Suggested Events for January 28 – February 3, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“[Last year] was the first year my three year old participated in the Valentine’s Day swap & we had a blast making and receiving our cards in the mail. This site truly enhances what western Massachusetts is all about community and our great state!” – Summer Mikaitis (Pittsfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families Events

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again! Deadline to sign-up is Wed. Feb 1st!

Saturday, February 4, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, you can craft handmade Valentines with the Easthampton Parents Center. Then we’ll enjoy special guests, DandyLions Garden, a musical act for kids and inner children alike. We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Open House:Jan 28

The Common School: Community, collaboration, creativity, social justice, inclusivity, environmental education – Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 28, from 10am-12noon in Amherst. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 140 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 29

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 29th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church on 130 Pine Street in Florence and is a half-day preschool with the option of STEAM focused extended day hours. Come find out about their new expanded hours starting next fall while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information, visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House: Jan 29

Sunday, January 29th: Open House from 2-3:30pm at Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education (Fort Hill). Visit welcoming classroom environments, chat with teachers, and find out more about the Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum. Providing engaging, intentional early experiences that support children in becoming lifelong learners, joyful investigators, and thoughtful citizens of the world. Fort Hill has dedicated visual arts and music teachers and studios, an emphasis on natural materials, and classroom experiences that nurture joy, curiosity, deep thinking, and imagination. Consider joining the Fort Hill family! Actively accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for 2017-2018. Contact forthill@smith.edu for information.

Open House: Feb 4

The Campus School at Smith College. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, February 4, from 9:30am-11:30 am at the school on Prospect Street. Tour the school. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information, contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Feb 5

Sunday, Feb. 5th: The Center School Admissions Open House, 2pm-4pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire and Franklin counties. Prospective families are invited to explore the school on Sunday, Feb. 5th for a Birds-of-Prey themed Admissions Open House. Come early to enjoy a live Birds of Prey presentation with raptor rehabilitator Tom Ricardi from 1pm-2pm. Then, classrooms will be open and teachers will be offer bird-related activities for kids of all ages. Light refreshments will be available. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Feb 20-24

Looking for something fun and creative for your kids during the February break? Check out Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp with Sarah Marcus and Felicia Sloin! This 1-week camp runs Monday, February 20 – Friday, February 24 from 9am-3pm and will feature theater games, singing, drumming, movement, and fun times with creative friends for students ages 7-11. Valley Performance Playground’s February Vacation Camp takes place at the Northampton Karate Studio, 320 Riverside Drive, in Florence. Cost: $250. Registration Deadline Feb 1. For more information, email sarahlaurenmarcus@gmail.com or visit online at www.facebook.com/valleyperformanceplayground.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 28 – February 3, 2017

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Hilltown Families Hosts a Virtual Food Drive

Hilltown Families Tornado Relief Virtual Food Drive

"Virtual food drives are online fund-raising campaigns that still have the exciting hands-on feel of a canned food drive. With the point and click of a mouse, you can choose which food products you which to donate and how many. Another benefit is that when you make a large donation, you no longer have to worry about carrying heavy boxes or bags of food to The Food Bank. Instead, your donation is delivered to The Food Bank instantaneously." - The Food Bank

In support of families affected by the June 1st tornadoes and the work of The Food Bank of Western MA’s tornado relief efforts, Hilltown Families is holding a VIRTUAL FOOD DRIVE, an online fund-raising campaign with the feel and excitement of a hands-on food drive.

While canned food drives have many terrific benefits and are great ways to bring families together in a community gathering space to support Western MA residents in need, there are many benefits of a virtual food drive too, including: cost savings to The Food Bank in staff time; no extra driving for participants; and accessible to families near and far who want to support food drives in our region.

The Food Bank of Western MA writes:

“The tornadoes that took place here in Western MA on June 1st, 2011 left a 39-mile path of destruction through the most populated county in The Food Bank’s service area. Hundreds of families and individuals were left with severely damaged or destroyed homes, thousands more were left without electricity for days, and the tragic storms claimed at least three lives.

“Many people are interested in conducting canned food drives because of the hands-on aspect of physically bringing non-perishable food items to The Food Bank. While we greatly appreciate these types of donations, there are other ways to donate that have more of an impact. Every canned food drive costs The Food Bank in staff time to sort and redistribute the food that is donated. An easy solution to this is to conduct a virtual food drive… allow(ing) you to stretch your dollar much further towards helping hungry families.”

For every $1 donated through the virtual food drive equals $13 worth of food distributed to families in need (the equivalent of nearly 10 meals!). In other words, your $1 dollar donated through our virtual food drive to The Food Bank of Western MA will feed 10 people a much needed meal!

Please take a moment to participate in the Food Bank of Western MA’s tornado relief efforts by donating to the Hilltown Families Virtual Food Drive.

This Sunday is the Hilltown Families Birthday Bash Benefit from 4-7pm!

Dinner, Dessert, and Family Entertainment
to Support Hilltown Families
Sunday, April 10th ♦ 4-7pm

Join us on Sunday, April 10th from 4-7pm! Suggested donation: $10-$25 per person. (Poster design: Tina Cornell)

Join us this Sunday, April 10th from 4-7pm to celebrate Hilltown Families 5th anniversary as we enter our sixth year!

This community building event is a benefit for Hilltown Families, hosted by Bread Euphoria in Haydenville, MA.

There will be live music with family musician Mister G!

Bread Euphoria will be serving up pizza and cake, along with a cash bar!

Seth Gregory will be on the mic as our special MC! 

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit will be on display. 

Door prizes will be given out at the end of the evening, including: Tracy Grammer & Jim Henry and The Nields in Shelburne Falls on April 17th; movie passes to the baby-friendly movie screenings at both the Amherst Cinema and Pleasant Street Theater; and fabulous family CD’s & DVD’s!

A suggested donation of $10-$25 per person will graciously be received at the door.

Donation of $25 or more will receive one of our collectible t-shirts from our very first community building event, the Hilltown Family Variety Show’s 1st Annual T-Shirt Review Mini-Fest and Ice Cream Social, held back in 2007 (designed by our very own, Seth Gregory!) – while supplies last!

Bread Euphoria is located at 206 Main St. (Route 9). Just over/before the Northampton line. www.BreadEuphoria.comSee ya there!

Join Us! Hilltown Families Birthday Benefit Bash!

