Fairfield County Leadership Council

A photo of members in the Fairfield County Leadership Council smiling.

Council Members (left to right): Dr. Jennifer Gruen, Joan Curran, Sheila Sullivan, Joan Panagos, Bernie Park, Debbie Prister, Anne Troxell, Ann Marie Miles (Save the Children), Kristana Esslinger and Mary Leffel (Save the Children).
Not pictured: Lauri Altman Posner, Sheila Clancy, and Barbara Kleban

For more information about the Fairfield County Leadership Council contact:
Ann Marie Miles
Senior Director, Individual Philanthropy
Save the Children

Our Mission

The Fairfield County Leadership Council (FCLC) represents a group of philanthropic leaders who are taking the initiative in building greater awareness and support in Fairfield County Connecticut. We anticipate that council members will demonstrate their commitment to Save the Children's mission - our mission - to ensure every child in the United States and around the world grows up healthy, educated and protected from harm.

Our Vision

Our council members bring special talents and participate in ways that make them the most effective toward achieving our goals. We encourage our members to introduce Save the Children to potential supporters and future council members in Fairfield County who could expand and enhance Save the Children’s ability to fulfill its mission.

We invite our council members to identify Save the Children as one of their own philanthropic priorities. In particular, we ask members to consider the impact of annual giving for the boys and girls who need our help. This could be a family philanthropy initiative and leadership opportunity with teen participation in the Fairfield County Youth Council and or in school clubs.

We encourage council members to visit our field programs to see our work for children first-hand. We also encourage members to attend council meetings and consider hosting or co-hosting a Save the Children salon event or council meeting in their home. Finally, we look forward in sharing a rewarding experience of friendship, philanthropy and fun!

Our Focus

The FCLC anchors our focus within the Save the Children organization’s mission and priorities. In the last two years we have focused on education with support of Early Childhood Development and Return to Learning programs. New focus areas we support include maternal and reproductive health, and gender equality. We adapt to changing needs of children and mobilize quickly when emergencies strike at home or in other countries. For example, in 2017, we held a pop-up event benefitting victims of Hurricane Maria.

Fairfield County Leadership Council

A group of Fairfield County Leadership Council members smiling at a Save the Children event.

Bernadette “Bernie” Park- Chair
Joan Curran
Trish Demaras
Kristana Esslinger
Sandra Frost
Barbara Kleban
Jill McGrath
Joan Panagos
Jennifer Platek
Debbie Prister
Sheila Sullivan
Anne Troxell

Anne Bigin
Sheila Clancy
Jen Gruen
Cindy Johnston
Michelle Lavelle
Jen Lubarsky
Lauri Altman Posner
Caroline Wetzel

Events and Field Trips

Fairfield County Leadership Council member smiling with a group of children.

February 9, 2019 - A Night at Studio 54, Suzuki Music Hall, Westport, CT

The Fairfield County Leadership Council kicked off Save the Children’s Centennial year with a night of fun and dancing, with music provided by Band Together. Proceeds supported Save the Children’s Centennial Campaign.

May 1, 2019 - Huntington Country Club. Huntington, NY; 6:30-9:00pm (Hosted by Long Island Council)
Tara Westover will speak about her incredible book Educated and our moderator will be Cokie Roberts. Tickets, limited amount still available, contact Susie Futter at stclipres@gmail.com.

May 9, 2019 - Burning Tree Country Club, Greenwich; 6:30-8:30 pm (Hosted by Greenwich Leadership Council) Melissa Fleming will speak about her best-selling novel A Hope More Powerful than the Sea. Tickets are available at www.savethechildren.org/Greenwich-event.

May 17, 2019 - Forced from Home, Grace Farms, New Canaan; 7:30-9:00pm
Grace Farm’s monthly community dinner precedes this conversation, a conversation about the global refugee crisis with panelists Anne Richards, Asst. Secretary of State of Population, Refugees and Migration, Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigration (CIRI) CEO - Claudia Connor, and Save the Children - Casey Harrity.

September 5, 2019- Vintage Garden, Fairfield; 10:00am-7:00pm

Our favorite local store, Vintage Garden, hosted a shopping day for Save the Children, with raffle prizes and refreshments throughout the day. They donated 15% of all sales proceeds to Save the Children’s mission.

November 21, 2019- Vintage Garden, Fairfield; 10:00am-7:00pm

Vinatge Garden stepped up again for us with another day of shopping. Shoppers enjoyed special offers for local Brick Walk restaurants as well as raffle prizes and refreshments throughout the day. On this day, 20% of all sales proceeds went to Save the Children's mission. 

FCLC 2018 Year in Review

FCLC 2017 Year in Review

For more information or to RSVP please email:

Fairfield County Youth Council

Photo of Fairfield County Leadership Youth Council members in Save the Children's Connecticut office.

The Fairfield County Youth Council (FCYC) is a group of teens from surrounding towns in Fairfield county committed to help change the lives of children in the United States and around the world. They participate in advocacy programs, local fundraising and educate fellow students through high school clubs and other local community groups. This past spring, members from the Youth Council travelled to D.C. to participate in the Save the Children’s Advocacy Summit where they met with Congressman Jim Himes and other student ambassadors.

Expectations for FCYC Teen Membership

  • Attend 3 student ambassador meetings per year
  • Participate in annual fundraising event planned by the ambassadors
  • Participate/implement one Advocacy ACTION individually or with other students
  • Try to form, continue or revive a Save the Children club at your school
  • Further details and application to join can be found here

For more information please contact:
Bernie Park, FCLC Chair

Get Involved


  • Participate in our community outreach, education and fundraising events
  • Tell your schools, organizations and community groups about Save the Children and encourage them to participate in our events
  • Organize events within your company or organization to support Save the Children through the FCLC
  • Spread awareness about Save the Children’s work to improve the lives of children in a sustainable way
  • Volunteer to be a leadership council partner
  • Volunteer to be a Junior Council member
    • STC Teen Ambassadors
    • Form Clubs at their schools – Grades 8-12
    • Learn about STC’s programs
    • Plan, attend and participate in 3 quarterly meetings and 1 annual Youth Council fundraising event (i.e. Dodgeball event)
  • Volunteer to be a Young Patrons member


  • Become an Event Sponsor


Ways to Give



We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add support@savechildren.org to your contact list.