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Newlyweds Support Local Charity In Lieu Of Party Favors

Published: September 14, 2018 at 07:00 am

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Prior to their wedding in July, Megan Gibbons and Stephen Miller visited the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation’s site, where the organization plans to build an animal sanctuary.  (Terri Gibbons photo)

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At Megan Gibbons and Stephen Miller’s wedding, they placed small cards designed by Ms Gibbons’ aunt, Colleen Gibbons, detailing that instead of giving traditional party favors, the couple had made a donation to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. —photo courtesy of Megan Gibbons

Tiny bottles of champagne, tubes of bubbles, matchbooks — there are a number of traditional items people choose to gift as party favors in order to thank their guests for attending their wedding.

Doing a “favor,” though, at its essence involves an act of kindness that goes above and beyond what is expected from someone.

Newlyweds Megan Gibbons and Stephen Miller did just that when they mutually decided to have the money intended for party favors go towards the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, a charity centered around spreading kindness.

The nonprofit foundation was created to honor the compassionate life of first grader Catherine Hubbard, who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14. The organization seeks to not only build an animal sanctuary, but it also currently conducts free monthly programs called Sundays at the Sanctuary designed to help people connect with nature and its creatures.

Ms Gibbons grew up in Sandy Hook, where her family still resides, and attended the same elementary school as Catherine.

“My favorite days of school were walks with Mr [George] Stockwell on the trails. That curiosity transformed into a passion as I got older…” Ms Gibbons explained. “The amazing educational programs, conservation efforts, and message of kindness that the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation was founded upon [are] very close to my heart.”

Even though Mr Miller, a native of Exeter, N.H., did not grow up in Newtown, he learned about the local organization from his wife and was confident it was the right choice for where to send their wedding donation.

“[Megan’s] family has showed me how much love and kindness is possible. Her upbringing and the importance of a program like this to the children of her hometown made this a perfect way to spread the kindness,” he said. “Coming from an animal-loving home myself, I thought this was perfect. I’d much rather support a great cause than waste money on little gifts no one would remember.”

On the day of their July 6 wedding at Brookfield’s Candlewood Inn, the couple put a small card at each place setting that announced their decision to donate to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation instead of supply party favors.

The card read, “To our family and friends, after much thought and consideration, we have chosen a special way to say ‘Thank you’ for sharing our wedding day with us. In lieu of traditional wedding favors, we have made a donation in your honor to [the] Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. We truly appreciate your presence on this special occasion as we begin our lives together.”

The following month, the foundation posted a photo on its Facebook page of the couple visiting the sanctuary and thanked them for their donation in support of the sanctuary.

Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s mother and president of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, expressed her appreciation for the couple’s donation, telling The Newtown Bee, “When we receive notes letting us know people have included the sanctuary in their milestones and most sacred moments, we are not only humbled but reminded of the love and kindness that lies at the very heart of the sanctuary. We are truly grateful for the support and generosity of Megan and Stephen.”

Those interested in learning more about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation can visit cvhfoundation.org or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
33% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
33% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
33% (1 vote)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3