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Murder-Mystery Dinner to Benefit Louison House Education Programs

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Pull out your scrunchies and lace gloves and don't cut that mullet — you'll need to be totally rad if you want to solve a murder in a hair band. 
"Totally '80s, Totally Murder Mystery Dinner" this Friday at 6 p.m. at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill will dip into 1980s nostalgia for an evening of entertainment that will also help fund educational programs at Louison House.
Michael Goodwin, a member of the homeless shelter's board of directors, said, "goal is to dress up in your best '80s garb and enjoy good music and good food" while participating in a professionally produced dinner theater. 
"The actors will direct everybody and they want you to interact with each other," he said, as everyone tries to figure out who the rock 'n' roll murderer is in the audience. 
The concept is a new one for Louison House, which has had a "Bunny Run" fundraiser around Eastertime. Goodwin said weather hasn't always been cooperative that early in the spring so the Bunny Run made way for the mystery dinner this year. 
The past year's also been tough one for Louison House — there was a fire in the namesake house on Old Columbia Street in Adams and the family support service had to shift to new quarters in the Flood House in North Adams. Goodwin said Flood House has been working out well (the building is eyed to become permanent supportive housing) but the hope it is to get the transitional housing at Louison House back in operation. 
The fire's aftermath has opened the opportunity to renovate and modernize the Victorian-era home, but that will take loans and grants for what insurance can't cover. 
"Flood House has been a great spot for us and we're waiting to hear word from the state on rebuilding Louison House," Goodwin said. "We want to make it better and make it more accessible for families and individuals in need."
Named for one of its founders, the late Theresa Louison, the Family Life Support Center has helped more than 4,000 people find permanent and transitional housing in Northern Berkshires since opening in 1990. 
Friday's event is a three-course meal of salad, spaghetti and meatballs, and dessert with a cash bar; vegan and gluten-free available by advance request. Tickets are $30 per person or $55 per couple. 
Tickets are still available at the Print Shop on Spring Street or Burnham Gold Real Estate on Water Street, both in Williamstown, A1 Inc. at 401 Curran Highway or Berkshire Community Action Council at 85 Main St. There may be limited tickets available at the door; email to reserve tickets or special meals. 
There will also be raffles and a chinese auction with items and gift certificates donated by dozens of local businesses, including raffle of a weekend getaway for two at the Hermitage Club in Wilmington, Vt. 
"All the proceeds will go to our educational programming fund for our residents," Goodwin said. Those include learning skills that will help residents find jobs and become independent, such as resume building, interviewing and financial literacy. 
Major sponsors are A1 Inc., Burnham Gold, Alton & Westall Agency, Avangrid Renewables, and Terra Nova Church. 

Tags: fundraiser,   louison house,   

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Summer Reading Programs Abound at Berkshire Libraries

The kids might be out of school, but there are still plenty of opportunities to keep them learning and engaged throughout the summer.

Around Berkshire County, most libraries are participating in the summer reading program "A Universe of Energy." Following are some of the libraries' plans; be sure to check with your town's library, as well:


Adams Free Library is Hosting Danna Banana on Tuesday, June 25, at 5 p.m. to kick off its Summer Reading Program, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.  Danna Banana brings his usual wit and wackiness to all things space-related in this year’s summer theme “A Universe of Stories.”  Energetic and interactive, Danna Banana’s shows have been called “a piñata of listening pleasure” and “one big playdate to which everyone is invited.”

Dan Cohen is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and producer of music for film TV, and CD. He has extensive experience in opera, cabaret, and musical theater, as well as children’s and family music. He also teaches and offers musical workshops for a variety of educational, corporate, and personal clients.

An adult must accompany children under 8 years of age.  Library events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of the program activities, call 413-743-8345 or visit the website.


The Lanesborough Public Library Summer Reading Program will run July 1-Aug. 10. Young readers are encouraged to visit the library the week of July 1 or anytime during the program to sign up, get a reading log and schedule of fun, interactive events. Events include weekly crafts, a building extravaganza, PJ storytime and more. The kick-off event will be a "moon party" on July 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be videos of Apollo 11 footage, crafts, music, and games.

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