The Newtown High School parking lot was swarming with police officers and people as exotic cars and Newtown elementary school students and their parents lined up for the Newtown Car Show and first Kindness Dream Ride on Saturday, June 20.
The first Newtown Car Show was organized five years ago by Rich Marcuccio, the store manager at the Newtown Stop & Shop. The event was started as a way to raise money for the FAITH Food Pantry. Two years ago, Chris Sferruzzo became a co-organizer and the event has grown in the past years, according to Mr Sferruzzo.
“It’s so big now,” said Mr Sferruzzo. “Initially it was just to benefit the Newtown Food Pantry. But now we have pallets of food being delivered to food pantries in Beacon Falls, Monroe, and Oxford as well as Newtown Social Services and the FAITH Food Pantry.”
Despite the rain and the scaled-back schedule, Mr Sferruzzo estimates that more than $40,000 in food and donations was raised.
Though the Car Show is in its fifth year, this year marked the first Kindness Dream Ride, which Mr Sferruzzo said is a celebration for the kids and a way to incorporate more community involvement.
While the threat of an early summer storm moved the Summer Jam Concert Series opener to an indoor venue this week, the enthusiasm of children and adults like filled the gym at Hawley School with enough happy energy that the last-minute change of plans was quickly overcome. Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys opened this year’s season of free concerts on June 23, and a few hundred people crowded into the Church Hill Road location to enjoy the show. Children spun, twirled, giggled, laughed and danced their way through this song and every other one that made up the approximately 75-minute show. Ms Trien was joined by her band: Paul Kochanski, Dave Jamrog and Adam Rothberg. The free concerts will be offered weekly through August 4. They are for all ages, with a special focus on children age 10 and under.
Summer days may be long, but there is no shortage of activities in and near Newtown, from hiking to biking to horseback riding to swimming. A few Newtowners offered their own recommendations for summer outings, from horseback riding and hiking to bicycling, swimming and kayaking.
As the Rockin’ The ‘Ville event was underway at the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire & Rescue on Saturday, June 13, Jami Zapata, a firefighter engineer and Hawleyville’s organizer for the occasion, was busy making her way between setting up different areas of activity.
“People were extremely generous with their donations,” said Ms Zapata, who also said a large committee with the Stony Hill Four Corners Business Association (SH4C) worked tirelessly to make the event possible.
Presented by the business association, all proceeds from the event went to benefit the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company.
Last time I rode on the grounds of Fairfield Hills it was the late 1990s for the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard Judged Pleasure Ride. This annual event has obstacles to tackle, things to pull, gates to open and executing some pretty scary stuff that you’ve probably never done on your horse before that day. Aside from the Mylar balloons that thwarted our team’s chances at glory that year (we came in second) its challenges are nothing compared to what I encountered on June 13, trail riding.
I did not grow up in or near a large city, nor did I do much traveling as a child. The cuisine at home was primarily meat and potatoes in all their variations, and seasonings were simple and grouped: Italian seasoning; pumpkin pie spice; salt and pepper. It was all really good food, but not too global. To be honest, it seemed pretty exotic to have chili at a friend’s house. My sister started work at a Mexican restaurant in the next town over, and brought home a container of a chip dip quite unlike the sour cream and onion dip that generally shouted “Party!” at our house. This dip — and the triangular corn chips that accompanied it — woke up my taste buds like a torch in a dungeon.
The Children’s Summer Reading Program returns to C.H. Booth Library on Tuesday, June 23. The annual incentive-based program is held to promote reading while school is out for the summer. Alana Bennison, head of the children’s department at the library, encourages all parents and children to get involved. “It’s all about finding the right books for each child, and it’s about improving the ability to recall and retell stories,” said Ms Bennison. This goal will be achieved with the help of the young adult volunteers from the program’s beginning to its end on August 15. Around 45 volunteers, ranging from seventh grade to twelfth grade, will be assisting this year.