Agenda Departments


Supper for Six

Feb. 7: Supper for Six, hosted by Women’s Way, a program of the United Way of Franklin County, will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church, 8 Church St., Greenfield. Attendees are requested to bring $5 and one or more Supper for Six bags. Light refreshments will be offered. A Supper for Six bag is a reusable grocery bag filled with non-perishable items for dinner (and, in many cases, breakfast and lunch, too) for a family of six. “Due to the generous support of our community, hundreds of families in Franklin County will receive food donations through United Way partner agencies, to help during February school vacation week, when the need for food at home is higher than usual,” said Stephanie Gale, director of Resource Development & Community Engagement at the United Way. Agencies receiving donations include Franklin County Community Meals, the Center for Self-Reliance, the United Arc, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, and the Salvation Army. In 2016, the Supper for Six food drive gathered more than 600 reusable grocery bags filled with more than 7,000 pounds of non-perishable food items that were subsequently distributed to needy families across Franklin County. RSVP is requested for the event by e-mailing [email protected] or calling (413) 772-2168.  If you cannot attend the event, you may drop off grocery bags at the United Way office, 51 Davis St., Suite 2, Greenfield on or before Feb. 9, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Heart-health Lecture

Feb. 9: Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) will host a free discussion, “Heart Health: Congestive Heart Failure,” at 5:30 p.m. in the HMC Auxiliary Conference Center. February is American Heart Month. There are more than 200,000 cases of congestive heart failure (CHF) each year in the U.S. Dr. Nirav Sheth, HMC cardiovascular specialist, will cover signs and symptoms, as well as how to help prevent CHF. This program is free and open to the public, and is part of the hospital’s community-education programming, one in a series of dozens of workshops held throughout the year to help people learn about specific health issues, wellness, prevention, and treatment. To register for this event, visit or call (413) 534-2789.

Dress for Success Tag Sale

Feb. 10-12: In keeping with its mission to empower women to be more confident in their personal and professional lives, Dress for Success is hosting a tag sale at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield to raise funds and awareness, while also working to meet the needs of women throughout the community. Customers may peruse the racks of new and gently used donated items, including suits, dresses, pants, blouses, skirts, shoes, accessories, and more. Items may be purchased by filling a shopping bag for only $25. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12. It will be staged in a temporary location two doors down from the Western Mass. Dress for Success Boutique. All proceeds will benefit Dress for Success. Volunteers are needed to staff the event. If interested, e-mail [email protected] This event follows two years of successful tag sales, each raising thousands of dollars and engaging the help of hundreds of community volunteers.

‘I Love Wine’ at Wistariahurst

Feb. 10: “I Love Wine,” the popular annual wine-tasting event, returns to Wistariahurst from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees can sample fine wines from around the world in the elegant atmosphere of Wistariahurst. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Tickets are limited, so advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets may be purchased online at The event is sponsored by Historic Holyoke at Wistariahurst, and fine wines are provided courtesy of Liquors 44.

Nonprofit Board Fair

Feb. 16: The Franklin County Young Professionals Group (FCYPG), a program of the United Way of Franklin County, will host its first annual Nonprofit Board Fair in partnership with Leadership Pioneer Valley’s Leaders OnBoard program. The event will be held at Terrazza at the Country Club of Greenfield. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the fair runs until 8 p.m. Sponsored by Ramon Financial Services, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, and Franklin First Credit Union, the event is free and open to the public. RSVP is requested by visiting [email protected] or calling (413) 772-2168. “FCYPG’s first annual Nonprofit Board Fair has been at the top of our young professionals group’s list for quite some time. We are pleased to finally make it happen and support the work of exceptional local organizations here in Franklin County by helping them recruit volunteers and committee and board members,” said Stephanie Gale, director of Resource Development and Community Engagement at United Way. Currently, 15 organizations will be represented: Leadership Pioneer Valley, Friends of the Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter, YMCA in Greenfield, Franklin County Community Meals Program, New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, Stone Soup Café, Stavros Center for Independent Living, Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, LifePath Inc., Franklin County Young Professionals, Center for New Americans, Children’s Advocacy Center, Friends of Children, and Montague Catholic Social Ministries. There’s still time to sign up for a table at the event by e-mailing [email protected] or calling the United Way at (413) 772-2168. “We are looking forward to this event and working with individuals and organizations to expand and strengthen their pool of volunteers, which is essential to a nonprofit’s success,” said Amy Proietti, program coordinator, Leadership Pioneer Valley, Leaders OnBoard Program. “Local residents looking for opportunities to give back to their community or make connections with area nonprofits are highly encouraged to attend the fair.”

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline

Feb. 17: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2017 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 17. The annual program, now in its 11th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 17 edition, then toasted at the June 22 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The nomination form, which can be found online HERE, 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.

Wheelchair-basketball Clinic

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. “We’re thrilled to have Paul Weiland running our wheelchair-basketball clinic,” said Jessica Levine, program manager for CHD Disability Resources. “He is passionate about helping individuals of all abilities realize their full potential on the field of play and in life. Like every Disability Resources program, this wheelchair-basketball clinic enables people to focus on what they can do, as individuals and as teammates. Especially for people who are new to wheelchair basketball, this clinic will provide a great introduction along with opportunities to meet other interested players and families and to learn more about Disability Resources in general. We’re all about access and ability for kids, adults, and families in Western Mass.” For people interested in getting more involved with wheelchair basketball, in addition to the Feb. 12 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.

‘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. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to work in a community of people, sharing stories, efforts, and working spaces. I think our participants will enjoy working in the Carle’s light-filled art studio, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at our collection,” said Courtney Waring, director of education. 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

Caritas Gala

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 sisters have responded to the needs of our community for more than 140 years. But today we face a new crisis: the opioid epidemic, a problem that impacts all ages, races, and economic levels. Mercy Behavioral Health Care looks beyond the stigma of addiction and provides treatment that supports and allows people to recover.” 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

Difference Makers

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, 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 can be found HERE. 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.

‘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. At last spring’s event, more than 250 players putted their way through five levels of the Holyoke Public Library building, laughing and enjoying unique obstacles added by enterprising hole sponsors. 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 being 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 or e-mail Sandy Ward at [email protected]

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