General news

Published on April 8th, 2023 | by Staples Soccer


Laura Blair, Ray Flanigan ’69 Fundraisers: Help Now!

SLaura Blair is one of Staples soccer’s super-fans. She’s there at nearly every game, offering vocal support, brownies, and blankets on cold days.

She’s also one of STAR Lighting the Way‘s biggest boosters.

On Sunday, May 7 — as she’s done since it began — Laura will be part of the 18th annual STAR Walk at Sherwood Island State Park.

It’s a fundraiser for the non-profit, which serves more than 700 area families. They support 11 group homes and 16 apartments so that people with intellectual and developmental differences can live independently. They provide training and job placement for 236 adults, plus intervention services for infants and children.

Last year, Laura raised over $16,000. “Team Laura” was second, out of 30 teams.

You can purchase “stars” ($1 minimum each). Click here, or send a check made out to STAR Inc. to Laura Blair, 58 Woodside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.



Ray Flanigan ’69 was a soccer star at Staples High School. After graduating from Hartwick College, he coached and played on Westport teams. He moved to Bethel, and many Westporters made the trip to the photo shop he owned for decades.

His wife Juleen was a special education teacher, revered throughout the state. A severe concussion, suffered when a large truck smashed into her in 2014, resulted in permanent impairment.

In 2018 she was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. Through fitness, nutrition, proper sleep, music, her faith and assistance from her family and friends, she delayed the disease’s progress.

In November — having difficulty recognizing family members, and needing full time care — she moved into a facility. The cost is $8,200 a month.

A walk on May 13 (11 a.m., Bethel High School track) will raise needed funds. But anyone, anywhere can donate to Juleen’s care. Click here for details.



Laura Blair (right)


Ray Flanigan ’69 and Juleen

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