A+ Awards Show
Nov. 12: The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce 2020 A+ Awards Show will be held virtually and broadcast live from Hadley Farms Meeting House, with PeoplesBank serving as presenting sponsor. Each year, the chamber gives A+ Awards to individuals and organizations that enrich the life of the community through their work in education, business, and civic engagement in Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, Sunderland, and the Pioneer Valley as a whole. This year’s honorees include Betsey McInnis (Lifetime Achievement Award), Phoenix Fruit Farm of Belchertown (Leader in Innovation Award), Kestrel Land Trust of Amherst (Leader in Sustainability Award), Ash Crawford, director of Operations at Amherst Coffee (Young Professional Award), Mercedes-Benz of Springfield (Community Service Award), and Lisa Eugin of Encharter Insurance (Chamber MVP). New this year is the COVID Hero, a nonprofit or individual who provided essential support services, went above and beyond, and took initiative to put others before self to benefit the greater good. Live voting will take place to choose a winner from the following organizations and individuals: Amherst Survival Center, Arizona Pizza, Bistro 63, Mary Beth Ogulewicz of the Amherst Senior Center, Rebekah Demling of ARPS PGO, and Wheelhouse Catering. Also new this year, David Jeffway, owner of Sharper Vision, will create video tributes for each awardee. A virtual access pass to the view the live awards show costs $20, or a $50 VIP package includes the virtual access pass, a $25 Amherst-area gift certificate, a hard copy of the 2020 A+ Awards Journal, and sponsor gifts. Registration is open, and A+ Award dinner sponsorships and ads are still available for the virtual extravaganza; for more information, visit amherstarea.com. E-mail Pazmany at [email protected] with any inquiries.
Bright Nights at Forest Park
Nov. 25 to Jan. 3: Bright Nights at Forest Park will take place this year. Spirit of Springfield and the city of Springfield have developed protocols to provide a safe and festive event that has been a holiday tradition since 1995. They will be instituted during setup, breakdown, and during the event, and include masks, regular cleaning, online ticketing, and more. Restrooms will be for emergency use only, and the usual bustling gift shop, amusement rides, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and visits and supper with Santa will not be available. This will help keep all visitors safe and socially distanced in their vehicles during the experience. Bright Nights at Forest Park is three miles of a unique holiday experience featuring more than 675,000 lights and iconic displays like Seuss Land, Everett Barney Mansion, Toy Land, Happy Holidays, Springfield, and so many more. It generates $15 million in economic impact annually and has created a lifetime of family memories in its 25-year history. It also promises to be one of the safest events, with families contained in their cars. Admission will be $23 per car weeknights, weekdays, and holidays. Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50. Due to bus-capacity limitations in Massachusetts, admission for buses has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people. Vehicles with seating from 17 to 30 people will be charged $50 for admission.
Nov. 18: Since the phrase COVID-19 came into our lexicon, those working in the broad healthcare field have emerged as the true heroes during a pandemic that has changed every facet of life as we know it. BusinessWest and its sister publication, the Healthcare News, will pay tribute in their own way, by dedicating their annual Healthcare Heroes program in 2020 to those who have emerged as true heroes during this crisis. The gala celebrating the winners will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel in two separate events because of state restrictions on crowd size. The first event will honor the staff at Holyoke Medical Center; Christopher Savino, Emeline Bean, and Lydia Brisson, clinical liaisons for Berkshire Healthcare Systems; Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, director of Spiritual Life at JGS Lifecare; the Nutrition Department at Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc.; and Friends of the Homeless. The second cohort includes Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health; the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst; Maggie Eboso, Infection Control and Prevention coordinator at Mercy Medical Center; Jennifer Graham, home health aide at O’Connell Care at Home; and Helen Gobeil, staffing supervisor at Visiting Angels West Springfield. Tickets cost $90 per person. To make a reservation, contact Jennifer Godaire at (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or [email protected]. The Healthcare Heroes program is sponsored by Elms College (presenting sponsor), Baystate Health and Health New England (presenting sponsor), and partner sponsors Bulkley Richardson, Comcast Business, and Trinity Health New England/Mercy Medical Center.