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The Top of the Mountain

Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks was all smiles as she reclaimed the Newtown Bee Golden Peeps Award last week, for her Peeps diorama of the 2013 MTV VMA Awards event featuring “Miley Peeprus” and Robin Thicke, twerking, done as tastefully as one can do when re-creating such a performance. Shannon has now won three of the four years of the annual in-house contest (she did not participate last year), in which Bee employees are challenged to get creative with the Easter treats.

The second annual Pony Rides For A Purpose fundraiser, in honor of Jessica Adrienne Rekos, who died 12/14, will take place Sunday, May 4, from 11 am through 4 pm, at the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard’s facility at 4 Wildlife Drive. Pony rides and many more family activities, including an appearance of the famous angel mini horses, will offer fun for all. Admission is $10 per child, and includes a pony ride, crafts, and face painting. There is no admission charge for adults. Jessica’s birthday is May 10, so organizers (Pony Rides For Jessica Team and King’s Bridge Farm) decided to make this a May event to celebrate Jessica’s life and her love of horses. All proceeds from the day go to the Jessica Rekos Foundation, founded by her parents. More information is found at www.jessicarekos.org or ponyridesforjessica.org. For those who can’t attend but would like to make a donation, visit either website to donate via PayPal, or, mail checks to Jessica Rekos Foundation, PO Box 713, Newtown CT 06470.

Elisa Van Buskirk, a 2006 NHS graduate, is recently returned from Thailand, where she has spent the past two years teaching. She had only been off the plane for less than 48 hours when I spotted her in an Easter service crowd this past Sunday, so it’s no wonder she still looked a little culture shocked. Welcome back to the US, Elisa!

One of our readers tells me that there is a very large pack of coyotes in the Walnut Tree Hill Road area, prowling and howling. If you have small pets (or young children), this spring that comes on the heels of a long, cold winter may not be the best time to let them roam without supervision. The coyotes are very hungry right now, and if they have kits, they may be twice as hungry and doubly fearless. (Other wild animals are also out and about these days. There is a downside for pets that tangle with opossums, raccoons, and skunks, so please keep an eye open when your furry friends are outside.)

Just in time for spring cleaning, Book Donation Day returns to the C.H. Booth Library, Sunday, May 4. Drop off your gently loved books, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, games, and computer games between noon and 5 pm that day, in the rear parking lot of the library. Volunteers will help you haul your boxes of donations, and tax receipts are available. It’s a double bonus that the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library fatten up their stock of books and electronics for the summer book sale, and you get to clear out shelves (to make way for new books, no doubt).

All of those who chose to take part in the 2014 Boston Marathon this year are special, but one man had a very special reason to run. Tim Dougherty of Littleton, Colo., ran the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon, Monday, April 21, dedicating one mile to each of the lives lost in Sandy Hook on 12/14. Among those who died at the school was Mr Dougherty’s sister-in-law, Mary Sherlach.

April 22 was the official 42nd National Earth Day. If you were busy working or stuck in the classroom and couldn’t give it the full honor it deserves, not to worry. Newtown’s 7th Annual Earth Day Festival takes place this Saturday, April 26, 10 am to 4 pm, at the Newtown Middle School. Lots of vendors and fun things to do, a silent auction, and live music will make it a truly celebratory day. You can also take part in the Lions Club “Lose the Litter Day.” For full information, check out www.newtownearthday.org.

There are many, many Newtown and Sandy Hook runners taking place in the 200-mile Cape Cod Ragnar Relay, May 9 and 10, to support Dylan’s Wings of Change. Dylan’s Wings of Change, a project of New Venture Fund, was set up in memory of Dylan Hockley, who died at Sandy Hook School on 12/14, and supports children with autism and related conditions to develop full potential. You can donate to the fundraiser at www.crowdrise.com/TeamDylanCapeCod2014.

The Relay For Life Newtown team Mighty Moms will host a fundraising event next week. On Friday, May 2, join team members for a cocktail party that will also showcase the culinary skills of Chef Jay Daly. The event will run from 7 to 10 pm and include food and drink, as well as the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for an iPad and a handmade Relay quilt. Tickets for the cocktail party are $25 each, and should be reserved by April 28; send an e-mail to Calandro003@charter.net for additional information including the address for the event.

Newtown Savings Bank’s Relay For Life team will be holding a car wash on Saturday, May 10. Team members will be outside the bank’s main office, at 39 Main Street, from 9 am to 2 pm that day, offering car washes in exchange for donations. All donations will be put toward the team’s fundraising efforts for Newtown’s tenth Relay For Life, which returns to Newtown High School for the overnight of Saturday, May 31 into Sunday, June 1. As of the beginning of this week, 41 teams, representing 293 participants, had raised more than $54,000 for Newtown’s 2014 efforts.

Local teams are reminded that they are welcome to contact The Bee to help spread the word about fundraising efforts (for Relay/American Cancer Society, and any nonprofit outfit). Teams that are doing full fundraisers — where 100 percent of the money being raised is going directly to an organization — will have their events listed in The Bee’s online and print Community Calendar listings. Send notes to editor@thebee.com or contact Associate Editor Shannon Hicks at 203-426-3141.

I’m 100 percent sure I will have more news to share next week, so be sure to… Read me again.

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