Hilltown Families Birthday Benefit Bash
Dinner, Dessert, and Family Entertainment
Sunday, April 10th ♦ 4-7pm

Come celebrate Hilltown Families 5th Anniversary at a fundraising benefit at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville on Sunday, April 10th from 4-7pm!  Spend a celebratory evening with your family and your community, enjoying dinner, dessert, and a family concert with Mister G, all while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Bread Euphoria will be serving up slices of their gourmet pizza made fresh on their delicious sourdough crust, and birthday cake for dessert, while supplies last, along with a cash bar (beer/wine). Suggested donation: $10 – $25 per person.

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit will be on display in the Andrew Quient Corridor Gallery at Bread Euphoria during the celebration.  All images are for sale and net proceeds also go to benefit Hilltown Families!

PIZZA ♦ CAKE ♦ CONCERT ♦ ART

Pizza & Cake

Bread Euphoria Cafe & Bakery in Haydenville, MABread Euphoria owners, Mark and Geri Pollard, like to keep things simple. They never compromise the quality or purity of their ingredients. Most of their breads do not use commercial yeast, preferring the flavor provided by natural starters and a long fermentation. They use organic and locally grown ingredients whenever possible, and all of their meats are natural and roasted in-house. Soups, sauces, dressings and accompaniments are made fresh daily from scratch. They pride themselves on the variety of their products, from beautifully prepared standards like baguettes or croissants to dynamic new combinations in their cakes, pizzas, sandwiches and scones.

Belonging to a community of small farms and locally-owned food producers, Mark and Geri are proud to be part of their local food culture, providing  families with delicious sandwiches, pizza, breads, baked goods, and seasonal specials that are both great-tasting and nutritious. 206 Main St. (Route 9). Just over/before the Northampton line. www.BreadEuphoria.com

Family Concert

Mister G will perform a fun family concert beginning at 5pm. Over the past year, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) has performed with Dan Zanes in Northampton, and for kids in Europe and Latin America. He closed out 2010 with two shows at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Closer to home, Mister G played headlining sets at the Green River Festival, The River Meltdown and at the Hilltown Spring Festival this May. Winner of the first songwriting scholarship in the history of Berklee College of Music, Ben spent 20 years touring internationally as a bandleader and solo artist before getting his Masters in Elementary Education at Smith College in 2008. As Mister G, he has led innovative songwriting workshops in settings as varied as Sunnyside Preschool, Dana Farber Cancer Clinic, the 92nd St. Y, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the Smith College Campus School. www.MisterGSongs.com

In the Gallery

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit features images of life and landscapes in western Massachusetts and moves to the Andrew Quient Corridor Gallery at Bread Euphoria where images in the exhibit will be available for sale as a fundraiser for Hilltown Families during the Birthday Benefit Bash. Featuring work by photographer and Hilltown Families’ founder, Sienna Wildfield, all images in the exhibit have been featured on HilltownFamilies.org over the years and net proceeds from the sale of images benefit the organization.

Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit is supported in part by grants from local Cultural Councils in Ashfield, Buckland, Chesterfield and Cummington — all local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Volunteers Wanted:
Want to be a part of this family fundraising event?
Sign up here.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: ArtSpark at the Garden House

ArtSpark: Dance Party & Auction
Saturday, March 26th, 2011 @ 7m
at Look Park Garden House in Florence

Calling all grown-ups ready to get their groove on for a good cause! Hilltown Families and Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School (HCCPS) are offering a pair of free tickets to ArtSpark, the HCCPS’s annual benefit dance party and auction at  Look Park’s Garden House on Saturday March 26th at 7pm. Proceeds from the event benefit HCCPS. Deadline to enter to win is 03/23/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT ARTSPARK

ArtSpark is the annual benefit gala of the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School (HCCPS). This year’s fun event features an 80s theme, great music and dancing, and delicious food from Bread Euphoria. The silent and live auction is one of the Valley’s best, with items at all price points, from local organic food to a glorious weekend getaway, one-of-a-kind handmade furniture to local artisan crafts. So dust off your Ray-Bans, dig out those leg warmers and come Rock the Casbah in your Raspberry Beret in the beautiful Garden House space at Look Park in Florence, MA.

ABOUT THE HILLTOWN COOPERATIVE CHARTER SCHOOL SCHOOL

Founded in 1995, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School serves 165 children in grades K through 8 from the hilltowns and the Pioneer Valley. Students use experiential, hands-on activities, the expressive arts and interdisciplinary studies to foster critical thinking skills and a joy of learning. Parents, staff and community members are all part of a school cooperative that guides and supports the academic program. For more information, please call 413.268.3421 or visit www.hilltowncharter.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of free tickets to ArtSpark, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual benefit dance party and auction at Look Park’s Garden House on Saturday March 26th at 7pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES HAS CONNECTED YOUR FAMILY WITH LOCAL SCHOOL EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE)Must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL IN THE EMAIL FIELD BELOW (we never share your email address).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 03/23/11 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go.  ArtSpark is a fun parents’ night out that supports one of our local public school. Tickets are $15 each, or $25 for two, available in advance at the school or local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery. More info, call 268.3421.

Play Ball! A Home Run for the Greenfield Minor League Baseball

Play Ball! To Raise Funds for Artspace & the Greenfield Minor League Baseball

Win or lose, we love our teams and cheer till our throats are dry for the kids who pour out their hearts to little league baseball. (Photo credit: Reynolds & Burden)

Artspace in Greenfield, MA will host a opening reception for Play Ball!, an exhibit of photography by Beth Reynolds and Thom Burden of Northfield on Saturday, November 20th from 4-5:30pm. This photography exhibit will bring to life the Greenfield Minor League Baseball 2010 season around Lunt Fields in Greenfield, MA.

Local photographers Beth Reynolds and Thom Burden photographed on and off the fields to create memorable images of this timeless game. This exhibit is sponsored by the photographers and net proceeds will be split 50/50 between Greenfield Minor League Baseball and Artspace.

The exhibit will be on display in Artspace’s gallery from November 15th to December 17th, 2010, from 1-6pm (M-F). The Reception is open to the public free of charge. Artspace is located at 15 Mill Street, Greenfield MA.  For more info call 772-6811 or info@franklyarts.com.

Bread and Books Benefit Hilltown Libraries

Bread and Books at Bread Euphoria: A Fundraising Benefit for the Williamsburg Libraries

Bread & Books, a benefit for the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Join local writers and readers for good food and good conversation on Monday, November 8th, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bread Euphoria, in Haydenville, MA to support the Meekins and Haydenville libraries. Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends, on a cold autumn evening for Bread and Books, a fundraising event.

