Around Amherst: Race Amity Day celebrates togetherness

STAFF PHOTOWEB ONLY

STAFF PHOTOWEB ONLY STAFF PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 06-06-2024 7:32 PM

AMHERST — Race Amity Day, which will include the 18th annual presentation of Youth Hero Awards and the Mill River Basketball Tournament, takes place Sunday at the Mill River Recreation Area, 95 Montague Road.

The town is promoting the day under the “Uplifting our Community” banner and calling it an opportunity to celebrate interracial friendship and showcase the power of interracial partnerships to foster lasting and powerful social change.

Basketball tournament sign-ups begin at 9 a.m. and games at 10 a.m. Then, at midday, there will be a lunch, performances and the Town Council reading of a proclamation about Race Amity Day and the “celebration of the beauty and richness of our diverse cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, to strengthen bonds of respect, caring, appreciation, admiration and amity between one another.”

At 2:30 p.m., the Human Rights Commission gives out the awards to celebrate youths who have shown a special gift from the heart or an ability to love and care for one another.

The event is sponsored by the town, Citizens for Race Amity Now, the Human Rights Commission, the Mill River Basketball Tournament Committee, the Amherst Baha’i Community, the Jewish Community of Amherst, the Amherst League of Women Voters, the Interfaith Opportunities Network & The Julius Ford/Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community.

VFW redevelopment

People are invited to offer input on the future homeless shelter and affordable housing development for the former VFW site at 457 Main St. during a meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Associate Planner Greg Richane will lead the session in which people can talk about what services should be offered. Town officials are looking at modeling the development after Father Bill’s Place, a temporary shelter and housing site in Quincy.

Library trustee vacancy

A vacancy on the trustees board for the Jones Library is created following the recent resignation of Robert Pam, who announced over the winter that he would be moving from Amherst.

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Pam was appointed to the panel in 2012 and has been reelected several times since. A joint appointment by the Town Council and the remaining five trustees is likely to be made sometime in July, after residents have an opportunity to express interest in the position.

Girls lacrosse

The girls lacrosse team at Amherst Regional High School earned kudos from District 3 Councilor George Ryan at this week’s Town Council meeting. Ryan observed that the team, coached by Andrew MacDougall, won the Western Massachusetts Class B championship, defeating Belchertown in overtime.

The team’s seven seniors, Francesca Sloan, Talia Sadiq, Jill Crosby, Cedar Conrad, Abi Como, Thea Binzen and Ivorie Arguin, had gone winless during their freshmen year.

“This is a tribute to their hard work and dedication, and their good coaching,” Ryan said

Summerlin Floors donation

Summerlin Floors, a woman-owned floor business on College Street, announced that it is making an annual $2,500 donation to Greenfield Community College in memory of Erin Summerlin, who died in 2018.

“Greenfield Community College was a pivotal part of my life,” Ann Bronner, owner of Summerlin Floors, said in a statement. “The professors, faculty and administration at GCC created an inspiring and enriching experience for me and now is my opportunity to give back.

“I love making this donation each and every year on behalf of my daughter, Erin, as I know she is extremely proud and her memory will continue to live on,” Bronner said.

Summerlin Floors has been in business since 1968.

Book discussion

A discussion of the book “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery” takes place Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at South Congregational Church, 1066 South East St.

Facilitated by Patty Ramsey and Bruce Penniman, community members are invited to sign up for the program by sending email to office@amherstsouthchurch.org or by calling 413-253-2977.

The book group is part of South Congregational Church 200th Anniversary Arts and Social Justice Series.

Meetings

TUESDAY: Public Shade Tree Committee, 5:30 p.m.; Amherst School Committee, 6:30 p.m., high school library.