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SPRINGFIELD — The Melha Shriners announced that supporter Wendy Hart has once again organized the third annual Clowning Around for Shriners Hospital event, set for Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

VFW Post 872, at 151 Point Grove Road in Southwick, will host this family-friendly event. Entertainment will be provided by the Shrine clowns, a traveling arcade, a photo booth, a dunk tank, and a DJ. The event will also feature a vendor fair featuring more than 40 local enterprises.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to raise money for Shriners Hospital, and hope to increase the amount we raised over last year’s total,” Hart said. The event raised $2,000 for the hospital in 2015.

Food and beverages will be for sale at the event. The Melha Shrine Clowns will present a skit show and spend the day mingling with children of all ages. Chris Howe, Shriner and president of the Melha Clowns, noted that “our clowns love days like this because we can help raise money for our hospital while just having lots of fun with all of the families in attendance.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield will receive 100% of the proceeds as it attempts to raise $900,000 for state-of-the-art X-ray technology (called EOS) which exposes children to a mere one-ninth of the radiation of traditional X-ray studies.

For more information about the event, contact Hart at (413) 875-5743 or visit the Facebook event page.

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SPRINGFIELD — NAI Plotkin announced it will relocate to the MassLive building, 1350 Main St., in mid-August. 1350 Formerly known as One Financial Plaza, the building is well-known throughout Springfield for its first-, third-, and ninth-floor galleries activating the spaces. This move brings a third-generation family business into the dynamic and changing heart of downtown.

NAI Plotkin’s team of commercial real-estate professionals will occupy 5,884 square feet on the 14th floor in the class-A office tower. The space is currently being renovated to best suit the contemporary property management team.

“As we continue to grow our business in and around the Springfield market, we needed to put down roots in a new space that will grow with us,” said Evan Plotkin, company president. “We’re excited to start this new chapter of our company’s history.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University is welcoming 25 Mexican students through Aug. 20 under the support of the U.S. Department of State’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, and the complementary Mexican Ministry of Education Proyecta 100,000 initiative.

Western New England University was selected as a host location for the joint U.S./Mexican higher-education programs with the assistance of Bridge Pathways, the university’s international ESL partner. Over the next four weeks, the Mexican students will be living in Commonwealth Hall, dining in the St. Germain Campus Center, and receiving instruction in Herman Hall by ESL faculty and guest speakers. They will also be touring the region, including Boston and other locations.

For more information on the U.S. and Mexican international higher-education programs, click here.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Celebrate Holyoke welcomes the return of Slide the City to Holyoke on Saturday, Aug. 27 as part of its three-day event, and will once again sell discounted tickets prior to the event. In addition, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke is partnering with Slide the City to raise money for its organization and help secure volunteers for the day of the slide.

Slide the City will return to the same location along Appleton Street. Tickets are currently available at slidethecity.com, and single tickets can be purchased for $20 on the day of the event. Those looking to purchase tickets in advance at a discounted rate can do so at Stop & Shop on Lincoln Street in Holyoke on Sat., Aug. 13, and Sun., Aug. 14, from noon to 4 p.m.; at the mayor’s office on weekdays; and at the Holyoke Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Discounted tickets can also be found at celebrateholyokemass.com.

For the second year, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke will partner with Slide the City to recruit volunteers for the day of the event. For every volunteer signed up, Slide the City will make a donation to the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club.

“The Holyoke Boys & Girls Club is thrilled to be partnering for the second year with Slide the City and the Celebrate Holyoke committee,” said Eileen Cavanaugh, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club. “Last year was a great experience, and we were so pleased with and grateful for the amount of volunteers that came out to support the club. I’m sure this year will be even better! We are looking forward to another fun event that allows our club to be part of Celebrate Holyoke.”

Volunteers are still needed for various shifts throughout the day and will be helping with the following tasks: setup, registration tent (check pre-registered customers, take payment for new customers, etc.), slide monitors (check wristbands, help keep people moving along), cleanup, trash pickup, and loading trucks with gear and merchandise.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke should e-mail Cavanaugh at [email protected]. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. In exchange for their participation, volunteers will receive a Slide the City T-shirt and be provided snacks and refreshments during each shift.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Selected from a pool of more than 130 applicants, Tech Foundry was announced as the recent winner of the 2016 Champions in Action award by Citizens Bank. With the award comes a check for $35,000, as well as other support from Citizens Bank that will enhance the work of Tech Foundry. The award also includes significant exposure from New England Cable News.

