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Newest FONS Program, Newtown Rides Launched With Driver Reception



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As part of its Chore Services program, Friends Of Newtown Seniors (FONS) has launched Newtown Rides.

The newest offering through the local organization will now provide rides to local senior citizens who want to get to in-town locations including banks, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, C.H. Booth Library, Newtown Senior Center, a post office, a cemetery, restaurants, markets, Edmond Town Hall, Newtown Community Center, and Newtown Municipal Center.

As Co-Chair Beverly Bennett-Schaedler put it recently: “We want everyone to be able to live, shop, and play locally. Rides in Newtown are only a phone call away.”

Bennett-Schaedler and fellow co-chair Mary Pat Frobert welcomed nearly two dozen people to My Place Restaurant on March 28, when they hosted a drivers’ reception. The guests were the first to volunteer for the new program.

“We’re hearing good things in here,” Frobey said, looking over the tables of those enjoying a lunch of pizza and salads. “Everyone’s been very helpful, and many have said they’re looking forward to helping.”

Bennett-Schaedler said the next step is to begin connecting the volunteer drivers with those who want rides.

“Next week we’ll begin contacting churches and organizations in town that can help us get the word out about this service,” she said. “We have the drivers, now we really want to get the word out about the program. We want to make sure everyone who has volunteered as a driver can do something. They’re excited to get to do this.”

Rides will be offered to residents age 55 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, in two-hour slots running 10 am-noon and 12-2 pm.

“We had a similar service in town for many years, prior to COVID,” Bennett-Schaedler noted recently.

Founded in the early 1970s, Friends in Service Here (FISH) was a group of service-minded residents who provided rides for fellow Newtown residents who needed to get to the hospital for a non-emergency visit, a doctor’s appointment, or another medical location for an appointment when those residents could not drive themselves or had no other means of transportation. The group disbanded in 2021, after years of seeing its volunteer pool of drivers slowly shrink.

FONS is hoping to resurrect a similar program, “but we are starting small, and staying in town,” Bennett-Schaedler reiterated.

Rides will be available as of Tuesday, April 16. To request a ride, contact FONS Chore Services at 203-430-0633. Rides should be requested at least three days in advance. Requests should include name and contact information so that a volunteer can return the call and confirm the request.


Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

Beverly Bennett-Schaedler and Mary Pat Frobey stand amid nearly two dozen guests at My Place Restaurant on March 28, when they hosted a reception to thank the first volunteer drivers for FONS Newtown Rides. A new offering through Friends Of Newtown Seniors, the new program will provide rides within town to residents age 55 and up. —Bee Photo, Hicks
Newtown Rides is offering rides will be offered to residents age 55 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays in two-hour slots running 10 am-noon and 12-2 pm.
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