This week kicks off the hectic holiday season and that means travel, turkey, and a tendency toward large family gatherings. It also means happiness for the household hounds with guests bearing extra treats, kisses, and belly rubs. As we plan for the upcoming festivities let’s pledge to keep our pets happy and hazard-free.
Newtown Junior Women’s Club (NJWC) and Education Connection have launched the annual Tag-A-Gift Program, one part of the annual Newtown Fund Holiday Basket Program. NJWC and Education Connection are coordinating this year the collection and wrapping of holiday gifts for Newtown children in need. The Tag-A-gift program provides the toys and other gifts for The Newtown Fund’s annual gift and food drive for local families. The event culminates with Depot Day, when all items are delivered to families in Newtown who need a hand putting food on the table and gifts under the tree. NJWC, which has done the Tag-A-Gift program for years, is now being joined by the regional educational service center. "We're all working toward the same goal, so we decided to work together this year,” said NJWC member Meri Jitsukawa.
The Chamber of Commerce of Newtown has expanded its fundraising for the 30th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Ram Pasture, scheduled this year for Friday, December 5. A few weeks ago, The Tree Lighting Committee members announced that they have decided to use glow sticks inside the white bags, replacing tea light candles that have been traditionally used. With that decision, however, also comes a larger bill than in years past for the one of the first events in town of the holiday season. Chamber President Timothy Haas said this week that the cost of putting on the tree lighting ceremony has gone up “significantly” due to the decision to use glow sticks.
The 54th Annual Rotary Pancake Day returns to the Alexandria Room of Edmond Town Hall, Saturday, December 6, from 8 am to 1 pm. Rotary members will be staffing the kitchen, turning out fluffy flapjacks and homemade sausages from Butcher’s Best. The $7 ticket for adults and $3 ticket for children under the age of 10 includes applesauce, orange juice, milk, hot chocolate, coffee, or tea, as well. If one serving does not quite do the trick, there is no need to be shy. As always, Pancake Day is “all you can eat,” served with a smile by Newtown Middle School and Reed Intermediate School Interact Club members.
The opening night of Alan Ball’s "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," celebrated last Friday night at Ridgefield Theatre Barn, was well received by a fully sated, sold out audience. The cabaret style seating lent itself to the camaraderie and and intimacy of the piece. The audience felt like flies on the wall of the bedroom set, so much so that audience members even felt compelled to chime in. And despite the title, this play is not for women only. The performances and the humor are quality fare for adults of both sexes.
The Brookfield Theatre of the Arts production of Larry Kramer’s "The Normal Heart," under the direction of David Bass, is pretty much flawless. Full disclosure here, I love this play. It pulls back the curtain on on a dark time in American history, when many were willing to turn a blind eye to a plague striking an entire population deemed to be different. Because of their preferences, they were marginalized in their time of suffering and need. Tissues should be provided with the tickets.
There were undoubtedly a lot of Country Music fans glued to their TVs on November 5, the night of the 47th Annual CMAs – the Country Music Association’s annual awards ceremony. But there were probably few as excited as local family members of former Newtown resident Matt Wheeler, whose work as a Nashville recording studio engineer was featured on seven CMA nominated albums and songs by Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Keith Urban. As the awards ceremony wrapped up, Wheeler was proud to learn that he was recognized for his engineering skills on Lambert’s CMA winning Album of the Year Platinum, and for his work as Assistant Engineer on her CMA winning Song of the Year, “Automatic.”