball…………………….. 2 Baby Basics…………………………... 4 Fall Member/Guest Event…………... 2 Fall Membership Meeting…………... 4 Wally Lamb Book Signing………….. 3 A Word From Ceci Maher………….. 5 OPUS Holiday Toy Store……………. 3 OPUS Board of Directors…………… 5 Please visit our newly updated website at www.opus4p2p.org for the latest information and activities. The purpose of OPUS is to support Person-to-Person through fundraising efforts and public awareness. Person- to-Person is a volunteer driven, community based agency that through a sharing of goods and talents, responds to our neighbors who lack basic human necessities or resources to improve their lives. Person-to-Person provides rapid response to client emergencies, as well as access to interconnected services that support their clients’ journey towards self-sufficiency. These services include practical help, advocacy and education. As a nonprofit agency, Person-to-Person serves over 22,000 people annually in the greater Stamford/Norwalk area.