New Canaan Library Director Lisa Oldham To Retire at Year’s End

New Canaan Library’s executive director for the past decade plans to retire at the end of this year. In a message sent to library donors, Lisa Oldham said she has been “so privileged to lead the New Canaan Library through this wonderful period of change for the past ten years.”

“Thanks to your extraordinary support, by the time I depart the entire project for the Library and Green will be complete,” Oldham said in the email, sent Tuesday afternoon and obtained by “I am very proud of the Library, our team, and the vision you have helped us realize.”

Though the centerpiece of Oldham’s legacy is the hugely popular and well-received new library that opened in February, her achievements go far beyond the remade building and campus. Under Oldham’s leadership, the library has forged stronger relationships and partnerships with the town, local press and nonprofit and business communities, made several key hires and overhauled the organization’s programming, launching popular new series and learning experiences for patrons. Asked about Oldham’s tenure, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Budd said, “As a wise man once said, ‘Try to leave this world a little better than you found it,’ and Lisa Oldham has certainly done that for New Canaan Library and in turn our entire community.

‘As Meaningful a Volunteer Opportunity As I Could Imagine’: New Canaan Fire Company No. 1 Calls for New Members

One of New Canaan’s most vital and widely recognized community organizations is putting out a call for new members. 

In recent years, a handful of firefighters with the New Canaan Fire Company No. 1 have been hired on as full-time paid members of the New Canaan Fire Department—a testament to the strong relationship between the two entities, though it’s left the volunteer fire service short of its target numbers, officials say. Those who have joined the New Canaan Fire Company in recent years say it offers truly meaningful involvement in the community as well as fun, camaraderie and education. 

Firefighter Steven Kryger joined in November 2020 and has been able to serve as an active volunteer with the organization though he has a full-time job. “Virtually all of our members are full-time students or have full-time jobs—it’s very doable,” Kryger told “We kind of make it so members of the community can be huge contributors and it fits in with their lives.”

The Fire Company holds drills and meetings on Thursday nights, and there’s an additional one day of training per month (on Tuesdays) during a probationary period for the first year while volunteers are becoming certified as licensed and trained firefighters. 

“Calls can come in any time,” Kryger said.

‘The Best Dad Any Kid Could Ever Ask For’: Family, Friends Gather To Remember Steve Benko

Lindsay Gardner talked to her dad, Steve Benko, for the last time just a few days before he passed away. 

The two sat in his hospital room, unsure of what to say, Gardner recalled Thursday. “So I asked him, I said, ‘Dad, what do you want us to do?’ We didn’t know what to do. Who knows what to do? This isn’t something we’re groomed for,” Gardner told hundreds of congregants gathered at First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan for Benko’s memorial service, and hundreds more watching a livestream online. “What he told me was, he just wants all of us to go out and be happy.

‘Tireless Caring, Devotion and Love’: Friends Remember Steve Benko; Town Renames Waveny Pool in His Honor

Bea Watkins got to know Steve Benko at New Canaan High School in the late-1960s, and for the last 11 years has worked for him as office manager of the town’s Recreation Department. There at the Rec offices in Waveny House, they often reminisced about mutual friends, parties and weddings, as well as Watkins’s brother, Lem, who’d worked for Benko one summer years ago. “I have always been in awe of Steve’s work ethic and proud to be on his team,” Watkins told in an email when asked for her thoughts on Benko. “He always took such pride in everything he and our crew has had to accomplish for the residents in terms of activities, programs, and facilities. With the recent influx of new residents who continue to voice how astonished they are with all that the Recreation Department and the town has to offer, I know that it is largely due to the hard work and effort of Steve.”

Calling Benko “Mr. New Canaan,” Watkins remembered her friend as singularly passionate about the town and what it offers. “I always enjoyed sharing thoughts and ideas with Steve and a good argument was exciting as well,” she said.