Agenda Departments


Springfield Symphony Orchestra 2017-18 Season

Through May 19, 2018: An evening with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is more than a musically memorable experience. To attend an SSO concert is to be part of a rich cultural tradition. Single tickets and subscriptions, including the SSO’s new pops-oriented Wild Card 4 package, are on sale now for the SSO’s 74th season. The public may purchase tickets by visiting the box office at 1441 Main St., Springfield (ground-floor level in the TD Bank Building), or calling (413) 733-2291. The season began Oct. 14 and runs through May 19, 2018. In addition to offering its traditional subscriber options, which include four to all seven of its classical performances, the SSO has introduced the new Wild Card 4 package. Perfect for fans of the pops, the new subscription package includes all three special events — “Holiday Extravaganza with the Grinch,” “Star Wars & Star Trek Sci-Fi Spectacular,” and a performance by the Texas Tenors — as well as one classical performance of the subscriber’s choice. For the opening-night concert on Oct. 14, the SSO and Kevin Rhodes, its longtime music director and conductor, presented selected works of celebrated composers Rossini, Prokofiev, and Brahms, featuring guest pianist Claire Huangci. Next up, on Nov. 4, guest cellist Julian Schwarz joins the musicians for “Viva America,” a toe-tapping nod to American masters Gershwin, Copeland, Bernstein, and Liebermann. Then, on Dec. 9, the Springfield Symphony Chorus joins the orchestra for the much-anticipated “Holiday Extravaganza.” Both this festive show and “Star Wars & Star Trek Sci-Fi Spectacular,” the season’s second special event (March 3, 2018), feature interactive family fun. For the season’s third and final special event on April 21, 2018, the SSO will bring audiences the Texas Tenors, a popular vocal trio whose signature crossover style has topped Billboard charts. The group’s widely viewed debut on NBC’s America’s Got Talent quickly led to a worldwide concert tour and a 2014 PBS special, “You Should Dream,” which earned three Emmy Awards. Free parking at three downtown garages is available to all attending an SSO concert. Subscribers, whether they choose a classical package or the Wild Card 4, enjoy additional benefits, including savings of up to 20% over single-ticket purchases and exclusive access to special events. An SSO subscription makes an ideal holiday gift for friends and family members of all ages. For more information on SSO subscriptions, single-ticket sales, or the 2017-18 concert series, call the SSO box office at (413) 733-2291 or visit

Hoarding Conference

Oct. 18: To promote greater understanding of research and treatment for hoarding disorder, a conference titled “Hoarding Disorder: Recovery Is Real” will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell St., Hadley. Jesse Edsell-Vetter, stabilization case manager, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership Hoarding Team, will be the keynote speaker. CEUs will be offered for licensed professionals. Funding for the conference is being provided by a grant from the Center for Human Development. According to the American Psychiatric Assoc., people with hoarding disorder excessively save items that others may view as worthless. Typically, they save random items they feel have value or that they may need in the future. Their persistent difficulty parting with possessions leads to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces. People with hoarding disorder often feel safer surrounded by the things they save, but items can fill, block, and clutter active living spaces at home. Hoarding can cause problems in social or work settings, too, including hindering a productive and safe environment. Serious hoarding can lead to fire hazards, tripping hazards, and health-code violations, as well as interpersonal strain and conflict, isolation, and loneliness. “Contrary to negative pop-culture portrayals, people who have accumulated a problematic amount of possessions tend to be creative, intelligent, and resourceful,” said Lee Shuer, a consultant with Mutual Support and the creator of WRAP for Reducing Clutter. “Such people are mostly just unsuccessful in the pursuit of moderation, although some people call us the ‘H’ word: hoarders. I call myself a finder/keeper because hoarding has become such a derogatory label, helped in no small part by sensational reality TV shows. People like us who acquire and keep too much stuff are stuck, hung up on something emotional, something unseen beneath the surface of life. What can be seen is merely the tip of the iceberg. It’s complicated. But hoarding disorder is real, and so is recovery.”

Homework House 10-year Celebration

Oct. 19: Homework House is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and it will mark the occasion with a 10th Anniversary Celebration and Fund-raising Breakfast from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke to share its story and inspire the financial resources Homework House needs to sustain its programs for the next 10 years and beyond. The anniversary breakfast’s theme is “A Decade of Inspiring Children, Supporting Families, and Transforming Community,” which reflects the broad ripple effect that occurs as a result of children’s participation in Homework House’s academic after-school and summer programming. Founded by retired educators Sr. Maureen Broughan and Sr. Jane Morrissey, Homework House promotes educational success through free, individualized tutoring and mentoring for children. Featuring a program that will highlight the stories of Homework House alumni, parents, and stakeholders, the breakfast will reflect on the powerful work of the past 10 years while looking forward to Homework House’s continued growth. The breakfast is free and will feature a focused ask for donations. Community members interested in attending the event or taking a leadership role as a table captain can register by visiting

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 19: BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will present the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. This new recognition program was created by the twin publications to recognize outstanding achievement across the region’s broad and diverse healthcare sector. From a pool of 70 nominations, panel of judges chose eight winners in seven categories, who were profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest, the September issue of HCN, and at American International College and Trinity Health Of New England are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Partner sponsors are Achieve TMS East, HUB International New England, and Health New England. Additional sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Elms College, Renew.Calm, and Cooley Dickinson Health Care. This event is sold out.

Dress for Success Panel

Oct. 24: Area employers and human-resource professionals are invited to join Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts for a panel discussion about breaking down the barriers that stand between the region’s workforce and sustained employment. With sponsorship support from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, United Personnel, Sperion Staffing, Armbrook Village, and Western MA HRMA, the event will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Tickets for the event cost $25 and may be purchased online at or by calling (860) 638-8980.

Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass.

Nov. 2: Comcast Business will present the Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass. at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The seventh annual business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, Wild Apple Design Group, and Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (executive sponsors), Inspired Marketing and Go Graphix (show partners), MGM Springfield (corporate sponsor), Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst (education sponsor), Xfinity (social sponsor), Elms College (information booth sponsor), Smith & Wesson (Workforce Support Center sponsor), Savage Arms (JoinedForces parking sponsor), WMAS, WHMP, Rock 102 & Lazer 99.3, and MassLive (media partners), and the Better Business Bureau and Cartamundi (contributing sponsors). Exhibitor spaces are available; booth prices start at $800. For more information on booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

ToGetHerThere Awards

Nov. 3: Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) announced the recipients of the inaugural ToGetHerThere Awards. The five award recipients have a shared vision of creating a culture of creativity and caring, where young women feel confident in their ability to work hard, dream big, and face with courage any obstacle that stands in the way of making their dreams come true. The winners have affected hundreds of lives and serve as role models for other organizations grappling with how to support underserved members in their communities. The awardees are:

• Entrepreneur: Cassandra Abramson, president and founder, ECi Stores;

• Financial Literacy: Amy Roberts, vice president of Human Resources, Balise Auto Group;

• Health & Wellness: Katie Gauvin, regional safety director, SODEXO; major, Logistics Readiness Squadron, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base;

• Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout: Timothy Murphy, Esq., partner, Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.; and

• STEM: Martha Baker, associate dean, College of Natural Sciences, UMass Amherst.

Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts will honor the winners at the ToGetHerThere Awards Luncheon at the Tower Square Hotel (formerly the Springfield Marriott). Tickets are $50 each or tables of 10 for $500. To order tickets and for more info on each awardee, visit or contact Melanie Bonsu at (413) 584-2602, ext. 3623, or [email protected]

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