Agenda Departments


‘Home Care and Financing Strategies’

May 16: Monson Savings Bank will host a complimentary workshop titled “Home Care and Financing Strategies: A Workshop for Families and Caregivers,” featuring Paul Hillsburg, president and owner of Amada Senior Care of Western & Central Massachusetts, and Nancy Simms, sales vice president, Long Term Care for Highland Capital Brokerage. Finding the right senior care for you or a loved one can be overwhelming and time-consuming. This event is designed to help people learn and understand what options there are for care and how to pay for it. Hillsburg and Simms both have extensive backgrounds in long-term healthcare and understand how daunting the process can be. This workshop will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Monson Savings Bank Corporate, 107 Main St., Monson. It is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. “So many people are concerned about senior care these days,” said Steve Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. “The options are confusing, and people want to know how they can help their loved ones live as independently as possible. We want people to know that the event is open to the public, not just our customers.” Seating is limited. Those interested may call Anna Calvanese at (413) 267-1221 or e-mail [email protected] to RSVP.

Run for River Valley

May 20: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), an affiliate of Holyoke Medical Center and member of Valley Health Systems, will hold its sixth annual Run for River Valley fund-raiser on Saturday, May 20. Funds raised will support RVCC in providing critical behavioral-health and other supportive services to individuals, families, and groups throughout the Pioneer Valley. “Research shows that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. This event helps raise funds for our programs, but it also promotes the importance of exercise and wellness for everyone in our community,” said Angela Lozano Callahan, RVCC’s Marketing and Development specialist. The 5K run and 1.5-mile walk will take place at Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Elks Lodge 902, 250 Whitney Ave., and the race begins at 9:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at the Elks Lodge following the race. The registration fee is $25 ($10 for children 12 and under). Adults who pre-register will save $5, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free race T-shirt. To register online, visit or download a registration form at The deadline for mail-in registration is Saturday, May 13, with online registration accepted until Wednesday, May 17. Sponsors of the 2017 Run for River Valley include PeoplesBank, Palmer Paving Corp., Holyoke Gas and Electric, Hamel’s Catering, Laurel Pure, and Gallagher Real Estate. For additional information, visit or contact Angela Callahan at (413) 841-3546 or [email protected].

‘An Afternoon with Tom Ahern’

June 1: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation invites regional nonprofit staff to attend “An Afternoon with Tom Ahern,” a two-part workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. at Jane Iredale Cosmetics, 50 Church St., Great Barrington. Back by popular demand, Ahern will present two back-to-back workshops: “The Big (little) Diff: Writing for Online Readers,” a discussion of best practices in writing for web, e-mail, and social-media platforms; and “Writing a Powerful Case for Support,” which will review effective fund-raising methods. The New York Times calls Ahern “one of the country’s most sought-after creators of fund-raising messages.” This event is part of Berkshire Taconic’s popular annual Seminars in Nonprofit Excellence series. Tickets are $40 per person, and light food and beverages will be provided. To register, visit

Discussions about Race

June 2-3, 9-10: Cooley Dickinson Health Care, the United Way of Hampshire County, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College are addressing the issue of racism, as well as race-related incidents that continue to occur both locally and nationally, by offering a series of community dialogues on race in Northampton and Amherst. Community members who live or work in Hampshire County are invited to attend either of the sessions. The two-part dialogue will be offered Friday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College, Wright Hall, 5 Chapin Dr., Northampton. A second two-part session will be offered Friday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst. Event organizers say they aim to move toward solutions rather than continue to express or analyze the problem; to reach beyond the usual boundaries, offering opportunities for new, unexpected partnerships; and to unite divided communities through a respectful, informed sharing of local racial history and its consequences for different people in today’s society. The community dialogue is free, and lunch will be provided. Attendance is limited to 30 people, and participants must attend both Friday and Saturday. When registering, people will be asked their name, the organization they represent, if any, and their race/ethnicity. Organizers are asking about race/ethnicity as they have a goal of 50% participation from people of color. To register, call (888) 554-4234 by Tuesday, May 30. You will receive confirmation on whether you have been selected to attend a session.

