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There were plenty of awesome items auctioned off during the Newtown Youth Academy Gala last Saturday night at the Matrix Conference Center in Danbury. Among those items was a very special fox stole, donated by Linda Manna of Country Mill in Sandy Hook Center. The fox stole belonged to her grandmother. Linda had a particular request for the gala organizers: whatever money was raised through the auctioning of the vintage stole would go toward supporting memberships at NYA for Newtown’s first responders. Two of Linda’s sons are first responders, so she is happy to know that the family heirloom will be helping out her sons and their colleagues. A lucky bidder got the fox stole for $170, said Gala organizer Terry Sagedy, and combined with other proceeds, that means first responders will be able to work off some stress at NYA, without stressing about the cost.

I’m sure there’s not one soul in town who does not know either Dan or Colleen Honan, or both of them. So join me in wishing them a Happy Anniversary! I hear that they celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss this past Monday, October 28.

Victory Garden volunteer Harvey Pessin may not know how much wood a woodchuck can chuck, but he has learned how agile the blocky creature can be. Arriving at the Victory Garden at Fairfield Hills in his wife’s Prius, he glided up in super quiet electric mode one day last week. There was Woody Woodchuck, feasting happily. Harvey figured the silent arrival would give him a chance to find out how on earth woodchucks were getting into the garden. The garden has a 10-foot-high deer fence, with 4-foot hardware cloth tucked under the fence — to discourage woodchucks. Woody didn’t hear the Prius, but he scurried to make his escape when Harvey approached — right up the fence to the larger openings near the top, and off he went. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for Harvey and the garden volunteers.

Steve Ford of Butcher’s Best has moved into a new phase at his Route 25 store. “We’ve always planned to do breakfast,” says Steve, and following his philosophy of “doing what we do best and do it really well,” geared up about six weeks ago to offer breakfast. What Butcher’s Best does best, are its meats. Breakfast sandwiches feature local eggs from Sandy Hook or Durham, as well as the Butcher’s made-on-site bacon or pork sausage, or ham smoked on site. A New York strip steak sandwich is also on the menu, and all sandwiches come with cheese. Coffee from Redding Roasters is brewing from 6:30 am to 10 am, Monday through Saturday. Sounds like a locavore’s delight, to me.

I love it when someone comes up with a nomination for my Good Egg Award! Newtown Director of Communications Maureen Will is nominating the town department heads and staff for their group effort toward The Third Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge. The event was organized again this year, nearly single-handedly, by 14-year old Main Street resident Mackenzie Page. “For the third year, we have all accepted Mackenzie’s challenge of carving pumpkins and dropping them off at her house. This year was no exception,” Maureen tells us. “Once again, I had the privilege of dropping off a carved pumpkin representing each of our departments. We do the carving during lunchtime and it is a true team effort. We raised $126 dollars for her charity. We have an amazing group of people working here and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group. We do this because we care and we believe in McKenzie’s motto: ‘Making a difference, one pumpkin at a time,’” says Maureen. I guess I have to hand out a whole carton of Good Eggs to this group.

The Newtown Memorial Fund has been designated as a Charity Partner with New York Road Runners for the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 3. A team of runners wearing T-shirts reading “Newtown Heals, Newtown Runs” will take on the 26.2-mile course to support the mission of the fund, which was created to support those affected by 12/14. As a Bronze Level Charity Partner, a block of automatic entries to the race enables runners all over the world to join the Newtown Memorial Fund team to raise funds. Additionally, Newtown Memorial Fund also made race spots available to Newtown charities started by parents of those lost 12/14. For more information visit www.newtownmemorialfund.org or make a donation to support the Newtown Heals, Newtown Runs team at CrowdRise.com, click here. As of Friday afternoon, less than 48 hours before the race, the team had already raised more than $26,000.

Realtors at William Pitt Sotheby’s, 17 Church Hill Road, are collecting new or gently used coats and jackets to benefit the Bridgeport Rescue Mission. Donations can be brought to the office each day between now and November 15, from 9 am to 5 pm. The mission will hand them out to at least 3,000 needy families, along with Thanksgiving food pantry boxes.

Newtown resident Cindy M. Miller is a God-based intuitive, poet, and inspirational author, and has recently published a workbook to help those seeking to create a deeper inner spiritual life. Is That All There Is… The Journey Within is a spiral-bound book of 210 pages, with 14 pages of color chapter images (by her brother, inspirational artist Steve Miller), and quotes. Transformation progress charts are included for reflection and journaling. Cindy will be signing books at the Doubletree Tarrytown Hotel, Tarrytown, N.Y., Sunday, November 3, from 10 am to 3 pm, and on Sunday, November 17, at The Keeney Memorial Center, Old Wethersfield, at 2 pm. For more information about her workbook and book signings, visit www.isthatallthereisthejourneywithin.com.

I’m not so sure about a journey within, but I will definitely be making a journey without, gathering news so that you will… Read me again.

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