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Following Successful Concert, FUN Holding ‘Senior Send-Off’ June 4



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Families United in Newtown (FUN) is teaming up with Newtown Parks & Recreation and the Newtown Lions Club to host its end of the school year meeting and “Senior Send-Off” for the Newtown High School National Honor Society volunteers who worked supporting the local nonprofit since last August.

The final FUN meeting and celebration for the 2021-22 school year will be held following the dedication of the new Dickinson Park adaptive playground equipment on Saturday, June 4 (rain date June 5).

FUN provides individuals with special needs, and their families, social opportunities in a caring environment through monthly themed meetings.

The nonprofit partners with National Honor Society members to provide helping hands at these events.

This end of school year FUN activity June 4 follows the group’s successful Disney-themed “Dazzle the Night Away” concert and fundraiser that was held on April 30. The concert featured a mix of seasoned and student musicians, along with select members from FUN.

Co-founder Linda Jones shared her thanks to the community in The Newtown Bee Letter Hive saying, “over 40 extremely talented musicians gave their time and talent for our cause.”

Dr Margaret Bauman, a neurologist specializing in autism spectrum brain research attended the event again this year and graciously accepted a $2,500 donation to help underwrite her scientific work. First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and State Representative Mitch Bolinsky also attended and shared a few remarks in support of the event.

The benefit concert wrapped up the organization’s numerous April activities for Autism Awareness Month.

The June 4 dedication ceremony for the new playground equipment at Dickinson Park begins at 10 am with presentations and a ribbon cutting. Following the ribbon cutting, there will be free ice cream, rock painting, a magic show, face painting, and music.

The separate FUN “Senior Send-Off” is set for 11:30 am, followed by field day activities and pizza in the Band Shell. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

No reservations are required and the public is invited.

Founded by Linda and Duane Jones, FUN offers supervised social and recreational activities for young people with developmental disabilities as well as those on the autism spectrum, while helping to raise awareness about autism and funds to support autism research.

The Joneses — parents to Lindsey, Austin, and Tyler — turned the tragedy of Tyler’s untimely passing in 2009 into a positive living memorial for their son to help bring special needs families together in a safe and welcoming place.

At each FUN meeting, families are paired with an NHS National Honor Society student who spends time with the kids, giving the parents a much-needed break. Any and all are welcome at FUN meetings.

The organization is also grateful for tax-deductible donations to help underwrite the expense of activities, which are all offered free to participants.

To learn more about the organization, to volunteer, or contribute to help underwrite this and other FUN activities, go to familiesunitedinnewtown.org, or the group’s Facebook page, or call 203-512-6284.

Shaun Mangold accompanies Madelyn Aug along with Chris Samson during the recent Families United In Newtown (FUN) “Dazzle” concert and fundraiser at the Newtown Congregational Church. The annual concert for this local autism support and recreation nonprofit combines the talents of seasoned young musicians with select members of the FUN organization. —Rori Sughrue photo
The Newtown High School Chamber Choir was a big hit at the April 30 “Dazzle” concert and fundraiser for Families United in Newtown. —Phil Keane photo
From left, Connor Dulinger, John Moxham, and Carlo Marrano all volunteered to help at the recent FUN concert fundraiser. —Phil Keane photo
Newtown High School students Ally McCarthy, left, and Izzy Butler also provided support at the April 30 FUN event. —Phil Keane photo
Amanda Levetown performed for the FUN “Dazzle” concert with Kevin Eckler on flute. —Phil Keane photo
Pianist Alexandra Saraceno supported vocalist Amanda Levetown during the Families United in Newtown annual concert at the Newtown Congregational Church April 30. —Phil Keane photo
FUN member Gina Zetye was among the many attendees to the group’s April 30 fundraising concert, which also featured a Disney-themed costume parade and contest. —Rori Sughrue photo
Front from left, winners of the FUN Disney-themed costume contest, Amanda Rowan, Isaac Ohring, and Carter Whitman, are congratulated by the nonprofit’s co-founder Linda Jones, and MC/FUN board member Jay Thomas. —Phil Keane photo
Over 100 attendees filled the Newtown Congregational Church April 30 for the Families United in Newtown annual fundraising concert. The event capped a number of Autism Awareness Month activities hosted by the Newtown-based nonprofit. —Rori Sughrue photo
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