Agenda Departments


‘Diversify Your Workforce’

Nov. 17: The Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (WMEC) will present a breakfast event called “Diversify Your Workforce” from 9 to 11 a.m., preceded by breakfast and networking at 8:30 a.m. at the Delaney House in Holyoke. WMEC partners work toward the common goal of increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. WMEC works across all disabilities and represents hundreds of job seekers who have the skills, commitment, and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer. To that end, it is partnering with the Mass. Down Syndrome Congress and its “Find Your Next Star” campaign. Attendees of the Nov. 17 event will learn ways to grow their business and meet their hiring needs. To register, visit

Art & Leisure Auction

Nov. 18: Combining the celebration of creativity with the generosity of giving, the United Way of Franklin County is holding its 17th annual Art & Leisure Auction beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenfield Community College Dinning Commons. Thanks to the generous support of local artists, businesses, and individuals, this year’s auction will feature more than 200 items, including Springfield Thunderbirds tickets; two $1,000 Southwest Airlines gift certificates; a one-week stay in Stowe, Vt.; a day trip for two to Martha’s Vineyard by private airplane; a season pass to Silverthorne Theater; gift certificates from numerous area business; handcrafted works of art; framed prints, paintings, and photographs; Tom White Pottery, fabric arts; and jewelry. Featuring state Rep. Paul Mark as guest auctioneer, the event will feature leisure items and gifts from the Pioneer Valley and beyond for live and silent auctions. The United Way Art & Leisure Auction is presented by Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield Savings Bank, Steve Lewis Subaru, WAHI/Bear Country, and the Recorder. The event will benefit the United Way of Franklin County and its 27 partner agencies. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments are included included in the cost of admission, which is $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, visit, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 772-2168.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Nov. 19: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide-prevention organization, is hosting more than 350 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day events worldwide on Saturday, Nov. 19. Survivor Day allows people affected by suicide loss to gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding. Locally, the Western Mass. chapter of AFSP will host a Survivor Day event at Westfield State University from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All Survivor Day gatherings will include a screening of Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss, a new, AFSP-produced Survivor Day documentary that traces the grief and healing journey that follows a suicide loss over time. Additional programming at the Westfield State event will include presentations by loss survivors and mental-health professionals, as well as small-group discussions. For those who can’t attend, AFSP will also host a 90-minute online program that will include a film screening of Life Journeys, a post-screening discussion on coping with a suicide loss, and a Q&A session with online viewers. “After I lost my younger brother Raymond to suicide, I felt so alone and guilty about his death. But attending a Survivor Day event allowed me to connect with others who had lost a person close to them, and made me realize I wasn’t alone — that others understood my grief. It was incredibly healing,” said Renae Carapella-Johnson, who lost her younger brother, Raymond Carapella, to suicide in 2005. For more information about Survivor Day events, visit To register for the Survivor Day event at Westfield State University, contact Heather White, area director for the Western Mass. chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, at (413) 387-3770 or [email protected]

Joseph D. Freeman Bowl-a-Thon

Nov. 19: The Joseph D. Freedman Bowl-a-Thon will present its fifth annual event to benefit Camphill Village in Copake, N.Y. The event will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Chicopee AMF Lanes. Last year, more than 250 attended the event, and since its inaugural in 2011, the event has raised more than $220,000 for Camphill, which is a residential village where 95 special-needs residents reside. No one has ever been charged a fee to live at the Village, nor has anyone ever been turned away for lack of funds. To learn more about the event, visit

Girls on the Run 5k

Nov. 20: Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts will Host its Girls on the Run 5k starting at 10 a.m. at the Smith College athletic fields. The event is open to the public. The run, organizers say, is about the joy of empowering girls in grades 3-8 and celebrating their incredible achievements over the 20-session, 10-week program season of Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts. Twenty-four schools from all four Western Mass. counties coming together with their families and friends to run and celebrate their achievements. There will also be family-friendly activities and a fun warmuup. More than 250 volunteers will be running with the girls as running buddies, while numerous community members and another 85 volunteers will help organize and run the race. To volunteer or to participate in the run, visit, or register the day of the run starting at 8 a.m. Sponsors incude Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Women’s Health, HUB International, Holyoke Gas and Electric, Children’s Heart Center, RunReg, Holyoke Medical Center, Spoleto Restaurant, Palmer Paving, River Valley Counseling Center, and Northampton Pediatric Dentistry.

Lighting Ceremony for Trees of Love & Thanksgiving

Nov. 20: The trees in the Healing Garden at Cooley Dickinson Hospital will again be aglow this late fall and winter with lights remembering and honoring friends, family, and neighbors. Through a donation of $15 or more per individual, community members can designate a light in memory or in honor of a loved one in the annual Trees of Love & Thanksgiving. Proceeds from this annual fund-raising initiative support the purchase of equipment that enhances patient care at Cooley Dickinson. Funds raised through 2016 Trees of Love will help furnish two pediatric rooms in the hospital’s Emergency Department with murals, distraction carts, a monitoring system, and child-appropriate equipment. In addition, funds will again provide infant car beds, which are critical to ensuring the safe transport of underweight babies. This year’s fund-raising goal is $15,000. Previous Trees of Love campaigns have supported an infusion bay in the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and 3D mammography, which provides earlier detection of breast cancer. A lighting ceremony will be held Sunday, Nov. 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Healing Garden. A reception will follow in the Kittredge Surgery Center waiting area located at the north entrance. Light refreshments will be served as the Horse Mountain Jazz Band performs. Those wishing to donate can pick up a form at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Coffee Shop or download the form. In addition to lights on the trees in the Healing Garden, names of those being honored and remembered are posted in the corridor adjacent to the Hospital’s main lobby, in the Chapel, and at the north entrance. Trees of Love & Thanksgiving is a project of the Friends of Cooley Dickinson, formerly the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Auxiliary, and Cooley Dickinson’s Pastoral Care Department.

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