The Darien Men’s Association (DMA) is “dedicated to good fellowship, community service, and fun.” Membership in the DMA is open to all men residing in Darien and the surrounding towns, aged 50 or over. If you are interested in the activities and objectives of the DMA and want to join please contact John Podkowsky, Chairman of the Membership & Hospitality Committee, on telephone number 203-329-8181 or by email at Jpod912@aol.com.
The DMA meets weekly on most Wednesdays from early September to early June. The exceptions occur when there are conflicts with holidays. Each meeting features a program speaker and the DMA is known for the quality of its speakers. Past speakers have spoken on variety of subjects such as military history, advances in medical technology, the recent financial meltdown and numerous historical figures such as Mark Twain and P. T. Barnum. Notable past speakers include Scott Pelley of CBS News and 60 minutes fame; Bill Scheft, comedy writer for David Letterman; Fay Vincent former Commissioner of Major League Baseball; George Bodenheimer, the Executive Chairman of ESPN; Governor Malloy and Congressman Jim Himes. Popular local choral groups also entertain at times.
The meetings are held at the historic Darien Community Association Meadowlands Estate located at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien CT. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has an exquisite Regency Style Mansion and boasts sumptuous gardens, a greenhouse, kissing garden and serene bird sanctuary. The original house, a Victorian Mansion, was built in the late 1800’s and has recently been renovated and charmingly appointed in old world style.
The meeting session begins with pastries, coffee and tea available at 9:45 a.m. followed by the business meeting from 10:00 a.m. to around 10:25 a.m. After a short break for more refreshments and socializing the Program Speaker is on the agenda from 10:45 a.m. until noon.
The DMA also provides a wide variety of activities for member participation. The list includes a barbershop group, a book club, bowling, bridge, computers, genealogy, golf, hiking, paddle tennis, tennis, walks in New York City, a weekly dining group and woodworking. There are also two annual social events for members and their invited guests. One is a Christmas Season Cocktail Party held at the DCA and a Summer Picnic held at Weed Beach Park in Darien. Members are also encouraged to form new group activities when there is sufficient interest.
In addition, several times each year the DMA organizes day-trips by bus for members and invited guests. Past trips have been to beautiful gardens, museums, theaters, sporting events, grand estates, and historic sites in the tri-state area. Typically the trips also include lunch at a nice restaurant.
The DMA also has a Community Service Committee that is responsible for working with other town organizations to help make the Darien Community a better place to live. This committee organizes the DMA participation in the Town of Darien’s Memorial Day Parade, the Town of Darien spring cleanup and repair the Christmas lights for the Town of Darien. In addition, many DMA members are active in other Town of Darien community service organizations.
The DMA was founded in 1977 as an affiliate of the Darien YMCA. In November 2002, in order to obtain more space, the DMA became affiliated with the Darien Community Association (DCA) and moved to the historic DCA location at 274 Middlesex Road in Darien. In May, 2013, SMA officially changed its name to the Darien Men’s Association.