Emmy Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Maria Shriver has spent decades uncovering and sharing important stories. She revealed some stories of her own—what she’s learned about living a happy and productive life—at the 2018 Center for HOPE Luncheon. News 12 Connecticut Health Reporter Gillian Neff moderated a discussion with Shriver on issues from therapy to life as a member of the famed Kennedy family, and being a former First Lady of California. Her new book, “I’ve Been Thinking…” informed the conversation. “Sometimes people think that in a setting like this you don’t have any problems,” Shriver told the audience at the Country Club of Darien.  “I’ve met a lot of successful businessmen and business women who are really miserable, who have no concept of how to deal with emotional pain, no concept of how to deal with failure, and completely warped concepts of power and success. Being able to talk about grief and stuff that happens is a really great ability.”

The 2018 Center for HOPE Luncheon was co-chaired by Lauren Caffray, Jan Dilenschneider and Dr. Nancy Fazzinga and raised more than $110,000. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids, Family Centers’ programs offering counseling and support to residents of lower Fairfield County coping with a loss, a critical illness or life-altering circumstance. Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 200 professionals and 2,500 trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs.

Photographs by Elaine Ubina