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Letter: Push-n-Pull Parade another success

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk would like to extend sincere gratitude to everyone who made the 10th anniversary of the Push-n-Pull Parade a success. Since its founding in 2005, the Push-n-Pull Parade has become a tradition for many families in Darien and neighboring communities, and we would like to thank the thousands who rode their bikes, wagons and scooters in the parade and attended the events in Tilley Pond Park.

The generous donations collected at the event at Tilley Pond Park will directly benefit the community service programs of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk. We would also like to recognize our parade founders, Nancy Coughlin, Julianna Spain and Carol Huffert. It was their service to the town of Darien and their volunteer work at the YW that gave momentum to this event 10 years ago when the town fireworks were canceled due to a renovation project at Darien High School. Because of their creative thinking, community members could still come together to celebrate this important holiday. Although the fireworks have returned to Darien, thanks to the Darien Firefighters' Foundation,

the Push-n-Pull Parade has

become a beloved tradition in our community.

Most importantly, the YW would like to thank our sponsors for their generous contributions in making this event possible: Title Sponsor William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance; Silver Sponsor The Melting Pot; Bronze Sponsors Allstate, Darien Rowayton Bank, Darien Youth Commission, Vernal's Service Center, Persimmon; Sponsors David M. Osherow, DDS, and Palmer's Market; and In-kind Sponsors Color Guard, Darien Times, Darien Fire Department, Jay & Ray, Mary Ann Hall's Music for Children, New Canaan, Darien & Rowayton Magazine/Moffly Media, Noroton Fire Department, town of Darien, Urstadt Biddle Properties and Whole Foods.

Special thanks go to Joe Warren for his repeated willingness to don the red, white and blue suit as Uncle Sam, no matter what the temperature; First Selectman Jayme Stevenson; representatives from the Board of Selectmen Susan Marks, Kip Hall and Gerry Nielsen Jr.; Representative Terrie Wood; and the town of Darien Parks & Recreation and Police departments.

We would also like to thank those who contributed the many hours of behind-the-scenes work to prepare for this wonderful event: this year's committee members Nancy Coughlin, Deb Papaeconomou, Katherine Samy and Julianna Spain; contest judges Joyce Fredo, Phil Kraft, Juliana Spain and Jeanne Yurman; volunteers Lambros, Olga and Dimitris Papeconomou, Aaron Sears, Matthew, Danny and Issie Coughlin, Louisa Stead, Rob Hengelbrok, Jake Fredo, Caroline Palmer and Viara Radoulova; and the staff at the YW who worked long hours to make the Push-n-Pull Parade possible.

Many thanks to all for another great year.

Heather Cavanagh

Executive director, YWCA Darien/Norwalk

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