Check It Out: health briefs

  • In this Aug. 4, 2017, photo, volunteer Eileen Richards reads selections from area newspapers at Springfield-based Valley Eye Radio. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

Published: 10/17/2017 10:06:34 AM

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to

YMCA to hold dance fundraiser

NORTHAMPTON — The Hampshire Regional YMCA is hosting its annual Dance Fitness Party in Pink Oct. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Y gymnasium, 286 Prospect St., Northampton. Participants will get a workout with the Y’s Zumba instructors and help support LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, an exercise and wellness program benefiting local survivors of all types of cancer.

Kid-friendly dances will kick off the party from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Those who wear pink will be entered into a raffle for a Northampton Chamber of Commerce gift card.

The cost to attend is $10 per person, $15 per family. Registration is available at the YMCA Welcome Center. Registrations also will be welcomed on the day of the event.

Proceeds will help keep LIVESTRONG at the YMCA going. It is a 16-week research-based program offered in 600 communities throughout the country. It is designed to help participants regain strength, overcome fatigue and broaden their support network following a cancer diagnosis.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is free to participants. However, the operation of each session costs $600 per person. In addition to receiving two, small group training sessions per week, participants and their household family members receive a free, three-month YMCA membership.

Valley Eye Radio gets local grants

SPRINGFIELD — Valley Eye Radio has received three local grants to help expand its broadcast services for the vision impaired. They are: $10,000 from Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; $9,700 from The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc.; and $2,000 from Bank of America/US Trust, Horace A. Moses Charitable Trust.

The money will help the station go beyond reading newspaper articles for its vision impaired listeners and get out into the community to gather information itself, Executive Director Barbara Loh said in a prepared statement. The latest on housing options, safety tips, medical insurance plans and enrollment, elder law, veterans services and benefits are all areas where the station hopes to broaden its coverage.

“We need to ‘take’ our listeners to events in their communities if they are unable to attend — at their local senior centers or town halls or special events — through the use of 21st century technology and remote broadcasting,” Loh said. “We take for granted that everyone is able to read and has mobility,” she added.

“We are so thankful and grateful for the community support we are receiving from Beveridge, Community Foundation, Moses, and also from WGBY and NEPR who provide us in kind support every day to be able to bring our broadcasts to those who are so vulnerable without us,” she said.

Valley Eye Radio, formerly Valley Radio Reading Service, is a nonprofit organization with approximately 50 volunteers. It is the only accessible broadcasting service for those who can no longer read independently. Listeners use special radios to receive broadcasts or are able to listen on the internet or with their mobile phones.

To learn more and to receive one of the radios specially programmed for a listener’s location, visit or call 413-747-7337.

Free program to be held on breast density

AMHERST — A free educational event, “Breast Density — What does it mean and what can I do?,” will be held today, Oct. 17, at UMass-Amherst.

Attendees will learn about breast density, screening and imaging options for it, and about research on breast cancer, estrogens and the environment.

Refreshments will be served at the event, which is sponsored by the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research and the Baystate Health Breast Network.

The program will begin at 5:30 in the UMass Life Sciences Laboratory, room S330/340, 240 Thatcher Road, Amherst. To register, contact Sue-Ann Hilton via phone at 413-794-9556 or via email at

Blood donation opportunities

To schedule an appointment use the free Blood Donor App at or call 1-800-733-2767.

Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton

Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Southampton Town Hall, 210 College Hwy, Southampton

Oct. 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Smith College/Campus Center, Elm Street, Northampton

Oct. 23, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Cooley Dickinson  Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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