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Darien's Ashleigh Banfield of CNN Chairs P2P Benefit

CNN Anchor Ashleigh Banfield is honorary chair and master of ceremonies for the P2P Blues & BBQ Benefit. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Person-to-Person
Committee members Leslie Hueglin (Wilton), Taylor McCall-Mazza (Ridgefield) and Alison de Lavis (Wilton) assemble, address and personalize Blues & BBQ invitations. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Person-to-Person
Keith Lyon, a Blues & BBQ Committee Member who lives in Norwalk, writes personal notes on invitations sent to his friends. Photos courtesy of Person-to-Person. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Person-to-Person

NORWALK, Conn. – Ashleigh Banfield, a CNN anchor, will be acting as honorary chair and master of ceremonies for the Person-to-Person Blues & BBQ benefit from 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 13 at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk.

Banfield, who has covered news stories worldwide, is a resident of Darien, where P2P also has an office, along with the one in Norwalk. She is an active volunteer in the organization -- having worked the reception desk, answered phone, booked casework appointments and welcomed clients.

“We are fortunate to have her support,” P2P Executive Director Ceci Maher said. “Given how busy Ashleigh is with her career, we very much appreciate that she is supporting Person-to-Person and college students in such a hands-on manner.”

The Blues & BBQ event will be a casual affair, with cocktails, dinner and dancing, with blue jeans welcome. Proceeds will benefit the P2P Scholarship Program.

“From the very beginning, P2P recognized the need to go beyond the basics of food, clothing and shelter to achieve our mission,” Maher said. “We need to help provide opportunity for people living in poverty and the best way to do that is through higher education.”

For more than 46 years, P2P has awarded college scholarships to students from low-income households. In 1968, a single mother received $25 per semester from the organization, and in the upcoming year, 139 students will be given a total of $340,000.

“P2P has funded $3.6 million in scholarships for nearly 2,000 students in the last 10 years alone,” Maher said. “And more than 78 percent of the scholarship recipients are first-generation college students.”

Some Things Fishy Catering will provide authentic barbecue with cocktails and dinner, and The Erik Deutsch Trio will play music during hors d’oeuvres, followed by Booga Sugar playing dance music after dinner.

“Our committee has invested a great deal of time and effort in planning an event that promises to be a lot of fun,” Maher said.

Tickets are $150 and are available at the website at, or can be purchased by calling Development Officer Kat DiCerto at 203-621-0696.

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