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Co-Worker Inspires Volunteers From Wilton's Louis Dreyfus Co. To Help STAR

Louis Dreyfus Company volunteers with STAR day services client Trish Photo Credit: Contributed
Vegetable garden crew with STAR client Trish Photo Credit: Contributed
Working on the vegetable garden Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. — Eight college interns and employees from Louis Dreyfus Co. in Wilton recently undertook a transformational service project at the STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way center in Norwalk. 

STAR is a nonprofit organization that has provided services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Mid-Fairfield County since 1952. 

The student interns hail from colleges such as Yale University, Notre Dame University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Connecticut. 

This initiative was selected for the interns’ community service project and included updates to the STAR Center property, including landscaping, weeding and mulching of landscaped gardens, vegetable and flower gardens; updating back areas; and finishing the pack patio with wheelchair-accessible pathways and more. 

The volunteers chose this project because of the opportunity to restore the outdoor environment of STAR. 

A client of STAR, Robert Trost, is employed at the Louis Dreyfus Co. office in Wilton through STAR’s competitive employment program. 

“We were looking for a community impact project for the summer for our interns, as they will be on the trading floor following this" training period, said Marley Marcinczyk, Project Co-Manager. 

Don Thinschmit, Project Co-Manager, agreed. “When Marley identified this opportunity, it seemed like a perfect fit. … One of our colleagues is a member of STAR. He’s a resident of a STAR group home and participates in the employment program and other recreational programs. We wanted to do a community service project that would help out.” 

Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR, was thrilled with the project. “We are very appreciative of the hard work of these interns, and of our long-term relationship with Louis Dreyfus Co.," Banzhaf said. "This project means a great deal to everyone at STAR and the facility looks fantastic. We are also very proud of our participant, Robert Trost, who has worked there over 20 years.” 

Louis Dreyfus Co. is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods globally. The company helps to feed and clothe 500 million people, originating, processing, merchandizing and transporting 81 million tons of commodities annually. 

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not-for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. 

STAR provides services in Norwalk, New Canaan, Wilton, Weston, Westport and Darien.

For more information, visit its website at

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