The Great Newtown Reunion Committee has opened up the process for individuals wishing to purchase a ticket to the all-day July 27 event. As there will be no tickets sold at the gate on the day of the event, organizers say that it is imperative for interested parties to make their decision to attend, very soon.
“Security and safety of all event attendees are of the utmost importance to the organizers of this event,” said organizing committee Co-chair Wendy Lee Hewitt. “Members of the Newtown Police Department and Newtown Hook & Ladder have been formally contracted to stand-by at the venue, as is required by the town. Private security and professional security consultants will also be in attendance.”
Ms Hewitt outlined the steps involved in obtaining a $65 admission ticket to the event:
*Visit the Great Newtown Reunion Official website, www.greatnewtownreunion.org.
*Follow the provided link on the Home Page that will then connect to an electronic Ticket Application.
*Upon completion of the application, the system will advise applicants that their information is being sorted and reviewed to ensure an authentic connection to Newtown.
Within a 48-hour period, Ms Hewitt said, most applicants will be informed that they may proceed to the next step and purchase their tickets, using a credit card. Others may be contacted and asked to provide additional information to further facilitate requests to attend.
Individuals who have a current or former connection to Newtown are welcome to attend, with an emphasis on Newtown school system participation.
“Any persons over 18 years of age, who ever attended a Newtown school system facility, regardless as to where they may have eventually completed their academic career, including St Rose alumni; any past or present Newtown school system faculty, administrative staff, maintenance, independent bus drivers and school system volunteers; and any past or present Board of Education members, town employees including emergency and fire department volunteers are all encouraged to attend,” she said.
Some exceptions to the above criteria may be considered by the Reunion Committee in a one-on-one review basis. Persons who do not fall into any of the previously listed categories, but feel that they have a connection to the alumni-inspired reunion, are invited to contact the committee prior to July 18 via e-mail at GreatNewtownReunion@gmail.com.
Parking And Shuttles
The event will run from 10 am to 10 pm. Vehicle parking will be provided at Newtown High School, where air-conditioned shuttles will run non-stop between the school and the Fairfield Hills campus.
Those attending the event who have valid state-issued handicapped parking passes relating to mobility or other special challenges may proceed directly to Fairfield Hills where they will be directed to appropriate parking areas. Persons with special needs that do not relate to vehicle parking may contact the Reunion Committee prior to July 18 to request additional assistance.
Shuttle bus drivers will ask to quickly review all prepurchased admission tickets before persons may board the bus.
Once the ticket holders arrive at the front gate, persons over the age of 18 will be asked to present valid photo identification along with their ticket. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and possess an admission ticket of their own.
As defined on the event website, the event becomes “Adult Only” after 4 pm, Ms Hewitt said. From 10 am to 4 pm, the entertainment will be appropriate for people of all ages. There is no specific entertainment planned for children.
Specially coded wristbands will be presented to all persons entering the grounds. Children under the age of 16 will be given wristbands which will have the guardian’s name and phone number written on them.
Persons may expect random bag searches upon entering the venue depending on local police directives. Pets, coolers, liquor, firearms, knives with blades exceeding 3 inches, fireworks or food may not be brought into the venue.
Per the Newtown Health District, however, baked goods will be allowed
“Think cookies, cakes, brownies, specialty breads, candy, Jell-O, or fruit,” Ms Hewitt said. “No ‘cream-based’ items such as custards, quiche, ice cream, etc.”
Use of tobacco products will be allowed in a specially designated area only. Persons with special dietary needs are encouraged to contact the Reunion Committee in order to obtain a “pass” which will allow them to bring in their food items, and baby food is allowed.
A three-hour professionally prepared luncheon buffet will begin at approximately noon.
“When the event gate opens at 10, folks may immediately enjoy iced tea and homemade lemonade.” she said. “Beer and wine will be available for purchase from noon until approximately 9:30 pm. Photo IDs will be required for purchase of alcoholic beverages.”
Designated drivers will be receive free bottled water and/or coffee all day.
A three-hour dinner buffet will commence at approximately 5 pm. Live musical entertainment will be presented throughout the day, with a few important moments set aside for invited guests to speak, including Governor Dannel Malloy, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and Alaska’s Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, a Newtown alumni.
Special Projects, Items Still Being Sought
Two special projects are currently under way tied to the reunion, Ms Hewitt added.
The Teacher Appreciation Project hopes to solicit written memories from former students whose lives were impacted in a positive way by a Newtown teacher or administrator. Participants are strongly encouraged to take one or two minutes to drop a note to the Reunion Committee about those teachers.
Commemorative booklets, containing the submitted “Teacher Testimonials,” will be assembled and presented to all teachers who attend the event. Submissions have no word limitations, but Ms Hewitt encourages those offering memories to submit them as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Memorial Project will set aside a small and dignified tented space on the event grounds. Attendees are asked to provide the Reunion Committee with the name(s) of alumni, faculty, or staff of the Newtown school system who are deceased. Those names will be listed in a small memorial pamphlet. Contributors are asked to provide via e-mail the person’s name, the class they were affiliated with in school, and if possible, the date or year they passed away.
Finally, the Reunion Committee is also seeking to borrow several items, which will be picked up and delivered by volunteers, and will help minimize additional rental fees. The event carries insurance and all loaned items will be photographed and carefully cataloged.
Persons loaning the reunion any items will be recognized as Patrons in the commemorative event program and subsequent newspaper “thank you” advertisement. The following items are still being sought:
*The reunion needs any type of fans — floor fan, commercial-size exhaust fans, high-velocity fans, box or table fans;
*Also a speaker’s podium. Planter’s Choice of Newtown will be decorating the podium and stage area with donated plants;
*Sets of horseshoes along with volunteers to help build horseshoe pits;
*Pop-up canopies of any size;
*A free-standing American flag, a State of Connecticut flag and poles; and
*Donations of any items of value to place into the raffle or auction.