Find out what Patricia Maclachlan, Ann Turner, Ellen Wittlinger, Rochelle Wildfong, Erica Verillo, Jack Barry and Jim Cahillane love to read. Talk with them about their books, your books and more books! Come to Bread and Books!

Do you have a beloved book that you read again and again? Is there a special book that you read to your child or grandchild each night? Have you ever wondered if your favorite author has a favorite book?

Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Bring your favorite book and be among the first people to have your picture taken with your all-time favorite book and inaugurate the dynamic “Williamsburg Reads” portraits that will be on display in the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA.

This fundraising evening with our community authors will benefit the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. Seating is limited.  Neighbors are ready to help with rides so everyone who wants to can come. For information call: 268-7472 or email ddarienzo@me.com.

Northampton Parents Center Turns 25!

Northampton Parents Center
25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert
Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Jay Mankita is a touring songwriter, an internationally recognized recording artists and a local dad. Join him on Saturday, October 16th at a fundraising concert for the Northampton Parents Center. Click on flyer to see larger image.

Northampton Parents Center is having a 25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert with Putumayo recording artist, Jay Mankita, Saturday, October 16th, at 4 pm in the upstairs of Edwards Church.  Everyone is welcome – the whole community is invited! A sliding scale donation is suggested, but  not required.  Please come celebrate music for the whole family with the Northampton Parents Center!

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON PARENTS CENTER

Northampton Parents Center is a nonprofit cooperative drop-in site for children (birth to kindergarten) and their caregivers. Since 1985, Northampton Parents Center (NPC) has provided a safe, nurturing environment for families with young children to socialize. Open Monday through Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 am, mid September to late May. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street. Generously supported by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Edwards Church, and partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care administered by Collaborative for Educational Services and Northampton Public Schools. www.northamptonparentscenter.org

It Takes a Village is Serving Up Soup to Raise Funds

Maureen Shea of Cummington, MA writes:

Family-friendly fundraiser in Cummington to support It Takes a Village. Click to see larger image.

I’m wearing my ‘It Takes a Village‘ hat here to let you know about our fundraiser on Saturday, September 25th. ‘It Takes a Village’ matches a volunteer with a family for weekly home visits for the first three months after a baby is born. In the ten months since we began, we have served fourteen families with a roster of over twenty volunteers. Our fundraiser, called Soup, will take place at the Cummington Community House from 5-8pm, and we hope to raise $500 to reimburse our volunteers for travel and childcare costs while visiting their Village families. At Soup, several Village volunteers will be serving delicious soups made from the bounty of their gardens. Bring your own bowl! Buy a raffle ticket to win a beautiful bowl made by a local potter! There will also be an activity table for kids to make pinch pots that we will glaze, fire and return to the kids before Christmas.

Please come for a quick bowl of soup after the Hilltown Olympics in Goshen, or before the Ashfield Film Festival! We would love to see you. If you would like to hang out all evening, we would love that, too!

For more info contact Maureen Shea at (413) 634-5431 or email her at info@itavillage.info

Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Princess Katie & Racer Steve @ The Carle

WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Saturday, August 7th, 2010
At the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA

Princess Katie & fan. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Hilltown Families and the Northampton Community Music Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA on Saturday, August 7th at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  Deadline to enter to win is 08/04/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT PRINCESS KATIE & RACER STEVE

“Don’t let the name fool you, this Manhattan-based musical duo (and married couple) stirs up some seriously rockin’ music, ranging from alt-pop to country to reggae, all with a positive message.” (Publishers Weekly)

In 2008, Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock co-present Princess Katie & Racer Steve at Lyman Hall in Northampton, MA.  PK&RS had the kids rockin’ out and doing the tango, with the parents laughing and joining in … Two years and two albums later, they’re returning to the Pioneer Valley, and this time to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts, sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River!

Princess Katie & Racer Steve have recently released a new album titled Tiny Cool, which has been described as “a book you cannot put down – in music form!” They create high energy, positive and upbeat music that both kids and parents alike can enjoy.

Spontaneity and surprise are key to PK&RS shows. You never know what they’ll dream up. Princess Katie (aka Katie O’Sullivan) says, “I just can’t seem to do a show unless it’s spectacular for the kids!”

“Alternative rock-loving parents will dig how much Katie sounds like Natalie Merchant (only much more chipper), and the high-spirited high jinks of Racer Steve will keep their tots in stitches.” (FamilyFun magazine)

Find out more about Princess Katie and Racer Steve at www.princessracer.com.

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER

The Northampton Community Music Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all.” NCMC’s talented 50+ faculty members offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 750 participants a year—both adults and children—and bring concerts and other musical events to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.

This family concert is the sixth concert in the Kids Concert Series sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River.  The Eric Carle Museum is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission is $6, with all proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Program at NCMC.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Princess Katie & Racer Steve at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 08/04//10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $6 and available at 12:30pm the day of the show.  No advance reservations. – For more information about the Northampton Community Music Center, call 585-0001.

Movie Ticket Giveaway: Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas
A Red Carpet Fundraiser
Greenfield, MA
Saturday, July 24th @ 6pm

Hilltown Families and the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT) have partnered up to offer one lucky family 4 tickets to see a special red carpet fundraising screening of the new movie Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Saturday, July 24th at 6pm. Through a generous donation from the movie’s director, 100% of ticket sales will go directly to the CCT. Deadline to enter to win is 07/22/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE SCREENING

The movie, a lovely G-rated film about growing up, based on the popular books by Beverly Cleary. Moviegoers are encouraged to dress for the red carpet or as their favorite character from the Ramona books. The evening will also feature a silent auction with signed books, movie posters, etc, and a special pre-screening video specific to Franklin County.

Ramona and Beezus is directed by Elizabeth Allen, the sister of CCT Co-Coordinator Kat Allen, and the niece of Montague Select Board member Pat Allen and retired Valley Medical Group’s Dr. Mark Allen.  Through a generous donation from the movie’s director, 100% of ticket sales will go directly to the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT).

ABOUT COMMUNITY COALITION FOR TEENS

The mission of the Community Coalition for Teens is to promote the health and well-being of teens in the Franklin County and North Quabbin region. CCT collaborates with school and community partners to:

  • establish and support effective youth development and health-promotion programs;
  • provide training and technical assistance with emphasis on evidence-based practices; and
  • involve and empower youth.

