The latest installation in the long running Chicken Soup for the Soul collection of books offers stories about hope and miracles, or coincidences, depending on one’s view. Local readers will note two familiar names in the list of contributors: Scarlett Lewis, who lost one of her sons on 12/14, and New Hope Community Church Senior Pastor Jim Solomon. Psychic medium John Edwards, in the book’s foreword, points out that while “miracle” usually creates a vision of something epic — Moses raising his staff in a Cecil B. DeMille movie comes to mind, as does the story of a mother who finds the strength to lift a car off her child — it doesn’t have to be all that mind-blowing to be considered miraculous.
Area nonprofit groups are hoping to hear from regular supporters and new fans when the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) presents its second annual online Day of Giving. FCCF is again collaborating with Bank of America with the 24 hours of online donations.
It is the little nuances that make the difference when biting into a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar made in the United Kingdom versus one made by Hershey’s in the United States, said Lisa Whitmore, who owns UK Gourmet in Newtown, along with husband Nigel, a native of England. Hershey’s has owned the rights to manufacture Cadbury products in the US since 1988, but connoisseurs of the English-made product poo-poo any comparisons. That poo-pooing has turned to boo-hooing recently, though.
It could be an idyllic family scene from any one of many homes in Newtown: three older children clustered about a baby in a bouncy seat, while the fire in the fireplace crackles behind them and the adults chat amicably nearby. This family picture, though, is a special blend of children and adults. One of the adults is Hazel Ricardel-Alquilos, a native of Cebu in the Philippines. The “baby” is her son, Bezalel, such a wisp of a 2-year-old, at just 15 pounds, that it seems one puff of wind outside the door could send his frail form tumbling.
Newtown Kindness honored children for embodying its mission “think kindly, act boldly” during this year’s Annual Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Awards ceremony, held at Edmond Town Hall during the evening of Saturday, February 21. Despite the snowy weather, many attended the event, which was also provided through a live-stream program for viewers to watch. honorees received gifts ranging from tickets to see a Broadway musical to attending a major sports game and a chance to meet their favorite player, along with a donation to a charity of the recipient’s choice, to further support the efforts and programs the honorees believe in.
An unusually extended period of very cold weather has put pressure on plumbing in the area — the kind of pressure that comes from water freezing in pipes. It has been a horrible winter for heating and water systems, said Newtown plumber Pete Wlasuk of Pete’s Plumbing. He has received many more emergency calls regarding frozen pipes this winter than in previous years.
It is one thing to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It is another thing to be an unwilling participant in this winter’s version of that charity challenge, when frozen pipes break and send a deluge of icy water over household possessions. The unusually cold weather that has refused to lift itself off of New England since January has increased the threat of pipes freezing and bursting. Even thoughtful preparation does not always guarantee that homeowners will avoid an unpleasant winter weather experience.