Check it out: Quit smoking series offered in Northampton for those 55 and older

Monday, March 20, 2017

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com.

Quit smoking series offered for 55-plus

A free six-week series, “How to Quit Smoking,” is being offered for those 55 and older on Thursdays, from 1 to 3 p.m., beginning April 6 at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton.

Topics to be addressed include:

Understanding more about when and why you smoke;

The pros and cons of quitting;

New ways to quit and stay quit;

Coping strategies

The group will be led by Sandra Mandel, MSW, who has been trained at the Center for Tobacco Treatment, Research and Training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and is certified as a facilitator of the American Lung Association’s cessation program, “Freedom from Smoking.” She is also a former smoker.

To register contact the Northampton Senior Center at 587-1228.

Autism conference set for April

The 27th annual Autism Conference will be held April 11 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The keynote speakers are Dr. Karen Levine, who will discuss her book, “Attacking Anxiety, A Step-by-Step Guide to an Engaging Approach to Treating Anxiety and Phobias in Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities,” and Ron Suskind who will talk about his family biography, “Life, Animated,” which was recently adapted to a documentary shown nationally and profiled on the news program, “20/20.”

General registration is $125. For a parent, caregiver or individual on the spectrum, the cost is $75.

A limited number of scholarships is available at $35 each. Call Sherri Schon for more information at 529-2428, ext.110.

Bingo to benefit Cancer Society

Team Henshaw Water Droplets will hold a bingo fundraiser April 2 for its participation in this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The games will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Elks Lodge #997 in Florence.

The donation is $12 for adults and $7 for children 18 years and under.

For more information contact Jennifer Hayden at tigereyes6905@netzero.com or at 824- 9998.

Suicide awareness walk planned

Depression, anxiety and the risk of suicide among college students is the second leading cause of death in young adults. Students and faculty at Western New England University in Springfield invite the public to join them April 8 in the annual University Out of the Darkness Campus Walk to support those struggling in silence.

Organizers hope to attract more than 250 people to participate in the fundraiser which starts at 10 a.m. on the lawn of Commonwealth Hall. The event supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) local and national education and advocacy programs, and the goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025.

The Western New England event is one of more than 125 walks being held nationwide this year. Last year’s event in Springfield drew 180 participants and raised over $5,000. This year’s goal is to raise $8,000. Register at www.afsp.org/wne.

Blood donation opportunities 

Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., UMass Amherst Cance Hall, 191 Fearing St., Amherst

Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., University of Massachusetts Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way

Thursday, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Holy Family Parish, 29 Sugarloaf St., South Deerfield

Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Frontier Regional School, 113 Main St., South Deerfield

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Chestnut Hill Community School, 59 State St. Belchertown

March 27, 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., University of Massachusetts North Apartments Bldg D, Eastman Lane, Amherst