2013 June

I just wanted to thank the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association for helping me with the difficult task of organizing and helping make all the lovely gift baskets for our production, which is usually a common practice, as a gesture of welcoming the actors on their first day of shooting. Mary Vilbon put out the word to many of the local businesses to see if anyone would like to donate their goods and got an overwhelming response. There were so many items that the baskets were overflowing with so many things made by local artists, or representing the local towns. I have not seen such lovely gift baskets in the whole time I’ve been working in the film business. The items included in the baskets ranged from maple syrup, coffee, lip balms, hand cream, jewelry, knitted mittens, scarves, books, and services ranging from massages to golfing.

Mary also came up with the idea of SLC, Shop Local Cards, which was handed out to every crew member. These were cards that you could scan with your smart phone and receive discounts at participating vendors in SF. I was actually asked by many of the crew to get more cards for their staff including our security guards.

Our costume department also told me that the package included with the SLC actually saved helped them immensely. They were fitting an actress and couldn’t find anything they liked and were frantic to find a clothing store. They pulled out the “Vendor List” that the Business Association provided and found a store on Bridge Street. They called within five minutes of closing, persuaded the owner to stay open and ended up spending “thousands of dollars” there and used many of the items they had chosen for the actress to wear on camera. The SLC proved invaluable to them and were so happy it was provided to them, it made their job so much easier.

The enormous support from the local vendors and citizens has been overwhelming. Everyone on the crew has been so happy with the help that they have received and with the assistance of the Vendor List and the SLC have proved invaluable to the crew.

Cathy Vlasuk
Assistant Production Coordinator – Shelburne Falls Unit
The Judge

I am born and raised in Franklin County and have chosen to keep my life inAmanda Abramsonthis area because I love it so much.  I grew up in Bernardston on a sheep farm and was active in 4-H through high school.  


In 2009 I graduated  from Keene State college and from there came back to work with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation as their Outreach Coordinator for a year then I moved on to work at a local radio station as a sales executive where I became very involved in the community and more specifically the Franklin County Chamber of commerce events and found that I loved being a part of the events.  


I am also currently working for Cohn and Company Real Estate out of Greenfield.  I have always thought of Shelburne Falls as a hidden gem in the valley and I would love to take this opportunity as the new Events Coordinator at the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association to make this area less of a secret and better known so others can enjoy the wonderful things that the Shelburne area has to offer.  I am excited to be a part of the Shelburne Falls area community.  

If you were attended RiverFest in Shelburne Falls this year, you probably saw our beautiful Community Art Installation on the Iron Bridge provided by The Art Garden. Hopefully, you had a chance to walk through the hundreds of colorful ribbons blowing in the breeze, read some of the common and latin names of species from our watershed, noting which are endangered, threatened, of special concern, or invasive. Thanks to all of you who stopped at the work station to create a ribbon to reflect what you love about the Deerfield River.

WOW! It was sooooo beautiful!!!!

Please check out a slideshow of the Installation on The Art Garden's website.

Everyone knows that advertising on the internet costs a bundle. Even if you can afford it and you find someone you trust to do it for you, it still takes your time and attention to pull in customers from the web.

You want your products and services to show up in your potential customer’s web browsers, and there is a trick to do that is low-to-no cost and can be very effective. This is especially true if your customers are adult female shoppers.

The trick is to use the Pinterest website to network with your friends and other GSFABA members to promote your products and services. You can think of it as a do-it-yourself, roll-your-own ad campaign - that takes virtually no technical skill. If you don’t want to do it, or just don’t have the time, here are some other people you can recruit:

· cashiers or salespeople with time between customers

· teens who need to do something to earn that allowance J

· an employee who is wasting time on the internet, anyhow

Literally, a child can do it. It is really just internet-scrapbooking. So,

· if you already have a Pinterest account go to and follow the SFABA boards so we can start following your boards

· if you don’t, yet, have a Pinterest account and want to get up to speed on how to best utilize Pinterest for your business, email and let me know if you prefer a one-on-one setup/training session (about one hour) or would like to attend a series of short classes that will get you setup and pinning like a pro in no time

Representative Cory Atkins, Representative Denise Andrews & The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Invite you to

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Deerfield Inn, Deerfield

Social Media
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Tom Taylor, Connelly Partners
• The importance of social media
• How to get started with social media
• How to maximize your efforts
• Overview of MOTT's social media program

RSVP: Ken Brissette

Franklin Land Trust has announced that it is launching the first phase of a million dollar capital campaign intended to provide the organization with a permanent home and secure future. The goal of the campaign’s first phase is $400,000, the cost to purchase and renovate a permanent home. FLT has already raised $240,000 in gifts toward the building campaign and is looking to raise an additional $160,000 to complete the project by the close of 2013. The second phase of the campaign will continue through 2014, with the aim of providing a permanent fund to support FLT’s land conservation and stewardship obligations.

