For the last 13 years, Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol brands in spirits, beer, and wine has held an annual community service event to benefit an assortment of local causes. For the past two years, Diageo's Norwalk, CT-based finance team of over 100 employees helped restore the outdoor environment at the STAR Center in Norwalk, a non-profit organization that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities in mid-Fairfield County, CT and serves over 200 people on a daily basis. The restoration is creating opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice, and personal growth.


Between last year and this year the volunteers undertook the following:

  • Brought in 8 tons of stone dust and 9 tons of gravel to build wheelchair accessible pathways and patios.
  • Installed 2 gardens that are being used for garden therapy and healthy eating classes.
  • Built a serenity garden that features meditation benches in the facility's atrium, which can be enjoyed year-round.
  • Made the front of the facility more welcoming to guests by spreading over 6 truckloads of mulch and planting flowers.
  • Repaired/refinished old picnic tables/benches and built new ones.
  • Donated patio equipment and installed a storage shed.
  • Extended a brick paver handicapped walkway.
  • Constructed a patio around the new STAR greenhouse.
  • Enclosed the new fencing.
  • Created raised beds for a wheel-chair accessible herb, vegetable, and flower garden.

"This event was truly transformational for STAR…the energy, enthusiasm, teamwork, productivity and end results were amazing! Our staff, clients, and guests are in awe over the quality and quantity of work donated by our Diageo friends from the massive brick patio complete with picnic tables and benches, to the ever-blooming landscaping welcoming STAR's visitors at our entrance, to two deer-proof gardens for garden therapy and healthy eating classes, and decorative mulch surrounding our parking areas and building! Top that off with the piece de resistance—a tranquil zen garden atrium with meditation benches to be enjoyed year-round. Nothing short of a miracle in our eyes! WOW!"

~ Katie Banzhaf, STAR Executive Director

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For more information visit, http://www.diageo.com and www.starct.org.

This HooplaHa original video was edited by our intern Blake Rozelle. To see more good news, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.