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Those who have this coming Monday, November 11, off in honor of Veterans Day, are welcome to attend the Veterans Day ceremony at the VFW Post 108, on Tinkerfield Road. The ceremony begins at 11 am, and is expected to last about an hour. Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra will be the guest speaker.

Golden Opportunities, in Sandy Hook, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the well-being of those who are isolated and lonely, invites all veterans to the Sandy Hook Diner, 98 Church Hill Road, Monday morning, November 11, for free coffee and doughnuts. From 10 to 11 am, Knettie Archard, founder of Golden Opportunities, along with staff from the diner, will welcome veterans for a coffee break in honor of Veterans Day.

In a video posted on November 3 to the Great Pumpkin Challenge of Newtown Facebook page, NHS student Mackenzie Page thanked everyone for stepping up to her challenge to carve a pumpkin and drop it off with a $5 donation, for display at her home on Main Street. In the video, Mackenzie announced 172 pumpkins were collected and $4,589 was raised through the effort for The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, Paul Newman’s nonprofit organization for seriously ill children. I scuttled between the legs of thousands of trick or treaters on Main Street, Halloween night, just to see the spectacle of all those pumpkins glowing in the Page’s front yard. I hope you had a chance to see them, too, because it was honestly the best treat of the night.

Members of Catherine’s Peace Team were in Rochester, N.Y., last Friday, for the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon. Hosted by The Association of Fundraising Professionals — Genesee Valley Chapter, the November 1 event was at Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Team members were joined by Jack Sullivan, a 9-year-old from Brighton, N.Y., and a cousin of the late Catherine Hubbard, one of the children killed 12/14. Led by Jack, the team has collected more than $75,000 to contribute to The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, through the sales of knitted items and presentations to a wide variety of organizations. Jack and Catherine’s Peace Team were honored with The Outstanding Youth Volunteer Fundraiser-Group Award, which recognizes service by a group of young people between the ages of 5 and 18 who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering, and leadership in fundraising.

Should you go, or should you not? I think a lot of people driving through the Plaza South on Route 25 might be scratching their heads when they come upon this confusing stencil on the driveway. Jane Campbell was so kind as to send us this photo that indicates drivers should “Move forward.” No, wait — not too far! STOP! Makes me wonder if the painter didn’t take an extended lunch at nearby Pub 25 before completing the task…

Bruce Herring and John Lorenzo stopped by this week to share some photos from the mid-1940s and reminisce about their high school days at Hawley School. On the way out, Bruce generously offered to leave us his copy of the 1948 yearbook, The Bugle, a lucky thing for The Bee. It turns out that 1948 was one year missing from our collection. A big “Thank you!” goes out to Bruce!

The Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company Ladies Auxiliary will host an open house, Tuesday, November 12, at 7 pm, at the main station, 18-20 Riverside Road. Members will introduce themselves and explain their role at the fire company. Reservations are not necessary, but additional information is available from Laurie Comerford at 203-948-4804. The auxiliary supports firefighters in the event of large fires and other community emergencies, including respite care. The group does fundraising and participates in firehouse events. Membership is open to all, 19 and older. Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month, at 7 pm.

I stumbled across this tidbit on the Cyrenius H. Booth Library Facebook page, “We are so excited! Thanks to the reconfiguring of some old shelves Ralph and Eric found in the attic, we now have a new expanded area for new adult fiction and mystery titles. This means more new books!” And just when cold weather and holiday breaks are right around the corner, with more time for reading. Purr-fect, if I say so myself.

Marilyn Alexander, along with Peg Forbell and Emi Lydem, baked up ten of the Mardi Gras “king cake” confections, complete with little plastic babies (put on top of each cake instead of baked within, a slight deviation from the tradition of baking the plastic cherub into each cake), for a shrimp boil hosted by Newtown Congregational Church on November 2. She did this in spite of the fact that someone else should have been baking a cake for her. Marilyn’s birthday was last Saturday, but she said she was happy to be sharing her birthday with her extended church family. Once the diners were reminded by Reverend Matt Crebbin of the significance of the day, Marilyn was serenaded by the crowd of approximately 175 happy revelers… in between bites of cake, that is. I just hope Rev Matt hummed a few bars to himself — he celebrated a birthday November 1. (All Saints Day, appropriately enough!)

Most of us can be thankful for bountiful lives, but others are struggling. All-Star Transportation bus drivers will sponsor a Stuff-A-Bus event at the Stop & Shop in Sand Hill Plaza, this Saturday, from 8 am until 5 pm. Donations of all food items are welcome, and will go to fill the shelves at the town food pantry at Social Services, South Main Street.

In two weeks, it will be time for the annual Fill The Fire Truck Food Drive. Members of all five of Newtown’s fire companies participate in this event to fill the shelves and freezers of FAITH Food Pantry just before Thanksgiving. Hawleyville, Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook members will be outside Big Y, Saturday, November 24, from 9 am to 2 pm, receiving donations of food and finances from residents. During those same hours, members of Botsford and Dodgingtown will be stationed outside Stop & Shop. All donations will be delivered to the pantry located in Sandy Hook Center that afternoon.

The Newtown Choral Society is gearing up for the December 8 winter concert at the Meeting House, and this year has something extra special to offer. The choral group will present original works by two area composers, Dan Coffman of Bethel and Phil Crevier of Newtown. I don’t want to give it all away, but I’m pretty sure you’ll want to be at the 4 pm concert that day to hear these pieces performed. Not to mention, it is always a good way to get in the spirit of the holiday season.

I always manage to come up with something a little special, so here’s hoping that next week you’ll… Read me again.

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