Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Michele Ayoub

Michele Ayoub has been donating Mother’s Day tulips to Staying Put in New Canaan members since the start of the pandemic, according to the popular nonprofit organization. A mom who appreciated the support she received from neighbors during her pregnancy and baby-rearing, Ayoub began growing the flowers as Mother’s Day gifts for those same neighbors, as well as family and friends, and even threw a “tulip party,” according to Gina Blum, executive director of Staying Put. 

The annual yield is now up to some 3,000 to 4,000 tulips “that she plants every year and during COVID she did not have the party, so she found Staying Put in New Canaan and other organizations who deliver them to seniors, and she continued with us each year,” Blum said by way of nominating Ayoub for the “Quiet Heroes” series. Founded in 2008, Staying Put in New Canaan helps local seniors live independent, active and engaged lives as they grow older. (The organization’s “Summer Soirée” will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 at Waveny House—details and tickets here.)

According to Robin Bates-Mason, Staying Put’s manager of events and volunteers, the organization gets calls from its members thankful for the flowers. “They’re so appreciative of it and how pretty and unique they [the tulips] are,” Bates-Mason said.

Who Knew: A Beginner’s Guide to Winged New Canaan

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. When facing the waning years of your (ahem) forties, you have two choices. You can learn all the Gen Z slang and TikTok dances to cling, Gollum-like, to your waning youth, or you can slide into the sensible, low-heeled comforts of the retiree lifestyle a couple of decades early and start caring about things like warblers, relaxed-fit pants, and the lighthouses of the Eastern Seaboard. Twenty-two-year-old you might not recognize 47-year-old you, and there’s no doubt she’d judge your dorky fleece vest and Investment Binoculars™, but there’s much to be said for shifting yourself into a less chaotic gear and finding moments of actual presence in the natural world. Life begins to look more like a Mary Oliver poem than a Bret Easton Ellis novel, and that’s a-ok with me.

Planet New Canaan ‘Green Gala’ Set for Sept. 14 [Q&A]

One of New Canaan’s most unique and active nonprofit organizations is hosting its major fundraiser in about two weeks. Planet New Canaan’s Green Gala will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Carriage Barn Arts Center (tickets here). Sponsors include Walter Stewart’s Market, Northeast Building Supply, Karl Chevrolet and NewCanaanite.com. 

We put some questions to the nonprofit organization’s president, Robin Bates Mason, ahead of the event. Here’s our exchange.

Podcast: The ‘Cam Hutchins Pollinator Garden’

This week on “0684-Radi0,” our free podcast (subscribe here in iTunes), we talk to Robin Bates Mason, president of Planet New Canaan, about efforts to install a pollinator garden dedicated to the memory and legacy of former Conservation Commission Chair Cam Hutchins in Bristow Park. Those efforts include a matching grant from Sustainable CT for which advocates for the Cam Hutchins Pollinator Garden currently are fundraising (details for donating here). Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: