ON THE CALENDAR – April 2017

Adapt with Pride

April 15: Springfield College, in collaboration with the Center for Human Development’s (CHD) Disability Resources program, will host Adapt with Pride, a sports-sampler community-outreach event to engage area families in conversations and explorations of adaptive supports and recreational opportunities available through Disability Resources. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in the Dana Gym, located in the Wellness Center on the main campus of Springfield College. Admission is free.

Adapt with Pride will showcase several adaptive sports and activities and build awareness of area programs for youth and adults with disabilities as well as their families. There will be hands-on opportunities to try a variety of adaptive sports and activities, including wheelchair basketball, adaptive volleyball, adaptive soccer, taekwondo, disc golf, and arts and crafts. By sampling the programs, participants will gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of the programs, which will help to reduce barriers that commonly prevent individuals from participating in community programs.

The Adapt with Pride event is the responsibility of undergraduate students enrolled in a course called Event Management and Promotions. Most of these students are in the Recreation Management program at Springfield College. The development and implementation of this event fulfills a large portion of the experiential portion of the class. By working on a real-life project and collaborating with CHD and program participants, the students gain relevant, career-focused experience.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, who has been instrumental in securing a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) totaling $5,000 to help fund Adapt with Pride, is scheduled to be at the event at 11 a.m. CDBG Programs receive funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to state and local governments which, in turn, allocate them for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income areas or individuals. The city of Springfield’s CDBG Program is designed to expand opportunities for low- and moderate-income citizens, including those with disabilities, through the provision of public services, acquisition and improvements to public facilities, neighborhood improvements, and housing and economic-development opportunities.

Western Massachusetts Amputee Support Group

April 19: The bi-monthly Western Massachusetts Amputee Support Group will meet at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, 222 State St. Ludlow, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Food, refreshments, and information will be provided.

The forum is free to the public, and all are welcome: amputees, family, friends, and medical professionals. Attendees are asked to bring questions as the group discusses various experiences and challenges amputees face on a day-to-day basis. Future meetings will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at HealthSouth on June 21, Aug. 23, Oct. 25, and Dec. 20.

‘Painting the Face on Alzheimer’s’

April 29: The Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc. will hold a fund-raiser at the Log Cabin at 5:30 p.m. The festivities will include live entertainment, food, and raffles. Entertainment will include the Sarah the Fiddler Band, Richie Mitnick and Friends, and Now’s the Time Jazz Sextet. The host for the evening will be Ashley Kohl.

Also featured will be the sale of artwork created by residents of assisted-living and skilled-nursing communities throughout Western Mass. This part of the program — “Painting the Face on Alzheimer’s” — will include art that was created using the ‘memories method,’ a process that encourages self-expression through art, focusing on the process of creating, among those facing dementia. For these individuals, the axiom that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ rings true, as their ability to communicate in traditional ways may decrease, but the need to communicate remains.

This year’s event will be dedicated to Susan Brooks, a fellow committee member, who passed away recently. Her life and her contributions to the Alzheimer’s community will be celebrated.

The evening’s proceeds will fund various programs for the local Alzheimer’s Assoc. chapter, including a respite scholarship program for families, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and referral services for families who have loved ones with the disease.

Tickets are $50 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Claudette Smart at (413) 636-5462 or cchaddansm@gmail.com. Make checks payable to PVFAA (Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc.) at P.O. Box 164, Agawam, MA 01001.

Forum for Stroke Survivors, Caregivers

May 3: May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the American Stroke Assoc., a division of the American Heart Assoc., will once again host a forum open to stroke survivors and their caregivers. The 2017 Pioneer Valley Stroke Survivors and Caregivers Forum, “The Future Belongs to Those Who Dream,” will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

Close to 300 people are expected to attend the event, which is designed to bring together stroke survivors and caregivers so they may become better connected with the network of resources available. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the day will include exhibitors, local healthcare providers, and stroke survivors who will educate and share information.

The forum will once again be hosted by Boston comedian and American Stroke Assoc. supporter Chris Tabb, whose family has been personally touched by stroke.

The Pioneer Valley Stroke Forum is open to the public, and admission is $5, which will include a light breakfast and heart-healthy lunch. For tickets, call the American Heart Assoc. local office at (203) 303-3373.

Walk of Champions

May 7: The 12th annual Walk of Champions to benefit the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware will take place at the Quabbin Reservoir.

The Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center provides the majority of outpatient cancer services in the Baystate Health Eastern Region, which includes Ware, Palmer, and surrounding communities.

Since its inception, the Walk of Champions has raised more than $740,000 to assist, support, and instill hope in those facing cancer. All funds raised remain local to support those cared for in the Baystate Health Eastern Region at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program located at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware.

The route offers a one-mile loop that allows walkers to choose the number of miles they walk among the comfortable walking terrain of the Goodnough Dike. Along the way, walkers will enjoy entertainment and refreshments.

Pledge forms, fund-raising resources, giving opportunities, and more are now available at www.baystatehealth.org/woc for businesses, community organizations, and individuals who wish to participate.

Comcast Business Slates Lecture On Big Data

May 10: As part of the ongoing BusinessWest and HCN Lecture Series, Comcast Business will host an informative program titled Big Data … Your Strategic Advantage, at La Quinta in Springfield, beginning at 7:15 a.m.

Admission is free; to register online, visit businesswest.com/lecture-series or call (413) 781-8600 for more information.

The featured presenter will be Dennis Perlot

Vice President Enterprise Architecture at CleanSlate Centers Former Technology Evangelist at Microsoft and BI Specialist Master at Deloite.

Presented in partnership with FIT Staffing and the Employers Association of the Northeast, the lecture will provide attendees with lessons in how data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.

Some of the topics to be covered include:

• An overview of Big Data

• Drivers of Big Data (How did we get here?)

• Case Studies including Machine Learning,

loT and Artificial Intelligence

• Tools to transform data into useful information; and

• What’s Next for Big Data?

Registration begins at 7:15, with breakfast and the program running from 7:30 to 9. On-site parking is available.

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