Upcoming arts and book programs, other community highlights
Bethel/BridgewaterAuthor to discuss novelLocal author Charles McNair will discuss his book, “Soldiers of a Foreign War,” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Burnham Library in Bridgewater and from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bethel Public Library.The novel tells the story of the American and Vietnamese boys who were called upon, often unwillingly, to fight on foreign soil. The author is a Vietnam War veteran who began the novel in 1971 and finished it in 2015.Register by visiting www.bethellibrary.org, calling 203-794-8756 x4 or signing up the library. Register for the Burnham Library event by calling 860-354-6937 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.BethelMother’s Day sale to benefit American LegionThe Bethel American Legion Post 100, SAL will host a Mother’s Day flower sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.The event is at 7 Elizabeth St.BrookfieldGifts to be wrappedBrookfield High School Key Club will wrap Mother’s Day Gifts outside of Macy’s in the Danbury Fair Mall from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.Gifts will be wrapped in return for donations to Housatonic Habitat for Humanity.BrookfieldWoman wins $10,000 at raffleA New Milford resident won $10,000 through a raffle at an event for Brookfield’s St. Joseph Catholic Academy.Allison Howard, whose sibling attends the school, said she plans to use the money to help buy a home. She bought the raffle ticket at the school’s Spring Forward Celebration at The Foundry Kitchen and Tavern in Sandy Hook.More than 80 parents and alumni attended the event to raise money for the school’s operating budget. This was the school’s first $10,000 raffle, with more than 650 tickets sold at $50 each.BrookfieldWorkers clear debris for Earth DayA local company teamed up with Brookfield Land Use, Parks & Recreation and the Department of Public Works for an Earth Day cleanup on April 22.Twenty-five employees from Pharmco, which offers a wide range of specialty alcohols and bio-based chemicals, helped pick up debris on Vale Road, where the company is located. The town provided the materials and manpower to keep the employees safe during the cleanup.BrookfieldScholarship applications being acceptedApplications are due Friday for the Friends of the Arts Student Award.The Friends of the Arts of Brookfield, Inc. and the Brookfield Arts Commission offer these scholarships for graduating Brookfield seniors who are studying the arts and pursuing a career in the arts. Applicants must be Brookfield residents, but do not have to graduate from Brookfield High School.Applications must include a resume, short essay of no more than 250 words describing the applicant’s vision and goals, two letters of recommendation, and a portfolio or performance of no more than five minutes in length demonstrating passion for the arts.For further information, please contact Mary Daniel, president of the Friends of the Arts of Brookfield, Inc. at 203-470-1504 or visit www.brookfieldartscommission.org.DanburyFood pantry earns grantDaily Bread Food Pantry in Danbury recently received $10,000 from the Ridgefield Thrift Shop.This will allow the pantry to purchase new commercial-grade shelving and refrigeration units to better serve thousands of hungry families from the Danbury area.DanburyStudents earn science awardsTwo Danbury students were among the winners in the 2019 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair held at Quinnipiac University.Khushi Parikh, a ninth grader at Danbury High School, won a Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Award, an CASE PepsiCo Urban School Challenge Award with IBM, and a Meyer and Young Woman Scientist Award.Srishti Ramakrishnan, an eighth grader at Westside Middle School Academy, was a CSF Finalist and won a Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Award, an Urban School Challenge Award, an Environmental Sciences Awards, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award, a Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy Founder’s Award, Air and Waste Management Association Connecticut Chapter Award and had the highest placing USC eighth grade project for the GENIUS Olympiad Competition.Sharva Karthikeyan, also in eighth grade at Westside Middle School Academy, earned an Urban School Challenge Award.DanburyDance fundraiser benefits nonprofitHillside Food Outreach raised more than $80,000 at its 11th annual Dancing with Our Stars event, in conjunction with Arthur Murray of Danbury.More than 200 people attended the event at the Ethan Allen Inn.Competing dancers took lessons at Arthur Murray’s studios in Danbury and New York, soliciting donations online weeks before the event leading up to the big night.Judges named Angela Wong, director of events & development, CityCenter Danbury, and Carlo Coules, a pharmaceutical executive, as champions, while the Peoples Choice winners were Monika Popovicova, Hillside supporter, and Paul DiNardo, who is retired from the Danbury Police Department.DanburyConcert