Although it was only the second time that it had staged an awards ceremony, Newtown Kindness brought together several hundred people at Edmond Town Hall on the night of Saturday, February 22, to honor the memory of Charlotte Bacon, one of the first grade children who died in the 12/14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On what would have been Charlotte’s eighth birthday, Newtown Kindness provided several dozen Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Awards to children from across the US and Canada for performing acts of kindness. The organization presented eight awards to finalists, 35 awards to medalists, and one legacy award during the ceremony held in the historic building's theater.
Baseball and music have been his passions since he was young, said country music star Scotty McCreery, Tuesday, February 25, but music is “something I get to do,” not something he has to do, he said.
The other thing he gets to do, is represent the 12.14 Foundation of Newtown. Recently named the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Foundation, Scotty was at the Dana-Holcombe House on Main Street in Newtown, Tuesday, to meet with members of the Board of Directors of the 12.14 Foundation.
Newtown native and accomplished poet Amy Nawrocki will read from her latest book of poetry, Four Blue Eggs, Saturday, March 1, at 7 pm, at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. "Four Blue Eggs," published by Homebound Publications, was released February 7. The collection of more than two dozen poems are works developed over an extended span of time, said Ms Nawrocki, and are a reflection on the natural world around us, family, and many life experiences. The book is a full-length collection that was inspired by a contest run by its publisher, which encouraged poets to work with a contemplative theme. Ms Nawrocki anticipates a 35-40-minute reading Saturday night, to be followed by a question and answer session, and feedback. With the independent book store hosting the event located just a few minutes away from her former hometown, Ms Nawrocki hopes to see old and new friends at the reading.
The father of two young children, Newtown resident Dr Michael Baroody saw the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, as “an assault on our soul, with no verbal way to communicate what had happened. I felt like I had lost my own kids, but I realized that my world is not just my living room. These Newtown children are our kids and it is our responsibility to protect our kids.”
As he sought a way to understand and move through the horror, he began to realize that language is sometimes a barrier to healing. “I asked myself, what does our community need? What is one nonverbal way to express ourselves?” he said.
Neither an actor nor a member of the performing arts community, Dr Baroody nonetheless thought about the power of music and theater, and how a world-class performing arts center could become a means of moving people forward in a positive, ongoing manner.
It is Monday morning, February 17, and 3-year-old Genesis Fuentes is visiting the office of The Newtown Bee. Unlike most toddlers who would be racing to and fro, jabbering, or excitedly grabbing at the numerous knick-knacks within reach, Genesis sits quietly in the lap of her 22-year-old cousin, Melanie Lopez, brown eyes set in a thin face, curiously gazing about the room and smiling shyly. It has been 18 days since Genesis, from Belize City, Belize, received the Gift of Life — open heart surgery funded by a special program of Rotary Club International, and sponsored locally by the Newtown Rotary Club.
Helping, outreach, camaraderie, pride, community service and bond are just some of the words veterans use to describe their membership to Newtown’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308. And as Post Adjutant Walter Dolan said, “It feels good” to be a part of the organization, “Absolutely.” Sunday, March 2, is a special day for Newtown’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308. One of the state’s oldest VFWs, Post 308 — established in February 1939 with 14 founding members, and formally chartered the following month — will be celebrating 75 years with a Diamond Jubilee. The public, post members, and prospective new members can enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and cake on Sunday, starting at 1 pm at the post, located on Freedom Defenders, off Mile Hill Road. Past Connecticut State Commander Ed Zamm (1960–61) will present a citation from the National VFW Commander-in-Chief during the afternoon event.
The Klondike Derby is a winter scouting skills and leadership competition that has been sponsored annually by Boy Scout units since 1949. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Venture Crews gather for the daylong event, working in teams and vying for points earned at several skills stations set up along a course. Named for the late 19th Century Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska, when thousands of hardy, young men headed north to find their fortunes, dragging with them sleds of tools and possessions, the Scouting Klondike Derby also features sleds laden with useful tools, food, and other supplies. Participating Scouts must drag their handcrafted sleds from station to station — regardless of whether the yearly Connecticut winter brings rain, snow, mud, or sun. Last month, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Scatacook District and Troops 9, 33, and 52 hosted more than 400 Connecticut Scouts in 30 team at the Hoyt Scout Reservation in Redding. At the end of the chilly, snowy day, the Newtown-based Venture Crew 70 team had earned the highest number of points, slip-sliding away with the first place honors for the Scatacook District 2014 Klondike Derby.