Darien Soundings

Dear Darien,

Congratulations to the 3 recipients of the Raymond F. Gates Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund!

Alexander DeCastro (pictured at left) graduated from Darien High School and will attend Georgetown University in the fall to study business and healthcare. He wants to get into public policy and believes business and government can work together to affect positive change. Active in Darien's DECA Business Club, he and his team have qualified 3 times for the DECA International Development Conference. Alexander was on the varsity tennis team and a member of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Alexander is the son of REALTOR Robyn DeCastro of Houlihan Lawrence.

Alexander Peters (pictured at right) graduated from Rye Country Day School in June. He will attend Wake Forest University to major in biology, health and society along with a business minor. For the last 3 years, he has been interning for a doctor at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY and has been focused on kidney disease education and prevention. Among other things, he looked at the causes of recurring issues among patients and developed educational materials in various languages. He also raised funds and assisted in the design of a patient pre-transplant mobile app with multiple language options. He believes in the need to bring equal access and quality care to all Americans and wants to be part of that change. Alexander is the son of Astrid Peters, a REALTOR with Brown Harris Stevens.

Shannon Kelly (not pictured) currently attends Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business. Despite her freshman year being entirely virtually, Shannon has been able to maintain her academic performance while dealing with the challenges of off-campus apartment living. Shannon was an Advanced Academic/Academic Award winner, receiving high honors throughout most of her high school career. She was inducted into the Cum Laude Society during her senior year. She is now part of the Eta Nu Chapter of Kappa Gamma Sorority. Shannon is the daughter of Designated REALTOR, Jeffrey Kelly of Houlihan Lawrence.

Learn more about the scholarship here.


If you’re an author looking for a bigger platform, a plan for your upcoming launch, or advice to get you unstuck, Nancy Sheed of Sheed Communications can help! Sheed is a Darien resident, whose goal is to help authors, writers, and entrepreneurs be seen, found, and heard by their target audience! Sheed is also a proud advisory board member at HAVYN -- the co-working space in Darien!

Learn more about Nancy here.



Darien Sport Shop has styles for the whole family. They feature designer clothing, accessories, gifts, and sports equipment. Celebrating its 75th year, Darien Sport Shop has been serving Darien residents with high quality products since 1946. Whether you’re looking for a ping pong table, a new polo, shoes, or sports equipment, Darien Sport Shop is sure to have exactly what you need. Visit them at 1127 Post Road in Darien. They offer curb-side pickup or delivery.

Visit them online to shop.



Barvida. is Darien’s newest organic and plant-based cafe. With a passion for healthy living and food that soothes the soul, Darien High School graduate Brennan Branca opened Barvida. last fall. Barvida. offers cold pressed juices, superfood smoothies, wellness shots, a gourmet coffee bar and elixirs, and smoothie bowls. Don’t miss out on all that Barvida. has to offer!

Summertime makes smoothie bowls taste that much better, so come visit Barvida. at 879 Post Road or see the full menu on their website.



Congratulations to the Darien High School class of 2021!! You did it! All of Darien is so proud of everything that you have accomplished. Good luck, we can't wait to see what your future holds for you.



Caffè Nero coffee with a conscience. Caffè Nero opened in Darien in December 2018 and has been providing quality coffee ever since. With a friendly feel, and baristas that treat you like family, you might think it couldn't get any better, but it can and does. Caffè Nero started a donation fund called The Nero Foundation. This foundation donates proceeds to aid farmers and their families in impoverished places. From fresh water campaigns to building schools, Caffè Nero is leaving a positive and lasting impression on a place that needs it the most.

The most recent place to be affected by Caffè Nero's goodwill is La Esmerelda in Nicaragua. During a coffee week in the United Kingdom, Caffè Nero raised enough money to provide five schools in the La Esmeralda region with clean water. As Caffè Nero continues to grow, it continues to help. That's why you can be sure that when you grab a drink from Caffè Nero, you’re enjoying a conscious coffee.

Visit them at 1071 Boston Post Road, Darien. View their menu here.

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    Darien Board of Realtors®

    5 Brook Street, Suite 2-D

    Darien, CT 06820

    (203) 655-3700 info@darienboard.com