For the second consecutive summer, Ben’s Lighthouse will bring about 20 Newtown high schoolers across the country to assist the victims of a massive natural disaster. From July 27 to August 2, this volunteer group of teens and chaperones will participate in projects to clean up and rebuild from the unprecedented flooding that took at least eight lives and destroyed 2,000 homes last September. The trip is open to Newtown youth who are completing grade 8 through grade 12 this spring. Anyone interested in participating on this trip is invited to attend an information session on Sunday, May 18, at Trinity Episcopal Church. An equal number of male and female participants will be chosen by lottery from among those who decide to sign up for the trip.
Town Players of Newtown will host auditions for "I Hate Hamlet" on Monday and Tuesday, April 28-29. In Paul Rudnick’s comedy, actor Andrew Rally’s budding television career has suddenly hit a snag with his series cancellation. He has the opportunity to perform Hamlet but doesn’t know if that’s the right thing to do. Can the ghost of Barrymore lead him down the right path? Director Ruth Anne Baumgartner has roles available for three men and three women in the Newtown production, which is scheduled for weekends in June and July.
The 2014 Great Pootatuck Duck Race will take place on Saturday, May 24, from 10 am until 2:30 pm. This year’s race features a new co-operative arrangement between Newtown Lions Club and the Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP). Returning Returning to the sidewalk fair presented during the first few years of the Duck Race, vendors and volunteer organizations will display their wares and share information along sidewalks within Sandy Hook Center as well as within the park area at 3 Glen Road.
Last year’s Family Fun Day, through Two Coyotes Wilderness School at Sticks and Stones Farm, saw many families with children enjoying an afternoon reconnecting with nature. The Second Annual Two Coyotes Wilderness School Family Fun Day scheduled for Sunday, May 4, from 1 to 4 pm, at Sticks and Stones Farm. The event is free, and all are welcome.
When they're not on the road with the rock institution that is Wilco, Pat Sansone and John Stirratt record and tour as The Autumn Defense. On Friday, June 6, at 6 pm, the Live at the Edmond Town Hall series will spotlight the Autumn Defense. Amanda Bloom and her band will open. Tickets are $20. All proceeds from the show will go toward continuing improvement efforts for the historic Edmond Town Hall building.
The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library counts on donations dropped off to the library for the Annual Book Sale, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the library support organization. With the library closed due to flooding all of January and February, fewer donations than normal have been received. The Spring Book Donation Day is scheduled for Sunday, May 4, from noon to 5 pm, rain or shine, in the rear lot of the library.
The public is invited to support Newtown families who created foundations, scholarships, advocacy organizations and other memorials in sacred tribute to their loved ones slain in the Sandy Hook tragedy. The event will also assist surviving families still in need following the events of 12/14. Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown will host the event, which will also include several local clergy members including Rabbi Shaul Praver, spiritual leader of Adath Israel; and Reverend Matthew Crebbin, senior pastor of Newtown Congregational Church, to offer blessings, prayers and words of spiritual healing. The event will be Sunday, May 4, from 2 to 3:30 pm. In addition, Meryl and Stewart Ain, co-authors of a new book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, will engage the participants in a group discussion about the transformative power of doing great works in sacred tribute to dearly departed loved ones.
Barn Star Productions and Newtown Historical Society are broadening plans for the first annual Newtown Antiques Market, adding garden antiques, jewelry and decorations to the offerings. June is the time for putting the final touches on a garden oasis. In addition to myriad antiques, The Newtown Antiques Market will also now showcase benches, urns, sculpture and planters making the job easier and fun designing an outdoor living space and finding jewelry for summer entertaining dazzle. The event, to benefit Newtown Historical Society, will take place at the Fairfield Hills Campus, Primrose Street in Newtown, on Saturday, June 21, from 10 am until 5 pm. Admission is $10 per person. There will be 75-100 exhibitors in an informal setting of tents and pop-up canopies.
Art In Residence, a fine art gallery in northern Newtown, will host a special opening weekend reception for “All About Spring” on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. To celebrate the season and the gallery’s six-month anniversary, gallery owners Rosemary and Robert Rau have created a show filled with works that celebrate the current season. For its opening weekend, the exhibition will also feature special guest speakers who have agreed to informally share their garden wisdom and stories each day. Sydney Eddison will be the guest on April 26, and Jane Vouros will be Sunday’s guest.
Newtown Middle School will hold its annual Celebration of the Arts at the school on Tuesday, April 29, from 6 to 7 pm. The event will include a visual arts exhibition, a technology education open house, a slide show and photo gallery from the Project Adventure program, and other presentations. This year's edition of the NMS literary magazine will be available for purchase, and the evening will also include a book fair.