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  • The Top of the Mountain

    FAITH Food Pantry has joined the social network world, thanks to the efforts of Sandy Hook resident Gary Jeanfaivre, along with FAITH volunteer Nancy Taylor. “I have just helped the FAITH Food Pantry set up a Facebook page, as the volunteers are looking to use it as a way to connect with the community,” Gary tells us. His grandmother, Laura Hewitt, has been a longtime pantry volunteer, says Gary, so he is pretty familiar with what a wonderful group of people operate the local food pantry.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I’m a pro at stretching and relaxing, but even if you’re not, you can be a part of the Newtown Yoga Festival. The all-day yoga extravaganza takes place this Saturday, August 23, from 9 am to 4 pm, at NYA. A “Yoga Buffet” served up by local yoga instructors provides the chance to try out several yoga practices in approximately 20-minute segments during the morning. Then, in the afternoon, join internationally and nationally recognized yoga teachers Ray Crist, Tiffany Maloney, and Jennifer Reis for some really special sessions.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    For those of you watching the premiere of this season’s American Idol on Wednesday, January 15, you might have recognized Sandy Hook resident Hayley Pettinato. She was shown briefly, but earned a “golden ticket” to continue on to Hollywood, where the show continues. Seventeen-year-old Hayley is one of three Connecticut residents chosen by the judges for this season. “Getting that golden ticket was honestly like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It was so surreal.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I’m happy to hand out my first Good Egg Award of the year. Beginning in early December, at the Sandy Hook Tree Lighting, the Foundry Kitchen and Tavern in Sandy Hook Center began handing out customized baseball caps in return for donations to support the Newtown Fund Holiday Basket program. This program uses 100 percent of the proceeds to support Newtown families in need, throughout the entire year, with food and fuel assistance, utility bills, rent, and medical expenses.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    Julie Hasselberger’s son, Daniel, who lives a severely medically restricted life with polymicrogyria, celebrated his 16th birthday recently. Julie had put out a request for birthday cards to brighten her wheelchair-bound son’s day, and found herself plastering his room with 845 cards received from all over the world — and they keep coming, says Julie. “A local 7th grade Girl Scout Troop came and sang to him at his school, STARR, at RIS, each holding a balloon and a card.

  • Top of the Mountain

    The first day of school is one of my favorite days each year. It is so full of promise, and my wish is that promise is fulfilled this year. While I would love to be able to make it around to each bus stop to take photos of the town’s smiling (or shaking in their boots) students on Tuesday, August 27, I am only one cat. However, you can share your first day of school photos with The Bee, to run either in print or in a slideshow online.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    While preparing for last weekend’s Great Newtown Reunion, Bee front office staff member and 1981 Newtown High School graduate Bridget Seaman was gifted with a “flat” version of herself by a few of my fellow Bees. I understand Flat Bridget made her way into a good number of photos at the reunion on Saturday. The real Bridget tells me she had a fantastic time.

  • The Top of the Mountain

    I may be a bit behind the times, or felines, but I just learned this week that cat cafes are a popular Japanese hang out spot where caffeine aficionados can enjoy their favorite beverage in the presence of cats. I haven’t been able to find one in Connecticut, but if one was to open up in Newtown, you know who would be its first customer!