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The Top of the Mountain

VFW Commander James Rebman commented on Monday at the Memorial Day ceremony that he recalled watching Memorial Day parades way back in 1968 “and the guys with the funny hats.” Well, now Jamie, a veteran, is one of those guys in the funny hats, he observed, and Memorial Day has taken on a whole new meaning to him. I hope you all had the chance to pause this past holiday weekend and think of the sacrifices made, so that we can work and play, each and every day.

The all-night Newtown Relay For Life begins at 6 pm, this Saturday evening, May 31, with the opening ceremony, followed by the survivor/caregiver lap at 6:30 pm. This year’s relay takes place on the grounds of Newtown High School. A luminaria ceremony scheduled for 9:15 pm celebrates the lives lost to cancer, and the fight back ceremony, at 11 pm, asks for a commitment to fight cancer 24/7. In between are plenty of activities to keep everyone energized and entertained, until closing ceremonies at 6 am. For complete information visit www.relayforlife.org, and select the My Relay link.

Readers may notice a new byline in the coming weeks: Kelley Gaston of Newtown. Kelley has already been about town collecting information for stories, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Kelley is a Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Penn., journalism major. We said “Hello” and “Goodbye” quickly to intern Thomas McHugh of Monroe. Thomas thought he’d be spending the summer at The Bee, but greener pastures have beckoned, and we wish him the best. You might spot his byline, too, as he was quick to put together a story before he moved on.

WHOOOO’s that fine looking fellow in the picture over there on the left? Just one of the seven baby owls banded at Jolly Hill, off of Route 302, this past Monday. Howard Lasher, who resides at the property, has erected nesting boxes that attract the owls. Each spring, he and several curious invited guests accompany a skilled bird expert who gently takes the owlets out of the box, and bands them. The banding allows the birds to be tracked and provides information as to their travels and habits.

Congratulations to 2008 NHS graduate Christie Attanasio. Christie was recently named the winner of the 2014 Fairfax County Public Schools’ Outstanding First-Year Teacher Award. She received her master’s in education from UConn in 2013, before relocating to Reston, Va. Her parents, Bob and Lea, are mighty proud of her, as they should be.

Congratulations, also, to Carolyne Lee Wright, author of the poem “Ghazal for Emilie Parker.” (A ghazal is an ancient form of poetry.) You may have visited the link in the December 13, 2013 Top of the Mountain column, and heard Carolyne’s reading of the poem. At that time, the poem was a finalist for the James Hearst Poetry Prize in North American Review. Carolyne now tells me that “Ghazal” placed third, and has been published in the Spring 2014 issue of North American Review. If you’d like a copy of the literary magazine in which the poem is now published, visit http://northamericanreview.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/north-american-reviews-issue-299-2-now-in-print.

It didn’t take long for Bee workers to swarm the cake pictured at lower right last week. I’m giving a chocolate-covered paws up to Tony Posca, owner of Bakes ’n’ Cakes Café on Main Street South in Southbury. If his name rings a bell, it’s because Tony was longtime owner of Andrea’s on Queen Street — and many a Bee Birthday Cake winner devoured Tony’s cakes from there.

Help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Newtown Chapter of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut Annual Breakfast by sponsoring a table for the Wednesday, June 11, event at The Waterview, on Route 34 in Monroe. A donation of $100 gets you a table for eight and a delicious meal — and great company. Corporate sponsorships are available, too — $500 for a table for 12 guests. Tips to your Regional Hospice waitstaff support the agency, as does all of the money from table sponsorship and a raffle. Walk-ins to the 8 am breakfast are welcome, for $12 per person. For details or to sponsor a table, call Marg Studley at 203-426-3651.

So you think you can dance? It’s nothing, compared to the fancy dancing you can see this weekend when the 62nd Annual Stardust Revue takes the stage at Edmond Town Hall. Students from the Lathrop School of Dance will entertain at 4 and 7 pm shows on Saturday, then again at 1 pm, on Sunday. (There’s a 4 pm show on Sunday, but I hear it is sold out.) Tickets are $14. For more information call 203-426-5757. I’m feeling light on my feet already.

This year’s PTSA Reflections Program, an art competition, asked students to interpret the theme “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” Student’s artwork from participating schools was chosen from the entries to go on to the state level of the competition. On May 8, a number of Newtown students were honored during an awards dinner held at Fairfield Woods Middle School. Those students are: Head O’ Meadow students Kiersten Daigle, third place for her dance entry in the primary division, Kristin Lageman, fourth place for her literature entry in the intermediate division, and Sophia Gordon, third place for her photography entry in the primary division; Middle Gate School student Kiersten Banas, first place for her film entry in the intermediate division; Newtown Middle School students Abigail Pereira, second place for her literature entry in the middle school division, Seryne Aryeh, second place for her music entry in the middle school division, and Sophie Wolfman, fourth place for her photography entry in the middle school division; Sandy Hook School student Aidan Waaler, third place for his music entry in the intermediate division; and Newtown High School student Alisha Aggarwal, fourth place for her visual arts entry in the high school division. Congratulations to all.

It might not be an official program like the PTSA runs, but there’s plenty on which to reflect if you’ll just… Read me again.

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