Greenwich Reindeer Festival to return, Greenwich Lions sell grapefruit and other town news – Greenwich Time

The Putnam Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored members of the community at a ceremony. First Selectman Fred Camillo, at left, offered congratulations tom from left, Molly Kokoruda, Bill Cameron, a Navy veteran and a leading member of the Cos Cob VFW Post 10112 and Winston Rider Mock.
Chabad of Greenwich will hold its fourth annual Menorah lighting on Greenwich Avenue on Dec. 18 to mark the beginning of Hanukkah. Greenwich Avenue is expected to be closed at Arch Street during the ceremony and seats placed there to view the event, pending approval by the town.
The Board of Selectmen is expected to vote on the street closure at its Nov. 22 meeting.
Santa Claus is coming to town — headed right to Sam Bridge Nursery and Greenhouses, 147 North St., in backcountry Greenwich.
Santa and his three live reindeer are expected to arrive on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, kicking off the 14th annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival and Santa’s Workshop, which runs until Christmas Eve day.
Event organizer Tamara Ketler of TMK Event Marketing LLC called the annual festival “the North Pole on North Street.” As has been tradition, visitors will be able to check out Santa’s Workshop inside the store, have photos taken with Santa and meet the three reindeer who will be kept in a secure pen with food, water and shelter.
Inside the workshop, kids will be able to write a letter to Santa, color pictures of the reindeer and take part in the contest to name a baby reindeer.  There is also a raffle for a Mercedes-Benz kids car.
As has also become tradition, people can help out local kids in need by assisting the Kids in Crisis Giving Tree. The Cos Cob-based non-profit is the only area provider of 24/7 services to kids newborn to 18 in crisis because of domestic violence, mental health concerns, homelessness, substance abuse and economic difficulties.
First Selectman Fred Camillo called  the Reindeer Festival “an event that celebrates our community’s holiday spirit.” He praised its work to support Kids in Crisis “while serving to mark the start of the holiday season and foster memories that will last a lifetime.”
A “welcome back” kickoff of the Reindeer Festival is planned to start at noon Nov. 25 when Santa arrives, run until 6 p.m. and continue on Nov. 26 with food trucks and slices of “We’re back” cake from Italiana Foods for the first 150 guests, complimentary hot chocolate from KeyBank, various vendors and giveaways.
Also available: face painting, a balloon artist, miniature horses from Rising Starr Horse Rescue and a performance from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 24 from Bethel resident Kayla Rae, who has competed on The Voice.
The event is being presented by Jenny Allen/Compass Real Estate.
More information will be online at
Putnam Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Bill Cameron, a Navy veteran and a leading member of the Cos Cob VFW Post 10112, and town residents Winston Rider Mock and Molly Kokoruda at a special Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 12.
Cameron, who is the lead speaker at the VFW’s annual observations of Memorial Day and Veterans Day, was given an award for Outstanding Veteran Services; Kokoruda was honored for her work with an award  honoring her Excellence in Volunteer Work in Historic Preservation.
Mock was honored for Outstanding Youth Veteran Services. A student at Brunswick School and a singer-songwriter who has performed everywhere from the Greenwich Town Party to Z100’s Jingle Ball under the name Winston Rider, Mock was cited for his work with Guitars 4 Vets, an organization that provides free guitars and guitar lessons for veterans with the goal of using the healing power of music to benefit them.
Mock had been nominated earlier in the year by the Putnam Hill DAR Chapter in the DAR Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award competition. He was praised by the chapter for using, “his passion for music to directly help afflicted veterans cope with PTSD and other related issues.”
He serves as an ambassador for Guitars 4 Vets and has raised more than $7,000 for the organization.
“Winston exemplifies a wonderful role model for his peers. He is already in a path to be an individual who can make a difference in our world,” Katie Sumner from the chapter wrote in a letter in January.
the Greenwich Lions annual grapefruit sale, a major fundraiser for the groups’ community programs, is underway and will continue until the grapefruit are sold out. Time is limited — the group had only 650 cases when the sales began Nov. 14.
People can purchase the ruby red grapefruits at locations throughout town. Lions members, in their distinct vests, will be selling cases of the fruit at Greenwich Point, at the intersection of Arcadia and Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich, outside the Perrot Memorial Library, at Cos Cob Fire House and at the Holly Hill Resource Recovery Center in Western Greenwich.
The price remains $33 per case. All proceeds support programs in town that benefit residents through health, education and other human services, including Neighbor to Neighbor, Meals on Wheels, Abilis and River House Adult Day Center. They also pay for scholarships for local residents seeking to attend college or university; $3,000 is earmarked for the Lions’ traditional support to help both children and seniors access eye care and glasses.
Greenwich Hospital’s Lions Low Vision Center is maintained by the Greenwich Lions. The group also supports summer camp scholarships for visually impaired youth in town and visits local elementary schools to do vision screenings.
According to Lions Club member Susan Ferris, the generosity of Greenwich donors made it possible for the club to give $20,000 to local causes the past year.
Direct donations to the club can be made by sending a check to the Greenwich Lions Foundation, P.O. Box 130, Old Greenwich, CT, 06870.
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Ken Borsuk has been a reporter for Greenwich Time since 2015 but has been covering Greenwich news since 2000. He has extensively covered local government including the Board of Selectmen, Board of Estimate Taxation and Representative Town Meeting.


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