More than 50 workforce-development stakeholders and Tech Foundry employer partners gathered last week at an event at Tech Foundry to share the news. The organization sees this award as not just affirmation for its program success, but also an award to the collaborative efforts of companies across the region. As Jonathan Edwards of Tech Foundry stated, “this is an award that should be shared with the entire Western Massachusetts region.”

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LENOX — Two of the hottest stars in the contemporary Jewish music scene, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson, will come together at the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires’ annual benefit concert for a powerful evening of hope, unity, and spirituality. The concert will take place Sunday, July 31 at 7 p.m. at the Duffin Theater at Lenox Memorial High School.

All concert proceeds will benefit the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Victims of Terror Fund. General admission tickets are $25, $20 for young adults under the age of 30, and free for children under 10. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Jewish Federation at (413) 442-4360, ext. 10, or at the door. The Duffin Theater is located at Lenox Memorial High School, 197 East St., Lenox.

Carlebach continues the legacy established by her father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. His deep spirituality and love of all humanity filled the songs he wrote and touched the people he encountered as he changed the face of Jewish music. Like her father, Neshama’s talent and charisma endear her to people of all ages and backgrounds as she performs and teaches in cities worldwide.

One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Nelson brings a message of hope, unity, and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. He is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps, and communities around the world.

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires mobilizes the local Jewish community to care for those in need, and nurtures and sustains Jewish life across the Berkshires, in Israel, and around the world.

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SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University Small Business Legal Clinic is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs and small-business owners seeking legal assistance for the fall 2016 semester. Under faculty supervision, law students assist clients with legal issues, including choice of entity, employment policies, contract drafting, regulatory compliance, and intellectual-property issues relating to trademark applications and copyright. This is a free service available to local businesses that would not otherwise have the resources to obtain these types of services.

The Small Business Clinic at Western New England School of Law has assisted more than 300 small businesses. By using the clinic’s services, businesses can avoid problems by getting legal issues addressed early and correctly. It also provides students with an opportunity to get real-world experience.

The Small Business Legal Clinic asks small-business owners to submit their applications by Monday, Aug. 15. Applications received after that date will be considered if additional resources are available. Students will begin providing services in September. For more information, call the clinic at (413) 782-1469 or e-mail [email protected].

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PITTSFIELD — This summer, the Berkshire Museum is partnering with the Lemelson-MIT Program in mentoring a JV InvenTeam at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington. Lemelson-MIT JV InvenTeams are comprised of students who hone their hands-on skills and enrich their STEM education through invention-based design activities.

Berkshire Museum educators are leading the classes based on materials and coursework provided by the Lemelson-MIT Program. Thirty-two fifth- and sixth-grade students are participating three days a week, July 5 through Aug. 3. The middle-schoolers at Monument Valley have completed a unit on designing and prototyping shoe soles, creating soles for a range of different activities. The students came up with ideas for their shoe soles, modeled them in clay, and cast them in urethane to complete their prototypes. They are now working on sound; they have dissected earbuds to learn about speakers, created their own electromagnets from common household objects, and built speakers out of paper plates.

The Lemelson-MIT Program continues to celebrate outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. JV InvenTeams are currently located in four states: Massachusetts, Texas, Oregon, and California.

Students participating in JV InvenTeams learn how to safely use tools and explore new materials to use in hands-on projects. Teams of students practice invention-based design activities and apply their learned skills to create useful and unique projects. They build confidence and curiosity around STEM areas including structures, electricity, materials, and robotics.

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SPRINGFIELD — The boards of directors of two area nonprofit organizations, Friends of the Homeless Inc. (FOH) and Clinical & Support Options Inc. (CSO), have voted to pursue a merger.

FOH provides emergency shelter, housing, and support services for low-income residents of Springfield. CSO is a comprehensive behavioral-health organization based in Northampton, providing outpatient and emergency mental-health and substance-abuse services, with regional locations in five counties in Western and Central Mass. FOH will merge into CSO and become a program of Clinical & Support Options.

