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Diageo Employees Revitalize STAR Center In Norwalk

The Diageo volunteer group at STAR in Norwalk Photo Credit: Megan Johnson
The Diageo landscaping crew Photo Credit: Megan Johnson
Planting trees, shrubs and flowers at STAR in Norwalk Photo Credit: Megan Johnson
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling with Diageo volunteers on the atrium garden crew and STAR clients Photo Credit: Megan Johnson
Diageo volunteers work on mulching Photo Credit: Megan Johnson

NORWALK, Conn. – More than 100 employees from Diageo North America’s finance team recently undertook a transformational service project at the STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way center in Norwalk.

The project, chosen by Diageo – the world's leading premium drinks business – was selected for the group’s annual community service event and included updates to the entire property.

A client of STAR -- a community resource that creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth -- is employed at the Diageo Norwalk office on Main Avenue through STAR’s competitive employment program. Over the course of the day, the enthusiastic team of Diageo volunteers:

  • Brought in nine tons of gravel and eight tons of stone dust and used them to build wheelchair accessible pathways and patios in the rear and atrium
  • Installed and prepared a vegetable garden and a meditation garden for garden therapy, Garden Club clients and healthy eating classes
  • Repaired and refinished old picnic tables and benches, bringing in wood, cutting and installing the new seats and tabletops
  • Donated patio equipment, meditation benches for gardens and exterior areas
  • Spread over six truckloads of mulch, donated and planted landscaping in the front of the facility to welcome guests and members—including rose bushes, azaleas, snapdragons, flowering trees and more
  • Leveled the back area, laid the pavers and completed a new back deck for clients and donated patio furniture for clients to sit in and enjoy the outdoor setting

“This event was truly transformational for STAR. The energy, enthusiasm, teamwork, productivity and end results were amazing. Our entire STAR family is in awe over the quality and quantity of work accomplished by our Diageo friends; from the massive brick patio with picnic tables and benches to the blooming landscape that welcomes STAR visitors and two deer-proof gardens for garden therapy and healthy eating classes PLUS the tranquil zen garden atrium with meditation benches to be enjoyed year round. It is nothing short of a miracle in our eyes,” said Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR.

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