Local Artist David Merrill stands beside a colorful heart he helped design for Families United in Newtown (FUN), which was founded by resident Linda Jones, right, in memory of her late son, Tyler. FUN will present a night of music, Friday, May 9, at 7 pm at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street. Mr Merrill will be honored at the event during the unveiling of the “traveling heart” that was handmade by special needs students and painted by the accomplished artist. The heart will go on display at C.H. Booth Library following the concert, alerting patrons to the resources available at the library’s “Autism Nook.” Admission to the concert is free, but FUN will be collecting donations at the door for continued support of the program and autism awareness. Light refreshments will be served.
Renee Wilson, owner of Total Performance Sports and Fitness at 31 Peck’s Lane, is hosting a series of Bootcamp workouts to benefit Hawley School teacher Stephanie Dunshee, who is undergoing cancer treatment. Bootcamp sessions are ongoing through June 2. One-hour sessions will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays beginning at 9:30 am, and 4:30 and 6:30; Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm. On the weekends, 75-minute classes will be offered. These will begin on Saturdays at 8 am and 1 pm; and Sundays at 2 pm. Sessions are $10 each ($5 for Total Fitness members), or $60 for a package of ten sessions ($30 members).
The American Cancer Society has selected Mary Ann Jacob to serve as honorary chair and Jim Zarifis as honorary caregiver for this year’s Relay For Life of Newtown. The tenth Newtown event will begin during the afternoon of Saturday, May 31, and continue during the overnight, into Sunday, June 1, at Newtown High School. Ms Jacob told The Newtown Bee that she has always been aware of Relays For Life, but especially in Newtown because of how huge the event has been and how many people participate. Jim Zarifis has lost a few relatives to cancer. But he never considered his son, James, who was 11 years old at the time, was suffering from anything beyond the aftereffects of a Lyme disease diagnosis, when the youngster started getting nauseous and throwing up every morning nearly 12 years ago.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, which will be held at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Reed Intermediate School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. Programs last for one hour. The Sandy Hook program, "Summer Planning," has been rescheduled from last week; the Reed forum will describe different forms of bullying, and offer suggestions to help kids and parents manage such situations.
Unfortunately, the long, cold snowy winter actually has boosted the activities of developing ticks who thrived because of it, according to Newtown Health District Director Donna Culbert. She told The Newtown Bee this week that Dr Kirby Stafford, chief scientist and state entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station tells her snow cover can moderate temperatures where the ticks live, providing a lot of humidity. And the state entomologist believes that ticks were not hampered by what was considered to be a harsh winter. Ms Culbert is already sensing that tick season is arriving “with a vengeance.” So the Health District, along with its community partners, will be doing its best to get the word out about the risk of tick bites, tickborne disease, and how residents can better protect themselves.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, which will be held at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Middle Gate Elementary School, and Newtown Middle School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. The Sandy Hook School Parent Forum, “Summer Planning To Sustain Your Child’s Progress,” will be held on Monday, April 28; Middle Gate will host "Parenting In Tough Times" on April 29; and the middle school will host "How To Parent In A Challenging World" on April 30.
The Newtown Health District is participating in a statewide drill on April 24 that will simulate a mass casualty outbreak to gauge the ease in which emergency response medications can be distributed. District Director Donna Culbert said she has been working with state and regional officials preparing for the drill for several weeks. “The state created a scenario for us and plan to drive pallets of supplies to our distribution center – which is the high school – and we will be there to receive it,” she said. “We will be among dozens of drop off sites – all the 32 hospitals and more than 75 dispensing sites will be receiving pallets of supplies during the drill.” The drill will require a state Department of Health vehicle being escorted by Connecticut State Police to stage briefly at Newtown High School sometime Thursday.
Spring is in the air, and for allergy sufferers, that is not necessarily good news. It does not matter where one goes. Allergens are found in every climate. Nearly 50 millions people suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Seasonal rhinitis, or “hay fever” (even though it does not often involve hay or a fever), is the body’s abnormal reaction to pollen. Seen as an unwanted invader, the body produces antibodies, which attach to certain white blood cells. Future exposure means that those antibodies are ready to fight. The cells burst, releasing huge amounts of histamine into the system and — allergy symptoms go wild. Two area doctors spoke with The Newtown Bee about this seasonal challenge, offering different options for attending to the debilitating symptoms of seasonal allergies.
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc is soliciting proposals from qualified groups to support the expansion of public education and training to help those that come into contact with adults and young people in the Newtown community. The foundation is seeking to identify, understand, and respond to signs of trauma, mental health concerns, and/or address barriers that keep those who need mental health services from accessing them. Proposals are also sought to develop, strengthen, or expand therapeutic programs/interventions that assist with the recovery from those impacted by 12/14. The deadline for proposal submission is May 9.
The Arthritis Foundation New England Region has named 8-year-old Ashley Guerrera of Newtown the Youth Ambassador for the 2014 Danbury Walk to Cure Arthritis. As an ambassador, Ashley will be a large part in helping the Danbury Walk to Cure Arthritis reach its fundraising goal of $57,550.
Walk to Cure Arthritis is the Arthritis Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event, with local events hosted in Danbury on April 27, in Hartford May 5, and in New Haven October 5. Funds raised through the event support Arthritis Foundation programs, research and advocacy initiatives to help people live better today while finding a cure for the number one cause of disability in the United States tomorrow. Ashley has been living with juvenile arthritis, but she sees herself as a very lucky girl.