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Final call: who has favorite Bad Dad Jokes? Send ‘em to shannon@thebee.com.

All are invited to the Newtown Historical Society annual tag sale, planned for Saturday, June 17, from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Proceeds will help raise funds for the ongoing maintenance of The Matthew Curtiss House. There is no early admission. Early birds will be asked to remain off-site until the 10 am opening. Once the gate opens, everyone will find a host of community-donated items including antiques and collectables, furniture, kitchen items, home décor, sports equipment, toys and books. Tag Sale Coordinator Patti Clark promises there is “always something special and unique to find” in these fundraising events. Rain date is the following Saturday, June 24.

Edmond Town Hall is helping Aquarian Caterers find summer camp volunteers for later this month. The camp will run June 26-30, with two 2½-hour sessions each day. The camp itself is for ages 7-12, who will have a hands-on culinary experience and educational art projects during the event. While the camp itself is full, chef and camp director Pam Buchler is looking for “enthusiastic volunteers” to assist with the sessions. Morning sessions will run 9 am-12:30 pm and the afternoon sessions are planned for 1-4:30 pm. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Lauren DiMartino at Edmond Town Hall at 203-270-4285 or finance@edmondtownhall.org.

The Race4Chase Kids Triathlon Program continues to grow, now into New York state. The program recently added a 30th site to its 2023 season at the City Branch YMCA in Buffalo, N.Y., which means the full program now encompasses four states, with Connecticut, Rhode Island and South Carolina also part of that mix. The newest program will begin July 10 and run for six weeks, culminating in a finale on Friday, August 18. Best wishes to the young athletes in Buffalo!

Newtown Youth & Family Services is the beneficiary this month of the Stop & Stop Community Bag Program. For each $2.50 spent on a reusable Give Back shopping bag before June 30, NYFS will receive $1.

We at 5 Church Hill Road have always loved receiving photos from readers who take their print copies of The Newtown Bee with them on vacations, staycations, and even road trips. We’re always looking for those photos, in fact. If you’re heading out take your paper, take a picture, and then send it to editor@thebee.com for possible placement in our Bring Your Bee box.

For the next few weeks, take your Newtown Bee and a rubber duck with you for those photos. The Choose Love Movement has announced a Choose Love Duck Summer Vacation Photo Contest. Students and educators are invited to take a photo — with their own rubber duck, an official Choose Love Duck, or even a printed Choose Love Duck — and then email that photo by June 30 to info@jesselewischooselove.org. Winners will be selected at random, with one educator receiving a Be Part of The Solution kit and one student receiving a Choose Love Swag Pack. Both prizes look wonderful. Visit ChooseLoveMovement.org and then search Choose Love Summer of Fun for full details including the printable duck template. Good luck and have fun!

Have you heard the news? We have a Labor Day Grand Marshal! Managing Editor Shannon Hicks had an opportunity to sit down with Monsignor Robert Weiss earlier this week to talk about his newest honorary title (see page A1 if you missed it, and find Shannon’s feature online this morning). The Labor Day Parade is scheduled for 10 am Monday, September 4, and this grand celebration of all things Newtown always takes a lot of work to step off on time and run smoothly. Volunteers, participants and sponsors are all needed. To learn more contact Melissa Kopcik at 475-444-3126 or participate@newtownctlabordayparade.org.

Congratulations to Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, who returned from their first parade of the season last week with three trophies. Members of SHVFR and their Ladies Auxiliary traveled to Bethany last Friday night for the Bethany FD Annual Parade, and returned home with these three trophies: Best Overall, Most Men in Line, and Best Auxiliary. The company celebrated another small feat on Friday, when one of its newest members, Ava Cash, even talked Life Member and President Bradley Richardson into joining her for a carnival ride. Well done Ava & Company.

One step forward … The eastbound lane of the Rochambeau Bridge opened this past weekend, which seems like a big step in the continuing restoration of the two-bridge span that carries I-84 over the Newtown-Southbury town line and Lake Zoar. That work has been underway since mid-June 2020 and while it may finish ahead of its original November 2023 target date, folks are really starting to tire of that construction zone. We did have a good laugh at a point brought up by a reader last week. In response to our announcement that I-84 East would be placed in its permanent alignment across the new eastbound bridge, Dennis Good put the duration of this project in perspective. “The Empire State BUILDING was constructed in 410 DAYS from a hole in the ground to the top using paper, pencil, T-Squares, and Steam Shovels. This 2-football-length BRIDGE is taking 3+ YEARS! . . .Progress?” Dennis commented on our Facebook page. He’s not wrong.

Flag Day is next Wednesday. There are no formal public events planned locally, but do take a minute or two on June 14 to consider the beautiful design that represents our country. Ours is a strong country, even during challenging times.

This may also be a good time to remind readers we have a flag collection box in our office at 5 Church Hill Road for flags that are ready to be retired. We get them to local Boy Scouts, who take care of properly retiring Old Glory. Additionally, the Newtown delegation of State Rep Mitch Bolinsky, State Rep Martin Foncello and State Senator Tony Hwang is supporting a flag collection through June 13. Readers are also invited to drop off their tattered flags at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street; Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street; and the VFW Post on Tinkerfield Road/Freedom Defenders Way. The legislators additionally plan to join members of Boy Scout Troop 270 for an in-person flag collection at the library on Saturday, June 10, from 10 am to 2 pm.

Thank you readers! The donations box we also host in the office year-round was filled a few times in recent weeks, during the special collection for FAITH Food Pantry. Volunteers filled their vehicles a few times after stopping in to collect donations left by those who read the request for donations we printed ahead of Memorial Day. While that collection effort officially closes June 9, the box is available year-round. It’s just inside our front door, and volunteers stop in to collect and transport the donations regularly.

John and Catherine Kearns recently hosted an open farm day, when they invited the public to visit the 26 alpacas, three emus, and dozens of chickens on their property in Sandy Hook. They were on hand to answer alpaca questions and provide alpaca fun facts during the May 29 event. By the end of the day, a 27th alpaca was born!

I’m going to march back to my favorite spot at 5 Church Hill Road for a little nap. I’ll collect my thoughts and return next week, when I hope you’ll remember to … read me again.

We at 5 Church Hill Road have always loved receiving photos from readers who take their print copies of The Newtown Bee with them on vacations, staycations, and even road trips.
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