Agenda Departments


‘Wolf to Woof’ Exhibit

Through May 12: In today’s society, dogs enhance the lives of millions of people in countless ways, but they are also some of our oldest friends. Ancient clues like cave paintings and burials reveal that dogs and people have lived together for thousands of years. But why have humans formed such close relationships with dogs, and not cows or chickens? “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” is the largest and most comprehensive traveling exhibition ever created on the history, biology, and evolution of dogs. The exhibit, on view at the Springfield Science Museum through May 12, attempts to sniff out the facts on dogs and explore what makes the human/dog relationship so unique. It uses the familiarity and love of these four-legged friends to explore science and biological concepts. The exhibit has four themed sections including multi-media displays, artifacts, photo murals, and dioramas of taxidermied wild canines and sculpted modern dog breeds. Additionally, interactive, hands-on components demonstrate key exhibit concepts. For example, visitors can enter a ‘howling area’ and guess what dogs are saying, test their nose against a dog’s great sense of smell, and examine fossil and genetic evidence of how modern-day dogs are descended from wolves. In addition, the weekly Museums à la Carte lecture on Thursday, March 17 will feature a talk by Eliot Rusman, president and CEO of Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Tickets for this lecture are $4 for the general public and $2 for members. “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” is sponsored by United Bank. MassMutual is the 2015-16 Premier Sponsor of the Springfield Museums.

Grief Through Story Workshop

Feb. 10: The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens will present a Grief Through Story workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St. The workshop, co-hosted by the Sunderland, Deerfield, and Hatfield public libraries, is geared toward adult caregivers and community members who are interested in learning how to initiate gentle conversations with youth about death, dying, and grief. The purpose of the workshop is to use children’s literature as an effective tool in talking with children about these difficult topics. Participants will join in a guided conversation about grief and will discover resources in various mediums that can be used to facilitate these important conversations. Family members, friends, and loved ones in the lives of a grieving young person, as well as anyone interested in grief work with children, is invited to attend.   The snow date is Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free, and drop-ins are welcome. The Garden provides bereavement support at no cost to grieving families with young children no matter where, how, or when a death occurred. For more information about its programs, call Shelly Bathe Lenn, Garden coordinator, at (413) 582-5312.

Chocolate Fantasy

Feb. 12: Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s volunteers and members of the Baystate Franklin Auxiliary (BFA) will hold their annual Chocolate Fantasy fund-raiser from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the hospital’s main conference rooms. This year, funds raised at the Chocolate Fantasy will support the hospital’s Cardiopulmonary Department and Mental Health Unit. The event also features Valentine-related crafts and a raffle with baskets of items from local businesses. BFMC Clinical Notes, the hospital’s women’s a cappella chorus, will present a mini-concert of love songs at 12:15 pm in the main lobby. “Many local organizations and BFMC staff and volunteers have graciously and generously donated chocolate items, from chocolate-chip cookies to chocolate-covered apples to truffles and fudge, and much more,” said Sydney Ramey, chair of the Chocolate Fantasy committee. “We always invite contributors to think creatively as they consider what to send in for the sale.” A highlight of this year’s Fantasy is the raffling of an original watercolor by John Tomasetti, a member of the Old Deerfield Painting Group. The painting is on display in the BFA Gift Shop window. Raffle tickets may be purchased in the shop for $2 each, three for $5, or $10 for a baker’s dozen. The drawing will take place at the Chocolate Fantasy. For more information on the event, or to donate chocolate goodies or raffle items, contact Becky George, manger, Volunteer Services, BFMC, at (413) 773-2318  or [email protected]

Red Cross Blood Drive

Feb 16: The MassMutual Center will host its annual American Red Cross blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Severe winter weather across the nation since Jan. 1 has forced the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives, resulting in more than 9,500 donations uncollected, further depleting an already-low winter supply. In order to fulfill the need, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are being collected. “The MassMutual Center is proud to hold our annual blood drive in support of the Red Cross. We are committed to serving the Springfield community and working with partners such as the Red Cross whose mission is to provide compassionate care to those in need,” said Stacey Church, general manager of the MassMutual Center. Visit or call (800) 733-2767 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.