features youthThe Danbury Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Young People’s Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Western Connecticut State University Visual and Performing Arts Center.The concert will feature Joy Xu, this year’s winner of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and an eighth-grader at Hopkins School in New Haven.A collaboration with the Danbury Centre Strings will also be performed with puppets featuring Robert Rogers Puppet Company.The concert is free and open to the public, though the Danbury Music Centre will accept donations.DanburyFundraiser breakfast features former NFL coachFriends of Richter Park is hosting a breakfast fundraiser from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Amber Room Colonnade.The key note speaker is Chris Palmer, an Immaculate High graduate and former National Football League coach with 25 years in the league, two Super Bowl runs, and a 2008 Super Bowl win on his résumé. He is now the University of New Haven’s director of athletics and recreation.The breakfast costs $30.To donate a raffle or auction item, or to purchase a breakfast, contact Ernie Badillo at email@example.com or visit www.friendsofrichterpark.org.DanburyWest Conn hosts two programsWestern Connecticut State University will host a free Entrepreneurial Arc panel discussion at 6 p.m. on Monday in Room 218 of the Classroom Building on the Westside campus.It will include Alex Larsson, 2018 Democratic candidate for the 66th House District and a co-founder of the Connecticut Crossroads Project, John Board, a New Britain Conservation Commission member and chairman of New Britain Pride and Christal Preszler, Newtown’s deputy director of economic and community development.The second event is the 15th annual Western Research Day beginning 10 a.m. Thursday in Science Building Room 125. Exhibits will be posted from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium.Student research and creative work exhibited will encompass diverse academic disciplines in the sciences, arts, professions, business and humanities.KentArt show winners announcedThe Kent Art Association announced the nine winners in its spring juried art show. Winners were presented certificates and checks. The show is open 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.The Best in Show award went to John Berube, of Woodbury, while Victoria Buffard, from Winsted, won the watercolor award, Sarah Gubetta, of Winsted, won the digital art award, Erin Nazzaro, of Georgetown, won the acrylic award for her painting, Cheryl L. Moore, of Kent, won the pastel award, Lisa Berger, of Newtown, won the photography award, Carl Chaiet, of Sharon, won the sculpture award, Zenia Hodza, of Warren, won the mixed media award, and Edward Hills, of Clinton Corners, N.Y., won the oil award for his painting.KentAmerican Legion to cover Boys State and Girls State feesThe American Legion Hall-Jennings Post 153 will pay the $350 registration fee for a female and male student to attend the Boys State and Girls State programs.Junior high school students permanently living in Kent, or attending one of the public or private high schools are invited to apply by May 15.The boys’ program will be offered at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic June 22-27 and the girls’ program will be held at Post University in Middlebury June 23-28.Transportation to and from the universities will be the responsibility of the students’ parents or guardian.Interested applicants should contact Andrew Ocif, adjutant of Post 153, at 860-927-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Martin Lindenmayer, commander, at 860-671-9746 or email@example.com.KentCommunity garden reservations openThe Kent Land Trust is accepting registration for its 10th season of the town’s community garden.The garden, located in the field to the east side of Kent Center School, is managed using sustainable practices and is pesticide- and herbicide-free.Plots measure four feet by 10 feet and are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a seasonal rate of $30. Gardeners may reserve multiple plots for $15 each additional.Applications are available at the entrance of the Kent Town Hall and at www.kentlandtrust.org/community-garden.Volunteers can call 860-488-9185.KentLibrary hosts retirement lectureKent Memorial Library will present a lecture, “Wondering About Retirement,” with resident Katrina Luca, CPA, and Dr. Theresa Kung of Sandy Hook at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.It is geared toward those 30 to 60 years old and is tailored to get attendees up to speed about current retirement options.For more information and RSVP, call 860-927-3761.New Milford‘Coolest canine’ contest beginsEntries are being accepted for New Milford’s sixth annual “Coolest Canine” contest until May 17.The winner will receive the No. 1 2019 dog tag. The contest recognizes dog licensing month in June.Residents are invited to mail or drop off a current 4x6 photo of their dog to Town Clerk, 10 Main St., New Milford, CT 06776 or