BY BRYNN MANDEL
An annual strawberry festival at a senior community in Southbury offers not only sweet treats, but the chance to help a local child who seniors will “adopt” with the aim of helping empower through their charity, dubbed Watermark for Kids.
Next Tuesday, strawberry shortcake and chocolate-dipped fruit will be offered as a guitarist and founder of a Danbury band, Billy Michael, provides tunes from the Beatles to Sinatra from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Watermark at East Hill, 611 East Hill Road.
Open to the public, proceeds from the $4 tickets benefit the charity fund to help local children. After residents of the community and employees select a child to help, they match that child with a “coach” who could be a senior resident or an employee.
Last year, the festival and program helped Donald Tuz, a Star Scout and New Milford High School student who was the first so-called Watermark Kid.
Through their fundraising, the seniors sent Tuz to the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia and celebration of the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts. His coach was the Watermark’s executive chef, Jim Bain, who also happened to be the scoutmaster for Tuz’s troop.
This year, the community selected Rodney Delgado, a second-grader from Waterbury, as its second Watermark Kid and threw him a 9th birthday party, replete with decorations, cake and gifts. A juried art show follows the strawberry festivities on Tuesday.