Informational Seminar on
Alzheimer’s, Dementia

Feb. 16: The Arbors at Chicopee will host an informational seminar on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at 6 p.m. Ed Walters-Zucco, RN at Integra, will offer a brief presentation on the differences between the two diseases and the signs and symptoms. More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Community and resident family members will gather to learn how to cope with this statistic. Following the presentation will be a question-and-answer session and a raffle drawing. Refreshments, cookies, and cheese and crackers will be served.


Dinner, Conversation
About Race in America

Feb. 21: Blue Heron Restaurant will host “On the Bus: Dinner and a Conversation About Race in America with Julius Lester and Barry Moser.” Lester and Moser, writers, educators, and artists who currently reside in Western Mass., both came of age in Tennessee in the 1950s and 60s. Although they both rode public buses in the South, their experiences differed greatly because of the color of their skin. Their experience provides a lens through which the two will begin a discussion on race, racism, and segregation in the U.S. Local poet, author, and gallery owner Richard Michelson will moderate the discussion. Guests will be invited to pose questions to the panelists and share their own thoughts and experiences on the subject. The evening’s menu will draw from the culinary heritage of the American South. The meal will begin with a root vegetable soup served with pimento-cheese crostini. For the main course, guests will choose from a selection of chicken-fried steak with cream gravy, fried catfish with jalapeño remoulade, or squash and cheddar soufflé. Side dishes will be served family-style, and include collard greens, hoppin’ John, sautéed okra, and housemade biscuits. The meal will conclude with a slice of chess pie, a staple of Southern cuisine. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the cost is $40 per person, not including tax or gratuity. The full menu is available to view at Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (413) 665-2102 or e-mailing [email protected]


Licensing Course

Feb. 22: Beginning Monday, 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 Wednesday, March 23. Tuition is $359 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328.


Celiac Disease and
Gluten-free Diets

Feb. 24: Many people are on gluten-free diets, either due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or just because they think it’s healthier. The community is invited to attend a luncheon program titled “Separating Facts from Fad: Gluten-free Diets,” presented by Dr. Harbir Sawhney, gastroenterologist from Baystate Medical Practices – Mary Lane Gastroenterology from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer. “Dr. Sawheny will discuss celiac disease, gluten-free diets, and all things gastrointestinal,” said Susan Fontaine, senior coordinator of Loyalty Programs at Baystate Health. “Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which the body can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease. “If you need to cut gluten from your diet, it may seem difficult, but there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free,” said Fontaine, noting that the program will include a gluten-free bag lunch. The program is sponsored by Baystate Health Senior Class and will include lunch at no cost. Space is limited, and registration is required by calling Baystate Health Link at (800) 377-4325. For more information about the Senior Class Loyalty Program, visit


Academy of Music
Historic Tour

Feb. 24: The Academy of Music will offer a free tour of the historic theater at 5:15 p.m. Led by Academy of Music Development Coordinator Kathryn Slater, the tour will provide insight into the history behind this Northampton mainstay, including details about the organization’s founder and interesting notes about the many revitalizations. Built in 1891, the Academy of Music was the first municipally owned theater in the U.S., and home to the first stock theater company in the nation, the Northampton Players, formed in 1912. For nearly 125 years, the Academy has hosted an impressive array of performers, and the building holds the tales. See for yourself the century-old hole cut in the stage floor for Houdini’s disappearing act; Cole Porter’s grandfather clock; dressing rooms used by Sarah Bernhardt, Boris Karloff, Ethel Barrymore; and more. Step on the stage and see the Academy of Music from a whole new perspective, and take in the results of the 2014 restoration that refurbished the 800-seat auditorium, which earned a Mass. Historical Commission Preservation Award. This walking-and-talking tour begins promptly at 5:15 p.m. in the main lobby and is expected to run approximately 45 minutes. Admission is free, but reservations are required, as attendance is limited to 20. Reservations may be made through the Academy of Music Box Office by calling (413) 584-9032, ext. 105, Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., or by e-mailing [email protected]