“This is a merger that is built on mutual, compatible strengths,” said Bill Miller, executive director of FOH. “Friends’ operations will remain largely the same, now with new opportunities for our clients to have ready access to behavioral-health services. We will also have new opportunities to serve the housing needs of communities in Franklin and Hampshire Counties.”

Karin Jeffers, president and CEO of Clinical & Support Options, noted that, in parallel fashion, CSO clients will have access to FOH housing expertise, while CSO expands its behavioral-health services to FOH clients in Springfield. “The leaders of both organizations have been excited to recognize how bringing the two together will benefit our clients and staff. Our communities will benefit from the more efficient use of public resources and broadened access to the resources and services both organizations bring.”

Added Keith Obert, chairman of the CSO board of directors, “the senior management of the two organizations will be combined into one stronger team, with more diverse skills. Also, the two boards will collaborate to create broader and deeper community representation across the region.”

Dan Pouliot, chairman of the FOH board of directors, noted that “FOH has a strong brand recognition throughout the area for critical programming to serve the most vulnerable in our communities. This merger will allow us to keep doing that work, but now with additional resources to expand programming to our clients and support our staff, all of whom are vital to what we do. There will be no reduction in workforce. Rather, we expect that we will be stronger and more efficient together.”

A merger of Massachusetts nonprofit agencies requires filing with the attorney general. Miller said they expect to submit required documents in the coming weeks, with the intent of completing the process before the end of the calendar year.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Crimson Trace Corp., an industry leader in laser-sighting systems and tactical lighting for firearms, for $95 million.

Crimson Trace has long been a key supplier of laser-sighting systems for Smith & Wesson. For more than two decades, Crimson Trace has provided consumers, military units, and law-enforcement officers around the globe with laser-sight and tactical-light products. Offering more than 225 products, its award-winning innovations include the Lasergrips, Laserguard, and Rail Master platforms. The company’s product line also includes the Defender Series, Lightguard, and its new LiNQ wireless activation system. Based in Wilsonville, Ore., Crimson Trace operates from a 50,000-square-foot, leased facility where it engineers and manufactures its products.

Crimson Trace was founded 22 years ago and has organically generated a 10-year compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 10%. Its products maintain a premium position with hundreds of independent retailers as well as large sporting-goods retailers, including Cabela’s, MidwayUSA, Nation’s Best Sports, and internet retailer Optics Planet Inc.

“Crimson Trace provides us with an exceptional opportunity to acquire a thriving company that is completely aligned with our strategy to become a leader in the market for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts,” said James Debney, Smith & Wesson president and CEO. “As the undisputed leader in the market for laser-sighting products, Crimson Trace serves as an ideal platform for our new Electro-Optics Division. Firearms purchasers frequently buy electro-optic accessories to enhance the capabilities and performance of their firearms. The growth that Crimson Trace has delivered is a testament to the high-product quality and the robust product development capability that Lane Tobiassen, president and chief executive officer of Crimson Trace, and his team have established. That capability, combined with Crimson Trace’s leadership position in the market for laser sights, provides a solid framework for organic and inorganic growth.”

Tobiassen, who joined Crimson Trace in 2005, will serve as president of the new Electro-Optics Division of Smith & Wesson, and will report directly to Debney. The Crimson Trace management team and workforce, as well as its base of operations, will remain in Wilsonville, Ore. after the acquisition.

“It is a great honor to lead Crimson Trace into this exciting new chapter in our history by joining the Smith & Wesson team,” Tobiassen said. “Since 1994, we have designed and brought to market more than 225 products, all of which reflect the passion, dedication, and spirit of innovation of our design engineers, production workforce, customer-service representatives, and marketing and sales professionals. As the new Electro-Optics Division of Smith & Wesson, we believe that our capabilities, combined with inorganic opportunities to acquire related technologies, will expand the reach of our existing market footprint. This makes us a great fit for Smith & Wesson, a legendary company with an iconic brand, world-class products, and markets that include consumer, law-enforcement, and international channels. We look forward to offering consumers exceptional performance from two of the industry’s most trusted names.”