Founded in 1987, FLT has always rented office space—first in Ashfield, then on State Street in Shelburne Falls. In August 2011 the Hurricane Irene flood caused extensive damage to FLT’s office on State Street. Forced to evacuate, staff scrambled to rescue files, computers and office furniture from the building, and managed to save most of our belongings from extensive damage.

FLT found temporary space in the Palmeri Building on the Mohawk Trail (Route 2) in Shelburne Falls, but it became clear that the organization needed to find a more spacious and efficient, permanent home base for their work. Says Executive Director Rich Hubbard, “In our busy office, staff members work elbow to elbow, the phone is always ringing, staff conversations are a constant buzz, and we have no private space for meetings with landowners.”

According to Hubbard the organization weighed many options over the past year, and looked at several possible spaces to rent or buy. In the end, FLT decided to purchase and renovate a building at 5 Mechanic Street in Shelburne Falls, the former JM Blassberg Garage.

Hubbard adds that having a permanent, efficient and low-maintenance home makes economic sense for the organization: monthly expenses on the 3,000 square foot space will actually be lower than what they currently spend. The FLT Board and staff are also excited to be involved in the creative re-use of an historic building located in the heart of Shelburne Falls. They believe their new home base will provide a highly visible, accessible hub for conservation stewardship in the community.
FLT purchased the building in May 2013 for $180,000 and renovation will soon be underway. Joseph P. Mattei & Associates architecture firm has designed the building renovation and Mowry & Schmidt was awarded the construction contract.

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is open for their fourteenth season of operation. Trolley rides, pump car rides, toy trains and displays will be available from 11am to 5pm every Saturday, Sunday and holiday until October 27. The museum will also be open Mondays from 1pm to 5pm in July and August. The museum now features wheelchair access to the trolley, so that everyone can ride back in time.

Take a fifteen minute ride back in time on the beautifully restored trolley No. 10. Restored in 1999, this 116-year-old trolley carried freight and passengers on tracks between Shelburne Falls and Colrain until 1926. This wooden, electrically-powered car crossed the Deerfield River on a concrete bridge that is now known as the Bridge of Flowers.

The museum's newly remodeled Visitors Center has pictures of the bridge and other local scenes in its trolley days, a display of the restoration process that brought this rare car back to life, a Kids Corner with wooden and electric toy trains and the TrolleyShop store with books, magazines and gift items.

The museum also features a caboose that can be explored, and an old-fashioned pump car that is often available for rides.

The museum is operated by volunteers and is open every weekend and holidays from 11am to 5pm, from Memorial Day weekend to the end of October. Additionally, in July and August, the museum will be open from 1pm to 5pm on Mondays. The museum may be open by chance at other times and special arrangements can be made for field trips or parties.

Tickets are $4.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under.

New volunteers for trolley crew or gift shop staff or track and restoration are always welcome.

As a special offer to GSFABA members, just bring your rack cards or brochures for us to display, exchange them for some of ours for you to display, and get a free All-Day-Pass. We want you to be knowlegable about our museum, and we want to be able to tell our 3000 annual visitors about your business.

14 Depot Street, near Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom, Shelburne Falls MA 413-625-9443


PAX, the Program of Academic Exchange, is currently interviewing families interested in hosting one of the international exchange students who will be attending the Academy at Charlemont this fall. This experience offers a great opportunity to learn first-hand about another culture and to share your life with a student who is eager to discover life in America.

These students are all 17-years old, speak English well, and have been accepted at the Academy because of their academic merit. They look forward to living like American teens--joining sports teams, studying for exams, and participating fully in family life.

The students who are in need of host families are Tobias from Germany, who likes swimming, tennis, snowboarding and fitness, as well as art; Yunfang from China, an intelligent and hard-working girl, who enjoys art and music, plays the violin, and also likes to hike; and Morgan from France, whose hobbies include dancing, running, playing soccer, and handball.

Host families need only provide a place for the student to sleep and study, meals, and a warm, supportive environment Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Transportation to/from the Academy will be provided. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply either for a semester or the full school year.

Since students need to apply for their visas soon, interested families are asked to contact Ann Newsmith at (802) 257-4710 or email as soon as possible. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. Find out more at

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