email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.The name of the dog, its owner’s name and phone number should accompany the entry.The first 50 entries will be accepted. Residents are invited to vote for their favorite photo May 20-31.Pet or monetary donations will be accepted to benefit New Milford Social Services’ families with animals in need.New MilfordLocal nonprofit recognizedPet Assistance, Inc. has been named a “2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits.org.This is the sixth consecutive year that PAi has been nationally recognized for its work of helping needy people and their pets. The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the rating and number of reviews that Pet Assistance, Inc. received from aid recipients.Ruth Pearl, a New Milford resident, founded the organization and is its president.New MilfordCompany donates topsoil for Habitat homeEnviroTech recently delivered 22 tons of topsoil to the Housatonic Habitat home in New Milford, which was the finishing touch on this recent stick-built home for a family of four.Housatonic Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes for working families who might not qualify for a traditional mortgage.New MilfordLibrary hosts upcoming eventsNew Milford Public Library will offer several programs in the coming days.Phillip Robbins, of Wild Birds Unlimited in Brookfield, will present a program about bears at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a program with author and musician Craig Harris at 6:30 p.m. on May 15 and a program with retiree advisor R. Joseph Knudsen of the HIQS Group, who will discuss a program on the new rules for Social Security and how it impacts retirement, at 6:30 p.m. on May 23.All programs will be held at the library, except for the music program which will be held at the senior center.For more information and RSVP, call 860-355-1191.New MilfordAARP host meeting and fundraiserAARP Chapter 3241 will hold its next meeting at noon Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church.It will feature the chapter’s May tea and silent auction fundraiser. The public is invited.New MilfordObservatory discusses EinsteinThe John J. McCarthy Observatory will hold its next “Second Saturday Stars” program, “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity,” from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the observatory behind New Milford High School.Michael Tynski will discuss the history leading up to the theory being developed, the effects of time dilation and length contraction and black holes, as well as GPS satellites and corrections they use in order to be accurate.New MilfordCruise nights returnParadice Classic Cruisers will resume its cruise nights from 5 to 9 p.m. beginning this Tuesday.The event will be held in the parking lots between Panera Bread and Webster Park at Litchfield Crossings, off Route 7 and Dodd Road.These will run through September.For more information: www.paradiceclassiccruisers.org .New MilfordWHEELS hosts breakfast to raise moneyThe WHEELS program of Greater New Milford will hold a hot cakes and cold fruit breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday at The Maxx.Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at wheelsofnewmilford.org or at the Wheels office at 40 Main St. from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays. The organization provides transportation to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities in the area.Donations at the event will be matched by the Connecticut Community Foundation.New MilfordResource fair scheduledThe Litchfield Hills Transition Center, a program for students ages 18 to 21 who receive special education services through the New Milford school system, will hold a spring resource fair on Wednesday.The event, geared toward families with young adults ages 14 to 21 with disabilities, will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 2325 at New Milford High School.Presentations for families about the Department of Developmental Services, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, guardianship, special needs trusts, Ability Beyond’s ATLAS Program, Friends of New Milford and Marrackech will be available.New MilfordChildren’s business fair this weekThe Woman’s Club of Greater New Milford will hold its second annual Greater New Milford Children’s Business Fair from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Pettibone Community Center.Child entrepreneurs ages 6 to 18 are invited to participate. The application fee per vendor is $15.Participants will create a product or service, develop a brand, build a marketing strategy and then open for customers at this one-day marketplace.Cash prizes will be awarded in each of the three age groups: ages 6-9, ages 10-13 and ages 14-18 for “Most Business Potential,” “Most Creative Idea” and “Most Impressive Presentation.