New Canaan  Community Shows Up for ‘2023 NC Combine’ Benefiting Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer [PHOTOS]

New Canaan’s Chris Falsetta told a stadium full of community friends and supporters Sunday morning that his then 12-year-old daughter, Gracie, was diagnosed with leukemia almost exactly one year ago, on Oct. 13, 2022. 

Since that time, many people have approached Falsetta and asked how the past year has been, he said. “And I say, ‘It’s been incredible,’ and I usually get puzzled looks,” Falsetta said from midfield at Dunning Stadium under sunny, warm skies minutes before the 2023 N.C. Combine began. “ ‘What do you mean incredible?’ Well, it’s been incredibly tough, right? You know that.

How Sunday’s ‘New Canaan Combine’ Will Work [Q&A]

It’s almost here. The New Canaan Combine is to be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Dunning Field (come down at 9 a.m. for coffee and donuts with New Canaan first responders, courtesy of Dunkin’). Organized by New Canaan’s House of Telos, the Combine will be emceed by New Canaan’s Chris Russo. It’s a friendly athletic competition between the New Canaan Police and Fire Departments that brings in EMTs and members of the community. This year, the Combine benefits the Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer through sponsorships, merchandise sales, donations and a silent auction that went live here on Sunday.

Q&A: Talking ‘Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer’ with Yale’s Dr. Stephanie Massaro

The returning New Canaan Combine—an athletic competition between the New Canaan Police and Fire Departments that also brings in community members to fundraise for a good cause—this year will benefit the Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer. That nonprofit organization, named for a local family’s 12-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia last year and is undergoing treatments, was created following talks with one of her caregivers, Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale School of Medicine’s Dr. Stephanie Massaro. We spoke to Massaro on Sunday. Here’s a transcript of our conversation. ***

New Canaanite: Thank you for carving out some time to talk to me about the Gracie Fund. 

Dr. Stephanie Massaro: My pleasure. 

Before we start talking about your connection here to New Canaan with the Falsettas, could you please, for our readers, just tell us what it is you do and how you came to know the Falsetta family?

PHOTOS: Sidewalk Sale Draws Crowds to Downtown New Canaan

Scores of bargain-hunters headed to downtown New Canaan on Saturday for the annual Village Fair & Sidewalk Sale. Crowds of shoppers milled about on Elm, Main and Forest Streets on a warm but mercifully unsticky summer day, flipping through racks and rummaging through tables set out on sidewalks and streets by New Canaan and seasonal merchants. 

“We are thrilled,” said Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual Sidewalk Sale. “We have a terrific mix of vendors and organizations here, and Mother Nature has cooperated 100% with some beautiful breezes. We’re really pleased. It’s just a classic New Canaan event.”

One local family, the Falsettas, counted themselves among those sharing information about nonprofit organizations—in their case, the  Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer, which will be the beneficiary of this year’s Oct.

Podcast: The Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in iTunes), we talk to New Canaan’s Chris Falsetta about the Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer. Founded by the Falsetta family following a recent diagnosis of leukemia in their 12-year-old daughter, the Gracie Fund is the designated beneficiary for this year’s New Canaan Combine, a fun athletic competition between the New Canaan Police and Fire Departments, as well as community members of all ages. The Combine is scheduled for Oct. 1 (here’s a signup form to volunteer at the event and here’s information on how to sponsor and join a team—click here to contribute directly). Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: