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Hearts Of Hope Chapter Continues Summer Project With Painting Party At Reverie



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The Newtown chapter of Hearts of Hope (HOH) hosted its latest outdoor event of the season last week, welcoming guests to Reverie Brewing Company.

Guests were spread out among tables set up under a tent behind the Church Hill Road brewery. Representatives from the local chapter were joined by HOH founder Judy Pederson, who welcomed most people as they arrived for the Thursday evening painting party.

This summer, HOH-Newtown has set a goal to create enough hearts for each teacher in Newtown to receive one at the start of the 2021-22 academic year. Palm-size ceramic hearts and all supplies needed to turn the plain white clay pieces into unique works of art were at the ready for painters on July 22, and within a few hours, the group was another step closer to meeting that goal.

Marilyn DeJoseph was especially helpful, arriving with nearly two dozen hearts she had painted at home for the collection. DeJoseph also joined others under the tent Thursday night, adding more hearts to the growing collection.

Among those in attendance were Andrea Abt and Letty Halpern, ESL teachers at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y. Both are also friends and coworkers of Diane Sarna, a Newtown resident and HOH board member.

“I’m so happy they’re here,” Sarna said. “I love that we have teachers painting for teachers tonight.”

Some attendees enjoyed beverages from the brewery’s menu as they painted, and food was available from Sonny’s Grinders, the food truck at Reverie that evening. A pitcher of ice water was continually replenished, offering a cool drink as the heat of the day lingered.

While Hearts of Hope has traditionally hosted events indoors — previously in the hall of Newtown United Methodist Church — the group presented its first outdoor event last month, at Aquila’s Nest Vineyard in Sandy Hook. That evening served as the formal launch of the Paint With A Purpose: Newtown Teachers project.

The next HOH-Newtown painting party has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 18. It will be another outdoor event, this time at Newsylum Brewing Company, 36 Keating Farms Avenue.

Participants that evening will continue painting hearts for local teachers.

The event will run from 6 to 9 pm, with reservations requested; send e-mail to newtown@ourheartsofhope.com or visit the group’s Facebook page. Cost is $10 per heart to be painted; reservations help organizers plan for enough supplies.

Pedersen plans to be in attendance at that event, too, and will speak about HOH and its mission.

Sarna said the local chapter will begin hosting its painting events indoors again in September. It plans to have monthly events at Newtown Community Center, she said last week.

Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at shannon@thebee.com.

Hearts of Hope board member Diane Sarna, center, explains the process of turning simple ceramic hearts into Hearts of Hope during a Paint With A Purpose event at Reverie Brewing on July 22. Letty Halpern, left, and Andrea Abt were first-time attendees. The three women are friends, and teachers in Bedford, N.Y. —Bee Photos, Hicks
Connor Mahoney checks his phone for reference while painting his first Hearts of Hope heart on July 22. Connor was working on a sunset scene, based on something he found online. Meanwhile, Shannon Mahoney adds the first layer of paint to a ceramic heart.
Marilyn DeJoseph works on her latest Hearts of Hope creation during last week’s painting event. DeJoseph has been an regular supporter of the local chapter for a few years.
Deanna Maltese was attending her first Hearts of Hope event on July 22. She was still unsure, she said, what she was going to put on her initial heart as she laid down the first coat of paint.
Annemarie and Marianna Maltese stop at the supplies table to select their materials for the evening. Hearts of Hope provides all the paint and brushes, markers, and even inspiration for anyone who wants to participate in a painting party. —Bee Photo, Hicks
Hundreds of painted hearts are being created this summer through Hearts of Hope-Newtown so that each teacher in Newtown receives one at the onset of the 2021-22 academic year. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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