Organization Summit Reinforced Collaborating Toward Common Goals

Published: February 09, 2019 at 08:00 am


Using a cleverly edited video that illustrated the hundreds of individuals who come together to create a successful Metropolitan Opera performance, keynote speaker Dr Danielle Rathey kicked off Newtown’s first Community Organization Summit at the Municipal Center on February 1.

The rescheduled event, after a weather postponement two weeks earlier, was nonetheless attended by several dozen interested participants representing residents, volunteers, municipal agencies, and numerous other local organizations.

Hosted by Jennifer Crane and the Newtown Center for Support and Wellness (CSW), the event sought to gather various community members and workers together to discuss how to better collaborate to make Newtown an even nicer community in which to live, work, operate a business, raise a family, and retire.

In attendance were representatives from Newtown Education Foundation, American Legion Newtown Post 202, Newtown Parks & Recreation, the C.H. Booth Library, FONS (Friends of Newtown Seniors), Serenity Lane Counseling, the local Lions Club, the Town of Newtown, Newtown Action Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, Newtown Woman’s Club GFWC, Resiliency Center of Newtown, Newtown Youth and Family Services, Newtown Public Schools, A Place for Hope and Healing, Kevin’s Community Center, Newtown Community Center, NYA Sports and Fitness, Spay and Neuter Association of Newtown, Meals on Wheels, and The Newtown Bee.

Event keynote speaker Dr Rathey, herself a former professional ballet dancer, thought everyone could relate to the video she displayed that showed how individuals from musicians to costumers to stagehands and performers first came together with others sharing their own specialty, only to join with many others as showtime approached to make the resulting performance a success.

Her introductory remarks were followed by participants coming together under Ms Crane’s leadership to form two smaller break-out sessions and finally one large group discussion. Participants also shared contact information and collaborated writing events and activities into what was intended to possibly become a centrally managed calendar.

The intention, if eventually doable, was to try and create an accessible public database of planned events where residents and organizations could go to determine whether activities they are planning would conflict with others already scheduled.

Ms Crane explained that along with soliciting event input, she hoped the summit would expose participants to other organizations they have not worked with in the past, explore partnerships for collaborations and/or possible shared funding, and inspire attendees to better define their organizations’ passion and share them with others.

Attendees were encouraged to bring business cards and other materials for their organizations, and some contributed small give-aways as raffle prizes.

Among the topics that guided group discussions were health and education, recovery, children, and introductions by representatives who were asked to explain the business of their organizations.

The event concluded with a brief talk on how all attendees could best work together.

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