Pancake supper Tuesday night to benefit SafeRides of Ridgefield

Rev. Whitney Altopp
Rev. Whitney Altopp

SafeRides of Ridgefield will hold its annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner on March 5 at the St. Stephen's Church North Hall, 351 Main St., from 5 to 8 p.m. The dinner, which is open to the public, is SafeRides’s main fundraising event for the year. In addition to traditional pancakes and bacon, the menu will include healthier options. Although there is no set charge for the dinner, donations will be appreciated.

The Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector of St. Stephen’s, expressed pride in the church’s historical connection with SafeRides. “Our relationship began more than 20 years ago.” she said. “I remember when a mother called the church to thank us for hosting SafeRides, because it meant that her daughter got home safely that weekend.”

SafeRides has provided thousands of confidential safe rides home – no questions asked - to the youth of Ridgefield for some 25 years. Each year approximately 200 high school students volunteer to provide this important service to their peers. Although the program has a team of adult advisors, it is essentially run by student volunteers. Support and training are provided by Officer Fernando Luis, a Ridgefield Police Department member and Ridgefield High School (RHS) Resource Officer, and Chief Jerry Myers of the Ridgefield Fire Department. According to Chief Myers, “Since SafeRides has been in operation, we have not had a serious accident involving teen drivers during the hours that SafeRides operates. If there was no other reason to support the program, that fact alone would be enough, but there are many more.” Please see

The adult advisors acknowledge the support of Heather Neumann Salaga, Stefanie Westwrick, Josh Kilbourn, and Chris Sexton of Hoo Doo Brown BBQ. They also acknowledge the commitment of RHS students who are team captains: Eleanor Andresen, Yohann Britto, Emma Brody, Jack Dowd, Dylan Flood, Arden Grant, Cate Irving, Bianca Labuschagne, Claire Middlebrook, Sophie Reale, James St. Pierre, Caitlin Slaminko, Clay Vaughan and Quentin Vergara.