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The Top Of The Mountain



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We seem to have made it through the COVID-19 Fourth of July weekend in a relatively quiet manner. Only a few top notch blasts were heard (and seen above tree tops) around town on Saturday night. Neighborhood fireworks and noisy gatherings typical to this holiday were subdued, if my nosing about various sections of town are accurate. Here’s hoping by July 4, 2021 we are back to our usual holiday high jinks!

Talk about hopes for 2021: Woe is us! Word has reached us that the Labor Day Parade is canceled for this fall, and due to the reopening pause, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation will cancel this year’s Butterfly Party scheduled for August 22. A rescheduled date for the Butterfly Party is set for June 5, 2021. While we understand it is for the safety of our community — the next weeks and months remain so uncertain — we are sad to see annual programs sidelined.

Congratulations to Newtown Senior Center member Susan Schneider, who was the winner of New Milford’s Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation’s “Declutter Your Space” contest. Susan won a Home Depot gift card, a customized frame, a plant, and goodies presented to her on June 30 by Judy Thomas, Senior Center assistant director and Natalie Jackson, LCSW, director of human services.

What’s the buzz in town? Well, resident Cathy Reiss captured one thing that was abuzz in her yard — a photo of a bumble bee enjoying a visit to a daisy plant..

Your support of the local FAITH Food Pantry continues to be an ongoing need. Right now, the pantry at 46 Church Hill Road on the St Rose Church campus — but not a religion-based pantry — is most in need of canned beef stew, chili, and sloppy Joe; baked beans; canned tomatoes; pasta/pasta sauce; mac and cheese; canned fruit; rice and packaged rice/pasta dishes; PB& J; cookies; crackers; bottled juice; brownie, cake, and cookie mixes; pet food; toothpaste; shampoo/conditioner; toilet paper; laundry, hand, and dish soap; and coffee. Please call 203-837-0816 or 203-426-5604 to schedule a time to drop off donations. Monetary donations are also helpful, as FAITH volunteers can then shop for items that are scarce on the pantry shelves. Send your donation to FAITH Food Pantry of Newtown, Inc, PO Box 53, Newtown CT 06470 or visit http://newtownfoodpantry.org/donations.html.

You can mark your calendar to help residents of our neighboring city of Danbury, as well, when United Way of Western Connecticut hosts a Community Food Drive, Friday, August 7, from 2 to 6 pm, and Saturday, August 8, from 9 am to noon, at the Danbury Fair Mall. This contact-free event will accept donations of boxed or canned food items via a drive-through in the mall parking lot near L.L. Bean. A tent will be set up, and volunteers will remove donations from your vehicle trunk. Want to help out? Volunteers are needed, so contact stacy.schulman@uwwesternct.org or call 203-826-8479.

One of the things that makes The Newtown Bee extra special is the honor we have of featuring people from around town who do some extraordinary things. But unless someone gives us the heads up, we can only hope to stumble upon a smattering of the many feel-good things that happen in Newtown. If you know of a person or group that is making life better on a big or little level for others, if someone you know is honored with an award or recognition, if you are embarking on or returning from an adventure, tell The Newtown Bee. We would love the privilege of sharing your story. Send story ideas to editor@thebee.com for consideration. Current and upcoming stories are best, or those of historical note. We look forward to hearing from you! (For that matter, if you know someone who would like to be featured in the weekly Snapshot, the personal profile that appears on Page 2 of each issue and online, contact alissa@thebee.com.)

My curiosity got the better of me last Tuesday, when I noticed people gathering — safely spaced — up at Fairfield Hills. Then I remembered that every Tuesday this summer, from 2 to 6:30 pm, the Newtown Farmers Market is underway. Vendors and shoppers are doing a great job of making it a socially distanced, masked event, and no one seemed to mind much. There is produce (Connecticut grown, of course), meat products, honey, jams, and more, though I did not sniff out any Connecticut made cat food... It is definitely worth a trip to our Fairfield Hills campus, at any rate! See you there next week?

If I could wrap my paws around some crayons, I’d be coloring the special coloring scene that has been featured in the pages of this paper for the past month. Artist (and education reporter) Eliza Hallabeck has been doodling these scenes and is hoping to get back some photos of how you have added to the pictures and made them your own works of art. You’ll find this week’s picture on page A12... and grown ups, no need to be shy! This is fun for all ages! So color away, and then send the results to eliza@thebee.com.

Sometimes the blues just come over me. Even with reopening of businesses in town, things seem kind of off kilter. If you feel like it all gets to be too much, don’t forget how lucky we are to have Newtown Youth & Family Services here in town. All services are available online and help is just a phone call away. You can call 203-270-4335 or call 203-791-7332 after hours, or visit newtownyouthandfamily services.org to find out more. A little sadness is understandable, but long-lasting gloominess that affects your daily life can be helped, with the right help.

For less serious down-in-the-dumps feelings, I have found that scrolling through the Parks & Rec list of summer activities has lifted my spirits. P&R is really going out of its way to provide summer fun for kids of all ages, and doing so in a way that addresses COVID-19 concerns. It’s not too late to sign up for ongoing summer day camps; join in on baseball, basketball, soccer, or golf camps, for example, or look into dog training classes. Check out the P&R programs at newtown-ct.gov. And on Thursday evenings, P&R has a lineup of live music at Dickinson Park, from 6:30 to 8 pm (BYO chair). Plan to practice safe COVID protocols, but how great to be able to spend time, live and in person, with friends and neighbors for a little while, and to hear some good music!

The Newtown Hawks are hosting a Lacrosse Camp through Parks & Recreation, by the way, with Newtown head lacrosse coach Scott Bulkley and NHS Lacrosse “stars.” All areas of lacrosse will be covered: stickwork, shooting, defense, goaltending, faceoffs. The camp takes place at NHS back field, July 28-30, from 10 am to noon, for ages 8 to 14. The cost is $125 and you can register for Activity #409617 A on the P&R page. Questions? E-mail coachbulkley@gmail.com. Campers need to have a lacrosse helmet, mouthpiece, elbow pads, gloves, shoulder pads, lacrosse stick, and a bottle of water.

I hope you had a chance to slap on your mask and find a safely separate spot on the parade route Wednesday morning, when carloads of 2020 NHS seniors traveled from the high school all the way to the flagpole in the center of town. What a great opportunity to celebrate this class that had the most upended final year of schooling ever experienced in Newtown. I have to admit I was a little choked up watching the many highly decorated vehicles come up Main Street, students waving enthusiastically at those on the sidelines. Congratulations, again, to all of those students! And thank you to the administrators and families who worked hard to make this graduation year unforgettable for the Class of 2020. (See page A5 of this week’s issue for photos and details!)

Every week is unforgettable to me, just because I know that next week you will... Read me again.

Cathy Reiss found something abuzz on one of her flowers.
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