Stepping Stones returning; Norwalk group wins grant; Thanksgiving event on the Green


NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Stepping Stones reopens Saturday
  • Shatterproof wins grant
  • Gratitude on the Green

Stepping Stones to open doors


Stepping Stones Museum for Children, located at 303 West Avenue in Norwalk, has scheduled its grand reopening for 8 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 20.  A press release from the museum promises four new exhibits, renovated spaces, daily activities led by STEAM-team educators, and enhancements to longstanding favorite exhibits such as Energy Lab, Tot Town, the Immersive Multimedia Gallery, and the Light Gallery.   A new gift shop and an expanded Healthyville Café serving special holiday fare throughout November and December will be unveiled.

New features include “Lights On” showcasing new light innovations, “Big Adventure Dinosaurs” featuring Connecticut’s State Dinosaur (the Dilophosaurus), and “Puppet Place” with storytelling and music by Bird, BooZoo, Lillie the Ladybug, and Lucy Somebody.

A private virtual tour of the museum’s newly renovated spaces, tagged “S’More FriendsGiving,” is planned for Thursday Nov. 18, with a S’More-inspired dessert box including four free admission passes to the museum ($72 value) plus sparkling cider, hot cocoa spoons, S’More-flavored jellybeans and cotton candy. Virtual tour registrants making a donation will be entered into a drawing to win a two-hour private museum playdate.  Tour proceeds will support “Open Arms,” the museum’s accessibility initiative enabling every child’s participation in the museum’s learning community. Info and registration are at  www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/friendsgiving

The reopened museum will operate 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is $16 for non-members age 12 months and older, and $12 for seniors.  Members and children under 12 months old get in free.  New and renewal members will be entered into a drawing to win a two-hour private playdate and a variety of other prizes including “Step Into the Future” tee shirts and Family Four Packs.

Masks are required for age 2 and up.  Enhanced cleaning procedures will be undertaken, and advance registration is suggested for members and visitors alike.

Stepping Stones CEO Rhonda Kiest said “All of us at Stepping Stones Museum cannot wait for our community to take this amazing journey into the future with us.   We are thrilled to fully re-open our doors and debut this newest iteration of our wonderful children’s museum.  At Stepping Stones, we believe that the power of play is essential to a child’s pursuit of lifelong learning.  Every day, we’re providing inspirational learning opportunities that motivate children to lead healthy, active and transformative lifestyles.”

More info is at www.steppingstonesmuseum.org or by calling (203) 899-0606, ext. 264.  The Museum is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3).


Riotgames give $10K to Norwalk group

Shatterproof founder Gary Mendell. (Contributed)

Shatterproof, a Norwalk-based addiction recovery advocacy group, is one of 30 nonprofits each getting a $10,000 grant from video game publisher Riot Games’ “Social Impact Fund,” according to a press release.  The 30 recipients were chosen from more than 19,000 organizations worldwide, all of which were nominated by players of Riot Games products such as “League of Legends” and its various spin-offs. Shatterproof had been nominated by a local gamer whose family was affected by addiction.

Shatterproof was founded by Gary Mendell after his substance-addicted son’s tragic death.  The group’s mission according to their website Shatterproof | Reversing the Addiction Crisis in the U.S.  is to remove the stigma associated with addiction and to “treat addiction like the chronic disease it is, offering evidence-based resources for prevention, treatment and recovery.”

The Riot Games player who nominated Shatterproof said “I nominated Shatterproof because of the work they are doing to change the negative perception on addiction and recovery. Losing my oldest brother showed me how many people this impacts and the available options and opportunities to help. Having Riot select them through my submission means the world to me. From being a player for 10+ years this is definitely the highlight of my League career!”

Shatterproof Chief Development Officer Patrick Reedy said, “We are honored to have been chosen as one of Riot Games’ nonprofit partners and are grateful to the player who recognized the opportunity to align the power of the Riot Games community with the important work this gift will help make possible at Shatterproof.  On behalf of the millions of people and families who face addiction every day in this country, we thank the Riot Games team and player community for this generous support, which will help us to educate more people about substance use disorder, direct more people to the best possible treatment options, and reduce the stigma that too often comes with addiction.”

Riot Games’ Social Impact Director Jeffrey Burrell said, “Throughout Riot’s history we’ve seen time and again players come together as one collective community to support the smaller communities they are a part of. I want to give the credit where it’s truly due and that’s to the players. It’s really special when we put out a call like this to players and get such an overwhelming response. We couldn’t do this work without them.”

Historically, Riot Games has donated more than $17 million to nonprofits in over 25 countries.



Thankfulness at the gazebo

“Gratitude on the Green,” a pre-Thanksgiving program of spoken word, poetry, and song proclaiming our community’s shared thankfulness, will be held at the Norwalk Green Gazebo, 8 Park St., on Monday Nov. 22 from 6-7 p.m. according to a press release.  Everyone is invited.

Sponsors of this inter-generational, non-sectarian, fully accessible event include the Norwalk Historical Society, Congregation Beth-El, Cornerstone Community Church, Norwalk River Rowing Association, First Congregational Church on the Green, Human Services Council, and St. Paul’s on the Green Episcopal Church.  First Congregational Church, located across the street from the Green, will serve refreshments after the program, and will house the event in case of inclement weather.


Leave a Reply

Recent Comments