The stories of a corporate executive who left his job to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy among inner city teens, an athlete who withstood racial hatred to break baseball’s color barrier, and the autobiographical story of a girl in first grade who tries to stay brave while her father is fighting in Vietnam are among 19 feature films, TV/Cable programs, and books for adults and young people being honored with Christopher Awards this year. Created in 1949, The Christopher Awards are presented to writers, producers, directors, and illustrators whose work affirms the highest values of the human spirit. Sandy Hook-based author Suzanne Collins and illustrator James Proimos, from Baltimore, Md., have been named winners of a 2014 Christopher Award for "Year of the Jungle: Memories from the Home Front," an autobiographical picture book written for children in kindergarten and up (Scholastic Press). The honorees were announced on April 2. The 65th annual presentation of the awards is scheduled to take place in New York on May 15.
Thirty-five participants did battle in two sections at the C.H. Booth Library on Saturday, March 29, for the title of 2014 Connecticut State Chess Champion. The tournament was organized by Glenn Budzinski of Newtown Chess Club and Derek Meredith of New Britain Chess Club. The championship section was won by National Master Gary Shure of Westport, with three wins and one draw in four games. Mr Shure was declared State Chess Champion, the third time he has won that title.
After Julie Allen Bridals marketing director and co-manager Lauren Morehouse spent a week, roughly eight hours in total, sorting through dresses, she had gathered 415 to be donated to the Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation’s Prom Dress/Formal Giveaway.The dresses were sorted, bagged, and gathered in a front section of Julie Allen Bridals on Friday, March 28, for Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation case manager Valerie DiNuzzo’s arrival. Ms DiNuzzo picked up and delivered the dresses for the Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation. “People have started donating personally because they saw what a great job Julie Allen Bridals did,” Ms DiNuzzo said. The Prom Dress/Formal Giveaway is set for Friday, April 4, in New Haven and will offer eighth grade girls attending formals and high school juniors and seniors attending proms who otherwise would not be able to afford dresses, the opportunity to select attire for their upcoming special events.
A special event at Newtown High School on March 27 highlighted the ongoing collaboration between the Newtown High School Culinary Department and the student-launched organization Feeding The Need. “A Community Table: Food from the Heart, Nourishing the Soul” was a showcase, of not only the talents coming out of the kitchens at 12 Berkshire Road but also of what can be done with items from a food pantry when preparing meals for a homeless shelter. Approximately culinary 30 students were paired off and challenged to come up with something extraordinary with ingredients found in most food pantries. The results, as many in the crowd on March 27 were repeatedly overheard declaring, were “amazing,” “incredible,” and “delicious.”
Since becoming pastor of the Newtown United Methodist Church (NUMC), six and a half years ago, the Reverend Mel Kawakami has overseen one of the rituals of spring there — filling in the sinkholes in the front parking lot. But until last year, when a 10-by-10-foot test hole was opened up and he had the opportunity to see what lay beneath the asphalt, Rev Kawakami and many of his congregation had no idea that the ongoing problem was a piece of history buried under their feet. “I was completely surprised,” said Rev Kawakami, “when I saw the remains of a house down there. We had thought it might be the old water pipeline that was broken and creating problems under the parking lot, but it was everything and the kitchen sink," filling a foundation of a former home.
Kim Harrison caught a glimpse of the new season unfolding this week. Out from under her barn on Taunton Hill Road Tuesday morning emerged a “cool little spring story,” she said. A mother fox and her litter came out from beneath the barn and into Tuesday morning's sunshine. The kits are brownish, with a golden honey color, said Ms Harrison. Wildlife in Crisis Assistant Director Peter Reid said it’s right time of year for a young fox family. “They are not harmful, they are not dangerous,” he said. “Just give them space.” He recommends keeping young children and pets at a distance from the fox den. “We do not encourage people to force them away.” To see them during the daytime is “perfectly typical,” he said.
Sometimes when a review begins with a discussion of the set it is out of an attempt to be kind, because there was nothing else on stage worth mentioning or remembering. That is definitely not the case with Hartford’s TheaterWorks production of Sharr White’s powerful and absorbing drama, The Other Place. Designer Luke Hegel-Cantarella, a TheaterWorks fixture known for the lovingly detailed naturalism of the sets he has created for the Hartford company, has done something quite different and brilliant here. In addition, Kate Levy is stunning in her portrayal of Juliana, alternating between convincing lucidity and increasing episodes of rage and confusion, while R. Ward Duffy as her husband Ian is both believable and admirable in his dogged, pained patience in offering his love and support.