Did You Hear … ?

To help promote the 2015 Books, Blues, and BBQ party to benefit the New Canaan Library, the event’s committee members are encouraging residents to post on the library’s Facebook page photos of themselves wearing a favorite cowboy hat. “Over the years, cowboy attire has become associated with this important fundraising event,” Holly Parmelee, committee co-chairperson, said in a press release. “It is common that party-goers come decked out in cowboy hats and boots. So we thought it would be fun to encourage community members to show their support for the library and the event by posting a photo of themselves wearing their favorite cowboy hat.” See the gallery above for some familiar faces around town that are already participating. ***

Some disturbing news here: We’re hearing that some residents of Spring Water Lane last Wednesday discovered ‘#WhiteLivesMatter’ flyers, in Zip-loc bags and weighed down with rocks, on top of their mailboxes.

Did You Hear … ?

New Canaan’s alpaca owner, Debbie McQuilkin, has lived in three houses in New Canaan, and their street numbers follow a pattern: 141 Millport Ave., 585 Ponus Ridge and 757 Oenoke Ridge Road (Crajah House). ***

Ben Olmstead, the 37-year DPW worker with an encyclopedic knowledge of the town who was killed July 23 in an accident while on the job here, is missed for his generous spirit, smile, positive attitude and companionship. He also knew so much that his position—a part-time job for him—will be a challenging full-time job for his eventual successor. In presenting the department’s proposed budget Feb. 3 to the Board of Finance, DPW Assistant Director Tiger Mann said that the job must change to full-time “since it will be a large learning curve for whoever comes in. Ben knew everything in his head.

Youth Cheerleading Regroups, with an Eye on Boosting a Flagging Varsity Program

Under new leadership, youth cheerleading in New Canaan is finding its way out of a rather dark period of infighting, free-for-all amateur coaching and, among older middle-school aged girls, a lack of excitement and incentive to continue in the sport, officials in the program say. Led since last summer by a certified coach who is injecting the program with more fun events, a first-ever awards ceremony, recruiting strategy, closer alignment with youth football and focus on fundamentals, one of the largest groups of cheerleaders that New Canaan has seen in some time is coming up through the pipeline. “If we don’t clean up the youth side, you are never going to have a high school program, so we are cleaning up and made huge strides,” said Sondra Banford, youth cheer coordinator in New Canaan. “Our major goal is to create a cheer family.”

As Banford alluded, the boost in cheerleading at the middle school level couldn’t come at a better time for a high school program whose numbers are decidedly down. Athletic Director Jay Egan said the goal typically is to have 18 to 20 girls on the cheerleading squad, and that currently it’s down to 10 or 11.