Agreements have been reached among members of the Great Newtown Reunion Committee, Hook & Ladder Fire Company No. 1, and Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, with each of the fire companies heading up separate catering responsibilities for the gathering July 27 at Fairfield Hills.
According to event spokesperson Wendy Lee Hewitt, organizers are continuing to solicit the attendance of all Newtown school system alumni, their families, the school system staff and faculty (past and present), Board of Education members, and administrative staff. Organizers told The Newtown Bee last month that the idea for the reunion came about after 12/14, when many people started to reconnect through social media and expressed a desire to return to Newtown. Billed as an “all-classes inclusive” homecoming, the event is open to anyone ever involved with the local public or private school system. Those planning the event hope that everyone attending will keep those affected by the terrible event close at heart while celebrating all the things that make Newtown and its residents great.
Ms Hewitt told The Newtown Bee that advance ticket sale details will be announced soon, and she reminds potential guests that no tickets will be available the day of the event.
“The volunteers of Newtown Hook & Ladder will be hard at work when the reunion kicks off on the morning of July 27, preparing their famous grills for the thousands of burgers and hot dogs that will be sold to reunion guests,” she said in an e-mail April 24. “The menu may also include sweet Connecticut corn, all order of summer salads, and possibly watermelon.”
As the late afternoon approaches, Newtown Hook & Ladder personnel will switch places with their Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue counterparts, who will then prepare lobsters and steak for the second phase of the daylong event.
While several acts have expressed interest in providing live entertainment at the event, the committee is asking any musicians interested in offering their talents to contact organizers as soon as possible for consideration. The committee can be reached at 305-851-5150.
“The committee continues to urge all area businesses and Newtown-area alumni to embrace this healing reunion, and to consider becoming a sponsor or patron,” Ms Hewitt said. “The hard costs for items like the large tent, the tables and chairs, the event insurance, generators, lighting, sound system, security, shuttle buses and more, will be covered by admission tickets.”
She said some alumni are reporting that they will be traveling back to Newtown from all over the globe, many of them bringing their families.
“The Reunion Committee is dedicated to keeping the admission price as low as possible, and is asking local folks to consider how they may assist,” Ms Hewitt said. “Maybe an individual or a local company could donate paper goods, help underwrite food and refreshments, lavatories, event lighting, tent decorations, printed event programs, signage.”
Persons and companies assisting the reunion will be acknowledged in all related articles, programs, and advertisements. The reunion website (www.GreatNewtownReunion.org) contains all details needed to donate funds or items to the cause.
Area pubs, restaurants, and shops are also encouraged to plan ahead for the busy week and weekend that alumni will be in town. Some are discussing meal specials for alumni and have already starting accepting reservations for groups of classmates.
The Friday evening before the reunion and the Sunday after will see many graduating classes holding meet-ups at local establishments, with some classes already in touch with the management of these businesses, Ms Hewitt said.
Interested businesses are invited to provide the committee with specific information that can be included on the reunion website, or businesses can e-mail their reunion-related information to GreatNewtownReunion@gmail.com.
The Reunion Website includes a Wish List for residents to consider. Loans of floor fans are urgently needed, as are fire-resistant tents and canopies, waterproof tarps of any size and shape or color, golf carts for security personnel, large power generators, extension cords, carpet remnants, large commercial-grade rubber floor mats, even old couches (for the entertainers to use while they wait to perform).
Ms Hewitt said the event carries insurance and will carefully photograph and catalog all loaned items.
The committee is also asking local alumni to consider providing a “free bedroom offer” to out-of-town visitors, or offer to pick up friends at regional airports.
“The website blog is a great place to post your offers of assistance,” she suggested.