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Local Toastmasters get official nod

SHELBURNE FALLS ­— The 18-month-old Mohawk Trail Toastmasters Club will become a charter member of Toastmasters International during a charter presentation ceremony at its next meeting Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Greenfield Co-operative Bank, at 33 Bridge St.

Founded in 1924, Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that helps people learn better communication and leadership skills.

Mohawk Trail Toastmasters began with a small group of local residents and business leaders, with support from the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, who wanted to improve their public speaking and leadership skills.

According to Mark Boyer, vice president of public relations for Mohawk Toastmasters, there had been a Poets Seat Toastmasters club in Greenfield up until the 1990s; but the Shelburne Falls-based Mohawk Trail Toastmasters will be the only chartered member club in Franklin County.

To become a charter club, he said there must be at least 20 dues-paying members, ages 18 and older. He said each member will receive a certificate when the club gets its charter presentation.

“The club is proud to reach charter strength, which has been our primary goal thus far,” said Boyer. “It means our members are official Toastmasters who are eligible to earn educational awards. It also means new support from both district and international representatives,” he said.

Mohawk Trail Toastmasters meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, and nonmembers are welcome to drop in. College students, professionals and community members are welcome to join.

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