On Friday, August 23, Sandy Hook Promise accepted a special donation from Kaitlyn Gantert, a sophomore at New Fairfield High School. Neatly tied up with colorful ribbons and tucked into gift bags, Kaitlyn and her mother, Tricia Gantert, delivered 26 lap quilts to the local non-profit healing and advocacy group. The 48 x 30-inch quilts, one for each family directly affected by 12/14, are made up of 15 squares, seven of which are original drawings by first and second grade students at Consolidated Elementary School (CES) in New Fairfield, and one square created by the 23 sponsors of the quilts.
“One more time?” asked Leaps of Faith Disabled Waterski Club President Joel Zeisler.
Calling back from the water where he clung to a ski rope, Avi Golden said, “Two more times. Three more times.” Moments earlier he had managed to lift himself out of a crouch and water ski briefly before the rope slipped his grasp. Excited to have been up on the surf ski after repeatedly losing his balance, Mr Golden was ready to try again. He gave a smile and a thumbs up to Mr Zeisler, who positioned the boat for another run.
Four high school bandmates returned to their first spotlight at the Newtown Teen Center August 16. The Screw Ups — all 2008 Newtown High School graduates — have been enjoying a growing success since then. The band — a ska/jazz/funk/reggae sound — has grown despite distance from one another, and from venues in Boston and Rhode Island. Since graduation they have become popular in the Massachusetts and New England areas. Bass player Kyle Kearney and drummer Dave Manville now live in Boston, while alto sax player Nico Bonvini and guitarist and songwriter Julian Wahlberg live in town.
Only 35 seconds long and with more than 850,000 views, a video of resident Ron Kroha’s English springer spaniels begins with his voice: “Let me see if it’s ready, I’ve got to check…”
Scampering on a hardwood floor and occasionally spinning with excitement are Hope and Rosey. He asks them, “Girls, are you hungry?” They appear eager for their dinner.
Mr Kroha then sings, “It’s ready! It’s dinnertime, it’s dinnertime. Hope and Rosey, want their dinnertime.”
Five Scout’s Angels service dogs wagged their tails outside The Villa restaurant Tuesday afternoon, August 13. They watched as people crossed the parking lot. The dogs and handlers, visiting Newtown from Denver to bring comfort to the community, soon met guests at an outdoor patio.
Sandy Hook Promise representative James Belden said his organization, which formed after 12/14, has helped to arrange venues for the guests, and “get them into the community and get as much exposure as possible.”
On Friday morning, August 9, Dave Ackert, chairman of The Newtown Foundation, and Steve Stuhmer and Geoffrey Schiffenhaus of the Kraft Group Family of Businesses Rand Whitney in Newtown hovered over the design table in the Edmond Road container company’s design room. On the table lay one of eight sculptures that make up the “Meditation On Mourning” installation, recently released by its creator to The Newtown Foundation “so that it can help in our efforts to raise awareness of the impact that gun violence has on families, as well as to aid in the healing and transformational work we do,” said Mr Ackert.