Paid Family and Medical Leave Seminar

April 18: Over the past few months, Massachusetts-based employers have been inundated with information about the upcoming Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements. Unfortunately, this deluge of information has done little to answer employers’ pressing questions. To date, most of this information has been speculative or otherwise subject to change before implementation. In fact, the most helpful information thus far, the new Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave’s draft regulations, has only given an idea of what the program will probably look like. These draft regulations are just that: a draft. They are subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations. The good news is there are some things we do know for sure, and there is still some time before employer obligations go into effect. Royal, P.C. will host a discussion of the steps employers can begin to take to prepare for the implementation of Paid Family and Medical Leave. The event will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The price is $30 per person, and registration is limited. For more information or to register, contact Heather Loges at (413) 586-2288 or [email protected].

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

April 20: The Starting Gate at GreatHorse will host breakfast with the Easter Bunny the Saturday before Easter at 9 a.m. The facility is located at 128 Wilbraham Road, Hampden. An Easter breakfast buffet will feature buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs, pork sausage links, applewood bacon, golden breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, mini danish, hot cross buns, bagels, coffee, tea, orange juice, and milk. The event will include Easter crafts and games, including an Easter egg hunt. This event is open to the public. The cost is $35, including tax and service charges. The event is free for children under age 1. Call (413) 566-5158 for reservations.

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.

Daffodil 5K Run/Walk & 10K Run

April 28: Big Brothers Big Sisters will host the ninth annual Daffodil 5K Run/Walk & 10K Run. This festive, family-friendly event takes place at Kendrick Park in Amherst, with the race kicking off at 10 a.m.

Before the race, registrants can enjoy Esselon Coffee and a pre-race warmup with 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition. The post-race party for all registrants and volunteers will include a barbecue lunch provided by the Pub, music with DJ Matt Peterson, a bounce house, hula hooping with Hoop Joy, and balloon art. New this year, Crooked Stick Pops will bring their popsicles to the party, and there will be a tent sale of gently used children’s books curated by author and illustrator Diane deGroat. With a goal of raising $60,000 this year, the Daffodil Run is the largest annual fundraiser for CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County and provides vital funds for its mentoring programs. This year, it is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, and participants can decide which agency their fundraising will benefit. “The Daffodil Run is a favorite springtime event in our community, with 1,000 people joining together each year to have fun and support youth-mentoring programs,” said Jessie Cooley, director of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. “By partnering with our friends in Hampden County, we hope to create an even bigger impact and to match more young people in our region with mentors.” Runners and walkers can register online until Wednesday, April 24, and race-day registration is available beginning at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall finishers in each gender category, as well as top finishers for each age group and top fundraisers. Community members are invited to join the festivities at Kendrick Park and cheer on the runners and walkers along the route. For more information and to register for the race, visit

DiGrigoli Educational Programs

April 29: For the first time in many years, Paul DiGrigoli, owner of DiGrigoli Salon and DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology in West Springfield and a national spokesperson and educator for the beauty industry, will offer his popular seminars to all local salon professionals and business owners. The all-day program at the Log Cabin in Holyoke will kick off at 10 a.m. with DiGrigoli’s most popular program, “Booked Solid,” based off his best-selling book in the beauty industry of the same name. Designed to help stylists, estheticians, nail techs, or anyone in the service industry to increase sales and retention, “Booked Solid” has inspired professionals across the country at major beauty shows, colleges, and businesses for more than 15 years. After lunch, the day will conclude with “How to Build a Healthy Salon or Business” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This leadership program, geared towards salon and beauty professionals, business owners, managers, or anyone in a leadership position, will use DiGrigoli’s more than 35 years of experience in the industry to educate on the best leadership practices, how to cultivate a healthy team or healthy business, and how to outperform the competition. This intensive workshop is being made possible through the sponsorship of Sullivan Beauty in New Hampshire. For more information and to purchase tickets, interested stylists and professionals should visit

Elder-law and Estate-planning Series

May 6, 13, 20: Attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The six-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented on three consecutive Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. Jackson will present comprehensive subject matter on what she calls “The Core Estate Plan,” in which she will explain core documents and provide stories and examples. She will also discuss “The Probate Court Process and Medicare Hot Topics” and “Community Care Programs and MassHealth Planning for Nursing-home Care.” In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. The second session will address four areas: trusts, the probate court process, Medicare hot topics, and options for community care and home care. Jackson will provide pertinent information and details about each to assist attendees in planning now. In the third and final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide long-term skilled-nursing home care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. While participants may attend only one session of their choosing, they must still pay the full course cost of $89. To register, call (413) 552-2500 or visit

40 Under Forty Gala

June 20: BusinessWest will present its 13th annual 40 Under Forty Gala, a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2019, which will be profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets cost $75 per person, and tables of 10 are available. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected] PeoplesBank is the presenting sponsor, Health New England is the Continued Excellence Award sponsor, and WWLP-22 News is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner).

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 21: State Sen. Eric Lesser announced that he will host the third annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair in partnership with Health New England, Springfield College, and the Center for Human Development (CHD). This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House on the campus of Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 70 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition and elder law, the annual fair will connect residents of the Greater Springfield area with information and resources to help them thrive. The event will feature several educational seminars which will highlight areas of interest for attendees, including estate planning and elder law, scam avoidance, and diet and nutrition. Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow will return for a third year with an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement. The free program includes a boxed lunch, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts. To RSVP, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit

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