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Spirit Animal Quiz

June 30, 2014


Women Who Inspire Us: Elizabeth Stone

November 8, 2012

Elizabeth Stone is a contemporary realist painter based in Florence, MA. She is an active and lovely addition to the community of artists who live and work in the valley. Every time we see her she is preparing for a show or supporting a friend's opening. We are endlessly inspired by the women creating their mark. This Friday, November 9th, join Elizabeth as she opens at the Center of the Arts in Northampton with her show, Dress/Undress.

"My background in fashion has finally merged with my passion for art. A favorite red party dress appears as if disembodied in a pastel painting. It reappears in a triptych called "Striptych" unbuttoned and slipping to the floor and it finally emerges in 3-D as a floating white muslin dress. Clothing has always been my artistic expression and is now the subject of my art."

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my husband of 32 years who has taught me the value of family; in my friends who live with a sense of adventure; and in art which reveals life's unknowns to me.

What is your favorite line from a movie, song or book?
I collect phrases about art from whatever I read. My current favorite is "Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight" from the book My Name is Red by Orphan Pamuk. A quote from Coco Chanel about fashion is another favorite: "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."

"Disembodied", pastel

If you were a piece of clothing what would you be and what color/pattern?
A silk charmeuse slip that skims the body and is the color, scent and temperature of skin would be the most satisfying garment to be.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
"When in Rome do as the Romans do" is the advice I heard over and over again from my mother when I was growing up. It has served me well as I've moved from place to place and traveled around this country, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Include a photo of something or someone that inspires you and can you tell us why?
My parents in their late 80's getting sweeter with age in spite of failing health inspires me.


Women Who Inspire Us: Jennifer Siddall

September 1, 2012

It's Jennifer Siddall's business to make people feel good.  Owner of Energia--a yoga and spinning exercise center in Hadley--Jennifer spends her days teaching and encouraging people to achieve overall health and well-being.  And she also happens to do good in her off-time.  A participant of and advocate for the Pan-Massachuessetts Challenge, Jennifer puts her body and heart into furthering cancer research and treatment through LONG distance cycling.  What we love about Jennifer is that she doesn't so much talk about what she does to help others, but about how others have helped fulfill her.

Jennifer and Megan

Can you tell us about the Pan- Massachusetts Challenge and the kind of support the organization offers?
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is a 192 mile, 2 day cycling ride every August from Sturbridge to Provincetown. 100% of funds raised by riders go directly to the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research and treatment at the world-renowned Dana- Farber Cancer Institute. The ride has raised over $336 million dollars since it began in 1980.

The PMC gives riders and teams an opportunity to be partnered with a child receiving cancer treatment at Dana-Farber through their Pedal Partners Program. This unique and special relationship offers both support and encouragement to the family of the child going through treatment, as well as giving the teamʼs riders inspiration, motivation and insight into what itʼs like to be a child with a life threatening disease. I have the privilege of being our teamʼs Pedal Partner coordinator and feel blessed to have gotten to know 2 1/2 year old Megan and her family this year. At 15 months old, Megan was diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical Carsonoma- a very rare and fiercely aggressive cancer. After 9 months of non-stop treatment (unavailble ten years ago), Megan is now on to the business of being a little kid and is enjoying life with her family and friends.

What are some ways for people to get involved or make contributions?
Over 5,000 riders and more than 3,000 volunteers participated in the PMC this year, so one can either raise funds and ride, volunteer throughout the weekend (it is an incredibly inspiring, moving and emotional experience no matter which side of the bike you are on), or make a donation on behalf of a rider or in honor or memory of someone you know with cancer. Go to www.pmc.org to learn more.

What are some of your goals for the future?
I have ridden in the PMC the last two years, and cannot imagine NOT riding again, so I will continue to train and ride, and keep raising money for the Jimmy Fund. It has been inspiring, uplifting, and heart-wrenching to spend time at Dana-Farber and Childrenʼs Hospital in Boston, and I would love to be able to be there more as a volunteer.

Where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by children fighting cancer who are so young they donʼt even realize how brave and strong they are, and by people of all ages whoʼve had to battle this terrible disease.

Megan, her aunt, myself and another team member on this year's PMC ride at the Pedal Partner stop, mile 85.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
There are several from the movie, Love Actually- here is one “...If you look for it, Iʼve got a sneaky feeling youʼll find that love actually is all around.”

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
Iʼd have to say a worn and comfortable pair of blue jeans.

What is your favorite word, and why?
Grace- I love its meaning and the way it sounds.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
The week before last- spending some time with my 2 teenage kids, when we were telling stories from their childhood. So much fun!!


Women Who Inspire Us: Pam Reino

May 2, 2012

Pam Reino is a name synonymous with goodness.  Every time we see her--at Ode, on Main St., around town--she is always doing two things: 1. wearing fabulous boots, and 2. planning a way to help someone.  From organizing a toy drive for families all over the Valley or finding a way to provide shoes to a teenage boy who has been wearing his sisters' hand-me-downs, Pam is making a difference in people's lives.  Her heart is so fully in the act of generosity that she winds up thanking us for helping her help others.  We think it's time to introduce you to Pam Reino, and it's time to thank her for all she does.

