NORWALK, Conn. – What started out as one family’s idea to raise money to help the Rick and Joan Setti celebrate their 25th year of spreading Christmas joy inspired local businesses to make the event an even bigger success.
Norwalk residents Dawn and Alex Monteiro wanted to give back to the Settis, neighbors and friends who set up and run a huge holiday display on their property and always take time out during the holiday season to play the part of Mr. and Mrs. Claus at local children’s parties, including the Monteiros’ day care, Little Leapers LLC.
The Monteiros set up a website and began spreading the word to raise money to buy teddy bears that Rick Setti, as Santa, could give to children visiting his house on Christmas Eve.
In addition to the funds raised online, which would have covered the cost of about 300 teddy bears, two local businesses are providing donations of hundreds more stuffed animals. Dawn Monteiro received her first call from Paul Clark of Splash Car Wash, who saw the story in the news and said that they would be happy to donate stuffed animals from their inventory. She then received another call, this time from Jerry Petrini, owner of My Three Son’s Family Fun Center, who said he wanted to purchase 500 stuffed animals for their project. He also offered to host a fundraiser Dec 22 at his establishment.
During the event, My Three Sons will have unlimited free attractions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where kids can meet and take a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. After 1 p.m., 100 percent of revenue made from the attractions — Laser Tag, Balladium and Jumpy House inflatables – will be donated to Rick and Joan Setti .
As a result of the overwhelming response from the community, there will be about 800 stuffed animals to give out as well as financial support for the Settis to truly make their 25th year very special.
Those wishing to contribute can visit My Three Sons Family Fun Center at 62 Wall St. on Dec. 22.
The Monteiros are also asking people to email photos and stories or just kind words to [email protected] or post them to Santa Setti’s Christmas Village Facebook page to be included in an album to be given to the Setti’s to commemorate their 25 years.
Norwalk High holding Week of Service
Norwalk High School’s Student Government will host its first annual Week of Service, Monday, Dec. 16, through Friday, Dec. 20.
The Week of Service is meant to heighten student awareness of voluntary contributions and demonstrate a common purpose with a commitment to make a difference. Activities will include:
• Monday: Dollar Day
• Tuesday: Canned Food Drive
• Wednesday: Toy Drive
• Thursday: Coats, Hats, & Glove Drive
• Friday: A Celebration of Service Pep Rally
Norwalk arts groups receive grants
The following grants have been given to Norwalk arts organizations:
• Norwalk 2.0 $ 25,000
• Center for Contemporary Printmaking $ 4,232.22
• Norwalk Youth Symphony $ 3,847.47
• Shakespeare on the Sound $ 4,232.22
“I am proud of our local arts organizations for all the work that they do in the community,” said state Sen. Bob Duff, who announced the grants in a press release. “It is wonderful when they are recognized by the state as well. Every one of them is a gem and these funds will help them to do even more. I thank Gov. Malloy for his commitment to help fund the arts and the Department of Economic and Community Development for their support.”
The grants were awarded by Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD)/CT Office of the Arts (COA ) from the Arts Catalyze Placemaking grant program in the categories of ACP – Arts Leadership and ACP-Supporting Arts in Place. These programs are funded by the state appropriation to DECD/COA, and funds received by DECD/COA from the National Endowment for the Arts, according toa press release from Duff’s office.