Springfield Falcons
Dr. Seuss Night

March 12: The Springfield Falcons, in partnership with the Springfield Museums and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, announced Dr. Seuss Night, to be held during a game against the Portland Pirates starting at 7 p.m. Dr. Seuss Night and the game will be sponsored by Berkshire Bank. For the first time ever, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has partnered with the Falcons and the Springfield Museums in presenting this special night to honor Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, who was born and raised in Springfield. The Springfield Museums are preparing to open the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in 2016, an exhibit featuring interactive activities for children and a one-of-a-kind experience that will provide a look at the man behind the drawing board. “We are excited to partner with the Springfield Museums and Dr. Seuss Enterprises in presenting this special night to honor one of Springfield’s most famous native sons,” Falcons President Sarah Pompea said. “We have been anticipating this night since the summer months and are excited to aid the launching of the new museum in support of a unique family entertainment night around a favorite children’s author.” The night will include appearances by the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumed characters. In addition, specialty jerseys will be worn by Falcons players and auctioned off, with proceeds donated to the Springfield Museums to help support the creation of the new museum. “We are thrilled that the Falcons are stepping up in support of our fund-raising campaign,” said Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums. “It’s wonderful to have the support of one our best downtown neighbors.”

Difference Makers

March 31: The eighth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Tickets cost $60, and tables of 10 are available. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 10, or visit 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. This year’s class was profiled in the Jan. 25 issue, and their stories can also be read online at They include Hampden County Sheriff Michael J. Ashe Jr.; Mike Balise, Balise Motor Sales, philanthropist (1965-2015); Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties; Bay Path University President Carol Leary; and John Robison, president, J.E. Robison Service. Difference Makers is sponsored by EMA Dental, First American Insurance Agency, Health New England, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., Northwestern Mutual, PeoplesBank, Royal LLP, and Sunshine Village.


5K Run & Walk
for a Noble Cause

April 30: Registration is now open for Baystate Noble Hospital’s 32nd annual 5K Run & Walk for a Noble Cause, being held at Stanley Park in Westfield. The race begins at 9 a.m., with registration from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. near the Children’s Pavilion. The Baystate Noble 5K is a competitive road race for all levels of runners, from the novice to the serious athlete. The 3.1-mile course is flat out and back through Stanley Park and the surrounding residential area. A family-friendly, non-competitive walk follows the same route as the road race. Individuals, teams, wheelchair racers, and school groups are all encouraged to participate. After the race, refreshments, activities, and vendor tables will be located near registration, and awards will be given out. Early registration is encouraged. The registration fee for ages 13-59 is $35 through April 29 (seniors 60 and older are $25). The registration fee for ages 13-59 is $40 on April 30 ($30 for seniors). Children 12 and under participate free when accompanied by a paying adult. T-shirts in various sizes are available to registrants on a first-come, first-served basis while inventory is available. To register online, download registration materials, and read general information, visit Sponsorship and vendor table opportunities are also available. For more information, visit or contact the Community Development Office at [email protected] or (413) 568-2811, ext. 5520.


40 Under Forty

June 16: The 10th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. The magazine will continue to accept nominations for the class of 2016 until 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12. The nomination form, which can be found at, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community. An independent panel of judges (see profiles on page 9 of this issue) will choose the winners, and their stories will be told in the April 18 issue. The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and Paragus Strategic IT (presenting sponsors), EMA Dental, Health New England, Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Moriarty & Primack, and United Bank. More details on the gala will be revealed in upcoming issues.

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