Food Truck Fridays and Derby de Mayo Weekend
May 3-5: MGM Springfield will kick off a weekend of festivities with the launch of Food Truck Fridays and Derby de Mayo Weekend at Armory Square. Derby de Mayo Weekend kicks off at 11 a.m. on Friday with a performance by local cover band Feel Good Drift, lawn games, and bites from the inaugural Food Truck Fridays event. Guests can also enjoy TAP Sports Bar’s signature outdoor beer garden, which will be open for the first time this season. On Saturday, Armory Square will transform into an outdoor viewing party for the Kentucky Derby as it plays live on the 330-square-foot marquee screen. The event also will feature live music and MGM Springfield’s three food trucks. The party continues Sunday starting at 1 p.m. with a Cinco de Mayo fiesta complete with a mariachi band and custom tequila bar. Every week throughout the spring and summer, Food Truck Fridays will bring local eats to downtown Springfield from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The culinary bonanza will include three original concept food trucks from MGM Springfield, serving tacos, gelato, and Asian-inspired dishes. A variety of other popular food trucks from across the region, such as Wahlburgers, Hot Oven Cookies, and Say Cheese, will be offered on a rotating schedule. In addition to MGM’s three food trucks, opening day of Food Truck Fridays on May 3 will include Wahlburgers of Boston; Holyoke Hummus; Hot Oven Cookies, Palazzo, and Sweet Chili’s, all of Springfield; Say Cheese of Worcester; Liberty Rock Tavern of Milford, Conn.; and Kona Ice of Stamford, Conn.
Blessing of the Animals
May 4: Trinity United Methodist Church will give special recognition to horses at its 12th annual Blessing of the Animals service at 4 p.m. on the front lawn at 361 Sumner Ave., Springfield. Two equine organizations, Blue Star Equiculture and Whispering Horse, will bring horses to the event and will give presentations on the work they do. The event is free, and and people are invited to bring their pets for a blessing. All pets and their owners are welcome. Blue Star Equiculture of West Brookfield is a working horse sanctuary that offers care and shelter to 27 retired, disabled, and homeless draft horses, many of whom might otherwise end up facing poor living conditions or even slaughter. The sanctuary is an official retirement venue for carriage horses from large cities around the country. Blue Star Equiculture’s younger, healthy horses do community work, assisting with farming, logging, law enforcement, competitive pulling, and other activities. The organization also finds good homes for horses that are suitable for adoption. Whispering Horse of East Longmeadow offers equine-assisted therapy to help children and adults with physical or mental challenges. Clients who benefit from these services include those with autism, cerebral palsy, stroke, brain trauma, oppositional defiance disorder, ADHD, and numerous other conditions. Specially trained equine therapists work with clients to help them achieve cognitive, physical, emotional, educational, social, or behavioral goals. Working with seven horses, Whispering Horse presently provides services to 45 clients.
Elder-law, 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 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. 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 www.hcc.edu/bce.
Labor and Employment Law Conference
May 21: Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. will hold a Labor and Employment Law Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Springfield. “The conference will deliver an in-depth review of some of the most challenging employment-law issues organizations, human-resources personnel, and management have faced over the past year, and will provide cutting-edge insights needed for surviving challenges on the horizon,” said Partner Marylou Fabbo. Breakout sessions will include “Paid Family and Medical Leave: Change Is Coming” “Wage and Hour Mistakes,” “Harassment, Discrimination, and Why Employers Get Sued,” “Labor and Employment Law Update,” “How to Handle Requests for Reasonable Accommodations,” and “How to Conduct an Internal Investigation.” Speakers and panel-discussion participants will include Skoler Abbott attorneys and other leaders in human resources and employment law. A continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and luncheon are included with the conference, as well as time for networking and questions following the presentations. See the full agenda and register online at skoler-abbott.com/training-programs or call (413) 737-4753.
JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair
May 28: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), now celebrating its centennial anniversary, will host the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair from 8 a.m. to noon at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. “We will host more than 500 students from seventh through 11th grades, who will have the opportunity to explore diverse career options at interactive booths featuring colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, companies, local law enforcement, and public-safety organizations from throughout Western Massachusetts,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of JAWM. The JA Inspire program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for high-school coursework and better prepare themselves for life after graduation. The program consists of four in-class lessons, plus the career exploration fair, all designed to engage students and help them explore education and career pathways, showcase careers in Western Mass. with a focus on high-wage and high-demand industries, and connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during the career fair. Exhibitor space is still available at no charge. Exhibitors will present interactive and engaging career stations, while providing volunteer mentors to staff the career stations throughout the event. To reserve a career station, contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected] To learn more about the event, visit jawm.org/events or call (413) 747-7670.
Community Action Awards
June 13: Springfield Partners for Community Action will present a night of celebrating those in action within the community. The Community Action Awards will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Springfield Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. It will be a night of speakers, awards, handing out scholarships to Community Scholarship winners, and a silent auction for guests to participate in. Ticket purchase is available at communityactionevent.eventbrite.com. Springfield Partners for Community Action is the federally designated community action agency of Springfield whose mission is to provide resources that assist those in need to obtain economic stability and ultimately create a better way of life. For more information on the event, contact Natalia Arocho at (413) 263-6500, ext. 6516, or [email protected].
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 is profiled in this issue of BusinessWest and at businesswest.com. 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, Comcast Business, 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 senatorlesser.com/thrive.