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At Darien Shop, Giving Back is in the Genes

Three decades ago, Darien Sport Shop bought Darien EMS Post 53 its first ambulance. Last year, the store held a semi-annual shopping event to help raise hundreds of dollars for the organization, store President Gina Zangrillo says.

“I learned from my father that giving back is very important," said the New Canaan resident. "We’re happy that we’re able to do it.”

The 66-year-old family business is the title sponsor for the town’s Fourth of July fireworks display and the NFL Alumni Charity Golf Classic held annually at the Country Club of Darien. It is also a regular contributor to the Push-n-Pull Parade at the YWCA of Darien/Norwalk.

Zangrillo says her approach to philanthropy mirrors the way she owns and operates the store, which sells everything from sunglasses to ski equipment. “If we’re going to sponsor an event, we want to make it the best it can be. We’re going to do it the Darien Sport Shop way."

Zangrillo and her team also lend support to organizations such as David’s House Inc. and a variety of children’s charities. In September, Darien Sport Shop will raise awareness of the blood disorder, Immune Thrombocytopenic Porpura, or ITP, by sponsoring the ITP Foundation’s ITPMan Triathlon and ITPKIDS Duathlon.

The Darien Sport Shop has become a community “anchor” over the years, Zangrillo says. That’s why it has even more of a responsibility to give back locally, she says.

“We do it for no other reason than we love to,” she said of her company's commitment to community service.

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