Area briefs: Town caucus set in Plainfield; HCC president honored; spring flower show; and more

Published: 03-08-2023 4:08 PM

Town caucus set in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD — The town caucus for the nomination of candidates for elected office will be held Wednesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 348 Main St.

Nominations will be accepted for the following positions, with incumbents:

Board of assessors, Daniel LaChance; Board of Health, Ronald Weeks; Select Board, Patrick Williamson; library trustee, Donna Monroe; School Committee, Keith Patenaude; moderator, Brian Hawthorne; tree warden, Robert Mellstrom.

All positions are for three years, with the exception of moderator and tree warden, which are for one year. All incumbents except Patrick Williamson are seeking re-election.

President of Holyoke Community College honored as Woman of the Year

BELCHERTOWN — The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley will award its first-ever Woman of the Year Award to Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College, on Monday.

The club is a member of Zonta International, an organization that seeks to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy. Each year, the community celebrates International Women’s Day recognizing women for their achievements.

This year, the group will award Royal, the first openly gay and bi-racial person to serve as president of HCC, for her leadership and innovation in meeting the needs of vulnerable populations.

The dinner event honoring Royal will take place at 5:30 p.m., where Royal will be presented with a cash award to be made out to a charity/project of her choice. Those unable to attend are encouraged to send a donation to be added to the cash award or to be donated to the Zonta Foundation for Women in Royal’s honor.

Holyoke in documentary, part of city’s 150-years celebration

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HOLYOKE — “ViewPoint,” a short-form documentary series hosted by actor Dennis Quaid, recently featured a video portrait of Holyoke.

The segment showcases three of the city’s longstanding institutions — the Holyoke Children’s Museum, the Volleyball Hall of Fame and the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside — and touches on Holyoke’s history and the city’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

The release of the video coincided with the observance of Holyoke’s 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial. Events being planned include a dedication ceremony in April, the preparation of a time capsule, and a Grand Gala Ball in the fall. The city is looking for more volunteers and support from businesses and organizations to celebrate the city’s sesquicentennial.

The “ViewPoint” Holyoke segment can be accessed at:

Scholarship opportunity for Polish students

The Polish Junior League of Massachusetts is accepting applications for scholarships from college students of Polish heritage.

The Polish Junior League is an organization comprised of women from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York who strive to keep their Polish heritage alive through meetings featuring speakers with shared interests in Polish culture and traditions.

Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate students, and one scholarship will be granted to a graduate or returning student. Selection is based on financial need and academic achievement.

Application information and forms can be found at The deadline for receipt of application materials is May 1.

Peace Development Fund hosts talk to benefit local grant fund

NORTHAMPTON — The Peace Development Fund will kick off the year with its first in-person Peace Talk in Florence on March 22. The talk will feature local grantees of the Pioneer Valley Community Advised Fund (PVCAF).

PDF is a human rights and social justice foundation. Last year, the nonprofit granted more than $1.3 million to grassroots organizations working on criminal justice reform and decarceration efforts around the country.

The upcoming Peace Talk event will highlight the work of Decarcerate Western Mass and Voices from Inside, two current and former grantees of the PVCAF, which supports local organizers who are challenging injustice, building power, and creating new community structures anchored in social justice.

The event will take place in the Rocky Hill Cohousing Common at 5:30 p.m. on March 22.

51st annual spring flower show kicks off at Mount Holyoke College

SOUTH HADLEY — The Spring Flower Show at the Botanic Garden at Mount Holyoke College is underway and will continue through March 19. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the vibrant colors and fragrances of the floral scene, and to also stroll through other parts of the greenhouse complex.

“Thousands of floriferous, flamboyant and fragrant springtime favorites — tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and more — will be displayed amidst and set against a background of a diverse array of plans from the Botanic Garden’s indoor permanent living collection,” said Thomas Clark, director and curator of the garden.

The Spring Flower Show will be held in the Talcott Greenhouse on campus and is free and open to the public.