We’re all about spreading the GOOD in Wilton, and GOOD Morning Wilton‘s “FUNdrai$er Friday$” publicizes efforts that benefit worthy community causes. Every Friday, check out the featured opportunities to pitch in, lend a hand, donate and help other Wilton residents give back to the community.

We welcome submissions from individuals, organizations and charity efforts raising money, seeking donations and recruiting volunteers. Send all pertinent information to us via email–the who, what, when, where, how and why. Include any photos, links or even videos that might help tell the story and increase the response from our readers. Don’t forget to make sure your contact information is there as well. (Sorry, we can only accept FUNdrai$er Friday$ ideas via email. Please put “Fundraiser Fridays” in the email subject line.)

Wilton Warrior Flags Support Wilton Field Hockey

Support Wilton Field Hockey with the purchase of this new Wilton Warrior flag for game day or to hang on your child’s bedroom wall. If interested, please contact Anna Marie Bilella via email.

Dynamic Edge PhysioTherapy will “Kiss the Pig” to Raise Money for Alzheimer’s Walk

Wilton-based Dynamic Edge PhysioTherapy has put together a fundraising team for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease, on Oct 8, 2017 at 8:30 a.m..

The Dynamic Edge team has chosen to collect money in jars–one for each staff member. The person with the most money in his or her jar at the end of the fundraiser (Sept. 30) will have to kiss a pig.

To contribute, stop by their PhysioTherapy office (396 Danbury Rd.) or visit their team fundraising page to donate online.

“This disease is near and dear to our heart as well as many others,” says Dynamic Edge office manager Carolyn Figliola.

WHS Varsity Cheerleaders and Varsity Football will ‘Stuff the Bus’ for Annual Wilton Food Pantry Food Drive

Tonight Wilton High School faces Westport’s Staples High School Wreckers in gridiron action, but they are taking on an even bigger challenge–collecting food for the Wilton Food Pantry. They hope to “Stuff the Bus” with items that the Food Pantry needs for its clients, donated by fans and spectators heading to the game.

Among the items requested by the Food Pantry are:  paper goods, detergent, juice boxes and dry goods.

The bus will be located at the lower Cider Mill School parking lot next to the entrance to WHS Memorial Stadium beginning at 5 p.m.. Please consider bringing food  donations on your way to cheer on the 2017 Wilton Warrior Football Team! Game time is Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m..

Important:  Please check expiration dates on all donated food products.

Dylan J. Hoffman Memorial Walk and Family Fun Day

In 2015, Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, located steps away from the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY, renamed their annual fundraising walk in memory of Dylan J. Hoffman, a young Wilton boy whose parents stayed there while Dylan was in the hospital for an extended period of time, after suffering a stroke at just 4-weeks-old. Dylan passed away three years later in 2014.

Dylan’s parents became passionate about fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House, which provides temporary housing for hundreds of families annually throughout the Hudson Valley region and beyond, while their critically ill children are receiving treatment. GMW has written about Dylan’s mom, Caroline Hoffman, who is immensely grateful for the outpouring of community support she’s gotten over the years when she’s made appeals for donations or held bake sales outside of Village Market to fundraise.

In fact, in just two years, the Hoffman’s have raised more than $60,000 to benefit the House, and as a result, they were honored with the Family of the Year award by Ronald McDonald House earlier this year.

How can the community continue to support the Hoffman family? There are two upcoming ways:

  1. Participate in the Dylan J. Hoffman Walk and Family Fun Day by putting a team together, sponsoring a route marker or just join in the festivities. The walk is being held Sunday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center.
  2. Stop by this year’s bake sale that Caroline is running on Monday, Sept. 18 from 3-7 at Village Market all proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley. The Village Market is located at 108 Old Ridgefield Rd. in Wilton Center.
Caroline Hoffman’s 2015 bake sale at the Village Market to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in memory of her son, Dylan. The bake sale raised $1,375.

Southern Yankee & Local Soul Support Houston Hurricane Relief

Wilton entrepreneur–and Texas transplant– Jennifer Angerame is putting her talents to work to raise some money for hurricane relief. The clothing designer behind Southern Yankee has stocked a rack of her adorable baby clothes and girls’ dresses at Local Soul, and 100% of the sales will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.

Local Soul is located at 90 Old Ridgefield Rd. in the back of the Barringer Building.

Piano Concert to Benefit Refugee Resettlement in CT

As they head back to school, advanced students of Wilton pianist Kyong Hee Cho will continue to practice and rehearse for the 11th annual “Playing By Heart” benefit concert, to be held at the Brubeck Room of the Wilton Library, (137 Old Ridgefield Rd.) on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m.. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students.

Proceeds from the concert, sponsored by Fairfield Grace UMC and Easton ACTS (Area Congregations Together in Service) will benefit IRIS, Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services, a New Haven-based agency that works to resettle refugees in Connecticut.

Students will perform selections from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Gershwin and will be joined by flautist Seohyun Hong, a Staples High School senior and a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for the past eight years.

Although the students play in recitals during the year, the benefit concert adds a different dimension to both the preparation and the performance, demanding long hours of extra practice in competition with family, sports and community activities. Colin Hong, a Norwalk eighth grader, is playing in the concert for the first time. “You have to practice a lot more than for a normal recital, but it is worth it knowing that you are performing to raise money to help people survive.” Peyton Lauricella, a Wilton tenth grader, remarked that, “Preparation for the benefit concert is unlike any other performance. There is greater pressure to perform exceptionally well, given the charitable cause of the concert.” Woongki Hong, a Staples sophomore, also feels the need to be more serious in preparation. “After all, people are paying for tickets or donating money for the cause; that makes me want to try harder.”

With the extra effort, however come rewards shared by both the musicians and their teacher. Although each student must memorize long and complex pieces of music, the process puts them in touch with their own musicality. Sharon Kesselman, Wilton resident and one of the two adult performers spoke of the “nerve wracking” nature of the preparation for the performance as the “only way to come to truly know and love a piece of music.”          For Cho, concert preparation allows her to share with her students her love and appreciation of music. “It’s a joy to be able to work with students at this level, helping them beyond dynamics, tempo and mood. They can listen to a professional play the piece, but then they need to make it their own. It’s like learning another language. Once they begin to hear it, they will be able to speak it.”

Although only one of these talented students, Jonathan Kim a Darien High School senior currently plans a career in music, all speak of music as a permanent part of their lives. Jack Nanez, a sophomore at Wilton High School  who also plays coronet and trumpet, credits his piano studies and performance with helping him to conquer nervousness and function under pressure. As to the future, he joked: “I”m sure there will always be an unused piano for me to play on.”His twin sister Claudia finds solace and calm in her time at the piano. For her, one of the benefits of playing in the concert is that “it gives me an opportunity to show members of my community my love for piano and performing.” All the students would, however, agree with Staples sophomore Alisyn Kercher that piano studies and preparation for the concert help them with self-discipline in their busy lives. “With a certain time frame set for mastering and memorizing the piece, it encourages good work ethics and the ability to divide your time wisely.”

Refugees served by IRIS come from a wide range of war-torn countries, including Sudan,The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and have been thoroughly screened by Homeland Security in a process that can take up to three years. Once they arrive in Connecticut, IRIS helps them secure housing and employment, provides daily English lessons and assists in finding childcare and registering children in local schools. Because the federal government only provides modest funding, IRIS relies on volunteers and charitable donations.