Find out more about the Community Coalition for Teens at www.frcog.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win 4 tickets to see a special fundraising screening of the new movie Ramona and Beezus at Greenfield Garden Cinemas on Saturday, July 24th at 6pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THE TITLE OF YOUR FAVORITE BEVERLY CLEARY BOOK BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 07/22/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! It’s a great fundraising event. Tickets ($12 adult, $8 child/senior, $30 max per family) are available in advance by calling 774-3167 x 101, (978) 544-6912, or 774-1194 x 115, 116, 118 or by visiting the CCT office at 278 Main Street, Suite 411, in Greenfield, MA. If not sold out in advance, tickets will also be available at the door.  100% of ticket sales will go directly to the Community Coalition for Teens (CCT).

Locally Produced Family CD to Benefit Haiti

Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti
Locally Produced by Spare the Rock Records

Hilltown Families friends Bill Childs and Dean Jones have joined forces to produce "Many Hands," a locally produced CD of family music to benefit the Haitian People’s Support Project. This forthcoming CD will feature new music from Dan Zanes, Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might Be Giants and many more. National release date: Aug. 10th, 2010.

With a national release on August 10th, Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti is the first release from Spare the Rock Records, based out of Western MA.  This unique collection of songs is filled with uplifting messages from some of today’s very best family musicians.

After the January 12th, 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of the Haitian capital, family musician Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) found himself feeling helpless and desperately wanting to help the people of Haiti. Having close friends in Haiti and feeling a deep love and respect for the music from the region, Jones felt the need to create something that could help the ongoing rebuilding effort.

The idea for Many Hands came to him in the middle of the night and the very next day several of his fellow family musicians signed on. “When I had the idea for the ‘Many Hands’ CD, I knew without a doubt that I could count on the big-hearted kindie community.” said Jones. “The generosity and the amazing work of all the musicians and everyone involved definitely exceeded my initial expectations.”

Almost all of the tracks on the album are previously unreleased, most of them recorded especially for this release. The gathering of artists featured here is a strong assortment of the unique and special talents creating and performing for today’s all ages audiences, from the legendary Pete Seeger to family hip-hop star Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. In addition, everyone involved in the process of getting this album out into the world from replication to distribution has also either drastically discounted or donated their services. Proceeds from this release will benefit the Haitian People’s Support Project and their long-standing work to help the people of Haiti.

Many Hands will be released as the debut album of Spare the Rock Records founded by kindie rock connoisseur Bill Childs. “After speaking with Dean it was immediately obvious to me that this would be a great record, and, just as importantly, that it would have the potential to help keep people’s attention on the ongoing recovery of Haiti,” recalls Childs on how the partnership came to fruition. “Dean asked for some help reaching out to a few artists, and that just naturally flowed into my helping the record get a wider release; ultimately, that meant starting a label.” Childs produces, with his kids, the weekly radio show Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child which airs every Saturday on 103.3FM Valley Free Radio from 7-9am, and 93.9FM The River from 8-10am. Bill also writes about kids’ music for Hilltown Families and various parenting magazines,  has produced numerous kids’ concerts and is the co founder of KindieFest, the family music conference.

Musicians include on the CD include: Dan Zanes, Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might be Giants, Gustafer YellowgoldCaspar Babypants, Frances England, Dog on Fleas, Lunch Money, Baby Gramps, Recess Monkey, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem, Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Jonathan Coulton, Uncle Rock, Grenadilla, Dean Jones, Emily Curtis, Randy Kaplan, and Jerrice Baptiste. – CD release shows are planned on both coasts, with details available at ManyHandsCD.com.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: 4 Tickets to See Chris Smither @ Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls

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Chris Smither at Memorial Hall
Shelburne Falls, MA
Friday, June 4th, 2010 @ 8pm

On June 4th, Chris Smither will be performing a Friday night fund-raising concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School … and we have a 4-pack of free tickets along with a signed CD to offer one lucky person! Deadline to enter to win is 05/28/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT CHRIS SMITHER

Chris is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose music draws deeply from the blues, modern poets & philosophers. His most recent CD is Time Stands Still (Signature Sounds). He has released 13 albums and 3 DVDs and tours clubs, concert halls, and festivals across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His songs have appeared in films & TV and have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris & Diana Krall.

ABOUT THE PIONEER VALLEY CHINESE IMMERSION CHARTER SCHOOL

PVCICS prepares K- 8th grade students for academic and personal success through rigorous study and instruction aligned with the state and federal government standards, augmented with Chinese language and culture. PVCICS’s goals are to graduate students with excellent scholarship, high proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and English, plus sensitivity to multiple cultures. PVCICS serves the Pioneer Valley region. The school is currently accepting applications for K, 1st, and 6th grade for Fall 2010 enrollment. For more information about PVCICS go to www.pvcics.org.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a 4-pack of free tickets (and a signed CD) to see Chris Smither is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 05/28/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go!  Tickets are $22adv/$25door, and proceeds from the concert will benefit the fundraising efforts at The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School (PVCICS) in Hadley, MA.  Purchase tickets online or in person at Elmer’s/Ashfield, Mocha Mayas/Shelburne Falls, World Eye Bookshop /Greenfield.

Mass Audubon’s Annual Bird-a-thon: Where the Wild Things Are

Mass Audubon’s Annual Bird-a-thon Blends Birding Fun and Funds: May 14th-15th, 2010

Create a team with family and friends and together count the bird species in your neighborhood. A fun way to raise money for Mass Audubon! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

On May 14th and 15th go where the wild things are with Mass Audubon’s Bird-a-thon. This fun annual event, for people of all abilities and ages, offers birders and nature enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in friendly competition while raising funds for Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries and programs. In fact, the Bird-a-thon pledges that you earn through your birding, or collect from donors, directly benefit birds. So, flock together with your family, friends, and neighbors to create a team, or make a pledge to help Mass Audubon protect the nature of Massachusetts.

Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries in Western Mass include:

The statewide Bird-a-thon, now in its 27th year, has grown to 25 teams and nearly 700 staff and volunteers who help raise thousands of dollars to benefit Mass Audubon’s efforts to protect wildlife. The 24-hour competition starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 14, and runs through 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. But you don’t have to participate the entire time—rotating shifts among teammates is encouraged! The 24-hour timetable allows flexibility in schedules and the chance to locate nocturnal birds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eat Out with the Family on May 6th and Support the Noho Center for the Arts

Eat Your Art Out
Benefits Northampton Center for the Arts

The Northampton Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the revival of Eat Your Art Out, one of Northampton’s most delectable events. This tasty celebration of edible arts takes place on Thursday, May 6, 2010 when families are encouraged to dine out at one (or more!) of 32 popular local restaurants who have agreed to donate 10% of the day’s receipts to benefit community arts.

