Benefit Bike Ride
June 11: Area residents are invited to pedal for a great cause and help raise donations for Cancer House of Hope. A ride is scheduled on the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (rain date is June 12). In addition to a small registration fee, ride participants are asked to raise donations from family, friends, and colleagues, with an individual fundraising goal of $100, and a family fundraising goal of $150. The ride encourages and welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. Participants can bike five, 10, or 20 miles. Support stations will be available at all turn-around points and the start/finish location — the Stop & Shop at 57 Main St. in Westfield. To register, visit chd.org/chainofhope. For more information, call Margaret Toomey, (413) 733-1858.
Summer Kick-Off Festival
June 11: BFAIR (Berkshire Family and Individual Resources) will stage its Summer Kick-Off Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Paterson Field House at Berkshire Community College. This event is bringing back a popular BFAIR event in the mini-golf tournament, the BFAIR-Way, alongside live music, games, activities, raffles, prizes, food trucks and more. Funds raised from the festival support the BFAIR mission of providing quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities, autism, and acquired brain injury while kicking off the summer with some fun. The festival is sponsored by Beat the Heat sponsor Greylock Federal Credit Union and Fun in the Sun sponsor MountainOne Bank. To register for the event visit: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/2022bfairsummerfest/ If you have any questions, please reach out to Tara Jacobsen, Fundraising and Grants Manager, at [email protected].
Chamber Annual Meeting
June 15: The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce has named Evan Plotkin, president, and owner of NAI Samuel D. Plotkin and Associates, as its 2022 Richard J. Moriarty Citizen of the Year. The award, established in 2007, is given annually to honor the memory of Richard J. Moriarty, a long-time active participant in the Chamber and individual who gave his time, talent, and personal and professional resources to the local community. Plotkin will be honored at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Celebration on June 15, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Springfield Sheraton. In addition to honoring Plotkin, the chamber will recognize the graduates of its 2022 Leadership Institute, commemorate outgoing President Nancy Creed, and welcome incoming Chamber President Diana Szynal. Longtime advocate and champion of Springfield, Plotkin has made it his mission to make the city a more attractive place to live and work, both literally and figuratively. A Springfield native, he is one of the lead organizers of the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival and is the force behind Art & Soles, the project that saw sculptures of colorful sneakers placed around the city. Additionally, Plotkin, named a Difference Maker by BusinessWest spearheaded the City Mosaic project, overseeing the conversion of the ninth floor of 1350 Main St. into what’s known as Studio 9, a community gathering space. By also using the front lobby of 1350 Main St. as a gallery space, he forged a partnership with artist James Kitchen to bring many of his metal sculptures to the downtown area. Plotkin was also a catalyst behind bringing art to life on Court House Walk, one of the city’s most charming landmarks that was restored by the Junior League of Greater Springfield in 1979. The walk brought giant murals into fruition on the Court Square property with images of iconic celebrities such as Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, and others. Plotkin’s involvement with the community has given him the opportunity to serve as a member of the board of directors for many organizations throughout the years, including as the chairman of The Center for Human Development, and as a board member for various civic organizations including Holyoke Community College and Springfield Business Improvement District. Additionally, Plotkin served six years on the SRC’s board and was a longstanding active board member of the former Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Plotkin was an instrumental part of the group that launched the SRC’s economic development tools in 2021, helping businesses and developers recognize and understand key indicators that encourage informed business decisions. When he’s not beautifying or enhancing Springfield through his artistic endeavors and volunteer initiatives, he’s assisting in its revitalization through his company, NAI Plotkin, which services commercial real estate in areas such as property management, consulting, construction management, condo/HOA management, and brokerage services. Plotkin’s portfolio includes the management of more than 6 million square feet of commercial and retail space and approximately two million square feet of residential units with clients ranging from institutional to regional in scope and include such entities as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Office Building, the U.S. Postal Service, and Staples Inc. Through his role as president, Plotkin serves on the NAI Asset Services Council along with 30 other esteemed members globally, encouraging a collective wealth of knowledge, including best practices and new technology for effective property management. Reservations for the Annual Meeting and Celebration are $75 for members in advance, and $85 for general admission. Reservations may be made online at the Annual Meeting webpage or by contacting Nancy Creed at [email protected].
40 Under Forty
June 16: BusinessWest will host the annual 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House starting at 4:30. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the gala will celebrate the Class of 2022, which was announced in the May 2 issue of BusinessWest. The gala will feature a VIP hour for the honorees and sponsors, networking, the presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award, and introduction of members of the Class of 2022. For more information, visit BusinessWest.com. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Presenting Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) is an event partner.
June 23/July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced details of their upcoming summer concerts at Symphony Hall. MOSSO will celebrate the music of Stephen Sondheim and John Williams. These concerts mark the first time in almost 20 years that the musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have performed summer concerts in Springfield. On June 23, MOSSO celebrates the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. Conductor Tim Stella will lead the program, joined by Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman. Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella is former resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall. Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times. On July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes returns to Springfield to conduct a MOSSO benefit concert, with a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by guest soloist, violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim. Rhodes served as music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, until the SSO paused performances in 2020.
He continues to serve as music director and conductor of the Traverse Symphony in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In March 2021, Maestro Rhodes made his debut with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera in Italy, recording a live radio broadcast of Maurice Jarre’s score to Roland Petit’s ballet, Notre Dame de Paris. He will conduct productions of Giselle and La Bayadère for their 2022-23 season. Kutik, a native of Minsk, Belarus, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert. Kutik’s additional releases on Marquis include his most recent album, The Death of Juliet and Other Tales. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, will go on sale on May 9. For details, visit: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.