With a panoramic view of surrounding towns’ distant horizons, Dave Brooker looked across the lawns and meadows covering Newtown’s highest point. He is the new Newtown Forest Association (NFA) caretaker — an unpaid position — now living at Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve and in the caretaker’s residence of former land and homeowner Josephine Holcombe.
EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience Board of Directors member Karen Smiley officially announced the opening and dedication of its new Mag Wall, funded by Newtown Junior Women’s Club (NJWC), on August 2. “We’re very excited to have this exhibit,” Ms Smiley said, before children attendees at the event made their way over to interact with the wall. The exhibition had been at the museum on a trial basis for about three weeks before its formal introduction to the public last weekend.
Leaps Of Faith clinic volunteer Joey Corrod shared a tube ride with participant Dave Dally during Freedom Splash, a new offering presented by Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers on July 31. The two laughed as their tube bounced across the boat’s wake. The two were just one of a number of pairs who spent time on Lake Zoar last Thursday afternoon, participating in the free clinic for children ages 6-17. LOF Executive Director Joel Zeisler explained, “Freedom Splash is a new program for us this year. Within days of advertising this water sports event, it was completely sold out so we knew we had created something that resonated with both parents and children.” He is already looking forward to hosting this event again, he said.
Ingersoll Auto of Danbury will cover the costs of tickets for this coming weekend’s screenings at Edmond Town Hall. The feature, running August 8-14, is "Maleficent." The dealership is inviting residents of all ages to enjoy a show on Saturday or Sunday, August 9-10. Four screenings are planned each day.
Ben’s Bells Project Founder and Executive Director Jeannette Maré arrived in Newtown Friday, August 1, to visit the Ben’s Bells Newtown studio on Church Hill Road. She was also a participant on Saturday at the 2014 Kindness Conference: Building the Science of Kindness Together, held at Walnut Tree Hill Church in Bethel. “One of the main reasons for the visit was not only for the conference and Kindness Education Program, but to see the new studio [located on Church Hill Road],” Ms Maré said Friday afternoon. “It’s really, really exciting to see the studio in working order, it’s sort of overwhelming! It’s really cool to see all this progress and kindness come from the community. There’s so much positive energy and it’s great to see that happening.”
Seated at the desk in the Library Director’s office — a space she is not yet comfortable calling her own — Brenda McKinley moves aside a small desktop plaque inscribed with a Robert Browning quote: “The best is yet to be.” The gift from the Board of Trustees of the C.H. Booth Library speaks to the confidence placed in the woman chosen as the newest leader of the town's library.
Realizing the success of any theatrical production rests largely on the shoulders of its director is something that weighs heavily on Director Michael Unger, who first arrived in Newtown last year during the fragile months following the Sandy Hook School tragedy to help creative partner and 12.14 Foundation Founder Michael Baroody initiate a “healing through the arts” initiative. That meeting resulted in the smash success that was last summer’s "Seussical the Musical." The pair have again surrounded themselves with a combination of very dedicated professionals who have staffed some of the world’s most celebrated theatrical productions to present a pair of premieres this month: "A Rockin' Midsummer Night's Dream," which opened last; and "101 Dalmatians: The Musicals," which opens on August 6.