One of the many interesting things about my Aunt Helen is that while she was a diabetic on a strict sugar-free diet, she was a fabulous baker. Her cookies, cakes, and quick breads were a staple in her kitchen, there for the pleasure of the many townspeople who paused in their day to sit at the table and chew the fat (and some goodies) with her. My Uncle Ferd did not fare so badly, either, with a plate of raisin cookies or cream puffs close at hand, always. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the scent of Christmas: cookies baking, chocolate simmering, sweetness tainting the air. And of course, the overtones of the endless pot of coffee percolating, ready for the next visitor through the door.
The Plunge For Sandy Hook event held at Lake Compounce on December 8 raised more than $26,000, surpassing its original $10,000 goal, for the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. At least two Newtown residents took the plunge into the cold water last weekend: Lauren Morehouse and Christina Wolf. The two women, who have been friends since attending second grade at Hawley Elementary School, were on a team of about 20 people, including family members of some of the victims at Sandy Hook School on 12/14. The Plunge For Sandy Hook was organized by Sean Cummings and Molly Goodine, who both told The Bee before the event that they wanted to do something to continue helping the families, one year after the events at the school.
As The Newtown Fund was preparing this week for Depot Day, the culmination of its annual Holiday Basket Program during which families in need are provided gifts and other items that will make their lives brighter, one Sandy Hook family was continuing a special tradition of its own. Since 2008, Sandy Hook resident Rosemary Trudell has organized a collection of toys and children’s clothing among the residents of Walnut Tree Village II. Her granddaughters have always helped with collecting and organizing the items for her, but older granddaughter Julia is at college this year and unable to help for the first time. This year it was just Mrs Trudell’s younger granddaugher, Haley, helping to organize and check on all the gifts that had arrived.
A one-day delay did not diminish the spirits of the nearly 100 seniors in attendance at the Newtown Senior Center Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 11, at Capellaro’s Grove in Bethel. Originally scheduled for the previous day, wintry weather caused a postponement of the festivities.
The holiday season is three times as bright in Newtown as residents celebrated tree lightings in Sandy Hook, Hawleyville, and at the Ram Pasture. A quick countdown from ten zeroed in on the Sandy Hook tree on The Glen , which threw its rainbow of holiday lights across the center on December 7, followed shortly thereafter by the lighting of a second tree covered with thousands of green and white lights. Hawleyville followed with a tree lighting on Sunday night, and the 29th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting -- postponed from last week due to poor weather -- was held Wednesday, December 11.
Residents are reminded that the 29th Annual Ram Pasture Tree Lighting Ceremony will be tonight. Entertainment will begin by 6:30, and First Selectman Pat Llodra will light the tree at 7 pm. The first of three tree lightings that had been planned for last weekend, the Ram Pasture event was postponed last week due to poor weather on December 6. This event is centered around the trees at the corner of Elm Drive and Hawley Lane. Hundreds of luminarias will again surround Hawley Pond and line streets in the immediate vicinity, leading those who are walking from nearby roads (and homes, for some) to the trees.
Seated side by side and facing a long line of adults and children carrying stacks of books, former resident and renowned children’s book illustrator Steven Kellogg and award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan were in Newtown this past weekend to meet residents, readers of all ages, and sign copies of their recent work, "Snowflakes Fall." Mr Kellogg, a former Sandy Hook resident, and Ms MacLachlan worked together to create the book in memory of those lost on 12/14. The friends and collaborators were in town for special book signings on Sunday afternoon at C.H. Booth Library, and then Monday at Big Y.