Area briefs: Hadley candidates forum slated for Monday



Published: 05-11-2024 10:16 AM

Modified: 05-11-2024 10:17 AM

Candidates forum to take place in Hadley on Monday

HADLEY — A forum for candidates running for elective office at the town’s May 21 election will be held by the Hadley Mothers’ Club on Monday.

The Hadley Mothers’ Club, turning 80 this year, has sponsored Candidates Night for more than 35 years and is bringing it back this year after a one-year hiatus. The club continued to hold the event virtually during the pandemic.

Residents are invited to drop by Hopkins Academy cafetorium at 6:30 p.m. for a meet and greet with candidates, with the program to start at 7 p.m. and to be broadcast and recorded by Hadley Media.

Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions, with rules set that night. Scott Channell will be the moderator.

For more information about the Hadley Mothers’ Club and its upcoming events, go to

Spill the Tea Sis to kick off 2nd season of Block Party

NORTHAMPTON — Spill the Tea Sis Apothecary, along with other downtown store owners, will launch its second annual Sunday Block Party Series this weekend and running through October.

The Sunday Block Parties will transform Main Street from Synergy to Balagan Coffee into an artistic hub of creativity and celebration, offering an array of merchandise, programming, and visual arts displays.

Each month’s program will present a distinct theme, from July’s Mermaid & Mariners Market to the annual October Halloween Market.

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Through this initiative, Spill the Tea Sis aims to foster community building, offering free family-friendly events that will ignite the imagination of attendees of all ages.

For more information and updates, visit

The event is a partnership between Spill the Tea, CopyCat Northampton, the Gazette and others.

Way Finders receives grant to support financial literacy workshops

SPRINGFIELD — Way Finders has received a $30,000 grant from the M&T Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of M&T Bank, as part of the bank’s 30 & 30 Initiative in which 30 organizations across the Northeast receive $30,000 to fight homelessness and develop affordable housing in low- to moderate-income communities.

“Our financial literacy workshops help local families build their credit, find a better job, or become first-time homebuyers,” says Megan Pete, director of development. “These unrestricted funds allow Way Finders to assist hundreds of low- and moderate-income residents in western Massachusetts.”

In the most recent fiscal year, 177 graduates from Way Finders first-time homebuyers program purchased their first homes, and over 400 participated in employment support services to gain better jobs and increase financial self-sufficiency.

Every month, Way Finders offers workshops on credit success, becoming a first-time homebuyer or landlord. To learn more about these opportunities, visit

Hatfield potter returns home for show

HATFIELD — Potter and Hatfield native Amy Clark is bringing her work home for the Ocean Fire Pottery Western Mass. Spring Show the next weekend, May 17-19.

The sale takes place where it all began, at the potter’s childhood home of 77 Depot Road in Hatfield, and visitors can select from a huge selection of one-of-a-kind pottery fresh out of the kiln.

The show takes place Friday, May 17, from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Clark learned her craft and launched her career in the area, attending Smith Academy and studying ceramics at UMass. In 1994 she and her father built a pottery studio in the tobacco barn on the family farm in Hatfield. She worked from this studio, building up a local following while bartending at the Whately Inn and teaching pottery at Amherst Regional High School and Deerfield Academy Summer Arts Camp.

Working closely with a potter in Vermont, she learned the traditional wood-firing process, and in 2009, opened her studio and gallery, Ocean Fire Pottery, in York, Maine. Throughout this time, she has maintained her many close ties to the area, and has a strong local contingent of fans, supporters and collectors.

Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 207-361-3131, 413-247-5978 or visit

Dakin Humane Society lands $124K grant

SPRINGFIELD — Dakin Humane Society has been awarded a $124,000 grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a supporting organization of the Northwest CT Community Foundation.

The grant will fund three key initiatives during the next year at Dakin: spay-neuter surgery for the most vulnerable cats and kittens in the community, consulting support for the development of Dakin’s next three-year strategic plan, and equipment for The Pet Health Center that will build program capacity including a new veterinary technician internship program.

Dakin is a nonprofit that delivers services that improve the lives of animals in need and the people who care about them. In a typical year, the organization shelters, treats and fosters more than 20,000 animals and has performed over 122,000 spay/neuter surgeries since 2009, making it one of New England’s largest spay/neuter providers.

Dakin’s Pet Health Center, a non-emergency veterinary resource for pet dogs and cats, opened in 2022 and has treated more than 5,000 pets.