Free Community Shred Day
April 16: Monson Savings Bank’s Monson branch will host a free Community Shred Day from 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank will welcome the public to safely and securely dispose of their private documents on site. Storing documents that contain personal information in the home can pose a serious security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging local residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. The bank’s free Community Shred Day is a chance to do some spring cleaning and properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more. Prepackaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event, while supplies last.
Eggstravaganza at the Zoo in Forest Park
April 16: The Zoo in Forest Park will host its annual Eggstravaganza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include grab-and-go stations for children with take-and-make activities, prize-filled Easter eggs, books, and candy while supplies last. There will also be animal encounters and enrichment to allow guests an up-close look at some of the animals, as well as free face painting and visits from Felix the Fox and Andy the Armadillo. Pre-registration is required to attend. No additional tickets will be sold at the door. Registration closes April 11 or when all tickets are sold. To purchase tickets, visit www.forestparkzoo.org/eggs.
Program on Building Resilience for Self-care and Caregivers
April 18: From 11:45 to 12:45 p.m., Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts will present mindfulness educator and trauma-informed coach Reina Goldberg, who will discuss simple and enjoyable ways to shift habituated patterns of holding stress in one’s body while also practicing tuning into one’s innate body wisdom. Attendees of the virtual session will engage in a fluid unfolding of body-based practices to allow for deeper unwinding and integration. Some practices include mindful body scans, body-led movement, gentle-release practices, brain and body balancing and strengthening exercises, Qigong, and tapping to boost the immune system. Attendees will learn new patterns of resilience, rejuvenation, and relaxation while walking away with new practices and perspectives. All ages are welcome, and all exercises can be done seated or standing. The program is free and open to the public and will be held on Zoom. Registration is required. RSVP online at www.jfswm.org or call (413) 737-2601.
Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts
April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.
Social Justice Awards
April 23: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) announced that this year’s Social Justice Awards will honor the organization’s former President and CEO Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January. The organization also announced that the Justice Resource Institute has stepped forward as the first event sponsor. The 2022 Social Justice Awards will continue to be a virtual event this year and will begin at 11 a.m. Michael Weeks, president and CEO of the Providers Council, will be the keynote speaker. This year’s honorees are Barbara Gresham (education), Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. (lifetime achievement), Bishop Talbert Swan II (race relations), CMSS and Eileen McCaffery (arts and culture), Doris Harris (health advocacy), First Church of Christ in Longmeadow UCC (faith-based initiative), MassHire Springfield and Kevin Lynn (economic development), and Thomas Morrow and Julius Lewis (entrepreneurship). Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Johnson’s work at MLKFS through sponsorship or a donation should contact Lenise Williams at (413) 736-3655 or [email protected], or visit mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.
Great Golf Escape
April 25: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its annual Great Golf Escape tournament at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in career development, networking, community involvement, recreational and social activities, and more. The cost for this event is $125 for YPS members, $500 for a YPS member foursome team captain, $135 for non-members, and $540 for a non-member foursome team captain. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. There will be prizes and a poker challenge throughout the event. The first-place team will also be able to select a charitable organization to receive a donation from YPS. Registration includes lunch, post-golf dinner, and giveaways. Members can register for the event at www.springfieldyps.com/events. This event is open to the public. However, YPS members will receive a free mulligan, entry into the door-prize raffle, and more. They’ll be offering golfers on-course hospitality, including ice-cream samples from Batch Ice Cream, sponsored by LiftTruck Parts & Service, and craft beer samples from Leadfoot Brewing. Foursomes and sponsorships are still available by visiting springfieldyps.com/golf or e-mailing [email protected].
‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’
April 27: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will present a three-hour, in-person workshop focusing on life after retirement. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet 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. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all workshop participants, and masks must be worn in all HCC campus buildings.
Homework House Adult Spelling Bee
April 28: Homework House announced that its annual Adult Spelling Bee is back in person this year. Teams of three will gather at Open Square at 5:30 p.m. to demonstrate their spelling aptitude in this entertaining, and often comical, community event. Former state Rep. Aaron Vega will once again emcee the evening’s activities. Homework House, a not-for-profit, after-school program, offers free tutoring and mentoring services to children in kindergarten through grade 6. Homework House sites are located in Holyoke’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, and more than 98% of its budget comes from charitable contributions. Popular radio announcer Monte Belmonte will once again serve as the word reader. Virginia Dillon, executive director of Homework House, announced that this year’s judges will include Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia and City Councilor Tessa Murphy-Romboletti. Team registrations can be completed online. Tickets to the event cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door and can be purchased online or from any board member or staff member of Homework House. For more information, to register a team, or to purchase tickets, visit www.homeworkhousebee.com.
Get Hired Job Fair
May 5: Holyoke Mall will host an in-person job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lower level near Macy’s. Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council, the Get Hired Job Fair is a convenient opportunity for Western Mass. employers to interview and hire workers, and to help job seekers connect with businesses who need their skills. Employers from a variety of industries will be in attendance looking for candidates at all skill levels. Several stores and venues at Holyoke Mall will also be in attendance to fill open positions. The event is free to attend for all job seekers. Employers that have already signed up to staff a table include MGM Springfield, Holyoke Medical Center, Springfield College, Trinity Senior Communities, and Valley Opportunity Council. Employers interested in participating in the upcoming job fair should contact Jim Geraghty, advertising representative for Holyoke Mall, at (617) 840-2998 or [email protected]. For full details regarding the job fair, visit www.holyokemall.com/event/get-hired-job-fair.
Annual Shred Day
May 7: The Wealth Transition Collective of Holyoke is partnering with Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for their annual shred day. Anyone who has financial or sensitive documents that need shredding may bring them to the VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton from 9 to 11 a.m. A donation of $5 per paper box will directly benefit the VNA & Hospice. Shredding will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis until the truck is full or 11 a.m., whichever comes first. Only paper items will be accepted. For more information, visit www.twealthtc.com.
May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.