There is a special new day on the calendar in Newtown. Going forward, March 8 is proclaimed Eunice Day to honor the birthday of a bagel shop owner touching lives.
The Newtown community got together Wednesday to celebrate Eunice Laverty’s 75th birthday, which is March 8.
“She was jaw dropping pretty much,” Kate Laverty, Eunice’s daughter, said.
They greeted Laverty with applause and cheers.
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“We gave her some flowers, but there was probably 50 people outside, and a fire truck,” Dan Rosenthal, Newtown first selectman, said.
Much fanfare for a humble woman.
“The town was so kind to remember my birthday,” Eunice Laverty said. “Many of my friends stopped in.”
Many of those friendships formed at the beloved shop Bagel Delight.
“We've been here for 27 years,” Eunice said.
Laverty already retired once from social work, but since she opened Bagel Delight nearly three decades ago, retirement is not even in her vocabulary.
“Well, I'm here at 5 o'clock. And I don't leave until 4:30 or 5 o'clock,” she said.
Putting in the hours to serve a lot of hungry people.
“Thousands, thousands!” Eunice said.
Neighbors and friends don’t just drop in for a hot bite.
“Eunice knows everything about everyone in this town,” Diana Fadus Paproski, of Newtown, said. “When you come in, she addresses you by your name, asks about your aging mom, your aging dad, your three-year-old granddaughter.”
“And she's very generous. Very, very generous,” Nancie Hubbard, of Newtown, added.
“You always have an extra bagel in your bag,” Fadus Paproski said.
Eunice works alongside her daughter Kate, and sometimes her son and grandkids, too.
“Everybody’s like family. We have people who have been coming since we opened in 1995,” Kate said. “The town is so good to my mother. And I've seen it many other times, not just today. And it just warms your heart and makes you just think how great people are.”
Rebeca Kowalski, mother of Sandy Hook school shooting victim Chase Kowalski who now runs the CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, shares a birthday with Laverty. She reminded the first selectman Eunice had a milestone coming up.
“She feeds us all, with a big smile,” Kowalski said. “We want to show the good of Newtown and let Newtown be seen in a brighter light. And that light is people like Eunice.”
To honor one of Newtown’s most beloved residents, Rosenthal issued a proclamation on Friday marking March 8 officially “Eunice Day.”
“She knows everyone's family, she knows you by name. It's that little place where she's always smiling. I don't think she's ever had a bad day,” Rosenthal said.
It draws a lot of feelings for the woman who typically shies away from attention.
“Humbled, humbled,” Eunice said.
She loves nothing more than to send people off with a full basket and a big smile, in a community banded together.
“Oh, I love it. It's my life,” Eunice said. “The people. Everybody is just great. Just great.”