This column will run frequently each week, highlighting shorter announcements or updates, and help you get a quick start to the Wilton news of the day. Have a news tip, item or something you know people are chattering about? Email us at editor@goodmorningwilton.com.

Kiwanis Fills Food Pantry Shelves

The Wilton Kiwanis Club held a food drive this weekend outside the Village Market and Stop and Shop, and once again Wilton residents were generous with their giving. Sunday afternoon, Kiwanis Club member Jeff Kaplan took this picture of his family at the Wilton Food Pantry after they helped stock the shelves with all the items that were donated. “It’s been an amazing weekend with generous donations from Wilton residents,” Kaplan said. (Pictured L-R: Grace Kaplan, Levi Kaplan, Wilton Social Services senior services coordinator Lauren Hughes, Jessica Kaplan, Wilton High School sophomore Key Club member Michael Lamond and Ava Kaplan)

Freezin’ for a Reason

On Friday, March 15 the Wilton Family YMCA saw over 20 brave individuals run full-speed into the near frozen Kiwanis Pond at the YMCA. Family members and friends cheered as they watched these “rompers” participate in the annual Swamp Romp. Those who charged into the water each raised money to benefit over 3,500 children who participate in year-round programming at the Wilton Family YMCA no matter their family’s level of income. The generosity from the community allowed the Wilton Family YMCA to raise over $16,000.

“It was such an exciting afternoon,” Robert McDowell, CEO of the Riverbrook Regional YMCA, said. “Here at the Y, we love to support our community, and this annual event allows us to give back to the many children who are involved in our programs.”

Everyone from the CEO and Board members, to the Y’s staff, volunteers and Wilton Police Department, came together for this incredible cause. Lieutenant David Hartman and Officer Elise Ackerman joined the Swamp Romp jumping in full body uniform to support the cause.

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Four participants alone raised more than $1,000 each with one raising $5,000. Camp Free to Be Director Molly Blosser and a committee member for the Swamp Romp–who raised money for the romp–told attendees, “Camp Gordyland gives each child the courage to be brave, enthusiastic, proud and most importantly, themselves. And with your support today, our YMCA can offer financial aid for those youth in need of assistance.”

The Y is the starting point for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy and safe habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. And the benefits are far greater than just physical health. Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good citizenship, participating in youth development programs at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.

Play Ball!

Two Wilton women–Jamie Toohill and Liz Kaliski–and organizing a baseball/softball equipment collection, gathering gently used (or new) baseball and softball equipment to donate to the New Haven YMCA for them to use in their Summer Programs.

“We thought it would be great to get Wilton’s unneeded gear into the hands of some kids who would love to play baseball but don’t have the equipment to do it,” Toohill told GOOD Morning Wilton.

Between now and Sunday, April 7, please bring new or gently used bats, gloves, helmets, balls, batting gloves, and gear bags to Trackside Teen Center (15 Station Rd.) where a donation bin has been set up. Email Toohill or Kaliski with questions.

Be BOLD for OLF Food Drive

Our Lady of Fatima School is participating in a food drive all week, called BOLD, the “Bread Of Life Drive,” an annual food drive organized by the University of Notre Dame Alumni Club of Fairfield County to benefit organizations that support the underserved in the community.

Amelia Fleming, one of the student council presidents at Our Lady of Fatima School, wrote to GOOD Morning Wilton to explain why the students hope people will consider donating:  “It provides the opportunity for students and congregants to learn about persons in need and about giving back to the community. Most of all, it provides food for the hungry within our community.”

The school’s BOLD food drive will run through Friday, April 5, and organizers have asked for contributions of the following items:

canned soup
pasta
canned vegetables
baby food
baby formula
canned fruit
powdered milk
tomato sauce
canned tuna
oatmeal
cereal
peanut butter
jelly
cooking oil
dried spices
pancake mix
syrup
coffee
microwave popcorn
condiments
granola bars
boxed snacks
powdered drinks
rice
instant potatoes

There will be various drop-off locations inside the school building, including the main lobby. For anyone wishing to drop off a donation outside of school hours, there will be a box moved outside the front door of the school (225 Danbury Rd.) when no one is in the building.