Pam Reino

Can you tell us about CSO and the kind of support the organization offers?
Clinical & Support Options (CSO) provides social and behavioral health care services to the residents of Franklin, Hampshire, and Worcester counties.  To learn more, you can check out the website at www.csoinc.org.  My current role at CSO is to provide outreach services.  I provide individualized support assisting people in accessing the community and gaining supports in the area of life skills.  Services offered are as follows: providing emotional support, symptom management, assisting in obtaining good medical care, conflict resolution, budgeting, advocacy, service coordination, and crisis intervention.  Prior to this, I worked for The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

What are some of the events you helped organize? 
This past year I coordinated a children’s Christmas toy drive for CSO, with several local businesses including Serio’s Market, Ode, and The Northampton Athletic Club.  My sister-in-law, Karen Boyden, was instrumental in assisting by asking her church (Faith Baptist) to sponsor specific families.

In the 1980s, my dear friend William Conroy was diagnosed with brain cancer.  I organized a benefit in his honor, to assist with his medical costs.  This was the starting point of the fundraising I have coordinated.

Aside from my work at CSO, I have coordinated numerous fundraisers and benefit concerts.  These were to benefit people and animals who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, and the people in Haiti after the earthquake.  My most recent collaboration has been with Richard Richardson of the Goodtime Stove Company and The Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, MA.  Musicians have included the incomparable Charles Neville, Peter J. Newland and his band Radio Exile, Andrew Woodland & Appalachian Still, Matt Hebert, the Drunk Stuntmen, the Lonesome Brothers, Michael Gregory and Robert Markey and Lalit. The proceeds from these benefits went to the Humane Society of Louisiana, the Red Cross, Pure Water for the World, and Noah’s Ark.

What is one of your favorite stories from work?
Paul from Michelson Galleries told me that Leonard Nimoy was in Northampton to promote his upcoming project and was looking for people to photograph for his book. I was able to convince one of my clients to sit for some photographs.  Although she didn’t make it into the book, just meeting him made a great impact on her life.

What are some of your goals for the future?
I plan to continue to coordinate with Richard Richardson of the Three Sisters Sanctuary, to plan summer fundraising events.  We are particularly interested in working with the Wounded Warriors Project, Homes for Heroes, Shriners Children Hospital, and the Boston Children's Hospital Oncology Unit.

Are there any upcoming events or programs you would like to mention?
Richard’s website will include information of upcoming events: http://www.threesisterssanctuary.com

Three Sisters Sanctuary

Who are people who have inspired you?
Doctor Roy DeLamotte, my mother’s cousin, who fought for desegregation and civil rights, Cleveland Amory (The Fund for Animals), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Emmylou Harris, Dana and Christopher Reeve, and Andy Chapin (the Association, Steppenwolf, the Rick Nelson Band) for following his dream.


Women Who Inspire Us: Emma Evans

March 14, 2012

Emma Evans is a lover of life.  You can see it in her face--and in the way she interacts with the world--exuding that elusive, infectious je ne sais quoi.  What's her secret?  Emma finds joy in so much: nature, fashion (we happen to know firsthand what a style-enthusiast she is), philanthropy, and community. She does what she loves and loves what she does.  Because of this inspiring lady, Ode chose Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for our "Fashion with Compassion" campaign--we will be donating 5% of our profits to it this March.  Emma graciously agreed to educate us about the what/when/where/why of the organization, and to share some of the secrets behind her spirit.

Can you tell us a little about Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary?
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the statewide non-profit, Mass Audubon. With the help of its generous members and dedicated volunteers, Mass Audubon protects over 34,000 acres of land – a number that is continuously growing. Each site is different, but Arcadia is a particularly special one. With approximately 700 protected acres of land, Arcadia is comprised of over five miles of trails, including one that is universally accessible. We offer an extensive education program that includes preschool, day camp, and a range of public programs for children, families, and adults. Arcadia is an incredible gem, set right between Northampton and Easthampton, easily accessible from main roads, and is the perfect place to come and learn about nature and wildlife, even if you don’t consider yourself an “outdoors person.” There is truly something for everyone here. The staff at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary also manage three other sites: Laughing Brook in Hampden, Lynes in Westhampton, and Graves Farm in Williamsburg.

How did you get started working at Arcadia, and what is your role there?
After a year of pursuing a master’s degree in Fashion Merchandising straight out of college, I decided to take some time off from school to reassess what makes me who I am. I started searching for jobs within organizations whose values align with my own. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary was seeking a Visitor Services team member, and I applied for the job. I’ve been working for Mass Audubon at Arcadia for just about one year now. On any given day, I answer phones, take program registrations, share information about the benefits of a membership with Mass Audubon, as well as generate and manage a lot of the public relations around the sanctuary. I am currently growing in a role in fundraising and marketing the sanctuary. At the moment, our team is also working on planning the most fabulous gala dinner to celebrate the success of our great blue heron rookery, which is the where groups of herons nest in the springtime. We had 54 successful nests last year, and there are generally two baby birds per nest.

