Posted: Jun 01, 2022 11:00 AM
Families United in Newtown (FUN) is partnering with Newtown Parks & Recreation and the Newtown Lions Club to host its End of School Year Reunion and “Senior Send-Off” for Newtown High School National Honor Society volunteers who have worked to support the local nonprofit since last August.
The final FUN reunion and celebration for the 2021-22 school year will take place after the grand opening of Dickinson Park’s new adaptive playground equipment on Saturday, June 4 (rain date June 5).
FUN provides people with special needs and their families with social opportunities in a caring environment through monthly themed meetings.
The nonprofit organization partners with members of the National Honor Society to provide a helping hand at these events.
This fun June 4 end-of-school activity follows the Disney-themed “Dazzle the Night Away” concert and fundraiser that took place on April 30. The concert featured a mix of veteran and student musicians, as well as select members of FUN.
Co-founder Linda Jones shared her thanks to the community of The Newtown Bee Hive letter saying, “over 40 extremely talented musicians have given their time and talent to our cause.”
Dr. Margaret Bauman, a neurologist specializing in autism spectrum brain research, again attended the event this year and graciously accepted a donation of $2,500 to help fund her scientific work. Head coach Dan Rosenthal and state Rep. Mitch Bolinsky were also in attendance and shared some remarks in support of the event.
The benefit concert concluded the organization’s many activities in April for Autism Awareness Month.
The June 4 groundbreaking ceremony for the new playground equipment at Dickinson Park begins at 10 a.m. with presentations and a ribbon cutting. After the ribbon cutting there will be free ice cream, rock painting, a magic show, face painting and music.
The separate “Senior Send-Off” FUN is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., followed by field day activities and pizza in the Band Shell. Participants are requested to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
No reservations are required and the public is invited.
Founded by Linda and Duane Jones, FUN provides supervised social and recreational activities for young people with developmental disabilities as well as those on the autism spectrum, while helping to raise autism awareness and fund research into the autism.
The Joneses – parents of Lindsey, Austin and Tyler – turned the tragedy of Tyler’s untimely passing in 2009 into a positive living memorial for their son to help bring families with special needs together in a safe and welcoming place.
At each FUN meeting, families are paired with an NHS National Honor Society student who spends time with the children, giving parents a much needed break. Everyone is welcome at FUN meetings.
The organization is also grateful for tax-deductible donations to help cover the expenses of activities, all of which are provided free of charge to participants.
Shaun Mangold accompanies Madelyn Aug with Chris Samson at the recent Families United In Newtown (FUN) ‘Dazzle’ concert and fundraiser at Newtown Congregational Church. The annual concert of this local association of support and recreation for autism combines the talents of young experienced musicians with selected members of the organization FUN. —Photo by Rori Sughrue
The Newtown High School Chamber Choir was a big hit at the April 30 “Dazzle” concert and fundraiser for Families United in Newtown. —Photo Phil Keane
From left, Connor Dulinger, John Moxham and Carlo Marrano all volunteered to help out at the recent FUN concert fundraiser. —Photo Phil Keane
Newtown High School students Ally McCarthy, left, and Izzy Butler also lent their support at the April 30 FUN event. —Photo Phil Keane
Amanda Levetown performed for the FUN concert “Dazzle” with Kevin Eckler on flute. —Photo Phil Keane
Pianist Alexandra Saraceno supported singer Amanda Levetown at the annual Families United in Newtown concert at the Newtown Congregational Church on April 30. —Phil Keane photo
FUN member Gina Zetye was among many attendees at the group’s April 30 fundraising concert, which also included a Disney-themed parade and costume contest. —Photo by Rori Sughrue
From left, FUN Disney-themed costume contest winners Amanda Rowan, Isaac Ohring and Carter Whitman are congratulated by charity co-founder Linda Jones and MC board member Jay Thomas /FUN. —Photo Phil Keane
More than 100 attendees filled the Newtown Congregational Church on April 30 for the annual Families United in Newtown fundraising concert. The event capped off a number of Autism Awareness Month activities organized by the Newtown-based nonprofit. —Photo by Rori Sughrue