Agenda Departments


Classes on Elder Law, Estate Planning

Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3: Attorney Karen Jackson, owner and senior attorney of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of three classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College on three consecutive Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m.Jackson said each class is a standalone presentation; those who are unable to attend on Sept. 19 are welcome to attend one or both of the subsequent sessions.Through stories and real examples, Jackson will present comprehensive subject matter on these topics: “The Core Estate Plan,” “The Probate Process, Start to Finish,” and “Medicare, Community Care Programs, and MassHealth Planning.”In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. She will also provide an overview of the different types of trusts that can be considered in estate planning, including supplemental needs trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts.The second session will address the probate-court process. Jackson will discuss the different types of probate, explain how to determine which assets must go through probate after a death, and what estate planning can be done now.In her final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide community and long-term skilled nursing care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. She will also address hot topics in Medicare law, supplemental-needs trusts, and new developments in significant elder-law issues.The cost is $85 per person and covers all three classes; participants cannot pay for individual sessions. To register, call Holyoke Community College at (413) 552-2500 or visit

Mutts & Mimosas

Sept. 25: Dakin Humane Society will present its fourth annual Mutts & Mimosas fund-raising event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quonquont Farm & Orchard in Whately, rain or shine. Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs to the brunch, which will feature a make-your-own-mimosa bar, live music, a raffle and silent auction, apple picking, dog-walking trails, and other fun activities. The food will be catered by Seth Mias, and an optional dog meal is available for $10. Event attendees are asked to bring dry or canned cat food to support Dakin’s pet food-bank program. Tickets are $50 per person and can be ordered online at or by calling Event Manager Gina Ciprari at (413) 781-4000, ext. 136. “Mutts & Mimosas is such a fun and unusual gathering, and it’s become a tradition among Dakin supporters and dog enthusiasts,” said Dakin Executive Director Carmine DiCenso. “People really embrace this event because it gives them the chance to have fun with their dogs, and Quonquont Farm offers an ideal and relaxing setting. Mutts & Mimosas is a very important benefit for the homeless animals we care for, and each ticket sold helps us extend our services to more animals and their people.” Finck and Perras Insurance Agency Inc. of Florence and Easthampton is the corporate sponsor for Mutts & Mimosas. Media sponsors include 94.7 WMAS, Bear Country 95.3, the Republican, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and the Recorder.

Spirit of the Written Word

Sept. 29 to Dec. 8: Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Department will offer a free writing workshop, Spirit of the Written Word, for Western Mass. residents touched by cancer. The 10-week workshop will take place on Thursdays, Sept. 29 through Dec. 8 (no class on Nov. 24), from 6 to 8 p.m., at Artspace, 15 Mill St., Greenfield. Attendees are encouraged to promote their own healing and experience the therapeutic benefits of group writing. No writing experience is required, and all sharing is voluntary and confidential. Refreshments will be provided. Facilitating the workshop is Pam Roberts, a writer, artist, and certified yoga instructor who is also a breast-cancer survivor of more than 20 years. An ordained graduate of the IM School of Healing Arts in New York City, she has been leading writing workshops for people affected by cancer and loss for more than 11 years. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Roberts found writing to be an important part of her healing process. She believes deeply in the transformative and healing power of writing within a safe and supportive workshop environment. The workshop is being sponsored by BFMC Oncology and is grant-funded by Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Wheeling for Healing Bike/Walk/Run Event supporting cancer services at BFMC. The Spirit of the Written Word writing workshop is limited to 12 participants, and registration is required. To register, or for more information, contact Roberts at (413) 625-2402 or [email protected] Information is also available in the Oncology Department at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

‘Holyoke Renaissance: Rising from the Ashes’

Through Oct. 29: During September and October, Wistariahurst is hosting a new exhibit titled “Holyoke Renaissance: Rising from the Ashes.” Three area artists are showcasing architecture as art in a joint exhibition celebrating the renaissance of the city of Holyoke. The exhibit by artists Debra Dunphy, Nancy Howard, and Kristine Villeneuve-Topor features various views of the old industrial city of Holyoke and its architectural designs. Holyoke is currently undergoing a transformation that is renewing much of the downtown after suffering urban blight for decades. Works on display include local landmarks and streetscapes from around the city and are presented to shine a light on the beautiful art and architecture in the city. The exhibit will run through Saturday, Oct. 29. Gallery viewing hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the gallery is available for a $3 suggested donation.

Northeast Training Institute

Oct. 4-5: The International Business Innovation Assoc. (InBIA), in partnership with the Assoc. of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION), will host a two-day Northeast Training Institute at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke. Four courses will be offered for the professional development of incubator managers or those exploring the development of an incubator or accelerator program in their community. Those who should consider attending include  business incubation and acceleration professionals, university administrators and faculty in entrepreneurship, community influencers and chamber of commerce of leaders, and economic-development leaders. Join other participants from around the region for these world-recognized training programs and hear about development plans for the Holyoke Innovation District. Learn more at E-mail Joan Popolo at [email protected] with any questions.

CSO Spaghetti Dinner

Oct. 5: In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week, Clinical & Support Options (CSO) Green River House and Quabbin House Programs will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Moose Lodge on School Street in Greenfield. CSO believes that mental-health issues are important to address year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Health Awareness Week provides a time for people to come together and share stories of recovery and hope and to spread the message that your total health matters. Program Manager Kim Britt knows how important events like these are to reducing mental-health stigma. “The purpose of this event is to bring awareness and educate the community and to change individuals’ perception about mental illness,” she said. “Individuals who experience mental illness are not what the media portrays. The truth is, one in four adults experience mental illness in America each year. People who experience mental-health challenges are just like you and I. They’re able to lead healthy, meaningful, and productive lives. Although the road to recovery is a journey, recovery is possible.” Raffles, entertainment, and mental-health information will be paired with a traditional spaghetti-dinner menu. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 3 and up, and free for children under 3. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. For questions or to purchase tickets, call the Green River House at (413) 772-2181 or Quabbin House at (978) 544-1859.

Workshop on Conducting a Workplace Investigation

Oct. 13: In your job, are you responsible for conducting investigations into employee conflicts? Allegations of harassment? Employee theft? If so, Royal, P.C.’s workshop on workplace investigations is for you. Recent state and federal court decisions underscore the importance of conducting thorough investigations. In this workshop, attendees will learn about such topics as selecting an investigator, conducting an effective interview, dealing with confidentiality issues, and taking interim actions. Among those who may be interested in attending are HR professionals, CFOs, CEOs, and anyone in a management position who is responsible for handling investigations. This workshop will apply to the first-time ‘investigator’ as well as the most seasoned ones. The workshop will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. at Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The cost is $30 per person. Mail your payment and make your check payable to Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060. Advance registration is required, and seating is limited. E-mail Ann-Marie Marcil at [email protected] to register or with any questions about this workshop.

Western Mass. Business Expo

Nov. 3: Comcast Business will present the sixth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast hosted by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, lunch hosted by BusinessWest, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Express Employment Professionals, Health New England, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, and Wild Apple Design. WMAS is the event’s media partner. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $725. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. For more Expo details as they emerge, visit

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