Regional Notebook: April 3, 2024

TIMOTHY MENZ

TIMOTHY MENZ

JAINES ANDRADES

JAINES ANDRADES

DIANA CHUNG-EDWARDS

DIANA CHUNG-EDWARDS

Recipients of the 2023 Dakin Humane Awards are shown (from left) Marina Bayeva, Jerry Marchand (kneeling), Adam Ransom of VCA Animal Hospitals, Animal Control Officer Jessecah Gower, and Officer Matthew Llewelyn and K-9 Frank. (Missing from photo: Kristen Hughes and Nicolette LaVoie from Milton Bradley School).

Recipients of the 2023 Dakin Humane Awards are shown (from left) Marina Bayeva, Jerry Marchand (kneeling), Adam Ransom of VCA Animal Hospitals, Animal Control Officer Jessecah Gower, and Officer Matthew Llewelyn and K-9 Frank. (Missing from photo: Kristen Hughes and Nicolette LaVoie from Milton Bradley School). PHOTO BY DANIELLE COOKISH

From left, Larry Holmberg of Chesterfield, Ryan Clary of Leyden, Joseph Cuneo of New Salem, Jonathan Miller of Monson, Charles Garrity of Lanesborough, Tom Williams of Shelburne, Morgan McDonough of West Springfield, Charles Uchendu of Newton, Philip Roncarati of Belchertown and Philip Wonkka of Erving, pictured at the All-Hazard Incident Management Teams Association Symposium in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

From left, Larry Holmberg of Chesterfield, Ryan Clary of Leyden, Joseph Cuneo of New Salem, Jonathan Miller of Monson, Charles Garrity of Lanesborough, Tom Williams of Shelburne, Morgan McDonough of West Springfield, Charles Uchendu of Newton, Philip Roncarati of Belchertown and Philip Wonkka of Erving, pictured at the All-Hazard Incident Management Teams Association Symposium in Atlantic City, New Jersey. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published: 04-02-2024 4:31 PM

Tourism, hospitality stakeholders to meet on Zoom

GREENFIELD — In an effort to enhance partnership, collaboration and ongoing communication with the area’s hospitality and tourism stakeholders, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Regional Tourism Council will host a tourism and hospitality stakeholders meeting on Wednesday, April 3, from 2 to 3 p.m. via Zoom.

There will be a general overview, updates, and the solicitation of input on upcoming opportunities and initiatives. Stakeholders can register at bit.ly/43Fd5Es.

Nominations sought for 18 Under 18 Class of 2024

SPRINGFIELD — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts is welcoming nominations for its 18 Under 18 Class of 2024 presented by Teddy Bear Pools and Spas. This event provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding young people throughout the region who exemplify innovative spirit, leadership and community involvement.

“This is the third year we are holding this event, and after the high caliber of nominees we received during the first two years, we’re even more excited to review this year’s candidates,” Amie Miarecki, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts president, said in a statement. “As we have seen, there are many students who are making meaningful impacts in their local communities across our service area. We encourage teachers, youth group leaders, mentors, parents or other community members to submit nominations.”

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, April 5. The judges will then select finalists to interview via Zoom. The final 18 will be notified of their selection in late April. Recipients will be honored at an event at Tower Square in Springfield on May 16.

Nominations are open to students 18 years old or younger who attend school in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire counties; Tantasqua and Quaboag regional school districts; or the state of Vermont. Involvement in Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts programs is not required; however, it is considered favorably during the evaluation process. A letter of reference and an academic submission to support the nomination are required.

For more information about the criteria and the event, or to request a nomination form, email amiarecki@jawm.org.

Incident Management Team members attend New Jersey symposium

Ten members of the Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team (NWMIMT) recently returned from the All-Hazard Incident Management Teams Association Symposium in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where they attended meetings and seminars about the current status and projected future of incident management teams interfacing with emergency management and disaster response. Representatives came from across the United States and as far away as Saudi Arabia and Australia to share experiences and best practices.

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The NWMIMT Type III Team consists of highly trained volunteers who are scattered across Massachusetts, but are predominantly from the four western counties. Team members have responded to disasters throughout Massachusetts and as far away as Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

“Incident Management Teams bring calm to chaos,” NWMIMT Deputy Team Leader Charles “Butch” Garrity said in a statement. “They respond to disasters and provide a framework to prioritize response and recovery efforts.”

The Western Region Homeland Security Council helped secure funding to make the training possible.

Baystate Health’s Loyalty Programs offering two April events

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health’s Loyalty Programs will offer two free events in April beginning with “When Your Kiddo Says, ‘My Tummy Hurts’: Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children” on Tuesday, April 9, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Dr. Timothy Menz, pediatric gastroenterologist, will offer a discussion about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including how overall diet affects IBS, as well as diagnosis and treatment options. This will be a virtual lecture.

The second lecture, “The Balancing Act,” on Wednesday, April 10, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., will be held in person at the Baystate Health Education Center on 361 Whitney Ave., second entrance to the building, in Holyoke.

Participants can join neurophysical therapists and occupational therapists from Baystate Rehabilitation Care, including Jaines Andrades and Diana Chung-Edwards, for an interactive event on fall prevention. Each attendee will leave with knowledge about individual risk factors; instructions for specific exercises to improve balance; information about environmental safety and equipment that may help prevent falls; a fall-prevention checklist and prevention strategies; and information about the types of fall injuries. Comfortable clothing is recommended. Space is limited.

