2014 March

March 19th, 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Premium Assistance is now available through the Health Connector!

January 2014 saw many changes to eligibility. Assistance is now available based on income and current cost of your insurance plan. MassHealth is now available to most Massachusetts residents making below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. Additional assistance may also be available for individuals making below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

At this course you will learn how to use the Massachusetts Health Connector website at the Franklin Hampshire Career Center. This is for individuals seeking health insurance (self-employed or without access through an employer) and individuals seeking premium assistance (either MassHealth or Tax Credits). Please distribute this flyer to all you think should know.

Come to our training to see how you can apply!
We will walk through the website. We will show you the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let’s work this through together.

To sign up, please contact:

Franklin Hampshire Career Center
One Arch Place #2
Greenfield, MA 01301

(413) 774-4361

Saturday, April 5th, 6:00 PM, Shelburne / Buckland Community Center

The 18th Annual GSFABA Auction will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 starting at 6:00 PM at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center located at 53 Main Street in Shelburne Falls, MA. Hors d'oeuvres will be prepared by Chef Margaret Fitzpatrick. A cash bar will be available. Tickets are only $20 per person and include one free drink. Tickets at the door will be $25 per person.
To make reservations for the 18th Annual GSFABA Auction, please mail checks to the GSFABA office at P.O. Box 42, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. Cash payments can be made at the GSFABA office located at 75 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls. Credit card payments can be made in person or by calling 413-625-2526.
If you have questions or need additional information please contact the GSFABA office at 413-625-2526 or email

Shelburne Farm and Garden started on the Buckland side as Eastern States-a farmer owned cooperative-created to supply its members with affordable farm needs: feed, seed, and fertilizer.  Later Eastern States merged with a sister coop and formed Agway still a farmer owned coop which supplied the farmer with all the above needs, plus the needs for the farm dog or cat and basic needs for the farm kitchen and garden.  Now Shelburne Farm & Garden is an Agway franchise, locally owned by Patricia Schmidt, supplying all the above.  We also have a vibrant nursery filled with perennials, annuals, and shrubs from April through October.  Our dog and cat supplies for example have grown to include 10 brands of pet food and a 30 foot wall of accessories. We try to have everything you’d expect from Agway and a bit more.

Shelburne Farm & Garden will be celebrating, Solar Night, the first day of spring, Thursday, March 20th by offering many specials and will be staying open until 7 PM.  Come and join us to celebrate the arrival of spring!

Ways to Retrofit Homes to Share

Are you hoping to age in your own home? Might sharing your house be a good option for you? Many seniors are finding their single family homes too costly to keep up, or not quite safe enough as currently configured. Sharing expenses or having another presence in the home might make staying in place possible. The Conversation Café to be held April 14 at 1:30 pm at the Senior Center in Shelburne Falls will have as its guests members of the Senior Housing Working Group and Jim Hawkins, Building Commissioner for many west county towns. There may also be representatives from Shelburne and Buckland Zoning Boards of Appeals. What are the ways houses may be “divied up”? What is allowed, what is involved? Come explore what may be possible for you as you or your loved ones contemplate aging in place.

 The 2014 Marvin J. Shippee Community Service Award

The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA) is seeking nominations for the Annual Marvin J. Shippee Community Service Award which will be announced at the GSFABA’s Spring Breakfast scheduled for Friday, May 2nd. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 14th.

The Marvin J. Shippee Community Service Award was awarded for the first time in 1998 in memory of Shippee’s leadership and his commitment to volunteerism. Shippee, the founder of the GSFABA, has been a shining example to everyone. Marvin has offered inspired leadership and had direct involvement to countless community projects.
Nominees should demonstrate volunteerism above and beyond the recipient’s paid employment. The award should recognize service in the Shelburne Falls Area which includes Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe, and Shelburne. The recipient is preferred to be a resident of the 10-town Shelburne Area, but not required.

The following criteria have been set to guide the Award Committee but not be exclusive if additional criteria are deemed appropriate:

-- Level of community service
-- Level of impact on the community
-- Length of service (allowing for the possibility of youth nominees)

The recipient should:
-- Demonstrate inspired leadership and involvement in community projects and be a “get-
the-job-done person.”
-- Be a respected member of their town and community for their contributions
-- Be an individual, not a group, business, or organization.

It is preferred that the recipient:
-- Be a resident of the 10-town Shelburne Falls Area, but not required.
-- Be someone who has aided the GSFABA in an important way such as positively
impacting the business climate or other way consistent with the GSFABA mission.

For those who wish to make a nomination, please complete a Nomination Form. Nomination forms are located at the GSFABA office, or email Nominations should be mailed to GSFABA, P.O. Box 42, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 or emailed to

Former recipients of the award are not eligible to receive the award again.

