The Top of the Mountain

Maybe you’ve been chillin’ lately, or know someone who has been? Chillin’, that is, with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral video fundraiser for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) has been circulating madly, if Facebook is any indication. Here’s how it works: you nominate someone to douse him or herself with a bucket of ice, they post a video on social media of the act, and then that person gets to name three more people to take the challenge. If you don’t care to chill with the best of them, you are asked to donate to the ALS charity of choice; of course, most of those who are challenged not only dump that ice on their heads, but donate, as well. I’ve spotted a few videos of Newtowners giving ALS the big chill — congratulations to all! According to www.ALS.org, the challenge (#IceBucketChallenge) was started by Pete Frates of Beverly, Mass., who has been living with ALS since 2012.

Speaking of raising money for a good cause, there will be a fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research on Labor Day, September 1. Visit Peachwave on South Main Street, between noon and 10 pm, and mention you are there to support the pancreatic cancer research. A portion of the proceeds that Monday will be donated to directly to Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer for research. And don’t forget, you can be part of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk at Bethel High School, 1 School Street, October 5. Registration opens at 9 am, and the walk begins at 10 am.

Jacquie Dachenhausen has a pretty good idea she knows the two boys pictured playing in the water, in last week’s Way We Were column. “If this is an older picture of like 30 years,” Jacquie says, “I would swear it was my son Alex and his friend, Matt Rink, at Topstone park in Redding. The location could be somewhere else but it is remarkably the image of them and a pastime they loved, catching minnows.” Alex, now 31 years old, and Matt grew up in Redding, she says, and are still friends.

The Newtown Choral Society will hold its first rehearsal of the season September 10, at 7 pm, at the Newtown Middle School, Queen Street. Directed by Mary Andreotta and accompanied by Susan Anthony-Klein, the choir welcomes members from all area towns. The choir will present a winter concert, Carols and Lullabies (Christmas in the Southwest) by Conrad Susa, December 14, at The Meeting House. The group is supported by program ads, ticket sales, and membership dues. For more information on membership call president Laura E. Lerman at 203-426-3769 or e-mail lel-NCS@se-ltd.com.

Thanks to the Jay Mattegatt family, who once more cooked up a special dinner for residents of Nunnawauk Meadows this past Sunday. Residents dined on fried chickens, potatoes, casserole, salad, and cake. The Mattegatts donate their time and talent to make this sumptuous meal once a year for the people who live at Nunnawauk Meadows. Now there is an act of true kindness.

Keith Thompson had a feeling the seed was disappearing a little too quickly from the bird feeder in his yard on Mt Nebo Road. I’m not positive of the identification of this extremely large bird he finally caught on film, snacking from the feeder, but maybe you recognize it?

I hope you have already heard about NHS sophomore Jack Wellman’s backpack collection drive. If not, there is still time to take part. Jack, a member of the Newtown Lacrosse team and Class LL Conference Championship wrestling team, had the chance to attend the Ultimate Life Summit at Emory University in Atlanta this summer. “While there, one of the main focus points impressed upon me was the importance of giving to others or ‘paying it forward,’” Jack says. So, he put on his thinking cap when he got home, and decided a collection to deliver backpacks to underprivileged youth in the Danbury area would be his way of paying it forward. Through August 17, Jack is seeking to collect at least 100 backpacks, so that children will not have to be embarrassed by arriving at school with a tattered backpack, or none at all. “Many children, especially those that believe that they will never go to college due to financial circumstances, have little to no motivation to attend school. Not having a proper backpack only further contributes to the burden they already carry each day,” he believes. “It is my goal to assist as many children as possible in making their education an enjoyable experience,” he adds. You can help Jack by dropping off new or very gently used backpacks in the collection box outside of 33 Boggs Hill Road, or contact him at Jackwellman27@gmail.com or at 203-546-0479, and he will pick it up from you.

It’s back to school, but with a sweet little something to ease the transition. Tax Free Week begins this Sunday, August 17, through Saturday, August 23. For one whole week, there is no Connecticut 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing or footwear costing less than $300 per item. That’s a pretty nice break, and one you don’t want to miss out on.

Oh, say can you see? If you can because you have new eyeglasses, remember there are many throughout the world who struggle with vision problems and access to corrective lenses. The Newtown Lions Club is asking that paradegoers bring used eyeglasses and hearing aids to the September 1 Annual Labor Day Parade. Lions Club members will be carrying boxes during the parade, so you can handily deposit your used, outdated, and worn out eye glasses and/or hearing aids. The glasses will be dispersed worldwide to aid in the attempt to eliminate eye problems for children and adults, and the hearing aids will be refurbished and given to those with hearing problems.

I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears wide open this week. There is always news you’ll want to know, so be sure next week to... Read me again.

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