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Little Sophia Lasaro has donated the gifts she received at a recent birthday party to Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, and according to Diane Burke of the Network, Sophia hopes her donation brightens the day of the kids who receive them. Sophia’s donation benefits pediatric patients at Danbury Hospital, and helps make the hospital experience a bit less scary for the kids.  In recognition of Sophia’s generosity, she has been inducted into the Danbury Hospital’s Kids Care Club. I’ll bet the best gift Sophia got this year was the good feeling inside of her. Happy Belated Birthday!

A Newtown resident who prefers to remain anonymous — because he knows how jealous everyone will be — was the winner last Saturday of a 38-pound jack-o-lantern from Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury. Maple Bank always has a stand at the Saturday Bethel Farmer’s Market, and this past weekend, they had a “guess the weight” contest. Our fellow citizen guessed 37.85 pounds (“A little lighter than a bag of cement,” he tells me) and got the call saying he had won. So if you spot an oversized pumpkin perched on someone’s steps in the coming days, it just might be that of the big winner.

I was prowling about the Booth Library one day when I spotted a basket filled with soft, soft yarn in the YA department. So, of course, I jumped in for a nap, only to have Young Adult Librarian Kim Weber gently remove me. Apparently, the yarn and needles are there for any youngsters — or not so young — who yearn to sit a spell and knit. Kim is happy to give some pointers to the less experienced, or point the way to the How To Knit books. As for me, I’m back in the chair for naptime.

The government shutdown didn’t stop 90 World War II vets from visiting the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The vets were part of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight that charters a plane to bring aging veterans to visit the memorial. The vets rolled up, the barricades parted, and the visitors had their day. It’s nice that the officer watching over the Memorial had a heart and looked the other way. “Veterans Barred From Memorial” might not have been the best PR for a government much in need of good press.

I’m sighing a sigh of relief that the Near Earth Object Office will continue to search the skies for errant asteroids during the government shutdown. There won’t be any tweets, but the NASA sky watchers are funded by grants that they hope will get them through the shutdown period. On the other hand, keep your paws crossed that there is no major flu outbreak in the next couple of weeks… the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is not an essential body.

If you’ve dreamed of parading down Main Street on horseback during the annual Labor Day Parade, here’s your chance. The Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard, 4 Wildlife Drive, is hosting a New Member Open House, Saturday, October 12, from 9 am to noon. Talk with the training staff and tour the facility to find out more about joining the company.

Then on Saturday, November 2, from 9 am to noon, join the troopers on a benefit trail ride on the Fairfield Hills headquarters’ grounds. Proof of current Coggins and rabies vaccinations must be provided for each horse, and parking is available at 4 Wildlife Drive. A donation of $30 per rider is suggested. Registration forms for the ride and more information on both events can be found at www.thehorseguard.org, or by calling 203-558-4749.

Beginning next Friday, October 11, through Friday, November 1, right in the middle of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, there will be a box in the lobby of The Newtown Bee for donations to help our Newtown Animal Shelter. The shelter is most in need of Nutro Max mini chunk dog food, Iams dry dog food, freeze-dried liver treats, poultry tooth paste, pigs’ ears, large rubber and Air Kong toys, large rope toys, Frisbees, squeak toys, tennis balls, choke chains, and sturdy slide leads. Pet store gift certificates are also welcome, as are cleaning supplies such as bleach, ammonia, paper towels, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, towels, and large black garbage bags. (I’m sure if you threw in a bag of cat chow, it would not go to waste, either.)

Here’s a dog earning his own keep: Bocker the Labradoodle sends a note, saying that he is pleased to have been invited to be a special guest at SHOP’s Passport to Sandy Hook, October 12.  “I’m always ready with a kiss or two,” Bocker says, and on October 12, the first ten people that greet him will get a copy of his DVD. Bocker tells me he is looking forward to Passport to Sandy Hook “and just being in town, making the rounds, and enjoying some of the amazing things that Sandy Hook offers, mainly its LOVE.”

What’s with the tights with wild prints showing up in the gyms these days? I’m trying to look fit in my black and white tuxedo, but everyone around me seems to be going crazy with color. If that’s the new active wear look, I’m in big trouble.

Even if the bright tights throw off your exercise in the gym, you can exercise your right to vote this Saturday. The referendum to accept or reject the state’s gift of $50 million to remediate and demolish the existing Sandy Hook School building and build a new one on the same plot of land takes place at the Newtown Middle School, from 6 am to 8 pm. You can view Bee videos of interviews with town officials at www.newtownbee.com, in case you’re not up to speed yet on the issue. Search for “Llodra, Reed Address Questions About October 5 Referendum.”

All this talk of exercise is exhausting me. I’m heading back to that basket of yarn near Kim’s library desk. Not to worry, though. I’ll be up and at ’em in time to gather news for next week. So be sure to… Read me again.

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