Registration is required for each session at BaystateHealth.org/events. All events are open to the public.

For more information, call Sue Fontaine from Loyalty Programs & Consumer Events at 413-794-5200 or email sue.fontaine@baystatehealth.org.

Seeds of Solidarity announces more than 15 workshops

ORANGE — Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center will host more than 15 free and sliding scale workshops this season.

The 2024 season kicks off with a free mini workshop on Saturday, April 27, called “Grow Great Gardens.” For this 10:30 a.m., one-hour event, all are welcome and no advance registration is needed. Participants can enjoy a self-guided tour of Seeds of Solidarity’s no-till, climate-resilient gardens, fields, greenhouses and energy-efficient buildings after the workshop, as well as visit the farmstand, which opens in mid-April.

Other workshops include a deep dive into techniques for no-till, low-maintenance gardens and farms on Sunday, April 28, from 1 to 4 p.m., a restorative Reconnect Retreat on May 5, and a full-day no-till gardening and farming workshop on Oct. 27, to name a few. Proceeds from the April 28 workshop will be donated to 1for3.org, a Massachusetts-based organization that supports gardening and environmental education for Palestinians on the West Bank. For the Oct. 27 workshop, a partnership with Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and the American Farmland Trust Soil Health Stewards Program makes 10 spots for farmers of color and new farmers available free of charge.

In addition, Seeds of Solidarity’s Women Healing Women Healing Earth initiative consists of unique workshops that are offered for free or by donation to support access for women of all income levels. A range of presenters will focus on topics such as freedom songwriting, nourishing and sensual herbs, a solstice paddle, local to global cooking, expressive jewelry making, seed saving and fall fermentation. Space in each is limited and advance registration is required. Priority is given to women who live in the North Quabbin/Franklin County region.

For more information, visit seedsofsolidarity.org/workshops-and-events.

Nominations sought for Dakin Humane Awards

SPRINGFIELD — Dakin Humane Society is accepting nominations for its Dakin Humane Awards until June 30. Nominees should be people or organizations that go out of their way to care for animals in need; people who volunteer to help animals; or people and/or animals who have provided significant public service or shown courage in a crisis.

Finalists in each of the categories will be picked from among the nominees and notified of their selection in August. The awards will be presented in September.

There are six awards to be bestowed. They are:

Youth Award — This award honors a hero, 16 years old or younger, whose care and compassion makes a difference in the life of an animal, and makes the world a kinder and gentler place.

Champion Award — This award honors an individual in the public or non-profit sector who has faithfully served and made life better for tens of thousands of animals and people in western Massachusetts.

Richard and Nathalie Woodbury Philanthropy Award — This award pays homage to an individual who displays a remarkable sense of stewardship in sharing time, talent and financial resources to improve the lives of animals and people who love them.

Distinguished Animal Award — This award recognizes an exceptional animal (and handler when applicable) whose extraordinary devotion to people has proven transformative or lifesaving in challenging or exceptional circumstances.

Corporate Leadership Award — This award is presented to a business or its corporate foundation, of any size, that demonstrates outstanding commitment to improving the lives of animals through employee giving, volunteerism or partnership.

Frances M. Wells Award — This award is given to an individual recognized for notable contributions to the health and welfare of animals.

“The Humane Awards recognize individuals within our community that are making a difference for animals,” Stacey Price, director of development and marketing at Dakin, said in a statement. “The people nominated demonstrate exemplary service and compassion and are an inspiration for others. Their efforts raise awareness about animal welfare issues and service. Together, we celebrate and acknowledge their acts of compassion toward animals that help create a culture of empathy and advocacy in our community.”

Nominations are being accepted online only at dakinhumane.org/humane-awards. Mail-in nominations will not be accepted. Nominees should be residents of central or western Massachusetts or northern Connecticut.

After June 30, nominations will be reviewed by Dakin Humane Society’s directors and staff, and finalists will be chosen. After that, a panel of independent judges will select the winners by voting in each category. The decisions will be based solely on the content of the nomination forms. Nominators are asked to provide thoughtful, concise and specific examples of their nominees’ efforts on behalf of animals.

BusinessWest seeks nominees for Alumni Achievement Award

SPRINGFIELD — When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so to identify rising stars — individuals who were excelling in business and through involvement within the community — and celebrate their accomplishments.

In 2015, BusinessWest announced a new award, the Alumni Achievement Award, that builds on the foundation upon which 40 Under Forty was created. As the name suggests, it is presented to the 40 Under Forty honoree who, in the eyes of an independent panel of judges, has most impressively continued and built upon his or her track record of accomplishment.

The nomination form can be found at businesswest.com/40-under-forty/alumniachievementaward. Only nominations submitted to BusinessWest on this form will be considered. The deadline is Friday, May 10, at 5 p.m. A list of the past 40 Under Forty classes may be found at businesswest.com/40-under-forty/40underforty.

The 2024 Alumni Achievement Award finalists will be profiled in the June 10 edition of BusinessWest, and the honoree will be announced at the 40 Under Forty gala on June 20. The presenting sponsor of the Alumni Achievement Award is Health New England.

For more information, call Melissa Hallock, marketing and events manager, at 413-781-8600, ext. 100, or email melissa@businesswest.com.