The Top of the Mountain

Looking for a couple of good causes to help? Among the local organizations hoping for support and a chance at an addition prize is the Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation (CMAK). CMAK will compete for prize money up to $25,000 as part of Fairfield County Giving Day. If CMAK receives the most donations (not the most money) through the online campaign, it will receive an additional $25,000 cash prize. A small contribution to CMAK ($10 minimum) will help the foundation on its way. Organizers will match the first $1,000 donated. You can learn more about the specifics or make donations this Friday, March 7, at www.fcgives.org. If CMAK is successful, this will allow the foundation to start an additional Race4Chase Kid’s Tri-program next year.

Then there is the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay, May 9 and 10. A number of Newtowners make up teams that will run a two-day, 192.7-mile course, from the South Shore of Boston to Provincetown, on the Cape, in support of Dylan’s Wings of Change. This foundation was set up in memory of 6-year-old Sandy Hook School student Dylan Hockley. The mission is to support children with autism and related conditions, through a focus on technology, as well as promoting inclusion of autistic children into sports activities. You can find out how to support the Ragnar Relay teams at www.crowdrise.com/TeamDylanCapeCod2014.

On the back cover of Charles Rafferty’s newest book of poetry, The Unleashable Dog, fellow poet Al Maginnes describes the collection as poems “where ‘a bracelet of barbed wire, a pendant of living bees’ might be decorations, lies a love for all the risk and beauty of being human,” and goes on to describe the Sandy Hook poet as one “of vision and imagination.” The Unleashable Dog was recently published by Steel Toe Books, and was the winner of the annual contest the press holds. You can get a copy of The Unleashable Dog at www.amazon.com.

The muse must reside in Sandy Hook. Writer Sophfronia Scott, also a Sandy Hook resident, will be one of four poets featured in next week’s “Confluence/Confluencia/Confluenza” program at The Palace Theater in Danbury. Hosted by Naugatuck Valley Community College, the March 12 program will open with refreshments and will include a musical interlude by NVCC’s music majors led by Professor Richard Gard, along with the opportunity to participate in an open mic. The evening will continue with readings by Sophfronia, as well as Sandra Bishop Ebner, Michael Klein, and Sarah Van Arsdale. The program is free, but reservations are requested by noon, Tuesday, March 11, by calling 203-575-8044 or 203-577-8083. There is ample free parking behind the theater, off Keeler Street.

Like Old Mother Hubbard with her bare cupboards, the Children’s Department art board in the newly refurbished C.H. Booth Library is empty as can be. Artists age 12 and under are invited to create original artwork to be hung there. The art can be delivered to the Children’s Department between Saturday, March 8, and Friday, March 21, and should be suitable for hanging. For suggestions, see the Cyrenius H. Booth Library Facebook page post.

If you want to get in your two-cents worth, the Search Committee for the new library director of C.H. Booth Library extends the opportunity to take part in a survey. The survey can be found at the library website, www.chboothlibrary.org or at this link, www.surveymonkey.com/s/785PG6N. Your answers will be confidentially reviewed, and your input valued by the members of the committee.

There’s not much green around us yet, but the Wearin’ O’ the Green is right around the corner. Celebrate St Patrick’s Day and support two great organizations. Barb Patrick has designed St Patrick’s-centric green and white banners, and all proceeds from the sales will support the local Kids In Deed Organization (KIDO, raising money for a playground at the new Regional Hospice Home) and the Healing Hearts Center in Danbury. Check out the banners at www.bittybirdie.com. The  100-inch long banners are $40 each, and can be ordered at barb@bittybirdie.com.

The Newtown Chamber of Commerce and the Newtown Rotary Club invite everyone to vote for their favorite Newtown business. Nominees for the 2014 Business of the Year Award are Biscotti Etc LLC, Foundry Kitchen and Tavern, and Queen Street Gifts in the New Business category; Dental Associates, Julie Allen Bridal, and My Place Pizza & Restaurant in the Longevity category; Dental Associates, Queen Street Gifts, and Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro for Philanthropy; and Butcher’s Best, Dental Associates, and Sal e Pepe for Overall Achievement. I know, I know — it will be hard to choose. But when you have made your decision, you’ll find a link to vote at either www.newtown-ct.com or www.newtownctrotary.org. The top three nominees in each category will be feted at an awards dinner, March 31, at the Inn at Newtown, from 6 to 8 pm. One company in each category will be honored as Business of the Year. The public is invited, but by reservation only. Tickets are $25 for dinner, with a cash bar. RSVP at 203-426-2695 or online at www.newtown-ct.com. Best of luck to all! Let the voting begin.

We know that there was some hopping back and forth between Newtown and Bethel, back in the day (e.g Dodgingtown…) so it wouldn’t surprise me if there were Newtowners that have photos from our neighboring town. Hugh Goodman, research historian for the Bethel Historical Society, is seeking photographs of different aspects of Bethel life from the 19th Century through the early 1960s. Contact Hugh at hughdgoodman@gmail.com if you think you have photos of interest.

This gives bicycle messenger service a new twist: Team 26 is taking off from Edmond Town Hall at 8 am, this Saturday morning, delivering the word to legislators in Washington, DC, that there is still work to be done on fixing the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Rise and shine, and be there to give them a “Hip, hip! Hooray!” as they begin the three-day bike ride to our nation’s capital.

My circadian rhythm is about to be thrown out of kilter again, and I’m not talking fancy dance steps here. Daylight Saving Time begins at midnight this Saturday, giving us more light in the evening. I like that, but I can’t get excited about losing an hour of sleep when we “Spring Ahead!”

There’ll be plenty of “Spring” in my step this coming week, don’t you worry, and that means plenty on the page if you will just… Read me again.

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