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News Jul 17, 2014 - 5:26:15 AM

Local Infants to Benefit from $45KCommunity Fund of Darien Grant to STAR

By STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way

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Left to right: Carrie Bernier, Executive Director of the Community Fund of Darien, Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR, Susan Balloch President of Board of Directors for The Community Fund of Darien (contributed photo)
Norwalk, CT - STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a grant award in the amount of $45,000 from The Community Fund of Darien. The grant will support in-home early intervention therapies for infants and toddlers from the mid-Fairfield County area who have developmental delays, including those on the autism spectrum, as well as providing support services for their families and caregivers. STAR’s Birth to Three services are recognized state-wide for achieving positive results for children and for supporting their families. The program addresses occupational, physical, speech and language therapies, as well as special education, behavioral supports and social work concerns. Services are provided to children wherever they are, including services in their family homes, day care centers/day care providers and community oriented playgroups. An average of 80 children with special needs are served each month. The severity of their disabilities determines how many sessions and types of therapy they receive on a weekly basis.

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way serves nearly 700 individuals from birth through senior years in Norwalk, Weston, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Westport and Weston. STAR provides Birth to 3 early intervention therapies, advocacy and at-home residential support, recreational activities, competitive employment training and placement, day programs, senior programs and respite care to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Mid-Fairfield County. STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. They create opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy. They inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals. For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way please visit their website

Katie Banzhaf, Executive Director of STAR said, “The Community Fund of Darien has a long history of being a generous supporter of STAR and the Rubino Family Center’s Birth to Three Programs for Early Intervention in particular. Impactful donations like those from the Community Fund of Darien have been the catalyst to STAR’s ability to achieve notable results that are among the leaders in the state. We appreciate their support in helping us not only to sustain, but to enhance the important early therapies and services we deliver to these young people and their families.”

The Community Fund of Darien is an independent, local, volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization that addresses health and human service needs. It is dedicated and committed to building a healthy community in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford. They achieve this by: assisting the community to identify its needs; providing cost effective fundraising; pursuing responsible and strategic allocation of funds to meet community needs; assuring accountability of human services providers. For more information about The Community Fund of Darien visit

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