Feb. 20: CDH Disability Resources will offer a free wheelchair-basketball clinic from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at CHD’s gymnasium at 69 Capital Dr., West Springfield. There is no cost to attend, and all participants qualify for raffles, prizes, and giveaways. The clinic will be led by Paul Weiland, a certified health and physical education teacher with an adaptive physical education certification. Weiland, Adapted Sports Program coordinator for Chapter 126 Sports & Fitness, has coached wheelchair basketball at the high-school and college levels and was part of the USA Paralympics wheelchair-basketball selection committee in 2008. He will be supported by volunteer staff, including therapeutic recreation students from Springfield College and varsity basketball players from Springfield College and American International College. For people interested in getting more involved with wheelchair basketball, in addition to the Feb. 20 clinic, Disability Resources is offering a 10-week program on Friday evenings from March 3 through May 5, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Pace Gym, 69 Capital Dr., West Springfield. Players will be taught fundamental skills and game-related strategies while focusing on the values of teamwork and respect. To learn more about wheelchair basketball or to sign up for programs, contact Levine at (413) 788-9695.
Real-estate Licensing Course
Feb. 22: Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will sponsor a 40-hour, 14-class sales-licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. The course will be completed on March 23. Tuition costs $359 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328.
Estate Planning for Blended Families
Feb. 23: Linda Manor Assisted Living will host a discussion at 5:30 p.m. about meeting the estate-planning challenges of blended families. The event is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to register by calling (413) 588-3316. A light dinner will be served. Attorney Valerie Vignaux of the law firm Bacon Wilson is a specialist in estate planning and elder law. Her discussion will focus on the unique challenges blended families can face. Common concerns are asset division, guardianship, long-term-care planning, and future decision making.
‘Create at the Carle!’
Feb. 27 to March 20: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will offer adult art classes for people 55 and over thanks to a new grant from Aroha Philanthropies. “Create at the Carle!” is a new program for adults interested in expressing themselves through visual art. The first of a series of three workshops, this one on printmaking, begins Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, and runs for eight weeks. The cost is $90, or $76.50 for members. Teaching artist Lynn Peterfreund, who concentrates on printmaking, painting, and drawing, is offering this class for beginners or more experienced students. The goals are to learn processes, become more aware of different art styles, and learn to identify and tell one’s own stories with visual tools. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants. The workshop includes a visit from artist Lyell Castonguay, who will share his woodcut technique and experiences as director of BIG INK, and concludes with an art show for friends, family, guests, and the general public to enjoy. “Create at the Carle!” is presented in partnership with Aroha Philanthropies to support the development and expansion of Artful Aging programs. The Carle was selected as one of only 15 nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. to receive a grant from Aroha Philanthropies through its new national initiative, Seeding Artful Aging. Following printmaking, additional classes in 2017 will include guest artists teaching collage and bookmaking. For more information about the classes or to sign up, visit www.carlemuseum.org.
Whiskey & Cigar Night
March 2: It’s official: whiskey passed vodka as the number-one spirit of choice in the U.S. back in 2014, and the trend is more than a passing one. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s Whiskey & Cigar Night, slated for 6 p.m. at Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill, provides novice and connoisseur whiskey drinkers with a chance to savor a variety of vodkas, while raising funds for the SSO’s artistic, education, and community programs. For a $75 admission ticket, attendees will enjoy a variety of cigars on an outdoor patio, food-pairing stations to accompany the drink, and several stations to taste a wide variety of whiskey, from Scotch and Irish whiskey to bourbon and rye. Expert representatives from local distributors and distilleries will be on hand to answer questions and provide tasting notes. In addition to the whiskey, food, and cigars, a silent auction will be running throughout the event, featuring sports memorabilia, high-end experiences, and trips. Participation is limited to ensure the highest quality experience for all attendees. Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill is located at 1390 Main St., Springfield. To learn more or purchase a ticket, call (413) 733-0636, ext. 118, or e-mail email@example.com.
