Thursday, October 24, 2019 is World Polio Day. What do we care about Polio here in New Canaan? Plenty. Today there are many local residents who have been personally affected by polio or who know of a family member or friend who has been affected. We have other neighbors who may be completely unaware of polio’s impact on the world.
We are writing with an open invitation asking our New Canaan Community to come together for a common cause. This cause may not be the topic of conversation at the club this weekend and it won’t spark the next trendy fashions on Elm Street. But it affects each and every one of us.
As local residents, businessmen and volunteers, we have personally read too many stories of young people leaving us way too soon. We have seen too many adults not be able to function to their fullest potential. And we have seen too many seniors not be able to fully enjoy what should be their golden years.
While the carols and the Christmas Eve gathering remained the same, this year marked a changing of the guard in terms of leadership for the annual God’s Acre Christmas Caroling.
A century ago, when John E. Hersam, then publisher of the New Canaan Advertiser, along with other members of the Town Band, invited friends and neighbors to God’s Acre for Christmas Eve Caroling, he likely had no idea he was helping to launch one of the quintessential New Canaan traditions. Thus, at the start of this year’s Carol Singing, it was fitting that V. Donald Hersam, and the entire Hersam family, was publicly thanked for their 100 year stewardship of this wonderful community event.
With the sale of the Advertiser to Hearst last fall, the Hersams have transitioned stewardship of this annual event to a new God’s Acre Christmas Caroling Committee. We are each honored to help carry on this amazing tradition.
Even though this is a free event open to all, there are annual costs associated with hosting it. This year we want to thank Tim Brown, from Brown Thayer Shedd Insurance, for stepping forward to underwrite construction of the bandstand and Rand Insurance for underwriting the cost of the song sheets provided that evening. We thank each individual and local family who sent in donations to help defray the costs.
It takes the perspective of time to balance the pace of progress working to shape the future versus the desire to preserve the past. Lately in New Canaan it seems that the majority of projects proposing change and progress toward an ever changing future have been met with cries to preserve the past. I guess that is human nature at its fundamental best—the struggle to remember the past while pursuing the future. Such is the plight of many buildings in New Canaan. There is no question that our town is fortunate to have a vibrant history that we should all be willing to embrace.
Consider yourself personally invited to support the 32nd Annual Rotary Club Lobsterfest to be held Friday, Sept. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 23 from 12 to 8 p.m.
Proceeds benefit local and international organizations supported through the Rotary Club of New Canaan’s annual grant awards. Organizations supported in the past include the New Canaan Library, Meals on Wheels, the Getabout Van, New Canaan YMCA, Person to Person, Domus, Future5, Camp Horizons, ABC of New Canaan, Americares Free Clinics, Carriage Barn Arts Center, Kids in Crisis, and many others. In addition, the Rotary Club of New Canaan supports International efforts of Rotary International to eradicate Polio and other humanitarian efforts, including HALO, an organization committed to clearing land mines around the world.