Marijuana and the Workplace


May 14: MassHire Holyoke Career Center will host a workshop titled “How Will Marijuana Affect the Workplace In Massachusetts” with attorney Erica Flores from Skoler, Abbott & Presser. This free event will take place from 8 to 10 a.m.

Flores will the current state of the law regarding marijuana use by employees for both medical and recreational purposes, including employers’ obligations to accommodate marijuana use by disabled employees; proposed legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who use recreational marijuana and how this rule would affect employers’ current rights in the workplace; and the importance of reasonable-suspicion testing in this new legal climate and strategies for implementing and enforcing such testing programs.

Mental Health and Wellness Fair

May 15: In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, Clinical & Support Options will host its 17th annual Mental Health and Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Energy Park in Greenfield.

Featuring CSO’s own Green River House and Quabbin House Clubhouse members, the fair will be an afternoon of music, singing, poetry, and testimonials by members to highlight mental-health wellness and recovery. Genoa Pharmacy and Webber & Grinnell Insurance are major sponsors of this year’s fair, along with the Greenfield Police Department.

The fair started in 2002 to bring awareness and information to the community about mental-health illness and recovery. The clubs’ members, supported by CSO, have continued this tradition annually as an opportunity to dispel the stigma around mental-health illness, encourage people to seek support, and spotlight those agencies that are available to assist. This year, the membership has chosen the theme “End Stigma, Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drum” in an effort to continue to spread an anti-stigma message about mental-health treatment and recovery.

Special guests will include Jed Stamas, DJ with Dance Spree of Greenfield, who will perform a dance and drum workshop. Also featured and available for photos will be Officer Donut, Greenfield Police Department’s Saint Bernard. Local food vendors will be on hand offering lunch options, include Tito’s Tacos. Additionally, local mental-health and wellness providers will be on hand to present materials and programming. The afternoon will include other family-friendly activities and a raffle.

For questions or more information on how to be a part of this event, call the Green River House at (413) 772-2181.

Baystate Health Bloodmobile

May 15: The Baystate Health Blood Donor Mobile will host a blood drive on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Baystate Mary Lane on the Baystate Health Bloodmobile. In appreciation, all eligible donors will receive a Dunkin’ Donuts or Big Y gift card. The bloodmobile will be parked in the north (visitors) parking lot, located at 85 South St. in Ware. 

“Please help us to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply is available by donating blood with the Baystate Health Blood Donor Program,” said Deb Oberg, co-coordinator of the blood drives in Ware. “One donation helps to save two lives, and 100% of all blood collected on the bloodmobile stays in our community for use in Baystate Health hospitals and facilities,”

“There is no substitute for human blood,” added MaryAnn Burian, who joins Oberg in the planning and coordination of the mobile blood drives held in Ware. Blood donations take approximately one hour to complete, including the interview, donation, and refreshments. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a photo ID, be in good health (no colds or sore throat), and have not donated blood within the past eight weeks. 

For more information or to book an appointment, call Oberg or Burian at (413) 967-2180.

Maifest Block Party

May 17-18: Maifest is a colorful, joyous tradition in Germany. It celebrates the arrival of spring, when food is plentiful and spirits flow freely. The tradition will unfold in Springfield with the Maifest Block Party, a two-day community event, presented by the Student Prince & the Fort, that will take place outdoors on Fort Street and inside the restaurant. Live bands will fill the air with music while guests sip beer and head inside for a Maifest menu filled with spring delights. This year, a generous portion of the proceeds will benefit Rays of Hope to bring the organization closer to its mission of finding a cure for breast cancer.

“Come welcome spring at our Maifest Block Party, and your participation will benefit Rays of Hope,” said Andy Yee, managing partner of the Student Prince and the Fort. “Come have a good time. It’s all for a great cause, and we look forward to seeing you.”

The festivities will be emceed by radio personality Lopez from WMAS. The tapping of the ceremonial keg will be headed by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Denise Jordan, chair of the Rays of Hope campaign, who is also executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority. Sgt. Brian Elliott of the Springfield Police Department will host the ceremonial cheer. Rudi Scherff of the Student Prince will give a brief talk about the Maifest tradition.

Guests are encouraged to wear pink to show their support for Rays of Hope. There will be raffles, vendors, and more.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 20: BusinessWest will present its 13th annual 40 Under Forty Gala, a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass.

The lavish cocktail party, to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2019, which is profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at businesswest.com. Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced.

Tickets cost $75 per person. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail peters@businesswest.com. PeoplesBank is the presenting sponsor, Health New England is the Continued Excellence Award sponsor, and WWLP-22 News is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, Comcast Business, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner).

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 21: State Sen. Eric Lesser announced that he will host the third annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair in partnership with Health New England, Springfield College, and the Center for Human Development (CHD). This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House on the campus of Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public.

With more than 70 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition and elder law, the annual fair will connect residents of the Greater Springfield area with information and resources to help them thrive.

The event will feature several educational seminars which will highlight areas of interest for attendees, including estate planning and elder law, scam avoidance, and diet and nutrition. Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow will return for a third year with an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement.

The free program includes a boxed lunch, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts. To RSVP, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit senatorlesser.com/thrive.

Austen Riggs Fall Conference

Sept. 21-22: The Austen Riggs Center will convene a conference of national and international experts in the fields of mental healthcare, treatment, research, advocacy, and the law to explore “The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions,” a two-day conference.

The conference will examine crucial issues, including complex psychiatric problems, suicide, treatment goals, health parity law, and innovative solutions to clinical challenges. For the latest conference news and more details, visit www.austenriggs.org/centennialconference.