Alice Hutchinson with Senator Richard Blumenthal. Photography by Louis J. David/contributed photo
On Saturday, April 6, at Michael's at the Grove in Bethel, CT, Alice Hutchinson, the owner of independent book shop and community hub, Byrd's Books, was honored with the 2019 Bill & Shannon Award for Community Service by the Bethel Democratic Town Committee. The award is presented annually to a Bethel resident who has contributed to the growth and improvement of the Town of Bethel through involvement in various civic and public activities and committees.
The award was presented by Matt Knickerbocker, First Selectman, Town of Bethel, and Nicholas Vitti Jr., Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee, before an audience of 120 local and state dignitaries, including Senator Richard Blumenthal and LT. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
Former Congressman 5th District and President/CEO of Connecticut Institute for Communities, James H. Maloney, celebrated Ms. Hutchinson's service with well deserved remarks.
Proud of her West Virginia roots, Alice Hutchinson has lived in Connecticut since she was two years old, in Bethel since 1979. From her West Virginia family, she inherited a seat on the board of directors of a small coal mine, which is now finding a new life growing crops, and also a passion for politics. A member of the Bethel Democratic Town Committee since 1987, she has served the organization as vice chair and chairman. For 16 years, Alice sat on Bethel's Planning and Zoning Commission and served as first selectman for one term, from 2003 to 2005. In that office, she was chair of the Board of Selectmen, the Police Commission, and Public Utilities Commission. One of her great pleasures was her role in coordinating Bethel’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2005.
Having had a varied and diverse background that includes a Bachelor’s in Theater and a Master’s in Teaching, as well as stints in theater management, recording studio engineering, and elected office, Alice finally settled on bookstore ownership. Alice opened Byrd’s Books in 2011. The popular bookstore is now located in Bethel's Greenwood Avenue Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Byrd’s Books is a general bookstore that carries only new titles, with a special focus on Connecticut authors, poets, publishers and illustrators. As a proud member of the American Bookseller’s Association and its division, Indiebound, Byrd’s Books participates in the larger community of bookselling nationwide, especially encouraging and promoting a vibant network of independent bookstore. Byrd's Books features additional sections that include bestsellers, children's books, poetry, mystery, science and nature, and classics, as well as greeting cards, gifts, puzzles, and a large selection of discounted titles.
Byrd's Books, located at 178 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT, adjacent to the Toy Room, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00am to 6:00pm, Sundays 12:00 noon to 4:00pm. Byrd's Books' new location has on-street parking. Municipal parking is available at the Bethel Public Library across the street and the "Old Train Station" which is where Broken Symmetry now resides. There are private lots nearby. For more information, go to byrdsbooks.com or call (203) 730 BYRD (2973).