Agenda Departments


Farmington Bank Food Drive for Gray House

Through Nov. 14: Farmington Bank is collecting non-perishable food items through Tuesday, Nov. 14 at its West Springfield and East Longmeadow branch offices. All collections will be donated in time for Thanksgiving to the Gray House Food Pantry, which is located in the north end of Springfield and serves 80 to 120 households per week. “Thanksgiving is an important time to show appreciation and give back to the communities in which we live and work,” said John Patrick Jr., chairman, president, and CEO of Farmington Bank. “We invite the public to join our food-collection efforts to help our neighbors in need in West Springfield and East Longmeadow.” The public is invited to donate non-perishable food items at 85 Elm St. in West Springfield and 61 North Main St. in East Longmeadow. During the same time, all Farmington Bank locations in Connecticut are collecting food items for Hartford-based social-service agency Hands On Hartford.

Diabetes Wellness Fair

Nov. 15: Holyoke Medical Center will host a free Diabetes Wellness Fair from 3 to 7 p.m. in the HMC Auxiliary Conference Center. This event is free and open to the public. The fair will offer free blood-pressure checks, a type-2 diabetes risk test questionnaire, raffles, and more. Medical experts will be on hand to offer information on preventing diabetes-related complications, including skin, foot, dental, eye, and ear health. Demonstrations on exercise and food portion control will be presented and allow for hands-on participation. Pharmacists will be on hand to discuss medications available to treat diabetes. Private consultations for those with more in-depth questions about medications and how to manage their diabetes can be scheduled. These one-on-one, half-hour meetings will be by appointment only; call (413) 534-2789 to register. In conjunction with the Diabetes Wellness Fair, a free flu clinic will also be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Registration for flu shots is required by calling (413) 534-2533. Complimentary valet parking will be available. HMC also offers regular transportation services throughout Holyoke, Chicopee, and South Hadley, which will be available for a portion of the fair. To inquire about and arrange transportation, call HMC Transportation Services at (413) 534-2607.

Undergraduate Open House at WNEU

Nov. 12: Western New England University will host high-school and college students and their parents at an open house from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the St. Germain Campus Center. Guests will have the chance to tour the campus and residence halls, meet current students, get a general overview of the admissions and financial-aid process, and have academic questions answered by members of the faculty. The day concludes with an exhibit where students can gather more information on student clubs and activities, honors programs, and athletic opportunities at both the NCAA and intramural levels, as well as hear from the Career Development Center regarding the varied internship and career opportunities Western New England University students are receiving. The event is free, but advance reservation is requested. To register, call (413) 782-1312 or (800) 325-1122, ext. 1312, or visit Prospective students interested in learning more about careers in sport management or social work are invited to specialized information sessions during the open house. The Career in Sport Management Panel is open to prospective students at all levels who want to learn more about the program’s outcomes. The panel will include Sharianne Walker, chair of the Sport Management program, and several professional leaders in sport management, including Ethan Lang, director of Operations for the XL Center and Pratt and Whitney Field; Chelsea Johnson, director of Educational Programs, Basketball Hall of Fame; and WNEU alum Laura Madaio, marketing manager at Athletes of Valor. Also on the panel is senior Tim Smith, president of the Sport Management Assoc., who works for the Springfield Thunderbirds as a gameday operations coordinator and recently completed an internship with the Travelers Golf Tournament, and recent graduates who will share how Western New England University’s Sport Management program helped them to break into the field. Western New England University is one of only three programs in the country with both the Commission on Sport Management accreditation and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation. The Social Work Luncheon is open to prospective students at all levels who want to have a chance to meet with a small group of faculty members, current students, and alumni of the Social Work program, and to discover more about the program’s accreditation, including the opportunity to complete four internships in four years. This luncheon is open to all students and families who want to learn more about the field of social work and the benefits of the WNEU program. The Council on Social Work Education has awarded its highest marks to the Western New England University Social Work program. This accreditation qualifies students to apply for advanced standing in master of social work programs to earn their master’s degree in one year, rather than two. “We are in a time in our nation where there is a lot of focus on the state of higher education, and for good reason. We know that families are not only looking for a quality academic experience, but expect a clear return on investment,” said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “With so much national attention on the rising cost of college, the fact that Western New England University opened the fall 2017 semester with its largest undergraduate class in university history demonstrates our clear commitment to providing value to our students. Our student outcomes are impressive, and both students and employers are taking notice that we are a university with a unique focus on student success. The undergraduate open house is the perfect opportunity to tour our beautiful campus, meet with members of our faculty, [and] ask questions to current students.”

Girls on the Run 5K

Nov. 19: Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts will host a 5K celebration at 10:30 a.m. at Smith College. Girls on the Run is a positive youth-development program that uses physical activities, fun running games, and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in third to eighth grade. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections, and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season celebratory 5k event. Participation in the 5K event on Nov. 19 is open to the public. The program boasts about 400 girls and 120 volunteer coaches this season, and more than 1,200 participants are expected. The registration cost is $20 for adults and $12 for children and includes a GOTR 5K event shirt. After a group warm-up and remarks from Smith College President Kathleen McCartney, the event will begin on the Smith College athletic fields. Registration is open at Registration on the day of the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. The run will begin at 10:30 am, but the opening festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Early arrival is suggested. Visit the website for more information about the event, how to register, and volunteer opportunities.

Lawyer on the Line

Nov. 20: The Hampden County Bar Assoc., in conjunction with WGGB, will hold a Lawyer on the Line event from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics from callers during the evening news broadcast. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 846-0240 to speak to a volunteer. Founded in 1864, the Hampden County Bar Assoc. is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of lawyers, the justice system, and the public in Hampden County. It provides professional support, education, and networking opportunities to its members, and advocacy on behalf of lawyers, the judiciary, and the public.

Baystate Bloodmobile

Nov. 22: Celebrate the season of Thanksgiving by donating blood as part of your plan before the holiday weekend. The community is invited to join a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Baystate Mary Lane on the Baystate Health bloodmobile. The bloodmobile will be parked in the north (visitors) parking lot, located at 85 South St. in Ware. “Please help us to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply is available by donating blood with the Baystate Health Blood Donor Program,” said Deb Oberg, co-coordinator of the blood drive, which is sponsored by Country Bank and Baystate Mary Lane. “One donation helps to save two lives, and 100% of all blood collected on the bloodmobile stays in our community for use in Baystate Health hospitals and facilities.” Blood donations take approximately one hour to complete, including the interview, donation, and refreshments. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a photo ID, be in good health (no colds or sore throat), and not have donated blood within the past eight weeks. All eligible donors will receive their choice of a gift card. For more information or to book an appointment, call (413) 967-2180. Walk-ins are welcome.

Babysitters Academy

Dec. 2: Baystate Medical Center will hold a Babysitters Academy to prepare area youth for their babysitting responsibilities. The one-day program will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the BRL Conference Room at the Baystate Health Education Center, 361 Whitney Ave., Holyoke. Participants should bring their lunch. Babysitters Academy is a certified babysitter program for young adults ages 11½ to 15. The session offers potential babysitters instruction in baby care, first aid, CPR, fire safety, home security, child behavior, and accident prevention. Participants will also receive a course booklet containing helpful tips and other information, as well as a graduation certificate upon completion of the course. The program, offered by the Parent Education Department at Baystate Medical Center, costs $75. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. To register, visit