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The Top of the Mountain

Calling Newtown’s lords, ladies, and house servants. The C.H. Booth Library has a “Downton Abbey Tea” set for Saturday, January 4, from 3 pm to 4 pm, to celebrate the January 5 return of the popular BBC Channel Downton Abbey program. People attending the tea party at the library are asked to come in costume. Register for the proper tea party at www.chboothlibrary.org, under the events calendar link.

The EverWonder Experience will be no longer calling its Wednesday activities Cabin Fever Wednesday. The small scale children’s museum at 31 Pecks Lane will begin treating its Wednesday activities like its weekend activities: each week brings a different special event or science activity for visitors. The EverWonder Experience is open on Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, and Sundays from 12 pm to 3 pm. Admission is free until at least the end of March. This month, however, guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation for FAITH Food Pantry. EverWonder will be closed on Wednesdays, December 25 and 31.

Be a butterfly! The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation is spreading its wings to bring the message of its dream to create an animal sanctuary here in Newtown. Catherine, 6 years old, perished 12/14, and is remembered for her compassion toward all creatures, great and small. “Tell your friends that I am kind,” she would whisper to butterflies held briefly in her hand. You can be a butterfly by going to www.cvhfoundation.org/catherinesstory. Share or Like the video/page and find out what’s behind the butterfly, and how you can help make the dream come true.

Hundreds of Hearts of Hope — palm-sized clay hearts, each individually painted with images and/or brief messages of hope — were hung around town last Friday night. Volunteers of all ages stepped up to help the local chapter make sure that residents found the token that were created recently for Newtown, and then hung so that they were waiting for us on the first anniversary of 12/14. Newtown Christian Church members found four of the beautiful hearts on their property last weekend, including the one photographed on a wreath shown at right. Staff at The Bee was touched to be the recipients, as well, of special Hearts of Hope, delivered to the office on December 13.

Tim Warren of Connecticut-based band Alternate Routes let me know that the song he and band member Eric Donnelly wrote, “Nothing More,” was featured in the season finale of NCIS on CBS, Tuesday night. Maybe your ears perked up when you heard it? I just want to remind you that Alternate Routes is splitting profits from the sales of the song on iTunes with NewtownKindness, the foundation set up to honor 12/14 victim Charlotte Bacon. Go to iTunes to purchase the song, or check it out on YouTube. The song is currently #23 on the AAA FMBQ Indicator Chart, by the way, and Alternate Routes will be performing the song with RIS choral students in January, at their winter concert. Did you miss the stories recently written about Alternate Routes and their visits to Newtown? Click here and/or here to catch up.

Spaces are still open for those who would like to attend the Royal Holiday Party being planned for Monday, December 23, at The Resiliency Center of Newtown. The party starts at 11 and parents are invited to bring their children for a festive party in a castle setting, complete with visits from a “prince and princess.” Children will also decorate cookies in the safe setting. The event requires registration, which can be done through e-mail to Stephanie Cinque, founder and executive director of the center, at stephanie@resiliencycenterofnewtown.org. You can also call Stephanie at 203-364-9750 for reservations or additional information. There is no charge. The center is at 153 South Main Street; entrance is through the lower rear parking lot.

If you would like just a tiny bit of original art, I found myself mesmerized recently by the collection of small works at Koenig Frameworks on South Main Street. I recognized many local artists’ names attached to the offerings, and was impressed at how little it could cost to own a genuine painting, drawing, pastel, or photograph. Most of the works seem to be less than 12x12, so if you have a small area waiting to be embellished, I would not hesitate to stop and take a peek at this show before it ends on December 24. (Not to mention, there were multiple works featuring cats the day I stopped by.)

You might remember the youth-oriented arts organization, MouthPeace, which held its kick-off event at the Teen Center in October. I hear from founder Zach Kapple that MouthPeace is seeking youth artists and vendors to collaborate with, “to promote and to exhibit at our events. Currently, our team’s skills consist of musicianship, teaching, and instruction, welding, henna-work, poetry, photography, juggling, promotion, and graphic design, to name a few,” Zach tells me. “Any of these skills are still desirable, but we are specifically seeking visual artists, poets, musicians, vendors of handmade or specialty goods, grant-writers, videographers, performers of most any kind, and decorators from all backgrounds,” he says. Work on upcoming events and exhibitions will begin at the new year. MouthPeace, Zach clarifies, is for artists aged early teens and up, and is “a collective of artists, all working together to produce and promote shows that are, in turn, bigger than any one artist.” Interested? E-mail Zach at mouthpeacect@gmail.com.

I was feeling pretty smart, having read every issue of The Bee this past year… until I overheard Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck telling someone that she had completed her goal of reading 100 books before the end of 2013. Now you and I both know that she puts in some late nights and early mornings to cover assignments, so that means she squeezed in all those books on top of doing her job. She swears she did not include any of the children’s storybooks that come through the office. I’m impressed, but admittedly too darn lazy to try to challenge her for 2014.

You don’t have to read 100 books, but it would certainly make my holiday season if I knew I could count on you next week to … Read me again.

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