Weekend holiday goings-on around the area

  • This image released by NBC shows a scene from the 1966 holiday classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," airing Dec. 3 and Dec. 25 on NBC. (NBC via AP) AP—AP

Published: 12/7/2019 2:42:52 PM
Holiday celebration at Elks Lodge

NORTHAMPTON — Beginning at noon on Sunday, Dec. 8, the Northampton Lodge of the Elks No. 997 will host a holiday celebration. The event will feature lunch, face painting, music, cookie decorating, an appearance by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and a clown performance by Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services Director Steve Connor.

The day will also feature Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, D-Northampton, and Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, dressed as elves. 

Those who attend are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy, which will be distributed to children in need via Community Action Pioneer Valley and the Dunphy Toy Fund.

Easthampton to celebrate Whobalation

EASTHAMPTON — On Sunday, Dec. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Millside Park under the band shell, Easthampton will celebrate Whobalation for the seventh time.

It’s rumored that Easthampton was the inspiration for Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” with the mountain where the Grinch lives being inspired by Mount Tom.

In recognition of this, Whobalation is a celebration of the character whose “heart grew three sizes.”

Put on by the Easthampton Community Center, it helps raise toys that are distributed to children in need during the holiday season. The event will feature the Grinch and Santa Claus exchanging gifts, which they will then place under the tree for children in need. Attendees are then encouraged to place unwrapped toys under the tree that they have brought, that will then be distributed to needy children.

There will also be hot chocolate, candy, and a sing-along of the “Whoville Song” with the assistance of a DJ.

Shutesbury tree lighting

SHUTESBURY — Shutesbury Community Church will hold a community tree lighting and visit by Santa Claus on the Town Common at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

The event will include a carol sing inside the church, the arrival of Santa, lighting of the tree on the green space and children’s visits with Santa. Cocoa, coffee and refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact Pastor Mark Ellis at 413-349-8444 or shutesburychurch@gmail.com.

Giving Tree wrap-up

HOLYOKE — On Thursday, Dec. 12, Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal will present donated, wrapped gifts to representatives from four area nonprofit agencies. The celebration will wrap up the college’s month long Giving Tree campaign, starting at 10 a.m. in the People’s Bank Conference Center on campus at 303 Homestead Ave. The gifts have been tagged with color coded tags denoting the preferred age of the gift recipient.

“This is an amazing tradition and always brings out the best of HCC,” President Christina Royal said. “The need is so great, as evidenced by the number of gift tags on these trees. Every year I am really blown away by the generosity of our community here at the college.”

Skate with a senator

WESTFIELD — State Sen. Don Humason will return to the Amelia Park Ice Arena from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, for his annual free ice skating party.

“With the holiday season in full stride, I invite you to bring your family and friends to join me and my family,” Humason said. “I ask that you help those in need by bringing one canned good or nonperishable food item that we will donate to a local food pantry.”

He says the tradition started years ago as a way to give back with a family-friendly way to celebrate the holidays. Skates can be rented at the event for $3 a pair.

Amherst police toy drive

AMHERST — A holiday gift drive hosted by Amherst police will run through Dec. 20.

Unwrapped toys, books and other gifts and gift cards, for infants and children, can be dropped off at the 111 Main St. police station. From there, they will be donated to the Jessie’s House shelter for homeless families, the Bridge Family Resource Center and the Amherst Survival Center.

The drive is coordinated by Detective Marcus Humber, who can be reached at 259-3355 or humberm@amherstma.gov.

Church proclamation

AMHERST — The Town Council recently issued a proclamation in support of the Goodwin A.M.E. Zion Church, the traditionally African-American congregation that is aiming to renovate its historic Woodside Avenue church.

The proclamation states that councilors “express our appreciation for the Goodwin Memorial AME Zion congregation, and its vital roles in contributing to the diversity, history, and cultural heritage that is so important to the town, and proclaim our support for their efforts to restore their historic church building.”

An October fundraiser brought in more than $30,000 that will be used to rehabilitate a furnace and fix the roof at the more than century-old building.

The church is also home to the Amherst Area Gospel Choir, the best-known ministry of Goodwin, which performs at many community events.

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