‘His Legacy and Impact Will Live On’: New Canaanites Remember Don Hersam

For Steve Karl, there’s a very short list of New Canaanites whose contributions to the community in business, civic matters, faith and philanthropy exceed what anyone conceivably could imagine in terms of commitment and longevity. They are “the rare residents who have created a legacy and body of work that the rest of us just sit back and wonder how they could possibly have that much time, that much energy and that much love for one place,” according to Karl, himself a lifelong New Canaanite. “Don Hersam was one of those extremely rare individuals,” Karl said this week, days after V. Don Hersam, Jr. passed at age 92. 

“He was the soul of the community,” Karl told NewCanaanite.com. “The centerpiece of the 06840 Mt Rushmore,” he continued. “He loved New Canaan, respected its rich history, and consistently endeavored to make it a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

PHOTOS: Bargain-Hunters Hit Sidewalk Sale on Saturday

Hundreds of bargain-hunters visited the downtown Saturday for the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s annual sidewalk sale. Held on pedestrian-only stretches of Elm and Forest Streets, shoppers hit the downtown early as temperatures were expected to soar into the mid-90s amid a sustained heat wave in the region. “The street is full of all sorts of great merchants and organizations,” Chamber Executive Director Laura Budd said amid the crowds near Elm and Park Streets where two food trucks kept visitors fed. “It feels like a classic New Canaan summer day and we’re really excited to see all the people down here despite the heat. There’s a nice breeze coming down Elm Street so we feel pretty lucky.”

Nonprofit organizations, including Wildlife In Crisis, Staying Put in New Canaan and local party committees, set up booths alongside retailers and service businesses in curbside tents, many of them passing out water to downtown visitors.

‘Who Knew?’ Column Launches on New Canaanite, Sponsored by Walter Stewart’s

Jan. 21, 2022—NewCanaanite.com for Friday’s newsletter launched a new column by town resident and writer Laura Ault. 

Sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market, “Who Knew?” will appear each month in the third Friday newsletter. 

In it, Ault will unearth surprises she finds “in our little corner of the suburbs.”

“I’ll search for those great experiences that can only be had in New Canaan, from restaurants and shops to hikes and events,” Ault said. “And when I find something great, I won’t keep it to myself, as much as I may want.”

Ault is a creative director and founder of a mission-based marketing consultancy. A native of northern California and graduate of Colgate University, she moved to New Canaan in 2014 and lives on the west side of town with her husband, three dogs and two cats. Doug Stewart, vice president of Walter Stewart’s Market, said the local business is pleased to sponsor Ault’s writing about New Canaan, which recently included an article spotlighting five standout local foods.

Wednesday is Donation Day for ‘Feeding 500’ at Walter Stewart’s Market, Stewart’s Wine & Spirits

Two of New Canaan’s best-established businesses are supporting a locally run nonprofit organization with a “donation day” Wednesday. On Dec. 8, 10% of all proceeds at Stewart’s Wine & Spirits will go toward Feeding 500, which raises money for the food program at Open Doors in Norwalk. Additionally, T-Bill customers of Walter Stewart’s Market can donate their T-Bills to the organization all day. New Canaan High School junior Oliver Tuff, founder and president of Feeding 500, said the local support is “crucial” to the organization’s success. 

“We started as a way to get local high schoolers and the New Canaan community more involved in community efforts so the money and food we have raised so far has been due to the support we’ve gotten from the community,” Tuff told NewCanaanite.com in an email.

Local Businesses Q&A: Walter Stewart’s Market and Stewarts Wine & Spirits

Today’s installment of our Q&A series with a local business is with Doug Stewart Walter Stewart’s Market and Stewarts Wine & Spirits on Elm Street. Here’s our exchange:

New Canaanite: Doug, you’re very plugged into the local business community, as an owner of one of New Canaan’s best-established businesses, a member of the Chamber of Commerce board and a resident yourself. What is your sense of consumer demand this holiday shopping season, and of the health of our local business community? Doug Stewart: A main draw to New Canaan is our vibrant, charming downtown. With so many new families in town now and the holiday season there is a lot of great energy in New Canaan.