“Participants will also have the opportunity to generate income from their sales and services.To learn more or to download an application, visit https://www.childrensbusinessfair.org/newmilford.NewtownBlood drive to be heldThe Newtown Lions Club is sponsoring a blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Newtown Congregational Church.NewtownActivist to discuss women’s issuesLocal activist, writer and blogger Kate Mayer will discuss Wednesday how women are often dismissed and not taken seriously.The Working Women’s Forum will begin with networking and a light dinner at 6 p.m. Fee for members is $10; $25 for non-members, along with a cash bar. Donations of canned food and personal health items gratefully collected for Newtown’s FAITH Food Pantry.To register, contact Working Women’s Forum President Pat Marlin via email at email@example.com or call 203-426-7022.RegionStudents win free-throw championshipTwelve children from across the state were named CT State champions of the 2019 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and have earned the right to compete at the international level.The CT State Council sponsored the local competition at the St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol in April.The children had won their council, district and regional level competitions and were eligible to participate in the state finals.The 9-year-old champions were Catherine Tomiano, from New Fairfield, and Mason Walsh, of Portland. Madison Benigni, of East Hampton, and Colby Dunnack, from Lebanon, were the winners in the 10-year-old division. Aniya Jenkins, of Willimantic, and Rocco Perito, of North Haven, took the 11-year-old categories, while the 12-year-old frontrunners were Cassie Rice, of Gales Ferry, and A.J. Quesnal, from Litchfield . The 13-year-old division was won by Alexis Irazabal, of Southington, and Brian Elmo Jr., from Trumbull. The 14-year-old state champions were Alexis Jablonecki, from Manchester and Carter Norland, from Thomaston.Each contestant was allowed 25 free throw attempts in the contests. These winners will compete alongside the champions from other jurisdictions in the international level.RidgefieldExpert to discuss climate change, biodiversityVandana Shiva, one of the world’s leading advocates for a poison-free future and India’s most prominent spokesperson for biodiversity and climate change issues, is visiting a local farm this week.Shiva will be at The Hickories from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday. Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut is hosting the event.The visit is part of Shiva’s Northeast Earth Journey, a series of presentations focused on the interrelated issues of food system toxins, biodiversity, rights of farmers and climate change.Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.RoxburyChurch to host workshop on griefRoxbury Congregational Church will offer a free four-week workshop on managing grief and loss on Monday evenings beginning this week.Experts Ray Fitch and Diane Meade will lead the workshop from 7 to 8:15 p.m. The class is non-denominational and no religious or spiritual affiliation is needed.Contact Roxbury Congregational Church at 860-355-1978 to attend.ShermanBrunch to feature authorThe Sherman Congregational Church will hold its annual women’s brunch at 10 a.m. Saturday.Registered Nurse Lynn Durham, a well-being coach and author, will speak on “Biblical Wisdom and Personal Wellness: The Science of Faith, Forgiveness, Thanksgiving and a Merry Heart.”Free will donations will be accepted.Child care will be available if requested.For more information and RSVP, call 860-354-6114.SouthburySkin cancer screening to be offeredThe Pomperaug District Department of Health will sponsor a skin cancer screening from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 77 Main St. North.This program is offered at no cost and is meant for adults who are currently not under the care of a dermatologist. Appointments are necessary and can be made by calling the Pomperaug Health District at 264-9616, ext. 0.WashingtonPlay to be performedShepaug Dramatics will stage its production of “Big Fish” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Shepaug Valley School.The play had been set to be performed last month but was postponed to May.Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students, senior citizens and veterans.For more information and tickets, call 860-717-2444.WashingtonDivorce support group availableNew Beginnings of Northwest CT’s next divorce support group will begin from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. this Tuesday.The group will meet for 10 weeks in the parish house of the First Congregational Church.The group is designed for people who are separated, in the process of divorce or already divorced.Experienced lay facilitators will lead the group.Pre-registration is required by calling the church office at 860-868-0569 or Barb at 203-266-4706.WashingtonAuthor to discuss new bookBest-selling author Martha Hall Kelly will discuss her recently released novel, “Lost Roses,” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Gunn Memorial Library.The novel is set a generation earlier than her debut book, “Lilac Girls,” and is inspired by true events.For more information and RSVP, call 860-868-7586.