Elizabeth O’Brien, a former Newtown resident who now lives and works in Hawaii, received an email from a co-worker on Tuesday, November 19. The co-worker had attended a conference over the previous weekend, and met Scarlett Lewis, the mother of 12/14 victim Jesse Lewis. Ms Lewis recently published a book, "Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope & Forgiveness" based on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message the had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he was killed. Ms O'Brien, who had planned to teaching her students about what happened in her former hometown, was "floored," she said, when she learned that Ms Lewis had agreed to visit her school to speak to students. The concept of choosing love, she said, has inspired her career.
Dressed in vibrant red costumes, Kylee Raiano and Julia Finegan held a playful pose while between them, Monique Dubois spun a delicate parasol. The Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet’s Malenkee Ballet Repertoire Company has been in rehearsals recently, preparing for their annual performance of The Nutcracker Suite. The dancers will take the stage for two Sunday, December 1 performances, at noon and 2 pm. The condensed version of the full-length ballet will also include a story narrative. The five-hour festival also includes a Victorian Tea and craft boutique at Edmond Town Hall, a gingerbread contest and raffle of decorated trees, wreaths and holiday decorations at C.H. Booth Library, and the new addition of trolley tours narrated by Town Historian Dan Cruson, will return to Main Street on Sunday, December 1. The family friendly offering is a benefit for Newtown Youth & Family Services.
For the 2013 Newtown Choral Society (NCS) winter concert, Director Mary Andreotta chose the theme of “Home for the Holidays.” “I wanted to create the feeling of comfort, familiarity, and pride of being home in Newtown for the holidays,, for the choir and for our audience,” said Ms Andreotta, who created a program that includes a number of “familiar and accessible music,” as well as two original compositions by local composers. In keeping with the theme of this year’s concert, the audience will also be treated to “Ave Maria” by Dan Coffman of Bethel and “It’s Christmas in Newtown” by Newtown resident Phil Crevier. The annual performance will be mid-afternoon on Sunday, December 8, at Newtown Meeting House.
As a fundraiser for both the Newtown Middle School and Reed Intermediate School Interact Clubs, donated trees will be sold starting Saturday, December 7, for $40 each. The fundraiser is possible thanks to the donation of 100 trees — including balsam, white spruce, and blue spruce trees — from NMS science teacher Jason Adams, whose family has had a Newtown tree farm for generations. The sale will begin December 7, continue December 8, and will resume the weekend of December 14-15 if trees are still available. Proceeds from the sale will benefit each club, as well as local charities.
Newtown native Allison Hornak has opened Migrant Salon, located at 117-D Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook Center. But do not expect to find a barbershop chair and hair stylists in this salon.
Ms Hornak is a 2010 graduate of Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts, with a degree in fine arts, focusing on interdisciplinary art. With Migrant Salon, an art gallery and performance space, she is putting her focus on small group exhibitions by area artists.
Newtown has a wealth of shops well stocked with gifts for the season. There is no need to go beyond the town’s boundaries to find oodles of gifts that are perfect, and shopping locally means easy parking, individual service, and none of the big box store headaches.