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Adding To The Treasure Chest



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A treasure is precious, cherished, and appreciated. We value treasures, and in Newtown, we are wealthy with not only treasures of brick and mortar, but those of flesh and bone.

Each year, the community is invited to celebrate two of Newtown’s treasures. To date, this initiative by the Town of Newtown, the Newtown Visiting Nurse Association, and the Newtown Health District has identified and fêted Jean St Jean, Joseph Borst, Dr John Reed, Dr Thomas Draper, Dr Robert Grossman, and Jim Juliano, as well as the late former State Representatives Julie Wasserman and Mae Schmidle.

This Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 3 pm, in the Great Room of the Newtown Congregational Church at 14 West Street, Bee Publisher R. Scudder Smith and volunteers of the Newtown Visiting Nurse Association join the ranks of those Newtown luminaries.

The value of the NVNA to our town these past 100 years has been captured in a two-part series in The Newtown Bee (issues of September 21 and 28, 2018 ) identifying people and programs that make the organization shine. From child welfare to school nursing, from care when disaster strikes to the creation of a VNA Thrift Shop and a medical closet offering use of medical equipment at no cost to creating space for public health examinations, the NVNA has kept abreast of Newtown’s health needs, and dedicated volunteers have seen to it that those needs are met. When myriad reasons cause people to waver in addressing medical issues, there is a local source of knowledge and education to ease difficult times. The NVNA is a treasure chest of volunteers, each a gleaming coin of reliability.

Those who work with him know the treasure to be found in Publisher R. Scudder Smith — if we can find him beneath the collected treasures with which he surrounds himself. The inspiration and impetus behind The Newtown Bee’s sister publication, Antiques & the Arts Weekly, he is also our curator for the museum quality items decorating the walls and halls of The Newtown Bee and A&A offices.

Scudder continues, after more than half a century, to be actively involved in directing both publications with insight — and a dash of humor. He adheres to a mission of trust first realized by his great uncles Allison and Reuben Smith, who took over a floundering local paper in 1877, and which was carried forward by another brother, Arthur, with Allison; then his own father, Paul Smith, until 1973, when Scudder took the reins as editor, then publisher in 1990. A native of Newtown, born and raised on Main Street, he is committed to ensuring that the news of Newtown’s people and places is provided with integrity and truthfulness.

Community organizations and charities have benefited from his philanthropy, and townspeople and visitors alike appreciate the Pleasance park created by the Smith family on the corner of Route 302 and Main Street — not to mention the exotic trees or whimsical bunny garden delighting young and old, tucked into the back of that same property: treasures within treasures.

A treasure never glows so brightly as when it is on display. This Sunday, your attendance will put the polish on this year’s treasures. See your there!

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