Newtown has produced many notable characters in its 300-plus years. On Monday, January 13, at 7:30 pm, in the meeting room of C.H. Booth Library, Town Historian Dan Cruson will present a line-up of some of them for Newtown Historical Society’s first program of the new year, “Legendary Locals of Newtown.”
A concert at Edmond Town Hall on Friday, January 10, at 7 pm, will double as a fundraiser for Newtown Kindness. Performers will include Jen Durkin & Friends, The Native Heads, Union Rail, Three Legged Dog, Traveling Fools, Jen Ackerly, Julia D’Amato and Dave Oberacker. The evening will also include an art show featured works by Liz Mullins, with complimentary Italian desserts served from 7 to 7:30 pm, and beer and wine also served. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Newtown Kindness, whose mission is to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity.
The next St Rose Friday Bingo Night will be held on January 10 in the St Rose School Gathering Hall, 46 Church Hill Road. Doors open at 5:45 pm, and Bingo games run from 6:30 until approximately 9:30 pm. Designed for the Bingo enthusiast, evenings feature substantial cash prizes for all games, as well as door prizes. A concession offers dinner items and homemade baked goods, as well as complimentary coffee. The per-person admission fee of $17 covers all regular and some special games. All ages are welcome.
The Bee Publishing Co., is offering for sale prints of the front cover of the December 20, 2013, issue of The Newtown Bee. Prints will be 16 by 20 inches, black and white, at a cost $15 each. Orders can be placed by contacting Sherri Baggett on the phone or by email, or by visiting the offices of The Newtown Bee.
CrossFit RedZone, at 31 Pecks Lane, will host its Second Annual Sandy Hook Victim Relief Fundraiser on Saturday, January 4. Last year, CrossFit RedZone raised over $100,000 with the help of over 1,000 participants. Donations went to the Sandy Hook PTSA. This year, they aim to top the generous donations with all proceeds going to the UConn Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will support the college costs for siblings of those killed in the tragedy, the dependents of the adults who also lost their lives, as well as students currently enrolled at the elementary school who are accepted to the university. The workout, to be completed with a partner, is a 10-minute CrossFit WOD (Workout Of the Day). Workouts will be running from 9 am until 6 pm.
The Booth Library Creative Writing Group for Young Adults will offer Fiction this winter. Students in grades 6-8 who love to write will be led by Wally Wood, teacher, author and Newtown resident, with assistance from Linda Strange, a a committed volunteer assistant in the Creative Writing program and teacher in Waterbury. All sessions will allow time for writing and sharing short stories in progress as well as one-on-one communication between adults and young people. The writing group is a great opportunity for young writers to hone their skills and develop their own technique. The prompts and exercises will focus on building characters, describing place, creating situations, and developing a story’s framework. The group will meet from 6 to 8 pm on six Tuesday evenings: January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, and 11; February 18 will be a make-up date if necessary. There is a limit of ten students in grades 6-8. There is no fee. Participants are expected to attend all six sessions, and preference is given to Newtown students and residents.
In recognition of Martin Luther King Day, Congregation Adath Israel will host a renowned Hartford gospel choir in the synagogue sanctuary. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm Friday, January 17. Voices LLC of Hartford will perform at 115 Huntingtown Road to honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The entire community is invited. The choir will take the stage at approximately 8 pm, following a traditional Hebrew prayers service that will begin at 7:30. Refreshments will be served when the program ends at 8:45 pm.
Resist the urge to compartmentalize Newtown native and Renaissance woman Jenna von Oy into the kinds of sassy, fast-talking roles she made her own on hit TV series like "Blossom" and "The Parkers."
Today, at 36, the 20-something-looking Ms von Oy is neither letting those meaty television roles define her, nor is she falling into the sometimes career-ending pattern of reliving those characters over and over again, only with different names.
In fact, she has spent the past half-dozen years breaking free from life as an actor, penning a young adult novel; writing and producing two very different types of musical projects; exploring painting, photography, and poetry; and more recently, tying the knot with her soulmate, Brad Bratcher, and delivering the light of their lives, their daughter, Gray, now 19 months old.
On Monday, December 23, NYA Sports & Fitness Center will open the turf, courts and bounce house, slide and obstacle course to all children — whether residents of Newtown or surrounding towns — from kindergarten through grade 8. From 8:30 am until 12:30 pm, parents can drop their children into this safe environment for playtime while getting those last minute holiday tasks done.
On Sunday, January 12, at 3 pm, at Congregation Adath Israel, Rita L. Frost will present a talk on “Varian Fry, A Connecticut Hero in Vichy France.” In her program Ms Frost will describe how Fry managed, with his own life in danger, to brilliantly save lives under the watchful eye of the Gestapo. She will also discuss the ill fortune Fry met with upon his return to the US. The program will also include a screening of the 30-minute film, "Assignment Rescue," narrated by Meryl Streep, about Fry’s activities.