On its 45th annual jUNe day, set for next Saturday, the Town of Westport will welcome United Nations staff and diplomats for an informal day of recreation and celebration in honor of the signing of the United Nations Charter on June 26, 1945.
Each year on the last Saturday of June, between 300 and 350 visitors from the UN enjoy the best Connecticut has to offer: a casual setting, the Long Island Sound, sports and camaraderie. A welcome breakfast and brief opening ceremony will begin the day, and then the guests will disperse to play golf, tennis, soccer, and baseball; explore Earthplace, the nature center, and take a walking tour of Westport led by the Westport Historical Society.
The United Nations Association and International Visitors Committee of Southwestern Connecticut sponsor jUNe Day. The promotion of World Peace and international understanding is reinforced through friendship, both for the visitors and their hosts. Families representing countries from across the globe will have the opportunity to interact with residents.
The public is invited to participate in the following events:
10:00 a.m.: Opening Ceremony at Saugatuck Elementary School
Michael Adlerstein, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan for the renovation of the UN Headquarters complex in New York City, will attend the ceremony. Prior to accepting his UN appointment in 2007, he had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Department of the Interior, including service as Project Director for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Also attending: Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, Under-Secretary General and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who will introduce Adlerstein and deliver the Secretary-General's message for jUNe Day. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will welcome the visitors at Saugatuck elementary with Bill Hass, President of the UN Association (UNA-USA), Southwest Connecticut Chapter. Michaela MacColl, jUNe Day Chairperson, will brief guests on the day's activities.
10:45 (over30) and 12:00 (under 30) -- Soccer matches
Over the past five years, Westport has won three matches; and the United Nations has triumphed in the last two. Those interested in playing should meet at the Saugatuck School soccer field. Play in a pick-up soccer game for all ages and both genders. Bring cleats, shin guards, a dark shirt and a white shirt, water and be ready for some fun play.
11:30 -- Town Walking tour – Westport Historical Society
Join a guided walking tour of the town and reception at 11:30 at the Westport Historical Society at 25 Avery Place. Take this opportunity to meet with UN guests. The public is encouraged to participate and to promote peace and collaborative solutions to global problems simply by sharing in this day of relaxation and goodwill. Volunteers are needed for set-up, food-preparation and decorations. Photographers are needed at all venues, and servers are needed to serve both breakfast and lunch.
"Tour guides" will ride along in busses to point out interesting sites, and hospitality volunteers are needed at the tennis courts and pool at Longshore. For those who like to pitch in behind the scenes, a clean up crew is also needed. Individuals, groups and families are welcome. All food and refreshments for the day have been provided by local businesses and by the UN Association and International Visitors Committee of Southwestern Connecticut.
To volunteer, call Barbara Jay at (203) 226-1710. For more information, contact Michaela MacColl at (203) 227-9461 or Bill Hass at (203) 454-7685.