‘Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know’

Oct. 18, 25: Attorney Karen Jackson, an elder-law and estate-planning attorney at Jackson Law, will teach a two-part class highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The four-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented in a pair of two-hour sessions, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $99. In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan — the will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release, and advance directive. 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. In the first session, she will also cover the different types of trusts — the revocable trust, irrevocable trust, and special-needs trust — and the reasons for creating each kind of trust. During the second session, Jackson will explain the various tools and techniques to save the home and other assets from the nursing home bill: gifting, the Medicaid qualified annuity, pooled trusts, caregiver child exception, and Medicaid qualified trusts. For participants who may be able to attend only one session, the full course fee is still required. To register, call HCC at (413) 552-2500 or register online at


Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 21: BusinessWest and HCN will honor the Healthcare Heroes class of 2021 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The Healthcare Heroes, profiled in this issue, include James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development (Lifetime Achievement); Dr. Sarah Haessler, hospital epidemiologist at Baystate Medical Center and vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine at Baystate Health (Emerging Leader); Beth Cardillo, executive director of Armbrook Village (Community Health); Richard Johnson, Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Program director at New North Citizens Council Inc. (Community Health); Dr. Louis J. DeCaro, podiatrist and owner of DeCaro Total Foot Care Center (Provider); Dr. Alicia Ross, medical director of Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care (Administrator); J. Aleah Nesteby, former director of LGBTQ Services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Innovation); and Doorway to an Accessible, Safe and Healthy Home (Collaboration). A very limited number of tickets are available. For information, call Gina Lovotti at (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. The Healthcare Heroes program is being sponsored by presenting sponsors Elms College and Baystate Health/Health New England, and partner sponsor Trinity Health Of New England/Mercy Medical Center.


‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’

Oct. 27: Many pre-retirees focus solely on their 401(k) and pension when deciding when to retire, but neglect to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives. A person who retires at age 65 will be active for 20 years or more after leaving their full-time job. How will they fill those 2,000-plus hours they have previously devoted to their career? Holyoke Community College (HCC) is offering a workshop that will address this major life transition. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet in person from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster. The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. Masks are required in all HCC campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.


City of Bright Nights Ball

Nov. 13: It will be “Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball, when the event returns to MGM Springfield for the third time, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt announced. Eastman is the gala’s sponsor, and Shawn Pace, Eastman’s Indian Orchard site manager, is the chair. Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, MGM Springfield, MP CPAs, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms. Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers. The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a dinner featuring braised short ribs, pan-seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom ‘scallops,’ and a dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy. For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800 or [email protected].