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Talk of the Towns

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, meets 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.

Greenfield

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

Family Holiday Concert: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Family Holiday Concert, sponsored by Greenfield Cooperative Bank, will take place Saturday, 7 p.m., Greenfield High School. This year, children from the elementary, middle and high school choirs will join the PVS orchestra and chorus in a program of perennial holiday favorites. The concert will be conducted by PVS music director Paul Phillips and PVS chorus director Jonathan Harvey. The Greenfield Elementary and Middle School choir director is Elizabeth Markofski and the high school chorus director is David DeBoer. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors; student/child, $6. Tickets available online at: pvsoc.org or by calling 773-3664.

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.

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.

Orange

Holiday Open House: Friends of the Orange Public Libraries invite the community to a Holiday Open House on Saturday. The event will be held at both Wheeler Memorial Library and Moore-Leland Library in North Orange from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. The libraries are also offering holiday gift shopping opportunities. Gift-quality used books are on sale with prices beginning at $1. Dean’s Beans products (coffee, hot chocolate and java drops (chocolate covered coffee beans) are available. Proceeds from sales fund library programs, museum passes and other library needs.

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.

Shelburne Falls

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.

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

Historical Background Segments: Ever wonder how and why different landmarks are named? On Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., John Furbish will present four local historical background segments: What is the deal with the changing locations for Ed’s Barber Shop? What mysteries does the Moltenbrey Hotel hold? How has Our Lady of Czestochowa collected such magnificent art treasures? and what happened at the Yazwinski dairy farm back in 1675 that sticks today? Furbish has done lots of research and will provide handouts on any of one’s favorites. Call Christina or Kerri at 863-4316 to secure a seat.

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

Bloodmobile to visit BFMC: Baystate Health Blood Donor Mobile will host a blood drive at Baystate Franklin Medical Center on Monday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the parking lot behind the hospital’s main building (enter through Sanderson Street parking lot). All blood types are needed. Eligible blood donors will receive a ticket to Bright Nights, the annual holiday lighting celebration in Forest Park, Springfield. Appointments and pre-registration is recommended; however, walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, contact the Blood Donor Center at 413-794-4600 or email: Katie.schebel@baystatehealth.org. Indicate time you wish to donate, your birth date, phone number and whether or not this will be your first donation within Baystate Health.

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.

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.

Free Hearing Screening: Free hearing screening at Baystate Rehabilitation Care at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, 48 Sanderson St. For more information or to schedule a screening, call 773-2227.

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.

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