What are the best ways people can get involved or make contributions?
There are three great ways to get involved with Mass Audubon – become a member, contribute, or volunteer. A membership includes discounts on day camp and public programs, a subscription to Mass Audubon’s great publications like our Sanctuary and Connections magazines, as well as the ability to visit any of our sanctuaries free of charge as often as you’d like. Most importantly, becoming a member helps Mass Audubon fulfill its mission to protect the nature of Massachusetts. If you are able to contribute above the membership level of giving, the money goes directly to supporting your local sanctuary. When you make a gift to Arcadia, it goes directly to helping local children and adults, and protecting the local landscape. Because of our heavy involvement with our members and our incredibly small staff, the infrastructure cost is very low, which allows us to keep gifts in the education program or land stewardship. Arcadia is always in need of volunteers for a host of different projects. If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering, contact Jean Frances, Registrar and Volunteer Coordinator for Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary at jfrances@massaudubon.org.

Are there any upcoming events or programs you would like to mention?
There are three especially incredible events coming up! The first is “Big Night,” a family program at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary on March 31st, beginning at 5:30 pm. This program is a great way to learn about vernal pools and the unique opportunity for breeding that they provide obligate vernal pool species, like salamanders, frogs, and fairy shrimp.

An opportunity for a hands-on experience helping out is our Statewide Volunteer Day, taking place on Saturday, April 28th. Two sanctuaries in this area will be participating – Laughing Brook and Arcadia. For more information, you can visit www.massaudubon.org, or email arcadia@massaudubon.org.
Last, but certainly not least, on Thursday, April 12th, we are holding a gala dinner at the Garden House at Look Park to celebrate the success of our great blue heron rookery. All ticket sales support land stewardship at Arcadia. This event is by registration only. If you’re interested in finding out more, send me an email at eevans@massaudubon.org.

Photo Credit: Leah Duran

Where do you find inspiration?
As you might imagine, I draw a lot of inspiration from nature. As far back as I can remember, I have loved drawing trees and leaves. In college, I would sketch them in the margins of my notebooks. The reverence I feel for nature is reflected in my style as well. I love simple, organic pieces of jewelry. My jewelry tree is adorned with pendants made of geode sections, bracelets carved into feathers, necklaces of silver and gold leaves, and one made of dried acai berries. My favorite piece used to belong to my Grandmother. It’s an heirloom silver cuff bracelet etched into the shape of a bald eagle with a piece of turquoise set in the center. I tend to choose garments made from rich, nature-hued textiles; silk patterned with gorgeous floral, loosely knit cotton dip-dyed in shades of blue, mimicking the sky or the ocean. I find it awe-inspiring that the rich purple mountains not so far off in the distance are the backdrop to my everyday life. It’s hard not to be inspired by the wonders of this vast, gorgeous planet!

Who is your role model?
I have so many role models. I especially admire my mother and father: both talented and gifted in completely different ways.

What is your dream project?
One of my deep passions is darkroom photography. I love hand-developing film and making prints. My visual studies usually surround different shapes and textures, and I love to photograph women. I have always wanted to shoot the cover of Vogue. Soon, I’ll actually be completing a more attainable dream project of mine – setting up a raised bed garden! I do my best to eat local, sustainable produce, and love the idea of subsistence farming!

What are your plans for the future?
In terms of the immediate future, my partner and I are lucky enough to have been offered the live-in caretaker position at another Mass Audubon sanctuary, Laughing Brook, in Hampden, MA. There, we hope to continue carrying out the organization’s mission of conservation, advocacy, and education in the Springfield area. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my love of nature, and continue to be inspired by the truly great things that Mass Audubon does for Massachusetts and our community.

One of my favorite places in the world, with my love. Happiness, love, beauty – so deeply inspiring.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book? 
“The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost is a poem I’ve loved my whole life. My dad used to read it to me when I was young. My favorite part:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern? 
I think I’d be a beautiful scarf. A dear friend recently told me that they’re my trademark piece!

What's the first line in a book about your life?
Gosh, I just don’t know…! I think you’ve got to know how it ends to know the beginning, right?

What is your favorite word, and why?
I love the word, “lively.” For me, it conjures up images of spring! Grass growing, buds opening, wind dancing lightly.

What's your go-to "happy" song? 
I absolutely adore the song, “Stay Young, Go Dancing,” by Death Cab for Cutie.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Be patient.

What super power would you like to have, and why?
I’d like to have the ability to be in two places at once! I’d love to be able to travel the world, while also remaining local and tending to my day-to-day responsibilities.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I am so lucky to have a partner whose sense of humor keeps a constant ache in my cheeks from smiling so hard. We laugh every day. It’s a great life.