Community News: History series grant benefits the library, fireworks and more

The 175th anniversary of the town of Easton's Fireworks will be held at Samuel Staples Elementary School this Saturday. Any proceeds will benefit the Easton Volunteer Emergency Medical Service.

MONROE, CT — Friends of the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library received a $1,824 grant from Connecticut Humanities enabling the library to present the online history series “United States in WW II: Perspectives on History with a Modern-Day Context.”

The library is presenting the eight-part lecture series in partnership with the Monroe Historical Society. The series covering military history topics will be presented online via Zoom, allowing for a broad attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All are welcome to attend, though the series was planned as a way to reach out to older men in Monroe and its surrounding communities.

“With the library building closed to the public and other community activities curtailed due to COVID-19, many senior citizens have been locked in and have suffered acutely from a lack of social contact,” said Library Director Lorna Rhyins. “Military history topics were specifically chosen with the intent to attract this target audience. The goal is not just to lecture, but to draw participants into lively discussion.”

Beginning on Sept. 16, the series of eight 45-minute lectures will be held bi-monthly on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. through December. Each event will be followed by Q&A and a robust discussion period, giving people an opportunity for an intellectually stimulating social interaction.

All sessions will be presented by historian, Art Gottlieb, in chronologically connected order. It is similar to a class, but people can attend as many or as few as they choose.

Gottlieb was the technical director for exhibits for the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan from 1989-1997, while serving as the primary liaison for veterans’ associations. He coordinated with all branches of the armed services and National Guard in preserving historic ships, aircraft and armor from around the world.

The following is a list of lecture dates and topics: 

9/16 – Great Britain, Germany, and the Start of the WW II in Europe

9/30 – United States, Japan, and the Start of WW II in the Pacific

10/14 – The War of the Atlantic: 1939-1945

10/28 – Operation Barbarossa: The Invasion of Russia

11/4 – The Battle for Guadalcanal

11/18 – D-Day: Invasion of Normandy

12/2 – Iwo Jima

12/16 – Atom Bomb 

For information and registration links for each session, visit the library’s website, or call the reference desk at 203-452-2852. Library reference staff will be happy to schedule appointments to assist people in learning to use Zoom ahead of time.

Fireworks in Easton

EASTON, CT — Easton Volunteer EMS Inc. is hosting the 175th anniversary of Easton Fireworks at Samuel Staples Elementary School/Morehouse Fields, 515 Morehouse Road, this Saturday night.

The gates open at 7:45 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19 there are no walk ins — everyone must arrive in a vehicle. Social distancing and masks are mandatory. Organizers ask visitors to stay inside their vehicle and stand an arms-length away from it during the show.

No restrooms are available.

Tickets cost $40 per car with an online purchase by clicking here. Those paying at the gate on the day of the event must pay in cash with exact change.

Rotary District 7980 Hosts Virtual Diaper Drive

Rotary District 7980, which represents the four Southern Connecticut counties, is hosting a virtual diaper drive through Oct. 15, 2020. All money collected will go to The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, which uses its strategic buying power and network of partners to purchase and distribute diapers to families in need.

Donations may be made online. The Rotary club’s goal is to raise $15,000.

“During this time of social distancing, the virtual drive provides an opportunity for the district’s 57 Rotary clubs and 2000 members Rotary club – and friends – to work together toward a common goal,” said Beth Stoller, a Rotarian.

The drive comes as The Diaper Bank of Connecticut is seeing unprecedented demand for its services, according to Stoller. As the pandemic continues to take a toll on the economy and workforce, more low-income families are struggling to make ends meet. Many parents are being forced to actually choose between diapers and other basic needs when budgeting their expenses.

A gift of $26.50 allows The Diaper Bank to buy an entire case of diapers. That amount is significant to Rotarians, because in 1917 the first amount donated to the Rotary Foundation was $26.50.

For information, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit

Network of Executive Women offers scholarships

MILFORD, CT —  The Network of Executive Women is accepting undergraduate scholarship applications through October, 20, 2020.

To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a financial need, have had an interruption of their education. They must be returning, continuing, or commencing undergraduate schooling or other types of training to further their educational goals and/or enhance their job skills.

In addition to these requirements, applicants must reside in New Haven or Fairfield counties. This year’s high school seniors are not eligible.

The deadline for submitting applications is Tuesday, Oct. 20. For information or to request an application, email Lauren Tropp at [email protected]. Applications are not available online.

Scholarship finalists will be interviewed by the NEW Scholarship Committee, and recipients will be awarded at the Network’s Dec. 1 luncheon. Scholarships are funded through Network sponsored events, member participation and private donations.

To learn more visit

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