The 32 participating restaurants are sure to tempt the palates of foodies and art-lovers alike: Amanouz Café, Apollo Grill, Bistro Les Gras, Bueno Y Sano, Eastside Grill, Eclipse, Fitzwilly’s, Florence Soft Serve, Great Wall, Green Street Café, Haymarket Café, Herrell’s Ice Cream, India House, Joe’s Café, Lhasa Café, Local Burger, Mulino’s Restaurant, Osaka, Paul & Elizabeth’s, Pinocchio’s Pizza, Roberto’s, Sam’s Pizzeria, Siam Square, Side Street Café, Sierra Grille, Spoleto, Sylvester’s, Thai Garden, The Dirty Truth, Union Station, Venus & the Cellar Bar, Viva Fresh Pasta.

Cartoon-a-Palooza: Fundraiser of the Forbes Library Children’s Department

Click Here Listen to PSA

Cartoon-a-Palooza: May 23rd in Northampton

Mark your calendars for Mo Willems’ Cartoon-a-Palooza on May 23rd, 2010 at 2 p.m. at the Academy of Music in Northampton, MA.  An afternoon of award winning animation to benefit the Forbes Library children’s department.

The Forbes Library Children’s Department was last spruced up 18 years ago and the space is showing wear. The paint is peeling, the carpets are fraying, even the bookshelves are collapsing. The homework center is sorely lacking adequate study space and the technology available to help the library’s young adult patrons stay academically competitive is sorely lacking and out of date.

As part of the fundraising effort, the library will be having an afternoon of award winning animation by Mo Willems on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 at 2pm at the Academy of Music called “Cartoon-a-Palooza”. This family show will present a screening of a collection of his animated cartoons ranging from early Sesame Street and Nickelodeon shorts to the Carnegie Award winning animated adaptations of his beloved picture books, including the world premier of The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog!

All proceeds from this one-time only, special event will go directly to improvements and renovations to the Forbes Library’s Children’s Department. Mo will be on hand to answer questions and sign limited edition Forbes Library posters featuring the New York Bestselling duo Elephant and Piggie.

Tickets are available at the Forbes Library, 20 West Street, Northampton or online http://www.forbeslibrary.org or at the Academy of Music. For more information contact Jude McGowan, Children’s Librarian, 413-587-1010 or jmcgowan@forbeslibrary.org.

Ticket Giveaway: The Nields Family Concert in Noho

Win a Family 4-pack of Free Tickets!
The Nields Family Concert
Saturday, April 3rd @ 10:30am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Hilltown Families and Nonotuck Community School have partnered up to offer TWO lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of  free tickets to see a family concert with The Nields, the final concert spotlighted in the school’s Winter Family Concert Series.  This family concert will be in Northampton on Saturday, April 3rd at 10:30am at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) in The Sanctuary. The proceeds from the performance go to benefit this local non-profit preschool!  Deadline to enter to win is 03/31/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE NIELDS

Nerissa and Katryna Nields are a favorite of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, with their family CD’s All Together Singing in the Kitchen and their newest release, Rock all Day, Rock all Night.  Their love for music dates back to when they were just a few years older than the children attending Nonotuck Community School. (Nerissa’s daughter, Lila, age 4, goes to school at Nonotuck.) Both sisters remember singing in the kitchen and the back seat of the family car. “I knew I wanted to be a singer and songwriter from the time I was 7,” explains Nerissa. “I remember I wrote my first song that I was really proud of when I was 13, and right away I had a harmony for it, so I dragged Katryna out of her room and taught her the harmony.” And the rest, as the saying goes, is history. For two decades (since 1991), they have been the darlings of the coffeehouse/festival scene, with tunes ranging from off-the-hook idiosyncratic to kicking to heartbreaking. Today they are more than singing sisters — they are mothers who love to explore the impact their own children have on their writing and music. (Their new book titled All Together Singing in the Kitchen: The Musical Family, about How To and Why To make music with your family, is due out in 2011.)

Nerrissa and Katryna have also created and teach HooteNanny, a music class in the valley for children up to the age if five (and their grown ups).  Nerissa and Katryna share their encyclopedic knowledge and great love of folk music by handpicking favorite classics and composing new songs.  For information about HooteNanny classes or to get into a class starting the first week of April, write to hootenannymusicclass@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE NCS WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

This musical performance is the final of a three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. This final concert in the series features The Nields on Saturday, April 3rd @ 10:30 am taking place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) in The Sanctuary. Tickets will be sold only on the day of the shows (doors open 30 minutes before each concert): adults $8, children $6, and one and under, free.

Proceeds from this concert series go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 5865996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Nields family concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 10:30a.m. is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 03/31/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win and still really want to go, tickets will be sold at the door the day of the show.  See above for details.



Cummington Family Center 2010 Silent Auction

Cummington Family Center Silent Auction
April 10th, 5:30-7:30pm
Cummington Community House

Click here to see/print flyer

Michelle Megna of Cummington, MA writes:

Spring is here and that means it’s time for the annual Cummington Family Center Silent Auction. The CFC is a grassroots, parent-run organization that provides a community-based support network for families in the hilltown area. Through weekly drop-in playgroups, field trips, workshops and social potlucks and celebrations, the CFC helps build a vital link among families in 10 hilltowns, serving Cummington, Dalton, Goshen, Worthington, Ashfield, Plainfield and more.

Each year we host a silent auction, which is our annual fundraising event – we rely on this affair to make money needed to support our initiatives. This year, it’s even more critical to our bottom line, as you can imagine, with the current economy and cuts in our meager county grant assistance.

The auction takes place Saturday, April 10th, 2010 at the Community House on Main Street in Cummington, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include delicious appetizers, wine and beer, baked goods, music and childcare. On the auction block is a diverse mix of local goods and services. It’s a super fun event — a chance to party and catch up with neighbors and friends — while meeting new ones — and supporting our local communities.

If you’d like to contribute to our auction (gift certificate, admission tickets, product or service) please contact CFC director Amy Grallert at 413-634-5362 or at dragonflymae@aol.com.

If you’d like to simply support us, show up and participate!

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call either myself, Michelle Megna at 413-634-5325, or our director, Amy Grallert, at 413-634-5362.