March 11: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s first annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Themed “All You Need Is Love,” the inaugural gala will raise funds to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s Opioid Treatment and Addiction Recovery programs. The major goal of the project is to create a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services, giving individuals a better chance at long-term recovery. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg are the Caritas Gala honorary chairpersons. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light. “Brenda and I are inspired by the selfless work of the Sisters of Providence, and our family has made their legacy our personal mission,” said Sjoberg. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Beantown, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., followed by a live auction and dancing until midnight. Pre-registration is required by Feb. 17. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mercycares.com/caritasgala.
Mini Medical School
March 23 to May 11: Itching to get out of the house as the winter draws to an end? Consider signing up for a little dose of continuing education as part of Baystate Medical Center’s Mini Medical School, where you can broaden your knowledge of the field of medicine with professors from the teaching hospital. Mini Medical School, which begins its spring session on Thursday, March 23, offers area residents an inside look at the expanding field of medicine, minus the tests, homework, interviews, and admission formalities. The program continues through May 11. Baystate’s Mini Medical School program is an eight-week health-education series featuring a different aspect of medicine each week. Classes this spring will include sessions on various medical topics such as surgery, deep-brain stimulation, emergency medicine, dementia, pathology, and several others. For a full list of topics and instructors, visit www.baystatehealth.org/minimed. While it is not difficult to be accepted into the program, slots are limited, and early registration is recommended. Many of the students, who often range in age from 20 to 70, participate due to a general interest in medicine and later find that many of the things they learned over the semester are relevant to their own lives. The goal of the program, offered in the hospital’s Chestnut Conference Center, is to help members of the public make more informed decisions about their healthcare while receiving insight on what it might be like to be a medical student. Baystate Medical Center is the region’s only teaching hospital, and each course is taught by medical center faculty, who explain the science of medicine without resorting to complex terms. All classes are held Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. and run until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the night’s topic. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. Each participant is required to attend a minimum of six out of eight classes in order to receive a certificate of completion. Tuition costs $95 per person and $80 for Senior Class and Spirit of Women members. To register, call (413) 794-7630 or visit www.baystatehealth.org/minimed.
March 30: The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at businesswest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One. Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Details on the event will be published in upcoming issues of the magazine. Sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.
Education Fair & Expo
April 4: Jared James, a national real-estate speaker and trainer, will be the featured speaker at the 24th annual Education Fair & Expo taking place at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The event is sponsored by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. The program features a day of educational presentations including two breakout sessions from James, three continuing-education classes, and two technology classes. A sellout trade show with more than 50 vendors is anticipated. Anyone interested in attending as a trade-show vendor should contact Kim Harrison, membership and meetings coordinator at the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley, at (413) 785-1328 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 10.
‘Mini Golf in the Library’
April 7-8: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will host its second annual “Mini Golf in the Library” fund-raiser on the weekend of April 7-8. Hole sponsors and event sponsors are now being recruited. Funds raised help the Friends of the Library support library programs and resources, especially those for children and youth. Sponsors will be publicized and thanked in local media, social media, and the library’s website in connection with this event. Logos of sponsors will be printed on the scorecard given to each player. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the library, ranked by level of sponsorship. Sponsors will be invited as guests to the Friday-evening cocktail party, with the opportunity to preview (and play through) the course. In addition to event sponsors and hole sponsors, the event planning committee, chaired by Sandy Ward, is seeking donors of in-kind services and items for a silent auction to be held during the Friday cocktail party. Hole sponsorships start at $250. Those who wish to sponsor (and decorate) one of the 18 holes are encouraged to act quickly, as holes are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Event sponsorships are available at five levels ranging from $250 to $1,000. An exclusive title sponsorship is possible at $2,500. For more information, visit www.holyokelibrary.org/aboutfriendsgolf.asp or e-mail Sandy Ward at email@example.com.