Newtown VFW Post 308 will celebrate its 75th anniversary with an afternoon event on Sunday, March 2, beginning at 1 pm. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, a fraternal organization, began in 1899 after the Spanish American War. As of today, there almost 7,000 VFW posts in the United States. Newtown’s post, founded in March 1939, is the eighth oldest in Connecticut. The public is invited to join members of VFW Post 308 for the March 2 celebration. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and cake will be served. Also, Past Connecticut State Commander Ed Zamm (1960-61) will present a citation from the National VFW Commander-in-Chief at the celebration.
The 2014 Newtown Arts Festival Committee plans to host its first public planning meeting on Tuesday, February 18, at 7 pm. It will be in the HealingNewtown Arts Center, located on the lower level of Newtown Congregational Church at 14 West Street. The 2014 event is planned to offer nine days of cultural activities commencing on Saturday, September 6, and culminating in the outdoor onsite event at Fairfield Hills on Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14. The committee is also planning to host the Second Annual Rooster Ball dinner dance on Friday evening, September 12, in the entertainment tent at Fairfield Hills. The committee is seeking volunteers to help in a variety of positions including subcommittee chairs and individuals to support them.
Registration is open for The 2nd Annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest taking place Saturday, April 5, at MKJ Farms in Deansboro, N.Y. The daylong event honors the life and legacy of 7-year-old Daniel Barden who died on 12/14. The Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest is an opportunity for families, friends, and communities to gather together and push themselves mentally and physically, working as a team to overcome obstacles and build self-esteem and endurance. Proceeds will be divided equally between Sandy Hook Promise, the Newtown community organization founded in the days following the mass shooting; and Compeer, a community organization serving the Mohawk Valley by providing rehabilitation and assistance for recipients of mental health services.
Although he was not the first President to have a bathtub in The White House, many people are aware that the 300-plus pound William Howard Taft was the first who needed to be extricated from the tub. What else do you know about Presidential firsts and unusual facts? On Monday, February 10, at 7:30 pm, at Newtown Meeting House, Newtown Historical Society will host a program called “The President Did What?!” The program is being held at the meeting house, 31 Main Street, due to the continuing restoration of C.H. Booth Library, where the historical society usually meets. Presented by Bob Berthelson, guests will have the chance to test their knowledge of all things Presidential.
An opportunity to see a working home solar panel installation will be offered to Newtown residents on Saturday, February 8, at a Solar Open House. The event will take place from 1 to 3 pm at a private residence whose owners recently joined Solarize Newtown, an initiative promoting home solar use. Nearly 20 residences that have gone solar through the town- and state-supported program.
The Genealogy Club of Newtown invites anyone interested in genealogy to join its members for a short road trip this month. Due to the temporary closing of Newtown’s town library, the club has been invited by Ridgefield Recreation Center to hold their meeting at that location instead. Newtown Genealogy Club will meet on Sunday, February 16, at 1:30 pm. The guest speaker this month is Marian Wood, a member of the Newtown club, who will speak on “Local Genealogy Via Long Distance.”
Responding to the needs of the community, HealingNewtown Director Valerie Culbertson has unveiled new schedules as well as a new pricing structure for a number of workshops that had recently been announced. Most workshops are still taking place, with some shifting their timeframe and/or the days they will be presented.
A family ice skating party sponsored by Newtown Parks & Recreation for Friday night has been relocated. Instead of the temporary rink at Fairfield Hills, the February 7 event has been moved to the Dickinson Park pavilion rink. The party which will run from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. DJ Kevin Koschel will provide the music, and there will be a small bonfire. There is no charge, but reservations are requested so that organizers know how much hot chocolate will be needed.
Joining the charitable efforts emanating from Newtown to employ the performing arts as a healing mechanism in the wake of 12/14, The 12.14 Foundation announced this week the selection of platinum-selling country music singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery as its first National Ambassador. He will play an active role in promoting the foundation’s arts programming, supporting its fundraising efforts, and building awareness for the organization’s plans to build a world-class performing arts and education center in Newtown. McCreery will promote the foundation’s mission and fundraising efforts through personal appearances and social media. The 12.14 Foundation’s long-range goal is to build a landmark, multi-purpose performing arts and education center of historical significance in Newtown as a beacon of hope and positive change for use by and to benefit people everywhere. Meanwhile, the foundation provides arts programming in other venues.
The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. Milford will be the location of one of those playgrounds, to be built in memory of James Mattioli. James was a 6-year old who was among the children killed on 12/14. His playground is scheduled to be built on March 15, with a ribbon cutting planned for March 22. That same morning, a 5K run/walk and kids fun run/obstacle course will be help to help cover the costs of the Milford playground.