Reaching for an apple-red fire truck Wednesday, March 18, Joanne Whiting lifted the children’s toy from a shelf. The store manager for The Toy Tree on Church Hill Road, she and store owner Tracy Schmid waited for parents to arrive and meet the makers of the toy: Sandy Hook Sandy Hook father and son Jim and Luke Barber. The Barbers started Luke’s Toy Factory several years ago. About the eco-friendly and “made in America” toy trucks, Luke Barber explained on the company's website that he and his father decided to make a better toy "following a number of high profile toy recalls from major toy manufacturers." The fire trucks produced by Luke's Toy Factory are made locally, of recycled materials, and suitable for ages 3 and up. The toys are sold through the website as well as at The Toy Tree in Newtown. The Barbers and Toy Tree owner Tracy Schmid were interviewed recently for a segment of CPTV's "Made in Connecticut" scheduled to air March 26.;
The Children’s Department of C.H. Booth Library received a special donation, Thursday, March 19, delivered in two boxes by Sandy Hook resident Julia Provey. Inside the boxes were more than two dozen children’s books, gifts of children’s book illustrators/authors Ted and Betsy Lewin. Among the books given to the C.H. Booth Library are Top To Bottom Down Under, and Puffling Patrol, written and illustrated by both of the Lewins; Giggle, Giggle, Quack, illustrated by Betsy Lewin; and American, Too, illustrated by Ted Lewin.
It may be that people whistle while they work, but do they sing? That may have been the question of anyone passing by C.H. Booth Library on Friday, March 20, prior to its 11 am opening. The tune was a familiar one, wafting out of the meeting room: Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” but those words? “And now, retirement is here / And so I face the final book drop. / My friend, I’ll say it clear / I’m trading boots for a pair of flip flops … much more than this, I did it Ralph’s way!” More than 20 Booth Library staff members were responsible for the performance (with apologies to the blue-eyed crooner), a serenade to longtime library custodian, Ralph Scogno.
The third annual Sandy Hook 5K will bring together 1,500 adults and 250 children on Saturday, March 28, to honor the memories of those who were killed on, as well as to offer continued support to those affected by, 12/14. Race Co-Director Katie Blake said it was a “heroic desire to show solidarity” with fellow fire responders that led Jeff Kozo, a member of Washington (Depot) Volunteer Fire Department, to coordinate a group of firefighters for this year’s Sandy Hook 5K. She calls the idea one of a few “incredible stories” that have arisen surrounding this year’s race. Seven members of the local fire company have accepted the invitation to walk with Mr Kozo and his fellow first responders next weekend.
Newtown High School’s musical production of "City Of Angels" is set to open for audiences on Thursday, March 19, and continue through Sunday, March 22. "City of Angels" is a musical about a novelist trying to turn a book into a screenplay, and it shows both the plot of the writer’s attempt to create a screenplay and the plot of the fictional film being creating. "City of Angels" will be performed Thursday through Saturday, March 19-21, at 7 pm; and Sunday, March 22, at 2 pm. Tickets are $14 for students and senior citizens, and $18 for adults.
Newtown resident Ted Welsh, a retired Norwalk High School social science and international politics teacher, has been offering courses at the University of Connecticut’s Waterbury location through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Programming is centered on classes developed and taught by members who volunteer their time to share their knowledge and experience with other members. The OLLI program also sponsors special events featuring noted authors, scholars and experts in respected professional fields.” After a year of retirement, Mr Welsh said he started “nosing around” for ideas of things to do. A friend pointed him toward OLLI. This semester Mr Welsh is overseeing two sections of one course, called “Understanding The Arab-Israeli Conflict.”
Dancers from The Gray School of Irish Dance visited Wesley Learning Center on March 9 to offer a pre-St Patrick’s Day dance performance. After a collection of short performances, the visiting instructors and dancers invited their audience to join them for a brief workshop during the special event. Christina Dolzall, a dancer and Gray School instructor, greeted the children and their teachers. “We're very happy to be here for you this morning, to do some Irish dancing for St Patrick's Day,” she said. The dancers, who ranged in age from 8 to 21, offered a single jig, a reel, a slip jig, a light jig, and a treble jig. The girls danced in varying pairs and trios, after Ms Dolzall introduced each dance style for the children and their teachers.