Hazing documentary to be held at library as part of teen drinking awareness campaign

In September 2004, fraternity pledge Gordie Bailey died from alcohol poisoning after passing out on a couch in his fraternity house following a hazing initiation at the University of Colorado. In 2008, The Gordie Foundation produced Haze, a documentary telling Gordie’s story and discussing the issues surrounding college drinking and hazing. This program is for parents and mature high-school aged students.

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Greenwich Student Receives Honorable Mention for Rx Drug Abuse Slogan

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Health info night

On Thursday, January 19, at the Darien Public Library, Ingrid Gillespie, Executive Director of Communities 4 Action, and Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program Coordinator at The Community Fund of Darien, announced the winners of the NoRxAbuse.com slogan contest.

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Campaign Launched to Counter Darien’s Troubling Rate of Teen Binge Drinking

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What does 06820 mean to you? In Darien we value education, celebrate our successes, and are compassionate in times of need. We look out for our neighbors. But there is a critical way we’re falling short: 06820 is also a place with a troubling rate of teenage binge drinking.

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First Congregational Church Gives $15,000 to The Community Fund’s Thriving Youth Initiative

camera-download-9-21-16-122This spring, The First Congregational Church of Darien’s Board of Outreach raised $15,000 to benefit local nonprofits through their 2016 Darien House Tour: Homes with a Heart. In addition to the house tour, this fundraising initiative included a parenting event, art show and “party with a purpose.” The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Initiative was selected by the Board of Outreach as the lead beneficiary.

The Thriving Youth Initiative seeks to promote healthy development among Darien’s youth in response to recent alarming trends evident in The Community Fund of Darien’s survey of teens over the past seven years.  Results show that substance abuse is on the rise among teens and that both resilience and resistance skills are declining.

The Thriving Youth Initiative will dedicate $100,000 each year, over the next five years, to implement a strategic prevention plan to reduce substance abuse and improve mental health among Darien’s 12 to 17-year-olds and their parents. The additional funding provided by the Darien House Tour will expand the initiative’s prevention efforts into the preschool and elementary school populations. The First Congregational Church of Darien is proud to support this effort to build in our children the skills needed, including resilience, self-esteem and coping, for a lifetime of healthy decisions.


The Community Fund of Darien Invites the Community for a screening of “No Letting Go”

Please join us for a free screening of “No Letting Go” on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Darien Library.

After the film there will be a Q&A with writer/producer Randi Silverman. The film is based on Silverman’s own experience coping with her son’s mental health disorder.

The film is appropriate for middle and high school students and is sponsored by The Community Fund of DarienDarien Library andLaurel House

Community Fund awarded Thriving Youth grant

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, left, Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program Coordinator, Carrie Bernier, executive director The Community Fund of Darien.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, left, Emily Larkin, Thriving Youth Program Coordinator, Carrie Bernier, executive director The Community Fund of Darien.

The Community Fund of Darien has received a competitive annual grant of $100,000 for the next five years to implement a strategic prevention plan to reduce substance abuse and improve mental health among Darien’s youth and their parents.

With this grant, the State of Connecticut recognized The Community Fund’s prevention and asset-development work with the Thriving Youth Task Force and the student asset survey.

The Community Fund of Darien will dedicate resources to engage the whole community in a long-term plan to promote positive youth development and mental health.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this important prevention grant. It allows us to invest on a deeper level with our Thriving Youth Task Force and to integrate positive assets into our town’s culture and in our interactions with youth,” said executive director Carrie Bernier.

This grant will strengthen The Community Fund’s collaborative efforts to work with the 42 members of the Thriving Youth Task Force.

“The key to Darien’s success will be collaboration among the many groups that provide services to youth. This effort will be youth-driven and involve youth leaders from across a broad cross-section of town,” said Bernier.

“Our goal is to achieve measureable outcomes in promoting mental health and reducing substance abuse among teens and their parents” said Bernier.

Darien was awarded the grant by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to support The Community Fund’s work to promote the “40 Developmental Assets,” which are evidence-based building blocks for healthy youth.

The Community Fund administered a survey of Darien Public School 7th-12th graders to quantify the “assets” students possess in 2008, 2011 and in November, 2014.

The results were shared in a public forum at the Darien Library in April,2015. The survey revealed some alarming trends, namely that substance abuse was on the rise among teens and resilience/ resistance skills seemed to be declining instead of improving.

With this grant, The Community Fund of Darien will implement a strategic prevention framework using a public health model.

For over 65 years, The Community Fund of Darien’s mission has been to help Darien and our neighbors in Stamford and Norwalk by investing in programs aimed at improving the quality of life for all.

In addition to its community initiatives, The Community Fund of Darien awards grants to local nonprofits helping to address a broad spectrum of vital human services including mental health, substance abuse, at-risk youth, homelessness, hunger, child abuse, special needs and more.

For more information, please contact The Community Fund of Darien office at 203-655-8775 or visit the website at: www.communityfunddarien. org