WGBY Asparagus Festival

June 3: The WGBY Asparagus Festival returns to the Hadley Town Common from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to once again celebrate the region’s legacy of agriculture and community. The family-friendly, outdoor event features more than 90 local food, crafts, and agricultural vendors at a Farmers’ & Makers’ Market. In addition, there will be entertainment displays, kids’ games, and a live visit from PBS Kids character Curious George. A large “Rooted in the Valley” stage will feature popular performers. Family entertainer Tyler Conroy will start off the day, followed by bands Western Den and Parsonsfield, which were selected by Northampton-based Signature Sounds. Western Den blends “compelling lush harmonies with ambient textures,” and Parsonsfield “trades instruments, shares microphones, and sings in tight multi-part harmonies,” according to each of the bands’ websites. “As a public television station, our WGBY Asparagus Festival is so rewarding to us because it not only raises funds for local educational programs and services, but also helps fulfill our mission of connecting Western New England,” said Lynn Page, WGBY’s interim general manager. “Seeing so many community partners and so many neighbors from around the region, you really leave the event feeling good, feeling like you’re a part of the community.” Attendees will leave the event feeling well-fed, too. More than a dozen Pioneer Valley culinary artisans, local brewers, and regional food vendors will offer a wide variety of snacks and meals. Taste original dishes from Mi Tierra, Esselon Café, or Spoleto. Visit the Wheelhouse Farm, UMass Dining, or Hadley Fry King food trucks. Or, go on the sweeter side and sample asparagus-flavored ice cream from Flayvours of Cook Farm, maple treats from the North Hadley Sugar Shack, or a specialty from the Florence Pie Bar. Other food vendors include North Hadley Congregational Church, Harmony Springs, and Dean’s Beans. In addition, a large craft-beer tent will provide tasting opportunities from popular local breweries (craft beer tasting tickets available at The WGBY Asparagus Festival is open to the public and free with a recommended donation of $5 per person. It will be held rain or shine. Donations directly benefit public television and education efforts in the Western New England region. The event is sponsored by the Dennis Group, Greenfield Savings Bank, Whole Foods Hadley, and Alternative Recycling Systems. Media sponsors include the Daily Hampshire Gazette, MassLive, and Yankee magazine.

40 Under Forty

June 22: The 11th 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. An independent panel of judges has chosen the winners, and their stories are told in the April 17 issue and at The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Baystate Health, Moriarty & Primack, Health New England, the Gaudreau Group, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Six-Point Creative Works, Renew.Calm, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Tickets cost $75. A limited number of tables are available, and some individual and standing-room-only tickets are also available, but are expected to sell out quickly. To purchase tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

BFAIR Walk for Independence

June 24: Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR) announced its second annual Walk for Independence. Last year, the inaugural walk along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail saw participation of nearly 100 walkers of all ability levels, with this year already set to exceed that number. A stroll to Cheshire and back (with or any distance in between), the walk will be a fund-raising event in which BFAIR participants, community members, and sponsors can get involved in through sponsored walking, lunch, bucket raffles, and entertainment. Starting and finishing at the Adams Visitors Center, the walk is a day of fun and helps BFAIR share its mission to enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities by providing positive life experiences and advocacy through distinctive, individualized, quality services. As a local nonprofit, BFAIR relies on public funds to provide critically needed residential, vocational, habilitative, and clinical services for adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities, autism, and acquired brain injury, as well as home-care services for the elderly. The registration fee for the walk is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 10 and younger. Registration includes a picnic lunch and ball-cap giveaway. Interested walkers can register online at, by calling (413) 664-9382 ext. 40, e-mailing [email protected], or visiting In addition to registering, walkers may seek individual sponsors by asking family and friends to support their walk. Donations are accepted via, or donation envelopes can be provided for walkers. Corporate sponsorships are available for the trail, mile, bronze, silver, and gold levels, ranging from $100 to $2,500, respectively. Interested businesses should contact Jennifer Civello at [email protected] for more information. Current gold-level walk sponsors include Greylock Federal Credit Union, MountainOne, and the Print Shop Williamstown.

Nomination Deadline for Healthcare Heroes

June 29: Healthcare Heroes, an exciting recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched this spring by BusinessWest and HCN. Sponsored by American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, and Renew.Calm, with additional sponsorships available, the program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and individuals providing that care. Nominations are now being sought — and will be accepted until June 29 — in the following categories: Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider; Innovation in Health/Wellness; Community Health; Emerging Leader; Collaboration in Health/Wellness; Health/Wellness Administration/Administrator; and Lifetime Achievement. The nominations will be scored by a panel of judges to be announced in the coming weeks. The winners will be chosen in July and profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest as well as the Sept. issue of HCN. The guidelines to consider when nominating individuals, groups, or institutions in these various categories are available HERE.