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Final reminder this week that the annual Friends of the C.H. Booth Library temporary Donations Pause begins on Monday. During the period of June 24-July 21, the Friends will not accept any books, games, puzzles, media, etc. Donations dropped at the library for the Friends during this four-week period will be discarded. This hiatus will allow Friends volunteers to focus on final preparations for the upcoming book sale, July 12-July 16 at Reed Intermediate School. The Friends will again welcome donations starting Monday, July 22.

While looking at the Newtown High School Class of 2024 photos that we ran with the June 7, 2024 print edition, Louise Zierzow couldn’t help but smile. “Several of them were in my Sunday School class, ‘way long ago,” she also shared in a note. “And now they’re on their way, out into the world. I’m so proud of these young people.”

According to Connecticut playwright Stuart Brown, a good 10-minute play has a fully realized arc — a beginning, middle, and end — just like a full-length play. While the West Hartford resident has seen his 10-minute plays staged in four states and via a British podcast, Newtown will have the honor of hosting the first in-state performances this weekend when Town Players of Newtown presents “Twists & Turns.” The seven-play event will be performed Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2 at The Little Theatre, 18 Orchard Hill Road. All seats are $20, and all proceeds will benefit the long-standing local theater. Sunday’s matinee will be followed by a talkback event with Brown.

Suzanne Collins is reportedly returning to some of her most popular writing. Scholastic, the Newtown resident’s publisher, recently announced Collins is returning to the ravaged, post-apocalyptic land of Panem for a new “Hunger Games” novel. The fifth volume of the blockbuster dystopian series, Sunrise of the Reaping, will be published in March 2025. Lionsgate, which has released film adaptations of all four previous “Hunger Games” books, has already announced that Sunrise on the Reaping will open in theaters on November 20, 2026. Now that’s some preplanning!

Congratulations to Violet Hughes of Newtown. The third grade student will be among those celebrated this weekend during the 19th Annual Celebration of Young Writers taking place Friday, June 21, at Spring Hill Vineyards in New Preston. The celebration is the finale of an ASAP! program that fosters children’s creativity and imagination in the literary arts. Established with the help of Ellen and Frank McCourt, Ann and Denis Leary, and Susanna Salk, this year’s program received 125 submissions from public, private, and homeschool students across the state. Through a blind process, a panel of judges selected the top 12 for the Washington (Conn.)-based program.

I’m also celebrating the members of Hiram Lodge #18 in Sandy Hook this week. In fact I think those men deserve a Good Egg Award for the generous collection delivered Tuesday morning to FAITH Food Pantry. At least two full-size shopping carriages were overflowing with food to fill the shelves at 46 Church Hill Road. Readers are reminded that the nondenominational pantry — remember, its acronym stands for Food Assistance, Immediate Temporary Help — accepts donations and helps residents with food, etc on Tuesday mornings and late Thursday afternoons. Volunteers over the years have made it as easy as possible for residents to benefit from FAITH’s stock, including doing everything they can to maintain privacy and dignity. Call 203-837-0316 or visit newtownfoodpantry.org for more information.

If there was a second Good Egg Award to be offered this week, I’d give it to the two young girls who found a missing stuffed raccoon at The Pleasance and put it in a safe place for its owner to find. We heard Sarah Dietter went to our public park at 1 Main Street with her daughters on Saturday, when they enjoyed playing there for a while. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after they left that Sarah realized one of her daughters left behind the raccoon, who carries very sentimental value. Thanks to the magic of the internet, a private Facebook group, and some very good people who call Newtown home, the raccoon was located and returned to its owner. After hearing about the missing critter, two young girls insisted on being taken to The Pleasance so they could do some sleuthing. They found the raccoon, contacted Sarah, and by bedtime that night all was right again with that part of the world.

Virginia Zimmermann is not only this week’s featured Snapshot interview, she is also celebrating the opening of two exhibitions in lower Fairfield County that includes some of her work. Westport Library is hosting two exhibitions this summer featuring new art by members of The Artists Collective of Westport. “Word: Visual vs Verbal” presents works by 48 artist members of The Artists Collective of Westport, who each created a work in the medium of their choice, inspired by a single word. Virginia’s word was Bond and she responded to the prompt with a collage.

The second exhibition, “Piece by Piece,” pulls together 60 12- by 12-inch squares, each part of a master work. Each artist was challenged to independently replicate the piece they were randomly assigned, in their personal style and using the medium of their choice. The artists were not told what the master work was. The pieces were to be unveiled during the opening on June 20, and the public can now view the collections. Both are on view until September 2.

While Virginia didn’t mention it in her Snapshot interview, if her name sounds familiar while you’re reading that column this week and you just can’t place it, maybe it’s because you’ve read about her in our pages before. Virginia is the artist responsible for that wonderful Welcome To Newtown train mural on the Church Hill Road railroad bridge.

Friends of Newtown Seniors will continue their monthly FONS Social events next week. All are invited to this month’s event, planned for Wednesday, June 26, at HillTop Kitchen in Sandy Hook. Reservations are required so that organizer Janice Garten can work with the restaurant to make sure everyone is welcomed next week. Give her a call at 203-304-9196 and she’ll get you on that list (and let you know what time to arrive).

Did you know pollination services from honey bees and other insects provide the backbone to ensuring our diets are diverse and plentiful with fruits, nuts, and vegetables? In all, there are over 100 crops grown in the United States that depend on pollination. I mention these facts because the USDA is recognizing and celebrating National Pollinator Week until June 23. The special observance opened on Monday, June 17, and has offered the public an opportunity to explore and learn about pollinator health and how those powerhouses help bring food to everyone’s table.

Of course the best way to support your local bees is to subscribe to The Newtown Bee! Ha! See what I did there? This newspaper remains the best source of information for all things Newtown. It’s a honey of a collection, published every week by the folks at 5 Church Hill Road. We have an active website, but the best way to make sure you read all of the stories, see all of the ads, and enjoy those color photos is to purchase our print edition. Subscriptions start at $50 for one year, which is less than the $1 cover charge, that includes delivery to your home or office! Call 203-426-3141, send a note to subscriptions@thebee.com or visit newtownbee.com to get yours started or to make sure your subscription doesn’t run out.

I hope you won’t run out on me. It’s been too hot to do much running. I promise I’ll be right here next week if you’ll promise to come back to … read me again.

The members ofHiram Lodge #18 in Sandy Hook are the recipients this week of a Good Egg Award.
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