‘Rays of Sunshine’: Norwalk, New Canaan Student-Athletes Earn Kelly Devine Awards

College-bound seniors from Norwalk and New Canaan High Schools have earned awards created to honor the memory of a recently deceased teacher and swim coach beloved by both communities. Kelly Devine, Norwalk native and cherished New Canaan teacher, passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness in April 2016. She had graduated from Norwalk High School in 1997, where she was captain of the girls’ swim team and ranked fourth in her class. Kelly obtained her bachelor’s degree in English and education from the College of William and Mary. Always proud to be from Norwalk, she added a new element to her identity over the 13 years that followed: She became a teacher infinitely proud of her students and the work communities at Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School.

New Canaan Veterinary Hospital Launches ‘After Hours Urgent Care’ for Clients

Saying they want to ease pet owners’ minds, officials at a local veterinary hospital are expanding hours and services to meet their clients’ emergency needs. The ‘After Hours Urgent Care’ service at New Canaan Veterinary Hospital will see veterinarians on call through 11 p.m., seven days per week, to advise and care for injured or ill pets after the Vitti Street facility is closed. Spearheaded by chief veterinarian Dr. Paul Potenza, a New Canaan resident, the new service is for established clients of the business only, and those clients will incur no additional costs for emergency treatments, he said. “Most emergencies that people are concerned about don’t require round-the-clock care, and they see a problem in the evening when they get home from work,” Potenza told NewCanaanite.com. “People want to fix it and not worry all night.

Dr. Harrison Pierce Retires After 42 Years in New Canaan

On his last day as a pediatrician in New Canaan, Dr. Harrison Pierce said he saw a large number of children, four of whom were “second-generation” patients. Yet within hours of retiring, Pierce’s daughter Tara Clough—a 1993 New Canaan High School graduate—called to ask him to check on her own daughter, who had been sick that very night. “I thought to myself, ‘Am I really not going to be caring for sick children anymore?’ ” Dr. Pierce said. “It’s a change, but that showed me I still have things to do.”

A fixture since 1975 at the East Avenue doctors’ practice known today as the New Canaan Medical Groups, Dr. Pierce has served as primary care physician to generations of local kids, forging bonds with families here and, through his office as well as wider community involvement, leaving an indelible mark on the town. A New York City native who earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1965 and medical degree from the University of Rome in 1970, Pierce completed his internship, residency and fellowship at New York Medical College and came to New Canaan in 1975.

First ‘Run with the Law’ Coming to New Canaan This Spring

New Canaan law enforcement officials are calling on town residents to participate in a new fundraiser for a cause that police here have supported in other ways for more than 30 years—Special Olympics of Connecticut. According to New Canaan Police Officer Ron Bentley, plans are underway to hold an inaugural 5K ‘Run with the Law’ at Waveny in the spring. The project is in its “infancy stages,” he said. “Athletes depend on sponsorships to compete [in the Special Olympics],” Bentley told NewCanaanite.com. “Last year, the event was held in Los Angeles.

‘We Like To Celebrate Everything’: Special Church at First Presbyterian

Every Thursday for the past 29 years, Jassinia Mysogland has arrived at First Presbyterian Church on Oenoke Ridge Road for a unique experience featuring parties, crafts, snacks, music and most of all—friendship. Last week, Mysogland joined fellow members of a program called ‘Special Church’ in celebrating New Year’s and a birthday, as well as the return of Cathy Newman, a former co-leader visiting from California. Program director Nancy Reichart said with a smile, “We like to celebrate everything.”

Approaching its 30th anniversary this year, Special Church was founded by parents of special needs children and adults seeking an “alternative church experience,” Reichart said. With 16 members hailing from New Canaan and surrounding towns, Reichart calls First Presbyterian Church “the best place to be on a Thursday afternoon.”

Because all of its current members are Christians, Special Church is considered ecumenical, she said, though it absolutely would welcome and accommodate people of different faiths. Thursday’s 2.5-hour program got off to its typically measured start, with members trickling in to mingle, read aloud a “reading of the week,” and complete a New Year’s-themed craft.