Monday shorts: Looking back, an artsy milestone and helping hands

  • Emergency service workers and local residents gathered at the Montague Public Safety Complex for a memorial service on Sept. 11. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Published: 9/16/2019 1:18:01 PM

Here are brief thoughts on some of the recent newsmakers in Franklin County and the North Quabbin area.

18 years later ...

It’s safe to say that the horror of 9/11 is forever etched into our memories. But when the anniversary rolls around each year, those memories re-emerge a little stronger, and we take to holding ceremonies in honor of those who lost their lives that day.

Local First Responders are also participating in creative forms of remembrance, such as signing up for the National Stair Climb to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

On Sunday, Conway Ambulance Director Gemma VanderHeld and Team Hilltown343 accepted the challenge, climbing 2,200 steps at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. — equivalent to the 110 stories of each World Trade Center tower that fell on that fateful day.

Simultaneously, members of the Greenfield Police and Fire departments participated in a stair climb of their own, this time at our local Planet Fitness.

We commend VanderHeld, her team and everyone else who took to honoring the victims of 9/11, a day that we all vowed never to forget.

Ja’Duke expansion thrilling for arts community

Congratulations to Kimberly Williams and her father, Nick Waynelovich, of Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts on completing, in their words, “a dream that started in September of 2017.”

At long last, the local performing arts group, preschool and driving school has completed a significant expansion years in the making. The highlight, according to Waynelovich, is the 50-foot deep, 100-foot wide stage that’s the largest in Franklin County.

That’s certainly something to applaud. We’re all for investing in the arts, including venues at which to view art in its various forms.

What’s just as wonderful is the team effort the expansion involved, with Franklin County Technical School students landscaping the facilities and installing the wiring. Is there any way a learning experience could be more meaningful?

Supporting NELCWIT a worthy endeavor

Greenfield Community College President Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez is keeping herself busy these days. Not only does she head up the college as its 10th president, but she has joined the board of directors of the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT).

“The work that NELCWIT does is very close to my heart and speaks to empowering people in situations that I have found myself in more than once in my lifetime,” Salomon-Fernandez said. “I’m delighted to be able to join this very dedicated board and to help support the staff in advancing the mission.”

We thank Salomon-Fernandez for devoting one of life’s greatest commodities — time — to benefit an organization that does such important work in our community, serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence and, no doubt, changing lives in the process. It looks like NELCWIT is well-positioned with her helping hand.


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