AMHERST – Annual holiday gift drives coordinated by the Amherst and Hadley Police Department begin as Thanksgiving approaches.
In Amherst, people can bring unwrapped toys, books, winter clothing and gift cards, as well as wrapping paper, to the police station at 111 Main Street between November 22 and November 20. December.
All items collected will then be provided for distribution to agencies such as the Amherst Survival Center, Bridge Family Resource Center and Jessie’s House.
Those interested in learning more should contact Detective Marcus Humber at 259-3355 or [email protected]
At Hadley, the department is sponsoring for the second year the Angel Tree program which allows families to apply by emailing [email protected], and providing the names and ages of children up to 18 years old, the sizes of the clothes, the colors they like and other interests. The articles will be distributed in December. Angel sponsors in the community can help with donations of money or toys to the 15 East Street Police Station.
The department will also be hosting a toy drive at the annual Hadley Lights Celebration, which will take place on November 27 around 5 p.m. at the kiosk outside Hopkins Academy.
During Thanksgiving week, WRSI radio personality Monte Belmonte will lead a 43-mile march through the region to end hunger and raise financial support for the West Massachusetts Food Bank.
Belmonte is inspired by US Congressman Jim McGovern, who urges the federal government to convene a White House Hunger Conference, a bipartisan meeting to address the issue of food, nutrition, hunger and health in states -United.
“There could be no better time than now to make a major commitment to the people of this country and, as Congressman McGovern has long said, to end hunger now,” said Belmonte in a press release.
As in previous years, the march, which takes place November 22 and 23, will pass through Hadley, Amherst, Sunderland and South Deerfield. The march will stop in downtown Amherst at 9 a.m. on November 23 and around 10 a.m. that day at the Amherst Survival Center.
The march comes a day before the survival center distributed around 300 Thanksgiving meals from its Sunderland Road site. On Thanksgiving Day, meals will be available at the Not Bread Alone Soup Kitchen at the First Congregational Church on Main Street.
Kristopher Pacunas, who spent more than a decade as Amherst’s chief information officer, died in September at Baystate Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer. He was 42 years old.
Pacunas began his tenure in Amherst in 2001, heading a department that launched a public Wi-Fi network throughout downtown Amherst and made improvements to the town’s website, with many self-service aspects. Pacunas was instrumental in improving broadcast capabilities from Town Room to Town Hall for Amherst Media and shifting the city to electronic meeting displays, with large screens at the entrances to Town Hall and the Bangs Community Center. .
He also continued several revisions of the city’s website, going from a few hundred pages to over 10,000 pages of information. During this time, several new features were created, including an open checkbook, which allows the public to see all the bills that city departments have paid, and copies of old city reports.
Even after his departure at the end of 2014, Pacunas remained as a part-time consultant and also chaired the Cable Advisory Board in 2015, before the city renewed its contract with Comcast.
Xian Du, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, received an $ 810,000 grant from a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian state oil company to support the development of a technology sensor used to monitor the pressure on the critical oil pump. equipment.
The grant was awarded by Aramco Services Company, a division of Saudi Aramco. Du will complete his research on so-called vertical crude loading pumps.