Post-Fire Benefit for the West Cummington Congregational Church

Pure Euphoria: Soups, Songs, Stories & Pottery
A Post-Fire Benefit for the West Cummington Congregational Church
Monday, March 22nd from 6-8 pm

This is a one time, wild time benefit at the Bread Euphoria Cafe in Haydenville for the church in West Cummington whose building burned to the ground on January 17. Everyone, living anywhere, is cordially invited to the party. Kids included!

  • SOUP: Bread Euphoria will serve up soups, breads, salads and cookies and their new cafe space will be filled with
  • SONGS: Music from the Karen Simon-Bob Lovell Duo and the Prism Chamber Singers will fill the air
  • STORIES: Storytellers Rochelle Wildfong, Stephen Philbrick, Penny Schultz and Gene Flores will be spinning a yarn
  • POTTERY: A raffle for pottery from the Hilltown Six (now 8): Christy Knox, Mark Shapiro, Robbie Heidinger, Nakayama Hiroshi, Michael McCarthy, Eric Smith, Connie Talbot & Sam Taylor, plus potters Andrew Quient and Maya Machin

The food will be free. There will be a passing of the hat (actually, several hats) for the burned down church. (Cash and checks only, please.) Raffle tickets ($1 each) will be on sale in advance at the Bread Euphoria Cafe, on Main Street in Haydenville (Route 9), just over the Northampton line, and at the Old Creamery Grocery on Route 9 in Cummington. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the March 22 event.

For more information contact:
Wil Hastings at 584-4957, wil.hastings@gmail.com or
Mark Pollard 268-7757, info@breadeuphoria.org

Shake a Bootleg at Artspark!

Shake a Bootleg with the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School!

Artspark, an annual auction and benefit for the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, will take place on March 27th, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Garden House at Look Park. Shake a bootleg to the speakeasy sound of Unit 7. Enjoy delicious food from The Blue Heron. And browse and bid on hundreds of fun and one-of-a-kind auction items.  Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at the following locations: State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, The Old Creamery in Cummington, Cooper’s Corner in Florence and at the school, located on Route 9 in Haydenville. For more information, visit www.hilltowncharter.org or call 413.268.3421. A great time for a great cause!

ABOUT THE HCCPS

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School currently serves 162 children, kindergarten through eighth grade, from 24 towns throughout the hilltowns and the valley. Students use experiential, hands-on activities, the expressive arts, and interdisciplinary studies to foster critical thinking skills and a joy of learning. Parents, staff and community members participate in a whole school cooperative, which guides and supports the academic program.

For more information contact Deirdre Arthen at the HCCPS at 413.268.3421, http://www.hilltowncharter.org

Win Tickets to See Moscow Ballet Performance of “Great Russian Nutcracker”

Moscow Ballet Performance of Great Russian Nutcracker
At Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA
Sunday, November 15th @ 2pm

Hilltown Families is very excited to be able to offer two family 4-packs of free tickets to see the world-famous Moscow Ballet give a benefit performance of Great Russian Nutcracker at Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA on Sunday afternoon, November 15th, at 2:00 pm. This extraordinary performance of Tchaikovsky’s Great Russian Nutcracker is a benefit for children’s services at the Brattleboro Retreat. Deadline to enter to win is SUNDAY, 11/08/09 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT THE MOSCOW BALLET

The Moscow Ballet is proud to unveil their 2009 Great Russian Nutcracker holiday tour! Praised for exquisite dancing and gorgeous costumes, the Great Russian Nutcracker is directed by Ballet Master Anatoli Emelianov. It is also set against Valentin Fedorov’s spectacular hand-painted backdrops and life-sized dancing puppets.

This year’s tour stars the ballet world’s Prima Ballerina, Cristina Terentieva and her partner Alexei. Cristina is a Gold Medalist of the 2008 Varna International Ballet Competition where Vladimir Vasiliev of the Bolshoi bestowed upon her the highest honors. Also starring in the Great Russian Nutcracker is the award winning couple Akzhol Mussakhanov and Ekaterina Bortykova.

The Moscow Ballet is proud to announce the addition of the Russian Father Christmas, a large magical clock and Snegurochka, the Russian Snow Maiden taken from Russian folklore, to this year’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Although the additional characters are an integral part to this year’s performance, the Moscow Ballet is particularly excited about welcoming Aleksey Burakov to the stage as the character, Herr Drosselmeyer.

In the classic tale of the Great Russian Nutcracker, the mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, enters the room where everyone is celebrating and brings all the kids different gifts. After Clara is left without a gift, Herr Drosselmeyer presents a toy Nutcracker, dressed in a soldier’s traditional parade uniform, to the little girl.

Critics rave that the Great Russian Nutcracker is “flawless,” “breathtaking,” and “dazzling.” Whimsical and imaginative storytelling blend with the richness of Russian classical ballet to make the Great Russian Nutcracker a memorable holiday treat for everyone.

Discover more about the Moscow Ballet company at www.nutcracker.com.

BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE CHILDREN’S SERVICES AT THE BRATTLEBORO RETREAT

Proceeds from the ballet will help support children’s services at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, Vermont. This performance, which is also part of the Retreat’s 175th anniversary celebration, marks the second consecutive year that the Moscow Ballet has appeared in Springfield’s Symphony Hall in partnership with the Brattleboro Retreat.  Children in the production will be cast out of the Brattleboro School of Dance in Brattleboro, VT.

“Young people in our country who suffer with mental health challenges are vastly underserved, which is why we’re doing our part to help change that,” said Dr. Robert E. Simpson, president and chief executive officer of the Brattleboro Retreat. “The Nutcracker is a ballet for and about children—a beautiful family event. We are grateful for the opportunity to join hands for this cause with a world-class production like the Moscow Ballet.”

The Brattleboro Retreat, founded in 1834, is a not-for-profit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, providing a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages and their families. Nationally recognized for its premier treatment in behavioral healthcare, the Brattelboro Retreat offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient treatment.

HOW TO WIN

A chance for two different families to win a free 4-pack of tickets is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) You must include your town and state to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.
  6.  

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Sunday, 11/08/09 @ 7pm

DISCOUNTED TICKETS FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are available online through TICKETMASTER by calling 800-745-3000. To receive discounts on most ticket levels, enter the promotion code HEALTH.

Purchased Patron ticket holders (not discounted) will be treated to a fabulous post-performance reception in the Mahogany Room at Symphony Hall. Light fare and refreshments will be served. Meet and greet ballerinas and members of the Nutcracker cast! Proceeds from the ballet will help support children’s services at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Family Center Fundraiser Offers Local Services & Artisan Wears

Hangin’ Ten in the Hilltowns

Come Surfin’ with the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School!

