Top Of The Mountain
Fresh off Friends of Newtown Seniors’ (FONS) February visit to Farmhouse Restaurant, they are well into planning this month’s Lunch Social. Local senior citizens are invited to join FONS regulars for lunch on Saturday, March 25, at noon, at Dragonfly, just over the town line at 55 Stony Hill Road (Route 6) in Bethel. The recently opened restaurant specializes in American fusion. Reservations are required, and must be done through Janice Garten; contact her at 203-304-9196 so that a seat will be waiting for you next weekend. Checks will be the responsibility of each guest.
Spring is here next week, and with that comes spring cleaning. FONS just so happened to be the first group in town we’ve heard from with a paper shredding event, so mark your calendar now for Saturday, June 10. We’ll share the additional details as we get them.
Our friends at Rock N’ Rescue in South Salem, New York, have dedicated volunteers and adopters from Newtown. The nonprofit’s mission is to rescue and re-home pets in need. It also runs a variety of therapy programs, including Kitty Cuddle Sessions at schools and workplaces. Rock N’ Rescue posted to its Facebook page on February 23, “We are always on the lookout for more places to do our ‘Kitty Cuddle Therapy.’ If you know anywhere we can set up shop, let us know!” To reach out for this a-meow-zing therapeutic opportunity, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If kitten cuddles aren’t your style (I won’t judge!), get your happy-meter filled up by practicing intentional acts of kindness. The Ben’s Bells Project is preparing for its Connecticut Celebration of Kindness event on Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 9 pm, at Reverie Brewing Company on Church Hill Road. It will be an evening of music, local food and drinks, silent auction, live auction, and friends supporting kindness in our community. This year’s celebration will even include a visit from Ben’s Bells Founder Jeannette Maré from Arizona.
Another upcoming event with a mission of spreading love and kindness is the Daniel Barden Mudfest on Saturday, May 6. In addition to running the race, people can sign up as volunteers. The nonprofit recently posted on its Facebook page: “We often hear, ‘I’d love to support this event, but I’m not a runner!’ Then volunteering is perfect for you! We’re so grateful for every volunteer who helps make this event a success, and we’d love to have you join us. We have tons of opportunities for everybody.” To learn more, visit bardenmudfest.org/volunteer.
Newtown resident Kerilyn Ruggerio, who owns Happy Dog Pet Salon, shared some photos of her furry friends getting into the St Patrick’s Day spirit, including a very good boy named Max, pictured here. Along with his friend Miko, Max has been rocking a stylish shamrock headband and bandana. Kerilyn frequently posts photos on her social media of her clients after being groomed, and she gives their looks some extra pizzazz around the holidays with accessories. When she submitted the photos, she told us, “I love taking silly pictures of my pups!” We love it, too, Kerilyn!
Earlier this month, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Connecticut announced that it would be closing its Monroe shelter. It meant that its dogs and cats would need to find a home or somewhere to go ASAP in order to not be euthanized. Concerned Newtown residents helped do their part to spread the message across social media to get the animals adopted. At least one longtime Newtown Bee staff member and her husband even made an appointment to visit the shelter a few weekends ago. On March 8, SPCA of Connecticut announced on its website, “To our dear following — Thank you for your immense support towards our mission in finding homes for all of our animals. We have fielded nearly 1,000 e-mails and phone calls, have received over 700 applications and are in contact with 15 local no-kill shelters. We are relieved to share that all of the animals will be adopted or placed in other shelters! We could have not done this without you, thank you!”
Congratulations this week to Newtown artist Roberta Shea, whose works are featured in a one-artist exhibition in Hartford. Clare Gallery’s second 20th anniversary exhibition, “Old Growth,” includes works by Roberta, who started her artistic practice later in life. It wasn’t until moving to Newtown, where her new home has a “spectacular view across the street … that I discovered my path and a new direction to follow.” The exhibition opened this week, and will remain on view until May 12. The gallery is within the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry, 285 Church Street in Hartford, and is open daily; visit SPSACT.org or call 860-756-4034 for details. There are two special events planned during the run of the exhibition: an in-person artist talk Sunday, April 23, at 1 pm; and a virtual panel discussion on Thursday, April 27, at 7 pm. If Roberta’s name sounds a little familiar, it may be because she was also the guest instructor at the beginning of the year for “What is Art?” at Arts Escape in Southbury, and a collection of her oils and monoprints was presented at Ridgefield Library late last year, among other recent achievements that we have shared within our pages and online.
A fellow Newtown resident and artist, Lee Skalkos will have her art featured next month at Southbury Public Library. The Southbury show will focus on Lee’s newest passion: pastel paintings. We’ll have more information about that in next week’s Enjoy section. Meanwhile, readers interested in Lee’s first artistic love — jewelry — should make a point of visiting Newtown Municipal Center before the end of March. The showcase in the main corridor at 3 Primrose Street is currently filled with beautiful examples of Lee’s jewelry. It’s the latest offering in that location hosted by Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, which is concurrently hosting an exhibition of oil painting collages by Sandy Hook-based artist J. Neil Bittner.
Season 23 of NBC’s singing competition show The Voice began earlier this month. Many fans will remember how father-and-son duo Jim and Sasha Allen from Newtown wowed viewers and made it to the semifinals in 2021. Residents have an opportunity this weekend, on March 18, to see Jim perform with his friends in at Flagpole Radio Cafe Orchestra. The evening of music with plenty of additionally familiar musicians and musicians will double as a benefit for Ben's Lighthouse. Details are in our calendars, in print and online.
RVNAhealth is collecting information and feedback on a newly designed Parkinson's Center, dedicated to health and wellness for Parkinson's Disease (PD). If you live in our local Connecticut/New York area and have PD, have a family member or serve as a caregiver for someone with it, or are a health or wellness professional working with PD patients, RVNAhealth would love to get your input. The survey should take five minutes or less and all eligible participants may elect to be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card (through March 31). Visit surveymonkey.com/r/P7Z8YPR to take the survey.
As always, promise to … Read me again.