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The Top Of The Mountain



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Nearly $1,000 was raised in the days leading to Halloween thanks to this year’s Great Pumpkin Challenge. The annual event, hosted since 2016 by Trinity Episcopal Church’s youth group, received 93 carved pumpkins for the Halloween display — despite some pretty rainy, not-so-pleasant drop-off days — according to Kim Merrill at Trinity Church. The public was again invited to drop off pumpkins last week, and each pumpkin artist was asked for a $5 donation along with their pumpkin. The annual event was launched in 2010 by then-Newtown Middle School student Mackenzie Page, and has continued to raise funds each year for The Hole in The Wall Gang Camp.

You can read about Halloween on Main Street in this week’s edition of The Newtown Bee, or at newtownbee.com, where you’ll find more photos with the story. Here’s a photo Pete Salonia shared with us this week: The Beast (Pete) gives daughter Beauty (Isabelle) a big hug while out Trick-or-Treating. Thanks for sharing, Pete; and I’m sure there are many other great photos out there from the windy and wet fun everyone had last Thursday night.

Congratulations to all the candidates who put in the time and effort this election season, whether winning or not. We are fortunate to have so many people in our town who are willing to step up and offer their skills and knowledge for the many important posts that keep our town going. Thank you to each one.

Trinity Day School (TDS) has been selected as a beneficiary of the Big Y Community Bag Program, a reusable bag program that facilitates community support. TDS was selected as the November beneficiary of the program by store leadership at the Big Y located at 6 Queen Street. The school will receive a $1 donation every time one of the $2.50 reusable Community Bags is purchased at the Newtown location this month, unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag. For more information on the Big Y Community Bag Program, visit bigy.bags4mycause.com.

Meanwhile, Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue was selected by Stop & Shop for its similar program. The local fire company will benefit from each Community Bag purchased at the Southbury Stop & Shop location, which is in Southbury Plaza, 100 Main Street North. For each reusable $2.50 Stop & Shop Community Bag purchased at that store this month, the fire company will receive $1, unless the shopper makes note of a different nonprofit they would prefer the donation go to through a tag attached to each bag. For more information about that program, visit stopandshop.bags4mycause.com.

Tis the season for craft and art fairs. This Saturday, pay a visit to the Newtown Senior Center, 8 Simpson Street, where a Holiday Bazaar will be underway. From 9 am to 3 pm, you’ll find handmade items of all kinds, along with a White Elephant room, and baked goodies. Be sure to bring your own tote bags.

Then skip over to Christ the King Lutheran Church on Mt Pleasant Road, where the Fall Fair will offer handmade crafts, live music, a fire truck visit, and tag sales, not to mention a bake sale. The Fall Fair runs from 9 am to 3 pm, and is indoors, rain or shine.

Rumor has it that Hope On Main Street Newtown will be partnering with Danbury Chive for a pub crawl on Saturday evening, November 9, beginning at 7 pm. The crawl will benefit the American Cancer Society. Give Burgerittoville a call at 203-270-3500 for more information.

If you are lucky enough to have Veterans Day off from work, maybe you’ll be so energized you want to take part in the Moonlight Walk sponsored by the Bikes and Trails Committee at Fairfield Hills (or maybe a day at work means you need some immediate relief from the great outdoors). Meet at 5:45 pm on Monday evening at the corner of Trades Lane and Keating Farms Avenue for the 1.88-mile loop walk under the full Frost Moon. Bring your flashlights or other means of lighting the way. Baby strollers welcome, but skateboards, scooters, and Fido must be left at home. For more information, visit newtown-ct.gov/bike-trail-committee or call 203-448-0758.

The VFW is hosting a Veterans Day ceremony at the 18 Tinkerfield Road site. Open to the public, the program begins at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

It just so happens that the US Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on November 10, in case you want to throw in some special congratulations to any Marine veteran you happen upon this week.

A reminder this week that Diamond Dental and Newtown Lions Club will cohost a free dental clinic next week. On Monday, November 11, between 9 am and 5 pm, Newtown residents who need exams, X-rays, cleanings, flourides, fillings, and/or simple extractions can take advantage of this general offer by Dr Ratna Vedullapalli and Dr Kelvin Wang and their staff. The one request? Make an appointment, though the number available is more and more limited every day: call Lions Club member Katherine Simpson, 203-304-9390, for a chance to still get into Monday’s appointment book.

We are sad to hear that our Newtown Olympia Sports in Sand Hill Plaza is among the 50 New England stores that the company is shutting down. Big sales are currently ongoing, as the local outlet expects its closing date (not yet announced) to be late December or early January.

Joel Levitt, the author of The Tree of Lives: A Journey Through Genealogy, will be the guest speaker for The Genealogy Club of Newtown on November 13. The club meets in the lower meeting room of C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street, promptly at 7 pm, but all are invited to arrive early to converse with other genealogists and have some light refreshments. Mr Levitt’s book is the story of his immigrant ancestors and their descendants as they arrived and settled in the Golden Land. Within its pages of histories, photos, documents, and family trees are wedding bandleaders and nightclub piano players, a Ballet Master and a mobster, and generations of strivers from the streets of Brooklyn. Mr Levitt will talk about his book and then open the floor for questions from the audience. Reservations are not needed, but additional information is available by calling Bea Morgan at 203-304-1861.

Details are still being worked on, but you can mark your calendar now for the 2019 Newtown Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering. This year’s celebration of sacred texts and prayers for peace and thanksgiving, presented by representatives from many of Newtown’s faith traditions is being planned for Sunday, November 24, at Congregation Adath Israel. And rumor has it this year’s service will have an early start time. We will share more details following next week’s Newtown Interfaith Council meeting.

Probably the only people excited about the first snowflakes of the season are skiers. Well, we hear from Vermont that “class snowmaking and favorable temperatures have allowed both Stowe and Okemo to start making snow at higher elevations during the first weekend of November. Sister resort Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire will begin snowmaking soon as well. Opening day for the 2019/20 season at all three resorts is approaching quickly. Stowe and Okemo are targeting November 22 as the start of winter operations, while Mount Sunapee is aiming for November 27. All three resorts will commemorate their opening days with ‘First Chair’ celebrations.”

Who knew there was a popcorn season? The Popcorn Board at popcorn.org, that’s who. The PB tells me that harvest time for popcorn and cranberries is upon us and offers lots of recipes for this duo at its website. Popped corn also contains just over 100 calories per five cups of the crunchy snack, in case you’re counting. Of course, that is sans butter! It’s a whole grain carb that is high in fiber, so why not add it to any upcoming holiday menu? Easy-peasy...

Keep track of all those 2020 events coming up on a free Newtown Bee calendar. Calendars are still available at the 5 Church Hill Road office. Stop in during office hours, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, and pick up your 2020 calendar. You’ll find them on the counter by our front door.

I’ll be keeping track of the goings on around this town, so be sure next week to... Read me again.

Dad and daughter, "Beauty" and "The Beast" had fun on Halloween.
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