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The Top of the Mountain



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Maybe you were one of the lucky ones to hear these singers: A group of about 20 people, adults and children, embarked on a special night of caroling this past holiday season, inspired by Extreme Martial Arts owners Cindy and husband Russ Moore. The group met at the martial arts studio in the Plaza South, then ventured to three local homes of people who needed a bit more joy for the holidays. I understand cookies were shared with each family they visited. Some of the songs were from Disney’s Frozen, including “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” which was sung by children in the group. Sweet!

Another group of young singers also entertained over the holidays. Two Brownie Troops from St Rose of Lima School, Troops 50207 and 50796, spread a little joy to residents of Masonicare at Newtown. Talk about tidings of comfort and joy.

Thanks to a post on Newtown Kindness’s Facebook page, I’ve learned that the “Nothing More,” the song written and performed by Connecticut-based The Alternate Routes, for Newtown Kindness, was named as the sixth top hit of 2014 by The Pulse, a SiriusXM Radio Station. The Pulse also named Alternate Routes as its Breakthrough Pulse Artist of the Year. A portion of the proceeds of the song, when purchased on iTunes, goes to Newtown Kindness. That’s one way to carry some kindness over from 2014. Check out all the top songs that made the cut at blog.siriusxm.com/2015/01/05/the-pulses-top-hits-of-2014-one-republic-script-imagine-dragons-battle-out-the-top-3-spots.

Beer and music lovers are invited to support a scholarship fund established in the memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School victim Jesse McCord Lewis at the Windmill Restaurant, 400 Hollister Street in Stratford, on Saturday, January 24, from 3 to 5 pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. Sample great beer and enjoy pub snacks including pizza, wings, and salad. The acoustic group Beer Money will be providing entertainment. There will be raffle prizes, and the first 100 attendees will receive a commemorative beer glass. Proceeds will benefit The Jesse McCord Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund at Valley Community Foundation. Visit the Jesse McCord Lewis Memorial Page on Facebook or call 860-989-4417 for more information.

Connecticut Magazine and its readers have spoken — or rather — eaten. And they have pronounced a number of Newtown restaurants worthy of top recognition in this year’s Best Restaurant lineup. Runner-up for Overall Excellence is Sal e Pepe — coming in ironically behind Max Downtown Hartford steak house, which closed on December 31. Sal e Pepe also took the runner-up spot for Best Italian, while Kolam was among the picks for best Indian cuisine. Thai Delight on Mt Pleasant Road also placed in that category for Best Asian, with Toro placing in that category for Best Sushi.

Speaking of best, The Newtown Bee placed first in the Ducks of Sandy Hook School Facebook page contest last month. Assistant Editor Shannon Hicks’s photograph of the Sandy Hook duck leading Rudolph (Ruduck?) and the other ducky reindeer (reinducks?) and Santa Duck edged out lots of other creative and fun entries. Take a look here (at right), if you are not on FB or following the Ducks of Sandy Hook School. 

Going to New York anytime soon? The weekend of January 17 might be a good one to choose, especially if you love art. Newtown textile artist Liz Alpert Fay is taking part in the show “Square,” an exhibition of works by 82 members of the Textile Study Group of New York. The show runs January 16 through March 8, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 17, from 3 to 6 pm, at the Narthex Gallery of St Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, in the Citicorp Complex. You’ll get to meet several of the artists at the reception, should you go, but Liz tells me she is unable to attend the reception.

To enjoy art a little closer to home, make time for a trip to the Upstairs Gallery of Ridgefield Guild of Artists, when Newtown etch expert DeAnn L. Prosia is featured in a solo show. “The Never Ending Line” runs Saturday, January 24, through Sunday, February 22, at the Guild, located at 34 Halpin Lane in Ridgefield. DeAnn has pieces in numerous well-known permanent collections, including the New York Public Library Print Collection, The Music Arts School in Highland Park, Ill., and Rutgers University Archives, in New Jersey. Her prints can be found in galleries all over the world, so I promise that if you love detailed line drawings, you will thoroughly enjoy this exhibit.

It may feel too chilly to think about iced desserts, but there’s a new treat in town, made in town. Eve and Dave Ackert of Sandy Hook have developed Fruple Ice, “Like Italian ice, shaved ice, and sugar-on-snow, but better, and better for you,” says Dave. Made only with organic fruit and pure maple syrup, right now it comes in strawberry, lemon, mango, and watermelon. They are still working out the wrinkles in this business, but you can sample it locally at the NYA café or My Place Pizza & Restaurant, just in case you want to carry that freezing feeling within, as well as without, this winter.

Newtown Historical Society Co-President Amy Fallas Kerr is still hoping to hear from anyone who might be able to contribute to a proposed project highlighting the Irish population of Sandy Hook in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The “pop up” interactive exhibition could take place this spring, if enough material is loaned to the society for the project. In particular, if any descendants of Sandy Hook Irish settlers are willing to loan photos, letters, poetry, journals, or any other examples of the earlier eras in Sandy Hook, Amy promises that the items will be well cared for and returned promptly when the exhibit ends. Needlework examples, smaller craft items, and even clothing will also be considered. The Sandy Hook Irish contributed a great deal to the industry, economics, religious communities, and culture, says Amy, and the exhibit will be a means of honoring those contributions, as well as educating the community. If you believe you have items to add to the project “From Ireland to Newtown: The Legacy of Sandy Hook Immigrants,” contact Amy at amyfallaskerr@gmail.com, or call 203-885-9617, no later than January 31.

Congratulations to Bee receptionist Sandy Tannone, who is our newest Bee Gramma. Sandy’s son and daughter-in-law are the parents to little (4 pounds, 4 ounces!) Shelby Grace. Would I be exaggerating to say that Sandy is walking on air? I think not.

There’s a rumor that Head O’ Meadow’s Coach Dreger is testing out a new toy for a special Spirit Day surprise, the end of this school year. What could it be? My lips are sealed… for now.

My lips may be sealed, but my paws will be busy typing up all the nosiest news I can find. Promise that you will… Read me again.

The Sandy Hook Duck leads the way for Rudolph and the other "reinducks" in this winning photo by Bee assistant editor Shannon Hicks for the  holiday "Ducks of Sandy Hook" Facebook page .
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