Poster Design by LAC Design.

This year the event’s theme is “Surfin’ the Hills” and the evening will include dancing to the great local surf band SPF 4! It also includes silent and live auctions with items from local businesses and artists, including weekend getaways, dinners, bodywork, jewelry, and much more. ArtSpark will be held on Saturday, April 11th from 7 – 11 pm at the Williamsburg Grange on Main St.. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and will be available at HCCPS, State Street Fruit and Deli in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, and The Old Creamery in Cummington.

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School currently serves 154 children, kindergarten through eighth grade, from 24 towns throughout the hilltowns and the valley. Students use experiential, hands-on activities, the expressive arts, and interdisciplinary studies to foster critical thinking skills and a joy of learning. Parents, staff and community members participate in a whole school cooperative, which guides and supports the academic program.

For more information contact Deirdre Arthen at the HCCPS at 413.268.3421, http://www.hilltowncharter.org

Eco-Family Annual Winter Fair in Haydenville

Eco-Family Annual Winter Fair

As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host their annual family book and “green” craft fair on Saturday December 6, 2008 from 10 am to 4 pm at the “Brassworks” building on Rte. 9 (132 Main St.) in Williamsburg. Parents and children alike will have the opportunity to make a variety of eco-friendly craft items using mainly recycled and natural materials including full-sized wreaths, fabric gift bags, piggy banks, jewelry, vases, candle-holders, and cookbooks.

  • Eco-Family Annual Winter Fair at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School
  • Saturday, December 6, 2008
  • 10 am – 4 pm
  • Brassworks Building (Route 9), Haydenville, MA

Concurrently with the crafts, new books from Scholastic will be showcased featuring the best of children’s literature, with hundreds of award-winning and other popular titles on display. The fair will also feature crafts from local craftspeople and a raffle. All proceeds will be used to support the school library and other educational programs.

The fair will also feature entertainment throughout the day, including the Hilltown School chorus. Home made lunches and baked goods will be available.

What is the HCCPS?

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing mixed-aged classrooms and an arts-integrated approach to curricula. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery and is open to students throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties.

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in the Brassworks building on Rte. 9 in Haydenville, MA is hosting their Annual Winter Fair for Families on Saturday, December 6 from 10 am – 4 pm. The fair includes eco-friendly crafts and gift-making for all ages, performances, book and craft sales and great home-made foods.  For more information: Call the school at 413-268-3421 or go to http://www.hilltowncharter.org

Whole Children is Seeking Art Contributions for Fundraiser

Whole Children seeking contributions of original works of art for THE ART OF GIVING fundraiser

Whole Children is doing a fundraiser in November where they’re getting 100 artists to donate a painting, photo, print, etc. and are selling as many tickets as they have art.

They are seeking contributions of original works of art for their first annual THE ART OF GIVING fundraiser on November 15, 2008 at 7:00 PM at Northampton Center for the Arts. This event will include the works of artists such as Eric Carle, Olwen Dowling, Amy Ernst, Hillary Price, Betsey Garand, and Jeannie Birdsall and will support the work of Whole Children, Inc.  Read the rest of this entry »

Peggy & Nan Raise $ for Relay for Life

Notes from Nan: Run For Somebody’s Life
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Hey!

Don’t forget the RELAY FOR LIFE at the Franklin County Fair Grounds, in Greenfield on Friday and Saturday, June 6th &7th. Our own Peggy of Elmer’s is a cancer survivor and is participating with the team from The Congregational Church. She’s collecting money for the event at Elmer’s, and so, in our support and friendship with Peggy who we are so glad is still here with us, Elmer’s will contribute 10% of our coffee earnings from today through the 7th to the event. So come on in, get yourself a coffee and contribute to an extremely important cause. The circle of friends going through some sort of diagnosis, radiation and various forms of Chemotherapy seems to get larger and more intimate every day.

Checks contributing directly to the event should be made out to the American Cancer Society.

Checks for coffee should be made out to Elmer’s.

Did you see that we now have outside tables at Elmer’s? We do! You can enjoy the rise of the sun at breakfast, the warmth of the sun for afternoon tea or the red glow of dinner at sunset out there all summer long! Of course we don’t have a lake for you to gaze at, but I am considering the addition of a mountain range on the other side of Norton Hill road. I was just out in Boulder, Colorado and they had some nice ones out there. Maybe a couple of nice snow-capped 5000 foot peaks, right across the street for you to look at while you eat? Wouldn’t that be pretty? I’m pricing them right now and I’ll get back to you on whether or not we’ll be able to get those installed before the end of summer.

FRIDAY NIGHT MENU (05/30/08): Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 04/12/08-04/18/08

Local School Fundraisers Raising Fun!

With springtime comes an assortment of annual school fundraisers, ranging from pancake breakfasts, like the one held by the Ashfield Community Preschool this weekend, to silent auctions, like the one held by Bonnie’s Program in Chesterfield this past weekend. Check out our post, Eco-Friendly Fundraisers to find out what other local schools are doing to raise funds

Speaking of school fundraisers, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School goes “Viva Las Vegas” with ArtSpark on Saturday, April 12th, with their annual benefit gala at the Williamsburg Grange from 7-11pm.

This year the event’s theme is “Viva Las Vegas!” and the evening will include live music and dancing with the Mike Hooker Band, fabulous food, Las Vegas-style games and an auction of extraordinary goods and services including catered meals, weekend get-aways, handmade furniture, paintings, ceramics, clothing and lots more. Stylish Las Vegas dress or costumes are encouraged and add to the fun. Tickets are available at Coopers Corner Grocery (Florence), State Street Fruit (Northampton), the Old Creamery (Cummington) and
at HCCPS (Haydenville). This adult-only fundraisers is not to be missed! So book your babysitter and come have some fun!

The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School currently serves local children, kindergarten through eighth grade, from 24 towns throughout the Hilltowns and the Pioneer Valley. Students use experiential, hands-on activities, the expressive arts, and interdisciplinary studies to foster critical thinking skills and a joy of learning. Parents, staff and community members participate in a whole school cooperative, which guides and supports the academic program. For more information contact Deirdre Arthen at the HCCPS at 413.268.3421.

Two Local Writing (& Art) Contests For Kids!

