Pioneer Valley Ballet announces new season

Hello, neighbor.

Well, it looks like another great year ahead for Pioneer Valley Ballet, which just recently announced its 2013-2014 season lineup.

The company will perform “The Nutcracker” Dec. 13 through 15 this year. It has been performing the classic for the past 35 years, bringing the story to life with original choreography, scrumptious costumes and opulent sets.

Clara will once again chase her brother, the sugarplum fairy will soar, and sweet candies will prance their way into children’s dreams. This one isn’t to be missed.

Auditions for children ages 41∕2 to 12 will be held Sept. 14. Adults and advanced dancers (en pointe) should contact the studio for audition information.

“Beauty and the Beast” will also be performed this season, but that won’t happen until March 29 and 30.

The moving ballet, based on the fairy tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love and acceptance.

We are probably all more familiar with the Disney version of the classic.

Auditions for children ages 41∕2 to 12 will be held Jan. 4, while adults and advanced dancers (en pointe) should contact the studio for audition information.

I have seen PVB perform “The Nutcracker” and it was absolutely wonderful. I can only imagine that “Beauty and the Beast” will be the same.

If you’d like more information about when and where the shows will be performed, visit:

To contact PVB, call 413-527-6363.

THOMAS MEMORIAL GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB will hold a day of golf, Lefty’s beer and music by Scott Kuzmeskus on Sunday for what it is touting as “an amazing cause.”

The Patriot Golf Tournament, which will have a 9 a.m. shotgun start, will benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, which assists spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled while serving the country.

The cost of the tournament is $65 per player and that includes a cart.

At 2 p.m. that day, the club will welcome actor and writer Steven Grayhm and actor Matt Dallas, whose movie “Thunder Road” will shed some light on post traumatic stress disorder and the struggles soldiers face upon return. There is $10 entry fee to see the two.

For more information or to register, call Pam at 413-863-8003 or 413-522-7803.

For more information about Folds of Honor, visit:

OUR NEIGHBORS AT DAKIN Pioneer Valley Humane Society just got a nice surprise.

Thanks to a bequest from an alumnus of Amherst College, who wished to remain anonymous, Dakin received $137,000 toward its capital campaign. The gift will help subsidize renovations of Dakin’s adoption center in Leverett. It was the second largest gift made to the campaign, I’m told.

What a beautiful, posthumous act by someone who obviously loved animals.

CHARLIE CONANT AND DESMOND BURKE will be performing together at this week’s Coop Concert in the Greenfield Energy Park on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s being billed by the Pat and Tex LaMountain Band, which will also be performing that night, as a “really big show!”

Roland LaPierre and Devlin Miles Band will also perform.

I HEAR THAT OUR NEIGHBOR Al Monroe of Northfield is turning 100 years old next month and on Sept. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m., his family and friends are holding an open house at Trinitarian Congregational Church at 147 Main St. in Northfield, so that we can all stop in and say “hello and happy birthday.” Light refreshments and cake will be served.

What an amazing milestone! Happy birthday, Al.

LOOKING FOR AN EARLY KICKOFF TO OKTOBERFEST? Deerfield Inn’s Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern will hold “Brewskis & Brats on the Beer Trail” from 2 to 6 p.m. You can sample the latest seasonal choices from local microbrews at Champney’s.

I’m told barrels and barrels of new seasonals from four local breweries, plus a few old favorites, will be on hand. There will also be bratwurst hot off the grill served with some great local music.

Tickets are $25 in advance and may be purchased online:

IF YOU ARE A SENIOR and would like to save energy this coming winter, register for Franklin County Home Care Corp’s “Energy Savings for Seniors” now.

Jessica Albrecht of FCHCC tells me that if you are 60 or older and would like options to pay for home energy, home modification, insulation or weatherization, get to one of two free events sponsored by Benefits Counseling Program of FCHCC and listen to speakers from area agencies.

The first session will be held Sept. 12 at Athol Senior Center and the second will be held Oct. 1 at Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls.

Light refreshments will be served.

To register, contact Gretchen Smith at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 or email her at:

Also visit:

OUR NEIGHBOR MICHAEL IDOINE of Wendell received the Wendell Citizen of the Year award a little over a week ago. He gave a short speech at Old Home Day on Aug. 17.

The Selectboard in Wendell chose Idoine, who is a former Wendell selectman himself, for all of the work he has done for the town over the past 40 years.

Congratulations, Michael, and keep up the good work.

GENEVIEVE FRASER OF ORANGE took a break from her own writing this year to edit her sister’s book, “Running Through Time,” a multi-generational story of a New England family told through short stories, poetry, paintings and family photographs.

Lillian Fraser Douville is the author of the memoir, which starts when she was 2 years old.

The book is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach her on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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