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YWCA Keeps Darien Mom Active, Engaged

DARIEN, Conn. — When Amy Raskopf moved to Darien from New York City in 2002, it was "quite a jolt. It was pretty hard to meet people." After having her first child in 2005, Raskopf "wanted to get connected," so she joined the YWCA .

And she didn't just show up. "I dove in," she says, signing up for a playgroup, Newcomers, wine tasting, gourmet club – "you name it." The following year, Raskopf was invited to become the leader of the playgroup when its leader "graduated."

That was also the year she became involved with the YWCA's spring benefit. "I had been involved with event planning in my job, so it seemed like a good fit," she says. Raskopf joined the auction committee and helped to make revenue-generating functions run smoothly. "The goal of a benefit is to raise awareness but also to raise funds," she says. To that end, Raskopf and her committee have been successful, increasing fundraising by nearly 50 percent in the past year. "That's really significant at a time when people are pulling back from charitable giving and corporate funding is harder to get."

Raskopf became a YWCA board member in 2008 and is its corporate secretary, even after adding a set of twin boys to her family two-and-a-half years ago. "People ask me if I stay in shape by running, and I say, 'No, I chase, and lift,'" she jokes.

The YWCA has played a major role in helping Raskopf integrate family, civic and career, and she sings its praises. "It's a great way to empower women and facilitate working moms by allowing them to connect and share ideas and resources, and learn how to do good things," she says. "It's always been a great bunch of women. Some of my best friends in town are people from the YWCA."

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