Around Amherst: Proclamation, flag salute LGBTQ+ residents during June

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 05-26-2023 11:27 AM

AMHERST — Amherst officials are recognizing and honoring LGBTQ+ residents and affirming their civil rights in June, both through a Town Council-adopted proclamation and the raising of the Progress Pride flag outside Town Hall.

The flag will be raised on the United Nations flagpole on June 2 at 4 p.m. and remain up through June 30.

The proclamation, sponsored in the community by the Amherst Regional High School Sexuality and Gender Alliance, reads, in part, “Amherst recognizes the important contributions of its LGBTQ+ residents to the town’s history, culture, economy, and civic life” and “we affirm our support for our LGBTQ+ residents and stand with them to protect their civil rights and ability to live openly without fear.”

District 5 Councilor Ana Devlin Gauthier, who co-sponsored the proclamation, said it takes on a different meaning each year, noting there is a persistent struggle to allow people to live their lives as their authentic selves.

“Those of us who are in the LGBTQ community or who have loved ones in the LGTBQ community know there is no such thing as a bubble of protection from hate or bias,” Devlin Gauthier said, referencing the recent allegations that middle school counselors didn’t intervene as bullying was taking place against trans students.

Devlin Gauthier said to residents, visitors and especially youth, “we will fight like hell for you and alongside you.”

“We will continue to fight, continue to love, and continue to care for our community,” Devlin Gauthier said.

Memorial Day

The Town Council also adopted a proclamation for Memorial Day, urging all residents “to recognize the sacrifice of past residents and observe this day in remembrance of them” on Monday.

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The day will begin with a parade from the North Common near Town Hall to War Memorial Pool on Triangle Street beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Once at the memorial, where ceremonies have been held since the 1950s, Veterans Agent Steve Connor, Town Manager Paul Bockelman and Council President Lynn Griesemer will speak, and the Amherst Regional Chorale will perform.

In Hadley, the American Legion Post 271 is holding its annual Memorial Day parade on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Route 9, ending at the General Hooker Monument on the West Street common.

Human Rights Youth Heroism Awards

The Amherst Human Rights Commission is soliciting nominations for the Human Rights Youth Heroism Awards, an annual celebration of Amherst area youth, to honor them for compassion and concern for neighbors.

In the 17th year of the awards, the commission is looking for young people, both as individuals and groups, who have demonstrated acts of kindness, usefulness, social courage or community service within their families, their schools or the community.

This year's Heroes community picnic will be held in collaboration with the Old vs. Young Basketball Tournament at the Mill River Recreation Area on June 11 and is also sponsored by Amherst Recreation; Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service; the Julius Ford Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community; and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Contact Assistant DEI Director Jennifer Moyston at 413-259-0360 for more information.

Yaffe farewell

Wildwood School Principal Nick Yaffe will be feted June 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the school’s playground for his 13 years of leadership, as well as his 20 years at the former Mark’s Meadow School.

The Expandable Brass Band will perform and Yaffe will lead a final Wildwood parade.

Officer honored

Amherst police Officer Dominick Corsetti was recently honored for his role in saving the life of a 2-day-old child suffering cardiac arrest in March. “Due to his quick response, his incredible performance under stress, and his quality CPR, that baby is alive and thriving today,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

The recognition came at the Hampshire County EMS banquet where Corsetti was honored with a SAVE award along with Amherst paramedics Matt Chipman, Stone Koury, Chris Richeidie and Dylan Tunnel.

Chamber welcomes professional fellow

Alejandra Fuentes of Honduras recently joined the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as a professional fellow, part of an economic empowerment program for emerging leaders.

Fuentes was appointed by an Institute of Training and Development exchange through the U.S. State Department. She will be in the position until June 2.

Fuentes is working with businesses on the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Evaluation. She has also attended events including a multi-chamber gathering at Cooley Dickinson Health Care, met with state Rep. Mindy Domb and participated in the Launching Women Series led by Leslie Saulsberry.

Meetings

TUESDAY: Finance Committee, 5:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: Elementary School Building Site Subcommittee and Design Subcommittee, 9 a.m. and noon.

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