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Are We There Yet?: Take Comfort in the Community

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

When my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2010 and then another rare autoimmune disease last fall, several well-meaning people said to me, "It could be worse. At least it's not cancer."

I know how much it hurts to hear that, because when you're in the middle of a personal crisis, it doesn't really matter if it could actually be worse. It's bad enough in that moment.

So I won't say that to the hundreds of people who have lost their jobs with the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital, and their families, who now face an incredibly uncertain future. I know they are all hurting right now. All I can do is offer some fun ways to encourage community spirit with the family.

So how about some puppets?

MCLA Presents! is offering up the latest event in its inaugural MCLA Puppet Fest this weekend. On Saturday, March 29, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m., puppeteers Dan Froot and Dan Hurlin will perform "Who's Hungry" at the Puppet Lab at Gallery 107 at 107 Main St. in North Adams. "Who's Hungry" features an all-star cast of actors, dancers and puppeteers  following the lives of five hungry residents of Santa Monica, Calif., to weave elements of those five life stories into a 55-minute theatrical spectacle featuring a variety of puppetry styles, high velocity dancing and spirited music. The audience is seated before a 24-foot dinner table, which transforms into a runway-style puppet stage. Admission is $10 and the show is most appropriate for tweens and pre-teens.

Have younger kids? Consider a pajama movie night screening of "Frozen" at the Mason Library on Friday night, March 28, at 6:15 p.m. (My daughter and I just can't get enough of this music, especially the music ... though I wish I could sing with more conviction that "the cold never bothered my anyway.") Or on Saturday, March 29, take kids 5 and up to a bat house-making workshop at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., Rene Laubach talk about bats in our area and their natural history before the workshop on building the house. The cost is $20 for adults and free for children; registration is required. Register by calling 413-637-0320. And on Sunday, March 30, Project Native will be showing the movie "Flight of the Butterflies" - in 3D! - at 10 a.m. at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington. Following the year-long annual migration cycle of the butterflies, the award-winning production team filmed hundreds of millions of monarchs in their remote overwintering sanctuaries in Mexico in 2011 and again in 2012 and also along their migratory routes from Canada, across the United States and into Mexico. How cool is that? Even cooler, admission is free.

One more thing to mention, if you're in the mood to help out those people who actually do have cancer: Moments House is hosting its fourth annual Slice of Life Pizza Competition at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Come sample pizza from all over the county and vote on your favorites. Awards will be given to Best Crust, Best Sauce, Most Unique Pizza and Best Overall Pizza in Berkshire County. Adults are $25 at the door and children are $7 at the door (4 and under are free).

Take strength in the community right now. We're all in this together.

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.

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