  1. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley presents their 15th Annual Children’s Writing Contest. This year’s theme: Open-ended! Be creative, be imaginative, be wild and fantastical, or write about something you know in real life. Children are encouraged to write any story that comes to mind. The entries will be judged on the originality of the story, the creativity of the idea, as well as the quality of writing, including grammar, punctuation and spelling. Children in Grades 1-5 are eligible and encouraged to enter. The deadline for entries is 7pm on Wednesday, April 30. Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for contest rules.
  2. The Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society & The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst present Be Kind to Animals Week Writing and Art Contest, for kids in grades K-6th, in celebration of Be Kind to Animals Week (Week of May 4-10, 2008). Click here to read the contest rules. Entry Deadline: Friday, April 18, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our community bulletin board.

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

Events Happening in the Hilltowns
The following key represents the sum cost of one adult and one child:(>$) Under $10; ($) Between $10-$19; ($$) Between $20-$44; ($$$) Over $45

Saturday – 04/12

7am – 10am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to The River from 7-9am or 103.3 FM from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child . [All ages] (Free) LINK

9am-12:30pm – PANCAKE BREAKFAST – (Ashfield) The Ashfield Community Preschool will be holding their annual fundraising breakfast at th 1st Congregational Church on Main Street. 413.628.3248. [Families] (Fundraiser)

TBA – WOMEN OF COLOR MOMS GROUP – (Northampton) Support group meets every 3rd Saturday. LINK

10am-Noon – PARENTING WORKSHOP – (Florence) Parenting workshop offered at the Nonotuck School by Sarah Getoff, Creative Conflic Resolution. 413.586.5996 [Parents] ($$, Fundraiser) LINK

11:30am – VERNAL POOLS: REFUGE FOR WILDLIFE – (Northampton) Broad Brook Coalition (BBC) will sponsor Heather Ruel from the US Fish and Wildlife Services-Div. of Reality at the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area (FLCA) N. Farms Road entrance. Heather will meet at FLCA for a walk to our vernal pools. [Age 7 & up] (Free) LINK

Noon-4pm – BASKET HISTORY – (Deerfield) The Historic Deerfield Museum will be hosting a workshop, Baskets and More. Learn about the many types and uses of baskets for 18th-century Native and English people of New England. Make a basket to take home using recycled materials. Try your hand at making cordage from natural materials. [All Ages] ($, under 6 is free) LINK

1pm-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY – (Chesterfield) Can stone walls speak? For Professor Robert Thorson, the countless miles of old stone walls that wind through New England’s hills and forests have much to say about the natural, agricultural, and land-use history of the region—not to mention the volumes they add to the mythology and beauty of our countryside. Join Prof. Thorson and the Highland Communities Initiative for an exploration of these rich remnants of local history at the upcoming talk, Stone by Stone: A History of New England’s Stone Walls at the Chesterfield, MA Senior Center. 413.268.8219 [All Ages] (Free)

2pm – KIDS TEA PARTY – (South Hadley) The Odyssey invites the kids to a Fancy Nancy Tea Party with games, crafts, storytime, snacks and fancy fun galore. Dress in your fanciest clothes Tiaras are welcome! [Families] (Free)

2pm-4pm – RIVER CIRCUS – (North Adams) Mass MOcA presents Miss Rockaway Armad: River Circus. [Families] (Free) LINK

4pm – 6:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($) LINK

6pm – PERFORMANCE POTLUCK – (Shelburne) Art Bridge will be hosting their first Saturday Performance Potluck. Bring a dish to share and come enjoy music, dancing, performance and art. 413.625.8275 [Families] (Donation, $) LINK

7:30pm – HOUSE CONCERT – (West Chesterfield) All the way from Minneapolis, fingerstyle guitarist Michael Young (www.michaelyoungmusic.com) plays both the six and twelve-string guitar with driving rhythm and groove and will be performing a house concert in West Chesterfield, MA, on Saturday, April 12th starting at 7:30pm. This concert is part of the Hilltown Families House Concert Guitar Series and is open to adults and children with audience skills. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to the artist. Seating is limited. RSVP by email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. [Adults] ($) LINK

7pm-11pm – ART SPARK – (Williamsburg) See description above. [Adults] (Fundraiser)

Read the rest of this entry »

Eco-Friendly Fundraisers

Recycling Program to Raise Funds

For-profit company EcoPhones is one of several companies that offer community groups and non-profits the opportunity to raise funds for their organization or group by collecting small electronics items to be recycled, including:

  • cell phones
  • DVD movies
  • video games
  • portable DVD players
  • laptop/notebook computers
  • MP3 players
  • video game consoles
  • digital cameras
  • digital picture frames
  • portable navigation and GPS devices

Click here to read the article Cell phone recycling for cash a win-win, or is it? on MSNBC.com about these types of eco-friendly fundraisers being offered to such groups.

Local Fundraising Efforts

The Gateway Regional High School (Huntington, MA) Cheerleaders are raising money to help send the team to summer cheerleading camp and will be participating in the EcoPhones fundraising program by collecting the above mentioned items. There is a collection bin in the main entrance foyer of the Gateway Middle/High School complex to deposit donations. Collection will run through the end of the school year.

For more information email Karen Smith at ksmith@grsd.org, read the flyer, or go to the EcoPhones Website.

Other Eco-Friendly Fundraising Ideas

Recycling old cell phones and such isn’t the only way to have an “eco-friendly fundraiser.” Click here to read the article Finding Green Fundraisers on aboutmyplanet.com to discover other ideas and programs.

Raise the Roof – Music for the Meetinghouse


A Fund Raising Concert for The First Churches in Northampton on April 6th from 2pm-4:30pm. This show will feature about a dozen musical acts that include Primate Fiasco, Leah Kunkel, Jim Henry, and School for the Dead, along with juggling and hula hoop acts. Bill Dwight and Johnny Memphis will emcee the event

Many of these artists have performed at First Churches at events such as First Night, and have volunteered their talent to help raise money for the historic building, which needs $2 million worth of ceiling and roof repairs.

First Churches, located at 129 Main Street, is more than just a venue for local artists. It serves as a gathering place for 35 groups, including community service groups, each week, with more than 1,200 people meeting under its roof on a weekly basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Autism Speaks Video Fundraiser

The band Five for Fighting is generously donating $0.40 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funds raised will go towards research studies to help find a cure for autism. When you have a moment, please watch this informative clip, featuring touching photos of a beloved daughter and her family.

Thank you to Shelly Bathe Lenn, for bringing this video to my attention. It is a powerful, informative video that I hope you will share with as many people as you can. Autism has affected so many children in our community. I encourage you to help bring the much needed services and therapy to these children.

Mindy Brown
Easthampton Family Center Coordinator

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