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Talk of the Towns: March 6

Amherst

Quilters Guild: Hands Across the Valley Quilters Guild will meet Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church, 867 North Pleasant St. Guest speaker will be Gail Wilson. She will present a lecture/truck show titled “The Dolls of Gail Wilson.” Refreshments. Non-member fee, $5. For more information, call 584-9328 or 584-0198.

Ashfield

MotherWoman support group: MotherWoman, a support group for new mothers, meets on Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at St. John’s Corner, 469 Main St. This group, under the joint sponsorship of It Takes a Village and St. John’s Episcopal Church, meet each Monday, except on school holidays. Pregnant and postpartum mothers are welcome. Infants stay with mothers. Snack for all; free childcare for children provided, up to age 4. For more information, contact Anna Westley at: Anna@MotherwellDoulaCare.com.

Athol

Kingsmen Chess Club: The club meets Sundays, noon to 4 p.m., Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main St. For more information, call John Dould at 978-249-5905 or e-mail aelb@trysb.net or aelb@hotmail.com

Smoking Cessation: Smoking Cessation led by Tim Sweeney, tobacco treatment specialist, meets Mondays, 6 to 7 p.m., Athol Memorial Hospital’s conference room.

Al-Anon: Al-Anon is for family and friends of people with alcohol-related issues. The group meets Mondays, 7 p.m., Athol Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria.

Bernardston

Artus named to dean’s list: Cody J. Artus was named to the dean’s list for the fall 2013 semester at Westfield State University, where he is majoring in athletic training. He is the son of Sharyn and Timothy Artus of Bernardston.

Greenfield

‘Vet to Vet’: The RECOVER Project and the Recovery Learning Community offer “Vet to Vet” every Thursday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at 74 Federal St. This collaboration is for all veterans, regardless of discharge status to offer support when the civilian world is a challenge. For more information, contact Tim at 475-0226.

Fish Fry: Greenfield Lodge of Elks No. 1296 Fish Fry on Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., open to members and guests.

Family United Network: The Family United Network (FUN) is at 3½ Osgood St. Open hours are Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Contact Rachel Pariseau, Family United Network coordinator, at 774-4307, ext. 2, or email: Rpariseau@wmtcinfo.org.

McMillan placed on dean’s list: Jesse McMillan of Greenfield was placed on the dean’s list for the fall 2013 semester at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams. At MCLA, he serves as a third-year residential adviser, is president of the National English Honor Society and is an active member of the National Residence Hall Honorary. He is student teaching middle school English at Hoosac Valley Middle and High School. In the fall, he will begin graduate coursework at Western New England University.

Montague City

Helpful Programs at FCHCC: At Franklin County Home Care any plan of care starts with your needs. Home Care Services provide assistance with light homemaking, home-delivered meals, personal care, and adaptive equipment. Caregivers can take a break to de-stress with Home Care’s respite services. In addition, the Consumer Directed Care Program at FCHCC allows elders in need to select their own care-giver — perhaps a friend, neighbor or even a family member — who can be paid through this program (excludes spouses). For more information on either, visit: info@fchcc.org or call 773-5555 or 978-544-2259. Read more at: www.fchcc.org.

Northfield

Food Pantry: The community food pantry is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. The pantry is in the basement of Dickinson Memorial Library, 115 Main St. The pantry will be open this Saturday.

Benefit Concert: Emmalouise St. Amand, soprano, and Samantha Berry, pianist, will perform Bizet, Barber, Debussy and Brahms to benefit the Pioneer Valley Regional School Young Musicians’ Fund on Saturday, 7 p.m., Trinitarian Congregational Church, 147 Main St. St. Amand and Berry are seniors in the music program at Ithaca College. St. Amand grew up in Northfield and attended Pioneer Valley Regional School. She started this PVRS Young Musicians’ Fund on her own in appreciation of the encouragement she received while at PVRS to pursue music studies. Admission is free. Suggested donation, $5.

Orange

Cellar Closet Thrift Shop: The shop at Central Congregational Church, 93 South Main St., is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, through mid-May. Good used clothing for all ages, books, and household goods at reasonable prices.

Free Community Meal: Free Community Meal, offered every Friday night at 5:30 at Trinity Church, Severance Street.

Sunderland

Preschool story time: Preschool story time, Fridays, 11 a.m., in the Children’s Room of the Sunderland Public Library. These story/craft times are for children, ages 3 to 5 and their families/caregivers. Each story time is approximately 45 minutes in length and includes theme-related stores, songs, finger plays and crafts.

Country Breakfast: Sunderland Congregational Church will serve a Country Breakfast, Saturday, 7 to 10. Pancakes with maple syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries and beverage. One serving, adults, $5; all-you-can-eat, adults, $8. Children, $4.

