On the Calendar


Summer Food Drive

Through Sept. 27: Freedom Credit Union is once again holding its annual summer food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Donations can be brought to Freedom branch locations in the Pioneer Valley through Sept. 27.

“Credit unions are built on the principle of neighbors helping neighbors, and that’s exactly what our summer food drive aims to do as well,” said Freedom President and CEO Glenn Welch. “Hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity affect people everywhere, including the four counties of Western Massachusetts. We are confident our members will rise to help us meet this challenge.”

Suggested donations of non-perishable food and personal care items include hot and cold cereals; packaged rice and grains; pasta and noodles; canned beans and vegetables; canned and dried fruit; peanut butter and nuts; granola bars and crackers; powdered or evaporated milk; instant potatoes; canned chicken, fish, and meat; cooking oils and spices (in plastic containers); canned soups, stews, and chili; powdered or canned baby formula; diapers, wipes, and toilet paper; shampoo and body wash; and toothpaste and toothbrushes.

For safety, items in glass jars or bottles, homemade food, unlabeled items, baby food, and severely dented cans cannot be accepted.

Dementia Experience

July 17: Armbrook Village’s Dementia Experience uses sensory modifications and role-playing activities to depict real-life situations that a person living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia would face. Getting dressed, taking daily medications, and preparing for a meal are all simple activities that are severely thwarted by cognitive disability.

The Dementia Experience thrusts participants into the daily life of someone with dementia by simulating the physical ailments afflicting many seniors and creating the frustration, confusion, and anxiety that accompanies cognitive impairment.

This is a free event that will take place at 6 p.m. at Armbrook Village, located at 551 North Road, Westfield. Space is limited, so registration is necessary by calling (413) 568-000. This training will last about two hours. Social workers, nurses, case managers, and EMTs can obtain 2.5 CEUs for attending.

Art Show Featuring Shelter Painters

July 18: Guests of the Friends of the Homeless shelter on Worthington Street in Springfield will have their artwork displayed for public viewing during a gallery event titled “Friendly Expressions” at the Bing Arts Center on Sumner Avenue from 1 to 5 p.m.

Community members in the Greater Springfield area are encouraged to visit in support of the Friends of the Homeless (FOH) shelter and in recognition of the region’s talented homeless population.

Light snacks will be offered at the Bing Art Center gallery during the event. In addition, several of the FOH guest artists will be on hand to represent their pieces. Much of the art displayed at the “Friendly Expressions” showing can be arranged for purchase in benefit of FOH and the individual artists (interested buyers can contact FOH Volunteer Coordinator Shaina Jones at shaina.jones@csoinc.org). The art show is organized by Jones and Amy Porchelli of the fine-arts enrichment program ArtSong.

For additional details, visit the FOH Facebook page at facebook.com/FOHSpringfield.

Brightside Golf Classic

July 22: More than 200 golfers are expected to participate in the 39th annual Brightside Golf Classic at the Ranch Golf Club in Southwick.

Two tee times are available. Registration and breakfast for the morning session will begin at 6:45 a.m. with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m., followed by a lunch reception with the presentation of awards and prizes at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and registration for the afternoon session will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The evening reception will be held immediately following the tournament from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Prices include green fees, golf cart, breakfast and/or lunch, a gift and swag bag, and a reception featuring cocktails, food stations, an auction, and networking. On-course food and beverages will be provided by event sponsors throughout the day. Golfers will also be eligible for a chance to win prizes and participate in raffles during the day. Proceeds will benefit Brightside for Families and Children, which provides in-home counseling and family support to more than 700 children and their families throughout Western Mass.

For more information on sponsorships, donations, and attending the event, contact Traci Heath at (413) 748-9935 or traci.heath@sphs.com. Information is also available at www.mercycares.com/brightside-golf-classic.

Unify Against Bullying Grant Deadline

Aug. 14: Unify Against Bullying’s 2019 online grant applications are now open. All applications are due to be submitted by Aug. 14. Unify also announced it has increased the amount it is awarding this year to $20,000 — a record amount for the organization. Grant applications are available at unifyagainstbullying.org.

“One of our key goals is to inspire youth of all ages to participate,” Executive Director Christine Maiwald said. “It’s our job to give life to their ideas. They know best how we can bring an end to bullying. Additionally, we are in search of parents, teachers, and community leaders who would like to help us end this epidemic. All are encouraged to apply.”

To date, Unify has awarded 27 grants to students and others who have helped lead anti-bullying efforts in their schools and communities. All programs have been dedicated to anti-bullying education and furthering the Unify mission: to bring an end to bullying through the celebration of true diversity.

The organization has a committee of volunteers who select the initiatives which best reflect and advance their mission. “This is the fourth year that Unify will be awarding grants,” Maiwald said. “We’ve come a long way from our first year, when we were only able to provide $3,500 in grants. Although it was a modest start, it was the beginning of something very special.”

RVCC Golf Tournament

Sept. 13: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its fourth annual golf tournament fundraiser at 10:30 a.m. at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Services.

“The funds raised will help RVCC to continue providing mental health and other essential supportive services to over 7,000 individuals served yearly throughout the Pioneer Valley,” said Rosemarie Ansel, RVCC’s executive director.

The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in a raffle and silent auction. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. There will also be contests on the course, with prizes donated by Marcotte Ford and Teddy Bear Pools. Other tournament sponsors include HCN, Unidine, PeoplesBank, CINTAS, Goss & McLain Insurance, Marsh & McLennan Agency, BMC HealthNet Plan, and Jefferson Radiology.

For more information on sponsorships, in-kind donations, and registration, contact Angela Callahan, RVCC’s Marketing and Development specialist, at (413) 841-3546 or callahan_angela@holyokehealth.com. Information is also available at www.rvcc-inc.org or by visiting River Valley Counseling Center’s Facebook page.

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 17: The third annual class of Healthcare Heroes will be honored at the Sheraton Springfield from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Healthcare Heroes, a recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched in 2017 by HCN and BusinessWest. The program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and people providing that care.

The class of 2019 will be profiled in the September issue of HCN, and will be feted at the Oct. 25 gala. Tickets will go on sale in August. Healthcare Heroes sponsors include American International College (presenting sponsor), Development Associates (partner sponsor), Comcast (partner sponsor), and Elms College (supporting sponsor). Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.