Former recipients include: Michael McCusker, 1998; Marion J. Taylor, 1998; Rolland Gifford, 1999; Dorothy Giffin, 1999; Carol Bolduc, 2000; Susan Samoriski, 2001; Bernie Butler, 2002; Mark Zenick, 2003; Dick and Jeanne Bole, 2004; Ruth Anderson, 2005; Wesley Rice, 2006; Dr. Mark Purinton, 2007; Polly Bartlett, 2008; Hugh Knox, 2009: Lawrence Shearer, 2010; Stefan Racz, 2011, John Taylor, 2012; Thomas Lively, 2013.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2:00 - 6:30 at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls
"I laughed for two solid hours. The show only lasted an hour and a half." - Joel Siegel, ABC-TV.

Be part of GFSABA member Piti Theatre's celebration of spring, syrup and the arts! Attend as an audience member, donate a raffle prize, or get your name out there as a festival sponsor.

Piti Theatre's 2014 festival features headliner Avner the Eccentric performing his physical comedy Broadway hit "Exceptions to Gravity" at 5 pm. Also featuring storyteller John Porcino (3:15 pm), Piti's "Elmer and the Elder Tree"(2 pm), syrup tasting, raffle, and more. All day tix: $12 adults, $5 children 12 and under. Avner will offer "Freeze: Fight, Flight or Fidget" a workshop for teachers, performers and anyone interested in provoking laughter on 3/23 at Shelburne Falls Yoga, 2 - 5 pm, limited enrollment, $30. Schedule & reservations:, 625-6569

Charlemont's 3rd Annual April 5th Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon's fifth leg route has been decided.        
Brave Heart Soloists and team members alike will face the final leg of the race with a full frontal assault of Berkshire East's deliberately daunting Competition slope as a hike straight up to the summit with snow board or skis, boots and poles on their backs.Most alpine skiers would never dream of hiking up which is why Berkshire east has chair lifts! There had been discussion about "skinning" up the rondennier trail on skis but organizers decided on the spectator-friendly direct route used the first two years of the race.

The five events:

4.2 mile road/trail run with trail shoes, trax, or snow shoes to Zoar Outdoor
20 miles of mostly flat (4-m loops) road biking ending up at the Zoar Gap Picnic Area put in.
5 miles of kayaking down river on the Deerfield ( PFD, HELMET, AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING REQUIRED)
A Navy Seals Bone Frog Challenge obstacle 1.82 mile run.which includes running half way up the Mt. and back.
A hill climb to the summit of Berkshire East with a downhill ski/board to the finish. Athlete must carry their own gear up and down.

These events can only happen on the same day at the turn of the seasons. It may be a bit cold for road biking and kayaking, and a bit warm for skiing,and running. We love it!

Find team mates, post photos, or comment at

Applications Available

This scholarship award is intended to support a graduating senior with a strong interest in pursuing a career in business. The student will have demonstrated an interest in business and an entrepreneurial spirit. The student may have already begun his/her own business and seeks to continue his/her education through an accredited continuing education course or a college or university.

1. Eligibility criteria:

• Is a resident of one of the ten towns served by the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association: Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe, and Shelburne.
• Is a graduating senior.
• Has maintained a good academic standing throughout high school.
• Is planning to continue education after graduation through continuing education or college.

2. Performance criteria:

• Is able to demonstrate an interest in business through past employment in the business community during summer vacation or after school or through starting a business.
• Is able to demonstrate an interest in community service through participation in community activities.
• Demonstrates good communication skills through the presentation of information on the application.
• Is able to demonstrate conduct appropriate to good citizenship.

3. Application requirements:

• The application must be typewritten and neatly presented. To download an electronic copy of the application, please go to:, or request a copy by email at
• The application must include three letters of recommendation; one job, one community service, and one school reference. Persons writing letters of recommendation must clearly identify which area of recommendation they represent. Additional recommendations from outside the academic community are encouraged.
• The application must include a typewritten narrative as described on the application form.
• The application must include a high school transcript.
• The application must be submitted to the school guidance office by April 1, 2014

4. Process for selection and award of the scholarship:

• The guidance counselor will review the application for accuracy and forward the application to the Executive Director of Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association.
• The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association will review the applications, choose a recipient who meets the criteria of the scholarship and communicate the results to the guidance counselor.
• The Executive Director of Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association will inform the guidance office of the decision. The guidance office will inform the recipient. A certificate will be awarded at graduation.
• Upon receipt of a transcript documenting successfully completing the first semester of college or a certificate of completion of continuing education courses, the $500 will be provided to the scholarship recipient.

The GSFABA may change the dollar amount offered, or if no applicant meets the criteria, choose not to award the scholarship.

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