Serendipity Shop: Serendipity Shop, Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Congregational Church basement. Men’s, women, children’s clothing, shoes and sneakers. Most items, $1. Men’s suits and all coats, $3. Women’s suits, $2. Donations accepted. Proceeds to benefit the church. Call 665-2890.

Peace Vigil: Peace Vigil, organized by members of the Justice and Peace Study group, Sunderland Congregational Church, every Saturday, 11 a.m. to noon, corner of routes 47 and 116, next to the church.

Turners Falls

Free community event: “Your Home and Family in an Emergency” is the title of the free community event on Saturday, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Greenfield Savings Bank, 282 Avenue A. Acting Capt. Kyle Cogswell of the Turners Falls Fire Dept. will be available to help you and your family avoid certain emergencies within your control, from fire safety in the kitchen to chemical fumes within your living space. Do your children know their escape routes? Where is their safe place to gather? Free handouts will be given as well as professional tips and updates. Free refreshment provided. Children especially are encouraged to attend.

Red Cross Blood Drive: American Red Cross Blood Drive, Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hallmark Institute of Photography, 241 Millers Falls Road. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-733-2767 or log onto: redcrossblood.org.

Franklin Area Survival Center: The Food Pantry & Thrift Store, hosted by staff and volunteers, is at 96 Fourth St., 863-9549. The Thrift Store is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Food Pantry is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The center is closed on Federal holidays. The Thrift Shop is open to the general public and helps finance its Food Pantry. In an emergency, such as a fire or flood, the center will supply needed clothing and linens, free of charge, also additional food to help the victims of a disaster.

Regional

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: The United Arc and Franklin County Home Care Corp. are sponsoring a support group for grandparents who are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren. A day and evening group is offered. The day group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 10 to 11:30, United Arc, 294 Avenue A. The evening group meets the fourth Thursday at 90 Federal St. (Community Action Family Center), Greenfield. Child care provided by the evening group. For more information, contact Rachel Lively, program coordinator, at 522-1212.

Free Writing Workshop: Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Dept. will offer a free writing workshop, “Spirit of the Written Word” for western Mass. residents touched by cancer. The 10-week workshop will take place Thursdays, March 13 to May 22, 6 to 8 p.m., at Artspace, 15 Mill St., Greenfield. Promote your own healing and experience the therapeutic benefits of group writing. No writing experience required; all sharing is voluntary and confidential. Limted to 12 participants; registration required. To register or for more information, contact Pam Roberts at 625-2402 or visit: pamro@aol.com. Information also available in the Oncology Dept. at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

Free Reiki sessions: Reiki for Breast Cancer Patients/Survivors in Franklin County, Saturday mornings, by appointment, 474 Main St., Suite 2, Greenfield. Reiki, an ancient and relaxing non-invasive therapy, enhances the body’s natural healing ability while calming the body, mind and spirit. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Mary Jessie Blazejewski, Reiki master/teacher, at 774-9927.

Senior Symposia: On two Thursdays, March 13 and 20, 2 to 4 p.m., William Fregosi, longtime Senior Symposium presenter, will present a special presentation titled “Mr. Shakespeare Goes to the Opera.” To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Fregosi will look at the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays have intrigued and inspired composers since opera began. Fregosi served for many years as technical coordinator for Theater Arts at M.I.T. and has lectured on opera from Honolulu to Boston. His new opera, “Anne Hutchison,” for which he and Fritz Bell wrote the libretto, premiered in Boston in January. This special symposium will be held at the Pushkin, Main and Federal streets, Greenfield, with entrance on Federal St. The cost is $20. To request a flyer or for registration and/or financial assistance information, leave a message on the Senior Symposia phone at 775-1661.

Eventide Singers: Eventide Singers offer songs of hope and healing for seriously or terminally ill people, their families and caregivers. The service is offered in homes, hospitals and care facilities, without charge. The music can be selected in response to spiritual preference. Eventide’s purpose is to provide a bed of supportive music on which a person may rest in harmony while in transition from this time to what is next to come. For more information and a YouTube video of the group, go to: www.eventidesingers.com or call Marcia Schuhle at 774-2335 or Joe Toritto at 774-5828.

Straight Spouse Support Group: This group is for individuals currently or once married to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender partners. It meets monthly in the region. For support and location, call Jane at 625-6636 or email: anenrosie48@yahoo.com or the Straight Spouse Network at www.straightspouse.org.

Counseling Referrals: The Social Work Therapy Referral Service offers free confidential referrals for individual, couple, family and group therapy, matched for specialty, location and insurance. This is a public service of the National Association of Social Workers. Call 1-800-242-9794.

Help the blind: Your car, truck or camper may be worth more as a donation than a trade in. Call the Massachusetts Association for the Blind at 1-888-613-2777 for details. This is a free tow, quick pick up and donations are tax deductible. Proceeds benefit blind and vision impaired persons in Massachusetts.

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